Why do you ask questions?

The most obvious reason might be to discover the answer.

The purest form of asking questions is just that – to discover the answer. But that could be difficult. To discover the answer you must ask a good question then listen without judging.

That’s difficult for many people and impossible with certain temperaments.

First, you must ask a clear question.
Second, you must listen without interrupting.
Third, you must listen without judging.

Each of those steps are difficult for most of us some of the time and each step can be difficult for many of us most of the time.

Are you asking a question to trap someone?

Are you asking a question to prove that you are right?

Are you asking a question to confirm what you already believe?

If you want to better connect with your listeners – ask questions to discover.

Ask, and then listen without judging.

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.Share/Save/Bookmark

Better Name for PowerPoint?

Don’t be fooled by the name. There is no implied or real power in PowerPoint. It’s just a clever name. Would so many presenters have been as easily seduced if the product was named FoolsPoint, LoserPoint or BoringPoint?

PowerPoint is software that is easy to use. So, many presenters make the mistake of relying on the software instead of preparing an effective presentation. The next mistake they make is assuming that the PowerPoint slides are the presentation, so they don’t bother to improve their own presentation skills. They expect the software to present for them.

Microsoft put one over the whole presentation world by naming it PowerPoint.

So, let's have some fun and suggest a realist name for the scurge "once known as PowerPoint".

George Torok

PowerPoint Sins

SlideShare Presentations

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


Presentation Training: How to Select Your Presentation Skills Trainer

If you are ready to improve the presentation skills of your team and are looking to hire a presentations skills trainer you might be wondering “How do you choose the right presentation skills trainer?”

This article will offer you some tips and ideas on the questions you should be asking of your prospective presentation skills trainer when planning a presentation skills training program for your people.

Ask these five direct and revealing questions of your presentations skills trainer to help you select a superior trainer.

Are you a natural born speaker?

This is an important question because if the trainer is a natural born speaker – they will not likely be a good instructor. The best teachers and trainers are those who struggled to learn the skills. They remember the pain of how difficult it was for them and thus can better help your people. You don’t want a self appointed Prima Donna as your presentation skills trainer. Do you?

It’s a good sign if the trainer briefly describes some of his own pain and struggle to become a better presenter. You don’t want an individual who claims to have a gift.

Other than training, what other types of presentations have you delivered?

You probably heard the expression “those that can, do and those that can’t, teach”. Be sure that your presentation skills trainer is not just a teacher or professor telling students how to do something that they have never done. Almost anyone can tell the theory of delivering a sales or boardroom presentation but it’s another story to actually deliver the real thing and relive the mistakes and lessons for you.

What have you written and where else have you been quoted and published?

If the presentation skills trainer has any substance he will have written something. The real question is who else thinks it’s worth quoting. A few articles is a good start but does not make one an expert. Ask to see copies of several articles written over a period of several years. Look for evidence that the individual is raising and answering provocative issues. If he wrote or contributed to a book, ask for a copy to see if that resonates with your needs and values.

Who says that you’re good?

There are two things that you are looking for here. Who (companies or organizations) have they worked with and for how long? The other important element that you want to see is client testimonials. You want testimonials from clients that detail the results and show the names, titles and companies. Anonymous testimonials are fools gold. Recognition from other experts is helpful. The third area of recognition is the media. Where has your expert been quoted, interviewed or published?

What have you done recently to improve both your presentation skills and presentation skills training?

There are two things that you are looking for with this pointed question. You want to hear that your presentation skills trainer has attended training programs to refresh or upgrade their skills. You want to hear that this person has invested in their own expertise by working with a presentation skills coach. You might also ask about the books that they have read lately or books that influenced them greatly. Here’s a simple tip – ask them what two or three books – other than their own they would recommend to you to improve your presentation skills. If they can’t immediately name at least three and the reason for their picks, you can write them off your list.

When selecting the best presentation skills trainer for your people it’s important that you ask the right questions so you make the right choice. Ask the questions that establish the expertise, approach and fit for training your team on improving their presentation skills.

© George Torok is a presentation skills trainer, keynote speaker, bestselling author and radio show host. Get your free presentation skills tips at http://www.torok.com Arrange for executive speech coaching and presentation skills training at http://www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com For media interviews call 905-335-1997

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Black Death Versus PowerPoint

Black death by PowerPoint
It's estimated that the Bubonic Plague (Black Death) killed 20 to 50 million people in Europe between 1347 and 1351. It's attack was swift and merciless. People didn't know how to deal with this threat. They didn't understand nor appreciate personal hygene nor sewage removol. They were vomitting in the streets - and dieing horibily. Almost half of the European population was eliminated in four years.

