Presenting tips

How to: Be Yourself, even in a presentation

“Be yourself- everyone else is already taken”, one of my favourite quotes by Oscar Wilde.
 
It popped into my head, during a recent yoga holiday with my better half. The photo to the right is us doing our own version of the Tree Pose… hopefully no yoga teachers will be reading this!  We most certainly are not doing it right.  But, we are doing it our own way and being ourselves.
Over the course of the holiday, as we chatted to others on the trip – the topic of being yourself came up several times.  There were discussions about how sometimes a partner or a job, can turn us into a different persona.  Sometimes this persona can be at odds with what we feel to be our true persona.
Often, during presentation coaching sessions with clients, I see them struggling to be themselves. The struggle can be for many reasons. The tips below address some of the reasons why they struggle & how to overcome them.
 
1. Freaking out over doing a Presentation
I dislike the...
powerpoint presentation

Guest Post: 3 tips for professional looking PowerPoint presentations

Sharon works with us on the admin end of our business.  She is a font of efficiency and knowledge on all things relating to running your business.  On top of that, she is a whizz on all the Microsoft Office products, in particular PowerPoint.  Below she shares some of her tips on making your PowerPoint presentations look more professional.

I often help my coaches with their PowerPoint presentations ready for their training workshops or networking meetings/pitches.  I usually help with setting up their master slide templates and checking for spelling, inconsistency etc.  Below are some of my top tips to think about next time you’re setting up your own slides…
1. Be Consistent
Consistency is key to helping your presentation look professional.  Make sure the same fonts are used throughout – if you use one font for the header and a different one for the main body text then make sure this is the same on every slide. One quick way of doing this is to set up your Master Slide ...
Impact on voice

How to double your impact when presenting… halve your words and mind your voice!

Just recently I had a severe cold and sore throat.  It really hurt to talk – so I basically stopped talking for almost 2 days.
Torture for me.  A treat for my husband!
After 2 days, my throat was still painful so I was making a real effort to speak less.
This involved a lot of thumbs up, thumbs down, nodding, head shaking, and making of sad faces … a lot of sad faces 🙁 !  I was out to squeeze as much sympathy as I could out of these few days in the bed.
Thankfully, my issue with my voice recently was a temporary thing.  When I was back in the office, I did mention to any clients I was phoning, that I was just over a throat issue, so was minding my voice.  This got me a bit more sympathy 🙂 but also helped them understand why my phone calls were briefer than normal.
However, what if you have ongoing struggles with your voice?  Maybe you have to speak for an extraordinary number of hours every week?  Maybe you have a voice condition?  Below are some tips which can he...

Oscars 2018 – who wins the best speech award?

USA today described last night’s Oscars as a “relatively tame and predictable night”. Is that a fair description?
Maybe it was.
Maybe it wasn’t.
For me, I am always curious about the speeches.
Interestingly, in his monologue, Jimmy Kimmel referred to said upcoming speeches. He tried to encourage the winners to keep their speeches short, by promising a prize of a jet ski to the shortest speech.
So, I am sure Mark Bridges, who won the Costume Design Oscar for Phantom Thread, is whizzing in his brand new jet ski, somewhere off the coast of LA! He managed to get through his thank you’s in a mere 32 seconds.
But, the good thing about the lure of the jet ski prize, was that it gave several of the winners an opportunity to throw in a bit of humour early on in their speeches, by making throw back references to the infamous prize.
Overall, from what I can glean, the 2018 Oscars were nothing particularly special. In 2017, at least we had something to talk about, with the excitement...

Oscar acceptance speeches – and why Liam Neeson may be glad he never won!

The Oscars are just a day away. I’m sure the question on everyone’s’ lips is – Who will be the winners?
But there are others who are more interested in 2 other questions:
What will they wear?
What will they say?
Whatever about the outfits – of particular focus this year, will be how many will wear black, in support of the #MeToo campaign.
My particular fascination is with wondering what the winners will say. Will we have speeches along the line of Oprah’s one at The Golden Globes, delivered with eloquence and passion?
While I am not a major movie buff, I do watch with fascination as actors and actresses step to the stage as “themselves”. It is quite amazing how we assume that they are as confident playing “themselves”, as they seem to be in the roles they play.
But that is not always the case, and for some making a speech is something they really fear.
Take for example, Liam Neeson. Neeson has played really strong powerful roles, including Oskar Schindle...
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...