​PowerSpeaking Blog: Tips and strategies for crafting presentations!

PowerSpeaking, Inc.

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Leave the Baggage Outside!

Have you ever noticed that the most a businessman will bring to the meeting is generally a phone and a pad of paper (or maybe a laptop)? By contrast, it’s not unusual to see a businesswoman haul in a shoulder bag, a briefcase, an armful of files, a purse and a phone. No biggie? Actually, biggie. That’s just one of the many insights incorporated into our Confident Speaking for Women course that offers wisdom from over a dozen interviews with highly successful women. Here’s another gem. Listen to Cindy Solomon talk about being comfortable owning our successes:

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The Digital Library is Open!

In our last blog ("Seven-Minute Abs") we gave you a heads up about an upcoming digital offering, Powerspeaking’s Plus-Microlearning Videos. Now, we’re excited to announce they’re here! Offered exclusively to past and current participants in our PowerSpeaking® or HighTechSpeaking® workshops (and others soon), Plus-Microlearning is a library of short-subject, online videos that serve as refreshers to help you retain what you learned in the live PowerSpeaking class. Averaging five minutes each, the videos cover topics pulled directly from the two programs, like “Audience Analysis,” “Openings,” “Gestures,” “Questions,” “Discussion Management” and much more (please feel free to contact us for a complete list of topics). The Plus-Microlearning Videos, as well as digital workbooks for each class, are now available to you 24 x 7 via any device (laptop, desktop, smart phone).

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Seven-Minute Abs?

In the hilarious comedy There’s Something About Mary, Ben Stiller picks up a deranged hitchhiker who tells him about a brilliant idea he has for a product:

                  “You heard of this thing, the Eight-Minute Abs?”
                  “Yeah sure, Eight-Minute Abs, the exercise video.”
                  “Well this is going to blow that out of the water. Listen to this: Seven. Minute. Abs.”
                  “Great…Unless, of course, someone comes up with Six-Minute Abs, in which case you’re in
                   trouble, huh?”

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Speak to Lead

“At the beginning of my career when someone would ask me a question, I thought my job was to relay the vast amount of information I had on that subject, so I would tend to give a bunch of useless information. Over a period of time, I realized that it was the synthesis of that information that was so much more important. People were looking to me as an executive or a leader to just give the kernels of information that were important, not the laundry list of everything that happened.   And I think that we tend to do the latter—a lot.” — Nina Richardson, Board Director, Zayo, Silicon Labs, CallidusCloud. Women who are powerful communicators make the best leaders (and vice versa).

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There’s Power in Women Speaking

The young manager who stands at the head of the room starts to speak: “I was thinking that maybe I would give you some of the numbers and updates for the XYZ project? Unless, of course, I should sort of start at the very beginning, with, you know, the history of the project, before I get to our proposal?” How would you describe the speaker in one word? Unclear? Hesitant? Timid?

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Peeling the Onion (or, Always Remember that You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know)

Dealing with major change in the workplace is very much like peeling the proverbial onion. Just when you’ve managed to turn back one layer, another one presents itself. That was the case recently, as we introduced a new, online platform for delivering training. We anticipated some of the impacts of change on our customers but ran into a few unknowns inside the organization, where the change started.

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Give Me a Map and I’ll Follow You Anywhere

The journey: You’re in management at a company that has been honing its expertise and services for decades, using a business model and methodology that has served you well. Now, a new technology trend in your industry almost demands that you make big changes to the way you do business if you want to stay competitive. You decide to dive in, and boy is it exciting at first. But then, things get a little painful.

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The Power of the Pause

Six Minutes and Twenty Seconds

Emma Gonzalez stepped up to the podium in Washington, D.C. and faced the 100,000-plus March for Our Lives crowd, with more pain in her eyes than any eighteen-year-old should ever have. "Six minutes and about twenty seconds,” she began. “In a little over six minutes, seventeen of our friends were taken from us, fifteen were injured; and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community, was forever altered…

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The Fine Art of Drinking Wine from a Beer Glass (or, Knowing What a Customer Wants)

Say your company is offering a new line of artisanal beer glasses designed by local glass blowers. You’ve just stepped in front of the C-level team of a large wine and spirits firm to wow them with your product.   You don’t want to waste any time, so you launch right into your pitch. Three minutes into your presentation, the CEO stops you and says, “Wait. We’re discontinuing our beer line this winter.” Uh-oh. Wrong product, wrong time? Not necessarily.  Listening more upfront, establishing the need before you advocate, or having an internal coach can avoid wasted time.

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It’s a Conversation, Not a Pitch

Ever tried to have a conversation with someone who absently nods while you talk because—you can see—he or she is just waiting to say what they want to say?  Annoying, right?  Makes you feel like getting up and walking out of the room?  Welcome to the world of a potential customer who is at the receiving end of a one-way sales pitch.  

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