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The experts teach presentation skills

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The Experts Teach
Presentation Skills

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The Experts Teach: Presentation Skills

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

Contents

Contents
Preface

8

1When Stage Fright Happens: Use It and Lose It by Judy Ringer

9

2Creating an Image – Can a Speech Do it? by Bob Selden

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3How to Update Your Executive Presentation Skills Instantly by Milly Sonneman 18
4How to Be a Great Speaker Without Using PowerPoint by Tom Antion

360°
thinking

21

55 Fail-Safe Tips When You Forget or Get Flustered During a Presentation
by Dianna Booher

.

6The Windows to the Soul by Robert Graham



360°
thinking

.

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360°
thinking

.

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

Contents

7Seven Strategies for Handling Difficult Questions –
What to Say When You Don’t Know the Answer by Mary Sandro
8Business Presentations – How Boring Are You? by Milly Sonneman

30
34

9Public Speaking 101: Speaking Secrets of the Superstars by Colleen Kettenhofen 37
10Keep Your Speech Interesting By Being Present Yourself by George Torok

41

11Presentations are Better When they Sound Conversational
by Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

43

12Exceptional Presentation Skills: Turning Up The Heat
by Milly Sonneman

47

13The Powerpoint Rules by Robert Graham

50

14From Paralysis to Peak Performance by Dianna Booher

55

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

Contents

15How Visual Aids Undermine Presentations –
Three Ways You May Be Boring Your Audience to Tears by Mary Sandro
16How Come Nobody’s Listening to Me? by Robert Graham

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61

17Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Presentation? –
How the Pros Make Nervousness Their Friend by Mary Sandro

63

18Three Mind-Tickling Techniques to Make Your Presentation
Content More Memorable and Motivating by Mary Sandro

66

19Seven Habits of Highly Effective Speakers by George Torok

70

20The 5 Laws of Public Speaking (PEACE) by Arvee Robinson

72

21Saved By a Cartoon: The Six Blind Men and the Elephant by George Torok

78

22Special Delivery! Tips for Improving Your Humor by Tom Antion

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Contents

23Building Rapport with Your Audience – the “Like” Link by Dianna Booher

86

24Suggestions for Using PowerPoint Effectively – or Not at All by Jim McCormick 90
25How to Stay Cool When Speaking in Public by Joan Curtis

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26Using Jokes in Your Presentation by Alan Arthur

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

Preface

Preface
Introduction to “The Experts Teach: Presentation Skills”
In each of “The Experts Teach” series, we’ve gathered together some of the world’s best thinkers to share
their ideas with you. Their ideas offer new, refreshing, and insightful ways to look at old themes, allowing
you to discover new perspectives, develop your understanding, and change the way you think.
Profile of Editor Eric Garner
Eric Garner is an experienced management trainer with a knack for bringing the best out of individuals
and teams. Eric founded ManageTrainLearn in 1995 as a corporate training company in the UK
specialising in the 20 skills that people need for professional and personal success today. Since 2002,
as part of KSA Training Ltd, ManageTrainLearn has been a major player in the e-learning market. Eric
has a simple mission: to turn ManageTrainLearn into the best company in the world for producing and
delivering quality online management products.
Profile of ManageTrainLearn
ManageTrainLearn is one of the top companies on the Internet for management training products,
materials, and resources. Products range from training course plans to online courses, manuals to
teambuilder exercises, mobile management apps to one-page skill summaries and a whole lot more.
Whether you’re a manager, trainer, or learner, you’ll find just what you need at ManageTrainLearn to
skyrocket your professional and personal success.
http://www.managetrainlearn.com
Acknowledgements
The authors of each article in this book have given permission for us to re-publish their work and bring
them to a wider audience. Unless it states to the contrary, the copyright of the article belongs to each
author. Each article concludes with a bio of the author and links to their website, if available. We also
publish their written reprint/republication permission with a link to the relevant web page, if available.
All such permissions are valid at time of publication. If these permissions have been amended or changed
without our knowledge, please email us at eric@managetrainlearn.com so that we can take appropriate
corrective action.

