• Sep 05
    2012
    Many business presentations have a routine. A slide appears, the presenter talks, and the next slide appears. Try spicing up your presentation with a little stage craft to keep the audience engaged and a little surprised: Make an important point then hit the "B" button on your computer to make your screen go black. Tell them you want to remove any distractions and have them think about what you just ...
  • Sep 04
    2012
    "The most precious things in speech are pauses." So said the eminent Shakespearean actor Ralph Richardson, and it’s not only true for the thespian performing a soliloquy from Hamlet. When delivering a speech or presentation, you can’t deny the power of the pause. Pauses in your speech serve three important functions. First, they help control breathing, which is fundamental to your success as a speaker. Natural pauses assist your breathing. ...
  • Aug 30
    2012
    Studies consistently show that customers believe sales people talk too much. Even more embarrassing, polls of sales people show that we know we talk too much. But how can we sell more while talking less? One reason we talk too much is we don't want to miss a detail the customer might find important, so we overload them with information. The answer lies in letting the customer speak first. If ...
  • Aug 29
    2012
    Far be it from us to tell you how to dress for your audience, but a solid professional look is crucial to getting your point across, without distracting your audience. Here is a list of five common wardrobe mistakes business presenters make: Too much jewelry. Clanking bracelets and flashing, dangling earrings can be a distraction to the audience. Short ties. A tie should hang to the top of the belt ...
  • Aug 22
    2012
    A recent study of college students revealed a pet peeve they have with their professors that is important for all of us: Don't stand in front of the projector. Presenters frequently move without being conscious of where they are in relation to the projector. As a result, they block the projected image with their bodies. Unless they wear white shirts and have very broad chests, this makes viewing the image ...
  • Aug 21
    2012
    I remember an incident that happened at a company at which I worked for several years. It seems that several managers received an email from their boss that made one manager particularly angry. In the heat of the moment, she clicked “forward” and dashed off several nasty comments to her colleagues in which she berated her boss. Problem was that she actually had hit “reply to all” and her boss ...
  • Aug 06
    2012
    Just about everyone loves a good story. As children, we were lulled to sleep by fables and fairy tales. As we got older, we read books, watched TV and went to the movies in search of new stories to entertain and widen our horizons. Stories enthrall us, educate us and paint vivid pictures of places and things we may never see in our lifetime. You can harness the power of ...
  • Aug 01
    2012
    In pioneer days, all business was conducted face to face. When trappers traded with Indians or farmers needed new tools they traveled to the source, negotiated and shook hands. If you wanted to know whether a person was honest or could be trusted, you looked straight him in the eye and judged his appearance, demeanor and body language. Fast forward three hundred years and my, how things have changed! We ...