3 Biggest Mistake Keynote Presenters Make Regularly

Just because keynote presenters do a lot of presentations, it doesn’t mean they are perfect speakers. Many of them have strong presentation mechanics — eye contact, volume, tone, hand gestures, and even engage the audience well. Most keynote presenters regularly make three mistakes, mostly because they are just walking through the motions. A keynote speaker’s volume of speaking engagements and the hectic travel schedule is the biggest reason why these mistakes happen. 3 Biggest Mistake Keynote Presenters Make Regularly Passion Goes Stale – Over time keynote presenters get tired and their presentation gets repetitive, so they tend to speak more monotone and lack the energy they once had when more fresh. Good keynote speakers present 250-300 times a day, usually in different cities each day. It is a rough schedule and that much travel will wear on anyone. Speakers need to remember why they started speaking and the power of sharing

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7 Tips for Beginner Speakers

When you are inexperienced as a presenter, the thought of presenting can be daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be, even if you’re scared of public speaking. I find that proper preparation will cure up to 80% of stage fright and the remaining anxiety can be a good thing because you can use that adrenaline to add excitement and passion to your presentation. (Most experienced presenters need that rush of adrenaline, otherwise, they feel their speech is left flat.) Beginner speakers (and experienced presenters) need to go through the full presentation preparation process. The most important thing to your presentation is to remain audience-centric, meaning the focus of your presentation is for your audience and not for your benefit. Even if you’re presenting for work as either a bid presentation or thought leadership presentation, you want to create a message that inspires and/or educates your audience, not sell them something. To

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Back to Basics with Your Presentation Skills

With the beginning of a new year, we all look back at the previous year and assess what went well and what didn’t go so well. We make resolutions to better ourselves and many times that means getting back to the basics, including with your presentation skills. My best “back to basic” presentation skills: Outline Before You Do Your PowerPoint – Many experienced presenters will skip the first steps of brainstorming their topic and developing a thesis and jump straight into their visual aid, PowerPoint. While you may think skipping the first few steps will save you time, it actually doesn’t because you make more changes to your PowerPoint than someone that outlined their presentation first. Also, you tend to lose the focus of your presentation when starting in a visual aid program, so you meander as a speaker and get off topic, leaving your audience bewildered and lost. I suggest

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Favorite Presentation Blog Posts of 2016

Last week I shared my top 5 presentation blog posts based on search volume, social media shares, and comments emailed to me. This week, I want to share my favorite blog posts from the year. Favorite Presentation Blog Posts of 2016 1. How to Prepare a Presentation — Focus on the Audience [guest post] I’m excited to share my thoughts with the Puffingston Prezi Presentation Design & Training team. I recently wrote a guest blog for them entitled How to Prepare a Presentation — Focus on the Audience. Here is a snippet from it: Imagine you’re chatting with your grandfather One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about public speaking didn’t originate from a presentation book or presentation coach but from a librarian. Following one of my presentations years ago, I was told, “If you have any hope of improving your presentations, you must talk to the old people.”It took me

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Top Presentation Blog Posts of 2016

With 2016 coming to the end, I thought I’d share the top blog posts of the year based on traffic and social media shares. Top Presentation Blog Posts of 2016 1. What Do I Wear for My Presentation? (Top Search & Most Retweets) When I work with my clients, there is a list of priorities to manage. As we’re wrapping things up, nearly every client, regardless of gender, solo presenter, or team presentation, asks the same questions, “What do I wear to my presentation?” I’m not a fashion expert, so usually I’m just the voice of reason or a sounding board. However, over the years, I’ve been asked this numerous times, and it always makes me laugh a bit. Read more at What Do I Wear for My Presentation? 2. How Much Does a Presentation Coach Cost? (Second Most Searched) When I meet someone for the first time and say that I’m a presentation coach,

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How Much Does Not Simplifying Cost?

How much does not simplifying cost? For one company on Shark Tank last week, it cost them $2,000,000 and a chance to get a shark on their team. As you probably guessed, as a presentation coach (and being married to a brand marketer), I am an avid Shark Tank watcher. If you’re not familiar with the show on ABC, Shark Tank is a reality TV show where entrepreneurs pitch their companies to five [or six] extremely successful business investors, known as sharks. The sharks have an opportunity to ask questions and sometimes try the product before offering to invest in the entrepreneurs’ companies. Last week’s episode (season 8, episode 10), included the founders of Nootrobox, “a nootropics and biohacking startup based in San Francisco. The startup makes supplements and software for cognitive and human enhancement and organizes a grassroots community to help members be the best version of themselves. One

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3 Ways Presenters Sabotage Themselves by Saying ‘Thank You’

Over the Thanksgiving Day break last week, I pondered about all that I’m thankful for, much like I assume many of you did.  I am truly blessed to have a wonderful family, to do what I’m passionate about, and to help my clients succeed with their presentations. I also got thinking about giving thanks during presentations and about the three naive ways presenters sabotage themselves by merely saying “thank you” the wrong way. I’m sure these will surprise you, and I hope they get you thinking.  3 Ways “Thank You” Sabotages Your Presentation Over Thanking during the Intro – When you are introduced, it is okay to thank the person introducing you, however, you don’t want to make a big deal it. You also don’t want to thank the conference or association hosting your presentation, your friend in the front row, and the audience for allowing you to speak. You need

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What is the Difference between Public Speaking and Presenting?

After my post last week (Presentation and Public Speaking Terms to Know), a reader emailed me asking, “What is the difference between public speaking and presenting?” Admittedly, I did not know because, in today’s common language, people use the two words interchangeably, although they have two distinct differences (see below). When it comes to coaching public speaking and presentation skills, there is a big difference, and I luckily and subconsciously nailed it. (Hint: The difference between the two types of coaching is actually my biggest pet peeve with “public speaking consultants”.) Let’s start off with the official definitions. According to Dictionary.com: Public Speaking – noun:  1. the act of delivering speeches in public. 2. the art or skill of addressing an audience effectively. Presenting – verb (used with object) 1. to furnish or endow with a gift or the like, especially by formal act: to present someone with a gold watch. 2. to bring, offer, or give,

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Presentation and Public Speaking Terms to Know

Every industry has jargon (words, phrases, or expressions used by a profession, industry, or group specific to itself; terms which can be difficult for others not familiar with the group to understand), including the presentation world. Instead of giving you a school-like list of definitions from the dictionary that you’d find in a high school public speaking class or speech & debate club, I wanted to define commonly misunderstood presentation and public speaking terms you should know as a speaker. For this list, I will be brief to give you a basic understanding of each term. I’ve added links to blog posts I’ve written about that topic to give you a deeper knowledge. Presentation & Public Speaking Terms to Know Lectern – Technically, a lectern is a skinny desk or stand with a slanted top that a speaker stands behind, commonly used when reading. Many people use it synonymously with a podium, which

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Public Speaking with an Accent

A few months ago I had the pleasure to speak at the local Women in Architecture of AIA New Orleans event. Afterward, two women from the audience approached me about a specific concern, public speaking with an accent. Being in New Orleans I understand their concern. In the city, you will hear a distinctive local accent that many call “Yat”, as in, “Where Y’at?” (Where are you at?) that is different from the stereotypical Southern drawl heard in more rural areas. When traveling, I’ve been mistaken for a New Yorker and a Chicagoan because of my accent, but it is just my New Orleans accent. These two ladies had the same concern about public speaking with an accent but came at it from two different aspects. One of them was from the Midwest and recently moved to New Orleans; she had the classic Minnesota “don’t ya know” accent that I hear from

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