Posts Tagged ‘Presentation skill’

Presentation Skills : The Story Is In What You Say and What You Hear

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Aesop’s Fables have lived on for so many years because we remember the moral or lesson due to the story.

When presenting we are taught to create and craft a story to help anchor our message in the audience’s mind. But there is another important aspect to storytelling that we often don’t think about as leaders but it is a vital one.

Leaders spend so much time telling stories that they forget to listen for stories. How well people embrace your corporate values, directions and goals can be heard in the stories that people tell.

Each week encourage people to share with you a story that will give you better insight. Do this by asking a thought-provoking question such as, “Share with me a customer story you experienced that demonstrates phenomenal customer service.”

In everything there is duality, so ask for a story on the opposite side as well- “share with me a story that shows customer service that frustrated our customer.”

Listen and don’t interrupt the person. You aren’t trying to edit their story but instead to let it unfold. Think of interrupting as having about the same effect as someone stopping you kissing to coach you on how to kiss. This is the time to just experience the kiss of the story.

Try to see some parallels in the stories you hear. Are there disconnects with what the company says versus what the customer experiences? How about the employees? Do they experience from management the same high level of service that you expect them to provide to your customers?

Think about how these stories can be creatively used- to give live “testimonials”, to highlight employees, to launch new directives.

Your company is a wealth of stories; the question is are you maximizing the riches of them?

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Leadership Development: When is Success, Success?

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Have you ever wondered when you know you are successful?  And why can you feel successful one day and then the next feel unsuccessful?

Success is one of those elusive terms that is so hard to pin down because it means something different to each person.  For a person making $70,000 a year in sales, jumping to $300,000 in sales is successful.  While for someone making a million in sales, bringing in only $300,000 is unsuccessful.

Success is something personal that each person needs to define for themselves.  Ironically your success if often evaluated by you based on what is most important in your life at that moment.  So let’s say you value work really highly and you drive yourself to become the CEO of a major corporation.  You would feel very successful.  But the next day you find out your wife is leaving you and you realize you should have valued family higher- now you probably feel unsuccessful.

So why am I even writing about this?  Because I want you to realize that success is a journey, not a destination.  THE SUCCESS is HOW you take that journey not just the results of the journey.  I find much more success in figuring out my flaws then in just wrapping myself in my results.  Finding the flaws, owning them and then trying to fix them is a much harder journey but one that usually brings me to a much better spot.  I just have to trust in the journey.

Each day define your success for that day.  Realize it is a moving target but it is definitely in your reach.  Reach high, don’t be afraid to fail and continue to challenge yourself to grow.

Learn more about the Outcome Focus® Leadership Development Training by contacting Paul Cummings at 952-921-9421

Presentation Skills: How To Get Timing of a Talk Right

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

If you want people to act on what you say, an important element is knowing WHEN to say your piece and when to hold your peace.

I have seen many conversations fail, not because the words weren’t right but because the timing was so poor that the words couldn’t even be heard.

So here are some guidelines to help you facilitate change by managing the receptivity factor:

1. Approach at a time when emotions aren’t high.  Your natural tendency will be to approach the other person while it is still “fresh” on your mind.  This leads you to dump on the other person while they are still in a fragile stage because they have just completed the tasks.  Their brain will immediately try to defend and see you as the obstacle.

2. Pick a quiet peaceful time generally about 24 hours AFTER the event.

3. Time it to coincide with their own goals.  So instead of pointing out “you lost your audience yesterday when you asked them to…” you tie it to their own goals- “as a valuable leader people look to you to direct them on context, therefore, yesterday when you asked them to… without setting context you cause them to feel lost.  This lost feeling will cause them to pull away from you.”  Notice that I have aligned with the person’s goal of being a valuable leader.  This moves it from a “mistake” to being an “opportunity” for improvement.  Small difference but huge to a person’s brain.

4. Give them digestive time.  People need time to take in what you say and process it.  So waiting 24 hours and then telling the person right before they head in to a big meeting is counterproductive as their brain will be angry that they have to stuff what you just told them in order to move to their next meeting.  So make sure there is adequate time to “hear” the information, digest it and then process it.

If you follow these four you should be able to have robust conversations.  I also find that the 24 hour rule of waiting to approach the person allows ME time to digest and see if MY perspective is right.  Nine times out of 10 I find that I am reacting to something and blowing it out of proportion so this allows me to pull the perspective in so I gain a wider viewpoint.

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Regaining The Audience’s Attention After A Break Or A Difficult Question

Friday, October 28th, 2011

The easiest way to regain the audience’s attention is to briefly recap what was discussed and then move on to the next point on the agenda.

If you’re in a large group setting, you can appoint someone to be the group moderator. Their responsibility will be to signal when it is time for a break, when it is time to return from a break, and to quiet the audience down so you can begin. This is especially important if you’re dealing with a crowd of 300 people or more. This allows the moderator to be the person who pulls the crowd in and allows you to stay focused on delivering your expertise.

If you cannot get a group moderator, then it helps to set breaks at odds times, such as five minutes after the hour. It also helps to establish right up front how you will signal them that it is time to come back in and how you will get started. If I find myself in a large group without a group moderator, a simple technique is to tell the group, When you return from breaks and you see a hand in the air, please put your hand up too, and as soon as all hands are up that will signal it’s time to restart the session.This causes people in the audience to look around at those who are still talking and induce your audience to quiet each other down, rather than have you play that role.

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Where Should I Stand When Presenting?

Monday, October 24th, 2011

The very best thing it is to position yourself so your audience can readily see you without anything blocking your body from them.

Lecterns actually create a barrier between you and your audience and should be avoided if possible.

Remember, if you are standing, the entire room is available for you to move around in as you talk. I recommend you do not go any deeper than one third of the audience so you maintain maximum eye contact.

For more presentation skills tips take a peak at