Sunday, April 22, 2018

3 Ways You Can Kill a Presentation

Are you guilty of using a “poison P”? Have you ever delivered a business presentation standing behind a lectern or desk, been so serious—you forgot to share your personality with your audience, or read word-for-word from slides or notes?

Don’t worry. I’m a recovering addict with just the right prescription to prevent the three poison P’s: physical roadblocks, too little personality and perfectionism. These poison pills can cut off your audience connection and kill your presentation.

#1 POISON PILL: There’s a physical barrier between you and your audience.
REMEDY: Get as close as possible to your audience. Clear all roadblocks that make it hard to have a conversation with them. I used to love to stand behind the lectern and glance at my notes when I gave speeches at my Toastmasters Club. But the best speakers in our club knew better. They never stood behind the lectern or table. They would walk close to the audience, speak from the heart and look us in the eye.

#2 POISON PILL: You don’t tap into your personality.
REMEDY: Weave your best personality assets into your presentation. Play to your strengths. Do you love dogs? Find a way to mention your passion in your speech. Do you make your friends laugh? Share a funny story with your listeners. Bring your best personality trait on stage with you. You’ll be more interesting, authentic, credible, appealing and fun. You have more energy as a presenter when you show off your personality. And your listeners want to hear something unique about you, your perspective or your subject.

#3 POISON PILL: You’re addicted to the perfection pill.
REMEDY: Forget about perfection. Don’t read your presentation word for word from an iPad, written notes or your slides. Use a conversational delivery style that includes lots of eye contact, interaction with the audience, and little visual contact with your notes/slides. Your audience wants you to explain your message to them, not regurgitate every word you wrote down in your memorized script!

For more presentation tips, like the Better Speaking Skills Facebook page.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Do Your Stories Boost Your Image?

Do you include stories in your business presentations? For years, I shied away from telling stories in my speeches. I didn’t think I could tell a great story. I was right. Then I discovered how to take my stories from good to great. What made the difference?

There are five things I added to breathe life into my stories. Have you ever had a tall, cold glass of Hi-C? That fruit-juice flavored drink leaves a great taste in your mouth! Well there are five C’s that will make your stories as memorable and refreshing as a cold glass of Hi-C!

Great stories, like Star Wars or Black Panther, have the power to capture your imagination. And you can capture the attention and imagination of your audience by using the five C’s of storytelling. They add so much power and passion to your stories, you’ll also get a lift. When you’re known as a great storyteller, you’ll boost your image as a leader, communicator and an expert.

To take your stories from good to great, add these five C’s:

1 – Curiosity – Before you start your story, ask a question that makes your audience curious so they can’t wait to hear what you have to say next. You want them thinking, “Oh please, tell me more”.

2 – Characters – Make your characters believable by describing their appearance, personality and mindset. You want your audience to see themselves and others in your characters.

3 – Conversation – Add conversation between one or more characters. Dialog is a great way to generate a laugh and drive home your point.

4 – Conflict – Make sure your story has a problem or conflict the audience can relate to. Your audience should see themselves in your character(s) struggle to fix their problem.

5 – Carryout message – Summarize the message your story delivers in an easy-to-repeat slogan that is short and catchy (10 words or less). You want your audience to walk away repeating your carryout message or catch phrase.

For more easy-to-use storytelling tips, go to www.portercoachyou.com and sign up for free Better Speaking Skills business presentation tools.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

5 Biggest Public Speaking Mistakes You Must Avoid

What do ambitious women and awesome public speakers have in common? A panel at the Women on the Rise Orlando empowerment expo laid out a roadmap for women who want corporate success and pay equality. Their advice will also help men and women avoid the five biggest public speaking mistakes.

I repackaged their message as a M.A.G.I.C. bullet for men and women who want to be successful presenters. To be an empowered and extraordinary presenter, avoid these five mistakes:

M - MINDSET: Mistake: You have an “I’m good enough” mindset. Solution: Step outside of your comfort zone and get comfortable being uncomfortable.

A - ADVANTAGES: Mistake: You settle for less than your best. Solution: Go for the P.I.E. advantages. PERFORMANCE (Perfect your ability to move an audience). IMAGE (Boost your image as a leader and an expert by making presentations). EXPOSURE (Give speeches that raise your personal, professional or business’ visibility).

G - GROWTH: Mistake: You assume you can’t improve your presentations. Solution: Look for ways to grow or strengthen your public speaking skills.

I - INJECT: Mistake: You bore your audience by playing it too safe. Solution: Inject emotion, passion and your authentic self into your presentations.

C - CONFIDENCE: Mistake: You feel unsure or scared in front of an audience. Solution: Remind yourself that you have something valuable to say and confidently deliver your message.