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

When Stage Fright Happens: Use It and Lose It by Judy Ringer

1When Stage Fright Happens: Use
It and Lose It by Judy Ringer
As a professional singer and speaker, I’m often asked if I still get nervous in front of an audience. I do.
And I’ve learned to use my nervous energy – and minimize its impact.
I practice Aikido, a martial art based on aligning with the attacker and redirecting the attack. Instead
of seeing an attack, the Aikidoist sees energy. If I see what’s coming as attack, I defend against it. If I
see energy, I expand my options. When I suspend my belief that the event is negative, I can direct its
energy purposefully toward my goal.
Let’s apply this concept to an attack of stage fright. If you’re like most people, you consider stage fright
a negative event. What if you suspend this belief for a moment and imagine your anxiety as energy you
can direct toward your goal of a great performance? The purpose of this article is to help you use the
energy we call stage fright to increase your power and presence in front of an audience.
Consider professional athletes storied for their ability to excel under pressure: Michael Jordan, ball in
hand, with two seconds to make the basket and win the game. The greater the pressure, the more focused
the athlete. They how to use the pressure of performance to increase power and presence.
Similarly, you can manage your relationship with stage fright by working with it instead of running from
it, and allow it to shift you into “the zone” of optimal performance described by professionals the world
over. What follows are mental and physical strategies to transform your nervous energy into directed
energy before and during your presentation, plus additional tips on how to enjoy your moments in
the limelight.
Getting Ready: Your Body Prepares Just Like You Do
The anxiety associated with performance usually spikes shortly before show time. But symptoms can
begin days or even weeks in advance and range from dry mouth and shortness of breath to shaking,
shivering, and complete inability to perform.
1. Change your perspective
While it may seem that your body is attacking you, consider that what you call nerves or anxiety may
actually be your body’s way of getting ready for the event. Rename the “attack” and call it excitement,
preparation, and purposeful design. In addition, focus your awareness on the symptoms. Notice how they
show up, grow, subside, grow again, and subside again. Don’t resist them. Ride the wave. Be there. By
this I mean stay present, breathe, and increase your kinesthetic awareness. Measure the symptoms (That
was a 7 on the Richter scale!). Be curious about them (Wow, look how my body is shaking. Amazing!).
Even try amplifying them.
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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

When Stage Fright Happens: Use It and Lose It by Judy Ringer

For example, when I’m really nervous, I shiver. In the past, the shivers could grow strong enough to
prevent me from speaking or performing. Before a concert some years ago, instead of resisting, I tried
to amplify the symptom and shiver more. At first, I just went with the shivering motion, then gradually
increased it until I was shaking like crazy, the difference being that now I was intentionally shivering.
I was the driver instead of the passenger. By mimicking the nervous shaking and intensifying it, I was
gradually able to slow it down and stop it. I think I also used up the nervous energy. As in Aikido, I
blended with the energy of the attack and redirected it. It was a fun learning.
2. Transform the inner mugger
Prior to the presentation, notice your internal dialogue. Is it friendly or hostile? If it’s friendly, great.
Keep it. If not, blend and redirect. Acknowledge the voice and work with it.
For instance, when I’m feeling intimidated by a workshop group, my inner mugger will say things like:
They won’t like this presentation. They’ll see right through you. You’re not good enough for this group.
Right? You know the words. Not terribly useful. I used to try to ignore this attacking voice, but Aikido
teaches that it’s not safe to ignore the attack. The more I ignore, fight, or otherwise resist my nervousness,
the worse it gets.
Instead, I pay attention. I notice the voice, listen, and maybe even ask my inner mugger a few questions:
So why won’t they like it? See through what? What would be good enough? How are these folks different
from our other groups? I regularly receive illuminating answers. In any case, I do have fun and – guess
what? Listening to the attacking voice tends to quiet it. What about your inner mugger? What critical
messages does it send? Write them down.
Attacking voice:
_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
By acknowledging the attacking voice, I can replace it with a more supportive one: I’m ready. I can handle
this. I have a worthwhile message, and these people are interested in hearing it. This is going to be fun.
What inner support can you give yourself before a performance?

