Presentation Skills

Distill charts

April 1, 2013
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In presentations, tell the story behind the numbers

March 12, 2013
A few hours after you hear a presentation, ask yourself, “What do I remember?” If you recall anything, it will probably be a story. No matter how well a speaker serves up data, few listeners will remember it. But succinct stories lodge themselves in listeners’ brains.

5 deadly sins of presenting financials

February 13, 2013

An experienced CFO shares his knowledge on the basics of organizing and presenting data. Here are a few of what he calls the “deadly sins” of sharing financials.

Persuasion starts with a succinct goal

February 11, 2013

Identify your goal before you try to persuade others. What action do you want them to take as a result of your remarks? To stay on track and keep things simple, reduce your goal to 12 words or fewer.

Pick the right time to insert pauses in presentations

January 23, 2013

Nervous public speakers tend to rush. They mumble, mutter and stammer their way through their speeches, yearning to finish and get off the stage. Yet there’s a simple technique that calms anxious presenters: the well-timed pause. Use these guidelines to decide when to apply one.

You have 30 seconds to impress me

December 27, 2012

When addressing senior executives, every minute counts. Make your point succinctly—without tangents or long stories—and end decisively. Consider these structural frameworks when organizing your material:

Know your selling point and stick to it

December 21, 2012

To win over others, it’s tempting to recite every possible reason why they should accept your proposal. Psychologists call this the Presenter’s Paradox: We assume that more is better when we try to convince others when, in fact, limiting our pitch to only the most appealing reasons works better.

4 ways to speak forcefully: Power presentations

November 21, 2012

Before you address an audience of one or 100, know your goal and prepare an outline to stay on track. Start with simple ideas and add complex points (evidence, details, case studies) gradually. Consider the pros and cons of four formats:

Seeing yourself on video: Eye-opening

November 19, 2012
The best way to brace for a media interview is to simulate the real thing. It’s often agonizing, but it’s worth it.

Open your speech with ‘fire’

November 6, 2012
Legendary marketer David Ogilvy once said, “When you advertise fire extinguishers, open with the fire.” It’s good advice for business presenters. Captivate your listeners from the first seconds of your talk. To organize the first minute of your speech, prepare in threes: