Getting Over Yourself

February 26, 2013

What’s more powerful a visual than PowerPoint?

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 12:19 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

If you’ve never snoozed through someone’s bullet-pointed PowerPoint presentation, then maybe you’ve never been to a PowerPoint presentation. Few people seem to have the hang of the concept of “visuals”– mistakenly thinking that having something on the screen constitutes visual aids. And I love to get on my soapbox about that subject. But this time I’m going to concentrate on a vibrant alternative.

Some of the strongest “visuals” I’ve ever “seen” in a presentation have been the words coming from the speaker. Your life (and the happiness and satisfaction of your audience) will be much easier when you look at your topic from the standpoint of using stories and examples as much as possible to make your points. Those make for visual words that the audience will focus on and remember. It doesn’t matter who your audience is or what your topic, drawing verbal pictures for your audience will make your presentation more successful. And it will be way easier for you to deliver.

February 7, 2013

3 Things you can do to sharpen your presentations

First, are you spending enough time really getting to know what your audience cares about – in life and in your subject. It’s pointless to tell them what you want them to know if you don’t arrange it around what they’re interested in and how your topic relates to them.

Second, seamlessly weave in something everyone’s thinking about or familiar with. This month offers several possibilities. It’s not too late to find something about the Super Bowl that helps your point. Or Valentine’s Day, or the Academy Awards. If you do a good job of connecting the dots between these and your subject your audience will stay awake and get your point. It’ll also be easier for you to give.

Third, don’t blow off the closing. Ever. Give it your full attention while you’re planning what to say so that it sounds and feels like closure to you. And then do the same when you’re delivering it. Bring your whole self to the party as you say it rather than letting yourself think about sitting down.

These 3 things give you sharper content, give you a happier audience, and make you feel good about what you’ve accomplished after it’s over. Give it a try.

October 25, 2012

Speaking lessons from Trader Joe’s

Okay. Not literally from Trader Joe’s (or Trader Joe). But from former Trader Joe’s President Doug Rauch.

I recently heard him speak and what makes me love Trader Joe’s is pretty much why I liked his speaking. It’s not that he did everything “right,” it’s that he was genuine and connected.

The “not right” part was the pacing, which he announced right off that he did. It was stronger when he’d stay still a few moments, but he was effective in spite of it. I’m not telling you to pace, I’m telling you if you’ll get the rest of it right, people will overlook things that could be distracting and feel connected. And they’ll listen.

He used a phrase in regard to what is expected of employees that applies to your speaking (as well as other things in your life): “Mess up. Fess up.” Except, apparently, for political campaigns, it’s a great piece of advice. When you “fess up,” you’re not trying to pretend you’re perfect and willing to move forward and get it right. There’s a humanity about that that is attractive.

Mr. Rauch also spoke about the importance of trust and said the 3 components of trust are: reliability, credibility, and empathy. While many are quick to claim or to work on those first two, it’s important to recognize that third one. So, in speaking, understanding your audience, their point-of-view, and their needs, and responding to those is equally important for gaining their trust. And without trust it’s pretty hard to get anyone to buy into anything.

He was friendly, approachable, funny, and delivered valuable information about building a brand as Trader Joe’s did. And his slides were simple pictures that underscored his point.

Humor is good. One of his slides which was used to support the point about the culture of the business was a bowl of yogurt–attractively photographed. It made his point and won’t be forgotten by his audience.

Once again, being genuine, interested, focused and open will make you a hit with your audience.

February 27, 2012

Will this NASCAR analogy break down?

Does Rick Santorum really want the NASCAR analogy to hold? He likened the possibilities of coming from behind in the NASCAR race to coming from behind to win the race to become the Republican presidential candidate. But that was before he race was postponed because of rain. So, if his analogy holds true, does that mean that there will be an open convention for the Republican nomination?

January 11, 2012

Mike Huckabee has a way with analogies

In an interview commenting on the New Hampshire primary race, Mike Huckabee likened it to a NASCAR race and carried on the analogy throughout the interview to make his points. He’s just automatically a folksy guy and maybe these analogies come to him naturally. but it’s one of the things that made him such an attractive candidate 4 years ago. And I suspect he’s worked on that part of his speaking as a way of connecting with his audience and of making his message clear and easy to follow.

This ability to use analogies can be developed. You can do it. Just begin to see how something could be described in other terms related to a parallel subject. Keep practicing and it will become second nature.

And let me know if it inspires you to run for office.

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