Let me know if you have ever made one of these mistakes. How did you rebound from it? Remember, missteps are part of the learning process that moves you along the road to speaking success! Share your horror and success stories at www.portercoachyou.com or Rosalyn@portercoachyou.com

Monday, January 15, 2018

4 Ways You Can Captivate an Audience Like Oprah

Oprah Winfrey jumped to the top of a list of potential 2020 candidates for president of the United States after giving a speech, accepting the Cecil DeMille award for lifetime achievement. What did she do in her January 7 Golden Globes award show speech?

Oprah ignited our imagination, gave us a history lesson and stirred our emotions. She even had a room full of Hollywood heavy hitters clapping and cheering like they were at a political rally. She clearly captivated her audience. And there are four things you can do to captivate an audience like Oprah.

In his new book, “SOAR,” Bishop T.D. Jakes explains what he tries to do in every speech or sermon: “I want my preaching, teaching, and speaking to be as relevant, engaging, powerful, and transformative to my audience as possible.”

Oprah’s Golden Globes speech was relevant, engaging, powerful and transformative. To make the T.D. Jakes recipe and Oprah’s speaking style work for you:

1. RELEVANT: Speak on a topic that’s relevant to your audience. Oprah spoke directly to the women in the entertainment industry who launched a “Time’s Up” movement to help women facing sexual harassment in the workplace. The theme of her acceptance speech was female empowerment.

2. ENGAGING: Use vivid descriptions so your audience can visualize the scenes in your stories. You could see Oprah in 1964 as a little girl “sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house” watching Sidney Poitier get an Oscar for best actor (first black man to win that award). Couldn’t you feel how exhausted her mom was when she “came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people’s houses”?

3. POWERFUL: Vary the speed and volume of your voice for emphasis. Oprah slowly announced that “Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday.” And she turned up the volume to loudly proclaim: “I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories.”

4. TRANSFORMATIVE: Offer new information, a different perspective or deeper understanding of your topic. Was Oprah’s speech your first introduction to Recy Taylor? I had never heard of this African-American woman who was raped in 1944 while walking home from church. Her story brought me to tears!

Need to make your next presentation as powerful as Oprah’s, go to www.portercoachyou.com and sign up for my free business presentation tools.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Gomer Pyle Had it Right!

Have you ever been delighted by an unexpected Christmas gift? How did that make you feel? That sudden surge of surprise, delight and excitement pumped you up. My favorite part of Christmas is watching my child open a gift she wasn’t expecting. Her eyes light up, a toothy smile pops on her face, and she yells “wow”!

Surprise, delight and excitement are also the best reactions you can get to your next presentation.

You know, Gomer Pyle had it right! “Surprise, surprise, surprise” was one of Gomer’s favorite saying on the popular 1960s television hit series, “The Andy Griffith Show”. And you need to surprise, delight and excite everyone who sits through one of your presentations.

You may be thinking, how do you surprise business audiences who have seen millions of presentations? Some of your listeners may be jaded, bored or uninterested in your topic. That means you have to try harder to get their attention. I recommend that you add one of these surprises to your next presentation:

1. SURPRISE: Open and close your speech in an unexpected way. If every speaker opens by thanking the audience, don’t. Skip the “thank you” and launch into something the audience cares about—a topic that directly affects them or solves their problems.

2. SURPRISE: Share an original story with an unpredictable twist. You want your audience to say, “Wow. I didn’t see that coming!” Not, “I know where she’s going with that tired story. I’ve heard that one a hundred times.” Think like you’re writing a murder mystery for NBC’s “Dateline” television news show!

3. SURPRISE: Be different, unique and entertaining. Build a memorable catch phrase into your presentation that is easy to repeat and remember. I heard a presentation by the owner of a marketing company. At the end of his talk, we were all yelling “bam”! That was the catch phrase he used throughout his speech so we would remember what his company does—Branding, Advertising and Marketing. “Bam” was fun to say. “Bam” was a way to involve the audience, be memorable and stand out from the other presenters (dry, boring talking heads).

For more business presentation tips, go to www.portercoachyou.com and sign up for my free business presentation tools.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

#MeToo...Find and Amplify Your Voice

Hashtag #MeToo is empowering women to share their stories of harassment and sexual abuse on Twitter. To be honest, every woman does not have a sexual abuse or harassment story to tell. But every man and woman has a voice. As a communications coach, I’d like to give you a few tips to amplify your voice, no matter what story you have to tell.

The #MeToo social media movement is about finding and amplifying your voice. Since I coach business owners and professionals, my advice is for delivering business presentations. But feel free to use the three P’s to tell your personal story and amplify your voice—on any stage.

