How imperfect are you? And will your audience care?

your audience will forgive imperfection if they see authenticity

When I first started coaching and speaking professionally, I was obsessed with being perfect – telling my audience everything I knew. If I left something out inadvertently, I would berate myself for being so stupid. I’ve learned a thing or two since those early days. First of all, less is more. We are all awash …

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Fought a bear? You really must tell the story

tell your story and you bring your presentation to life

In a presentation skills workshop the other day, one participant was introducing herself. Her opening sentence was dramatic. “Have you ever come face to face with a bear?” she asked. “I have,” she continued, and hurried on to tell us her name, her title, and how her job meant she spent a lot of time …

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Use storytelling structure for presentation success

storytelling structure can help presentations

What would your presentation or speech look like if it was a graph? You can plot on a chart the course of a good presentation… just as you can plot the storytelling structure of a movie or book. In fact the graph of a good presentation looks just like the graph of many a movie. …

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Preparing a speech: are you a monk or a mutterer?

5 tips to help you write better copy

How do you prepare a speech or presentation? Are you a monk or a mutterer? In my experience a lot of people become monks when they settle down to write a speech. They take a vow of silence, retreat behind closed doors, and meditate in silence. They sit in silence at their keyboard They think …

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Four essentials for winning speeches

images rather than bullet points work well on slide decks

At the heart of all Podium Coaching sessions is something we call our Communication Mantra. It’s really simple (like all the best communications). If you want to make winning speeches, remember these four key points: Have something to say. Believe in it. Say it simply. Shut up. Have something to say. Really focus your ideas. …

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How talented young dancers can boost your next presentation

Our home town of Halifax, Nova Scotia, knows all about sad farewells. It’s a navy town, where long goodbyes and anxious waits are part of military life. There’s a long tradition of families waving loved ones off on missions around the world; missions of peace, and missions of war. In the last few years Halifax …

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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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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.

How to avoid common slide show mistakes

how to make more interesting slides

A few weeks ago I saw the world’s worst PowerPoint slide presentation. The memory of those cluttered slides was still rattling round in my brain when it came time to make my monthly contribution to the webinar run by the International Institute for Business Analysis. And guess what the subject was: effective PowerPoints. It seems …

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