Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Missing Link In Presentation Skills Training

Writen by Melissa Mayers Lewis

Imagine you are the most amazing figure skater who ever lived. When rehearsing in a peaceful, empty rink, you demonstrate the ultimate in athleticism and artistry. You defy the laws of gravity as you leap in the air, landing with flawless precision. You spin with effortless grace and power; you execute jumps other skaters only dream about. On that ice, you are in your element, doing what you love to do and doing it perfectly.

In rehearsal, that is.

The next day, you enter the same rink for the big competition. When you look into the stands, you see thousands of eyeballs on you. As you begin your program, you skate self-consciously, hesitantly. You stumble on moves you usually don't even have to think about. You forget what comes next. You wobble and bobble and barely get through the program on your feet.

Now, consider this: Your frustrated coach barrels up to you and bellows, "That's it! From now on, we're spending two extra hours a day in rehearsal until you get this right in competition!" Question: Will that tactic solve the problem? Of course not, because the problem is not in the realm of the skating. (Remember, you skated the program perfectly 24 hours ago.) The problem is in the realm of the EYEBALLS. You can skate until your feet fall off, but until you make peace with those eyeballs, you will continue to stumble in the spotlight.

So It Is With Public Speaking

Most people say, "One-on-one I'm fine. It's only when I'm in front of a group that I get nervous." If you can speak confidently and clearly one-on-one, it means you already know the content and can convey it well (like skating perfectly in rehearsal). The problem comes when a speech coach says, "OK, we're going to have you rehearse the speech five more times in the conference room to make sure you get it right when you present in front of the Board." Emphasizing the content and delivery has limited value because it attacks the problem from the realm of the SPEAKING. But where most people suffer most is in the realm of the EYEBALLS.

Sure, you're more likely to withstand the eyeballs if you feel confident in your material, but the discomfort will still be there. Techniques and gimmicks (like "picture the audience naked" or "start with a joke" or "look at the back wall if you're too nervous to make eye contact") won't help either. These tricks just put up a barrier; they don't solve the problem.

So what is the answer? Realize that the problem is not that you don't know how to speak; it's that you're not used to being THE CENTER OF ATTENTION. You see those eyeballs and suddenly you're thrust outside of your comfortable anonymity into the shocking realization that someone is actually paying attention. You shy away from the attention, the intense energy. But ironically, the energy in those eyeballs can energize and comfort you-once you let it in.

Yes, eyeballs almost always have positive energy behind them because listeners want you to succeed. Even if you face grouches in the crowd, you can count at least a few positive eyeball vibes coming toward you. Soak in the positive energy and send it back out in the form of genuine warmth and concern for your listeners. Seeing that concern invites even more positive energy, which keeps the cycle going.

Far-Fetched Idea?

It may seem far-fetched at first. But the only way to make peace with those eyeballs is to stop avoiding them and explore them instead. Seek them out. Peer back with your own eyeballs and see what's really there. It takes practice, of course. To get started, seek out a positive setting such as a SPEAKING CIRCLE* or supportive group of friends. Remember, you're already a speaker. You're just not accustomed to being a recipient of listening-a skill that can only be mastered in the mysterious, wondrous, scary, exciting realm of eyeballs.

* The SPEAKING CIRCLE(R) methodology is a revolutionary new approach for building speaking skill and power. It's based on the book Be Heard Now by Lee Glickstein. For more information, go to

About The Author

Melissa Lewis turns traditional thinking about public speaking upside down to give people more comfort, confidence, and charisma in front of groups. For more information, call (913) 341-1241 or visit,

Saturday, August 30, 2008

10 Ways To Impress Others When You Speak

Writen by Steve Kaye

1) Be the message. You must exemplify the principles, values, and ideas that you talk about in order to have credibility urging others to adopt them.

2) Think like the audience. Present your ideas from the viewpoint of how they will find them most useful. Realize that things that work for you, may depend upon your situation. Thus, customize new techniques to the world that your audience lives in.

3) Be original. Create your own cartoons and humor. Tell your own stories. Use your own activities. Stealing from others is unethical, illegal, and just plain wrong. You can be sued by the author (or cartoonist) for using copyrighted materials, such as cartoons from the newspaper. And you could find that your presentation follows one with the original versions of material that you planned to use.

4) Create a safe environment. People learn best when they feel safe to experiment and try new ideas. Treat everyone with respect. Never damage anyone in the audience, even if this person seems to be disrupting your presentation.

5) Be ethical. Cite references for published information. Obtain a license and pay royalties if you must use copyrighted materials. Realize that other speakers (authors, cartoonists, humorists, entertainers, etc.) depend upon their materials for their livelihood.

6) Let people discover and experience new ideas. Adults learn by applying what they are being taught. It makes learning more permanent and enjoyable.

7) Be authentic. That is, be yourself, without pretense, without gimmicks, and without theatrics. People can recognize a fake easily. And when they find one, they leave.

8) Leave the audience impressed with themselves. Create opportunities for people to be funny, clever, or correct. Feed the audience set up lines that lead them into being the stars in your program. Ask question that let them show off what they know. This facilitates adult learning by making people feel special, which opens their minds to new ideas.

9) Keep it simple. People benefit most from techniques that they can use now.

10) Speak to them about them. Everyone finds their own story the most interesting. If you tell your story, then take them with you by including them in your story. Help them experience what you felt, discover as you learned, and celebrate as if they had won.

Steve Kaye helps leaders hold effective meetings. He is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator, author, and speaker. His meeting facilitation and leadership workshops create success for everyone. Call 714-528-1300 for details. Visit for a free report.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It Is Not A Samwich Mangled Pronunciation

Writen by Julia O'Connor

There are two TV ads in the U.S. that are driving me crazy. Subway and Hardee's both have ads running where the voice-over talks about a great Samich.

There is no such word as Samich. It is SANDWICH. The basic description is for some food product between two pieces of bread.

Where did Samich come from? Lazy tongues, poor language development, general acceptance by people who don't care and are not corrected. It makes me cry that big bucks are spent perpetrating bad grammar and fast fat food.

OH, JULIA – YOU SAY --- You're just being an old fuddy-duddy. Nobody cares how people pronounce it – we know what it is.


Trade shows are noisy environments so I may not understand what you say because of noise pollution. I may not understand what you say because it is a new word to me, or you are using jargon not in my vocabulary.

I may not understand what you say for any number of reasons but NEVER ever let it be the fact that you mangled a word, mispronounced it and didn't know the difference.

Prospects are picky people. Your great exhibit, wonderful give-aways and that nifty shirt you are wearing only gets them into your space. It's the little things people remember – bad grammar, sloppy pronunciation and incoherent syntax are high on my list of no-nos.

MANAGERS – Check your staff for vocabulary and pronunciation before a show. This is particularly important when there are new products and technical terms. Don't forget to check for the vernacular and correct your staff so they are proper representatives for your company.

Julia O'Connor - Speaker, Author, Consultant - writes about practical aspects of trade shows. As president of Trade Show Training, inc,, now celebrating its 11th year, she works with companies in a variety of industries to improve their bottom line and marketing opportunities at trade shows. Julia is founder of Camp Sho-M-Sel-M, a specialized sales training program being held August 22-23 in Las Vegas. The focus of this Camp is Trade Shows & The Unions, with a Behind-the-Scene tour of the Las Vegas Convention Center, led by union officials.

Julia is an expert in the psychology of the trade show environment and uses this expertise in sales training and management seminars. Contact her at 804-355-7800 or check the site

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Models That Color Your Presentation

Writen by Hans Bool

What do you think of when you hear the word "model?" And what do you see? I'll leave my own answer for myself.

Overture supplies a lot of different (key word combination) usages, of which business model is not one of them. That strikes me.

But this is not about a business model. A model can be something like an example. Or it could be a sort of image, portrait or even a metaphor to convey a message. It can be concrete, but not seldom it is abstract.

If you want to explain and discuss a complex (business) topic, an abstract model could help you in doing so. More complex than what we currently experience in Europe is hardly imaginable. In a situation that is so divers and complex to manage a model can express essentials without words.

André Sapir has "designed" a model to explain some main issues in the European community (Globalisation and the Reform of European Social Models). If you want to have a look at this you can explore the link below:

The model itself called – The Four European Models -- shows a simplified typology of countries about the distribution of Equity (Low and High) and (labour) Efficiency. It is used in the paper to stress a certain policy recommendations.

The strength of such a model is that you can enter the discussion using only your eyes, "at a glance."

But that is only the beginning of that presentation. One of the disadvantages of a model is that a lot of people do not like abstract thinking. In the same way that you have students who are more at ease with microeconomics than with macroeconomics. Micro (I understand that there is now also something called "pico-economics") is more dedicated to the man in the street. Macro is more about nations, people in general, culture and other abstractions.

The clue is that you need both. Like real teamwork. Also in your presentation.

