Monthly Archives: December 2008

You have to believe it first!

coffee-together-istock_000006177041There are two reasons why people make presentations. First reason is to inform and the other reason is to persuade. For you to do either one of them effectively, you must believe it what you are presenting. You cannot persuade others of an idea unless you yourself have been persuaded by that same idea. Your audience wants to see passion in your presentation. Passion does not mean waving your arms and jumping around. It means speaking from your heart.

Bullet points do not work because they distract your audience and ultimately put them in a coma. [There is one exception: You can use the world’s worst Power Point presentation and get away with it IF your talk is totally compelling and spell binding. Your audience will be riveted at your words and ideas that they don’t even see the awful Power Point slides. The presentation below is an example of a GREAT talk with HORRIBLE slides.]

A speaker who truly believes in her topic does not read from a script. She does not have to memorize her speech. Her conviction just comes out in the form of a conversation. She is speaking to her audience and not at it.

Anyone can tell he was speaking from his heart. He believed in what he was talking about. He was informing and persuading!

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What to say when you don’t have the answer to a question?

It happens to all of us at one time or another. Someone in the audience ask us a question about our presentation and we do not have the answer to it. What should we do?

The answer is clear: Just say “I don’t know.”

This is a much better strategy than to ham and haw and try to evade the question and give a non-responsive answer. All that bobbing and weaving is not going to do you one bit of good because the audience is doing to see right through you. So it is much better for you to just confess your ignorance AND ask if anyone in the audience has the answer.

In his seminal book “Moving Mountains”, Henry Boettinger says “quibbling and evasion produce disgust. If you don’t know the answer, say so directly.”