Where can you always hear natural vocal expression? From kids. Before the properness of adulthood, children are free to dance, sing, shriek and giggle. Their voices aren’t supposed to sound any particular way, they are simply wonderful instruments to be discovered. What happens? After being socialized, schooled, paid and promoted, we develop serious business voices
In the early part of my career, I gave my share of presentations in scary board rooms, just hoping I was making sense. These high-stakes presentations can chill even the most senior executive to the bone. Many presenters hamstring themselves by thinking they have to use a lackluster slidedeck to show they really know what they’re talking
We help clients craft a meaningful presentation—everything from a global sales presentation to an industry keynote—by emphasizing the need to connect with the audience and bring value to everyone who attends. Can this be done with a sales pitch? You bet. We often find that sales and business development professionals are on the cutting edge of this kind
Many years ago I was asked to speak for a few minutes on the floor of a huge trade show. I was kicking off a silent auction for charity that was just one of the dozens of activities going on. I inquired about the mic and was told it was a handheld that worked well.
Think about the last time someone held the conference room, board room or ballroom in the palm of their hand and engaged listeners for the perfect amount of time—with a moment or two so real it was undeniable that something very different had just happened. How to determine the length of your presentation With so much to gain,
Picture this. You’re in the spotlight, there’s a negative, unfriendly swell of shareholders, stakeholders and media people in the room, and the time comes for Q&A. You’re response to the first question is to look flushed and say, “Well, um, let’s see…” What do you do? At this point, it’s too late. Five ways to prepare for
At Interact Studio we talk about the “Lincoln Method,” which is to prepare more and speak less. Most people don’t prepare enough—and they speak too long. Any of us who have admired the Gettysburg Address of 1863 love the fact that is was so brief and so bold. Lincoln delivered the speech in less than
Your audience loves it when you pause during a speech or presentation. It accomplishes a great deal: It helps your audience stay with you Pausing gives you a couple of seconds to get your thoughts together so you know where you are going next You seem more in control when you add “purposeful pauses” Taking
One of the most common questions I hear is this: what should I do with my hands when I speak? And I have good news for you, the answer is easier than you might think. Picture the last time you saw a compelling speaker—it may have been during a TED story, a keynote address, or
Last week I wrote about preparing for your next big presentation a full month BEFORE you take the podium. Today’s post picks up from the point that you’ve thanked the person who introduced you at the podium. Your opening lines Here, the attention in the room is high. Don’t rush to speak. Once you arrive at the front
There is a saying, “If you want to give a brilliant talk, open and close well and don’t screw it up in between.” It stretches things a bit, but the saying offers more practical wisdom than you might think. Consider the “serial position” in psychology, which says that when given a list of information and
You just completed a presentation. And with the hope of encouraging some good discussion, you ask “Are there any questions?”—only to have the sound of your voice replaced by an awkward pause, dead air, and chirping crickets! In that moment of silent panic your mind races. Are these people really that stupid? I just did
When you step up to the front of a room, you have an opportunity to stop. Too often when we take the front of the room, we launch right into talking without really seeing who’s in the room—without connecting. We talk non-stop through the entire presentation. Yet it is the fearless, intentional pause that captures the
Chinese proverbs are a resource for finding an interesting way to open your next presentation. They offer wonderful metaphors—and they are loaded with imagery, humor, wisdom and inspiration. Try working some of these into your next presentation. When the wind rises, some people build walls. Others build windmills. After three days without reading, talk becomes flavorless.