How to Structure a Big Idea Pitch

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.

Stage 1: The Big Thing

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...

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A Beginner's Guide to Presentations

public speaking tips May 10, 2021

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.

Content

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...

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3 Hobbies that Improved My Public Speaking

public speaking tips May 05, 2021

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.

Reading

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...

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Public Speaking Anxiety: How to Manage It

public speaking tips Apr 28, 2021

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.

Fear vs Anxiety: The Difference

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...

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