​PowerSpeaking Blog: Tips and strategies for crafting presentations

4 Reasons Public Speaking is Critical for Successful Business

Imagine it. You’re walking across a large empty stage, steps echoing, toward a brightly lit lectern with microphone at the ready. Palms sweating yet? You’re not alone! Public speaking, for many, represents a roadblock to their careers—and it doesn’t have to be that way. For entrepreneurs, this is the most critical tool needed to develop for a successful career track. Finding the confidence and ease to communicate with others can become a personal strength if you develop it.

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Center of Attention: Dealing With Audiences and Devices

The prevalence of personal devices — from laptops to smartphones to tablets and now even smartwatches — poses a challenge for presenters. When you're speaking, you are trained to want an audience's undivided attention. It's natural to feel irritated or disheartened during a presentation when you see people looking down at their phones as opposed to looking up at you.

In today’s world, as a speaker, we may need a new mindset. An audience glued to their devices isn't always the kiss of death. In many ways, devices are simply another tool to help enrich and enliven your presentation — or at least something you can simply work around. Here's how:

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Tough Questions: Tips for Dealing with Difficult Audiences

If you are feeling apprehensive about public speaking or presenting, typically at the root of the anxiety is fear of embarrassing yourself. With careful preparation and focus on delivery, it can be easy to avoid embarrassment in a monologue style presentation. But what about when you open up the floor for questions and comments?

Audiences can be tricky: Even if they're your peers, co-workers, or experts in a certain field, everyone has their own agenda and emotional logic. By giving a presentation and soliciting feedback, you are inviting a variety of different personalities to listen and comment on your work. Audience member responses can range from boredom to outright hostility for reasons that may be unclear to you. To conquer a difficult audience, follow these tips:

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8 Tips for Moderating a Panel Discussion

Since the start of this election cycle, we've all seen several debates between various party candidates leading to the current slate of Presidential and Vice Presidential debates.  One crucial figure that sometimes gets overlooked in these debates is the moderator.

Whether it is part of a debate or panel discussion, moderators ostensibly are tasked with overseeing and facilitating a conversation — without overtly contributing their opinion or being a central part of the dialogue. They ask questions, solicit audience feedback, keep an eye on how much time remains and try and keep the conversation balanced between all panelists and experts. They're essentially the ringmasters, keeping dialogue moving and emphasizing major points.

While this may seem like an easy task, the truth is that the moderator often has the hardest job on the panel. It requires strong listening and comprehension skills, patience, and focus. Here are a few tips to help when you take on the role of moderator in a panel discussion:

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Behind the Scenes of TED Presenters

 

TED Talks — an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, and Design — are almost universally considered the gold standard for successful public speaking. Curated by author and entrepreneur Chris Anderson and the TED leadership team, videos of TED speakers at conferences routinely go viral, racking up millions of views from all over the world.

The short, compelling presentations are delivered by thought leaders, craftsmen, artists, scientists, executives and innovators in a variety of fields. Filmed at TED conferences nationwide, speakers vary greatly and have included countless luminaries, including Sarah Silverman, Tony Robbins, Elizabeth Gilbert, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Al Gore, J.K. Rowling and many, many more.

What unites all these different figures? They have all harnessed the most effective presentation skills to deliver persuasive, insightful, funny, emotional and — most importantly — compelling speeches to rapt audiences on the TED stage. Here is a guide to what makes a TED talk so engaging and what tools subject matter and technical experts can use to make their own presentations as compelling — straight from the experts themselves.

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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.

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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.

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