Why Do Smart PR Pros Give Bad Presentations?

Last year I attended a conference breakout session on a topic that really interested me. The room was packed with like-minded people, all hoping to get something of value from the program. Then the presenter kicked things off by talking about himself, and only himself, for what seemed like 10 minutes. He walked us through […]

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Presentation checklist

5 Essential Items for Every Presenter’s Checklist

A smart presenter is prepared for absolutely anything. There are so many details to manage, some of which can make or break your presentation. Why leave anything to chance? That’s why I create checklists. Lots of checklists. I have checklists for: Things to do months and weeks in advance (research audience, create handouts, confirm logistics […]

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How to stay calm during a presentation

Presentation Pro Tip #2: Keep Your Cool, Patti Smith-style

If you’re a fan of Bob Dylan or Patti Smith (or both) this video is must viewing. But even if you’re not, it’s worth watching for some important lessons on how to keep calm when things go off the rails during a presentation. If you hadn’t heard, singer/poet/artist Patti Smith went to Stockholm this weekend […]

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TED-Style Slides

Still Presenting Like It’s 1999? Fix Your Slides Now!

If your PowerPoint decks are still stuck in the last century (dull, ugly and wordy), audiences may think your ideas are stuck there, too. Don’t sweat it. I’ve got a fix for you. This year I debuted a new talk that has already helped hundreds of conference attendees modernize their slides so they can deliver […]

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Presentation Pro Tip

Presentation Pro Tip #1: Create a Stage Picture

I’ve been traveling the country the past couple of months training a client’s sales managers on their presentation skills — by the time I’m done I’ll have trained nearly 100 people. Interestingly, I’ve found that the more I teach, the more I learn. I’m discovering tons of great lessons I almost forgot I knew! So […]

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Break bad habit

How to Break a Bad Speaking Habit

A speaking coach I know says 95% of her clients talk too fast. Which is a pretty understandable reaction to the often surreal experience of getting up in front of a bunch of people to speak. But talking too quickly makes it harder for your audience to understand you. And your key points don’t “land” […]

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Presentation skills

The Worst Presentation I Ever Gave

I usually kick off my presentation skills workshops with the story of the worst presentation I ever saw. But the only thing worse than sitting through a terrible presentation is being the one at the front of the room delivering that terrible presentation. So here is the story of the worst presentation I ever gave. […]

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Death by PowerPoint

Are Your PowerPoint Slides Killing Your Reputation?

Any time I join a meeting and see dull black text projected on a plain white background, a little piece of my soul dies. Word slides are the worst. Not only are they proven to be ineffective, but they imply that you may be out of touch and behind the times. Which is a terrible […]

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#100SpeakingTips

100 Tips for Giving a Better Presentation

Want to learn how to give a better presentation with an absolute minimum investment of time and money? Here are 100 quick tips in Twitter-sized chunks. They’re collected from my #100SpeakingTips project in which I tweeted a presentation tip a day for 100 (business) days. The final tweet posted yesterday and you can see them […]

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Death by PowerPoint

New: A Guide to Creating TED-style Slides

TED Talks have changed audience expectations for what a presentation should be. Or perhaps they’re merely a reflection of where audience tastes are going. Either way, there’s no doubt the trend is toward speeches and presentations that are shorter, driven by story and visually compelling. As a result, the bar for speakers has never been […]

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