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

When Stage Fright Happens: Use It and Lose It by Judy Ringer

Supportive voice:
_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
3. Visualize the ideal
Another inspiring method of preparation is to visualize your presentation beforehand. Sit quietly,
close your eyes, and see in your mind’s eye your highest imagining of what you’re about to do. Start a
week or more before the performance date. Spend ten minutes each day watching yourself give a great
presentation. Imagine feeling calm and confident. Hear your message. Sense your excellent connection
with the audience. Picture the conclusion, the group’s praise and applause ringing in your ears, feeling
happiness, and knowing you did your best.
You’re On: Maintaining Connection
I usually find that once I’m in front of the audience, my nervous energy has an outlet. As I begin to
sing or speak, the energy moves into vocal form and physical action. As I connect verbally and visually
with the people in front of me, I lose my self-absorbed state and link up with my purpose. Events can
occur, however, to interrupt that connection. I may get lost in a thought tangent, forget the song lyrics,
or just “go up” as actors call it. Hmmm, where was I? Or a question throws me, and I lose my balance.
Experience has shown me three powerful ways to get back into the flow.
1. Remember your purpose for the presentation
What are you here to do? What’s important about your message? Stop, breathe, and sink to a deeper
level of awareness. Find your voice. It helps to be able to describe your presentation’s purpose in a word
or phrase that goes right to its heart. For example, I am often teaching about conflict, communication,
or managing difficult people and situations, but the purpose of all my work is self-management and
connection. When I get lost, these words help me find my way back.
2. Get comfortable with silence
Great presenters, singers, actors, and performance artists of all forms are at home with silence. They don’t
have to talk, because they love being. They enjoy the ability to hold an audience with their presence. If
they lose their place, they can stand there as long as it takes to find it again – forever if needed.

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

When Stage Fright Happens: Use It and Lose It by Judy Ringer

You can practice this important skill by taking short breaks between sentences. Or by waiting a second or
two just before or just after making an important point. Stand very still, keep breathing, and watch your
audience take in the message. Or when you put a question out to the audience, don’t let your discomfort
with silence rush you into answering it yourself. Wait an appropriate period of time and then wait just
a little longer. Let the question sit there, waiting for a response, while you watch yourself learning to
be comfortable with silence. Someone will usually speak up and if not, it won’t matter because you’re
enjoying the moment.
3. Look into their eyes
Don’t be afraid. The audience is your ally. If you don’t think so, you are doing them and yourself a great
disservice and you will eventually force them into being a judge. They want you to be present with them.
Believing this will help you fulfill their hopes.
When you have lost your connection with the audience, make eye contact with one person at a time for
about three to five seconds each, or as long as it takes to recognize that you’ve seen each other. Don’t
make a big deal of it, just rest your eyes on someone for three seconds, move to another and do the same
thing. You will tap their energy and they will receive yours, creating a reinforcing loop of support. When
you begin to “lose it,” making eye contact with a few individuals is one of the fastest ways to re-connect.
Tips and Suggestions:
As you begin to enjoy being in front of an audience, here are a few more suggestions to keep in mind.
A successful presentation will depend on two things: delivery and content. So often we spend
our time perfecting the content of our presentation, with very little left over for practicing
the delivery. Don’t forget to practice! Practice for peers, friends, relatives, or anyone who will
listen. Take a course, watch a video, or read some of the marvelous books on this topic (see
below for some titles). Join a local branch of Toastmasters International or other networking
group where you can gain confidence and perfect your personal style.
Center and extend ki. In Aikido, as the attack comes, we center ourselves and extend our life
energy (ki) to greet the attack, align with it, and redirect it with intention and purpose. You can
do this in any difficult situation. Breathe low into your chest and abdomen, focus on your center
of gravity (about two inches below the navel), and imagine your energy extending outward from
center and encompassing your audience. Make eye contact and invite them into your sphere.

