Last Updated: February 6th 2010
04/01/2013 11:09 PM
You may be delivering a scientific paper, explaining to the salespeople how the new system will change the way they place orders, or reporting on a project that no one really understands. When you stand up in front of an audience with people who have no idea who you are, you need to let them in on you as a person. Tell them a "secret" about yourself so they feel connected to you. Decide whether to tell this mini mini-story as soon as you start talking, or perhaps after you present your executive summary.
03/09/2013 01:21 AM
I have recently completed a research study on what makes PowerPoint presentations memorable. 1,540 people participated in the study and after 48 hours, they remembered an average of 4 slides out of 20 slides they viewed. This finding is perhaps expected: unless there is some repetition and enforcement, memory fades quickly. There were however a few observations that I found surprising and almost counter-intuitive to what we've been taught as communicators. So here are the surprises, along with some principles to consider before you design your next PowerPoint presentation.
03/08/2013 11:40 PM
What happens to presenters who are nervous when it's time for questions? Often the presenter is simply too nervous to listen to the query, and just starts talking without providing a specific response. Or the presenter may not address the question at all, instead speaking about something else that is a "hot topic" and defending a particular position. Now the presenter is really in trouble: the questioner did not get an answer and a topic has been brought up that many people were hoping would not have to be discussed. How do you stop this behavior?
02/08/2013 04:11 AM
In today's environment, it is important that you are confident and comfortable in front of your audience. And while many speakers believe that being confident is difficult, it need to be! In fact, here are a dozen ways to be a confident speaker. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Practice in front of a full-length mirror, for small groups.
02/06/2013 09:23 PM
In my constant effort as a coach to persuade business people to remember that a picture is worth a thousand words and to avoid the dreaded "Presentation-as-Document Syndrome," presenters often protest, "But I’m not an artist!" Cast adrift from their familiar text slides, presenters are reluctant to try alternatives. However, you don't have to go out and buy a painter's smock and beret to break the mold of an endless parade of boring bullet slides. Begin with overarching concept that the primary—and sole—purpose of your PowerPoint is to illustrate your narrative. Remember my often-repeated (because it still hasn't taken hold) recommendation that your business slideshow should follow the example of television news broadcasts: the anchorperson tells the story and the graphics serve as a headline that captures the essence of the story.
01/31/2013 10:26 PM
Large and small companies today express themselves in many ways, including presentations. Sometimes well, sometimes not. The best way to make sure ideas are understood is to organize goals and thoughts before attempting to create a presentation. As any good builder would tell you, you need good plans to create a good home. A simple process helps you get your presentation started off right. You'll organize and unify thinking about what must be accomplished. The output of the process makes an excellent "creative brief" to pass on to non-staff production and writing people to make sure the desired result makes it through production and to the audience. The time spent early in the planning stages of a project creating solid answers to these questions yields better chances of meeting your presentation goals.
05/17/2013 09:19 PM
Imagine for a moment I hid a set of keys for a new Lexus in one of those personal storage lockers at Portland International Airport. And all you had to do is find the specific door, put in the key and it's all yours! My job? I just had to explain to you how to get you there through the busy and hyper-distracting environment of an international airport. It's not that I want to make it hard for you to find -- to the contrary -- I really want you to find it. But we may have a challenge... I like to use words to explain things.. lots of them. Show you a map... you get it. Give you turn-by-turn (bullet-by-bullet) set of instructions and... well your Lexus may be waiting for a while in the parking lot. Jim Endicott explains more.
12/07/2012 08:38 AM
Photoshop and Illustrator are forever open on my computer, and yet I am a big proponent of doing as much design as possible directly in PowerPoint. Very often, adding an effect or editing an image in PowerPoint is actually quicker than doing the same in Photoshop. And even more importantly, effects created natively in PowerPoint are almost always non-destructive, which means adjustments are far easier as presentation content continually shifts (because it always does...)
11/19/2012 02:03 AM
Your body language, nonverbal cues, tell a lot about how you perform at a job, career and on stage as a public speaker. Research suggests that nonverbal cues are more important than verbal ones. I came across one study that spoke about body language comprising 55% of the force of any response, whereas the verbal content only provides 7%, and "paralanguage," or the intonation, pauses and sighs given when answering or speaking, represents 38% of the emphasis. Our schools put more emphasis on the spoken word. I suggest you learn to use a few simple tips to accentuate your body language as a public speaker or even interview for a job.
11/12/2012 01:41 AM
Hi, this is Jim Endicott with Distinction Communication. I vividly remember Thanksgiving 2009. Not so much for the Thanksgiving meal but for what happened the day afterwards. The gals, when they got up at the crack of dawn headed off for Christmas shopping. The guys -- we sat around the house, had leftovers, watched the few bowl games, and then we decided we were going to go shopping too. So we headed off to Fry's, a great electronic superstore and when we got there, it was absolutely packed. Wall to wall with people! We hit at the front doors and we noticed that something was happening in the middle of the store. So we pushed our way to the front of the crowd.