​PowerSpeaking Blog: Tips and strategies for crafting presentations

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:

Audiences_Devices.jpg

Read

Coaching Yourself: Technology and Tips to Keep Learning

After you’ve taken a workshop or engaged with a professional speaking coach, you may have improved a lot, but you will continue to fine-tune your skills as you apply them at work. Becoming a compelling presenter is a learn-by-doing process, and it’s never-ending. So it’s important to know how to be a good coach for yourself going forward. Fortunately, we have tools close at hand and we have some experience of what makes coaching effective. We just have to apply those to ourselves. Here are some ideas:

FullSizeRender.jpg

Read

Breaking Through 'The Real Glass Ceiling': Executive Power Culture

 

For decades, people of all backgrounds have sought to break through what they consider a "glass ceiling" to live up to their full potential at work. Often referring to the struggle for highly qualified women to break through an invisible, unspoken barrier and achieve the highest echelon of executive leadership, the question is what gets in the way. 

There are multiple reasons that quality candidates aren't promoted when they should be. While this glass ceiling may be in response to socially held prejudices and misconceptions (relating to gender, race, sexuality, and background), the basic obstacle that stands in the way of the promotion of many to senior and executive positions is simply the culture of power that permeates the highest levels of business leadership.

exec_power.jpg

Read

Lean On Me: The Importance of Having a Sponsor When Presenting

You’ve been asked to present to upper management. You’ve done the research. You’ve worked hours to get everything to logically flow and the numbers to tie. When a subject matter expert is asked to present to decision makers, the hurdles can be a challenge. These spaces are typically "by invitation only," meaning that — regardless of how innovative your idea may be — you need someone on the inside to help steer the way. 

This is where a sponsor — another high-level decision maker who acts as your guide within these rooms — can be an invaluable asset. When making steps to put yourself in front of executives, business leaders, or other managers, a sponsor can be the difference between a cold, indifferent presentation environment and a warm room full of decision makers who are open to your ideas.

sponsor.jpg

Read

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:

Questions-1.jpg

Read

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.

eTip_TED.jpg

Read

Managing Presentations with Live and Virtual Guests

 

Executive presence is a powerful part of any presentation. So how do you maintain authority and control when you and your audience aren't in the same room together?

Technology has facilitated virtual communication and remote presentations in a way that makes it easier than ever to integrate live and virtual guests — both audience members and presenters. At the same time, as people, we are still used to listening and paying attention to the person in front of us speaking. To conquer the audience’s impulse to get distracted and tune out, foster engagement in remote settings by following these virtual presentation techniques.

virtual_presentations.jpg

Read

8 Tips on Delivering Effective Visual Aids

 This is the final chapter of our Holy Grail: 50 Tips for Speaking Up: Speaking to Decision Makers. 

In this chapter we look at visual aids. What are your three essential slides?

Read

10 Tips On Confident, Credible Delivery

This is the third chapter of our four-part series, tips for Speaking to Decision Makers. 

We hear a lot about Executive Presence these days--that amalgam of trust

Read

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by topic

see all