Where do you want to go with your next presentation?

satellite navigation device

Going on a long journey? What’s the first thing most of us do when we get in the car?

We put our destination in the Sat Nav!

Its the same with designing powerful presentations,  we must start by putting our destination down on the paper. Where do we want to go with our messages?

As someone once said,”If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there!”. Many car drivers and speakers get lost as a result of not knowing where they are going.

Start with your destination. A very good place to start. Ironically!

Junk the junk when speaking!

waste disposal site

Looks a bit of a mess, doesn’t it!

Imagine speaking in front of that lot. You might have trouble holding your audiences attention, even using some of your best lines!

Well,  some speakers find themselves surrounded by rubbish regularly. And, they put up with it. And, its their own fault!

You wouldn’t  speak in a rubbish tip so don’t have rubbish surrounding you when you take the stage.

Get rid of all the clutter…spare equipment, coffee cups, cables, briefcases, chairs and yes, even the committee! ( “I hope you don’t mind but for my presentation, can I ask you to sit in the body of the kirk where I can see you , its also less distracting for the audience”…in 40 years of speaking no-one has ever said, no I am staying right here!…and if they did…!).

Get rid of all the distractions. Give yourself a chance of holding the audience’s attention. Just get rid of it all!

And no, I don’t feel strongly about this…I wish! What do you think?

Let ’em have it!



When its time for your next presentation, come out punching!

Hit ’em between the eyes!

If the first words you use are ” Good morning”, you are missing an opportunity.

Open with a story, a quotation, a contentious statement…you can always say” Good morning ” after that!

Get stuck in from the off! Try it. It works.

Action conquers fear!


” Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all. So don’t wait for trouble to intimidate or paralyse you. Make a move”

– Norman Vincent Peale

Image attribution: CC image courtesy of Ann Fisher on Flickr

Let ’em have it!

businessman jumping

“Great product, I just wish the presenter agreed!”

“He bored me to death!”

“You’d have thought someone had passed away!”

There’s not a day goes by without members of audiences expressing these views or similar.

Just make sure they are not saying it about you!

If you want your audience to show enthusiasm for your product, your ideas or your proposition, make sure you show some enthusiasm yourself!

It seems obvious, but we still see morose, monotone, morbid presenters taking to the stage every single day.

Don’t let it be you! Remember what the great Frank Bettger said…

To become enthusiastic, act enthusiastically”

Make sure you power your audience up, with your electricity!

Deep down, John knew the presentation could have gone better!

© elkor 2008Thankfully, presentations aren’t normally a matter of life and death.

They can however be pretty important.

Getting a presentation right can lead to –

– winning others heart and minds.

– gaining supporters for your cause.

– better business results.

– increased self esteem.

– more confidence.

– more pay.

– a better job.

– more recognition from others.

– a better life.

Despite all this, organisations around the world suffer from a shortage of good presenters.

If you can do well, what others do only marginally, you will be more successful.

Trust me, I’ve seen it happen. You can present well…yes, you can!

Frank, you can’t please everyone!

Fill in the customer satisfaction surveyIn his book On the Road, the comedian Frank Skinner describes his experience of going back on the road doing stand-up again, after many years spent working mainly on television. His adventures on tour are funny and moving as he meditates on growing older, the terrors and joys of trying to make a live audience laugh night after night, and on the nature of comedy itself.

What struck me though, was the personal angst Frank felt whenever he received feedback with even a subtle hint of criticism even if, by and large, his performance had been received rapturously by the vast majority.

 To be honest, as a speaker, I’ve  had those same feelings myself…ninety nine people said it was great, one says it wasn’t, and whats my abiding memory? You’ve guessed it…the one!

I take comfort, and I hope Frank does,  from the words of Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Week…

” It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do!”

Are you connecting with your audiences?

Business team of two men and one womanThe leader speaks.

The followers applaud on command.

The leader believes his job is done.

There is an illusion that effective communication has taken place. It hasn’t.

The followers believe they has just been subjected to the “same old/same old”!

According to Leaders Voice – ” 86% of business professionals believe they are effective presenters. Only 17% of their audiences agree”.

Is that a high enough audience rating for you? Or, can you do better?

Feedback is a gift!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you want to improve in any discipline, like presenting, its important to seek feedback, and to open your mind to the impact you have had on others, so that next time, you can do even better.

“What should I continue, stop, start?”

Seek feedback, say thank you, absorb it, decide whether you will change anything, and finally, move on …..just make sure that you don’t lash out in response, if you are unhappy with it!

If you can’t take it, don’t ask for it!

Remember…requested feedback is a gift!