Do you immediately engage your audience? Powerful openings are key to successful presentations. Learn how to craft and deliver your openings so you always engage your audience within the first 30 seconds of your talk.

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Speaking as a panelist? Think you can just “wing it?” Think again.

Almost everyone is aware that a formal presentation requires preparation and rehearsal, but it’s easy to forget that “doing your homework” can ensure your success in any speaking situation, including a panel discussion. As a panelist – if you want the audience to understand and appreciate your ideas and information – organize your thoughts and understand your strategy well in advance of joining your fellow panelists on stage. (more…)

Is your audience hearing what you want to communicate? It is not just what you say, it is how you say it.

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Does your PowerPoint support your message or distract your audience? Understanding when and how to use PowerPoint for maximum impact, you can make it powerful.

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More than any words you say in your presentation, your audience will remember what they “see” in their minds while they are listening. Learn the secrets of great storytelling. Everybody loves a good story.

The art of storytelling is essential to effective public speaking. No matter what our culture, we grow up feeling that hearing a story is somehow a reward. Stories are the best way to explain the complex, motivate, and train.

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

By Emma Coats

These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s story artist. Number nine on the list—when you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next—is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.

1. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

2. Keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different. (more…)

When you open your presentation, you have just thirty seconds to command your audience’s attention. Don’t waste your opening words. Prepare a winning opening and give it extra attention as you rehearse your presentation.

A relevant and compelling quote is one way to open a presentation and engage your audience. General Eisenhower said, “Leadership is the ability to decide what has to be done and then to get people to want to do it.” When I talk on leadership, I might start with that quote. I’m also a believer in quoting others besides Dead White Men – not that many haven’t said wonderful and true things. (more…)

When you deliver a presentation, have a conversation with senior management, or network in your professional community do you sound intelligent, powerful, polished, articulate and confident?

To sound more intelligent:
Pace your words, speaking just a bit more slowly to allow yourself time to select the most appropriate vocabulary and to give the impression of thoughtfulness.

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Congratulations! You’ve been asked to moderate a panel. This is a great opportunity to build your reputation and add value to your customers. Moderating a panel can be more challenging than delivering a keynote speech. My video and the article that follows will help you successfully moderate a panel:

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