Favorite Presentation Blog Posts of 2016

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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 a bit to comprehend what she meant and quite a while to fully understand the meaning of her unique advice. It hit me one day when talking to my grandfather — the elderly require a specific amount of simplification in order to ensure their understanding. Even when imagining an elderly crowd, you will naturally speak louder, slower and enunciate more, much like I do when speaking to my grandfather. Keep this in mind when presenting to the general public and when speaking to your peers. Even when speaking at a conference in front of your peers, they are not all in the same field of work or at your level, so it is crucial that you simplify your information. You should not present the same way you speak to your colleagues at the office, even if you are a doctor talking to other doctors.

Read more at How to Prepare a Presentation — Focus on the Audience

2. Win More Shortlist Presentations [interview]

If you’re in the A/E/C (Architecture/Engineering/Construction) industry, you’ve probably heard of Matt Handal’s blog Help Everybody Everyday; it is a must read. [Even if you’re not in the industry and still get new clients via proposals, you need to read his blog.]

Matt was in New Orleans recently and we got a chance to meet face-to-face, share some stories, and pick each other’s brains. Matt interviewed me on the topic, Win More Shortlist Presentations and shared it on his blog.Here is a snippet from the interview:

How do you know when you are “dumbing it down” vs. when you are “simplifying” it. How do you recognize the difference?

Read more at Win More Shortlist Presentations 

3. Millennial Audiences & Millennial Speakers

Many experienced speakers are struggling as their audiences have gotten younger. They do not know what to do with Millennial audiences and event coordinators do not know what to expect from Millennial speakers either. Being a Millennial myself, I wanted to break it down for you because it isn’t that scary.First off, Millennials are generally defined as Americans born between 1980-2000 (although these dates vary between studies). This generation is America’s largest population increase since the Baby Boomers born between 1946 – 1964.

Millennials have grown up with technology in their homes and are quite comfortable as technology advances. Older generations tend to stereotype Millennials as the “Me Generation” because they see a sense of entitlement and narcism. However, they are also known for being community focused and firmly believe in helping the greater good. This belief system comes from their upbringing, including “helicopter parents” that hovered nearby and praised them for every accomplishment, hence the criticism of being a “trophy kids”.

Read more at Millennial Audiences & Millennial Speakers

4. Presentations are Icebergs

If you’ve spent any time on LinkedIn or Twitter, you’ve probably seen a graphic of a facet of business compared to an iceberg. People use icebergs because the majority of an iceberg’s mass is hidden below the surface of the water. This comparison is used when describing subjects like financial advising or even how to network because of the hidden, behind the scene elements that make that skill or product successful. Let me be the first to say that presentations are like icebergs too!

The reason presentations are like icebergs is because the majority of the work happens away from the audience. When developing a presentation correctly, you should spend more time not presenting. The majority of the work for a presentation occurs during the preparation and practice phase, which happens behind closed doors. The only visible part of the process is the actual act of standing in front of others talking as if you have been a pro for years.

Read more at Presentations are Icebergs

Thought Leadership Presentations5. My 10 BEST Tips for Female Presenters to Rock It (Most Shared on LinkedIn & Facebook)

It has been my experience and observation that women presenters tend to be more reserved and self-conscious. Female presenters tend to overthink everything and strive for perfection, even when perfection doesn’t exist. It’s a combination of things that make it more difficult for female presenters to begin, much less finish, a presentation. I have put together my list of advice that female presenters need to know.

Don’t let self-doubt creep in. Women are infamous for self-doubting their capabilities and shrivel at the thought of stepping in front of other people to talk. This doubt leads to feelings of inability to perform and allows the mind to wonder how listeners will judge and criticize. Women can do everything that men can do, and sometimes better, you just have to trust yourself that you know your subject matter and are extremely qualified to give this presentation.

Read more at My 10 BEST Tips for Female Presenters to Rock It

Once again, I want to give you some lagniappe (something extra) because this post is at the core of Speak Simple – Why I Hate the Question “How Do I Dumb It Down?”

One of my favorite questions during my interview about Winning Bid Presentations by Matt Handal for his blog, Help Everybody Everyday, was “How do you know when you are ‘dumbing it down’ versus when you are ‘simplifying’ it. How do you recognize the difference?” I’ve had a lot of responses to this questions from “aha moments” to people asking me to dig deeper. I love that we’ve created a conversation about this, and I’m going to explain why I hate the question “How do I dumb it down?”

First off, your audience isn’t dumb. When working at the zoo, I spoke to many third years in preschool. They weren’t dumb; they just didn’t know yet. My job was to educate them and as a presenter, whether doing bid presentations, content marketing presentations, or sermons, is to educate. “Dumbing it down” connotates that you’re better than the people in your audience.

“Dumbing it down” connotates that you’re better than the people in your audience.

Read more at Why I Hate the Question “How Do I Dumb It Down?”

What were your favorite presentation blog posts of the year?

Additional Resources

  • Get strategies and best practices for developing winning presentations by downloading one of my presentation ebooks.
  • Master winning presentations by graduating from SpeakU!
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How Speak Simple Can Help You

Earn more new business with presentations, by winning proposal presentations and educating your prospective clients at conferences, workshops, and webinars. Your buyers want to learn from you; Speak Simple can show you how to maximize each opportunity and win more work with presentations.

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