“Move Around When you Talk” Video!

Move with purpose and power during your presentation . . . avoid aimless roaming

We are all familiar with the droning voice of the numbing speaker who rarely varies pitch, tone, or pace of a talk and who quickly loses us in monotony.

In like fashion, it is possible to be visually monotonous.

Visual monotony – either of constant repetitive movement or of no movement whatsoever.

We know well the “rocker” and the “swayer.”  We know Mr. “busy-hands” and the “Foxtrotter,” who quicksteps in a tight little dance.

And we know the statue, who moves not at all and hides behind a lectern, gripping it white-knuckled.

Go ahead and move, but . . .

Yes, incorporate movement.  But before you begin hopping about the stage willy-nilly, recognize that you should incorporate movement into your presentation for specific reasons.  Your movements should contribute to your presentation by reinforcing your message.

At the risk over over-alliterating, you should mesh your movements with your message.

Remember that every single thing you do onstage derives its power by its contrast with every other thing you do.  If you move all the time, like a constant pacing jungle cat, it becomes the equivalent of white noise, and your movements contribute no meaning whatever to your presentation.  In fact, your movements become a distraction, leeching energy and attention from your message.

It’s a form of visual monotony.

Likewise, if you remain stationary 100 percent of the time, the result is visual monotony. You lull your audience into inattention, especially if you combine verbal and visual monotony in a single presentation – The Kiss of Death.

So, think of movement as one more tool in your repertoire to evoke feeling from your audience and to convey a powerful and persuasive message.  Watch this video for basic advice on movement in your presentation . . .

For more on especially powerful movement during your business presentations, consult The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting.

Your Stance: Become a Colossus

Executive Presence is a quality we all wish we could have.

The good news is that we can develop it, and it goes hand-in-hand with self-confidence.

The paradox for some folks is that those with the most potential for especially powerful executive presence often intentionally diminish their capability for it.  It’s a kind of self-sabotage that many engage in.  One client I have from a foreign country has incredible charisma and the fundamental tools to develop personal magnetism and powerful personal presence; but he plays it down and attempts to diminish his presence.

Self-consciousness is his worst enemy, and so we’ve worked together on getting him to relish his natural attributes, such as his height and a distinguished bald pate.  He now extends himself to his full 6’2” height and employs his deep, resonant voice to full effect.  He has a persona that draws people to him, and now he utilizes that quality in especially powerful fashion.

In short, we’ve worked on developing especially powerful presence that attracts attention rather than deflects it.  How can you go about doing this?

Have a look at my short instructional video on developing the basis for a powerful initial stance . . .

Improve Your Business Presentation Voice for Power and Impact

Fix your presentation voice
Start Improving your Presentation Voice Today

Not many of us readily accept coaching or suggestions of how to improve ourselves, particularly when it comes to highly personal aspects of our very being – such as our business presentation voice.

Business students get antsy when I talk about improving the presentation voice.

Why?

Because the subject implies that there might be such a thing as “bad” voices and  “good” voices, and this kind of value judgment is usually verboten in most liberal arts classes they take.  Supposedly, there are only  “different” voices, and we are urged to  “celebrate” these differences.

That may work in the test tube, but not in the cold and harsh business world, where people are judged on how well they communicate.  And voice is a large part of that.

Your Presentation Voice isn’t Sacred

Your current speaking voice is neither sacrosanct nor “natural.”

Your presentation voice is the product of many years of development from numerous influences, many of which you may be unaware of.  Why not evaluate your voice today?  See if it gets the presentation job done for you.

Does your voice crack?  Does it whine?  Does it tic up at the end of every sentence for no good reason?  Do you uptalk?  Do you lard your conversation with nonsensical filler such as “whatever,” “umm,” “totally,” and “like” hundreds of times per day?

Why not change for the better?

Develop an Especially Powerful Voice

Recognize that your voice is not a sacred artifact, nor is it some precious extension of your being.  It’s an instrument to communicate.  You can sharpen your communication skills by improving your voice.

Simply thinking of your voice in this way can improve its quality.  Working to improve it will improve its quality dramatically.  You can build your voice into an especially powerful skill for personal competitive advantage.

Consider here several things you can do to improve your presentation voice.  Nothing extreme at all.  Have a look . . .

For more especially powerful techniques to improve your presentation voice, consult The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting.

Presentation Passion for Competitive Advantage

presentation passion
Imbue your business presentation with presentation passion to fire the imagination of your audience

If you don’t enjoy what you do every day, you’re doing the wrong thing, and likewise if you don’t display presentation passion when you deliver your business presentation, well . . .  you probably shouldn’t be presenting at all.

You’re in the wrong line of work.

Likewise, if you can’t get excited about your presentation topic . . .   

I have a pet peeve about this particular issue.  Folks who can’t “get excited” about their topic.

Because they think their topic is “boring.”

No Inherently Interesting Topics

Remember, there is no such thing as an inherently “interesting topic.”  Interest is something you do.  It’s why you get paid the big bucks.

As an especially powerful business presenter, it’s your job to invest your topic with a distinctiveness and verve that captures your audience.  In fact, some of the most powerful presentations I’ve ever seen have been engineered around what some people might call uninteresting topics.

