Do you use quotes in your speech? Here’s how:

Once in a while, we end up giving speeches with quotes. But do you know if you’re using those quotes right? Below are tips on how you can make sure you get the maximum benefits of using quotes in your presentation:

1. Do your research right by getting the phrase right, making sure the source you got it from is reliable, and that you use the quote in the right context.

2. Quote people your audience knows. Do this by quoting a well-known expert in the field, or the speaker before you at the event you’re at, or quote yourself jokingly. If you plan to quote someone who is not that well-known, introduce the speaker and establish their credibility first.

3. Use your own words to open and close; quote in the middle. Do this by opening your speech with a quote but do this sparingly; avoid closing your speech with a quote; and remember that quotations work best in the body of your speech.

4. Draw attention to the quote through your delivery.

5. Use trustworthy resources.

6. Be selective.

To find out more about the importance of knowing how to properly use quotes in your presentation, please head to:

How to Use Quotes in Your Speech:8 Benefits and 21 Tips

Important Things to Think About Before Making a Presentation

When tasked to do a presentation, more often than not, we tend to go straight to our laptops, open PowerPoint and start typing what we want to present. Now, before you do that, before you go ahead and make that presentation think about these 9 things first. Doing so will help you come up with a better presentation in a more efficient and effective manner:

1. Are you spending more time on slide designing and less on thinking about what you have to say? 

2. Your success depends on how well you think and not how well you speak.

3. Have a goal for every speech/presentation. 

4. Respect your audience’s time. 

5. Have a clear structure for your talk.

6. Bear in mind that people have a limited attention span.

7. Talk about what people care and they will give you their attention.

8. Ask yourself: ‘Why is the audience watching this?’

9. Before accepting to speak at an event or conference, ask three questions: a) What does the organiser want from you? b) What does the audience want from you? and c) What are you capable of delivering?

To know more about this, please head to: 9 things to note before you open PowerPoint

3 Simple Steps in Giving an Impromptu Speech

You may find yourself getting better and better at becoming a presenter or a speaker. You’ve rehearsed your lines well and you were able to give good presentations or speeches every single time. But how about impromptu speeches? What if you’re in a  meeting or gathering and you were suddenly asked to give a short speech? How would you deal with it? How do you make sure that you won’t fumble and make it look like you do this everyday for a living?

Well, fret not. Here are three simple steps in giving an awesome impromptu speech:

  • Step One: Start your remarks with, “First of all, I’d like to say…” This statement will help you gather your thoughts. If you were asked a question that you needed to answer, then you could rephrase it by saying:   “First of all, I’d like to acknowledge the challenge we are facing…”
  • Step Two: Follow it with “Next…” So after stating your first thought, say a relevant piece information that supports your previous statement like an important statistic, evidence or example. You can tell a story too.
  • Step Three: Then lastly you say “And finally…” where you briefly summarize what you have said and add your final thought.

For more insight on this matter, please head to:  Asked to Give an Impromptu Speech? It’s as Easy as One, Two, Three

How to deliver a better presentation? Here are 12 ways…

One can never have enough tips on how to present better so here are twelve more:

1. Do not try to be perfect

2. No one cares about your mistakes.

3. If you are giving a 10 minute talk, prepare for 8 to 9 minutes.

4. Stage fright, use it well.

5. Practice your talk several times before the final speech

6. Calm yourself before a presentation.

7. Don’t go with an assumption that you will get a tough audience.

8. Everyone pays attention at the start so use this opportunity.

9. Engage the audience.

10. End early.

11. Be an audience before being a presenter.

12. Have a laptop or screen in front of you so you need not look back.

For more insight on this matter, please head to:  12 tips to help you deliver a better presentation

How to start your speech? Here are 3 ways…

Below are the 3 best ways  TED speakers usually start their presentation. Since the first 20 seconds of any talk or presentation is crucial in catching the attention of your audience, make sure that you get to engage them immediately  before they get distracted by their own thoughts and other stimuli.

Opening #1: The Personal Story – make sure it’s personal, relevant to the message you want to convey and that it starts in the middle to make them think about the who, what, where, whey, why, or how of your story.

Opening #2: The Powerful Question – use how or why questions.

Opening #3: The Shocking Statement – use a statement that will trigger a range of audience emotions.

For more insights on this matter, please head to:

3 Best Ways To Start Your Speech – Guest post by Jeremey Donovan


Learning from E.B. White’s The Elements of Style to Better Your Presentations

Below are the 5 Staples of Storytelling from The Elements of Style which I read from blog. Let me give you snippets of these helpful pieces of information that can help you with your presentations.

“Choose a suitable design and hold to it.” – It’s like Stephen Covey’s “Begin with the end in mind.” Know what you want to happen at the end of your presentation so you can craft it accordingly.

“Use the active voice.” – This makes you sound more confident and makes your speech more effective.

“Use definite, specific, concrete language.” – Make your words capture real life pictures that your audience can resonate with.

“Omit needless sentences.” – Get rid of the unimportant sentences. The  more straightforward you are, the more effective you will be as a presenter.

“Be clear.” – Don’t beat around the bush. Say what you want to say.


Join the Outstanding Presentations Workshop 2012

My favorite presentation guru and PowerPoint MVP, Ellen Finkelstein, has just announced the schedule for the 3rd Annual Outstanding Presentations Workshop and I’m excited! It will run weekly on Tuesdays, from September 18 through November 13 (with no session on Tuesday, October 9). All sessions start at 11am Pacific Time, 2pm Eastern Time.

