PowerPoint is from the devil

Let’s make something clear: PowerPoint is evil. This may strike you as being an overstatement. Evil? Seriously? Seriously. PowerPoint truly sucks. It has single-handedly ruined hundreds of thousands of presentations and corrupted many otherwise intelligent speakers. My advice?...
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Focus on eye contact

Making eye contact with your audience throughout your entire presentation is the number one way you can improve your delivery style as well as to enhance your presence and the impression people have of you. Eye contact is the primary way to reach, and connect with, your audience....
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Getting from Point A to Point B

Transitions matter. Truly effective transitions help your audience follow you from one idea to the next, from one topic to the next. The good news is: It’s easy to make transitions well. The bad news is: It’s just as easy for them to trip you up. A common problem...
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Keeping up suspense … in a good way

We’re taught not to keep an audience hanging, but … well, let me tell you a story. I once attended a presentation where the speaker used a very unusual technique in a presentation, but being the speak-geek that I am, I stashed it away and have put it to good use...
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Handouts from hell

There are two critical things you need to know about handouts. Or maybe I should say, there are two criticial DON’Ts: DON’Tpass them out while you’re speaking. It will distract audience members and, since speakers generally speak while passing out these materials, it...
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Should you start off with a question? Do you have to ask?

Some speakers begin their presentations by asking the audience questions related to the audience, or to the audience’s perception of relevant topics. Beginning with a few questions can work well, if you avoid the problems. One advantage of starting in this way is to immediately...
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Deliver a dramatic intro

The most effective way to deliver your introduction is to make eye contact with your audience for the entire duration of your introduction. This is both the most terrifying and most thrilling part of a speech before a live audience. But before we get into that, let’s talk about...
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Get your story straight

Grabbing your audience at the beginning is of primary importance to any speaker. If you decide to start with a story you will, naturally, want to present something compelling and interesting, something that will resonate with your audience. Keep your story brief and to the point;...
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Start off strong … with a statistic(?)

Shocking statistics wake people up and grab people’s attention in a way that few other speaking tools do. Shocking statistics make people think. And sometimes, when used properly, they make people feel. Use shocking statistics for effect and deliver them with impact. Why are...
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Image matters more than ever

I will never forget the day I went to a continuing legal education presentation and a respected female attorney took off her sandals, sat barefoot in a seat right in front of the first audience member, and gave her presentation. Oh, and she wasn’t wearing a suit either – just a...
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