Presentation Skills

How to tell your story & make an impact

April 22, 2011
Behind every great business endeavor is a great story. “If you really want to create fans of your business who will become apostles and advocates for you, you have to use a narrative,” says Hollywood producer, executive and entrepreneur Peter Guber.

The 2-minute speech warm-up

March 25, 2011

The most important two minutes of your speech occur before you take the stage. Practicing nonverbal cues, or body language, will “optimally configure your brain to deal with a stressful situation,” says Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy.

3 ways to be a Twitter-friendly speaker

February 23, 2011
Audiences no longer sit quietly, absorbing a speaker’s words and images, waiting to ask a question or make a comment. Instead, they use Twitter to text in real-time, usually adding a specific hashtag to their tweets. Any tweet mentioning a particular hashtag is part of the “backchannel” conversation among attendees and speakers.

Cut out the jargon and just say it

February 22, 2011

Jargon can complicate the most simple of messages. So why in the name of Web­­ster’s does the babble persist? “People use jargon because they want to sound smart and credible when in fact they … typically can’t be understood, which defeats the purpose of speaking in the first place,” says Karen Friedman, author of Shut Up and Say Something.

What we have is a failure to communicate

December 16, 2010
A leader’s ideas are only as good as his ability to cut through the noise. Consider how RIM CEO Jim Balsillie introduced the BlackBerry PlayBook—his company’s answer to the iPad. His words might be brilliant, if only anyone could understand them. And the PlayBook might be a superior product, if only leadership could sell it.

2-way presentation

September 13, 2010
When making a presentation, ward off audience boredom by making it interactive. Here are four ways to deliver, according to “5 Tips for Making Your Presentations More Social”:

Dread speaking? 6 ways to overcome it

August 13, 2010

The South by Southwest festivals and conferences each spring feature many experts, some of whom are not expert speakers. One of them, Thom Singer, has written a book, The ABC’s of Speaking, geared especially for the shy expert. He has six recommendations:

Lesson from 9/11: Use what you’ve got

August 13, 2010

James Laychak’s brother Dave died at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Every day afterward, Laychak would wait for information and share his grief with others at the Pentagon’s family assistance center. Later, when he was named president of the Pentagon Memorial Fund, which needed $30 million, Laychak brought all his skills to the task.

The enemy: PowerPoint

June 14, 2010

U.S. Brig. Gen. H.R. McMaster likens PowerPoint to an internal threat. “It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” he says. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.” He’s one of many who see the limits of PowerPoint, despite the central role it plays in their daily lives.

Leadership Tips: Vol. 610

May 17, 2010
Pull audience members’ attention away from their BlackBerrys by asking a lot of questions, says Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group … How did Apple sell more than $150 million worth of iPads on the product’s launch day? It spent 25 years earning the privilege of delivering personal and relevant messages to their customers, says blogger and author Seth Godin …