Posts Tagged ‘Charles Greene III’

Three Great Pieces on How to Use PowerPoint [Well]

powerpointAlmost every time I give a presentation on how to “Communicate Better to Grow Your Business,” someone asks for advice on how to use PowerPoint effectively. My basic response is, think about all the terrible PowerPoint presentations you’ve sat through, and don’t do what those presenters did.

More seriously, I tell people that there are a ton of excellent articles, posts and even presentations on the Web describing the good and  bad ways to use slides and other visual elements. Here are three I find especially useful:

  • My friend and true “trade show magician,” Charles Greene, wrote this terrific blog post a few years ago. He offers very clear, pointed advice on how to avoid “death by PowerPoint” and instead take your audience with you on a pleasurable road trip through your presentation.
  • It makes sense that the American Speech Language Hearing Association would know a thing or two about effective presentations. Here they boil their PowerPoint advice down to a terrific list of Do’s and Don’t’s.
  • Finally, you should definitely read this e-booklet by marketing guru supreme, Seth Godin. With witty prose, and plenty of examples, he describes how to avoid “Really Bad PowerPoint.”

From the Back to Basics Panel: 12 Public Speaking Tips

clear empty podiumThe Arlington Chamber of Commerce panel, Back to Basics: The Art of the Spoken Word, was a lot of fun and a great success. We had a sell-out crowd. Moderator Jan Day Gravel and my fellow panelists Karen Bate, Jan Fox, and Charles Greene III did a great job, mixing insights, humor (and in Charles’ case) even a little magic.

There is an excellent article about the panel on the Arlington Chamber’s blog. In includes  our Top 12 Tips for Successful Public Speaking:

      1. A great speech starts with research.

     2. In presentations, 80% of success is knowing your audience. 

     3. In public speaking, you probably don’t need a major overhaul, just a few small tweaks.

     4.  Make your presentations social media friendly: use short tweet bites!

     5. The ability to use the spoken word effectively is valuable-it helps you grow your business and gain more clients.

     6. Focus on PRACTICE more than content: A speech should be like breathing. With practice you don’t have to think-it just comes out.

     7. Stand up straight! Even a little thing like changing your posture can improve your presentations.

     8. Incorporate video into presentations to mix things up, add energy, inject humor and give speaker a short break.

     9. As Lee Iaccoca said, “A good speech, like a good novel, is constructed around conflict.”

     10. Let’s go to the tape! Watching a recording of your presentation is a great way to learn and get better.

     11. Use your voice to draw people in by varying your tone, pauses and volume.

     12. Public speaking can be scary. Practice, practice, practice is the best way to overcome that fear.