When you deliver your message, tell your story with POWER, PASSION and PERSUASION. Here are a few tips:

1. POWER – When you speak with confidence, your words carry more weight. Use direct, action words; vary your pace (how fast you speak) and adjust the volume (speak louder or softer, when you need to emphasize a point). Tip #1: Your voice is a powerful communications tool. Use it strategically!

2. PASSION – Don’t hold back your emotions. Your passion should shine through in your body language, gestures and in your voice. Speak with energy, enthusiasm and emotion. Stay in touch with your feelings and let your listeners know how strongly you care about your story/issue/message. Tip #2: Your hands, face and words should reflect your emotions, your passion!

3. PERSUASION – To make a difference, you have to change minds and hearts. The best way to influence your audience is to tell your story in way that makes your audience think “me too”. When your listeners can put themselves in your shoes, they can see your point of view. We all can relate to pain, loss and uncomfortable situations. Tip #3: It’s easier to persuade someone who can see themselves in your story!

These three P’s will amplify your voice and propel your message to the next level. When you use power, passion and persuasion in your presentation, your message has more impact.

For more business presentation tips, go to www.portercoachyou.com and sign up for my free business presentation tools.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Can Candy Make You a Better Presenter?

What’s your favorite candy? Snickers, Dove and Hershey chocolate bars put a smile on my face. I’ve even handed out Tic Tac candies to my audience, before starting a presentation. No, they didn’t need the sugar, but I wanted to drive home my message in a candy red Corvette. You can also make your message as memorable as Prince’s hit song, “Little Red Corvette”!

If candy can grab your attention like a fast car, so can T.I.C. T.A.C.S.—seven ways to pull in listeners and hold them, from your first words to your last. Try one of these T.I.C. T.A.C.S. in your next presentation. You can quickly engage any audience with a T.I.C. and make your message memorable with one or more T.A.C.S.

All eyes are on you, when you open a presentation with one, two or all three T.I.C.’s:
T – TEASE your audience
I – IGNITE curiosity
C – COMPELLING VISUALS

The “T” in T.I.C. stands for tease your audience in your opening. Don’t give away your main message too soon. If you jump into your main points immediately, you give your audience no reason to listen for the big finale. You want to entice the audience to come along for the ride. Like a good TV cliffhanger, make your listeners want to tune in for the rest of the show. A good tease gives the audience reasons to stay with you and tells them what they gain, if they do.

The “I” in T.I.C. stands for igniting curiosity. The best way to do that is to ask a surprising question. Throw your audience a pitch they aren’t expecting. You can frame a topic in an unexpected way that clicks their curiosity button. Questions that start with “Have you ever” or “imagine” pull your audience into your message and engage their curiosity.

And the “C” in T.I.C. stands for a compelling visual. Give your audience a compelling visual to help them visualize your message. You can share a personal story, slides, photos, video or a prop (like Tic Tac candy) to visually bring your message alive for your audience. Visuals help your listeners see the point you’re trying to make.

Your message will stick with the audience after your final words, when you close with one or more T.A.C.S.:
T – TAP into a bigger picture
A – ASK your audience to take action
C – CIRCLE back to your opening
S – SIGN OFF with a memorable slogan

To “T”, tap into a bigger picture, remind the audience how your message relates to their vision or values. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech ended on a high note and tapped into our values of fairness, justice and equality in a memorable way.

To “A”, ask your audience to take action, move your audience from passive listeners to engaged participants. Ask them to buy into your ideas, buy your product/services or turn your words into powerful good deeds. When your listeners take action, you know your message has taken root with them.

To “C”, circle back to your opening, remind your audience of a story or example you mentioned in your opening. You can also start a story in your opening and finish it at the end. That’s called a circular close. It ties your message up in a nice package.

To “S”, sign off with a memorable slogan, capture your message in an easy-to-repeat phrase that summarizes your main point and makes it unforgettable. Television advertisers use this powerful communications tool to perfection. Can you still hum TV jingles from decades ago? For your next presentation, see if you can come up with a catchy phrase that sums up your message in less than 10 words.

Make it easy for your audience to remember your message by closing with T.A.C.S. (tap into a bigger picture, ask your audience to take action, circle back to your opening or sign off with a memorable slogan).

Can candy make you a better presenter? Tic Tac candy can freshen your mouth and T.I.C. T.A.C.S. can make your message as unforgettable as your favorite candy or Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”!

Are your presentations getting the job done? Discover the six proven ways to connect with your audience and get them to take action in my free checklist, “Make Your Message Stick (Like Glue) to Any Audience”. To get audience connection and take action ideas, email to Rosalyn@portercoachyou.com