10 things to make a great first impression

January 21, 2012

In a previous post here I talked about the importance of making great first impressions when you’re the ‘newbie’ at work.  It’s a hard time for every new starter, and a bit of skill here will stand you in good stead.  It’s something most of us have had to develop in our lives at work. Here’s […]

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The best business presenters know that public speaking is Entrepreneurial Skill

January 2, 2012

Here’s a great thought for entrepreneurs.  That the skill is not in having the idea, but in being able to convince your customers, partners, employees and investors that there’s merit there.  So maybe public speaking, persuasion and influencing skills are second only to having the idea in the first place. From Diane di Resta’s interesting […]

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How to Engage Any Presentation Audience

September 4, 2011

Lovely post from  Rhett Laubach at ‘Authencicity Rules’ on ways to ‘build a bridge’ between a speaker and an audience. Authenticity Rules: Top 6 Tools to Engage Literally Any Audience. How to ‘get the audience involved’ is worth a category on its own in any blog, and is the second most asked question on presentation skills […]

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Is David Starkey a racist? Maybe but I wish he’d just get some manners

August 15, 2011

In all of the blah blah blan about Mr Starkey’s appearance on ‘Newsnight’ to discuss the riots and their causes, there’s one point that both sides miss. It’s Starkey’s lack of courtesy, generosity and charm that makes him easy to dislike and difficult to listen to. On ‘Newsnight’ last week he was pretty well behaved […]

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The simplest story structure for presenters

May 7, 2011

Most corporate presentations lack that little bit of  ‘story structure’ that is the foundation of making sense to, and being remembered by, the audience.  A simple, 3-act story requires that your presentation has- A definite beginning- That sets the context, introduces the characters (the presenter and the subject of the presentation), and sets the question to […]

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Motivating Geeks- a Lesson for us all

May 6, 2011

I’ve been working in Barcelona again this week, with a global pharmaceutical company, and here’s a small, but significant lesson I learned from Xavi, an IT Director about finding the right ‘hook’ for a speech to his IT colleagues. We were talking about understanding our audience before we start to create our message,- ‘Fit‘ as […]

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How to undermine your point with weak language

April 12, 2011

Imagine the scene.  You’ve spent days preparing a major presentation to a new client, and you’re coming to the end of the pitch.  You’ve moved from what they need, to what you can do for them, how you will proceed, the costs carefully explained in context of the results to be delivered.   Now is […]

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Speakers need this much more than presentation training-

January 16, 2011

I’ve mentioned Orwell before- See here.  And it’s still my view, as a speechwriter and presentation coach,  that if more speakers followed these rules than the kind of stuff we tell them on training corses, the quality of corporate presentations would improve beyond measure. They’d be- Shorter Simpler Easier to understand For a simple explanation […]

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What’s the best way to sell an idea in a sales pitch?

January 16, 2011

It’s a question I’m often asked by clients-  The honest answer is, obviously, ‘It depends on who’s in the audience’ but in reality you have to choose an influencing strategy before you start to prepare your pitch. Most people only have one approach, and use it without thinking, and some people know a few strategies, but are […]

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The art of persuasion- What’s the best way to skin a cat?

January 16, 2011

It’s a question I’m often asked by clients- “what’s the best way to sell an idea in a sales pitch?”.  The honest answer is, obviously, ‘It depends on who’s in the audience’ but in reality you often have to choose an influencing strategy as you start to prepare your pitch. Most people only have one […]

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Max Atkinson's blog- bloody brilliant and fanatically detailed

January 4, 2011

I first read his book, ‘Our masters’ voices‘ when I was 22.  If I’m honest, lots of it was beyond me then.  But like great poetry, that you like the sound of, but don’t really ‘get’,  I persevered, and learned more at each reading; as I matured and gained experience. At 22 years old, I […]

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When the presentation doesn’t matter- England crash out in the first round of a World Cup- Again!

December 3, 2010

England was  humiliated yesterday.  Not by its football (soccer) team, or football ‘fans’,  for once, but at the FIFA held unveiling of the countries chosen to host the football  world cups for 2018 and 2022. England pulled out all of the ‘big guns’ to help.  The shiny new Prime Minister, a squeaky clean sporting royal in the perfect […]

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