Handcuffed to an Awful Presentation? 5 Things You Can Do

A new client came to me with a common problem: she was assigned to deliver a PowerPoint presentation that was created by someone else in her company but that she knew was no good. The slides were data-heavy and the script was boring and not audience-focused. All the recommendations I would normally give were non-starters: […]

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focus your presentation

How to Focus Your Presentation: 7 Tips

A British professor recently conducted an informal (and wonderful) study showing that boring speeches are more likely to go longer. (Wouldn’t you know it? The pain of sitting through an awful speech is compounded by time!) His findings point to the importance of brevity and discipline. So here are seven ways you can better focus […]

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How to Rehearse a Presentation

How to Rehearse a Presentation: 5 Simple Steps

Failure to prepare is one of the biggest mistakes presenters make. But most people have a hard time getting their arms around the process. In my workshops I share the technique that works for me. Participants have found it to be one of their most valued takeaways, so here is my totally not-patented five-step process for […]

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how to write your own introduction

Speakers: How to Write Your Own Introduction

Here is one common phrase that you’ll never hear me utter at the start of a presentation: “Thank you for that kind introduction.” Why? Because it would be vain. After all, I’m the one who wrote that kind introduction! And that’s what every speaker should do. Even if you’re simply an occasional conference presenter, learning how to write […]

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How to use stories in a presentation

How to Use Stories in a Presentation: 6 Tips

The worst presenter I ever saw did everything wrong, from not understanding his audience to lecturing instead of engaging us to turning the session into one long sales pitch. Worst of all, his talk was nothing but data — endless columns of it, packed onto dense, ugly slides. There was no narrative holding his points […]

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What to Wear for a Presentation: 10 Tips

There are endless sources of information on what to wear for a presentation, but it’s a question I’m often asked. And it’s getting more complicated all the time as the workplace becomes more and more casual. Like it or not, audiences are making all kinds of conscious and unconscious judgments about you before you even […]

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do I need a micriphone?

Yes, Male Presenters, You Need That Microphone

It happened again yesterday. At an industry luncheon I was attending, a male presenter — and it’s almost always a man — declined to use the provided microphone. I see this a LOT, and it’s ridiculous. If you ever wonder whether you need to use a microphone, the answer is YES. That is why the […]

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Emma Gonzalez and the Profound Power of Silence in a Speech

Wherever you stand on the issue of guns, it’s hard to deny the power of Emma Gonzalez’s short speech at the “March for Our Lives” rally last weekend. As many have remarked, it wasn’t just the things she said, but the long, dark empty space she left between the words. And with nothing but the greatest […]

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Is the Tide Turning on Death by PowerPoint?

I was meeting with a new client the other day who was about to show me his PowerPoint deck for a presentation we’ll be working on together. He prefaced it by saying he tried to follow the recommendations in my book to emphasize images over words. My expectations in these situations aren’t super-high, and I […]

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Presentation Tips

Your Presentation is Like a Train, Not a Car

One of the most important keys to a successful presentation is forward momentum. Few things are more frustrating than listening to a speaker who zigs and zags, stops and starts and takes forever to get anywhere. I tell my clients to think of their presentation as a train, not a car. You have to drive […]

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