There is no one secret to a powerful presentation, but if there were, it would be this – your subject must be interesting to your audience. If your audience doesn’t know whether they’re interested in your subject, how do you get them to connect with it?

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Good Acceptance Speech How to Example from APAHow do you write a good acceptance speech? Start early, be yourself, honor those who’ve helped you, state your connection to the organization giving you the award, and rehearse…again…again and again.

Every year the American Payroll Association honors their Man and Woman of the Year. The next year at the annual conference call Congress they deliver a five-minute speech to almost 2,500 of their peers. I’ve had the honor of speaking at twenty-one APA’s Congress events and working with APA’s leaders and speakers. Dan Maddux, the APA’s very creative Executive Director, and his convention team always have amazing themes and sets. As you can tell the 2018 theme was James Bond and Pay for Another Day.

David Wakeling’s Payroll Man of The Year Speech 2018

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Action verbs make presentations powerful.

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How to use impact phrases to make your presentation memorable.

Well-timed impact phrases make your message memorable. Strategize your word order.

Great communicators are remembered and repeated. To make your message more memorable, pay close attention to how you order your words and phrases, even within a single sentence. Thoughtful choices in word order, give you the opportunity to highlight your most significant information and deliver this as “impact phrases.”

Audiences engage when we present information in a natural progression. It helps them “see” what we’re trying to convey.  Like a miniature story, a single well-crafted sentence draws your audience in; they connect both intellectually and emotionally and follow your narrative to its conclusion. (more…)

You can shorten your presentation without losing impact.

Don’t panic. You can shorten your presentation without losing your impact.

Imagine, you’ve done all the work to prepare and rehearse a major presentation and at the last minute you’re told, “I’m so sorry, but we’re short on time. Can you give us the five-minute version?”

Is it possible to shorten a presentation without losing all of your impact? Yes. Don’t panic. After all, a sound bite is often more powerful than a lengthy dissertation. Here’s how to condense your speech without losing impact:

1. Don’t apologize or mention that you usually have much more time. Find confidence in the fact you’ve prepared. You can still get your central message across in five minutes.
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Presentation Audience

Authentic stories are essential to connect with your audience and make your message memorable.

Have you ever attended a talk where you left energized and enthusiastic, only to get sidewalk amnesia? You forget why you were inspired. By the time you hit the car, the speaker’s message – and your excitement – is lost. Have you delivered a presentation like that?

An unforgettable presentation is “sticky.” It sticks with audience members and continues to influence long after the presentation is over. Vivid and authentic stories are central to presentations that “stick.”

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For Engineers Presentation Skills at Conference

Connect with your audience, regardless of how tech-savvy they are or aren’t.

When you’re an engineer presenting at a user meeting or customer conference, you are the expert on the topic you plan to deliver to your customers. Remember, your audience does not want to know everything you know; they just need to know about the subject of your presentation.

You can connect with your audience, regardless of how tech-savvy they are, or aren’t! This approach will help ensure that your message gets across. (more…)

Legendary Rock Guitarist, Robert Fripp

Legendary Guitarist, Robert Fripp

Though my brother would never use these words, to describe himself, Robert Fripp is a legendary guitarist. In fact, he’s one of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists” of all time.

Speakers can improve their presentations by paying close attention to one element of delivery that’s second nature to professional musicians, timing. Robert suggests that speakers think about rhythm and tempo in this way: (more…)