How to give great demos – with Andy Kriebel & Eva Murray [Video]

Close-up headshot of Andy Kriebel and Eva MurrayIf you do demos at work or online, check out this fantastic video (below) from Andy Kriebel and Eva Murray.

In it, Eva shares lots of excellent tips for giving better demos, and Andy shows how clear and helpful a good demo can be.

Andy happens to be demoing software. But many of these tips apply to other demo types too. For instance, Eva shares a story (at 5:57) about learning ballroom dancing by seeing someone demonstrate the steps.

In this clip, you’ll find what I think are the best 8 minutes of advice on how you can give great demos. (Or, watch the 1-hour video this clip comes from.)

Eva starts by contrasting slide presentations (which tend to be slow and fairly easy to see) with demos (which are often fast-paced and hard to follow).

If you prefer, you can also scroll down to read a list of the tips

Here are Eva’s tips, plus some discussion points (in italics). After you go to any of these sections of this post, you can click a time (mm:ss) to watch the relevant bit of the clip:

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Teams calls – stop “unruly unmute” (and “vulgar video”)

Person signalling "shh" (by pressing their forefinger to their lip)How often do your Teams calls get disrupted by background noise? You know, like when someone thinks they’re on mute, so talks to a person next to them.

And hands up if you’ve even watched swirling video of the ceiling – or worse – from an attendee who didn’t realise their phone’s camera was on.

The latter’s what you might call “vulgar video” – and it’s so distracting!

Luckily though, you can use little-known features in Teams to take back tech control. (That way, you and your audience get a great experience – as you both deserve.)

What’s more, you can do so either:

  • During your meeting
  • Or in advance.

And without nagging everyone to put themselves on mute 🙂

 

Here’s how

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How to avoid YouTube ads when you play videos during your talk

Man with McDonald's sign seeming to stick out of his headIf you play a YouTube video in your talk, training, or Teams call, you can really engage people.

For example, a video lets you:

For all those reasons, I wanted to play some clips in a couple of talks I gave lately. But I was at first put off by all the ads that tend to show up on YouTube clips.

In this post, you’ll see a quick way around the ads, without violating the terms of service by downloading the video or using an ad-blocker.

To learn more, you can click any of these headings – or, just scroll down:

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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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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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Presenting? Don’t shy away from your Q&A – part 2 [Video]

Close-up of Monopoly game board showing a large question mark and the word "Chance"What do you think it is about answering audience questions that makes many speakers nervous?

I’d say it’s the unpredictability – and having to respond at a moment’s notice.

But, if you’ve read my last post, you’ll know I mentioned 3 steps you can use to help you master your Q&A, from the late Denise Graveline:
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Presenting? Don’t shy away from your Q&A – part 1 [Video]

Close-up of Monopoly game board showing a large question mark and the word "Chance"What’s your attitude to the Q&A session when you give a speech or presentation?

If you’re like most speakers, you likely feel a bit nervous about giving your talk, but more nervous about taking questions!

After all, if you think of questions negatively, they can seem like tests. And the people asking them can seem to be doubting your expertise.

So, you might fear scenarios like these:

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Take your talk beyond “pretty slides” – Secret #14 of star presenters, by Laura Foley

Box of 35-millimetre slides saying “Quality color slides”(Short of time? Jump to the tips)

How do you create your slide presentations? Allow me a few sentences to guess

If you’re like most speakers, you probably start in PowerPoint, where (to share your message, and to remind you what to say) it’s quite likely you write dozens of words on each slide. Then, to make your slides look more appealing, you might well “pretty them up” with graphics, a slide template, or even fancy fonts. And, to save time, you probably reuse whatever slides you can from previous talks.

If those steps sound familiar, you’ve likely found it hard to really engage your listeners. So you probably haven’t got the outcome you wanted from each talk.

Wordy slides make for a dull talk

That’s for a couple of reasons:

But, fear not. You can avoid those problems by using a different approach, as described by Laura Foley (presentation coach and blogger).

Laura says:
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Makeover (part 2) of a slide makeover – fewer photos please

Woman's face covered in paint of various primary coloursHave you seen my previous post? Here’s just a few sentences as a really quick recap:

“Do you find slide makeovers helpful?
I love them!

…they’re a form of ‘working out loud’ that
I find really useful”

That post’s the 1st part of the makeover shown below, and it explains changes I made to slides 1-2 from a presentation by Diane Windingland.

In this post, you’ll find details of the changes I made to slides 3-5 (of 5) from Diane’s deck:
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