To be continued…

Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days. You can apply for a free demo account.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Present For Success Simple Strategies To Add Confidence And Credibility To Your Next Presentation

Writen by Dana Bristol-Smith

Tomorrow's the day and you're dreading it. You're scheduled to give a presentation to the senior management team about the new program you're proposing. You're excited and enthusiastic about the program but nervous and anxious about the presentation. You don't know how you'll manage to sleep tonight. These thoughts keep running through your mind; What if I stumble? What if I talk too fast? What if they get bored? What if they ask questions and my mind goes blank?

Do any of these sound familiar? If you answered yes, don't worry! Try some of these simple strategies for your next presentation to help you build confidence and credibility with your audiences.

Developing your presentation

Change the paradigm: Think from your listeners' perspective.

If you can change your focus from, "What do I want to communicate?" to, "What does the audience need to hear and understand?" you can be a more relevant and engaging presenter. By focusing on your listeners' needs, rather than on yourself, you can relax and let that focus guide you through the development and delivery of your presentation.

Here are the essential questions that will help you stay on track:

  • Who is your audience?

  • What is most important to them?

  • What is their current level of knowledge on your topic?

  • What do they want or need to know about this topic?

If you can't answer the above questions, it's important that you do some research to find the answers. If your presentation is an educational or training session, you might want to send out a pre-class questionnaire or survey to learn the current knowledge level of your audience. This can be a simple 5 to 10-question, one-page document that you email or fax. If your presentation is more informational or persuasive, you might want to make some phone calls to learn what you can about your audience.

What's your objective?

Every presentation you give should have an objective or purpose. Why? Because your objective will help ensure that you stay focused on the topic. And, by defining your objective in the beginning of the development process, you'll save time.


Utilize a presentation structure that consists of a beginning, middle and end. In presentation language these components are called the opening, body and close. The purpose of the opening is to introduce yourself and your topic. The opening gives a short preview of the information you plan to cover. You may also want to include some startling data or a quotation. The main purpose of the opening is to get your audiences' attention. The body of the presentation contains the main ideas and details you want to convey, while the close is the ending. During the close, you may wish to provide a summary of your main points to help the audience remember them. Also, any action items of follow-up information should be in the close.

Delivering your presentation

About nervousness

Most people feel nervous and anxious before giving a presentation. This fear and anxiety can start the minute they've been given the assignment and can last until the presentation is over. It's important that we accept the fact that we're going to be nervous and learn how to work with it. Try this three-step process developed by Lee Glickstein of Speaking Circles International to ease your nerves:

1. Feel your feet on the ground.

This will help to set a firm foundation for you and has a calming effect.

2. Breathe. And, most importantly, notice that you are breathing.

Most of us when we are nervous or anxious tend to hold our breath and that only makes us feel worse.

3. Speak every word to the eyes and heart of another human being.

Every time you stand in front of any audience, you are building a relationship. If you want people to listen and pay attention to you, you have to listen and pay attention to them. By having a more personal connection with your audience you will develop rapport faster. By looking at people individually, not seeing a group, you can be more relaxed and at ease. Try to have a one-on-one conversation with everyone in the room.

Five strategies to project confidence

1. Reduce your usage of filler words.

Filler words are words that we say unconsciously that add no meaning to our communications. Examples of filler words are um, uh, ah, okay, so, you know, well, but, like, etc. The big problem with filler words is that if you use them frequently, they tend to chip away at your credibility and can make you sound unsure and unprepared. To start reducing usage, you first have to become aware of when and how frequently you use them. The best way to do this is to either audiotape or videotape yourself giving a presentation. Then listen, or better yet, have someone else listen to the tape for filler words. Provide a checklist of filler words and ask the reviewer them count how many you use. It's fine to use one here and there—using them repeatedly is the problem. Once you have an awareness of which filler words you use, you can start trying to reduce them. Substitute a pause where the filler words would normally occur and your listeners will thank you.

2. Be aware of body language and posture.

Just as mother used to say, stand up straight. Posture is important. Walk with erect posture and confident strides. Also have an awareness of your body language. Show confidence with an open body position. This means hands at your sides not crossed in front of you or hidden in pockets. Keep your hands where the audience can see them and use gestures for emphasis.

3. Remember that you are the expert.

You probably know more than your audience does about your topic. That puts you at an advantage and should instill confidence. Remember, though, to be relevant. You need to know your audience's level of knowledge on your topic so you can start where they are.

4. Keep your cool when things get hot.

No matter what happens, keep your composure. If you are using technology, be warned: It is bound to malfunction just when you need it most. For peace of mind, have a Plan B ready just in case. If you can think in advance about what might go wrong, and have a contingency plan ready, you can continue and keep your cool. Every presenter has a personal horror story of how the laptop or projector crashed in the middle of their presentation. Be prepared.

5. Have a good time.

If you are having a good time, chances are, so is your audience. Put a smile on your face and be excited and enthusiastic in your delivery. You will breathe life even into dull subjects and help your listeners be engaged in your talk.

The close

I hope you'll practice some of the strategies listed here. Don't feel that you have to do all of them during your next presentation. You might want to think about what your biggest presentation challenge is and pick one improvement that you'd like to make. I can guarantee that you'll feel more confident as you incorporate and practice these suggestions. And remember: Do what you can to enjoy your time at the front of the room and your audiences will enjoy you.

About The Author

Dana is the author of the interactive manual Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking. Please visit her website

Dana Bristol-Smith is the founder of Speak for Success, an organization that works with companies that want their people to communicate with confidence and credibility. Companies hire Dana to give skill-building workshops and to provide coaching. She has delivered presentations and training to more than 100,000 people since 1992.

You can reach Dana via email at mail to:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Presentations In Mobile Car Wash Contracts

Writen by Lance Winslow

If you own a mobile carwash business and your are giving a presentation to a larger corporation or a company which has a fleet of vehicles the most important thing is to get those people out into the parking lot and volunteer one of them for a free carwash. Once they see you in action and see the work you can do and how your system works for picking up the waste wash water as per the NPDES environmental EPA controls, they are more apt to be convinced that you are the correct company and a good fit for their company.

Despite what you may believe many large companies will not go with the lowest bidder just due to price. There are many other considerations and a proper presentation and demonstration may in fact get you the contract over your competitors. My company has been a business for 27 years cleaning fleets of vehicles and we were not always the lowest price.

Many times we were and many times we were not. But we learned quickly that with a proper demonstration, employees wearing uniforms, clean and shiny equipment we often got the contract anyway. In the mobile carwash business and the fleet cleaning business is all about presentation.

You can have fancy brochures, business cards and flyers with a great web site and still miss the contract because your presentation and your demonstration was simply not the quality or caliber they were looking for. Please consider this in 2006.

Lance Winslow

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Big Word Trap

Writen by Timothy Walker

Many speakers can't resist the temptation to use big words while giving a speech. Sometimes it is a conscious effort to appear to be smart, sometimes it is an unconscious impulse because that's what a speaker thinks he or she is supposed to do in a so-called "formal" speech.

Either way, it's a bad idea.

Using big, long, or fancy words in a speech can damage you with your audience, not enhance your credibility. If you use a word that some or most members of your audience doesn't understand, you are creating a distance between you and the audience. At some level, audience members are thinking, "Hey, this guy thinks he's smarter than I am. Well, we'll see about that!"

Another danger of using big words is that you will seem insecure—it's as if you were trying to hard. A part of what made both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton master communicators is that they were always quick to edit out big words that a speech writer put into draft remarks. Both Presidents understood the power of simple words.

Yes, throwing big words around has helped some media figures like William F. Buckley Jr. But if your primary goal is to communicate a message (and not creating an aristocratic image for yourself), then you should stick to smaller, shorter, and simpler words.

Remember, it's not about dumbing down your ideas, it's about clarity.

Why use "mitigate" when "lessen" will do fine?

Why use "jejune" when "ordinary" does the trick?

Also keep this in mind,: there are many big words that people are used to reading, but aren't used to hearing. So if you say them out loud, it will take people a second to remember what they mean because they hear the word so infrequently. Better to use words that most people use in every day language.

This lesson is especially important for politicians. Winston Churchill prided himself in being able to give speeches on complicated foreign policy matters while never using words with more than two syllables. He understood that the ears process information differently than the eye does, and that the shorter the word the better for all speaking situations.

So if it's good enough for Churchill, then it's good enough for you too.

TJ Walker is the worlds leading speaking coach, author of "Presentation Training A-Z." and "Media Training A-Z." He is the current host of and and can be reached at You can read more of his presentation and media tips at

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Which Should You Use Business Plan Proposal Or Marketing Strategy

Writen by Charlene Rashkow

If you're a business owner who is ready to lift your ideas to the next level yet you're not sure whether you need a business plan, proposal or marketing strategy, there is a way to determine which should come first.

While some believe that a business plan is the most appropriate document in taking their company to the next level, others actually would do better with a proposal or marketing strategy. The choice is based on what your intention is and what you actually need for your particular project. The following defines the differences between the proposal, marketing strategy and business plan and which steps to take in realizing your goals.


