Monday, November 10, 2014

Your right to speak doesn't mean we need to listen


Public speaker speakers conrner


In many countries you have the right to state your opinion. But you don’t have the right to demand that people agree or even listen. As a public speaker you have to earn that privilege to capture their attention. Then you need to persuade them with your message.




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Friday, November 07, 2014

Thursday, November 06, 2014

SP Tip # 79: Distance yourself from a bad idea...

Distance Yourself From a Bad Idea

Presentation Skills
Bad ideas in the past

There might be times when you want to persuade your audience to change. You can use logic, stories, charts and success stories to move them. Here is a subtle technique that can help you.
You physically position the good from the bad.

How do you do that?
You move from left to right. Be sure to move left to right as your audience sees it - not your left to right. You will have to rehearse this to get it right.
Good ideas in the future

Why does this work?
European based languages, including English, reads from left to right. Therefore we have been conditioned since we first started to read to assume that progress moves from left to right.
We read text from left to right to discover more, to learn what happens next and are rewarded with the answers to our questions. Hence the simple act of moving our eyes from left to right tends to build our expectations of progress and good things.

When presenting, you can use this to your advantage by placing bad ideas, the status quo or the past on your right side. That is the left side for the audience.

You can also do this by holding your right hand out or taking a step to your right when you talk about the bad ideas. That visually places the bad idea in the past to acknowledge it while guiding the audience to move on to better things.

Then you show progress by taking a step to your left or holding out your left hand when you talk about good ideas. You place the idea you are selling in the future to encourage acceptance.
You can use this technique to place objections, past failings or criticism's on your right (the audience's left) and hence in the position of bad ideas.

You can use this technique to position a question or idea as bad or good just by your physical movement without saying a word.

Of course, when you speak in the Middle East you need to remember that they read from right to left.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Great Boss = Great Presenter ???


Dear Great Boss,

Great War
If you’re reading this note that means that I’ve died, moved on or won the lottery. So it’s time for me to finally share a secret with you. Not sure it this qualifies as a big secret because everyone else knows this except you.

This might come as a big surprise to you. I and the rest of the staff have done our best to protect you from the brutal truth. Apparently our conspiracy of silence and sycophancy has succeeded. 

You might believe that you are a great presenter. Naturally whenever you asked for comments or feedback on your presentations we dutifully responded with “You are a great speaker.” “That was a great presentation” And the greater sycophants added “You’re a great boss”.

Technically, those weren’t lies because great does not mean good or even better than good. For instance, there was the Great War, the Great Depression and the Great Plague. Your presentations were in this category of great.

You might want to sit down while reading this. Your presentations suck. If fact they suck - greatly.

That could be a great surprise to you.

You might wonder, “Was it one bad presentation or one little thing?”  No.

Take your pick:
  • Your jokes stink.
  • Your slides were boring and confusing.
  • It was annoying when you read your text slides to us.
  • The clich├ęs you tossed around were unoriginal and uninspiring.
  • Your words were often insulting and condescending.
  • Your attempts at rapport felt insincere and manipulative.
  • You didn’t speak with us. You spoke at us.
Why do I tell you this?

Because these repeated mistakes cost the company money, created stress for people and wasted resources.

I found traits to respect and appreciate about you. I hope that you might now respect and appreciate these truths that I offer you about your presentations.

I hope that you might stop basking in the glory of those great presentation reviews and start delivering more effective presentations.

PS: Don’t expect to receive honest and constructive feedback about your presentations from the staff because they still work for you and will praise you as great.

PPS: If you think you’re great, check out the horrors of the Great War, Great Depression and Great Plague.



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Saturday, September 13, 2014

SP Tip # 78: Four Ways to Transform Your Presentation into a Conversation



 
Four Ways to Transform your Presentation into a Conversation
 

Which feels more inviting to you - "Let's talk" or "I'm going to deliver a speech"?

Most of us don't want to hear another lecture or a pitch. But we are more inclined to participate in a conversation.

Deliver your presentation like a conversation and your audience will feel more engaged and less like prisoners. Hence they will trust you more and listen better. Therefore they are more likely to remember and act on your message.

What are the critical elements of a good conversation that you can use in your presentation?

Language
Imagine that you are talking to one person. Use the word "you" which is both singular and plural. Use "you" more often than the word "I" so your message is about them not you.
Avoid these phrases: "Welcome everyone", "Does anybody have a question?" and "You guys". Those mob words distance you from the audience by placing a barrier between you and them. You wouldn't use those words when talking to one person. Talk to one person.

Eye contact
Look at a single person when you speak. Move your glance from one person to another so that you are almost always talking to a single individual. You might need to glance at your notes, but don't waste time staring at the back wall, the floor or your slides. Talk to people. That individual eye contact will make them feel like they are part of an intimate conversation.

Questions
A good conversation includes good questions. Ask good questions of your audience and listen to their answers. Don't annoy them by repeatedly asking them to raise their hands. Invite questions from the audience and address their concerns. Be sure to pose rhetorical questions for the concerns that they might have - then answer them. That feels conversational.

Pause
A good conversation contains moments of silence. Allow the audience to absorb your message in silence. That demonstrates respect and allows them to internalize your message. Sprinkle pauses throughout your presentation.

The best experience for people in your audience is when they felt "the speaker was talking directly to me".

Don't deliver a lecture - engage in a conversation with each individual in your audience.

George Torok
 ps: 
Call to arrange for me to speak at your conference, corporate event or sales meeting.  
905-335-1997
 
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Steve Jobs handles an insult with grace

Steve Jobs handled this insult and tough question well. Notice the long pause to think and demonstrate that he takes the question seriously. It would have been ineffective to answer quickly with a glib response.

After he stated that the person was right, Jobs then talked about his approach that might be different from the standard.

Nicely done Steve

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