Don't Assume - Confirm

Don't Assume - confirm

I was the MC at an industry convention this week. I introduced and thanked the speakers. Most of the speakers were industry experts. They were not professional speakers. They were speaking because they represented their company. They were there because either their company designated them as the expert best able to convey the product information or they were the sales person who drew the short straw.

As expected some were better speakers than others.

The best presentation used a professionally produced video. The presenter was clearly relieved that the pressure was off her.

The worst presentation was delivered by a presenter reading the words on the PowerPoint slides. This presenter spoke to me after seeking feedback. He readily admitted that his PowerPoint slides were crap. His slides were crap and so was his presentation. Blaming his slides seemed to relieve him of his responsibility for his presentation. He didn't want to know so I didn't tell him.

The biggest surprise for me was the presenter who remained hidden until minutes before he was to speak. As MC I wanted to meet and speak with every presenter before they went on. You can imagine my angst at not finding this speaker – not even knowing if he was there.

By a strange twist of fate he was sitting near me and introduced himself just a few minutes before he was to present. I confirmed his name and topic title.

I introduced him and he took the stage. He started speaking and then stopped. “Where is my first slide?” he exclaimed.

The AV person at the back of the room replied, “I don’t have a presentation from you.”

The presenter retorted, “But I sent it by email yesterday morning.”

What mistakes did this presenter make?

He sent his PowerPoint slides at the last minute.
He did not check in with the AV and convention organizers when he arrived.
He assumed.
He did not take responsibility for making sure everything was ready for his presentation.

Of course I also made a mistake. I assumed that he had checked in and made everything ready. I just added some more questions to my MC repertoire.

Don’t assume – confirm.

George Torok
Executive Speech Coach
Presentation Skills Training
Toronto Speech Coach

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Boardroom Presentations

Boardroom Presentations

For tips on how to better present in the boardroom read my article titled "Battling in the Boardroom" that ran in this recent issue of Executive Travel magazine. This is the magazine for American Express members.

If you are not yet an American Express member then you can read some of that article in the following posts on this blog.

Boardroom Presentations: Sweat like a horse

Donald Trump on Boardroom Presentations

How to beat Donald Trump in the Boardroom

George Torok
Presentations skills training
Presentation skills coaching
Canadian Motivational Business Speaker

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Power Presentations Tip 04:

Power Presentations Tip 04: Zip it. Zip it good.

What's more powerful than your words?
Your silence.

The well placed pause is the simplest communication tool. The pause conveys your confidence more than your words. The pause engages your listeners because it allows them to think. The pause adds emphasis to your words.

Yet too many presenters don't make effective use of the pause. Why? Some believe that they need to say what they have to say before someone interrupts. If that is your style then be aware that the audience isn't listening. They are listening to their own words inside their head. Just because you didn't allow them to speak out loud doesn't stop them from talking in their head.

When should you pause?

Pause after you have taken your speaking position and before you start speaking. This ensures you have everyone's attention for your first word.

Pause after you said something profound to allow them to digest that nugget.

Pause after saying something funny to give them time to get the humor and enjoy a laugh.

Pause after you pose a rhetorical question to let them think about it.

Pause before you answer a tough question from the audience to emphasize the credibility and importance of your answer.

Pause after you've said what you wanted to say - so you don't dilute your message.

How long should a pause be?

As long as needed. Most of the time three to five seconds are enough. You might need to count the seconds in your head as "one steamboat" or "one Mississippi".

When you master the pause you will be a more powerful presenter. In the words of Dr Evil from the Austin Power Movie - "Zip it. Zip it Good".

George Torok

"Love receiving "the TIPS". Modifying my existing presentations as I read each TIPS message. Each one becomes even better with each email. Looking forward to TIPS #4."

Dr. Frank Stechey, Chair
The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario

PS: Tell me how this tip helps you.

Register here to receive your own copy of Power Presentations Tips free every two weeks.

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Successful presentation

How do you measure the success of your presentation?

First you need to know the only three reasons for presenting. Then measuring success of your presentation is easy. Discover the three reasons for presenting from George Torok, Toronto presentations skills coach. Listen up.