A proposal in essence is an overview of what it is you are planning to present or offer. It basically defines what you will do for your client and how you plan on helping them achieve their goals. It does not need to be lengthy nor does it have to contain as many details as a business plan, although in some instances it should include a lot of particulars.

A proposal can stir the interest of the potential client by seeing in black and white what you will do for them. Perhaps you're promoting your business to some new clients who have already expressed interest in your company but want to learn more. The proposal is meant to whet the appetite of those reading it as it demonstrates your capabilities and expertise. It is the perfect way of presenting your ideas. For example: I recently wrote a book proposal for a popular self-published book. Although the book had reached a high level of success, the author was ready to take her book to a higher level and wanted to find a publisher who would publish her next edition. As a result of a great proposal, she now has three different publishers who are bidding on her project.


When you construct a marketing strategy bear in mind that you are presenting ways in which you will promote either your own business or that of someone who has hired you. It is precisely what it says; a strategy.

As an example, I recently worked with a Real Estate Broker whose company was being considered to handle the selling of a huge new condominium complex. The individuals who were thinking of commissioning him were already confident in his ability but wanted to be sure of his direction and requested details of his methodologies. They weren't interested in anything more than the strategies he would use in attracting the clientele they were after so a marketing strategy was the perfect document for his needs.

To assist my client, I compiled a detailed marketing strategy, which defined every conceivable way he would fulfill his responsibilities. As a result, the gentleman that was thinking of commissioning him was impressed with the marketing strategy and the job was given to the Broker. A well-put together strategy can be the precise tool you need when convincing someone of your expertise.


A Business Plan can have several intentions. The first and most obvious is for the purpose of gaining the attention of investors, financiers or loan companies. It is a detailed plan that will show your potential investors exactly where you're heading. In it you will include an objective, company overview, product or service, competition, target market, demographics, marketing strategies, bios and financial projections. A business plan is an entire blueprint of your business from the initial concept all the way to the completion of your projected goals.

A business plan can also serve another purpose. As you move forward in the direction of your endeavor, having a good business plan in place, keeps you from veering off in fruitless directions. Even if you aren't looking for investors, the plan will keep you on track and prevent you from wasting valuable time and effort regarding your business efforts.

When making a decision as to which you require for the next stage in your business enterprise, the preceding should help in clarifying your needs. But whichever you choose, make sure your proposal, marketing strategy or business plan is well constructed and carefully put together. If your goal is to have an investor, company, business or agency take you seriously, you have to demonstrate your ability through a professionally prepared business presentation.

About the Author:

Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing Stylist and Author to her creative efforts as a freelance business writer/consultant. She has successfully helped companies and individuals reach their objectives by writing outstanding press releases, bios, articles of interest, business plans, resumes, web site content and all other forms of marketing material. To speak with Charlene you may contact her at or write her at

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why Spending Your Whole Life Trying To Be Professional Is A Dead End Game

Writen by Lance Winslow

So many people want to be respected by those they meet and they are so worried what other people will think of them almost to the point that they will do anything to look their best and be loved by everyone they see. This in fact is a losing game because it means you have to learn how to lie really really well.

You have to pretend to be something you're not and you have to pretend that you agree with everyone you meet. You have to become an impostor and pretend for the rest of your life because once you start trying to pretend that you are professional you have to be careful that no one figures out the truth.

Let me tell you a little story of a gentle man who is going to work with our company and he was a salesperson. He was the most impeccable dresser and he looked and talked like a million bucks. I asked him to meet me at a Starbucks and he was going to be awarded a huge contract with my company for marketing our franchise company.

He explained to me all sorts of things that he could do for us and I asked to see his battle plan and how he did things for other import clients. I carefully invited myself to his office and told him I was leaving town the next day and we need to go right now. And then I suggested we drive in his car and he tried to weasel his way out of it, but I insisted.

Our so-called professional dresser and professional BS'er drove a hunk of crap and it was so disgusting inside and messy I could not believe I was talking to the same person. We got to his office and he ushered me quickly past the mess and into a room with maps on the wall. I could see he was trying very hard and struggling now that I knew the truth to maintain his composure.

We did not end up doing business and it is not because I didn't believe he could do the job. After seeing the brilliance of his marketing in his War Room so to speak, I could see that he kind of knew what he was doing and with a little help from me we could have really blasted that market. I would have hired him if he had not lied to me with the false image thing. I would have even hired one of my marketing specialists to work along side of him. He could have met me in Levis and a Polo Shirt instead of a $5,000 Italian Suit, with a fake Gold Rolex.

Unfortunately I felt as if he lied to me by acting so professional when in reality he was just a normal guy trying really hard to do a great job. If you are a faker and pretender and simply act professional then perhaps you need to rethink your strategy, because if you're going to lie to people and your self you may as well go the whole route and be 100% professional with everything you do and not be a halfway halfass pretender. Please consider this in 2006.

Lance Winslow - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance;

Friday, August 22, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect 7 Tips For Making The Most Of Your Presentation Practice

Writen by Debbie Bailey

Believe it or not, preparation is a better determinant of presentation success than knowledge, experience, or even talent. The best presenter is almost always the presenter who is the most prepared. Even so, there are a lot of conflicting ideas about what constitutes thorough presentation preparation.

So what exactly is thorough preparation?

Here are seven straight forward tips to increase the effectiveness of the time you invest in your practice.

1. Practice Delivery Out Loud. Practice is NOT mentally rehearsing your presentation on the drive over to the presentation or even thinking about your presentation while tossing and turning at night. Both of these are something, but not practice. A lot can happen between thinking about what you want to say and actually getting the words to come out of your mouth coherently. If you don't actually practice speaking out loud, when the time comes, you may struggle to articulate your mentally well rehearsed thoughts. To the audience, this struggle will appear to be lack of preparation.

2. Try to Conduct Your Practice in a Situation Similar to the Real Speaking Venue. Whenever possible, conduct your practice in a situation that closely mirrors the real presentation. For example, if you will be speaking in front of a large group in an auditorium or large conference room, try to practice in a large room filled with as many audience recruits as possible. Why? Research indicates that if your practice closely mirrors your real presentation, once you are in the actual presentation your brain will think you have done this before. Besides practice, the next most important ingredient in your success is experience.

3. Practice in Front of Real People. If you can't find any audience recruits at work, ask your spouse, best friend, or if all else fails, your pet to listen to your presentation. Interacting with a live audience is an important part of your practice. It helps you not only rehearse your delivery, but gain experience reading and reacting to the silent messages your audience is sending you about their understanding, their likes, and their dislikes.

4. The Mirror is Your Friend. Even after you've practiced in front of an audience, continue to rehearse in front of the greatest critic of all, yourself in the mirror. The mirror is a WONDERFUL if underused presentation practice tool. It will allow you to see and hear your delivery live and make decisions about how to enhance your style. Remember, when it comes to practicing your presentation, the mirror really is your friend.

5. Practice From Beginning to End Without Stopping. Practice all the way through the presentation without stopping—even if you make a mistake. Most presenters have a tendency to stop their practice each time they make a mistake. Besides reinforcing this negative practice, when you continually stop and start over you get very good at the beginning of the presentation, but can't deliver an effective conclusion because you've rarely made it to the end of the presentation. As the second most remembered part of your presentation, it is important to have a strong, well-rehearsed close.

6. Practice With Your Props. If you are using visual aids such as a PowerPoint slide show, make sure you practice with your slides. Visual aids of any kind add another layer of complexity to presentation and require practice to use effectively. Practicing with your slides will help prepare you for the things that inevitably go wrong and help you avoid unprofessional behaviors such as not knowing how to advance your slide show or how to put the slide show in the proper view for display.

7. Do it One More Time. After you feel you've done it well in practice and are happy with your performance, practice one more time to make sure your success wasn't just a happy accident. All in all, depending upon you and your content, you may need to practice your presentation delivery out loud 5 to 10 times. Yes, that's right, you might have to practice out loud up to 10 times, but don't worry, your audience's thundering applause will make the effort worthwhile!

Debbie Bailey is a well-known Presentation Skills Consultant and author of the book "15 Presentation Secrets - How to WOW Even the Toughest Audience," available at For more information about Debbie, go to

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Is A Fresnel Lens

Writen by Mark Boehm

Over the past 25 years I have had the unique opportunity to talk directly with many of the professionals and instructors who use Overhead Projectors as an integral part of their profession. Through these interactions I have accumulated notes and information that has inspired me to write these articles that pertain to some of the most common problems experienced by owners of today's and yesterday's Overhead Projectors. This is the seventh article in a series of articles that will be written from a professional Electronics Technicians point of view in regards to some of today's most common Overhead Projector problems and questions.

What is a Fresnel Lens?

If you have ever looked at the lens of your Overhead Projector (the lens that sits under the glass where you lay your transparencies) you may be reminded of a magnifying glass. And in some ways you are right. The idea of the Fresnel Lens in your Overhead Projector is to focus the beam of light produced by the projection lamp, projecting it to the optics in the head assembly and on to your wall or screen. Unlike a conventional magnifying lens that is thick in the middle and tapers down to nothing at the edges, the Fresnel lens is a single thickness all the way across.

