Presentation Summit Takeaways

I am continuously learning and re-learning stuff about PowerPoint to help me with my presentations. When the presentation gurus went to the Presentation Summit last week in Texas, one of my favorite gurus, Ellen Finkelstein, had a session with Wayne Michael, a CPA who creates graphics for presentation and she shared on her blog some techniques she learned from the session, like:

  • Keeping a menu along the side of the slide that highlights the current section
  • Shrinking to a corner
  • Faded layering
  • Creating a tab
  • Using transitions that create continuity
Another guru I like, Olivia Mitchell, blogged about the things most audience remember from a presentation like:
  • technical hitches of Nigel Holmes
  • the spark of Carmen Taran
  • the “bamboo” metaphor of Garr Reynolds
  • and the fact that you really don’t have a second chance in terms of making your first impression so you better come pepared, your presentations should be balanced and you always have to keep your audience in mind. On the other hand, you have plenty of chances to make up for it.
So anyway, that’s a lot to digest, for me at least. I’m still waiting for other blog updates about the Presentation Summit. In the meantime, you can head to Ellen’s post (Quick Takeaways from Presentation Summit) and Olivia’s post (What an Audience Remembers) to know more about what they learned during the summit.

The 4 Levels of Public Speaking Comfort

No one is born perfect. Even the best of speakers and presenters, at one time or another, experience chills, nervousness, lack of confidence and worse, mental block. These are all normal and can be prevented from happening again and again thru practice, meditation (it does help!), and continuous experience.

But did you know that there are four levels of public speaking comfort? Find out where you belong:

Level 1: Pressured and Petrified: Those belonging to level 1 are the ones who display the most  signs of nervousness.

Level 2: Hurried and Harried: Presenters and speakers sometimes deal with their fear by going through their materials as fast as they can without taking into consideration if their audience understood their presentation or not.

Level 3: Surprised and Startled: Those who present based on their moods belong to this category. As soon as they’re asked to do something that is outside of their comfort zone, they panic!

Level 4: Eager and Enthusiastic: People who belong to this level are the best type. They welcome any and every opportunity to be able to present and speak in public and always treat it as a blessing rather than something to dread about.

So which level do you belong to? Know more details about each of these levels by visiting this link:

How to Assess Your Public Speaking Comfort Level

How Important is Audience Body Language?

You might be following all the rules there is in presentation and public speaking. But do you take the time to analyze what your audience is telling you through their body language? By observing your audience and the way they behave non-verbally, you can get a lot of information which can be useful in determining their levels of interest during your presentation. Once you know this, then  it would be easier for you to engage your audience, avoid tricks and techniques that bore them and ultimately, persuade them with the ideas and strategies you’re presenting.

Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Facial Expressions
  • Leaning Forwards
  • Crossing of Arms

This is just the tip of the iceberg. You can try studying NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) to know the science behind it. But for now, head to this post for a more detailed information: Audience Body Language




Planet of the Apes and Presentation Lessons

I remember watching Planet of the Apes this summer and I thought, wow, could that really be possible? I found some scenes too gruesome to watch (or maybe I’m just too sensitive) but other than loving its cinematography and totally sympathizing with Ceasar, I thought, there are some lessons to be learned here when it comes to presentation. So I went about my days, plotting to write about it, then voila… I found another blog post that has the same sentiments. Perfect!

Scott, in his blog post Presentation Lessons from Planet of the Apes, discussed three things we can apply to our own presentations:

  1.  Learning doesn’t have to stop. Just look at how those chimps and apes were able to adapt to their new surrounding and eventually plotted their escape. You have to scope your environment, your audience, your market too.
  2. Don’t be overly ambitious. Sometimes, you have to be patient by taking steps one day at a time until you can perfect your presentations. Practice, practice, practice. Learn from your mistakes and keep moving on one day at a time.
  3. Always build bridges. See how Ceasar had to make friends with his supposed enemies? Always connect and network and never burn bridges. You never know where it might lead you.

To read more about Scott’s blog post, head to Presentation Lessons from Planet of the Apes

A Good Story Makes A Good Speech

Whether we admit it or not, telling stories is how we get our messages across… it’s how we capture the attention of our intended audience, whether it be our teacher in school, our spouse, or the multitude of people we want to reach (most especially if you’re in the advertising or movie company). Humans have used it millions of years ago when they told their stories by drawing on  walls and rock. And we still do it today. Now the question is, how good a story are you telling?

If it’s all garbage and crap, well, expect people to NOT listen to you. But if there’s a good story there, then expect to get the admiration, following, an respect of many people.

As a presenter or public speaker, it will help capture the interest of your audience if you have a god story to tell. Dr. Jim Anderson wrote about the three keys to telling a good story during a speech:

You must invite your audience to listen to your story.

You should tap into your audience’s imagination.

You ought to make sure that you are having influence over your audience.

By doing these three things, your speech will surely be a success. Do head to the link for more details on this matter.

First Session of Outstanding Presentations – What I learned from Dr. Carmen Taran

For those who were not able to join the first session of Ellen Finkelstein’s Outstanding Presentations Workshop, well don’t fret. A recording will be sent to those who registered. Anyway, like Ellen, there were two things that Dr. Carmen Taran said which made me pause for a while and think to myself  “Oh yeah… she’s absolutely right!”  What am I saying here? Well, during the webinar, she demonstrated how we can make thought-provoking presentations by avoiding stereotypical photos or words.  For instance, on my blog alone, I’ve been using photos which seem to be the stereotype of what I’m blogging about. When making big presentations especially for life-changing businesses, we should try to use unusual photos that can elicit emotions and draw out creative ideas among our audience.

Another thing that struck me the most was when Dr. Taran said that we should be focusing our energy on  “People first, presentations second.” So instead of putting too much emphasis on how beautiful our presentation is with the graphics and exotic terminologies, why not give attention to the audience first?

Next week, it’s gonna be Cliff Atkinson’s presentation! If you haven’t signed up yet, just go to!

Do you want to become a keynote speaker?

If your answer to the title is yes, then read on…

Being a  keynote speaker is different from being a platform speaker. And when you say you are a keynote speaker, it means that you are getting paid to speak.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger gives us the details on how he became a keynote speaker and how speaking has been giving him 80% of his income and how you can do that too, should you choose to make public speaking your source of livelihood. Here’s a summary of points on how Patrick did it:

1. Saturate your market.

2. Get started.

3. Touch a younger audience.

4. Climb the ladder.

5.  Use an essential marketing collateral.

Visit the link to read the entire post and find out how you, too, can become a keynote speaker.

How to Become a Keynote Speaker, guest post by  Patrick Schwerdtfeger