Toronto Speech Coach

Toronto Speech Coach

George Torok is The Speech Coach for Executives. He works in Toronto. He is based in the Toronto area. He works with corporations in and around Toronto. He worked in downtown Toronto on Bay Street (the financial centre of Toronto) for over a decade.

George Torok has worked with many Toronto based business. He has presented for many Toronto based associations. He has trained and coached hundreds of Toronto executives and managers on presentation skills.

George Torok often appears in the Toronto media as a guest expert on presentation and communication skills.

George Torok is the Toronto Speech Coach.

George Torok
Toronto Speech Coach
Toronto Convention Speaker

Toronto Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Presentation Skills: Zip it, Zip it good

Presentation Skills: Zip it, Zip it good.

Most presenters need to say less. They need to appreciate the power of silence in effective communication. Negotiation experts will tell you that the most powerful negotiation technique is to state your position then shut up.

The best public speakers are those who have mastered the pause. For more on the pause watch for my Power Presentation Tip this week. You can register for Power Presentation Tips here.

In the words of Dr. Evil of the Austin Powers movies - "Zip it. Zip it Good."

Enjoy this lesson from Dr. Evil.

Dr. Evil adapted his line from the song "Whip it" by Devo. If you don't know the band Devo, you might recognize the theme from the Swiffer TV ad.

Here's "Whip it" from Devo.

George Torok
Presentation Skills Success
Public Speaking Pro
Executive Speech Coaching

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Presentation Skills: Body Language & TV

Presentation Skills: Body Language & TV

You can improve your presentation skills by watching TV.

TV is an audio-visual medium with extra emphasis on the video. To improve your presentation skills watch some of your favorite TV programs with the sound off. Of course you will miss the nuances of the words and details. But challenge yourself to watch and while trying to decipher what is going on and what the words might be.

I suggest you do this with a pen and paper to scribble down your thoughts as you experience them.

Don't worry about what you are missing. Write down all the things you notice. Note the emotions conveyed, the energy level, the relationships about the characters.

Then think about how you know those things. Now think about your presentations and what message your audience might receive if they have tuned you out. Is your body language consistent with your words? What do you need to change to convey the right message with your body language.

Turning the sound off works best for action, drama and comedy - but not for sports. Most game shows work well. Some of them are even better with the sound off.

Years ago, I back packed through Europe. While in Greece I attended a movie theatre. I watched a kung fu movie. The audio was in Chinese with Greek subtitles - neither of which I understand. However I enjoyed and understood the movie.

George Torok
Presentation Skills Coaching
Presentation Skills Training
Business Speaker

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Professional Speaker

Professional Speaker - George Torok

George Torok is a professional business speaker that specializes in personal marketing and presentation skills. He delivers practical content in a style that is often labeled as motivational.

The tips are practical. The insights are inspiring and the stories are motivational. This is a speaker that you have to see and hear soon. Your business future could depend on it.

Professional Speaker
Motivational Speaker
Toronto Speech Coach

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Self-Sabotage Words

Presentation: Self-Sabotage Words

An email reminded me of how using the wrong word can shut down your audience and sabotage your presentation.

A prospect send me an email requesting information. Early in her message was the term "ASAP". It's a dumb term. It is vague yet infers urgency. "As soon as possible" could mean this second or never.

I encountered this term a lot during my corporate management days. It annoyed me then so I trained my staff to expunge the term from their vocabulary.

Now as an entrepreneur I have even less patience for the term. So when my eyes hit this landmine term in her email to me - I stopped reading and missed the date that appeared later in the same paragraph.

Her message annoyed me and my request for a date might have annoyed her. Perhaps both of us were wrong and both of us were annoyed. All because of the wrong word.

Another word that trips my off switch is "anyways".

Its a useless word. It it used when the message is "oops I just spouted a lot of verbal rubbish and I think I know what I going to say next and I hope that it makes better sense and I hope that you forgive me and listen to the next part because it might be good."

Flips my switch every time. How about you?

What words flip your off switch? Be sure to remove them from your presentation.

George Torok
Business Speaker
Motivational Speaker
Presentation Skills Training

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.