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

When Stage Fright Happens: Use It and Lose It by Judy Ringer

Don’t take questions personally. Even difficult questions show interest on the part of the
audience. Smile and thank the questioner. Relate the question to something in your presentation
if possible. If you can’t answer, perhaps the group can. There are often people in the audience
who can help, and I find it refreshing to let someone else be the teacher. I learn a lot!
Don’t assume the audience knows anything about your topic (even if they do). Educate, go
slowly, and check in from time to time. Use phrases like: “Does this make sense?” and “Are
there any questions, comments, or insights at this point?”
Arrive in time to greet the attendees and learn some of their names. Audiences tell me that this
meeting and greeting action makes them feel acknowledged and that they’re in good hands.
It also helps me feel comfortable.
Change your perspective from “presentation” to “conversation.” Treating your presentation
as if it were a conversation with each person in the audience will help you relax and increase
your connection with them.
Acknowledge your nervous energy and appreciate what’s behind it – the desire to do your best. Before
long, your nervous symptoms will be like old friends you wave to on your way to a powerful performance.
About the author
Judy Ringer is the author of Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict
http://www.unlikelyteachersbook.com and the award-winning e-zine, Ki Moments, containing stories
and practices on turning life’s challenges into life teachers. Judy is a black belt in aikido and a nationallyknown presenter, specializing in unique workshops on conflict, communication, and creating a positive
work environment. She is the founder of Power & Presence Training and chief instructor of Portsmouth
Aikido, Portsmouth, NH, USA. Visit http://www.JudyRinger.com
Reprint Information
Read, download and share any one of these articles written to help you to resolve conflict, communicate
purposefully, and live a life of power and presence. You’re welcome to use and reprint any article for
team and individual learning. I ask only that you keep the article intact and credit the author, using the
“about the author” information at the end of each piece.
http://www.judyringer.com/resources/articles/
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Creating an Image – Can a Speech Do it? by Bob Selden

2Creating an Image – Can a
Speech Do it? by Bob Selden
The 2008 US Presidential election campaign was a good time to remind managers and CEOs just how
far the use of rhetoric, imagery and metaphors can impact how others perceive and act on their message.
Many reading this would have watched Barack Obama address the Chicago crowd on the night he won
the US Presidency. I do not live in the US, but listening to this speech certainly moved me. Others I
have spoken to had a similar experience. His story of Ann Nixon Cooper, the 106 year old lady and the
changes she has experienced in her lifetime, was simply brilliant.
So this is probably an appropriate time to look at the impact a person’s public speeches (such as a CEO
or electoral candidate) has on the audience.

www.job.oticon.dk

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

Creating an Image – Can a Speech Do it? by Bob Selden

Through social science research, we have known for some time that the use of rhetoric, imagery and
metaphors can positively impact how the audience perceives and acts on the message. However a recent
study has now taken this one step further. The results of the research by James J. Naidoo and Robert G.
Lord in the June edition of the Leadership Quarterly, suggest that not only does the use of such tactics
impact audience behaviour, used well, they also have a positive affect on how we perceive the charisma
of the speaker.
Listen once again to some of the rhetoric, imagery, and metaphors candidate Barack Obama used in his
now (almost) famous race speech in March…
“I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help
of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a
white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas.
I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am
married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance
we pass on to our two precious daughters.”
In a poll taken shortly after this speech, Obama was shown to be leading Hilary Clinton in the Democratic
nomination race by 53 to 41 per cent. The behavioural impact stats are there, but did the speech impact
our perception of Obama’s charisma?
Press reports concerning the advice being given to Obama at the time included; “get specific – lay out
concrete plans”, “describe your experience in government – make Americans comfortable with you as
their CEO”, “hammer your opponent above and below the belt”. None of this advice had anything to do
with charisma – it’s all about facts, logic and detail.
The other presidential candidate, John McCain used very little rhetoric, imagery and metaphor, but a lot
of reason and logic in his speeches. For example, in his address to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council
in March, only his opening paragraph gives any imagery or metaphor concerning McCain as a person.
The remaining 34 paragraphs all talk about reason and logic, saying nothing about the character of the
man. As one press report concluded; “McCain appears dependent on a teleprompter, delivering even
the most personal passages with an odd detachment. In his telling, his difficult five-and-a-half years as
Vietnam prisoner of war might have happened to someone else.” However, McCain did do well in less
formal settings, like town hall meetings and one-on-one conversations. But his discomfort behind the
podium was a distinct disadvantage as he struggled for national media attention.

