Power Presentation Tip 08: No Jokes

Power Presentation Tips 08: No Jokes - no kidding

Beware of that ancient book that suggests you start your presentation with a joke. Don't do that. No jokes please. Jokes don't fit anywhere in a business presentation.


Three reasons:

1. You are not a comic.
Stand up comedy is very difficult to deliver well. It takes skill and a lot of practice. And still the great comics tell jokes that bomb. You don't have their skill or resilience. And when your joke bombs the audience is scratching their heads wondering, "What was that all about?"

2. Relevance.
In most cases the joke has nothing to do with your presentation. So even if it turns out funny your audience is still left scratching their heads and wondering, "What was that all about?"

3. You are not Don Rickles.
Most jokes make fun of somebody else. Don't make fun of your audience. They will not like you for it. Don't make fun of some other group. Some of your audience will feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about your prejudice. And they will not like or trust you.

You can still make them laugh
However, you should use humor. And the best person to make fun of is you. Tell a funny story about something silly that you did.

The audience will warm up to you for two reasons: One, because you made them laugh or smile. Two, because you revealed a flaw. This demonstrates that you are imperfect - like them. And we like those who are like us - especially those who share our flaws and pain.

It is more important for the story to make your point than it is to be funny. Watch for more on story telling and other humor techniques in future Power Presentations Tips.

No jokes. Instead reveal a flaw. The audience will like and trust you more when they see themselves in you.

George Torok
Business Speaker
Presentation Skills Training
Canadian Motivational Speaker

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

Turn listeners on - not off

How to turn your listeners on - not off

Enjoy this excerpt from:
Lynda Goldman's Communication Capsules

"When are you going to understand that if it doesn't pertain to me, I'm not interested?" - Murphy Brown

People today are B&B: Busy and bored. To capture their attention, in writing or when giving a speech, you have to make them say a mental "Yes" in the first three minutes of your connection.

The mental "Yes"

Ask yourself, "What's keeping my audience up at night? What are they worried or frustrated about?"

For example, if you're a financial planner preparing a presentation on retirement, you could begin by asking your audience:

"Do you ever wonder: How much money will I need to retire comfortably? What will I do if my health fails? Who's going to take care of me when I grow old?"

If you said yes to any of these questions, you're in the right place because that's what we'll be talking about today."

When you start off with the questions that are on your audience's mind, people immediately bond with you because they're thinking, "That's exactly what I've been wondering about!" They'll pay attention because you've expressed their concerns. Now they are eager to hear your answers.

The next time you want to capture the attention of people who are busy and bored, make sure to include content in your first 3 minutes that makes them say a mental "yes". They'll be on the edge of their seats.

Do you need help writing your next speech or presentation? Call Lynda Goldman for Words That Sell.

To your continued success,


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George Torok
Executive Speech Coach
Presentation Skills Training
Canadian Motivational Speaker

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

Power Presentations Tip 07: Be present

Power Presentations Tips 07: Be present when you present

That might sound funny to you. However, you might have noticed that some speakers don't appear to be with you when they are speaking to you. Perhaps they appear fidgety as if they prefer to be elsewhere. Perhaps they read their presentation or recite the words in a mechanized fashion. Perhaps they never look at you.

How can you avoid those mistakes?

What can you do to really be there?

Greet and talk to some of the audience members before the formal program starts. This helps to build rapport and create some friendly faces for you.

Pause for five seconds before you begin speaking to look at the audience and acknowledge their presence with a nod and a warm smile.

Look directly at individuals in your audience while speaking.

Mention something positive about the group, event or venue.

Do not read your presentation. Talk from keyword notes.

Know your message well enough so you don't need to memorize it.

Listen to your own words while you speak. Don't speak like a robot.

Listen to and observe your audience. Adapt your delivery just as you would during a friendly conversation.

When a distraction in the room occurs - acknowledge it and move on.

Be present. Be in the moment and you will appear more powerful and more engaging.

George Torok
Presentation Coach
Presentation Skills Training

PS: tell me how this tip helps you

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

Toronto Presentation Coach

Toronto Presentation Coach

"You demonstrated to us how to cut a 60-minute rambling presentation, into a 12-minute clear, concise and focused presentation that helped us secure a $10 million project."
Sam Kohn, President, Kubik

Presentation Coach with real Business Experience
Executive speech coach and presentation skills training. Learn how to deliver million-dollar presentations from a business presenter. George Torok has two decades of corporate management experience. He has delivered hundreds of board room presentations. He has suffered through more. He is a business person who learned to communicate well. He is not an actor or professor telling business how it should be. Instead he has taken the best lessons from other fields and applied them to business first hand.

Effective Executive Presentations Instructor
George Torok has instructed the Effective Executive Presentations program at the Toronto facility of the Canadian Management Centre for more than the past decade.

Arrange for one-on-one speech coaching or group presentation training for your managers, professional experts and sales team.

George Torok
Toronto Presentation Coach
Toronto Speech Coach
Toronto Presentation Skills Training

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

Your Presentation: This is important

When You have Something Important to Say

When you are presenting a report to your management, a proposal to the committee or changes to your staff they are not hanging on your every word. When you get to the key points - you want them to listen, believe and remember. Use these techniques to give your words impact.

1. Announce, "This is important." Then give the important stuff. Teachers do this by saying, "This will be on the exam." You could state, "This is a million dollar tip."

2. Pause, just before, and after, you say the important stuff. Notice the effect of the pause at the awards night when they say, "May I have the envelope please?"

3. Lower your voice to increase the believability. Practise this, "And in conclusion," (lower your voice) "I am the best one for the job." Then try it in a higher pitched voice and notice the difference.

4. Make them laugh just before, then get serious and deliver the important message. When we laugh we open our minds and are more willing to accept new information.

5. Move before - then stand still while delivering the important stuff. This is especially effective for those who pace or move a lot when they speak.

6. Look your audience in the eye - don't read the important stuff. If you have to read it - then it looks like you don't really know it or believe it.

7. Smile. We believe those who smile at us. We also prefer to listen to speakers who smile at us. We listen with our eyes and our ears.

8. Tell a story of how this lesson was learned or applied. The earliest lessons were stories told by our cave-dwelling ancestors. They were remembered. If only the lecturers of today remembered the wisdom of our ancestors.

9. Repeat it three times during your presentation. If you want it remembered - repeat it and repeat it again.

10. Reinforce the message with images. We retain images better than words. Attach your message to word pictures, visuals and body language.

George Torok
Presentation Skills Coach
Presentation Skills Training
Business Speaker

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