No Mulligans

No Mulligans

It’s a Saturday morning and you are in the middle of a friendly game of golf. On the 8th hole you walk up to the ball, set your target, and select a club.  You start your backswing, shift your weight forward, strike the ball, and follow through. You look up to see the ball flying hundreds of feet...off target and toward the adjacent fairway.  Humiliated, you announce to your group that you are “hitting another ball.” You’re taking a mulligan.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take a mulligan in every aspect of our lives?  In many things we can--transferring schools, changing jobs, switching careers. These are all are do-overs.  

In public speaking and presenting, there are no mulligans, no second chances, no do-overs.

Get Together!

Get Together!

If you win this work, it will be a game-changer!  

It’s a huge account, and you’ve made it to the final round of selection.  All you need to do is ace the presentation to land this life-changing client.  Because of the job’s size and scope, the presentation requires contributions from a large and diverse number of people from different divisions of your project team. Everything is riding on your team’s presentation.

WHAT was that about?

WHAT was that about?

After a three-day, off-site business retreat, you’ve developed the perfect strategic plan.  You return to work excited to share your ideas with the company. You make your slide deck and prepare your 30-minute presentation. After presenting, you come away feeling confident that everyone shares your enthusiasm, is onboard, and understands your priorities for the future.

A few days later, you overhear a water-cooler conversation that makes it clear few, if any, employees actually recall your main ideas and people seem baffled by your message.  Something’s gone terribly wrong.

The only thing you have to FEAR IS...

The only thing you have to FEAR IS...

Everyone has heard the claim that individuals fear public speaking more than death, and while this declaration seems a bit far-fetched, surveys support the idea.[1]

Scientifically, fear of public speaking is called glossophobia (glōssa meaning tongue) and it affects upward of 74% of Americans.[2]

So whether public speaking is truly on par with death or not, the reality is that anxiety prevents millions of people from capitalizing on the power of public speaking…

To Memorize or Not to Memorize...

To Memorize or Not to Memorize...

In public speaking circles a battle is raging that rivals the Yankees vs the Red Sox, the Hatfields vs the McCoys, and the Patriots vs the world.

It’s between the anti-memorizers ...and the practice-makes-perfect people.  Polar opposite strategies, so who’s right?

Rule 12/24

Rule 12/24

293 words.

The slide shown below, used during the keynote address at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, consists of 293 words.

...

At their core, effective slides must augment the presenter’s message, not introduce a distraction.  

Beginnings

Beginnings

The New Year is a time of optimism. Of anticipation. Of hope.  And the New Year contains this wellspring of expectation because it marks the beginning.  The beginning of something unknown.

The very first moments of a speech share much with the New Year, and like the turning of the calendar, the first thing an audience experiences sets an all-important tone.

The Roadmap

The Roadmap

“TURN!”

I grew up before the advent of GPS, and I keenly remember my passenger’s side-seat navigation.  If we were lucky, it involved last-second commands to take a turn or change lanes.  On many occasions, however, the command came seconds too late and we were forced to make hasty u-turns, back-track, or otherwise bumble our way to the destination.  

And while GPS gave us a digital roadmap to solve this problem in our cars, many speeches and presentations still suffer from unannounced and abrupt twists and turns that leave the audience dizzy with intellectual whiplash.