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

Creating an Image – Can a Speech Do it? by Bob Selden

Initially, the race between the two presidential candidates was well and truly led by Obama. Audiences
loved his charisma. Then the race became much closer. Audiences were starting to listen for what was
behind the message in terms of the reason and logic that was likely to affect their day to day lives.
The research by Naidoo and Lord bears out these poll results. They say that “high speech imagery will
result in higher state positive affect in followers, compared to low speech imagery”. So it appears as if
Obama’s advisors were now on the right track – he’d developed an appropriate charisma in the eyes of
the voting public, then it was time to move to reality.
What advice was given to McCain?
More importantly for us mere mortals as managers and in particular for CEOs, what’s the message from
this latest research?
There are three…
Firstly, when speaking publicly, a manager or CEO needs to use personal imagery and metaphors, so
that the audience can see and feel the character of the person.
Secondly, such imagery works best when the situation is critical or the audience perceives they are in a
crisis. People want the big picture and in particular, to hear and feel how the speaker has lived through
similar times him or herself.
Finally, the detail – the reason and logic – is best handled one on one and in small group settings. For
CEOs this means a very structured process of explicit communication down through the organisation
as to how the big picture will translate locally.
Looking back at the successful Obama campaign, his strategy clearly is in line with the research. People
loved the charisma of the man. But they also knew what his policies were. Watching sound bites of
potential voters in the US, Democrat supporters were more often able to quote Obama’s specific policies.
Republicans were more often unable to do so.
Communicating and connecting with large audiences is a fascinating challenge!

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Creating an Image – Can a Speech Do it? by Bob Selden

About the author
Bob Selden is the author of the best-selling “What To Do When You Become The Boss” – a self-help
book for new managers – see details at http://www.whenyoubecometheboss.com/. He’s also coached at
one of the world’s premier business schools, the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne,
Switzerland and regularly advises managers around the globe on their current challenges.
http://nationallearning.com.au/bob-selden/
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The Experts Teach:
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How to Update Your Executive Presentation
Skills Instantly by MillySonneman

3How to Update Your Executive
Presentation Skills Instantly
by Milly Sonneman
Are you concerned that you don’t have the necessary skills to be effective in presenting? Are you worried
because you haven’t updated your skills in a long time?
If so, you may have reason to be alert. Read on. Find out in plain English what you may have been
feeling in your gut for a long time.
Your problem starts here:
Things change.
Today’s business world is changing at an extremely rapid pace. Styles and expectations for presenting
that worked a few years ago now look as dated as a dial phone.
For instance:
Remember wooden podiums?
Remember overhead transparencies?
Remember the days of ‘death by PowerPoint’ as the norm?
These days are history. And if you want to keep your skills up to date, investing in specialized training
may be your best option.
Many executives are concerned that their skill set is out of date. And with younger audiences, a global
workforce, and new technology – they are right to be worried.
Let’s look at why these old methods are no longer viable.

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

How to Update Your Executive Presentation
Skills Instantly by MillySonneman

Podiums
Podiums are wonderful places to hide behind. They put the speaker on stage, above the audience. This
implies distance and authority. It is the opposite of trends towards facilitative presenting. It does not
encourage conversation, connection or collaboration.
If you have to use a podium, come out from behind it! This will help you avoid gripping it. And it allows
your audience to see you as a whole human being – not another talking head.
Overheads
Um.how shall I put this? Didn’t you get the memo? These went out so long ago that you really don’t
want to rely on those stacks of transparencies for anything other than collecting dust bunnies. Seriously.
Dump them.
Death by PowerPoint
Just to clear something up here. I’m not advocating a no-slide rule. There are some situations that require
using a minimal number of slides.
In fact, it’s not the slides that are the problem. It’s the behaviors and assumptions that come along with
their usage.
If you are using slides, make them engaging and visually interesting. Keep them to a bare minimum.
Get in the habit of turning off the projector to have a conversation.
Instead of relying on a gigantic slideshow, plan for interaction. Use a whiteboard. Get people talking.
Share ideas and solve problems together.
Put the audience – whether internal employees, clients or prospects – in the center of your circle. Make
their needs first. This is a great way to ‘test’ whether you are killing folks with data; or engaging them
with lively interaction.
Some of these changes can be hard. But the writing is on the wall. Not changing is harder. If you dig
your heels in and refuse to change, you might as well take early retirement.
All business revolves around change and evolution. Expectations of presentations have changed.
Executives, who embrace this change, can easily update their skills.
Update your skills in presenting to get the most results. With a small investment in your executive
education, you can expect a dramatic improvement.
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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

