Getting Over Yourself

July 3, 2015

A jazzier alternate to PowerPoint

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 7:02 am
Tags: ,

You’ve seen enough presentations to know that PowerPoint interferes with the speaker’s credibility more often than it helps. PowerPoint has its place, but few people know what that is and how to use it to good advantage.

What’s on the screen works better if it’s actually visual. Here’s another approach you might want to consider: Prezi. It has an interactive feel and tends to encourage more visual visuals.

If you’re not familiar with Prezi, you can go to this link to see examples of how others have used it.

And, if you want a free 1-hour online training you can sign up here: . They’re doing a training today, July 3 and on July 17.

You can join Prezi free to try it out. I did and had fun designing a presentation on this large space that allows you to move around the screen, zoom in and out, and use more creativity. It’s a lot like the moving around the screen on your smart phone.

It’s worth a look to get some ideas on how to jazz up your visuals.


August 6, 2014

3 Things you never want to do in a presentation

Here are 3 things that consistently top the list of things that annoy the audience. (Avoid them if you don’t want to be annoy your audience.)

1. Create bad slides. When you design the slides for your notes, and use them to deliver content, they’ll probably be boring and unreadable. Slides should help the audience get an “aha.”

Make your slides as simple as possible (avoid full sentences); and ask yourself these 3 questions:

·    Would I want to look at this slide? If they don’t want to look at it, you’re swimming upstream.

·    What’s the point of this slide? State the point in 5 or 6 words and you’ll find things you don’t need. Take them out. See how you can visually (without words) make that point. This helps you and the audience.
·    Do I even need this slide? Make every slide justify how using it will help you get the outcome you want. Check out this site for tips from the book Slide:ology.

2. Deliver boring content. Audiences hate to be stuck in a chair listening to things they consider irrelevant.

No subject is boring when the speaker digs into why it’s important. So, be clear on why they need this information and how it relates to them. Structure your talk around this. Let them know throughout the talk why it matters to them, as well as telling them before you get to the meat of your talk. Do it right after you’ve opened with something that gets them to start listening and stop texting.

Use stories, examples, real life applications to help you make your message compelling. People are visual. Visuals on your slides and visual words will help you make your case. For ideas on how to use visual words to create a picture and tell a story, check out the site for Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins by Annette Simmons.

3. Fail to connect. The most important part of any presentation is you connecting with the audience. You connect by talking their language. You connect by sharing information rather than being afraid to be wrong. You connect by paying attention to them and their needs, as well as the next 4 points.

·    Be clear on who they are and what they want and gear you talk to those.

·    Respect them regardless of whether you agree with them or not.

·    Stay conversational and never take anything personally.

·    And don’t make fun of any groups of people.

For more ideas on connecting see my book: Getting Over Yourself: A Guide to Painless Public Speaking and More on my website and on Amazon.
As a general rule, there’s one thing you can do to make a huge change in all three of those: If you care more about helping the audience than you do about impressing them, you’ll automatically be less annoying overall. And you’ll be less nervous.

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.

June 18, 2012

From boring to great back to boring in 10 minutes–lessons to be learned

A scientist friend was describing speech at a conference of peers where she barely able to stay awake or to understand his message until something wonderful happened–his PowerPoint presentation had a technical glitch. He was smart enough not to hold up the meeting while the equipment failure was taken care of and continued to speak. She said it was like night and day. She hadn’t been tracking with his message at all, and suddenly she was understanding everything. He had stopped his formal recital of his facts and started just having a conversation with them. And it was brilliant. And he was engaging.

However, unfortunately, the problem was remedied and he was right back in boring mode, plodding formally through the material. My friend was greatly disappointed because she was on the verge of understanding his whole subject.

PowerPoint does not constitute a presentation. It’s your connection with the audience–you having a conversation sharing your ideas.

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