Presentation and Public Speaking News

Aim not for perfect, but for personal.

by Phil Waknell

There is no such thing as a perfect presentation. You should of course prepare and rehearse it enough so you know it well, and so your messages come from the heart, not the head. If you can focus on delivering not just the syllables of your words, but the meaning behind them, then you are ready to present. Do not overdo the rehearsals, though. Your audience does not expect absolute perfection, and if you can create a strong connection with them, they will accept your imperfections, and see you as more human.

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Do I really need slides?

by Phil Waknell

The success of PowerPoint in taking over corporate communication has led to one major problem: it is now the default way people present. If your boss asks you: “Have you prepared your presentation?” what she really means is: “Have you prepared your PowerPoint® slides?” This means that presenters automatically assume that they will use PowerPoint® slides, and do not even consider that there may be other possibilities. Ask yourself, for each point in your presentation: does my audience really need any visual aids?

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Sharknado is the same movie as Titanic, only with more sharks

by Pierre Morsa

Believe it or not, all American movies rely on the same formula; that formula is so sacred that scripts will get rejected if they stray from it. Whether it’s a psychological drama like American Beauty, a sci-fi movie like Star Wars or an action movie like Mission: Impossible, the same structure, plot points and character development techniques are used. I’ll just take one as an example: the hero, the main protagonist, is always an orphan, literally or figuratively, or experienced a personal drama; it is supposed to give the character more likeness.

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Doctor Visual & Mister Slide

by Phil Waknell

Slides can be an extremely powerful way of making your messages clearer and more memorable – yet all too often they are an obstacle to communication. Humans can’t listen and read different things simultaneously: we can only process one linguistic input at a time. So if a slide features a lot of text and detail, it might make a useful reference document, but a terrible visual aid. On the other hand, if you keep your slides simple, with only a few words, they’ll be good visual aids but worthless as handouts.

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What are the few big things we need to change to fix presentations?

by Michael Rickwood

In 2021 we can watch more examples than ever to know how to give a good presentation. We see examples of it in TED, top company Keynotes and our favorite lecturers and leaders. Yet still there are things that need to be changed. I have tried to collect them into what I call the 5 negatives followed by our very own revolution solutions! No foundations, people are still too last minute, whether its completing that 20,000-word dissertation at university written the night before or the finance report mixed together from excels and spreadsheets in the metro the same morning.

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Prepare your story before your slides

by Phil Waknell

As our recent LinkedIn poll showed clearly, the number one thing people hate about presentations is when the speaker reads slides to the audience. Why does anyone still do this? If you show them all the text, they can read it far more quickly than you can say it, and they will wonder why you didn’t just give them a document to read instead. If you are going to read your bullet-points, and then comment on them, be aware that while you are talking about point 1, they have finished reading all 6 points on your slide, and are switching off until you catch up with them.

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Don’t inform: Transform!

by Phil Waknell

What is your presentation’s primary objective? Many presenters treat their talk as if it were a dental appointment: their sole aim is to get through it as quickly and painlessly as possible, escape mostly unharmed, then drink something cool or strong, or perhaps both. Other presenters might say their aim is to share information: for example, to explain sales targets, or business results. It’s important to dig a little deeper, and when it comes to objectives, the most useful word is ‘why’.

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Is Microsoft’s PowerPoint Presenter Coach taking my job? No.

by Michael Rickwood

I have been a presentations coach for the best part of 15 years. Coach is one of my titles along with consultant, director, trainer and whatever else describes what I do, which is help people in all sectors and walks of life to give fantastic presentations in high stakes scenarios, or train them to be simpler, more natural, better prepared and highly impactful, whether on stage or on a digital platform.

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