How to Update Your Executive Presentation
Skills Instantly by MillySonneman

About the author
MillySonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation
Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and
Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations,
through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about
our courses or contact Milly through our website at: http://www.presentationstoryboarding.com/
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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

How to Be a Great Speaker Without Using PowerPoint by Tom Antion

4How to Be a Great Speaker
Without Using PowerPoint
by Tom Antion
This article gives 10 tips on how presenters can be highly effective without using PowerPoint.
RESEARCH YOUR AUDIENCE
It amazes me how some speakers will show up for a speaking engagement and really not know anything
about the audience they are speaking to. Many speakers just get lazy and feel that their message is so
important that anyone would want to hear it. They couldn’t be more wrong. Your core message may be
about the same for everyone, but knowing your audience will allow you to slant the information so that
the audience feels it was prepared just for them. They will relate much better to the information and
think much more highly of you for creating something specifically for them. Of course, in many cases
you were only slanting your information, but I won’t tell if you won’t.
PRACTICE
The only way to look polished while speaking is to practice. This is one skill you cannot delegate to anyone
else. It is you that is on stage with the microphone and it is you who will look either great or terrible.
You are sadly mistaken and egotistical if you think the PowerPoint slides that either you or someone else
created will make you a dynamic speaker. There are specific techniques used to practice that don’t take
much time and make you look extremely polished. One of these techniques is called bits. You practice
a short piece of material over and over again. You don’t practice it word for word, but just talk your way
through it. This way you won’t blank out when a distraction happens while you are on stage.
TAKE CARE OF HECKLERS
The following is my famous asterisk technique; I use it to make sure hecklers don’t interrupt my
presentation. I get people in the group to identify potential troublemakers BEFORE I get to the event. I
phone these people and interview them to give them the attention they are craving. I then mention their
names during the speech. This virtually eliminates the chance they will give me a hard time because I am
praising one of their opinions. This works really well but don’t mention their names exclusively or the
rest of the audience that knows these people are trouble may think that you are just as bad. Mention a
wide variety of people in the audience. Just make sure the bad ones are included which normally keeps
them at bay.

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

How to Be a Great Speaker Without Using PowerPoint by Tom Antion

USE EMOTIONAL LANGUAGE
Boring old facts rarely move people to action. Learning to use words that evoke emotions in people will
make a much greater impact when you speak. There are many emotions you can trigger in the audience
just by your choice of words. Happiness, anger, sadness, nostalgia are just a few. Knowing your purpose
for being in front of the group helps you to pick which emotions you want to tap. When your purpose is
known, choosing words to get the desired emotional response is much easier. For instance, if you wanted
to take someone back to a childhood experience you might say, “Do you remember when someone did
something bad at school and the teacher smacked the yardstick on her desk?” The word Phrase “smacked
the yardstick” would evoke an emotional response that many adults can relate to. A younger group may
not relate to this phrase since corporal punishment has all but disappeared from schools. You must pick
the words that would mean something to your audience.
REVEAL YOURSELF
Some people have trouble implementing this idea because they like to remain aloof and private. This will
hurt their chances of making a good connection with people in the audience. You certainly don’t have
to reveal your deepest darkest secrets when on stage, but you certainly could tell someone how much
you like horses, or how you love to cook…anything that will give them a glimpse into the real you will
give you a better chance of connecting with them and getting them to listen to you.
USE PROPS
A prop is worth a thousand words. People can really anchor a thought in their minds when it is connected
to an object that relates to the point you are trying to make. You could use large, small, funny or serious
props. Always relate the prop to the point you are trying to make and make sure the audience can see it.
Sometimes you’ll want to hide the prop so people don’t wonder what it is until you are ready to present it.
USE HUMOR
Even Shakespeare used humor in the middle of the tragedies he wrote. Humor is a powerful and effective
tool that gives the audience’s mind a chance to breath in the face of heavy material. It also makes you
more likable and fun to listen to. Humor is also much more likely to make your information more
memorable. You don’t have to be a stand up comedian to use humor in speeches and presentations, and
you don’t have to tell jokes either. There are many ways to add humor that don’t require any skill at all.
You can show funny visuals, tell stories, or read from books or periodicals. Just like with props, make
sue your humor relates to the point you are trying to make and you will be much more successful. Each
issue of “Great Speaking” has about 20 pieces of humor you can use during speeches.

