Presentations

5 Ways to Improve the Beginning & End of your Presentations

Last week the CFO of a mid-market company here in Manhattan invited me to attend his Quarterly Town Hall meeting. He wanted my feedback on how well his team presented. I sat in the back of the room as speaker after speaker loaded text heavy PowerPoint slides onto the screen and then began their presentation with these 8 words: I’m going to talk to you today about…(reveal an agenda slide.) Every presentation sounded like a lecture. By the end of [...]

Strategic Storytelling

In the summer of 2010 the now retired General Stanley A. McChrystal was Commander of the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. One day, during an important briefing in Kabul, he was shown the following PowerPoint slide: It was meant to represent the most current military strategy. Upon seeing the slide General McChrystal interrupted the briefing and said: “When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war.” The room erupted in laughter. This is a noteworthy example of what happens when [...]

Make Your Presentations Pop. Think Like A Screenwriter!

Last week I met with a young manager who was frustrated by the success of a colleague: I don’t understand how she gets buy-in to the exact same ideas I try to pitch. Somehow when she explains it everyone jumps on board. I wasn’t surprised to hear this. His colleague is a phenomenal storyteller. Often the difference between a recommendation that is embraced—and one that isn’t—is the way in which it is communicated. Communicate with Narrative for Better Impact Researchers have [...]

Coping with Stage Fright

Last week I shared a post on the fact that Even Starts Get Stage Fright. Afterward I received dozens of requests for more tips on handling presentation nerves. Plus, a few folks sent me tricks of their own. It’s a rich topic, so here we go: Smile! Smiling is a simple, but powerful way to manage nerves, reduce stress, and look more confident. Wonderfully, research from Penn State University found a forced smile is equally as effective as a natural one! [...]

Even Stars Get Stage Fright

My husband has discovered Pandora, an online streaming radio station. Being the curious sort, he wondered if he could use the app to build a stand-up comedy station instead of just a traditional music station and it turns out—you can. Every night for about 30 minutes before we go to bed we listen to the greats; Louis C.K., Eddie Izzard, and of course, Jerry Seinfeld. Last night I found myself actually LOLing at one of Jerry Seinfeld’s early jokes: According [...]