Top Ten Presentation Tips For My Son.

An oldie but goodie from the past — one of my most requested articles. Enjoy! My 13 year-old son is presenting today at school - his 8th year graduation presentation. He's been working on it for months - a 32 page research paper AND a 30 minute presentation to the school and parents (that's more than I did in college!).

This morning, I threw together some presentation points for him to brush up on during his ride to school. I thought I would share them with you:

1. Smile. Smile. Smile.

The more that you smile, the more relaxed you’ll be. In addition, your audience will also feel relaxed and better engage with your presentation.

2. Have Fun.

Most presenters are afraid to have fun with the audience. You have a wonderful sense of humor (from your Mom and Dad) - use it! But not too much (like your Dad).

3. Move Around.

Most presenters are stiff and formal like Frankenstein. You need to engage the audience by moving around - move from the left side of the screen to the right side. Move closer to the audience (when you are making an important point) and then move back. No dancing though - keep it graceful.

4. Use Your Hands.

Your mouth should not be the only thing moving. Keep your hands moving at all times. Use them to shape your points, move them gracefully. Not too much - don’t act as if you have a medical condition.

5. Keep Eye Contact With The Audience.

Don’t just stare at the pretty girls - have your eyes bounce around from one audience member to another, smile (see tip #1), and keep bouncing your eyes. You will get everyone’s attention - that’s what you’re shooting for.

6. Try Not To Read The Screen.

You can glance quickly at it - get your point - then turn back to the audience and paraphrase the information. You’ve been practicing for many days (hopefully!) - trust yourself and instincts - you WILL remember each point.

7. Take It Easy - You Are Not Sprinting, It’s A Marathon.

You have lots of time - don’t speed through it. Frequently catch yourself and SLOW IT DOWN. Everyone tends to speed up their speaking - slow it down and have fun. Pause often, catch your breath, and then move onto the next point.

8. Engage The Audience (if you can).

Ask them questions like: “How many of you have had this problem?” - Raise your hand and invite the audience members to raise their hand too.

9. Drink Water.

Have a water bottle up there - trust me - you WILL have dry mouth. Drink at your pauses. Having a dry mouth coughing fit in front of an audience is not pretty.

10. You’re Going To Knock It Out Of The Park.

Trust Me.
I see all types of presenters all the time. Most are awful - but some really shine. The reason? They not only believe and love the subject their speaking about — they also truly enjoy to engage an audience. You have that quality in your DNA.

Much Love - Dad

P.S. My son will be following this post all day - so please leave a special comment! Thanks!

Image: Royalty-Free License from Dollar Photo Club 2014. Over 25 million images, only $1 each.

10 Tips To Be A Presentation GOD.

I do workshops, seminars and keynotes all the time and have been for over 25 years. There are good presenters and there are bad presenters — it really comes down to a few key tips to guide any great speaker:

10 Tips For More Successful Presentations.

Yesterday, I presented in front of a Fortune 50 organization and spoke on the subject of 'Closing The Sale'. It's a near and dear topic with me and I feel EVERYONE needs to always brush up on their closing techniques. I was so happy to receive hearty applause from the group when I finished — many team members came up to me afterward to shake my hand. During the entire morning, I realized I've 'built-in' a number of successful habits when I deliver presentations and I thought I would relate them to you — so here goes:

1. Pack up the night before.

I check (and double check) all of my files, my laptop, my projector and all of the peripherals/cables needed the night before. I ensure they are packed and ready to go in the morning. I know of so many instances when people forget things for their presentation — a cable, adapter, handouts, etc. and it makes them spin into a tizzy prior to their presentation. Prepare.

2. Arrive early.

Really early. Hours early. I arrived at my location at 6 AM to set up my laptop, projector and to check if everything was ready to go. I can't stress this enough — nothing went wrong, but if something was amiss, I had ample time to repair it.

3. Greet everyone as they come in.

I make it a point to stand by the door to greet people as they enter. It breaks down the 'wall' which develops with presenters and the audience. They get to meet you, ask questions, you can ask questions of them — it's a win-win for everyone. In addition, you can find out more about them and position your talk to their needs.

4. Build an intro slide.

I always have my laptop powered up, my projector running and an intro slide with me welcoming people. Usually my slide would say GOOD MORNING TEAM! It's a nice way to greet people AND it is a great excuse to have my entire setup on and ready to roll for my presentation. I hate when presenters are introduced and they are fidgeting with their laptop, projector, and cables to get everything running.

5. Ask if everyone is 'READY'.

I always begin with a slide (after the title slide and introduction) to stop and ask the audience if they're ready. It jolts them at first but then I get a resounding 'YES!' and their attention is on me and their blood is pumping.

6. Ask a lot of questions.

I make it interactive and ask the audience a lot of questions — "Has this happened to you?" — "How do you feel about this?" It allows me to keep the volley moving between speaker and audience.

7. Use the audience as examples.

During my pre-talk greet with the audience, I get to know their names, professions, and some of their worries. During my presentation, I might use them to reinforce a point I'm making by singling them out and using them in a fictitious example. They always agree with me and everyone around them gets the message — they could be next!

8. Watch the clock.

I always ensure I've locked down the EXACT length and time to present. Hosts ALWAYS try to cut it short, so I make sure I meet with them prior to the talk and clearly define MY time on stage. I then reiterate my start time and end time and in a very nice way let them know not to cut it short. It seems every host has a secret need to let their people out early and I have to head that inkling off at the pass.

9. Always leave time for questions.

Know when to stop and leave time for the audience to expand on what you just presented. Not only does it clear up some things for them, it allows them to flourish you with accolades in front of the audience.

10. Be available after the talk.

I always buffer additional time after all of my speaking gigs to allow the audience to meet me, speak with me, ask questions, and exchange cards. I get a LOT of business that way. So stick around and be available — I find there usually is a line of people ready and willing to reach out and touch you.

Your Presentations Stink! Part One: Pie Charts.

How to make your presentations easy to build and easy to understand while you wow your audience.

3 Steps To A Perfect Presentation.

I'm asked frequently by clients and colleagues alike how I construct my presentations (see a typical slide to the right). Here's my secret: Step One: Who Is Your Audience & What Do You Want Them To Take Away

This is the most important step that most executives and speakers forget. The usual process is to pick a topic and brain-dump into Powerpoint until you hit the requisite 75 slides. You’re done!