Several years ago I was out to lunch with a mentor and he shared a presentation tip with me I have never forgotten. This was the days before I owned my company, Ethos3, but it had such a positive impact on me that it has become a staple in my presentation training for clients.
It’s so simple yet so profound, and I’m excited to share it with you today. I hope it changes your public speaking lens just like it changed mine.
When I sat down with my mentor for lunch on that random business day, we began to discussing both our passions for presentations. It’s then he shared with me that in almost any presentation environment you are going to have a 50/50 mix of introverts and extroverts in the audience. Granted, this may change from 60/40 or 70/30 but generally it is safe to assume you are going to have a healthy mix of both. If you are new to these terms, I’ll briefly explain how I was taught the difference between these two personality types.
Storytelling. It’s a big buzz word these days. Everyone talks about the importance of it, but not too many people deploy it when giving a presentation. And, that is a huge missed opportunity.
The purpose of this post is not only convince you of storytelling’s power, but also encourage you to utilize it in every presentation you give moving forward. It’s an amazing value add and it’s backed by science.
According to research about the impact of storytelling in a public speaking setting, stories can increase retention by 26%. Just think about it. 26% is a big number. That figure greatly enhances your influence on the audience and the probability they will remember what you shared and discussed. It’s a substantial increase and creates a huge advantage for you versus the person who chose to keep their presentation focused just on the facts and stats. This creates a perfect jumping off point to talk about the first reason stories are so...
The trickiest part of presentations for most people is content. On the design front, most business professionals tend to be comfortable in PowerPoint. And as for the delivery side of presentations, they have been in front of enough people over the course of their career to say they are somewhat confident. It’s the creation of new material and structuring of that content that gets them frazzled.
The goal of this post is to help remedy that problem and offer up a pitch structure which helps when trying to showcase and pitch any new big idea. I call it “The Big Thing” approach to presenting and it consists of 6 stages to help you win the hearts and minds of any audience. Let’s dive in.
In this first section of your presentation, you want to discuss the “big thing” in your space that has tremendous stakes and is creating a lot of noise. Let’s travel back in time and imagine a world before the cloud existed. Now, that we...
Presentations can be intimidating for some even kind of scary. It’s easy to get lost in the details that are demanded from a public speaking event so the purpose of this post is to help you reframe your thinking about presentations.
Simply, let’s get back to the basics. After all, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. So, before you let yourself get overwhelmed, let’s focus on the three essentials of any presentation. If you can approach your public speaking with this lens it should allow you to chunk down your tasks and priorities into one of these three camps.
The first element of any presentation is your content. This stage is generally the most difficult since it involves you doing research, gathering data, and ultimately constructing a creative narrative to house your findings. Even though we are talking about three separate sections you would think this portion makes up one-third of your talk but it is more substantial than that number. I...
Today, I want to walk you through the 3 hobbies that really advanced my speaking career and revitalized my presentations. Keep in mind, these hobbies have worked for me and may not be the best for everyone but they are universal enough where you'll probably see some huge wins as well if you pursued them or something similar.
I love to read and it always make me happy to be reminded of that famous Harry Truman quote:
"Not All Readers Are Leaders, But All Leaders Are Readers”
This is crazy true. If I think about all the mentors and best leaders I have had in my life, they were all readers. Every. Single. One. The entire activity of giving a presentation is about output. You are sharing information. You are providing your findings. You are delivering a message. It's entirely about output. Now, in order to have something to output, you need to input. You need to be collecting new information so you can continue to learn and grow. In other words, you need to be...
When you think about the topic of authority, most presenters find themselves chasing it when they can simply have it. It's not some elusive gem that can never be earned or found. Rather, with a little bit of careful planning and intentionality, it's easier to obtain than one might think.
Every presenter can achieve and maintain it, you just need to know what needs to be in put into play to make it become a reality. I'll walk you through the best ways to do this right now.
The headline for this first piece of our conversation is to understand that authority is best when it comes from an outside source. In a presentation context, you want to make sure whenever possible to have someone introduce you before your talk. Granted, you can always give your own personal introduction but when the host or meeting leader takes a few minutes to do this it will heighten your level of authority. It will immediately level you up as someone needs to be heard and listened to...
As you can see from the title of this post that we are talking about presentation anxiety and not public speaking fear. Why? Because anxiety is really the emotion that plagues presenters rather than fear.
I’ve been coaching presenters for over a decade now and I can tell you with absolute confidence that most managers and executives are not fearful of their talk, they are anxious. Let me explain.
For starters, let’s address the difference between fear and anxiety. Fear is fear of an existing threat. If you have a knife to your back or a gun to your head, that is fear because there is a real and existing threat. Anxiety is worry about the unknown which is radically different. Worry is out of your control, and the unknown is out of your control. These two elements are the heart of anxiety so when thinking about that upcoming presentation, you are most likely wrestling with anxiety because you worry about whether people are going to like you...
Every presentation needs a purpose. And, that is why every presentation you give between now and the day you decide to stop speaking needs a call-to-action. A call-to-action or CTA encourages your audience to do it as it implies - to take action on what has just been presented to them. Without a call-to-action, your talk has no mission and no higher purpose. After all, if you just asked your audience to invest 30, 60, or 90 minutes to hear you speak then it is a necessity to tell them what they need to do with this new information or you simply are wasting their time.
Assuming we all are here because we respect our audiences, let’s dissect this further and explore the types of call-to-actions at our disposal and the best way to deliver on them.
The idea of a call-to-action seems relatively simple: give a talk and tell the audience what action to take next. In theory, it is straightforward but there is actually a little bit more to it. For starters, audience members...
The most common question I receive when helping anyone with improving their presentation skills is:
“How should I practice for my next talk?”
Or, I get the cousin of this question:
“How many times should I practice my presentation?”
I’m going to address both of these items in this post by starting with the latter as the framework for how you should do it.
On that note, you should practice using what I like to call the Plus 10 Rule. I’ve explained this in earlier posts but I’ll highlight it here again. The Plus 10 Rule implies that you should practice a presentation the number of minutes of your talk plus ten. For instance, if you are going to give a 20 minute talk on a subject you would take 20 and add 10. Therefore, you should practice that presentation 30 times.
Please keep in mind that this recommendation is assuming you are building something from scratch. I’m not an expert on giraffes but if I was asked to give an informative...
Presentations are difficult. Pitching is even more challenging. The reason why is you are dealing generally with more skepticism, more resistance, and you are there to ask for something which gives your audience all of the leverage.
If you find yourself preparing for a pitch in the days or weeks ahead, I want to offer the outline I utilize and the format I suggest to my clients when building a pitch deck. I call it the "Critical 10" because all 10 elements are critical to the success of your pitch. Keep in mind, although I will explain each of these in detail and it may seem like a lot, a pitch should never really extend beyond 20 minutes so you'll need to figure out how to tackle all 10 items in a creative, engaging, and concise manner. Let's cover them one-by-one.
You want to use this very first part of your presentation to unpack the vision of your company and how it ties to the value that your product or service will bring to the market. This first part of...
You are just moments away from accessing some of the best presentation tips, tricks, and latest news from me.