Presentation Skills

Got any banter heroes?

October 6, 2021
Banter heroes are people who can always think on their feet—maybe people you tried to emulate when you developed your own speaking style.

Give your dry, tired data real life on stage

August 16, 2021
Data visualization used to be a kind of specialty, and not the business necessity it has become. Now, leaders need to be fluent at visual presentation and using data to tell a story.

Don’t pour the wine; be the wine

August 16, 2021
Only the best among us possess that unique ability to tell imaginative stories and draw thoughtful analogies, but success here also requires intimate knowledge of your audience. If you know what they enjoy, you’re much more likely to compare yourself to things or ideals they cherish—even if you’re making up some of it.

How to construct a pitch

August 16, 2021
The ideal pitch or proposal follows the “3-Minute Rule” and consists of three distinct stages, but that isn’t to say it’s simply divided into three equal one-minute parts. To the contrary, achieving the desired emphasis and climax in your pitch means deliberately devoting more time to some sections and less to others.

Make the most of audience input

May 12, 2021
The most commonly used method for handling questions from the audience is to ask the group to hold their queries until you’re finished. However, in some cases, it’s to your advantage to encourage questions along the way. Develop your ability to recognize these cases and to handle questions on the fly.

Get your audience involved

November 11, 2020
Use these tactics to encourage audience involvement and hold its attention during your presentations.

Grab listeners’ attention with a clear purpose

November 11, 2020
Business speakers make a common mistake in their presentations: They concentrate on their agenda, instead of their purpose. Here’s the difference.

Sound Bites: September ’20

September 16, 2020
Are you too quick to offer help to employees who come to you with problems? … How does it strike you when someone says “What?” right after you’ve said something? … Pre-speech calisthenics … Hand-draw your proposals

Uh-oh! There goes my mic

September 10, 2020
Pleasing an audience is tough enough, but sometimes it seems that the inanimate world is after you, too—microphones and projectors in particular. When these necessary but irritating items break down, here are some ways to bail yourself out.

Lights … camera … awkwardness

July 9, 2020
Q: Our staff has been given a project to record dozens of short first-person presentations on video. We’ve found that a few folks are depressingly wooden, formal, and uneasy on camera. Is there a simple way to snap them out of their stage awkwardness?