​PowerSpeaking Blog: Tips and strategies for crafting presentations!

Power Speaking Blog

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Eliminating, Uh, Filler Words from Your Presentations

 

You can spend weeks crafting content and slides before a talk. Maybe you even rehearse for polish. Then what often occurs during presentations? Well, uh, actually, um…filler words happen, undermining your credibility. Simply put: if you use too many of them, it’s distracting. How can you avoid these language crutches and display more confidence? Read on to learn our tips for eliminating filler words from your talks.

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The "Attire Picture" of Successful Talks

 

At PowerSpeaking, Inc., we know that at the base of presenting well is solid, memorable content and style. A question that often creeps into the discussion on preparation, though, is about what attire is appropriate to wear when presenting. Appearance either enhances credibility, or undercuts it. To convey a more engaging presence, these tips support you having the “attire picture” of talk success.

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Audiences on Devices: How to Hook ‘em and Hold ‘em

We all know the challenge in today’s casual, multitasking culture: Having to speak to audiences half-tuned out on devices. Keeping attention in such settings can feel like herding cats. How do you hold, or regain people’s attention? What helps you capture the audience’s focus for greater meeting effectiveness? We offer these tips to increase your presentation success.AudienceParticipationIcon.jpg

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Turning Out Strong Teen and Tween Presenters

If you are a parent, you’ve probably sat through some presentations at schools that were a bit painful. Yet for tween and teenage students, talks are becoming a more common academic assignment. How can you support your kids (or nieces and nephews) to be better presenters? We offer these guidelines:

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What Do You Do with Your Hands as a Presenter?–Tips by The Washington Post

What to do with the hands baffles most presenters. There are many schools of thought that offer conflicting advice. A recent leadership article in The Washington Post spotlighted what’s most impactful when it comes to presenters’ gestures. Below we summarize the recommendations:

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Stealth Strategies for Calmer, More Confident Presentations

Nerves impact everyone and are often the #1 reason people seek help for their presentations. How do you tame the butterflies in your stomach? Or avoid the ‘melt down’ feeling right before a talk? We offer 5 simple tips for before you even get in the presentation room. We call them Stealth Strategies for calmer, more confident presentations, since you do them way ahead of the talk.

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The 3 Essentials of Speaking

Imagine yourself standing with over 200,000 others on the steps and grounds of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, as Martin Luther King repeats the hypnotic refrain, “I have a dream!” You are swept away by the power of the message and the impact of that historical moment.

All the key ingredients for the making of an unforgettable speech were there: the substance, the style and the staging. All speakers who must make an impact on their audiences need to pay attention to these three factors.

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