Just as your audience settle in … change gear!

Picture this scene … it’s a cold rainy night, the road ahead is long and straight with no defining features on the horizon. Hot air from the vents blowing on your face, the windscreen wipers are creating a hypnotic rhythm, and you start to feel very sleepy.
How does this picture relate to presentations you have sat through … perhaps your own presentation style?

If you have a tendency to present at a steady pace with limited animation in your voice or gestures, there is a risk your audience could drift off into their own world and you lose their attention.

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Ouch … this must have hurt?

Watch what happens to “Transformers’ Director and Producer Michael Bay, as he walks on stage to promote the new Samsung Curved Screen TV.

I’ve seen this happen before … quite a few times actually. However, it only generally happens to people who are either stepping in front of a teleprompter for the very first time, or during their first run through with a script they haven’t written themselves.

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The power of positive

‘The power to be your best’

When Apple asked two ad agencies to pitch for their 1990 advertising campaign, one agency pitched the concept “now we deliver the promise” … the other “the power to be your best. In his book ‘From Pepsi to Apple’, John Sculley (the CEO of Apple) recalls the decision to run “The Power to be your best” campaign, being based on what he believed to be a fundamental principle of good advertising … never advertise anything from a negative perspective. “Now we deliver the promise” … runs the risk of the response ‘so what have you been delivering up until now?’

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Are you going to read that speech?

On stage was a simple wooden stool that Billy Connolly sat on when he played his infamous banjo. Curiously, every time he passed the stool, he paused momentarily and placed his fingers lightly on the seat. Notes! Billy uses keyword notes! But he uses them exceptionally well. In business, very few people present well from notes … but there are ways round this.

‘You could land a Boeing 747 inside’

Have you ever found yourself explaining something in a conversation or presentation, where you have a picture in your head … but try as hard as you may … you get the distinct impression, your audience isn’t quite seeing things the way you are? In this episode Paul talks about unusual devices to help get inside people’s heads.

Please welcome our next speaker. He’s one of the funniest people I know!

I sincerely hope this hasn’t happened to you. By the time you have gathered your thoughts at the lectern, the audience silently taunting you … ‘ok funny person, make me laugh!’

A more common and equally uninspiring introduction is when conference organisers somehow get hold of your CV. Now as you sit waiting for your turn to speak, the MC starts to read your CV … WORD FOR WORD!

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Good presenters are great storytellers

Rob Caskie, Anglo Zulu Wars Historian, armed with his favourite storytelling prop.

There is still a child in all of us … and secretly we would be delighted if our clinical meetings would come to life with presentations that were coloured with great storytelling. This is the story of Rob Caskie … and the presentation lessons we can all learn from a great storyteller, who transports people back in time to tell the real stories behind the Anglo Zulu wars.

A cure for long-windedness … less is more

This episode tells the story of a remarkable man who overcomes the challenge of a stammer, and the lessons we can all learn to deliver a crisp, high impact presentation.

Credit “The Kings Speech” Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helen Bonham Carter