22
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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

How to Be a Great Speaker Without Using PowerPoint by Tom Antion

MOVE ‘EM TO ACTION
If you are going to bother taking up people’s time to speak to them, don’t you think it would be a good
idea to get them to do something positive because of your presentation? Even if they do something
negative, it’s still better than doing nothing because they will at least get a chance to learn something
from their mistake. Regardless of the size of your ego, the reality is that you are there for them, not the
other way around…. I’m all for you building up your reputation, but if you go into your speech thinking
it’s all for you, it will show and you probably won’t do as well as you would have had you concentrated
on the needs of the audience more.
BRING SOLUTIONS
One of the best ways to make sure the audience loves you is to bring solutions to their problems. If you
have done a thorough job of researching your audience, you already know what their problems are. It’s
your job to bring ideas for them to try. In modern day thinking this is what motivational speaking is all
about. No longer is it good enough to get people all fired up where they are bouncing off the walls still
having no plan to what they will do with this new found excitement and motivation. Modern professional
motivational speakers bring solutions and a plan of action, which is in itself motivating to people.

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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

How to Be a Great Speaker Without Using PowerPoint by Tom Antion

PAY ATTENTION TO LOGISTICS
All the best preparation, practice and audience research could be ruined if you forget to pay attention to
all the details surrounding a presentation. You want to know what is happening before you speak, and
what is happening after you speak. How are the people seated? Are they at round tables where half of
them are facing away from you, or are there no tables at all? What kind of microphone is appropriate?
How big is the screen in the room? Will the people be drinking alcohol? What is the lighting like? All
these items and many more effect the overall effectiveness of a presentation. The same exact words
delivered with significantly different logistics could be received in entirely different ways. You could
even go from a fantastic evaluation to a bomb just because of the way people are seated. It’s up to you
to know the differences and how they affect a presentation.
About the author
Tom Antion is a veteran of the public speaking circuit. He has been paid for more than 2,500 entertaining
presentations. Tom has helped thousands of corporate executives, professional speakers, salespersons,
and trainers become highly effective communicators, through professional one-on-one sessions, retreats,
and seminars. http://www.antion.com/
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The Experts Teach:
Presentation Skills

5 Fail-Safe Tips When You Forget or Get Flustered
During a Presentation by Dianna Booher

55 Fail-Safe Tips When You Forget
or Get Flustered During a
Presentation by Dianna Booher
Some goofs turn out to be funny – later, at least to the audience. Before a gathering of gregarious sales
reps, I was trying to make the point that business communications are much less formal now than in
past decades. “For example,” I elaborated, “when you are introduced to someone, you rarely respond,
‘How do you do?’ Instead, you say something like, ‘Hello’ or ‘Nice to meet you.’ ”
Continuing this line of reasoning, I asked the group, “And when was the last time your family dressed
formally to sit down at the dinner table together? Our family doesn’t dress for dinner.” One rep raised
his hand and asked excitedly, “May we come?”
The audience roared with laughter; leaving me dumbfounded until someone in the front row pointed
out to me what I’d said versus what I’d meant. Needlessly to say, after turning ten shades of red, I forgot
where I was going with the next point.
Just wait until it’s your turn. If you haven’t yet experienced your point of embarrassment or memory lapse,
you will. When it happens, consider these fail-safe ways to regain your memory and retain your poise.
Build a Mnemonic Device
Memory experts tell us that our brains can hold only about seven chunks of information at once. For
this reason, trying to remember 18 key points, six anecdotes, and three charts of data can be setting
yourself up for disaster – unless you devise a better system of recall. Teachers have understood the value
of mnemonic devices for ages. For example, piano teachers teach the scales EGBDF as every good boy
does fine. Think of almost any discipline, and you will find technical concepts conveyed in models,
mnemonics, and metaphors meant for easy recall. Create the same for yourself as a prevention tool.
Jump Ahead to a Key Anecdote That Serves as a Springboard
Stories stick better than an elaboration – even with the storyteller. In telling the story, you often will
recall the point you typically make with the story by the time you get to the end of the story. And with
that key point, the whole section of content will return to the forefront of your mind.

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