October, 2006

PowerPoint Tip - Scary Slide Mistakes

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

Today is Halloween for many and it brings to mind thoughts of scary things. I want to share with you today some of the scary mistakes I have seen presenters make so that you can avoid these mistakes. Is there text there? When I was working on a presentation for a client in the travel industry once I came across a slide for a ski resort that demonstrated what not to do when putting text on a picture.

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Body Language

Executive Speech Coach

Your body language might embarrass you Your body language might be sabotaging you Your body language might be confusing your audience What is your body language saying about you? Your body language might be saying that you are: Confident Truthful Comfortable Friendly Passionate Or.your body language might be transmitting that you are: Nervous Lying Impatient Antagonistic Uninterested Your body leaks messages What is it saying about you? Do you know the signals?

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What presenters can learn from election signs

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

It is getting close to election time in many areas and the lawns and streets are rapidly becoming decorated with signs for candidates for various offices. One thing presenters should notice when they are driving by these signs is which ones are easiest to read. Why should you care about the readability of election signs? Because it is a great learning lesson for what is readable for a text slide. In both cases, the message needs to be understood quickly so it can be acted upon.

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What's common between singing and presenting

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

This weekend our son will be singing a solo in church. Yesterday the lady who is the best soloist at church gave him some advice in getting prepared for his upcoming solo. She told him to make sure he knows his music and the words so that he can concentrate on the performance and not worry about the words or the notes. Her advice is the same I give speakers. Know your message so well that your presentation then can be a conversation between you and the audience.

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Good example of Effective Use of Agenda

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

I think that almost every presentation can benefit from using a clear agenda. It gives you as the presenter a structure to your message and helps the audience understand your message easier (according to research done by Prof. Richard Meyer). Most agenda are a text list of topics and each time you switch to a new topic you use a title formatted slide to introduce that topic area. And in many cases this is very effective.

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PowerPoint Tip - Equipment Failure

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

If you are going to use PowerPoint to present, at some point in time you will have to deal with the equipment failing. You may not have had this happen to you yet, but you will. Even though the equipment is far more reliable than it was when I started presenting with computers and projectors over 10 years ago, it is not perfect. And I like to say that it is not a matter of "if" you will experience equipment failure, it is only a matter of "when".

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Exhibits International

Executive Speech Coach

Dear George, As an international leading provider of exhibits for Tradeshows, Museums and Special Events, Exhibits International was recently short-listed for a major US museum project. A complex venture, securing this project was pivotal to the reputation, growth and future success of our company.

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Win in the Boardroom with Donald Trump

Executive Speech Coach

How to survive in the boardroom with Donald Trump Never interrupt the Donald. When Donald Trump tells you to shut up - shut up. Never suggest that you are like the Donald. But it's okay to suggest that you would like to be. If your competition is getting dumped on – shut up. Don’t even hint about Donald Trump’s hair or wives. Don’t start your pitch with the word “honestly”. Don’t plead, beg or cry to Mr. Trump. Don’t fight with anyone in the boardroom. Do that before you arrive.

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To shadow or not to shadow

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

Shadow fonts or shadows on shapes seems to be popular these days on PowerPoint slides. Why, I'm not sure. Most of the time I see a shadow used it is used for one of two reasons. First, the presenter added a shadow because they think it looks cool. For those of you have attended my seminars, you know that one of my key philosophies is that "Clear is more important than Cool". Research has shown that any distracting elements on a slide reduces the audience's understanding of your message.

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Use the Microphone

Executive Speech Coach

There are more than 40 people in the room. The speakers before you used the microphone. You are speaking for more than five minutes. It is a large room. You are soft spoken. The room has bad acoustics. You have something important to say. You want to play with your vocal nuances. If any of the above scenarios is true - Use the Microphone. Your audience will hear you better. Forget the macho “I don’t need a microphone” stuff. Use the Microphone. Your audience will hear you better.

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PowerPoint Tip - Customizing tricks

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

The days of canned presentations are over. Oh, they've been over for a while now, just some presenters haven't realized it yet. So how can you quickly customize your presentation to exactly what the audience needs with little effort each time? Use these two simple tricks. First, many presenters have a large file of slides and select only the ones they want for each presentation. This is a smart idea. But instead of copying out the ones you want each time, here is another approach.

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Do not read your speech

Executive Speech Coach

Do not read your speech – with these exceptions: Your lawyer instructed you to read it. You are introducing a piece of legislation. You are the elected leader of your country. Reading your speech sounds cold, uncommitted and unconvincing. If you want to sound warm – don’t read your speech. If you want to sound passionate – don’t read your speech. If you want to sound credible – don’t read your speech. Don’t read your speech. It will feel like a lecture – cold and detached.

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