Build your talk on messages, not topics – Secret #15 of star presenters [Video]

Scrabble letter tiles saying “Wordy slides KILL your message!”Have you heard of the “assertion-evidence approach” for making slides? It’s a simple, powerful, evidence-based approach to presenting your talk.

It was devised as a more effective way to share scientific findings. But you can also use its direct­ness and clarity in business – to great effect.

And that’s especially so when you present insights from analysing data. You know, like:

  • customer touchpoints
  • company financials
  • employee survey results.

 

What’s in this post?

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Speak online – 8½ terrific tips from Eric Winters [Video]

Title slide: "Elevate Your Online Presentations"

In a rush? Watch the video (30 mins) or read the tips.

When you present online, the tips below will help set you up for success. They come from my friend Eric Winters, who’s a coach, author, and international public speaker.

I love the metaphor Eric uses to explain why it’s hard work watching an online talk:

“There’s a good reason they call it paying attention,
because you have to give up a lot of energy…

So if we want to help our audiences…
we need to lower the price
of paying attention

Eric Winters – at 1:42 in the video

In his video below, Eric presents what he calls “8½ tips” to elevate your online pres­entations. The clip’s about 30 minutes long, and he spends about 2-3 minutes dis­cussing each tip.

Below the video, you’ll also find:

  • a list of the tips
  • discussion of each one
  • useful links to help you build your skills.

 

The video

As I think you’ll see – and as Eric’s live audience commented – this was a very engaging and helpful session:

 

The tips

Here are Eric’s 8½ tips – click any of them to jump to the relevant part of my post:
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3 steps to present like a dataviz rockstar – part 2 [Video]

Flaming guitarNeed to present some data? About the best way you can do that is to use a data visualisation.

Most often, a dataviz is simply a chart. But you might choose to use something less mainstream, like a heatmap.

Whatever type of dataviz you choose, I suggest you use this 3‑step method for making your dataviz more effective:
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3 steps to present like a dataviz rockstar – part 1 [Video]

Flaming guitarWhen you share data – in a slideshow, a dashboard, or a written report – how can you give your message impact? (You know, so you persuade people that it’s a big deal, and so they act on your message.)

To help you do that, you’ll find 3 powerful steps in this post and my next:

  1. Simplify
  2. Satisfy…
  3. Storify…

Step 1’s the key (and the easiest)

Step 1’s the key (and the easiest), and step 3’s perhaps the most adv­anced – which is why I’ve put them in that order.
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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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Slide makeover: 5 steps to replace boring bullets with audience awe

During your professional life, you’ve no doubt seen more slides with bullet lists on them than any other type of slide. The problem is, so have your audiences, too.

You can’t inspire a disengaged audience…

Because audiences see wordy bullet lists a lot, they’re disengaged by them instantly. And, despite your best efforts, you can’t inspire a disengaged audience to act on what you say!

So how can you use fewer bullet lists? Let’s work through an example to see what you could do instead, using this bullet-filled slide as a starting point:

original bullet-point slide

This is what the slide will look like when you finish the makeover:

bullet-point slide makeover - labels

And here are the 5 steps you can use to complete that overhaul:
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Nail your point – Speak in threes. Speak in threes. Speak in threes.

Here’s one of the most powerful techniques you can use in your talks:

Speak in threes.
Speak in threes.
Speak in threes.

In fact it’s so effective, I urge you to reserve its full power for your main point. (Otherwise, you risk people remembering the wrong part of your message!)

 

Familiar phrases

If you’re not sure what I mean by “speak in threes”, here are 2 examples of catchy phrases that use this technique, which you’ve probably heard many times:

“Location, location, location”

“Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!”

In both cases, notice that they’re phrases containing just 2 or 3 syllables but which are repeated 3 times in a row.

Let’s look at a real-life example…

Shortly, I’ll show you exactly why phrases like that are so memorable and repeatable – or in other words, why they’re so viral. But first, let’s look at a real-life example of how you might speak in threes

 

A real-life example

Imagine you’re the captain of a cruise ship with about 4000 people on board. Sounds good, right?

But now imagine almost 200 of your passengers and crew catch gastroenteritis! In your announcements to the whole ship, how might you speak in threes to promote hygiene and help contain the outbreak?
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How to rock at webinars – 9 concrete tips to keep people engaged

Microphone clinched firmly in male fist on a black background.Think back: How many of the webinars you’ve attended were worth your time?

Sadly, I find they’re often time- wasters, and I’m sure many people agree. (If you have a strong opinion either way, please say so.)

So, to stand out from your competition, here are 9 tips to help you rock at webinars! (Each tip’s marked as being easy, medium, or hard, so you can choose the ones that suit your current skills.)
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2 kickass training activities – put your learners’ needs 1st, and last!

You can use this pair of audience activities or interactions to “bookend” your training:

  • The 1st is a superb addition to your session’s opening.
  • The 2nd is an engaging way to get feedback at the end.

Interaction #1: Let the “attenders” set the agenda(*)

Athletic male high in the air kicking a soccer ballHave you ever seen a trainer do something that stayed with you for decades?

More than 20 years ago, way back in the 20th century, I saw a trainer use such an awesome technique that I’m still talking about it now – in the next millennium! So before I start to feel too old, let me share it with you.
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10 tech tips for webinars and online meetings

Eye on Flat Panel Monitor --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis(Short of time? Get to the tips.)

As a presenter, it’s increasingly likely that you use webinar tools (like Zoom or Adobe Connect or Cisco WebEx) – or that you soon will. And you might well hold virtual meetings or training workshops using those same or similar tools.

Whatever type of webinars or online meetings you run, you’ll find some useful tips in this post.

Still, you’ll want to choose which tips to use according to factors like the size of your audience and your comfort with running the online event in the 1st place. That’s because some of the tips (notably numbers 6 to 10) require more effort than others.

You can click any of these links to scroll to a specific tip:
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