Instead of wincing at the topic at issue, the team invested themselves in the presentation enterprise to bring excitement and enthusiasm to their show.  And passion.

Because presentation passion is a powerful technique at your disposal.  It’s rarely used enough.

It’s rarely used at all, in fact, in business presentations. 

Because passion might be, well . . . “unseemly.”

And yet it can accomplish much in taking your business presentation to heretofore unreachable heights.

Presentation Passion is the Key

Presentation passion and enthusiasm, energy and brio can overcome so much that is otherwise wrong with today’s business presenting.

Have a look at my short video on passion . . .

You needn’t contort your face or demonstrate spasms of activity to demonstrate passion.  Just be genuinely excited with the matter at hand.  If you’re not, consider moving on to activities less demanding of the passionate investment.

For top-notch presenting, you cannot do without it.

For more on investing your business presentations with presentation passion, consult The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting.

Especially Powerful Group Presentations

Group Presentation
Do not Scorn the Group Presentation

Four of the most dreaded words in Business School are:  “Break yourselves into groups.”

The group presentation in business school is so ubiquitous now that almost every upper level course has some form of “group work” requirement.

There’s good reason for it – industry expects new hires to have experience working in groups.

More than that, corporate America craves young people who can work well with others.  Who can collaborate.

The upshot is that you must give the “group presentation.”

 

ots of them.

Don’t Scorn the Group Presentation

You find all sorts of problems in group work.  Perhaps you believe these challenges are external to you?  Others cause problems.  Surely you must not be contributing to the challenges facing your group?

The uncomfortable fact is that we might be the cause of friction and not even know it.  Working in a group requires patience.  It requires the ability to see the benefits of collaboration, to listen, to understand that there are many ways to attack and resolve challenges.

Sure, you want to work by yourself.  Who wouldn’t?

But today’s complex economy disallows much of the solitary work that used to occupy executives just a generation ago.  Complex problems require collaboration.

So we face challenges.

Let’s try to understand and overcome these challenges before they get out-of-hand.  In this interview, I address some of the dynamics of dealing in groups, particularly as a leader.

While the group presentation might not be your idea of the ideal weekend getaway, mastering its difficulties can transform you into a superb young executive, sought-after by recruiters.  Pledge yourself to understand group dynamics.  Learn the pinch points.  Listen to others.  Cultivate patience.

For more on how to deliver a powerful group presentation, consult The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting.

International Business Presentations – Colombia

International Business Presentation for Competitive Advantage
The International Business Presentation offers Chances to Develop Personal Competitive Advantage

I am always struck anew by the similarities across countries and cultures with regard to international business presentations.

More precisely, the delivering of business presentations across cultures.

The pathologies that afflict American Business Presentations show themselves in India . . . in France . . . in Russia.  And now, I discover yet another country and cultural commonality.  This time in Colombia.

My Seven Secrets seminar with Colombian Businessmen and Businesswomen at Corn Products International here in Cali confirms the core truths of the speaking masters from the past 25 centuries.

Even with regard to international business presentations.

It confirms that they are universally applicable across a range of cultures and languages.  Have a look at the company here:

Colombian C-Suite and midlevel managers react much as their American and Indian counterparts with regard to the most common pathologies that destroy what could be outstanding presentations.  These include bad voices, roaming presenters, slide-reading, back to the audience, hip-shots.  Add-in jittery feet, strange habitual actions, finger play, mumbling, and jammed/busy/ugly/unreadable slides.

All of this we see here in the United States.  It plagues Colombian business as well.

International Business Presentations Incorporate Ambition

But my Colombian colleagues – at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Corn Products International, Johnson & Johnson, Javeriana University – show themselves to be receptive to coaching.  In fact, they are far more receptive to coaching and dThe International Business Presentationevelopment of especially powerful presentation skills than their American counterparts generally.

Why this should be so, I cannot guess.  Unless it relates to the difficulties of presenting in a second language and the ambition that accompanies the potential of a growing Colombian business sector that is becoming increasingly internationalized.

Presenting in a second language is, of course, an impressive feat in itself.

All of this demonstrates that there exist iron-clad truths in presenting.  And we ignore these truths at our presentation peril.

The eternal and ubiquitous verities in the presentation milieu serve to anchor us in a superficially uncertain world that the avatars of “change management” urge us to adapt to.  Certitude, not “change,” is the key to especially powerful presenting.

Learn the verities and practice the universals in your international business presentations, and you’ll go incredibly right.  Whether in the United States, or in India . . . or in Colombia.

Working with Visuals!

Microsoft’s PowerPoint multimedia software has gotten a bum rap, and this unfair reputation springs from the thousands of ugly presentations given every day from folks who don’t know how to use it.

And yet, PowerPoint is a brilliant tool.

But just as any tool – say, a hammer or saw – can contribute to the construction of a masterpiece . . . or a monstrosity, PowerPoint either contributes to the creation of an especially powerful presentation, or it becomes the weapon of choice to inflict yet another heinous public-speaking crime on a numbed audience.

PowerPoint isn’t the problem.  Clueless presenters are the problem.

So just how do you use PowerPoint?

This short video reviews several of my own techniques that provide basic guidance on sound PowerPoint use.  Have a look-see . . .