Presentations, Public Speaking, and Talking Frogs

Whenever I am speaking to a group about making presentations, I like to tell a favorite joke. The one that I use most often goes like this.

Two women were walking down a country road one day when they happened to come across a frog. The frog looked up at them and spoke. “Kiss me and I will turn into a rich and handsome prince.” The first woman bent over, picked up the frog, and put it carefully into her purse, and continued down the road to home, where she put it into a box.

Each day for the next week, the woman would take the frog out of box, place it on the table and wait until it spoke. “Kiss me and I will turn into a rich and handsome prince.” She would then place it back into the box until the next day.

At the end of the week, her friend could not wait any longer. She asked, “Why don’t you kiss the frog, and you will be rich and happy.”

The first woman replied, “You must be kidding. A talking frog is worth more than a rich and handsome prince any day!”

Being able to speak well, to perform in front of people, and influence others, are keys to success in life. You are going to enjoy reading this article about being a better presenter. You are really going to want to use the things you learn. And I am going to help you each step of the way. I want you to repeat the following phrase three times, aloud. Don’t be shy. Find a private place if you have to. Now, repeat three times,

“I am a talented presenter. I am influential and compelling.”

Say it with feeling and really mean it. This is the beginning of your development.

Beginnings

The first and last thirty seconds of your presentation have the most impact, so give them extra thought, time, and effort. This is the time you must find a way to generate excitement, create anticipation, and discover your audiences’ motivation. If you haven’t hooked your audience’s interest, their minds are going to wander off. Whatever you do, don’t waste any of your precious seconds with “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be here tonight.” Instead, open with an intriguing or startling statement: “Half the people in this room are going to have an accident in the next year.”; “As a young man, my father gave me this valuable advice…”; “Of all the questions I am most frequently asked, this is the one I hear most often…”

Going to, happening, happened.

As with writing, speaking requires that you fulfill three parts to be complete. You must tell people what is going to happen, tell them again what is happening as it happens, and remind them of what happened at the end. Begin by telling them what is going to happen. Everyone is anxious to know what the next few hours or minutes will be like, so tell them. For example, if you are giving a workshop on presentation skills try this:

 ”You’re going to love this article about being a good presenter. You are definitely going to want to use the ideas you hear. I am going to explain it all, one step at a time.”

Planting

Body language is important in making presentations. Stand, walk or move about with appropriate hand gestures or facial expressions. When you are presenting in front of an audience, you are performing as much as actor is on stage. Present the desired image to your audience. Look pleasant, enthusiastic, confident, proud, but not arrogant. Act as if you are relaxed, even if you feel nervous. Plant yourself before you make a major point. When you are flitting around and moving side to side people are easily distracted. Before you make a an important statement that you want them to hear, stop, plant yourself, look at them, then speak. When you plant yourself, set your feet in place, take a strong and confident posture, wait a few seconds before continuing, then speak.

Sound off, or not at all.

Speak with conviction as if you really believe in what you are saying. Your audience knows very little about your topic so persuade your audience effectively. Most of us speak too fast, flick through our slides too quickly and don’t pause long enough for our audience to absorb what we’re saying. Speak slowly, loudly and clearly, confidently. Do not mumble. If you make an error, simply correct it and continue. No lengthy excuses or apologies.

Speak to one person. When we speak to one person we use natural communication techniques – eye connection, pausing to allow comprehension, feeding off the listeners reactions. These natural “ways of being” are often lost when we speak to a group. But if you focus on one person at a time and speak to them as if they are the only person in the room, you’ll come across as natural and confident. Don’t be afraid of no sound. Silence, the lack of sound, is extremely important, and is usually not used well. Use it intentionally. Plan for moments when you leave your audience waiting. To you it may seem forever, but 5-10 seconds of silence can be like a punctuation mark. It emphasizes a point, and it get’s your listener’s attention.

Delivery

Take time to review what you have said. Most people need to hear things more than once and returning to recent points you made helps to make new material relevant and more easily remembered. Get feedback when you review, even if you have to ask people directly. You need to assess how your audience is receiving your presentation. If people seem reluctant to speak up let them know it is ok.

Use Repetition. Use the rule of threes to emphasize a point and influence your audience’s imagination.

“People who improve their presentation skills have bigger and bigger and bigger opportunities than those who don’t.”

“Continuing to improve your presentation skills now is going to bring you more and more and more success.”

Don’t be shy about telling stories or relating your own learning experience. Storytelling is one of the most significant ways people learn new ideas and concepts. Hearing stories or your experiences might start your audience thinking. Add humor whenever appropriate and possible. Whatever you use, be sure you practice it until it is smooth.

Once again I want you to repeat the following phrase three times, aloud.

“I am a talented presenter. I am influential and compelling.”

Say it with feeling and really mean it.

Going to, happening, happened

You are really seeing that making good presentations is not as difficult as it seemed. This is a great article and you want to share this experience with others. Of course I am telling you what is happening and so should you when you present or speak. If your goal is for people to want to buy your idea, product, or service then tell them it is happening. Don’t be shy.

