Focus Your Content

Avoid Kitchen Sink Syndrome: Focus Your Presentation

As a presenter, one of the biggest challenges you face is how to focus your presentation. There’s SO much to say! How can you possibly fit it all in? Obviously, there’s a huge danger to the “kitchen sink” approach. Audiences these days are suffering from information overload, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and […]

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Eye contact

No Avoiding It: Eye Contact is Essential to Your Presentation

One of the worst things you can do as a speaker is to avoid eye contact with your audience. It’s not just disrespectful, it’s actually detrimental to your ability to get your point across. If you do any amount of public speaking, whether presenting around a conference room table or addressing a group of hundreds, […]

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Why Your Panel Discussion Sucks

10 Reasons Your Panel Discussion Sucks

I’ve seen a ton of panel discussions, and according to my totally unscientific observation, most of them are deadly boring. I was reminded of this yesterday when I got to see the rare good panel at a conference I’m attending (and where I’m also speaking). Why Do So Many Panels Suck? The big problem with panels is […]

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How to deliver an ignite talk

How to Deliver a Successful Ignite Talk in 10 Steps

So you’ve accepted the challenge and agreed to do an Ignite talk. And now the terror sets in: what have I gotten myself into? Relax. I did my first one this spring and it was a fun, though time-consuming, challenge. Here are my top 10 tips on how to deliver a successful Ignite talk. What Is an […]

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5 Fundamental Presentation and Public Speaking Tips

  A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with acclaimed executive speech coach Patricia Fripp for an hour-long chat about public speaking skills and how to be a better communicator. Part of her Fripp Virtual Training program, we covered the landscape, from rehearsal techniques to listening skills to my star turn playing a […]

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Tips for Public Speakers

3 Tips for Public Speakers: 2 Smart, 1 Dumb

If you want to learn to be a better presenter, be careful who you listen to. There’s a ton of advice for public speakers out there, and not all of it is good. In fact, much of it is outdated and just plain dumb. I was reminded of this yesterday when three interesting blog posts […]

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Excuse for bad presentation

Why Do Good People Give Bad Speeches? 7 Lame Excuses

I still don’t get it. Why do good, smart people still give bad speeches and presentations? It boggles the mind. It’s not like we haven’t been shown how it’s done. Examples of great speeches abound, from Martin Luther King to Steve Jobs to the latest TED Talks. But for some reason, we don’t absorb the obvious lessons. […]

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Your Presentation Sucks

Your Presentation Sucks. Here Are 6 Reasons Why.

I came across this cartoon the other day that shows what happens when a presentation goes off the rails. But I submit that the presentation as planned was doomed from the start anyway. Take a look at the “How You Planned It” section. If that looks to you like a solid blueprint for a speech then it just […]

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How to introduce a speaker

How to Introduce a Speaker: 8 Essential Steps

Most presenters—the professional ones, at least—work hard on preparing a speech that will delight and enthrall their audience. Unfortunately, the people assigned to introduce them don’t always put in the same effort. Having been there myself, I really feel for the speaker who suffers a bad introduction—one that’s uninspired, poorly written and carelessly delivered. If you ever […]

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Audience interaction

5 Way to Promote Audience Interaction in Your Next Speech

When it comes to public speaking, the age of the one-sided lecture is dead. Audiences today expect more of a conversation. Here are five ways to spur the kind of audience interaction that will bring your speech or presentation to life. 1. Take Questions The most obvious way to create a conversation is to set […]

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