This thin piece of plastic magnifiying lens found in your Overhead Projector is called a Fresnel Lens. It is flat on one side and ridged on the other. In most cases there are two pieces of this thin acrylic lens placed together often referred to as a dual element Fresnel Lens. Fresnel lenses were first used to focus the beam of light in lighthouse lamps. These plastic lenses are used where a concentrated light is required. The Fresnel lens serves the same purpose in your Overhead Projector where a concentrated beam of light is required to project your image on to a screen or wall.

How do I clean my Fresnel Lens?

The typical overhead projector has a top piece of glass (stage glass) and just below that is a plastic lens with lots of circular lines on it (the Fresnel lens). Most Fresnel Lenses are marked on one side indicating which side goes toward the lamp. If you know how to remove it, just take it out and reinstall it the correct way. You should never use glass cleaner on the Fresnel Lens,it can destroy the plastic lens. To clean your Fresnel Lens a soft cloth dampened with water or cleaner approved by the manufacturer should be used. A word of caution here: handle the Fresnel lens with care to avoid scratches or other types of damage,this lens is a very expensive part of your Overhead Projector.

After you re-install the Fresnel Lens and you suddenly get a blurry round spot instead of a clear image from your Overhead Projector, you will find that the Fresnel Lens is probably installed upside down. No need to panic, simply remove the lens and re-install the correct way. This is a common problem for those who have removed this lens while cleaning the dust out of their Overhead Projector.

Where can I purchase a new Fresnel Lens?

Fresnel Lenses can be purchased from the manufacturer or from an authorized parts distributor.

Mark Boehm is the president of M-B Electronics. He has over 25 years of experience in the Audio Visual and Electronics Industry. You can contact M-B Electronics at 800-872-9456 or at:

Further Info:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Love Muzak

Writen by Lenn Millbower

"This is really the kind of music one isn't supposed to hear, the sort that helps to fill the empty spots between pauses in a conversation." Composer Aaron Copeland

Oh my. I'm so embarrassed. I never thought I'd say this. Not in a million year. Not as a serious musician. Certainly not as a science-based Learnertainer. But here it is ... nevertheless ... I love Muzak.

To explain my statement, we have to start at the beginning: silent films.

A true silent film is a jarring experience because of its lack of warmth. Camouflaging this silence is one of the important functions of film. Nearly every film features music over a third of its length. And in a Hollywood environment where moneymaking sequels matter more than quality, many mediocre films are made palatable by the addition of popular music. It is also safe to state that like dynamics hold true in real life. We have proof: Muzak

In 1922 Brigadier General George Owen Squier noticed this function of film music and decided to apply music to the silences of daily life. In the process he founded the Muzak company. His idea worked so well that an estimated 100 million people will be exposed to Muzak on the same day you read this.

One of the reasons for Muzak's success has to do with its pacing. Muzak selections are carefully matched to the hour of the day. Peppy melodies and hyper rhythms in the morning, light pop at lunchtime, mellow songs for mid-afternoon, classic pop at dinnertime and higher energy selections in the evening.

Additionally, all of Muzak's programming is arranged into quarter-hour blocks. The music is designed to match the energy cycles of listeners. At the beginning of a programming block, the music starts softly. From that point forward, it builds until, at fifteen minutes, it reaches its peak in volume. It then starts over, repeating this cycle every fifteen minutes.

Muzak's researchers state that this "Stimulus Progression" effectively counters worker fatigue. Various studies have validated that the Stimulus Progression in work environments:
• Increases output;
• Reduces stress;
• Enhances concentration; and
• Improves morale.

Muzak's research even suggests that likeability is largely irrelevant, that it is possible to achieve increased productivity by playing music that ignores employee preference but focuses on the function the music is designed to serve.

Trainers, presenters and educators obviously do not want Muzak playing throughout a learning event. Movies don't feature continuous background music either. Instead, program leaders can selectively use music to camouflage silence at specific moments in any program. What follows are some examples that make you too love Muzak.

Play music when many people converse at once – The noise made by large groups tasked with talking simultaneously can be deafening. Music can take the edge off of the sound. In a crowded room, music acts much like lemon to a plate of fish. Lemon, when sprinkled on the fish, cuts the odor. Music, when played softly in the background of discussion periods, cuts the noise.

Play music during small group discussions – In small group discussions learners who are sitting near, and in some cases, next to each other are placed in different groups. Music, when used in these situations, functioning as a masking agent, adds a layer of sound that prevents learners from eavesdropping on other conversations and allows them to focus on their own group.

Play music during solo reflection periods – When learners are asked to reflect on a subject any sound can disrupt their thoughts. Much as silent film theaters used house bands to cover up crowd and projector noise, light, slow, reflective music serves as a buffer between individual coughs and whispers. An additional bonus is the fact that slow, reflective music helps learners think.

Play music during creative visioning exercising – New Age or Impressionistic music, used during brainstorming exercises, provides learners with musical anchors they can attach their thoughts to.

Play music while practicing repetitive tasks – Repetitive tasks are made easier by music. If you exercise you may already know this to be true. Our bodies have a rhythm. Our heart beats, we breathe in and out and our blood pulses, all in time. Some amazing feats have been accomplished by tying tasks to music. African slaves, for instance, used work chants to survive the backbreaking work of picking cotton. The workmen who built the transcontinental railroad sang as they drove spikes into the rails. The soldiers who fought for our freedom sang as they marched hundreds of miles.

If your trainees are required to learn repetitive tasks, music with a steady beat can help. Studies demonstrate that music helps learners:
• Repeat monotonous tasks with higher levels of interest
• Work longer;
• Elongate attention spans;
• Improve task concentration;
• Increase task speed; and
• Build consistency.
Simply select a piece of music that pulses at a speed complementary to the task at hand.

Play music during breaks – The lack of an audio signal during breaks can undercut any comfortable atmosphere you may have built. Instead of allowing this silence to linger, select and play music appropriate to the instruction that just occurred. If your learners are all keyed up and you feel the need to calm them down, play some slower, reflective music. If the just ended segment required intense concentration, play up-tempo music to help your learners unwind. As the break reaches its halfway point, switch music. Play selections more appropriate to the segment you will soon begin. One minute before the break ends, turn the music up to indicate that the learners should return, and then, turn it off when you are ready to start.

Play music during reviews – Giorgi Lozanov, the father of Suggestopedia and accelerated learning created what he called concerts. Lozanov believed that suggestion is more easily accepted when a student is deeply relaxed, both mentally and physically. To achieve this level of relaxation in his learners, his reviews would include deep breathing exercises, a comfortable and relaxed position, a calm, pleasant atmosphere, a background of classical music, and the recitation of critical information.

Lozanov would recite, or have the trainees recite the key learning points accompanied by slow Baroque or early Classical period music, pulsing at a rate parallel to that of the human heart, around 60 to 80 beats per minute. By placing key review points into a PowerPoint presentation timed to music, any trainer can use this relaxation technique.

As the applications listed above suggest, Muzak, drawing inspiration from film music, has pointed the way towards effective learning. So, reluctantly, in spite of the way Muzak annoys me, I must state … unfortunately … I love Muzak.

Visit Lenn on line at Blog with Lenn at

Lenn Millbower, BM, MA, the Learnertainment® Trainer is an expert in applying show biz techniques to learning. He is the author of the ASTD Info-Line, Music as a Training Tool, focused on the practical application of music to learning; Show Biz Training, the definitive book on the application of entertainment industry techniques to training; Cartoons for Trainers, a popular collection of 75 cartoons for learning; Game Show Themes for Trainers, a best-selling CD of original learning game music; and Training with a Beat: The Teaching Power of Music, the foremost book on the application of music to learning. Lenn is an in-demand speaker, with successful presentations at ASTD 1999-2005 and SHRM 2006; a creative and dynamic instructional designer and facilitator formally with the Disney University and Disney Institute; an accomplished arranger-composer skilled in the psychological application of music to learning; a popular comedian, magician and musician; and the president of Offbeat Training®, infusing entertainment-based techniques into learning to keep 'em awake!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Secret Language Of Money

Writen by David Krueger MD

At a number of business seminars and presentations, I passed out an index card and asked each person in the audience to write anonymously a single answer to each of three questions. The three questions are:

1. To me money means _________.

2. My current annual income is _______________.

3. In order to insure happiness and contentment financially, with no more money problems and worries, my annual income would need to be __________.

The answers to these three simple questions reveal how much more we attribute to money than it being a medium of exchange. Money has a range of emotional meanings hitchhiking on it: love, security, control, power, worth, freedom, success, status.

In over 90% of the hundreds of people I have polled, their annual income would need to be roughly double its current amount for them to feel happy, content, without money problems and worries. This is as true as for someone who makes $50,000 a year, and believes it would take roughly $100,000 a year in order to be financially content as it is for someone who makes $500,000 and believes that it would take roughly a million a year. And, in discussions after this brief poll, those who actually experienced their income doubling also doubled their "happy and content" amount: for someone who had made $50,000 and believed that it would take around $100,000 to be happy, when they had achieved $100,000 annually, they then thought it would take about twice that amount to be content and worry-free about money.

