Archive for October, 2008

6 Books to help with your presentations

October 31, 2008

When it comes to books that can help with your public speaking and presentations skills which books come to mind?

Today I thought I would share with you 3 of my favorite books and 3 books from Craig Valentine – 1999 World Champion of public speaking.

Carrol’s Books

  1. The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking (Dale Carnegie) – Great introduction to public speaking
  2. The Comic Toolbox (John Vorhaus) – Looks at how to be funny, even when your not
  3. Metaphorically Selling (Anne Miller) – how to use Metaphors to sell, persuade & explain anything to anyone

Craig’s Books

  1. Influence (Robert Cialdini) – Provides principles for influencing others
  2. Never Be Boring Again (Doug Stevenson) – Outlines Storytelling tools for your presentations
  3. Made to Stick (Chip and Dan Heath) – Provides 6 tools to make your message memorable.

Sometimes the best books to help with your public speaking or presentation skills have nothing to do with the subject. What books do you use/recommend to help with your presentations?

Keep speaking – Carrol

That sense of achievement

October 28, 2008

At some stage in your life you might have to give a presentation or speech. For many people the thought of speaking in public can be very intimidating. But for those who push through the fear and speak in front of a group, the sense of achievement is great.




Tips for pushing through your fear of speaking:


  1. Understand that most people feel a little nervous about public speaking
  2. Concentrate on the speech, not the fear.
  3. Quitting is not an option, make the decision to move forward not backwards


At the end of your presentation you’ll feel this buzz, this huge sense of accomplishment. You’ll know that you’ve conquered your fear, stomped on something that previously held you back.


Stand tall and acknowledge what you’ve done.


You must do the thing you think you cannot do” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Keep speaking – Carrol

When humor goes wrong

October 17, 2008

Sometimes a joke or story may not go over the way you’d planned. Oh no, you just want to die or, at the very least have a big hole open up and you can just disappear into the centre of the earth!

Humor doesn’t always go the way you thought it would. The delivery didn’t work, the audience is inattentive or a heckler yells out the punch line. 

My most important tip is – not to show the disappointment on your face.

If it’s obvious that your joke or story didn’t work then you can always say “I thought that was going to be funny………..but obviously I was wrong” this can sometime elicit a laugh on its own, as it helps to release the tension that was built up from the failed attempt.

Every speaker will experience a “dud”, it’s how you handle the experience that separates the good speakers from the less experienced ones. 

My second most important tip is – be confident and continue on with your presentation as if nothing had gone wrong.

Humor can take a little bit of time to get right, but when things go well, you’ll feel on top of the world.

Keep speaking – Carrol

Humorously Speaking

October 11, 2008

Have you tried adding a little bit of humor to your presentations?

A little bit of humor goes a long, long way. People love to laugh and it’s a great way to connect with your audience.

One of the reasons that people don’t include humor is that they think they have to write it themselves or they don’t have anything funny to say. You don’t have to turn into a comedian to have amusing parts in your speech.

* Keep a file on things that you’ve found amusing. Chances are, if you found it funny then your audience will too.

* You can borrow material from other speakers. Re-write it and put it in your own words, this will make it more believable

* Collect jokes and stories from newspapers or magazines

* Look for humor everywhere, things that are weird, silly or ironic

If you look at your speech you’ll see some great opportunities to add something amusing. Remember, it doesn’t have to be rip roaringly funny, slightly amusing will work.

Whenever possible, put yourself in the story or make fun of yourself. Audiences like to hear about your personal experiences or that you don’t take yourself too seriously.

People love to laugh, it makes that special connection, why not try a little humor in your next presentation.

Keep speaking – Carrol

Exercise Design

October 4, 2008

I sat there totally confused.

I was in a seminar, we’d been given an exercise to do and I was at a loss as to where to start and what I needed to do.

Many presenters incorporate an exercise into their seminar or presentation because an exercise is the “how to” of the learning curve. You give your audience some information, then you get them to complete an exercise so they can put what they have learnt into practice – they learn by doing.

If your exercise isn’t explained clearly and concisely you end up with someone like me, someone who was sitting there not knowing what to do or how to do it.

You need to design your exercises so that everyone knows what they need to do and how they are going to achieve it.

1. Why – Explain why the audience is partaking in the exercise, the reason for doing it.

2. What – Explain what the exercise is, what they’ll be doing, the intended outcomes and how it relates to what you’ve been talking about.

3. How – Explain how they perform the exercise step by step, do a demonstration or provide handouts.

Your audience will learn quicker by doing; an exercise is a great way to reinforce their learning experience.

Keep speaking – Carrol