Posts Tagged ‘presentations’

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

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

“Someone’s sleeping in my presentation” – part 2

July 24, 2008

Last week we looked at the signs your audience may be giving you if they’ve disconnected from you and your presentation.

Today we’ll look at how you can re-connect and get back on track.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of your audience is very important so that you don’t loose that vital connection with them.

* Understand what your audience wants from your presentation – Many presenters are only interested in making themselves look important or intelligent, reporting on everything they know without showing how their information can assist the audience or how it is relevant to their lives – remember, your audience will be asking “what’s in it for me”.

* Ask “you” focused questions throughout your presentation – Questions such as: Have you ever – Can you think of a time – Do you know. These types of question allow the audience to think about what you have been talking about and relate it to their own world.

* Use different formats for your presentation – use visual ways of displaying information (charts, pictures, short video clips). If people have something to look at this will help them to stay connected.

* Have discussions – can you have an audience discussion or break them up into small groups to discuss what you’ve been presenting.

* Maintain eye contact with your audience – If your audience members feel that you are talking to them personally it will be harder for them to disengage from you.

Keeping the attention of your audience is vitally important because no one wants to send their audience members to sleep; ensure you’re connecting with your audience to keep them engaged.

Keep speaking – Carrol

Should you use a microphone?

July 12, 2008

During the week I had the opportunity to see a speaker that was almost yelling at the audience because they either didn’t know how to use a microphone or there wasn’t one available.

So when should you use a microphone?

My recommendation is to use a microphone whenever you have to speak to 30 or more people.

A microphone is a tool to amplify your voice, and its use will help you to project your voice while allowing you to use a wide range of vocal techniques.

There are some things you need to consider when using a microphone:

  1. Know how to turn the microphone on and off
  2. Know how to raise and lower the microphone
  3. Do a sound check before you actually stand up to speak
  4. Have someone evaluate the sound and quality around the room
  5. Practice moving around with the microphone
  6. Avoid pointing the microphone at the speaker to limit feedback
  7. Incorrect use of the microphone can spoil your performance

Remember a microphone is easier on your voice and its a great tool to use with audiences of over 30 people and will mean that you won’t have to yell your presentation.

Keep speaking – Carrol

Introductions using a song title

June 29, 2008

Imagine if you had to introduce yourself or your business only using a song title, no speaking, no introductions, no self promotion, nothing….. just a song title

What a brilliant challenge.

Last week we looked at the 30 second elevator speech where the challenge was to introduce your self or your business concisely and succinctly in only a few sentences. Imagine if you were set a challenge to introduce yourself or your business via a song title, what song would you choose?

I found this a very difficult challenge, mainly because I can never remember the title of any song and I drive shop assistants mad as I try to sing them my version of the song that I would like to purchase.

So, I spent a couple of days looking at song titles that I thought would best represent my business – Public Speaking – and finally came up with “More than words” by Extreme.

So why did I choose this song title? I believe that public speaking is more than the words you use in your presentation. It’s about the way you present yourself, the body language you use and the vocal variety that you incorporate into your presentation, it’s about confidence, knowing your audience and knowing your topic.

The reason I started down this path of thinking about a song title that introduced either my business or myself was an interesting blog post that I read, see below.

What song would you choose to introduce your business or who you are?

Keep speaking – Carrol

The 30 Second Elevator Speech

June 22, 2008

Can you talk about your product or service for 30 minutes, 3 minutes or 30 seconds?

When you meet someone in an elevator or on a business trip and they ask you what you do, can you give them a quick response?


Being able to give quick, succinct presentations when requested can help you to win new business or build contacts for you.


There are a number or places that you can use the elevator speech.


Meeting new people


Sales Calls



The quickest and easiest way to give the elevator speech is to mention the following


Who you are

What do you do?

Why you’re the best at what you do?

Your call to action


Here is an example of an elevator speech.


Carrol Jones. I’m a consultant who empowers people to speak in public. I provide people with the skills required to conquer nerves, use vocal variety and body language so they can make concise and confident presentations to clients, colleagues and friends. I understand the fear that presenters go through and can help them overcome this. If you would like to become a more confident speaker, then I am the person you need to speak to.


Once you have your elevator speech, remember to practice it so that it rolls of the tongue easily and professionally.


Keep Speaking – Carrol



Facing your fear

June 17, 2008

Today I read a great post from The Henderson Group on “Public Speaking and the Value of freaking out” so thought I would share it with you.  Everyone has a “freak out point” it’s part of growing and learning and it should be something that we embrace and enjoy because it means that you are experiencing something new.

As we stretch ourselves, we stretch our comfort zone.

Hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.

Keep Speaking – Carrol

3D Holographic Public Speaking

June 3, 2008

In May, Telstra chief technology officer Dr Hugh Bradlow made a presentation in Adelaide from Melbourne.  3D Hologram technology is now a reality, so having great non-verbal body language will become very important as this technology progresses.

This technolgy will make a big difference in corporate meetings and presentations.

If you’re in Australia and unable to attend a conference in the USA, you could view the conference through this new technology. This will open up the possibilty of seeing speakers and presenters that you normally wouldn’t have access too.

Perhaps all presentations will be given in this format in the future!

Read the article below,25642,23762267-5014111,00.html

Keep speaking – Carrol


30 Million Powerpoint presentations!!

April 25, 2008


Did you know it’s estimated that over 30 million powerpoint presentations are delivered daily around the world???

What an attention grabber!

Recently I attended a workshop by Bill Farman, a fellow Toastmaster, and this was one of the stats that he used to capture our attention. This made me sit up and listen to the information that Bill was going to share with us on powerpoint.  

Today, I’d like to share with you some of the nuggets of information that Bill talked about, to help ensure that if you are using powerpoint, you’re using it differently to the majority.

  1. We like to place a lot of facts on our powerpoint presentations because facts make us look smart
  2. Think of powerpoint as a story, have images not facts
  3. The details of your presentation should be in your handouts not on the slide
  4. Don’t use clip art – overdone on so many levels
  5. Make your own images, very easy to do with todays technology
  6. Don’t use 3D images
  7. Have lots of white space
  8. Use a remote control for powerpoint presentations
  9. Keep the lights on while you’re giving your powerpoint presentation so that people can see YOU
  10. Put you logo on the first and last slide, not on every slide

If there are 30 Million powerpoint presentations being given on a daily basis, makes you wonder how many are wasted opportunitites to get it right!

Keep speaking – Carrol

The eyes are the windows to the soul

February 22, 2008

Eye contact is very important when you are presenting. I have heard some people say that if you are nervous, you should concentrate on a spot at the back of the room, just over people’s shoulders and they will never know the difference.

Personally I don’t believe in this strategy as I believe people can tell the difference.

When you are speaking to a friend or colleague do you look over their shoulder at a spot on the wall? ……………….No, you look them in the eye when you are talking to them, unless you are telling a lie.

Eye contact is vital as people will read your attitude and thoughts through your eyes. Looking people in the eye gives you a personal connection with them and when you are presenting you want people to listen and believe what you are saying.

A nervous presenter will avoid making eye contact and this is why people won’t believe them. When you are making your presentation, try talking to one person at a time and make eye contact with them for a couple of seconds, make a connection with them and then move onto another person and make a connection with them.

To build good rapport with your audience you need to make eye contact.