Master Your Message Blog

Confidence

Hotel put chandeliers and columns in all the wrong places

Chandeliers and columns!

On my travels in the corporate presentation world, I’ve seen some horrendous presentation set-ups. And in a lot of cases, people aren’t even aware of the problem.

The worst culprit – hotels. You’d think it would be different … for an industry whose income relies on the success of conventions …. Why do they stick chandeliers and posts right in the sight lines of the stage? And lights right above the screen?

Room lights are often the worst! But many presenters don’t pay any attention to them. Well, I’m telling you that they’re important! It can affect the way the audience reacts to both you and your presentation.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a convention situation or the board room; how you Read More …

This is right up there with the most important things I’ll ever tell you about persuasive presentations:

To be a successful persuasive presenter, you absolutely have to believe in your message. And you have to display passion.

Being persuasive requires understanding the audience

Mehrabian’s chart

You may have seen this pie chart before. It’s usually misinterpreted.

It comes from the work of Albert Mehrabian, Ph.D. He was measuring what happens when someone you know gives you mixed messages.

That’s like me telling you that “The weather’s not very good but I know you’re going to have great vacation” and saying it with a slight look of doubt on my face. You won’t hear anything about “great vacation.” My look of doubt reinforces the fact that the weather isn’t very good and, Read More …

They say you should rehearse an hour for every minute of your speech. I’m not so sure.

I think rehearsing your talk is really important. But how you do it, probably differs by individual.

There’s a belief out there about saying it in front of a mirror. What’s THAT about? Forget it – it doesn’t work.

What I do is break down longer talks into chunks – subtopics or key points. I get the main point in my mind and then I write down a word or two on a cue card. I memorize or think through the logic of the argument I’m going to make so that a key word will trigger that chunk.

Memorizing your entire speech is about the worst thing you Read More …

It’s OK to be nervous. We all are to a certain extent. Even me. Well, not now, ‘cause there’s nobody here. I’m talking about on stage.

Now, there are lots of techniques you can try to treat the symptoms of nervousness. You’ll find a whack of them in the articles on my website.

But the truth is, it doesn’t get at the heart of the problem. Cause the problem is self-confidence. Plain and simple.

It’s just like anything else in life.  Do it enough and you’ll get good at it. Know you’re good at it and your self-confidence goes through the roof.

Here’s what I suggest – two things.

One. Practice. Just speak a lot, or if you want to do it in a really Read More …

If you’re an entrepreneur with a web presence and you don’t have a video, you’re missing out on potential business! Video is today’s business card on the internet. There are four billion video views each day on YouTube alone.

Video builds trust; it allows visitors to your site a chance to “virtually meet” you. After all, under the right circumstances, you’re your best salesperson. You know that.

PLUS … video works for you around the clock. Read More …

I constantly see presenters futzing around with their computers mere minutes before they go on …. and often minutes after they should have started. It simply shouldn’t happen in most of those cases.

Here’s the secret: Show up early.

But, there’s actually more to it than that! To be really successful on stage, there are a number things you need to do before your presentation. If you complete them all, you’ll be much more successful. I’ve seen too many horror stories from presenters who showed up five minutes ahead of time and expected everything to go just fine.

Play for the video below and get the list of “must-dos.”

Check out the room. Walk the stage area. Get used to where the audience will be Read More …

obama-small
President Obama’s address at the White House this weekend outlining the decision he’d made regarding launching an attack on Syria was one of the least persuasive speeches I’ve seen him give (other than that questionable debate performance from the last election!). I had to review the transcript to get as good sense as to why.

He displayed one of the classic mistakes novice speakers make—using the word “but.” Now, we all know that using the word “but” in a sentence subordinates, even negates everything you said before it. Funnily enough, it has the same effect in a speech.

His performance was only “good”—not  his best— and that’s often the result of someone who is not 100% in tune with what they’re saying (after all, the Read More …

I was asked to summarize a talk I  gave in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. So here goes!

There’s lots of angst when it comes to giving presentations. I often compare it to going to the dentist. The thought of it is often worse than the actual visit! We tend to take small amounts of anxiety and blow them up into much more mental trauma than they deserve.

We tend to concentrate on our upcoming performance first, without thinking about what we’re going to say. Or worse still, we call up the art department and book them for visuals before we’ve thought through what we’re actually going to use.

Well, here’s my take:

If your message is right, you truly believe in it, and you’re passionate about Read More …

We all have fears of one kind or another. It’s part of the human condition. Arguably, speaking in public is one of the greatest, or at least, most common.

Speaking in public is often cited as one of man’s greatest fears.

Here’s a PDF file with ten great tips – from Stanford University. It’s called simply, “Overcoming Speech Anxiety.”

Contrary to what many believe, the fear can be overcome. As Wayne Kehl writes in his article, it’s typically a gradual thing, like dipping your toe in the lake to judge the warmth. If it’s safe, you’ll gradually wade in deeper.

I’ve been a member of Toastmasters for something like ten years, in two segments. Between the first and the second, I lost my self esteem … Read More …

There’s a great discussion just starting up in a Linkedin Group, called, “Great Communicators! Effective Presenting & Powerpoint.” If you’re a member of Linkedin and not a member of this group, you might think about joining it. It seems to me to be the Linkedin discussion group about presenting in public with the most thought-provoking questions. If you are a member, click here for the link.

This particular discussion centers around the question:

“What is your best tip to someone who wants to move from being a good presenter to being a phenomenally great one? What do you see as the defining component?”

The discussion has quickly moved from answering this question to a greater, more difficult question to answer, I think: “What Read More …