Presenting tips

Face to face communication

5 tips for your face to face communications – specifically presentations

In this age where most of us spend our working day communicating through emails and our personal time communicating via Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp and text  – how significant is face to face communication?
Well, according to a study at Harvard, face to face communication is 34 times more successful than an email.
That’s fairly significant, don’t you think?
So, when you are communicating to a group of people, be it to your team, the board, at a conference or in a pitch – you really want to make sure that you hit the mark.
The tips below focus on helping you with your delivery of the message.
1. Water, water but never milk!
Okay so, this is a bit random – but it is important!
Never drink milk before a presentation as it coats your vocal chords and impedes your vocal impact.  Sip water regularly (at least every 5 minutes) – if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated.
Sipping water also allows you time to pause during your presentation, and if...
presentation pause

6 reasons why pausing makes you a better presenter

Really confident speakers pause… a lot! They tend to speak in shorter sentences, use less words and therefore have more impact.
Their silence speaks volumes.
Not so confident speakers tend to replace full stops with the word “and”.
They make a point – then, instead of pausing, they add the word “and” which results in them continuing to the next sentence, or point without so much as a whisper of a pause, and it reduces their impact and they find themselves speaking in long rambling sentences, much like this one and it is quite annoying and seriously reduces their impact.
Inserting a full stop, and a pause, has much more impact.
Martin Luther King’s, “I have a dream” averages at just 106 words per minute. You should aim to average no more than 120 words a minute, or 2 words a second, for real impact. Remember, this is an average, so it allows plenty of time for pausing.
When we write we use commas, semi-colons, full stops and even new paragraphs to...

Why you do not need to be a “Perfect” presenter

A piece of advice that many people I coach on presentations find reassuring is this – you don’t need to be perfect, it is much more important to be yourself. You do not need to take on a “presenting persona”. Your audience is much more interested in seeing the real you .
Don’t get me wrong – you still need to prepare, practice, research your audience, be clear on your message and deliver with impact. But there is absolutely no need whatsoever to go into “presenter mode”.
Below are just a few short tips on each of these 3 topics.
1. Prepare
Make sure you know what you want to achieve from the presentation.
Make sure you know what the audience are expecting to “get” from the presentation. Prepare your content to address both elements.
2. Practice
Ideally practice out loud in front of a real audience.  Preferably, find someone who will give you honest feedback. One way you can get this is, before you start your practice run, ask them to look out for 2 things they like...

Top tips to be more engaging in your business presentations

When you stand up and speak in a presentation, listeners will form an opinion of you, your product or service and your organisation, based on how you are coming across.  Come across as dull and boring – then that is the impression you leave them with of your organisation.  On the other hand, come across as engaging and they will be more likely to seek you out.
Below are our top 10 tips, which recently appeared in the Sunday Business Post, that can help you to be a more engaging presenter in your next business presentation.
1. What about “them”?  The most important element in any presentation is “them”, your audience.  Before you put pen to paper or finger to keyboard you need to find out all you can about them and what they want to get from your presentation.   The better you understand them, their attitude and their world, the better chance you have of engaging with them.
2. Begin with the end in mind.   What is the purpose of the presentation?  This should be cryst...

How to read a presentation without sending the audience to sleep!

We all know that we shouldn’t read a presentation or speech. It’s not ideal and you could end up disconnecting from your audience; it is better to deliver a presentation as a conversation.
However, sometimes for legal, policy or other reasons it is necessary to read verbatim.
The tips below have been selected from a longer list and mainly focus on the ones that enable you to maintain eye contact, which is arguably the principal challenge when reading a speech.
 
1. Type the speech on the upper 2/3 of the page. This will make eye contact easier as you have a shorter distance to raise your head.
 
2. Begin with first 2 pages side by side. As you reach the end of the first page slide the 2nd page on top of the first.  This prevents the paper from shuffling and becoming a distraction.
 
3. Pace your looking down and looking up. Always ensure that your eyes are up at the end of a sentence.
 
4. Avoid breaking sentences over pages.  This will allow you to ma...
Hands gesturing

How to gesture naturally

Occasionally during a Masterclass a participant will say that they feel “fake” when they gesture and it is not in their nature to gesture.  Yet, at the coffee break I see them in full flight, gesturing like crazy!
Why? 
Because when they talk about topics they are interested in they become highly animated.
So what does this mean for you?
The trick is to take note of the gestures you use when you are with friends, family or work colleagues when you are telling them about an event or even talking on a topic that winds you up!
When you have noted those gestures see if there is a way you can incorporate some of them into your next presentation – they are the ones you use when you are being natural so they should look more natural when you use them.
The more natural you feel… the more confident you will be… the more connected to the audience you will be!
For further tips on confidence building see our top 3 tips to help you start presentations more confidently.
Good luck...

5 tips for creating a fantastic first impression

“How long does it take to create a first impression?”
Two minutes? Twenty seconds? Two seconds?  Some psychologists* would suggest that the length is as short as one tenth of a second.  Therefore, before you have opened your mouth the audience are beginning to form an impression.
So whether you are delivering a high impact business presentation, delivering a presentation at a conference or even a sales presentation, here are a few simple tips to ensure that when you are presenting, you create a fantastic first impression. 
1.  Dress for the occasion
Bearing in mind that the first impression has already begun before you even open your mouth, what you wear really does count.
Two words can address the whole issue of dress code – dress appropriately.  By researching your audience you should have a good idea of what “appropriate” is for the occasion.  Business casual will usually suffice for those in the IT industry, while in the legal world a full suit and tie...