Power Presentations Tip 29: You are here

Power Presentations Tip 29

You are here

When you visit the shopping mall you might look at the map to find the location of a store that you want to visit. The map could be overwhelming and confusing, especially if you are looking at this map for the first time.

There is one thing for which you first search. When you find it you will feel a sense of relief. Your eyes will flit about the map until you find this starting point. You might feel some impatience and frustration if it takes you too long to find that spot.

And once you have found this thing - only then will you be ready and able to start processing the rest of the information.

That important starting point is the spot on the map that states "You are here."
The "You are here" spot tells them where to start and more importantly what information to temporarily ignore.

Before you can take your audience on a journey with your presentation they first need to know where you and they are on the map. That is very important when you are presenting a detailed report, a multifaceted plan or a complex idea.

How do you use the "You are here" technique?

In a sales presentation you might start with the client's expectations. Your research will tell you what those are. If you don't know the client's expectations you should not be presenting. Don't make the mistake that I've seen many sales presenters commit - they start by telling you about themselves, their company history, blah, blah, blah. Nobody cares until they know where they are on your map.

Proposing Change
When you are presenting a new way of doing things you could start with the status quo and point out the weaknesses or current complaints.You have that information if you did your research.

When presenting a detailed financial report you could say "Look at line 10 in your reports to see where we stand. Then let's move to line 11 through 17 to see the component parts."
Get your audience to the "You are here" spot and do it quickly. You'll have a more productive journey.

George Torok

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PPS: Thanks for your comments and feedback.

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Where do the best speakers go to get better?

If you are a good profesional speaker and you want to get way better - where do you go for help?

Attend the "Get Better Get Busier Boot Camp" hosted by two globe trotting professional speakers, Warren Evans and Kit Grant.

I was already a very good speaker. I had been told that by many clients and audience members. And I knew it. If fact I had been teaching and coaching presentation skills for years. And over the years I had attended many classes sessions with other presentation experts. (That's how you get good.)

So I was reluctant to spend my money on more presentation training for myself.

I finally invested in this "Get Better Get Busier Boot Camp" and I'm glad I did. I'm a much better speaker now than before attend the boot camp. I applied the lessons when speaking in Iran while on a hectic speaking schedule full of frequent changes.

Warren and Kit helped me visuallize and create a more effective structure for presentations. They pointed out the dangerous off-ramps lurking in my presentation and how to "close" them. Helped me add and sprinkle more humour throughout the presentation.

I gained from the instruction and direct coaching as well as from observing the other speakers and noting the guildance that they received on their presentations.

Click here to learn about the next "Get Better Get Busier Boot Camp".

NB: This is not an affliate link. I give this endorsement freely and without compensation.

I'm just a happy customer.

BTY: All the net proceeds of this program goes to Laura's Hope a chairity to help solve Huntington Disease.

George Torok
Very, very good Professional Speaker :)

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.


Power Presentations Tip 28: Close the Off Ramps

Power Presentations Tip 28:

Close the off ramps

If your presentation is a highway you want to keep your audience on the road with you. You don't want them to take an off ramp and exit from your presentation highway because they might miss your important message, or even worse - never return. Therefore you must close the off ramps.

Four common off ramps to be aware of and avoid
When any of these things happen while watching TV viewers change channels. When you do any of these things to your listeners they mentally take the off ramp.

Boring your listeners
What bores people? Not speaking to their interests, being vague, taking too long to get to the point and saying the same thing too many times. A little repetition is okay for impact. Too much repetition is boring.

Confusing your listeners
Speaking in jargon or techno-babble can confuse outsiders.Saying things that seem to conflict will confuse. Making your listeners wonder about your purpose or direction can confuse them. Telling stories or talking about details unrelated or unimportant can confuse your listeners.

Disputing your listeners' beliefs
This is an easy mistake to make if you don't question your own assumptions. When presenting facts - quote the source. Avoid using absolutes. Don't say "As everybody knows." Because some listeners might not know. Similarly, avoid "I'm sure we all agree." Don't quote common myths or popular beliefs as fact. When stating your own opinions say, "In my opinion..." "My research shows..." "It seems to me..." or similar qualifying phrases.

Offending your listeners
The easiest way to offend your listeners is by using offensive language. Perhaps you know not to cuss and swear like Howard Stern or George Carlin. You also need to be aware of other words that might offend your listeners. That will vary depending on the culture and industry of the group. For example, a speaker told me that his use of the word "nutcase" offended a group of mental health care professionals.

Another way to offend your audience is by insulting their intelligence, values or issues. For example - tell a lawyer joke to a group of lawyers. That's offensive to lawyers.

(I learned this concept about closing the off ramps from the Speaker Boot Camp that I attended with Kit Grant and Warren Evans.)

George Torok
Speech Coach for Executives

PS: Tell me how this tip helps you.

PPS: Thanks for your comments and feedback.

Register for your free Power Presentations Tips here

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.


For example or for instance?

For example or for instance? Choose well

Do you use examples in your presentations? It might work against you. Perhaps you should use an instance instead.

Confused? So was I until my good friend and scholar, John Robert Colombo explained the difference so clearly.

An "instance" is an actual occurrence. An "example" is a hypothetical occurrence.

"In 1929 the stock market collapsed." That is an occurrence that actually happened. It can be discussed by historians and economists.

"Let's say the stock market collapses in 2011." This is an example of what may or might have happen. It can be imagined by commentators of all types, including historians and economists.

The distinction between instance and example is a minor one, but I find that preachers, teachers, moralists, bureaucrats, censors, politicians, etc., work in the field of "examples," whereas scientists and scholars work in the field of "instances."

In the field of public speaking and human motivation, we fear examples far more than instances. "Suppose this happens ... " is worse than "Guess what did happen."

I often think we would be a lot better off in everyday life if we ignored examples and dealt only with instances.

John Robert Colombo
Colombo & Company
Professional website
www.colombo.ca Personal website www.colombo-plus.ca
If you want to build a logical argument use instances. If you want to base your argument on emotions, use examples.

Now listen to your last or next presentation and check to see if you are using examples when instances might work better.

If you are delivering a technical presentation your credibility will be undermined if you only deal in examples.

I suspect that examples are not bad – but if your whole argument is based only on examples it might be a weak argument. Instances though based on the past ground your logic.

If you have a weak argument based on the facts, then use examples and hope nobody knows the difference between example and instance. (Of course that last sentance was an example.)

Thank you John Robert Colombo for explaining the difference.

George Torok
Executive Speech Coach
Presentation Skills Training

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.