About Craig Hadden (@RemotePoss)

See videos, tips and examples on my blog about presenting (https://remotepossibilities.wordpress.com)

Avoid my mistakes in your Ignite talk – part 1 [Video]

Short of time? Skip the intro

Ignite Sydney logoIf you’re thinking of speaking at an Ignite night, this post can help you avoid the mistakes I made in my own Ignite talk.

And even if you give some other kind of speech, the tips you’ll find in this post (like about humour, gestures and opening lines) should still help.

In this post and my next, you’ll find a critique of various aspects of my talk on this 3-point scale:
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Don’t speak like you’re stuck in the 90s – do this instead [Video]

Old Nokia phoneHave you ever heard a presenter say something that stood out – but for all the wrong reasons?

Several times recently, I’ve heard public speakers (in webinars or on video) say something that met that description.

I wonder how you would’ve reacted if you’d heard those speakers.

To me, it made them sound dated, and out of touch with how audiences speak. (Gaffs like that damage the speaker – and their message.)

Yet all the speakers did was say 3 letters and the word “dot”. (In fact, one letter 3 times in a row.)

You’ve probably guessed what they said:

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Presenting online? These 5 words make you sound nervous

Laptop user nervously biting on a pencilSuppose you’re presenting on­line. You might be using Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, or one of the older tools like Adobe Connect or WebEx.

Whatever the platform, if you want to share your screen, what do you say?

Most presenters I’ve heard – myself included – say something like this:

“I’ll just share my screen…
Can you see it yet?”

But thinking carefully about it, I realised that approach has 3 problems:
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Where’s your talk going? Map it with this 2×2 grid [Video]

In this 3-minute video by Kelly Decker, you’ll see a quick way to form an extremely high-level view of your talk or presentation:

And read below for tips to fix the problem that Kelly describes.

Kelly’s the president of Decker Communications, whose content I’ve featured before. (Years ago I shared a post of theirs about pausing when you present, and last year I published a video from them about speaking on a panel.)

I love the way Kelly’s “roadmap” makes you think of your talk in 2 dimensions:
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Revealed: How to make slide colours look great together [Video] ·

Glorious sunset reflected on water, watched by man with both arms outstretched in adorationIf you’re anything like me when you give a talk, most of the time you probably use slides rather than using a flipchart or white­board (or speaking without any visuals).

But how much thought do you put into the colours on your slides?

That’s really worth your time – according to Bruce Gabrielle, author of the book Speaking PowerPoint:

“One of the secrets to great-looking
PowerPoint slides is colour choice”
Bruce Gabrielle

And I agree with Bruce. As I wrote about a few years back:

Using colours well is one of the key ways to make
your presentation look modern and professional.

You might wonder how much choice you have in your use of colours though. After all, it’s likely you use a template or PowerPoint theme that comes with colours built in.

Even so, with well-matched colours of your own, you can:

  • Gently innovate by just changing some of the template’s less-used colours (while still matching with its main ones).
  • Overhaul the template’s colours to fit in with the colour scheme used by your client, or by the event you’re speaking at.

So in the 4-minute video below from Bruce Gabrielle, you’ll see a neat tip for choosing colours that look good together.

Note: The video’s sound quality is quite poor, so please bear with it.

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Want cool PowerPoint slides? Add a “roadmap” to them [Video]

Large white arrow pointing left on brick wallHave you seen Pat Flynn’s great video about making slides? Right now, it’s had almost 1½ million views, and it’s called:

How to Create an Awesome Slide Presentation
(for Keynote or PowerPoint)

In his video, Pat shares pro tips to make your slideshows more engaging. So I highly recommend you watch it. (You’ll find it at the bottom of this post.)

 

My how-to video

Meanwhile, in the 1st of the videos below, you’ll see the precise steps you can use to implement one of Pat’s tips. That is, to add what he calls a “roadmap” to your slides.

So, watch my 6-minute, hands-on video to see what’s meant by a roadmap, and learn exactly how you can add one in PowerPoint:

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Make your talk engaging – 5 tips to add emotional elements [PACE principles: part 4]

5 boiled eggs with different facial expression drawn on themWhen you present at work (or at a conference or other speaking event), do you aim to make people feel some­thing specific?

If you do, you’ll have a far higher chance of engaging people, and therefore of achieving your talk’s goal. But if you don’t, your talk’s likely to be quickly forgotten – in less time than it took you to present!

Not convinced? Well, many speaking professionals suggest using emotional elements. For instance, in his book The Naked Presenter, Garr Reynolds writes:

“Content alone is never sufficient.
We need an emotional connection…”
Garr Reynolds

And former president of the National Speakers’ Association, Patricia Fripp says:
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Want to transform your audience? Here’s how… [Video] ·

Semi-submerged frog with a butterfly perched on its headWhen you present (or give a speech), do you struggle to have the impact you’d like?

If so, you’re not alone – I’d say the vast majority of presenters have that problem.

And I’m one of them!

So I was stoked to see a recent TEDx talk that shares a simple yet powerful tool to fix that issue.

The talk’s by speaker-coach Phil Waknell, who says your presentation should transform your audience – not just inform them.

Phil sees the process like this:

“To take your audience on a transformational journey,
you first need to work out where they are starting from”
Phil Waknell – at 5:35
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Yes! People’s starting point – that’s one of the keys to making your talk truly audience-focused.

A few years ago, Chris Anderson (curator of TED) shared a similar thought:

“You’ve got to start where they are, and you’ve
got to give them a reason to come with you”
Chris Anderson

Phil’s TEDx talk gives you a neat technique that lets you do exactly that. So, want to see his talk?

To save you time, the clip below’s just 4 minutes long, because it jumps straight to Phil’s main point (skipping both the first 5 minutes and last 5 minutes of his talk).

But if you want, you can always click the progress bar to jump to other parts of the full 15-minute video. (For instance, he goes on to finish the example he started.)

 

What’s in the clip?Scroll to top ↑

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Write better talks – in just 4 steps [Video]

Muslim girl writing the word "better" on a blackboardSometimes, do you have trouble engaging people when you’re presenting?

Here’s a great way to fix that:
Give your talk a strong structure.

If you use the structure shared in this post:

  • You’ll engage people right from the start.
  • You’ll keep them hooked right to the end.
  • They’re more likely to think the content you’re presenting’s just what they need.

Actually, you’ll find 2 things in this post that you can use to build a better talk:

  • A strong structure for the content you present.
  • A 4-step method for writing your speeches (and e-books, newsletters, etc).

Both are set out in the 15-minute video below, by speaker-coach Hugh Culver:

In a hurry? You can skip the video’s intro (of 3½ minutes).
And if you watch on Vimeo, you can even speed up playback.

 
I came across Hugh’s video a while ago, and was really impressed with how audience-focused the structure is that he presents. I also like that he uses just 4 steps to map out the writing process:

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6 tips to nail your conference speech, from Colin James [Video]

Person holding nails between their teethBeing asked to give a workshop or presentation at a conference is a fantastic opportunity. What a great way to get you and your message more widely known in your industry!

So if you’re invited to speak at a conference, what specific steps can you take to make the most of the event?

Well, to help you nail your talk, try the 6 tips in this 2-minute video by Colin James:

Colin’s tips are:
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