The Secret to Exceptional Presentations Is Being Present

Imagine this: you’ve spend hours preparing the right words and the perfect power point. You’ve sacrificed sleep to memorize and practice removing the ahs and ums.

The big day comes. You begin and less than 3 minutes into the presentation, one of the executive attendees interrupts you with, “What’s the bottom line?” Another executive chimes in with, “Skip to your best slide.”

Now what do you do? You can’t think of anything to say now that your perfect order was interrupted. How do you handle this situation–or avoid it from happening in the first place?

The most exceptional presentations happen when you are present. Focusing on your memorized content means ignoring your audience. Follow these 5 simple steps to avoid this disconnect in the future.

Start with an intro that gives the audience the bottom line within 90 seconds. For example, “by the end of this presentation, you will know… “

Talk to the audience instead of the PowerPoint. Yes, your audience is reading the slide when you first put it up. That’s alright. Give them time to read it. Read in your head along with them. When you want to speak–face your audience. Make eye contact. You are the presentation; the PowerPoint is only an aid.

Prepare 2 presentations: overview and detail. If you can ask ahead of time what the audience prefers, then that’s even better. If you can’t, then start with an overview presentation, and let them ask you for the detail. If you haven’t got the detail to the level you are being asked, then say, “I prepared an overview due to time limits, and I’ll be happy to speak with you offline to cover more detail.”

Prepare for their questions instead of yours. Most presenters know if the audience will have hostile questions, if someone will play devil’s advocate, if most of the group will be afraid to ask questions, etc. Think about what the audience really wants to know. If you get no questions, say, “A question I’m often asked is… “

Watch your audience for body language. You know you’ve got them if the phones aren’t in hand, they are making eye contact, etc. You know you’re losing them if they start to shift in their seats, pick up their phones to check email, etc. Watch, and comment directly. If you’re losing them, say, “I get the feeling this isn’t the exact information you were looking for. Is there another approach I should be taking?”

Bottom line, being present with your audience means you’re having a conversation with them, not reciting or reading a power point.

The 7 1/2 Secrets of Highly Boring Presenters Revealed

Did you ever want to sleep during a presentation?

When asking people, most of them would agree they would love to. Boring presenters seem to be everywhere. Unfortunately! Here are the strategies of how to become a truly boring presenter:

1. They Talk to Themselves!

Did you ever talk to a mirror? Well, boring presenters kind of do that. They talk to themselves, their preparation sheet, their index cards or their PowerPoint. But they sure as hell don’t talk to the audience, especially NOT about something the audience might be interested in.

2. Their DNA is “BOREDOM”!

Did you ever get some good sleep during a presentation? oring Presenters are naturally boring. They speak with a monotone voice that sends almost everyone in the room to the sleep. And if their presentation were a movie it would be a “still-film”. Good sleep guaranteed!

3. They Talk About the World, But Don’t Get to The Point!

Boring presenters have a lot to tell, but no one gets what they’re really saying. Boring presenters are excellent at confusing the audience with too much data that is linked to only one thing: NOTHING! In the end no one understands the purpose of their presentation and they achieve no result.

4. Their Preparation Sucks!

Boring presenters prepare their presentation often in confusing detail, so that they themselves cannot follow where they’re at in the presentation. Even if they contents is fine, they forgot the most important of all preparations: actual presentation practice of the material.

5. They Main Movement is Their Mouth

Imagine you watched an action movie where all that people do is move their mouth? No too interesting is it? Unfortunately that’s exactly what boring presenters do. They stand and move their mouth. Not their body. Not their hands. Not their stand. Yes, how GREAT: their mouth only.

6. Their Audience Has to “SHUT UP & LISTEN!”

If you met a friend for dinner and s/he told you to just ‘Shut up and listen to me for the next 2 hours’, the person probably wouldn’t be your friend anymore. Boring presenters naturally get you to shut up and listen sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes for 1 hour, sometimes for 1 day, sometimes for 1 year. It’s time for a change!

7. Their Audience Thinks at the End: “What a waste of time!”

Boring presenters are true naturals when it comes to sending the audience out thinking it wasn’t worth it. After a boring presenters presentation nobody does or thinks different in any way. There is no change. Looking back the audience believes it was a waste of time.

7 1/2 Their PowerPoint Looks Like a Newspaper

Boring presenters are “Power Point Artists”. Their presentations are filled with fill words to fill the whole slide and make it look full. Most audiences respond with excitement to the ‘newspaper-like slides’. At least that’s what boring presenters hope!

Sick & tired of being a boring presenter? Then you might be interested in mastering The 7 1/2 Ps of Persuasive Presenters: People, Passion, Purpose, Preparation, Presence, Participation, Power & PowerPoint.

If you (or your team or employees) are interested in learning how to master ‘The 7 1/2 Ps of Persuasive Presenter’ from the bestselling presentation book ‘Presentation Latte’, please visit http://www.influence7.com for more information.

4 Unique Holiday Presents For Boys

Toy shopping will be a big bulk of a lot of family’s shopping this Christmas holiday. For some parents if not most, the big question is what their children want for Christmas and what should I get them. Normally, the difference between the two isn’t much. If a child wants something particularly rare or costly, if the year has been good financially, and the child has proven good that year, it is not something that is beyond your means to get. However, in a recession there are harder decisions to make and sometimes getting your child something similar will have to do. Here are some hints of what to look for in boys toys so that you can get a present whether it is the exact item or not that will please your son or nephew.

Toy cars are always going to be at the top of the list for boy’s presents. For younger children get small cast iron car sets such as Hot Wheels. Fortunately you can find similar cars without paying the price for the brand name. There are also good because they are durable. It you want to still give a nice present try mixing the cars with Hot Wheels Track if you can spring for it. Once again, if you can find a generic brand that is similar and cost less, buy it. For older boys try to get scaled models. These are great gifts because the toy models are full articulated with working steering, doors, hood, and trunk. You can find reasonably priced models at your local superstore or toy store.

Computer games are another big draw. If you don’t have the money for a game console, but have a computer at home, try purchasing computer games. The cost of the software, just like video games depends on how new the title is. Try to look for fun and challenging games in discount racks. There are a lot of respected games in these that will be able to entertain your kids. If your child already has a console you can buy accessories such as extra memory sticks or game controllers. They will enhance their game play but not empty your wallet. Of course when possible try to buy refurbished or like new used systems. There are older versions of a current platform that might just have less memory or a bulkier design but can still play current games. These are often much cheaper than their original price and work like new. However, some warning be care to check over systems like XBOX because they have a long track record of breaking down easily.

Riding toys such as bike, go carts, and battery powered cars are all very popular with young boys. However the price can be sometimes be formidable. Once again shop around. You can find cheaper bikes and other items if you look. At the same time, don’t sacrifice quality for affordability. Sometimes investing in a more costly bike or toy means it will last longer with fewer costly problems.

Finally whatever gift you choose, you have to do something special for the younger boys who still believe in Santa Claus. A good idea is to send a letter from Santa. There ar great services that can help you pick an appropriate template and customize your letter. The letter will be greatly appreciated by your child.