Money was always intended to be a symbol, so it is a ready stand-in as a screen onto which we project personal meanings of what we idealize, want, yet fear we don't have enough of, don't deserve, or can never have. Particular emotions, such as fear and greed, may predominate in the money arena. Strategies and game plans may be abandoned at times of excess stimulation – when things are going particularly bad or especially good – and bad investment decisions prevail.

Money's symbolism is uniquely subjective, though society adds metaphors of its own. Some of the meanings are outside the realm of logic, reason, and intellect. The issue of money may quickly spark ambition, insecurity, envy, fear, jealousy, complication, guilt, or any number of emotional reactions. If someone is competitive, insecure, or prone to fantasize and worry, money is always a reliable and tangible focus, a yardstick of many measures.

Many emotional and relationship issues can manifest vividly in the financial arena, focusing on money as the answer, the problem, or both. Money may be the common language of success phobia, impulsivity, and even fear of autonomy, such as creating financial crises from which to be rescued. Money symptoms include compulsions such as gambling, shopping, hoarding. Money may become the currency of addictions such as work, financial risk-taking, money acquisition, or impulsive spending. While we often make decisions on an emotional basis, the particular meanings and significance of money has a built-in readiness to be an emotional trip wire for meanings and decisions that are repetitive and limiting.

The more money represents unfulfilled needs or wants, the more promise it holds of happiness. The perpetual hope that more money will provide happiness sharply focuses what "enough" is. Someone who assumes that more money would bring more security or freedom may find that more money paradoxically brings a lessened sense of security and freedom. Or, if we could have just the right amount of money, then we could do exactly what we really want to do and have what we want. The "right amount" may be a specific figure, but if it is a floating figure defined by "more" it is perpetually elusive. But this illusion may not have to be confronted as long as the amount extends beyond the realized, and about double is a safe lead.

Understanding and changing money problems and patterns requires understanding your money story as part of a life story that you are creating each day. The beginning of evaluation of that story is to recognize that you are the author of that story. Whatever you think, feel, and do are active creations for ownership moment by moment.

Being loyal to a game plan and reaching a goal assumes having a game plan and attainable goals. First, construct a map to figure out where you are and where you want to go. Without a map, there cannot be a plan to get there; without knowing where you want to go, any map will do. Next, figure out how to get there. Primary problems with those who do not succeed include not knowing where they are, where they are going, not having a plan to get there, or getting distracted from their plan to get there. Having a map (attainable goals and measurable results) allows you to filter noise, to discern the route to where you want to go, and to recognize what is tangential or a detour in getting there.

Your life is the manifestation of your beliefs. Changing your mind changes your brain and life, as beliefs, goals, and visions drive action. Your experiences are always consistent with your assumptions: enhance the ones that work, and change the ones that don't work.

David Krueger, M.D. is an Executive Strategist/ Professional Coach ( He is the author of 11 books including EMOTIONAL BUSINESS. The Meanings and Mastery of Work, Money and Success.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Packaging Sometimes A Real Pain

Writen by Michael Russell

Obviously, when you package a product you want to protect it from the environment and make sure that the contents in the package don't get damaged and don't get out. But sometimes packaging companies just go a little bit too far. Think not? Well, let's take a look at some of the worst packaging jobs out in the marketplace.

Back in the old days when you used to buy the latest Rolling Stones record, the shrink-wrap on the albums was pretty loose. And even when it wasn't, it was pretty easy to open up the albums. Just take a sharp edge and run it across the open side of the album and your shrink-wrap was open. Today, it's not quite that easy. On some CDs, the cellophane is so tight that the only way you're getting those things open is to crack them open. Heaven forbid somebody with arthritis tried to open up one of these things. Even young kids have problems with them.

And if you think CDs are hard to open, have you ever tried opening a DVD? You know, the thin little boxes that contain these things that used to be on nice easy to open video tape boxes. DVD manufacturers must really be the most sadistic people on this planet. Go on. Try to find an edge of a DVD to open. You'll be searching for 30 minutes before you even get one-tenth of a way through getting the DVD out of the box.

Oh, but it gets worse. And this kind of packaging really applies to a number of things so we'll just use one example. Most of the portable electronic devices made today are pretty small so the packages don't have to be on bulky boxes anymore. So today, they put things like portable CD players in those hard plastic molded packages where the plastic is molded to the actual item. Same shape and size. No room between the plastic and the item itself. Well, that's not the worst part. See, if you try to open these things you will find that the plastic is so tightly glued to the cardboard backing behind it that you can't get your finger in between the backing and the plastic. So there is no way to get the item out unless you either take a knife and cut through the plastic or literally rip the whole package to shreds.

Another good one is when you order items in the mail like CDs. The cardboard boxes that these things are packed in are so strong that you can neither rip them open nor cut them open. The cardboard itself must be at least an eighth of an inch thick, maybe more. The only way to get these boxes open is to get a very strong man to pull them apart.

There are plenty more painful packages that we're going to cover in the last part of this two part series. The worst is yet to come.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Packaging

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Powerful Presentations How To Write And Deliver A Presentation To Remember

Writen by Stephanie Chandler

If the mere thought of standing up in front of an audience makes your knees quiver, you should know that you're not alone. Public speaking is one of the top fears listed by Americans and for good reason- most of us don't do it very often. My personal theory is that the fear stems from the possibility of failure. What if I get up there and can't talk? What if they think I have no idea what I'm talking about? What if I forget my speech?

After spending several years as a technical instructor and in sales, speaking to audiences of 4 to 400+, I've built an arsenal of strategies for presentations. The truth is, even the most seasoned public speakers get at least a little nervous before they step on stage. But the seasoned pros also know the tricks to delivering seamless and engaging presentations.

Keys to Writing a Winning Presentation

Create an Outline. You may not think you need to outline your topic, but be assured it will save you time in the long run. Outlining your entire presentation before you set out to write it lets you organize the flow of information and ensure that you have included all of the relevant topics. One great trick for outlining is to write each key topic on a Post-it note and map it out on a large white board. The sticky notes can be moved and reordered until you find a logical progression.

Determine the Proper Number of Slides. If you are using PowerPoint, the rule of thumb is that each slide should require 2-3 minutes of discussion. If you are speaking for an hour, 60+ slides will be too many. You know your topic best, but 25-30 slides would probably be appropriate for a one-hour presentation.

Limit the Amount of Text. Slides that are too wordy will cause your audience to lose interest faster than the freeway fills up at rush hour. Try to keep to no more than five bullet points and whenever possible, show instead of tell. This means that you should illustrate your topic with charts, graphs, graphics or other visual representation instead of words to keep your content engaging.

Minimize the Bells and Whistles. A lot of activity or noise on your slides is bound to distract your audience. Resist the temptation to pepper your slides with flashy activity or music unless it truly enhances your message.

Proofread and Spell Check- Twice! Nothing kills a presentation faster than grammatical mistakes. You could be the most engaging speaker in the world, but spelling errors and misplaced punctuation can cause your audience to lose focus and question your credibility. I once watched an executive give a presentation with an emphasis on aspirin. He spelled aspirin incorrectly on a series of slides and half the room was talking about it by the time it was over, completely missing a very creative and interesting discussion. If you don't trust your own proofreading ability, have a colleague review your presentation for you.

Keys to Presentation Delivery

Practice, Practice, Practice. Even if you don't have an audience to test your materials on, lock yourself in an empty conference room and start talking to the chairs. It may seem awkward at first, but it's the best way to calm your nerves and to be as prepared as you can. When show time arrives and stage fright kicks in, if you've practiced to the point of practically memorizing the whole speech, you will go into auto-pilot and deliver a flawless performance- even if your brain checks out.

Pace Yourself. Nervous presenters often talk too fast and rush through the materials. When you practice your speech, time it and give yourself some room for questions or interruptions. To help with pacing, consciously pause between sentences and slides. Two seconds may feel like an eternity to you, but it allows your audience time to absorb what you've just said. Even taking a deep breath between sentences and slides can slow you down with the added advantage of calming your nerves.

Film Your Performance. Professional speaking programs use video cameras to show students how to improve their presence on stage. As painful as it may be to watch yourself on film, this is the best way to discover your flaws and nervous ticks. You may find that you sway, play with your pen, jingle the change in your pockets or look like you're dancing because you're moving around so much. Using a video camera to capture your performance lets you identify your nervous habits and break them before you leave the audience talking about how many times you said, "Um."

Use Note Cards or Cheat Sheets. Even the President gets a teleprompter to give his speeches and you have the right to use notes or 3x5 cards to keep you on track. Just be careful not to read them or rely on them too heavily. Fill them with only short bullets to jog your memory and keep your flow, but avoid writing your entire speech verbatim on the cards.

