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Is Over-Rehearsal a Myth?

The website has a free slide show on how to improve your presentation. It is generally well written and it promotes the idea of avoiding bullet points and putting too much information on a slide.

But – on one of its slides, it claims that over-rehearsal is a myth – meaning that it is not a bad thing. Its main rationale is that actors spend a lot of time rehearsing their lines. That is true but it does not make over-rehearsing a myth. Here is why:

Actors have to memorize their lines because they are recreating a virtual reality that has been written by screen writers. The actors have no personal experience in that reality. The only way to get inside that role is to memorize the lines.

There is a BIG difference between that and telling your own story!

When you make a presentation on something you know something about, you are already living in that reality or you have lived in that reality. So you should be able to TELL YOUR STORY naturally without having the memorize every line of your story.Memorizing your own story will just make it soung robotic and not authentic.

So over-rehearsal is NOT a myth. It is a REAL problem for public speakers.



A webinar on How to Make Great Presentations

99.99 percent of presentations are terrible. YoScreen Shot 2016-04-08 at 8.11.56 AM (1)u see slides like these all the time. They put the audience in a coma:

shitty slide

There is a much better way.

Come join us on July 13, 2016 for an one-hour webinar on how to make great presentations.

The session starts at 1:00 pm East Coast Time  and is one hour long.

The cost is $20 per person. Every person who signs up get a FREE copy of my book on “How to Make Great Presentations”

To register,click here. registration is limited to 30 persons.





Another Massive Fail in Presentation

This was a webinar hosting by the Training Magazine Network. The topic was on how to keep your audience from becoming “dazed, confused and bored” in a training session. It offered 7 ways to accomplish this lofty goal.

The first 4 minutes were spent on explaining the features of the page. What does “Q&A” stand for. What does the little bird stand for (hint: twitter) and the background of the presenter. All done by the moderator in a monotone. I was getting a bit dazed 5 minutes into it.

Then came the presenter – a vice president of some virtual learning strategy firm. He started by showing 3 bullet points and reading off them. He did expand on them a bit. So it was not just a verbatim reading of the words. Then came the next slide with 4 bullet points and the same reading out loud of these bullet points that were clearly visible AND readable to his audience. I could not remember what he said about the first bullet point becasue I was already reading the 4th one.  He stumbled a bit in reading his own slides and apologized for “not being to read too well” that day.

By this time, I was dazed and a bit confused.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 8.11.56 AM (1)Then at 9 minutes, he flashed a slide with ALL 7 of his magical ways to keep the audience from getting dazed, confused and bored – in 7 bullet points. He then droned on in his monotone about those 7 points which I could clearly read.

I was getting  bored, a bit dazed and kind of confused at this point.

The presenter then flashed a slide with 12 bullet items on it and started to read them off one by one.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 8.12.08 AMSo I took a screen shot of the 7 bullet points and the 12 bullet points and left the webinar.

It is all there, so why waste 50 more minutes of my time?

Besides, I was dazed, confused and totally bored.


Electronic Chloroform

I was reading a book on presentation and the author mentioned that PowerPoint is essentially electronic chloroform. It KNOCKS you out!!

People use bullet points as reminders of their content. And yet they show them to the audience in batches of 10 or more bullet points. As they read the first bullet point out loud, the audience is already reading point #7 and has completely lost interest in what the speaker is talking about.

So next time you use or see those dreadful bullet points in a presentation, think “electronic chloroform” and try  not to pass out.


Telling jokes and public speaking

Here is an excellent video of Andrew Stanton (famous playwright and director) giving a talk in TED.

I think speakers and comedians are both story tellers. The two groups BOTH convey messages through their stories (some stores are real while others are not). Comedians often use stories that are not real while speakers tell real stories. The message in Stanton’s story (joke) is that one simple mistake can brand you for life. His punch line was very funny and the audience got it in a nano second.

Less than half-way through the video, I noticed that he kept glancing down. The frequency picked up as he progressed. I found myself starting to count the number of times he did that – and that’s not good. I realized why he was doing that when I saw the teleprompter box on the floor in front of him.

I don’t understand why he had to refer to the prompter so often since there was plenty of time for him to refresh his memory during the video clips he was showing. He could have also written notes on the palm of his left hand ala Sarah Palin.

Hilarious video on PowerPoint melt down

One of the comments on YouTube was this: “I don’t get it. Perfectly executed presentation if you ask me, he said exactly what was shown on the screen.”

The point is that you are NOT supposed to share your talking points with your audience. What’s on the screen should NEVER be the exact words you say to the audience. If you are going to mouth the same words, why not just sit down and let the audience read them?

Presentations that Work

My book “Presentations that Work” is now available in paper form. You can purchase it here for $12.95 (free shipment). The electronic version in PDF is available for $7.95.

The paper version will soon be available in as well.

Join me on January 31, 2012 at 1 pm (EST) for a FREE one-hour webinar on how to make GREAT PowerPoint presentations.