It took almost five years for the uneducated masses of the middle ages to learn how to deal with this threat.

In 1990 another plague assualted us - PowerPoint. Twenty one years later the people are still suffering from Death by PowerPoint.

Audiences are still suffering from bad PowerPoint Presentations. Educated people are still deverlering painful PowerPoint presentations.


Because the pain is kept to oneself, because the death is in deals lost, and the vomitting is done in private.

Cleary - it's not painful enough - yet.

What are the numbers?

We don't know for sure.

Consider this. When was the last time you sat through a PowerPoint presentation? Today? Last week? Last month?

How did you feel during that experience?

Let's consider some conservative assumptions about corporate presentations.

Of the Fortune Five hundred Corporatioins in North America, let's assume that each of them endures at least 10 interal PowerPoint presentations each working day.

At the same time let's assume that their sales reps are delivering at least 50 external presentations each day.

The next 2,000 large sized corporations are delivering at least five presentations per day.

The next 5,000 large and medium sized corporates are delivering at least one persentation per day.

Of the hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs at least 10,000 are delivering a PowerPoint presention each day.

Of the at least thousands of colleges and univeristies at least 2,000 must be delivering PowerPoint presentations every day.

So what does that leave us?

Fortune 500 x 10 = 5,000

Fortune 500 x 50 = 25,000

Next 2,000 corporate x 5 = 10,000

5,000 mid sized x 1 = 5,000

Entrepreneurs 10,000 x 1 = 10,000

Colleges & Universites 2000 x 1 = 2000

That suggests at least 57,000 presentations a day.

That means at least - 14 million presentations a year

Let's be conservative again and cut that number in half. So for for the last 20 years, at least 140 Million PowerPowerPoint presentations have been forcing people to vomit in private.

With at least five people attending each presentation - that makes at least 700 million people that have suffered the plague of Death by PowerPoint. That is more than twice the population of the USA.

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


Power Presentations Tip 50: Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything

The singer sang the verse and then encouraged the audience to sing
along with the chorus of the old yet well known song, "Those Were
the Days My Friend"

I studied her as she switched between the roles of singer /
performer and maestro / cheerleader. The transitions were smooth
and coincided with the accompaniment from the band.

Each time she shifted out of "singer" mode into "maestro" mode she
waited for the precise moment to call out an encouragement to the

It was only micro-seconds that she waited but I marveled at her timing
because I've seen many performers loose their sense of timing when
they fall out of performer mode.

What is Timing?

Timing is a difficult concept to explain. If you know it, you will
recognize it when you see it. Bad timing is usually easier to
recognize because of the ill effects.

The importance of timing is especially noticeable in relationships,
dancing, business, combat, sports, music, entertainment and

Complex Skill

Timing is a complex skill because it is based on developing other
skills first.

Timing seems to be the combination of two key skills. First, the
willingness to wait, even though you feel ready now. Second, the
ability to be in the moment, observe your audience and notice when
they are almost ready.

Timing in Presenting

Where can you make better use of timing in your presentations?

-Pausing just before you deliver a poignant point
-Slowing down your delivery on a critical message
-Delaying your response to a challenging question
-Waiting for the laughter to arrive and then subside after a funny
-Changing the sequence of your presentation because the rhythm was
-Taking an unplanned break because the room was ready for it

How Can You Improve Your Timing?

Listen to music and notice both the rhythm and the beat. Notice how
important that is. Try humming your favorite tunes - first as
intended, then quicker and finally disjointed. Feel the difference.

Watch comedians - live or on TV and count the seconds of their
pauses. Repeat their lines out loud.

Sit on a chair - look at the clock - close your eyes and open them
in 60 seconds. Then try it again and aim for 90 seconds. See how
close you can get to your target.
The next time you are near a lake, sea or ocean - watch the waves.
Count the cycle between big waves. Imagine that you are a surfer
timing your next ride. Move too soon and you crash - too late and
you miss the joy.

Of course the most important part of timing is to finish your
presentation on time.

George Torok

PS: Tell me how this tip helps you.

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Me, Me, Me

Presentation about me
Imagine how you feel when they start talking to you like this?

Me, me, me, me, me, me me...

My, my, my, my, my...

Mine, mine, mine...

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