Warm Up the Audience. The best way to get the crowd on your side is to open with humor. Start with a joke or quip that is related to your topic. For help with locating material, check out or for free access to all kinds of one-liners.

Keep an Eye on the Clock. Audiences and event organizers appreciate speakers who stick to the timeline. Keep an eye on the time so you can speed it up or slow it down. You can also plant someone in the audience to give you hand signals if necessary.

Talk to Foreheads. You should be making an effort to speak to the whole audience, which means looking around the room and making each attendee feel as though you are speaking to them directly. If eye contact makes you even more nervous, then talk to foreheads. Nobody will really notice your lack of true connection yet you will still convey your ability to engage the entire room.

Don't Forget to Smile. Use inflection in your voice and keep a smile on your face. Your audience can mirror your behavior and if you get on stage with a stone face and monotone expression, the whole audience will be depressed (or asleep) by the time you're done. Weave in some humor or anecdotes and let your personality shine through.

Whether you're speaking to a room of six or six hundred, these tips should help you become a more polished presenter. Remember that the number one key to success is to be as prepared as possible. Another great way to learn new techniques is to critique how other presenters perform. Watch presentations on television or at venues in your area. Notice how the speakers engage the audience and watch for tricks that you can incorporate into your own regimen.

For additional speaking experience, consider joining Toastmasters: where you can network with other presenters and develop your skills. You may never develop affection for speaking in front of a crowd, but that doesn't mean you can't master the challenge. With the right amount of effort, your performance can rank with the pros.

Stephanie Chandler is the author of "The Business Startup Checklist and Planning Guide: Seize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams!" and the founder of, a directory of free resources for entrepreneurs. Sign up for the BusinessInfoGuide newsletter to receive hot resources and tips every month.

The Who What Where And When Of Color In Your Documents

Writen by Paul Curran

This article will help you to assess and maximise the impact your use of color in your documents and presentations will have on the readers. First of all you need to identify the following;

  • who your readers are
  • what your purpose is
  • when to use color
  • where to use color

Who and What?

Determine who your target readers are and what the specific purpose of the document is. Is it an internal product for your employees or is it for the eyes of potential or existing customers.

What is the purpose? Is it to advise, explain, sell, market etc. How many documents are involved? Is it just documents or are multimedia presentations needed. What results are you expecting? All these parameters need to be covered.

Are your target audiences conservative or more open to vibrant colors in documents and presentations. Some cultures associate serious business messages with black and white. Just give your specific situation some thought.

When and Where?

If you are sending a marketing proposal document to a client you will be looking to impress your existing or potential. But beware, the use of bright, fluorescent colors might not go down too well with a firm of accountants or lawyers but may well be appreciated by a music/video company.

If it is an internal document, do you need to use color at all? Consider the cost implication of doing this - Ink cartridge and laser toner usage etc. Unless the purpose of the document is, for example, to explain some major change in company structure, then I suggest you keep to black and white or minimise the color involved.

A situation where you may consider color for internal purposes would be for the production of safety messages. These need to stand out and be noticed.

Finally remember:

  • Don't use too many colors or too much colored text. You may lose the impact and readability of the work.

  • White text on a black background is harder to reader than black on white.

  • Similarly, avoid placing too many color pictures, images or icons on a page.

  • Use a color photograph in preference to an illustration or drawing..for selling in particular.

  • Used correctly, color can break up the monotony of black-and-white text reading.

  • Whatever color theme you have, stick to it throughout the document or presentation.

  • Graphs and charts in particular will capture more attention if in color.

  • For the graphs etc, don't forget to explain what the colors mean though!

  • And don't forget to put captions under pictures. Apparently people read these more than the copy!

  • Don't use too many different font types. One type for 'headers' and one for the body text should be sufficient.

  • Carry out a readers test on various samples before settling on your final selection.

  • Ask several people for their opinion on the samples. Ask them about the readability and the impact factors.

This article may be reproduced in its entirety provided the resource paragraph below is included and all urls kept active.

(c) Paul Curran, CEO of Cuzcom Internet Publishing Group and webmaster at this discount ink cartridge & laser toner store, providing discounted brand name compatible ink cartridge and laser toner supplies. Sign up for the feed on our web site or the blog showcasing the products.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Total Recall How To Remember Your Speech Without Memorizing

Writen by Diane DiResta

We all fear that moment. You look out on a sea of faces and your mind goes blank. You can't remember your next point and you wish you could disappear with your memory.

You can avoid blanking out when you know how to maximize your mind.

These tips will help you achieve total recall of your talk:

1. Rehearse out loud. You'll remember more when you hear your own voice. Tape it and play it back. Listen to it in the car or as you fall asleep.

2. Practice the 3x5, 3x5 Rule. Avoid one lengthy rehearsal. Instead, take short chunks and practice them 3 to 5 times a day for 3 to 5 days. Frequency of repetition aids memory.

3. Create key words and phrases. The idea is to memorize concepts-not words. The more verbiage, the more difficult to remember. Bullet points allow you to talk about your points and not read your slides.

4. Exaggerate the visual. For each concept or bullet, take the key word and turn it upside down, enlarge it, color code it, change the font. Exaggeration makes the concept more memorable and aids retention. (Of course, this is done during rehearsal and not for the eyes of the audience.)

5. Use pictures. The mind thinks in pictures-not in words. Use icons, graphics, and symbols as prompts and you'll be amazed at how easily you remember your content.

6. Tell your story. People learn better and retain more when you tell stories. A situation that you experienced has a natural sequence to help you recall events. Stories don't have to be touchy feely. Reveal an interesting experience as a case study or tell a before and after success scenario.

7. Engage other senses. This is called synesthesia.. Your recall increases as you intensity your experience. For example, if you're talking about a financial downturn in the market, imagine hearing a warning siren or feel what it's like to be in a torrential downpour.

8. Associate. Take your concepts and create an acronym. To recall the process of managing question and answer periods I use the word CRAM-concentrate, repeat, answer, move on. Comedians use this technique. They assign each story or "bit" with a key word. They take the first letter of the key word from each story and form an acronym. This keeps them on track and they can easily access the segments in correct sequence for a one hour monologue without notes!

9. Make complex data concrete. Use analogies and demonstrations to make the data come alive.Tthe audience will understand it better and you will recall it more easily.

10. Get physical. By acting out parts of the presentation you maximize your memory. Walk to one side of the room. when you are talking about past history. Then move the opposite side when you're making future projections. You'll trigger your memory when you physically change your position. And the audience will be anchored to hear your message.

11. Recover with grace. If you do forget, pause and give yourself time to remember. Or use humor. But have a fall back exercise. Ask the audience to repeat your last three points. Put them in pairs and have them talk to their partner for one minute about an important point. This give you time to recall and recover.

When it comes to remembering your speech, you can blank out and say Hasta La Vista, Baby, or like Arnold Scwartzenegger, you can achieve Total Recall.

Copyright Diane DiResta 2005. All rights reserved.

Diane DiResta, President of DiResta Communications, Inc. is an International speaker, training coach, and author of Knockout Presentations: How to Deliver Your Message with Power, Punch, and Pizzazz. To subscribe to Impact Player, a free online newsletter visit

Sharpening Your Presentation Skills

Writen by Etienne Gibbs

Regardless of the nature of our job or social standing, sooner or later we will be called upon to make a presentation of one sort or the other. To sharpen your skills, whet your audience's appetite, and educate them, organize your presentation by keeping them in mind. To help you do just that, here are some tips to consider:

* Have an inviting opening. Greet your audience with a statement that conveys your genuine pleasure in seeing them and in being there.

* Summarize your main points. Inform your audience from the beginning about the structure of your presentation. When you do, they more likely will follow your presentation until its close. They will, consequently, be better able to follow each successive point as you develop it.

* Back your main points with examples, statistics, or facts. Caution: Be careful of overwhelming the audience by turning it into a scientific or technical presentation when presenting to a general audience.

* Design simple, yet convincing visuals that your audience can understand and interpret quickly.

* End with a strong conclusion that invites your audience to take immediate action or seek follow-up.

* Handle questions openly and honestly, admitting when you don't have an answer, but, at the same time, promising to get back to your audience, or the individual, when you do.

Follow these tips, and I guarantee that you will see progress in your presentation skills that will lead to successful outcomes.

Remember: When you maximize your potential, everyone wins. hen you don't, we all lose.

© Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in ezines, newsletters, and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required. Mail to:

Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Management Consultant and Trainer, conducts seminars, lectures, and writes articles on his theme: "... helping you maximize your potential." He offers management and marketing resources at

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Models That Color Your Presentation 2

Writen by Hans Bool

... If you want to explain and discuss a complex (business) topic, an abstract model could help you in doing so. More complex than what we currently experience in Europe is hardly imaginable. In a situation that is so divers and complex to manage a model can express essentials without words...

In the article "Choose Your Favorite (Model): 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9" you'll find different kind of models that are available for the presentation purposes.

