How to cure a Zombie presenter

Don't become a zombie presenter

This is a the scary tale of the Zombie presenter – and how he got cured. For the sake of this article, I’ll make him male, although there are just as many female Zombie presenters. The Zombie presenter appears in many business presentations. The Zombie presenter is wooden. He stumbles gracelessly from one sentence to …

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Bedside manner is key to connecting with audience

by Halina St James Recently my mother, who’s 85, had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in her left lung. She’s one of the lucky ones whose cancer was discovered early, was slow growing and therefore easily removed. Plus, she had one of the best thoracic surgeons in Canada, Dr. Yaron Shargall. What struck my …

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Lessons for us all from school for politicians

Politicians have to connect with their audience. That’s what helps get them votes. It’s just as important for the rest of us to connect with our audiences. We may not want to get votes – but we do want buy-in to our vision and ideas. So take a tip from the Campaign School – tell stories, straight from your heart.

How speakers could benefit from a golden brain

finding happiness in public speaking

One of my favourite online personality tests is ‘Are You Left Brained or Right Brained?‘ It’s a free, fun quiz that tells you which part of your brain is dominant. Left brainers are logical, systematic, see the details, build the hardware. Right brainers are creative, free flowing, see the big picture, design the software. In …

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Farewell to a great communicator

We’re going to miss Steve Jobs. And not just because he gave us iconic devices to help us communicate. We’ll miss him for the way HE communicated. He understood that, as a presenter, HE was the show. Not his slides. So he stripped the slides down to basics. Where possible he used images rather than …

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Youthful masters of body language

What’s more difficult than communicating with words? Communicating through ballroom dance. If you’re the leader, you need to decide which move to make, find the right beat to start the move and place your partner in an area with enough room to execute the move. You have to do this in a split second without …

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Pauses make you a better presenter – in any language

Don’t scorch through a presentation like you’re trying to get out of a burning building. Slow down. Pause for breath after every big thought and every sentence. You build in a comprehension gap for the audience. And by filling your lungs regularly you have more control over your breathing. That means more control over pacing and emphasis – all the good things that help you connect with the audience.

Speech-writing tips for dictators on the run

Recently we posted a blog packed with tips for people who have to write speeches for others to deliver. If you found that helpful, you might like this sideways look at the business of speech-writing. Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi (above) is on the run. He’s still broadcasting defiant messages, but they are uncharacteristically bland. That …

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Handy tips for speechwriters

The role of the speechwriter is to motivate, inspire and reach an audience – through someone else. It’s takes a special skill to be able to make sure both the speaker and the audience are happy. The first important step is to know your speaker. Here are some tips to help you.