How to Have Better Conversations

In this 11 minute video from a TEDX talk, radio show host, Celeste Hendlee offers ten powerful points to help you become more productive in conversations.

Imagine how this skill can make you shine in business and personal relationships.




The ten conversation tips summarized below for you

Watch the video to appreciate the context.


  1. Be fully present
  2. Assume that you can learn from this person
  3. Ask open-ended questions
  4. Stay with the conversation
  5. When it’s true – admit that you don’t know
  6. Don’t equate your experience to theirs
  7. Stop repeating your point
  8. Leave out the unnecessary details
  9. Listen
  10. Be brief


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How to Answer Questions...or Not?



How to answer questions or not?
Many presentations include time for questions from your audience. This offers the opportunity to clarify key points and nurture trust.

There might be questions that are irrelevant. Naturally, you don’t need to answer that type of question. But what happens when the question is valid and the answer from the speaker is irrelevant?

In this video, Anderson Cooper points out the ridiculous response from Florida Governor, Rick Scott.

Watch this video to see how ridiculous a speaker looks and feels when he persistently avoids the question.

Does this man feel slimy?




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Body Language from your hands?

Body language is the combination of messages conveyed by all parts of your body. Your hands are certainly a noticeable and powerful channel for your body messages. Study this video of Allan Pease speaking at the TEDx Macquarie University. 

What might your hands say about you?



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Sloppy TEDx Presentation Opening



"Hi Everyone, ah, Thank you for your time today. It’s, ah, very daunting to get up here after those wonderful talks this afternoon. Ah, I’m here to talk to you about the next generation of the Internet, the way we see it, ah, in particular, the mobile internet, um, I have mobile internet here with my notes, (held up his phone) hopefully the mobile internet keeps working …"

He continued his talk with many more ums and aahs. I wondered if he had prepared and rehearsed his presentation. He cleared up that question by admitting that he had created his presentation on his phone while on the plane. Clearly, he didn’t rehearse.

He seemed proud of that lack of preparation and yet the TEDx organizers still let him speak.

Naturally, I couldn’t stand listening to anymore. I quit that TEDx video after 2 minutes…


There was nothing in his opening to grab our attention, demonstrate that we should listen to him or even respect him.



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Casey Brown at TEDx Columbus Women


"Know Your Worth and then Ask for It"

In an eight-minute presentation, you need to grab the attention of your audience, establish rapport and deliver your message clearly.

Casey Brown succeeded in meeting those three criteria in this presentation. Watch her presentation and notice these powerful techniques in action.

Grab Attention
Notice how she grabbed attention with the first words of her opening. “No one will ever pay you what you’re worth.” (pause) Then she repeats the phrase. After another pause, “They’ll only pay you what they think you’re worth.”

All of that was delivered with a calm and clear manner with a (I’ve got a secret) smile.

That opening grabbed attention, and piqued the curiosity of the audience to listen for more. That’s the purpose of an effective opening. There were no wasted words in her opening.


Establish Rapport
The best ways to connect with your audience are to demonstrate that you understand them and that you are like them.

She was speaking to a predominantly female audience. She pointed out that women are generally underpaid compared to men. She quoted statistics to back up that statement. She identified herself as a female business owner and single parent of two beautiful daughters. Those statements are likely to connect with the women in the audience and many of the men.

Most importantly she used the one powerful technique to connect with the audience – she confessed that she was flawed and afraid. She was hesitant to take her own advice. Many of us appear wiser when we give advice but we often seem to ignore our own advice.


Deliver the Message Clearly
Her message was “You’ll only be paid what they think you’re worth. That was in her opening statement and repeated in her close.

She illustrated that concept in her personal story and in a story from one of her clients.

Casey Brown delivered on these three presentation criteria. Watch the video below.





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How to Create Interest and Connect with Anyone

TEDx video of Sam Horn as she demonstrates how to use Intrigue to create interest and connect. You might need to watch this at least twice. The first time, enjoy the presentation. The next time, note the points and notice the techniques she uses to deliver her presentation.

In particular, notice how she:
  • made her messages easy to remember
  • grabbed the attention of the audience
  • engaged the audience
  • used entertaining quotes from celebrities
  • employed the magic of threes
  • open and closed effectively
  • made it easy to remember her points
  • hardly talked about herself
  • offered practical tools you can use immediately

First time - enjoy the presentation, then watch again.


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Modern Presentation Design?



I was challenged to write about modern presentation design. The challenge was intended to focus on slide design. I choose to relate that to the overall presentation purpose and delivery.

PowerPoint MVP, Ellen Finkelstein orchestrated this challenge to a group of presentation specialists. I was one of several who accepted her challenge. You can find the links within this article. If you’re planning to use PowerPoint slides in the next year, be sure to follow each link and read these posts. It could make the difference between grief and joy for your next presentation.

The concept intrigued me because I wondered about the use of the word modern as applied to presentations. I normally associate modern with fashion – particularly for clothing, home design and automobiles.

Modern seems to be about style, image and novelty. I was tempted to dismiss the subject as trivial.

How might modern design apply to presentation? Let’s remember that the goal isn’t to be modern. The goal is to deliver an effective presentation that persuades the listeners of the value of the message and to act accordingly. Could modern design be a valuable tool for presenters?

The relevant question is, “Might modern design enhance the effectiveness of the presentation?”

I believe the answer is yes.



Novelty
Novelty in design and delivery can help to attract and hold the attention of the audience. It doesn’t take much to achieve this because we’ve suffered through too many boring same old presentations.

Troy Chollar predicts more effective use of eye-catching transitions with Morph.


Image
A presenter wants to project an image of confidence, credibility and commitment. Modern design can contribute to that powerful image because it demonstrates awareness, resourcefulness and extra effort.

Craig Hadden offers a unique tip about displaying your Twitter account on your slides to stimulate social media interaction.

If you’re wondering “should you go wide screen?” Anug Malhotra addresses that question along with 16 other practical suggestions on his list of 17 Tips for 2017.


Style
Each presenter should follow proven presentation principles and adapt the relevant techniques to their own personal style. When they do that, they appear natural, comfortable and more trustworthy.

Ellen Finkelstein offers 10 suggestions of modern style including thin fonts and borders.

Ken Molay reminds us that modern design can make it more challenging to use the software. Modern doesn’t always mean better.

Mike Parkinson reminds presenters that it’s imperative to connect the dots for your listeners. One way to do that is with the use of the PowerPoint Zoom feature which is an adaption of Prezi.


Should you modernize your presentation slides?

Yes – if you want better results from your presentations.

What are your questions and ideas about modern presentation design?




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