The model André Sapir used is one of the number four (4) type. And it shows a simplified typology of countries about the distribution of Equity (Low versus High) and Efficiency (also Low versus High). It is used in the paper to stress a certain policy recommendations (for Europe) to face the globalization.

The advantage of using a model is that it clearly represents the issues you want to discuss. In the case of the Europe Model from Sapir, there are four types of country models (systems) within the European Union. And two types of models are said not to be "sustainable". That is a strong message.

Now if you represent a country you would like to know where they have placed you, in what box, do you fit in one of the "non-sustainable" boxes? Than, also hard to handle is when two neighboring countries like Spain and Portugal are not both -- as you would otherwise have imagined -- part of the same (Mediterranean) type. Portugal is selected to be Anglo-Saxon. This will generate a lot of discussions.

It is acceptable if all four boxes are equally challenging. In that case you could equally be proud to fit the category "handsome" or "gentle." But it would be less easy to accept when the categories are described as "Low" versus "High" (under the common denominator "efficiency" in this example).

Models are a strong vehicle in presenting recommendations, advices, or a simple overview of a complex topic. Yet when using models you should try to make all different elements equally acceptable if your audience is involved.

© 2006 Hans Bool

Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management tools. Have a look at some of our free management tools

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How To Give A Great Speech

Writen by Sandra Schrift

As a former owner of a National Speakers Bureau, I have learned from several thousand professional speakers "How to Give a Great Speech." Here are some techniques that I share with my coaching clients who want to become paid professional speakers or business professionals who want to deliver masterful presentations.

1. Speak from the heart. Believe in what you have to say, or don't say it. If your passionate about your subject the words will come. Speak about the fundamental beliefs you have about life, the simple truths that you believe in with all your heart.

2. Write down two or three specific objectives you have for this speech. Ask yourself, 'What do you want the audience to do as a result of your speech? 'Think differently? Act differently? Do something differently?

3. Write it out. When you give a speech be sure that people need to hear what you have to say. Than you need to understand it so well that you could explain it to an eight-year-old You know, if you write it down enough times, than you will become familiar with it. Don't read your speech if necessary, just read the lead sentences that you write on a three by five card.

4. Be present. Connect with your audience in the first 60 seconds and than engage them throughout your speech. Once you get the audience rolling, be sure to embellish certain comments that you know are being well-received.

5. Know your audience. Interview the program chair in advance to know who will be sitting in your audience and what they expect to hear from you. Are they men or women? What is the theme of the meeting or conference? What is their purpose in being there? Because that then becomes your purpose. Be sure to give your audiences not just what they want, but also what they need to hear.

6. Room Setup. Be sure to check out the room where you will present your speech in advance. The worst thing that can happen to you is when they put the bright lights in your eyes and blackout the audience. If you go early to do your room check, you can tell them that you can't give a speech with the audience in darkness. As a speaker, it is important that you see the faces in your audience.

7. Is there a technique? Try to be as natural as possible just speak conversationally. Talk to your smaller audiences as if you were in their living room. Don't look over their heads or beyond them. Speak directly to them. If you are addressing a crowd of several hundred or more people, look at one person, than another, than a third. But really look at them.

8. "Ums" and "Ahs." "Ums" and "ahs" come from uncertainty. The key is to know your subject and what you want to say. And than practice, practice, practice. Use your mirror or give your speech to your friends and family. And above all, don't try to remember exactly the same words.

9. Personal Stories Be sure to share your personal stories with the audience. People will learn from your vulnerability and your mishaps and will be only a step away from their own story. We delineate our thoughts visually and so your audience needs to see what they hear. You don't have to be clever, just share your life with your audience. Remember you are looking for their trust and trying to help them. So just consider them to be your friends and inject humor wherever possible.

10. Closing your speech Develop an action plan. What do you want your audience to do now that they've heard your speech? Go around the room, and ask them to share one nugget they got. Ask them for one idea that they can use NOW. In two weeks. In one month. Be sure to summarize your speech and than give them a call to action.

To find out How to Become a Highly Paid Professional Speaker, go to

©2004 by Sandra Schrift. All rights reserved

Publishing Guidelines: You are welcome to publish this article in its entirety, electronically, or in print fre*e of charge, as long as you include my full signature file for ezines, and my Web site address in hyperlink for other sites. Please send a courtesy link or email where you publish to Thank you.

About The Author

Sandra Schrift 13 year speaker bureau owner and now career coach to emerging and veteran public speakers who want to "grow" a profitable speaking business. I also work with business professionals and organizations who want to master their presentations. Get more speaking skills at our "Summer Sizzle" webpage: Join my free bi-weekly Monday Morning Mindfulness ezine

Presentation Five Mistakes That Lead To Over Selling And Losing The Sale

Writen by La Donna Jensen

Over selling is probably the most common mistake that a person makes when giving a presentation. Over selling is basically talking oneself out of a sale. We have all done it and will probably do it again. There is a fine line between giving too little information in a presentation, to giving too much. It takes preparation, practice, and discipline to fine tune the skill of giving a powerful presentation.

Listed below are five key mistakes presenters often make:

1. Not being prepared. Plan in advance. Know your information inside and out. Bullet point your ideas and outline them on a piece of paper. Repeatedly practice your presentation out loud until it becomes natural to you. If possible do research on the person or person's you are giving the presentation to. Insight to your client can help you gear information to them.

2. Not listening. Sometimes we can become so anxious to give the presentation, that we are not listening or asking important key questions. If we do not understand their needs, we will not be able to show them the value of our service or product. We live in a fast pace society and no one has time to sit and listen endlessly to someone talk. You do not want this to go to the other extreme. Keep control of the presentation.

3. Talking about themselves. It is appropriate to bring up a personal testimony or establish credibility. However, getting into lengthy details about ones personal life will only frustrate and alienate the client or customer. The presentation should be about what benefits you can give them.

4. Not being considerate of the other person's time. If you tell your client that it will only take half and hour, then only take half an hour. They are taking time out of their busy schedule to let you present to them. They are expecting you to honor your commitment by valuing their time. It is important to understand that it is hard to hold someone's attention if the presentation becomes too lengthy. Another aspect of giving a lengthy presentation is that you will look desperate for the sale and not confidant in your product or service.

5. Giving too much detailed information about your product or service. People can only absorb so much information at one time. Too much information will confuse them and lose their interest. It is better to leave them wanting more, than to give them too much and leave them frustrated.

Having the opportunity to give a presentation to a potential client is invaluable. Following through with a well communicated presentation can have significant results. It is an opportunity you do not want to waste. The main purpose is to highlight, show value and display credibility. Beyond that you run the risk of over selling.

La Donna Jensen is an expert in marketing and sales for over 15 years. Marketing consultant for a radio show and magazine. Successful owner of own business and Internet entrepreneur. For more articles on marketing and advertising visit,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Presenting A Battle Plan To The Pentagon

Writen by Lance Winslow

When presenting a battle plan to the Pentagon the presenter must understand that the Pentagon has some of the most advanced war planners in the history of mankind. Most of these Pentagon war planners have read nearly every book written on military history and battle tactics.

Most of these war planners have not only been in combat in the heat of battle when chaos and controversy rule the day, but they have also beaten their opponents and enemies whether they were actual or war game simulated enemies.

Therefore it behooves the presenter to have their facts straight and be able to have contingencies for hundreds if not thousands of what if type questions. The presenter of a battle plan to the Pentagon must also know their facts and not simply rely on the old CIA data for the region or country where the future battle might take place. Real Intel is paramount and Internet based information is as good as hearsay.

And when presenting a battle plan to the Pentagon the presenter must have high self-esteem and talk with authority and have lived enough days to have experienced the reality of life and traveled enough to know what they're talking about. Some of these old generals, commanders and admirals did not fall off a turnip truck and you can expect some of their IQs to be in the neighborhood of 150 plus.

When presenting a battle plan to the Pentagon the presenter must understand the new paradigm of war in the net centric battle space, as well as being versed in guerrilla warfare tactics of Colonel Boyd and the lessons learned in Iraq. Please consider this in 2006 when presenting your battle plans to United States Pentagon.

Lance Winslow

How To Chair A Meeting

Writen by Diane DiResta

You don't have to be on a stage to be a public speaker. Your platform may be a meeting room. How you present yourself when chairing a meeting determines whether or not you are perceived as a leader. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it's your turn to take charge.

Know why you are holding the meeting. What outcomes are you trying to achieve? This will keep you focused and purposeful.

Clarify your role as chair. How do the participants perceive you? Did you call the meeting? Do participants report to you? If you're the boss, people may be scared to speak their minds .If you're not the boss, what do people expect from you as the chair?

Set a positive tone early in the meeting. Greet people before you sit down. Break the ice with some light humor to relax the group. People are often tentative and guarded during the first few minutes. Provide coffee if appropriate. People bond around food and drink.

Provide a written agenda on a handout or flip chart. The agenda keeps the meeting on track. Let the group know the time frame and guidelines for working together. "We have only forty minutes today. I will update you on the customer service situation, and then I'd like us to brainstorm some solutions to the challenges we face."

