12+ ways to be remembered when you present (F!RST framework – part 3)

Does your talk’s goal involve your audience taking action afterwards? I hope so, because only by people acting on your talk can it be truly effective.

To act though, your audience needs to remember afterwards:

  • What they should do
  • Why they should do it – that is, how important it is to them.

This post helps you make those 2 aspects of your presentation vividly memorable. And if you happen to have read the overview of the F!RST framework (of which this is part 3), you’ll already know about the acronym “SMS”, which represents the 3 types of tips in this post.

Here, SMS stands for:
Continue reading


Free public-speaking class (in Sydney, via @AuthenticBen)

presenter with megaphone

The best 2 hours I’ve ever spent…

Are you serious about wanting to improve your public speaking? If so, do yourself a favour and listen to what Benjamin J Harvey has to say about it. I did that last Wednesday night, and it was probably the best 2 hours I’ve ever spent on improving my presentation skills!

What a great move that was!

Ben’s a Sydney-based entrepreneur who offers occasional free public-speaking workshops. (Wherever you live, you might also like these 5 free public-speaking courses.) As I’m in Sydney too, and his workshop happens just every few months, I took the chance to go along. What a great move that was!

Why so great? There are 3 factors: Continue reading

2½ reasons why (to me) Seth Godin’s wrong about how many words to put on your slide

Number 6
Check out this startling quote by author Seth Godin:

“No more than six
words on a slide.
Ever. – Seth Godin

(If you’d like to see the quote in context, it’s the 1st item in the numbered list on page 7 of this PDF.)

Are you wondering where he got the magic number 6 from? I certainly am. (Sadly he doesn’t say. So Seth, if you ever happen to read this, I’d love to know why you chose the number 6.)

Apart from the seemingly arbitrary nature of Seth’s rule (which is the “½” reason mentioned in this post’s title), let’s focus on 2 types of helpful slide content that the rule would severely hamper: Continue reading

How to FIX the #1 mistake when you present online (Includes example opening lines)

If you’ve read my recent post called
Do you make this #1 mistake when you present online?, you’ll know it asserts that the top mistake of online presenters (such as in webinars) is time-wasting, and it names 3 of the biggest symptoms:

  • Spending too long on introductions
  • Staying on the same slide too long
  • Fixating on interaction instead of value

In that earlier post, you’ll find those 3 problems laid out, but you won’t find any solutions. So that’s where this post comes in.

Below, you’ll find ways to solve each of those 3 problems: Continue reading

Why present? JFK said it all…

traffic lightsOn her excellent public-speaking blog, Dr Michelle Mazur published a post this week called The Most Overlooked Step in Creating Great Presentations. In it, she says you’re likely (if you’re like most people) to start preparing for a talk by making slides, whereas you’d be better served by first working out what type of talk you’ll give:

Do I want my audience to know something,
to do something immediately after my talk,
or to feel something?

I agree about how most speakers prepare, as I wrote here, but I disagree about there being 3 types of presentations:

  • Informative (Know something)
  • Emotive (Feel something)
  • Persuasive (Do something)

Let me explain why I disagree with that 3-part model. Continue reading

Giving a sales presentation? Turn the process on its head to win the deal [Video]

Are you selling in a tough environment? This 2½-minute video shows you how to stand out from the crowd, by being the person who uniquely matches your prospect’s reason for buying. Continue reading

Minimise “blur” when you present (F!RST framework – part 1m)

Minimize blurIn this post, you’ll find 9 steps you can take to cut “blur”. (Short of time? You can skip straight to those 9 steps.) First though, let’s just briefly look at what blur is, and how you can recognise it.

Blur harms your goal by being the opposite of focus. Sometimes called “noise”, blur is caused by anything that:

  • overwhelms your audience
  • or distracts them from you and your core message.

Common signs of blur include: Continue reading

Intrigue people when you present (F!RST framework – part 1i)

Don’t let people’s minds wander – make them wonder! Tweet this

keyboard key saying “top secret”

Intriguing your audience means in effect you set up some kind of mystery, which makes people look to you to solve it. So they focus sharply on what you’re about to say in your talk. This anticipation has 3 clear benefits: Continue reading

Answer people’s key question – which they never ask! (F!RST framework – part 1A)

Question Mark Key on Computer Keyboard

You’re probably wondering what the key question is – which is good, because that’s keenly focused your attention!

The key question is what every audience silently asks of every presentation. Tweet this

What do you think that burning question is? It’s this: Continue reading

3×7 tips to rivet people when you present (F!RST framework – part 1: Focus attention)

How this series can help you

Football Player

When presenting, you likely already know how hard it is to keep people’s attention. After all, distractions like their mobile phone, email, or even just their thoughts are rarely far away.

(For context, please see the overview of the F!RST framework)

In this series of posts, you’ll find 3 “core tips” you can use to keep your audience riveted to your talk. Those core tips include over 20 clear-cut actions you can take, with examples of how you can apply them. So, you’ll keep your audience far more engaged, making it much easier for you to persuade them and to achieve your talk’s goal. Continue reading