Call to Action

I said the first 30 seconds have the most impact. They do have the most impact – in the first 30 seconds. When you are finishing, the last 30 seconds have the most impact. It is your time to create a lasting image, re-motivate the audience, and reveal the next step you want them to take.

Summarize, set the final image, and provide closure. Avoid going out with a whimper, using stale, cliched phrases. Consider these approaches.

“As you reflect on the ideas I have offered, you notice that making presentations is exciting, you see that it is possible for you, the benefits are many, and now you want to take advantage of what you have learned and find an opportunity to make a presentation.”

“The more you try to justify not speaking to groups, the more you realize you’re selling yourself short.”

“I guess we’ve covered just about everything. The only question that remains is how soon you want to step on stage and share your ideas with others.”

Going to, happening, happened

You really enjoyed reading this article. You can feel the excitement about entering a new phase of our life. I will be here to help you each step of the way.

There is one final but important point. Know when to STOP talking. End your presentation with an interesting remark or an appropriate punch line. Leave your listeners with a positive impression and a sense of completion. Closing remarks should be brief and concise. Thank your audience and sit down.

One final time – I am a talented presenter. I am influential and compelling

Present Trends in Dinnerware

In present times the trend is towards use of artistic dinnerware. Nowadays there are various shades, shapes, colors, designs and patterns to select from. Various types are of available such as classical, impressionistic, oriental and decorative to choose from.

Vibrant Patterns and Colors

The present trend is for selecting bright yellows, oranges, blues & gold metallic as these colors help to bring life and warmth into subdued backgrounds that our homes have. Some selections include ethnic prints such as African Motifs, patterns of Native American style and Asian batiks.

Blacks and Browns

Currently blacks and browns are in favor compared to whites. The demand is more for different shades of brown like coffee, dark chocolate and dusky ones. And these are contrasted with other colors such as blue, yellow& green to give the dinnerware a different look. Similarly black is also used and contrasted with whites as well as golden shades.

Eco Dinnerware

The trend to keep our environment clean has made many people adapt to using recycled tableware. These are made from recycled products and reflect different shades especially of green like olives and jades with different patterns which represent nature by use of leaves and other types of foliage.

Fancy Graphics

The popularity for unconventional and abstract graphics has gained popularity in recent times and helped to make the dining table more eye catching.

Irregular Shapes

Shapes other than round are more in use. Some shapes like squares, star and geometric patterns are gaining popularity moment. Dinner plates, soup bowls and dinnerware in such irregular shapes are making their way into hotels, restaurants and kitchens.

Public Speaking – Three Surprising Tips to Improve Your Presentations

You’ve all heard the advice to get to know your audience, make eye contact, don’t say “um,” check your equipment, and similar public speaking techniques to make your presentations as powerful as they can be. These are great tips, and you’ll hear them over and over, but I’ve got some lesser-known suggestions for you today that will benefit you and your audience as much as more common advice.

Pointer 1: Take your medications

As an allergy sufferer, I can tell you that I am not at my best when giving a talk through sniffles and itchy eyes. Even if I’m not having a particular allergic day, I will be sure to take my prescription medication before I speak, to ensure that I don’t have a sudden unexpected reaction.

If your nervousness goes to your gut, by all means take your upset stomach medication. If you get tension headaches, head them off at the pass with your favorite pain reliever. Do what it takes to avoid the physical distractions that will disrupt your performance and keep you from doing your best.

One caveat to this advice: Avoid psychiatric anti-anxiety medications before speaking; you will not be as sharp as you could be. There are non-pharmaceutical ways of dealing with nervousness and anxiety that will not interfere with your ability to think on your feet and interact with your audience.

Pointer 2: Start on time

How many times have you arrived on time for a presentation, even early, and ended up sitting there for an extra fifteen minutes while stragglers made their way to the seats in the back of the room? Then, because the presentation started late, it ends late, but you’ve had to miss the end because you have other commitments on your schedule.

Waiting for latecomers rewards latecomers, but it punishes those who were on time for your presentation. Latecomers may be a distraction when then enter the room after the presentation has started, but what’s worse: a little disruption by laggards or being responsible for annoying the half of your audience who made the effort to be on time and now might miss the end if you go over?

Take charge of the room, take charge of your time, and make the decision to reward the people who are committed and punctual.

Pointer 3: Give the end of your sentences the same energy you give to the beginning of your sentences

This is a simple tool but an effective one. Some people’s voices trail off at the ends of sentences, making it hard to hear the last few words they’ve said. As a speaker, trailing off at the ends of sentences means that your audience might miss something important. Make sure you are emphasizing both ends of your sentences, and your audience will never miss a crucial point or valuable tip!

Stick with the tried-and-true public speaking advice you’ve heard before, but in addition, try adding these three tricks to your bag the next time you have a speaking engagement. See if you don’t feel more confident and pulled together on stage and more successful in connecting with the audience.