Start on time. Don't wait for stragglers. If you begin and end on time, you'll condition people to be prompt.

Create interest with an enticing title. Instead of a management topic about "Business Etiquette" title it "What's Rudeness Costing You?"

Appoint a person to take minutes so that you can later review discussions that took place and the decisions that were made.

Manage the group dynamics. Don't let one person dominate. Ask for other opinions. If some people are silent, draw them out by asking for their thoughts.

Handle conflicts impartially. Encourage cooperation by clarifying what people have said and then asking the participants to propose solutions. Heated arguments may require a timeout in which group members take a short break and return when they've cooled off.

Assign a timekeeper if time is a major constraint.

Give a short summary or recap before going on to the next area. Be sure people understand what the group has agreed to.

End with an action step...Meetings fail because people aren't held accountable. Summarize the action steps the group members are to take and attach a time frame to each action. The only way to get commitment is to assign a deadline.

By following these tips you'll run more effective meetings and gain respect as a confident leader.

Copyright Diane DiResta 2005. All rights reserved.

Diane DiResta, President of DiResta Communications, Inc. is an International speaker, training coach, and author of Knockout Presentations: How to Deliver Your Message with Power, Punch, and Pizzazz. To subscribe to Impact Player, a free online newsletter visit

Monday, August 11, 2008

Adding Images To Your Powerpoint Public Domain Royaltyfree And Rights Managed Photography

Writen by Gary Lewis

The Internet makes it incredibly simple to beef up a presentation with images on just about any subject. There are many stock photo websites offering images, illustrations and vector-based art for a price. Other sites display "free" photos for anyone to use, with or without restrictions. Here are three types of copyright restriction every presenter should know.

Public Domain: Artwork placed in the Public Domain simply means the person who created that image has decided not to enforce any copyright protection. It could be an individual who just wants to share the work with others, or it could be artwork created by a government body with public funding. An example of the latter would be the images of Earth taken by NASA astronauts. Because the funding for space exploration came from the Federal Government, NASA releases their images for public use.

An exception to Public Domain "freedom" is that an image featuring people or products still have limitations attached. A photo of a Coca-Cola bottle may find itself into a Public Domain collection, but the shape of that bottle remains a trademark of the Coca-Cola Company. Likewise, unless a model release is on file with the photographer, images with identifiable people (clear or close-up faces) should be used with care. Imagine how you would feel if your own image appeared in a presentation about foot fungus or bad breath!

There is a big difference between something being public, and Public Domain. It is not legal to use a photograph from any website just because it is viewable by "the public." Even a picture of Granny's 80th birthday has the same copyright as the works of Ansel Adams or Dorothea Lange. If you find an image from an individual's homepage using a search engine, it may be as simple as asking permission to use the file in your show. You might be surprised how many people would be flattered they had taken a useful shot and give you the go ahead. Especially for a low profile presentation in a classroom or a small business meeting.

Royalty-Free: RF images are generally released for use in any project – presentations, printed works, and multimedia – and for extended periods of time. They are often priced by the size of the image, with larger images costing more than smaller ones. Restrictions may still apply, especially when it comes to how the images will be distributed to third parties.

Many websites offering Royalty-Free images combine the portfolios of numerous artists to create a larger database of photographs. These artists agree to the Royalty-Free terms in exchange for compensation, making the website a sort of middleman to the PowerPoint user. The copyright for an image is retained by the photographer, and is "loaned" to the end user for their presentation.

Rights-Managed or Rights-Restricted: Managed artwork pricing is based on a variety of factors; length of use; the delivery method; how many people will see it (impressions); who will see it (public or private), etc.

A photo shown in PowerPoint during a small town church sermon would cost significantly less than a photo used in a presentation during the press conference of a new automobile.

As with Royalty-Free images, the copyright is still held by the photographer in most cases. A photographer shooting a specific assignment for a client, or on the payroll of a stock company may turn over those rights based on predetermined agreements with the end-user or agency involved.

Large and notable websites like Corbis and Getty Images built up their businesses on Rights Managed photography. Both now offer Royalty-Free options as well. Many of the smaller Royalty-Free websites, known as "micro-stocks," thrive on low prices and high volume.

When using any image in a PowerPoint presentation, it is important to understand the restrictions involved. When in doubt, talk it out. Contact the person or agency offering the photos and know your rights!

Gary Lewis is a graphic designer with over twenty years of experience in television production, post production and presentation design.

For creative, Royalty-Free backgrounds and stock photos (and plenty of free samples!) visit Pro Background Art today!

Ten Pc Tips For Communicating With A Diverse Audience

Writen by Simma Lieberman

By learning to speak to a diverse audience, you can broaden your client base transfer the learning to more people. We need to be more "PC". Were not talking "political correctness", were talking "Positively Conscious", of who is in our audience and understanding how to make people feel included. The more people feel included, the more they will listen to you, use your information and come back for more. If you offend people they will shut down and you will lose them.

1) Use words that include rather than exclude. While some women don't mind being called ladies, in a professional setting the word women is more appropriate. Be "positively conscious" of pronouns when discussing hypothetical cases. I have been inn workshops where the facilitator spoke as though all managers were "he" and all administrative support were "she". Metaphors are very effective. Remember to mix them. Don't use only sports metaphors. Have a balance. In Europe when they think of football they think of soccer. Be aware that people have different abilities. Instead of telling everyone to stand, you might say everyone who is able please stand, and have a way for others to participate in the exercise.

2) Learn the demographics of the audience before your presentation, and prepare.

3) Do not assume everyone shares your religious beliefs.

4) Look at everyone in the audience and smile at them. Speakers can have a tendency to visually relate to people who look more like them. Assume everyone wants to be valued.

5) Do not use humor that puts down any particular group. If you are not sure, get feedback from others.

6) Examine your assumptions about people who are different than you. Be open to letting go of those assumptions.

7) Do not be afraid to ask for the correct pronunciation of someone's name.

8) If someone has an accent and you can't understand them, ask them to repeat what they said slowly, because what they are saying is important to you.

9) Use methodology in your presentations to accommodate different learning styles. Visual Auditory Kinesthetic

10) Be comfortable with silence. In some cultures that can mean respect and attention. Be comfortable with direct interaction. In some cultures that can mean respect and attention. Be comfortable with saying, "I don't know."

Simma Lieberman helps organizations create environments where people can do their best work and be successful. She specializes in Diversity and Inclusion, Diversity Dialogues, and Eliminating Fear and Self-doubt. Simma is the co-author with Kate Berardo and George Simons of the book "Putting Diversity to Work." She can be reached at

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Power Point Presentation Five Ways On How To Give Your Business Presentation In 30 Seconds Or Less

Writen by La Donna Jensen

How many times on a daily basis are you asked to tell someone about your business? Have you ever stammered, scrambling for the right words to describe what you and your company are about? Do you feel that your business is so complex that you ramble on and on forever?

Preparing carefully ahead of time for such situations can be one of the most important things that you do. It is called your 30 second commercial or elevator presentation. It is basically just that. In 30 seconds you should be able to tell precisely the most important details about your company.

If you advertise, you already understand the need to shorten information into bullet points. The same concept applies here.

For those of you who attend weekly social networking luncheons, here are some creative things that you can do to keep interest. This is the most advantageous time to practice your point power presentation.

1. Have a different theme for each month. Each week can be a variation of your monthly theme. If your company offers different products, highlight a different one each week.

2. Be creative. Some people use exactly the same 30 second commercial over and over again. Even though their presentation may be excellent, people tire of them.

3. Take advantage of holiday's. Most business's can be fit into gift giving holidays. Jewelry for example can be easily promoted at Christmas and Mother's Day.

4. Play a question/answer game. You can ask people questions about your company and then when they get the answer correct, throw them a candy bar. This is a lot of fun and leaves a memorable impression!

5. Sing a few seconds of a song. If you have a good voice, Christmas is a perfect month to sing part of your 30 seconds. Close with a few seconds of your name and company. This was done at a luncheon with great results.

Almost every company has multi-faceted, detailed and complex information. By bullet pointing key information, you can create interest in your business. Later a more in depth presentation can be given. Before and after the luncheon is when true networking is done. Business transactions are commonly closed after the luncheon or appointments are made for later discussion.

When you are giving your 30 second commercial, be relaxed! Do not try to put 2 minutes worth of information into 30 seconds. Speak slowly and comfortably. Some people try to put two or three business presentations into 30 seconds. This is a huge mistake! It takes away credibility. It also does not leave time to give any business a clear picture of the product or service. Everyone will be confused, not enticed to learn more.

If you think that your 30 second commercial is not important, let me share a true story with you. A man got into the elevator with a woman at a large entrepreneur convention. The woman asked what he did. By the time they reached their floor, the woman handed her business card to him and said, "I came to look for a company to invest in. Call me, I have just found it."

La Donna Jensen is an expert in marketing an sales for over 15 years. Marketing consultant for a radio show and magazine. Successful owner of own business and Internet entrepreneur. For more free articles on marketing and advertising, visit