​PowerSpeaking Blog: Tips and strategies for crafting presentations

Reading, Speaking, Conveying: The Art of the Teleprompter

No matter what your personal politics are, this most recent election cycle has shown a compelling spotlight on the ways that powerful political personalities communicate with the world. We have been treated to a variety of different approaches to speech-giving, debating and stumping and much has been made of the distinctions between the ways that some candidates convey ideas versus their opponents.

However, what all the candidates have in common is that, overwhelmingly, their speeches are aided by a teleprompter. A teleprompter frees speechmakers from relying on written notes or presentations in front of them, allowing them to face their audience directly and move naturally in the space they are given. This creates an intimacy and naturalism that can reinforce effective presentation skills and lend you vital credibility.

Yet with this freedom comes a variety of unexpected challenges.  Using a teleprompter is one of the more involved presentation tools that requires practice and consideration, which is why we've included a series of quick tips to help you master it.  

teleprompter-1.jpg

Read

Presenting Emotion-filled Talks with Composure

We coach clients to use a variety of facial expressions during talks to convey meaning and persuade. (Sport a poker face and you force audiences to work harder to grasp your meaning.) Expressing appropriate emotion during presentations can help move a conversation forward. But what happens when your strong emotion during a presentation hinders message delivery and distracts the audience (it might be while delivering sad news or happy news, or experiencing frustration or anger)? How can you stay on message, convey the information you must, and stay composed? The following tips will help you be effective in this unique talk scenario.

presenting_emotion.jpg

Read

The Goal is Presence: Lessons from Amy Cuddy’s Book

 

“The state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express true thoughts, feelings, values and potential.” 

This is how Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy defines Presence in her book of the same name. 

Cuddy has followed up her "fake it until you become it" TED talk, which illuminates the positive effects of ‘power posing’ on confidence, with this new work, subtitled “Bringing Your BOLDEST SELF to your BIGGEST CHALLENGES.”  presence.png

Read

Five Proven Tips for Greater Vocal Impact

 

We’ve all seen presenters whose voice quality sets the audience’s attention drifting. Their content might be strong, but they speak too softly, mumble or go too fast to be understood. Your voice is a critical aspect that can make your data come alive and your projects stand apart from the crowd. The following tips for voice help you convey your content with greater engagement and leadership presence.

Vocal_impact.jpg

Read

Surefire Strategies to Manage Difficult Audiences

 

As if preparing content and effectively presenting it weren’t enough to manage, what happens when you walk in the room and face a difficult audience or a challenging audience member that could throw you off your game?

Be assured: you can maintain a confident, calm leadership presence…and manage the challenges and surprises that arise in your midst. These tips will help you tame challenging audiences and help create presentation success.

Audience-1.jpg

Read

Sheryl Sandberg Leans Into a Standout Commencement Address

Early summer yields a bumper crop of noteworthy college commencement addresses. These speeches by cultural luminaries and business leaders often exhibit strategies to benefit the rest of us in our own talks at work. Like the most memorable TED talks, commencement speakers often invest significant time crafting and rehearsing talks beforehand and merit analysis. Here we spotlight Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s recent address to graduates at University of California, Berkeley. Sandberg’s powerful and moving address embodies useful tips to make your own presentations at work more impactful

commencement.jpg

Read

Here's To Your Successful Toasts

Springtime means academic graduations, and wedding season around the corner. You may have an opportunity to toast a young graduate in your life, or fete newlyweds about to embark on the adventure of married life. Toasts are a succinct way to express emotion or a point of view during a special occasion. Sadly, many toast-givers don’t plan or deliver their best, failing to make the grad or bride and groom shine. Follow these strategies for impactful and engaging toasts they’ll remember:

Toast.jpg

Read

The Story of Presentation Success

We’ve all suffered listening to presentations bloated with data. Sure, numbers need to be communicated and assure credibility. Yet a tsunami wave of data creates another danger—increased risk of boredom and audiences checking out. One surefire way to engage an audience is strategic use of stories. Whether for a ten-minute update, an hour-long talk to colleagues or a conference presentation, stories increase retention, and set you apart from the crowd.

Story.jpg

Read

Strategies for Terrific Team Presentations

Do you have a presentation coming up with a couple of your colleagues? Perhaps a team presentation that is critical to moving a project forward? Team talks can be sloppy, unfocused, and ill prepared, at worst. At best, they offer a chance to showcase an engaging, polished team. The following tips help assure your team enjoys a “high five” moment at talk’s end, and stand out from the crowd. 

Team_Presentation.jpg

Read

The Stories and Lessons from a Keynote: PowerSpeaking, Inc. Wins Business of the Year

Contributed by: Mary McGlynn, CEO, PowerSpeaking, Inc.

It truly was a dark and stormy night in March of 1954 when a fierce lightning storm created a violent explosion to our barn in rural Wisconsin. The barn burst into flames with the dry hay fueling the raging inferno. By the time my Mother woke up, the sky was a blazing orange. The volunteer firefighters from our village were called but there was no way to save the barn. Over the course of the night, almost all of our cattle died in their stanchions; the newly purchased farming equipment was destroyed; and my parents lost their source of livelihood. I was five years old, was one of six siblings, and for the first time witnessed my parents crying.

 But that’s not the end of the story—but the beginning of a glorious life lesson.

  • The neighbors showed up the next morning to bulldoze a great big hole to bury our cows.
  • The meals showed up to help feed our family.
  • In the latter part of the spring the village men set up a sawmill to cut and plane the lumber from our woods for our next barn that lasts to this day.

We survived because of our community…

That was the beginning of my acceptance of the Instructional Systems Association (ISA) Business of the Year Award in March, 2016.

Award.jpeg

The keynote was in front of 160 colleagues and dear friends: it meant a lot. There is always reflection after a talk: what would I have done differently; what worked. Today I offer six reflections. My hope is that you will be able to apply the life lessons to your talks in the future.

Read

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by topic

see all