​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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PowerSpeaking eBook Preview: Narrative Evidence and Analytical Evidence

Coming soon, PowerSpeaking will be releasing its latest eBook "Narrative Evidence: Bringing Your Data to Life with Storytelling." The eBook is designed to act as an introduction for subject-matter experts to the importance of constructing a compelling, engaging narrative to aid in presentations. In anticipation of the eBook's release, we wanted to explore one of the central concepts of both the eBook and our HighTechSpeaking® program: the value of narrative evidence to support the value of anecdotal evidence to provide greater understanding and meaning of dense data.

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The Goal is Presence: Lessons from Amy Cuddy’s Book

 

“The state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express true thoughts, feelings, values and potential.” 

This is how Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy defines Presence in her book of the same name. 

Cuddy has followed up her "fake it until you become it" TED talk, which illuminates the positive effects of ‘power posing’ on confidence, with this new work, subtitled “Bringing Your BOLDEST SELF to your BIGGEST CHALLENGES.”  presence.png

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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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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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