​PowerSpeaking Blog: Tips and strategies for crafting presentations

The Value of Discomfort and Dissonance in Presentations

We live in a world of immediate gratification, constant engagement and the never-ending pursuit of comfort. From our abiding attachment to the smartphones we collectively check nearly 8 billion times a day to the streaming music and video services that provide us 24/7 access to the media we love on demand, effective presentation skills rely on pulling people's focus from these distractions and getting them to actively listen. If it is a topic built around data knowledge and subject matter expertise, this can be a significant challenge.

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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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Top 5 Strategies to Handle A Difficult Question Like A Pro

During this election and debate season, we see some “artful dodgers” onstage when politicians choose to avoid responding to questions they’d rather not answer. Presenters in business face difficult questions too. How can you respectfully handle questions during a presentation?

Consider these 5 strategies:

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10 Proven Tips to Handle Question and Answer Sessions

Your speech is over. Now the hard part starts: the question- and-answer period. This is when you have the special challenge of looking confident and prepared,

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Dealing With Challenging Questions

Imagine this situation: you have just completed a high-stakes presentation to a large and responsive audience. You put in weeks of preparation.

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Master Tough Questions in Four Steps

 It probably has happened to you during one of your presentations: a difficult question you did not expect, asked in a challenging tone. 

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