Those who would like to join (and you should!), when you sign up, you will get a link to the full schedule, which has a link for the time anywhere in the world.

The cost is very minimal, only $7, which is a super great value considering how expensive other similar workshops can be. And what’s great about it is that some of the world’s top presentation experts will be the ones to conduct the sessions. Here are their schedules:

9/18 – Rick Altman, Presentation Summit host, “Real-World Makeovers”
9/25 – Sandy Johnson, PowerPoint MVP, “Creating Your Own Graphics”
10/2 – Glenna Shaw, PowerPoint MVP,  “Designing Games for Learning”
10/16 – Ric  Bretschneider, PowerPoint MVP, “10 Evil Little Secrets about PowerPoint”
10/23 – Geetesh Bajaj, PowerPoint MVP, “Handmade Slides”
10/30 – Echo Swinford, PowerPoint MVP, “Create Charts That Don’t Make Their Eyes Bleed”
11/6 – Julie Terberg, PowerPoint MVP, “A Theme Runs Through It”
11/13 – Ellen Finkelstein, PowerPoint MVP, “Make a Lasting Impression by Visualizing Business Concepts”

I also interviewed Ellen about this by asking her a few questions that came to mind. Let me share with you what she said:

  1. What is the main purpose of this workshop? The main purpose of this workshop is to give you the knowledge you need to create outstanding presentations. The expert presenters will cover many of the topics that presenters deal with each time they present, such as working with themes, creating charts, visualizing concepts, designing graphics, and more.
  2. What do you hope to accomplish at the end of the 8 sessions? I hope to give presenters the tools they need to present effectively and avoid Death by PowerPoint. I also want them to hear the advice and tips of some of the top presentation experts in the world.
  3. Why is the workshop very affordable? We’ve been able to attract a large number of attendees in the last 2 years. Last year over 3,000 people registered from 98 countries. A small amount from each person will be enough to sustain this effort.
  4. Can people join from any part of the world? Yes! As I mentioned, we had people from 98 countries last year. All of the sessions are recorded and will be available for 2 months after the live session. Each week, after the webinar, everyone will get an email with a link to the recording. This allows people in all time zones to get the great value of these sessions.
  5. How can we pay? What if I have no PayPal? You don’t need a PayPal account. You can pay with a credit card. After going to, click the Join Us button and then look for the link that says, “Don’t have a PayPal account?” We look forward to having you join us!

So join now! Go to this link to register:

To read Ellen’s post about it, please head to:  Announcing Outstanding Presentations Workshop 2012

How to Improve Your Team’s Presentation Skills

Your company or team may be composed of brilliant individuals but as a team, are they great at presenting? Do they create the kind of impact needed for your team to wow their audience? Below are 5 things your team can do to improve their presentation skills.

1. Cast the Roles and Rehearse for a Great Performance. – Know who is best at speaking in front of an audience, who is good with the slides and the computer, who is an expert at answering questions and any other role that you deem needed during the presentation. Then have them practice as a team.  By tapping your people for the skills that they are already good at, then as a team they would be more effective.

2. Choose Purpose Over Content. – It may sound great to deliver such detailed content but make sure it coincides with the main purpose of your presentation. Don’t bombard your audience with a lot of content that is not aligned with the purpose of your presentation.

3. Create a Theme for Your Presentation. – By doing this, your presentation becomes more interesting for your audience especially if you know that many other speakers will be presenting before your team. Imagine the information overload your audience must be feeling by that time! With a theme  behind your presentation, the monotony of the whole affair gets broken and your audience will feel more receptive to what your team has to say.

4. Tell Your Company or Organization’s Story. – This tip is different from babbling about your company’s success, accomplishments and products way too much that you lose your audience in the process.  It is about telling the story behind your organization, a story that your audience can relate to while at the same time giving them the chance to see the solution to their problems.

5. Use Body Language and Nonverbal Communication. – The way to persuade your audience or compel them to act is through your body language or the non-verbal communication that transpires among your presenters. The speech or verbal part of the presentation is just the tip of the iceberg.

For more insight about this matter, please head to: 5 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Team Presentation Skills


Do You Want to Bore Your Audience?

If you don’t want to bore your prospects or your audience, here are 8 things YOU SHOULD NOT DO when presenting:

1. Start your pitch by talking about your company – A lot of presenters do this, but really, your audience doesn’t care. What they want to know is how you can solve their problems.

2. Talk endlessly about your product, offering or solution – Just give the product features that are relevant to your audience. The rest can go to the handouts which your detail-oriented audience can check later on.

3. Make the conversation one-way – Always get your audience involved.

4. Use jargon, techno-speak or corporate mumbo-jumbo – Always use simple language if you want to engage your audience.

5. Use a monotone voice – This is one of the quickest ways to put your audience to sleep. You don’t want that happening now do you?

6. Use the same pace and pitch during your entire pitch – Same as number 5.

7. Read directly from your slide deck – Your audience attended your presentation to listen to your words of wisdom and not to listen to you read your slides word for word. The slides are just there to make a point. And when I say point, use graphics instead of words.

8. Use the words “I”, “we” “me” “us” “our” – Again, the presentation is not about you or your company, it’s about your audience. They’d rather hear you address them by their name or mention the name of their company. That would be music to their ears.

For more insight on this matter, please head to: 8 Ways to Bore Your Prospect