Whether it’s a team effort or a one-person responsibility, a presentation can make or break a contract or client relationship. This brief article gives you three critical elements required for preparing a successful presentation.
If you provide a product or a service, there is truth in the old adage that “products don’t sell, people do.” Certainly, there are isolated exceptions, but person-to-person contact is invaluable for most businesses. In this framework, the business presentation holds a unique and critical place. It is an essential part of the public relations, marketing, and sales for any company, large or small.
Psychologist Jeff Thomas and I agree on the structure of the mind. The mind and the difference between the brain and the mind have been the focus of conjecture, controversy, and intellectual consternation for many centuries.
It is generally accepted that the brain is the repository of the things and stuff that we are exposed to during our lifetime. There may not yet be general acceptance of what exactly gets stored, where in the brain it is stored, or how it is retained, but we can accept that the brain takes in and holds the information from our life experiences. In addition, it’s possible to actually see the brain. We can measure it, weigh it, touch it, and know for sure that there is such a thing as the brain.
I read an interesting article in The Atlantic based on a recent speech by the Pope. He reflected on the importance of face-to-face communication in a world that has gone online. He said:
“Text mediums deprive us of cues like facial expressions, posture, and vocal inflections. As a result, they are especially ill-suited to figuring out what people who aren’t adept at writing believe or intend to express….To interact with people in person is to see how complicated most of us are.”
While the article’s author analyzes this through the lens of what makes a good journalist, the lesson is important for all of us who are on Zoom a lot.
Read the article here.
Communication excellence, speaking clearly and conveying ideas with impact, is highly associated with career and organizational success.
Yet, healthcare and technology leaders face a major challenge: simplifying complex and technical information so that others “get it,” buy-in, and take action for best results.
Here are some truths about transmitting knowledge and influencing others outside your field:
- Knowing your topic does not equal speaking clearly about your topic.
- Your listeners likely don’t care about your topic as much as you do-sorry!
- Anytime you speak, whether one on one or to a crowd, in person or virtual, in a formal or informal setting, you are a “presenter.”
- Preparation, not Desperation: Strategize and plan, no matter how knowledgeable you are.
Now that virtual presenting is here is stay, keep in mind that your oral delivery is more important than ever. Our colleagues, clients, and anyone else who is listening at home or in their office are most likely multitasking. Some of us have two monitors that allow us to be watching/listening and doing multiple tasks simultaneously. Since a few of your listeners may not be directly looking at the screen, your voice is what captures their attention. Therefore, I am coaching clients to incorporate “vocal variety.” Vocal variety is when you choose a specific word or phrase to add vocal emphasis to convey a meaning. A very easy way to add vocal variety is to increase your volume. (more…)
10 Feb Answering Off the Cuff
#1 Thinking on your feet
When I meet potential clients, their needs span many areas, but I want to talk about one I find almost everywhere I go. “How can I be better at speaking off the cuff?” Easy! Well, honestly, it is easy, but to explain how it’s easy, let’s talk about what you are asking for.
Speaking off the cuff, thinking on your feet, or any other way you describe it, comes from the idea of speaking with limited notes in a time crunch. You don’t get to take a lot of time to fully plan a response. You must deliver at that moment! So, the way you can be ready for anything is to prepare ahead of time. (more…)
As a communication coach working with hundreds of clients virtually, I’ve asked, “Why do you prefer Zoom to a real room?”
Here are my fave fun replies. Add your virtual virtue in the comments below.
- I can eat garlic bread and smelly cheese on a break
- I only have to wash the front part of my hair
- I can wear my shirt with a hole on the back collar
- I am all alone in the bathroom.
- I pound out three emails in thirty- minutes, and no one knows
- I look ten years younger with my ring light-yes!
- I can emit natural body noises without shame.
- I get to wear my cuddly red polka dot pajama bottoms
- I learned to speak without moving my lips to people in my house
- Your contribution?
The concept of adapting your content and delivery to WHO you are speaking is a worthy objective. However, being able to do it in a poignant and meaningful manner can be an advanced skill, and it will take your workplace communication to the next level.
This article will provide a quick overview of one way in which we help our clients adapt to their listeners. The concept is called Patterns of Reasoning. The normal human brain capacity allows us to function with two basic patterns of reasoning; we use these patterns as the structure for our thoughts and speech. No one is completely one or the other.
If you are looking for a communication coach to help you with your effectiveness as a communicator, I urge you to check out the new book published by Rutledge. It’s called The Handbook of Communication Training. It features 50 different communication professionals, experts, professors, and practitioners from around the United States who have come together to agree that the best communication coaching and learning happens when your coach has been trained and shows prowess in these seven best practices. They are: (more…)
Clients often tell us about an online course they found, or their company has provided, on Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. Then, they ask us what we think of it.
There are two primary considerations:
1. Yes, you can learn some communication skills alone and online.
2. The skills you need must be compatible with online learning.
Number two explains the potential challenges with learning communication skills online. (more…)