Category Archives: Preparation


Presentation tip for people with dyslexia

I am a very happy coach today. A few weeks ago I have coached someone who has dyslexia but he had to talk to a very big audience and did not look forward to that event at all. He had presented to big audiences but that did not go too well and the problem for him was mainly that he fails to memorize presentations.

So he was very happy when I announced him that memorizing a presentation is actually not a good idea. At least, not the way that he had in mind. You have to memorize some things but in a specific way. I helped him to build his story and to begin with we looked for an anecdote to begin his presentation. That is an ‘easy’ beginning because you don’t have to memorize sentences, you just have to remember which anecdote you want to share. I just memorize the first sentence then.

The second step was to find his structure and build a story around it. Actually his whole presentation was filled with anecdotes because this was easy for him to memorize as he had the feeling he could ‘just talk’ but in a structured way.

This was a 20 minute presentation so he used slides and in the end I think this was the biggest help for him. We translated his whole story in pictures of which some with important messages. I advised him to use a ‘cue card’ during the presentation that he could have in his hand. On that cue card he glued the order of the slides in miniature. So when he was lost he could look at his card and seeing the next picture it was easy for him to know what he had to say.

He mailed me this morning that his presentation was simply great and this really made my day :-)

A presentation coaching is never a one time experience…

I rarely remember names but I remember faces very well. And when this guy walked into the training room some 2 weeks ago I knew he had been in my training before. So I checked and I was right and the logical question for me was…happy to see you again, what made you decide to come again to this training? I was so happy when he told me that he had followed my course a year ago and had used so many tips that helped him but now he wanted to reach the next level. Wise guy ;-) A training or coaching in presentations is never a 1 time experience, it is a path…


Stop speaking before your audience stops listening…

I know so many people who think that the longer you speak and the more content you provide, the more valuable it is. But what about your audience? They have most often a very passive role, just listening, and that is far more difficult than speaking.

Just last week I was following a presentation and I am convinced that everyone was there, as I was, because they were very interested in the topic. Normally this presentation was a session of 1,5 hours (this is for Peter Hinssen for example his favorite time frame for speaking). But as people were coming from all around Belgium and the presentation was organized in Genk, they had asked the speaker to make this a longer session (about 2,5 hours). Far too long and extremely difficult for the audience!

So let me ask you this? Do you organize welcome days for new people? Do they have to listen to presentations of the different division? This is all organized with the best intentions but let me give you this advise. Share short stories with them so they can get to know the company values and send facts & figures or whatever they need. Let them network with each other and mingle with people from the company. Make it fun and it will be so much more valuable… Enjoy your next presentation!


Get out of your comfort zone…

I just received a mail from a lady I have coached as she received a standing ovation after her presentation. Now you might say, ok, so what…I have had standing ovations as well but still this was a very special mail for me. This lady till now avoided presentations at all costs. She made it a goal now to get out of her comfort zone and just do it. We had worked on presentations for small audiences but this week she spoke in front of 300 people. She had the courage to be vulnerable on stage and received a standing ovation in return. Respect!

Invitation to my home with lunch


November 26 I organize another half day workshop at my home in Nieuwenhove (close to Ninove). The topic for this workshop will be how to feel confident in front of your audience. Every speaker is nervous though you can be nervous and still project power to your audience. To do that you have to know how to tell your story, you have to get to know your own natural presentation style, and you have to know how PowerPoint can work with or against you. In this workshop the focus will be on POWER through crystal clear content and strong natural style. If you want to know how this can work for your presentations, enroll for this half day workshop for only 300€ per person.

We start at 9:00 (welcome from 8:30 with lovely breakfast), we work the whole morning in an interactive way and end at 12:30 with a warm lunch (soup-dish-dessert). As I love to cook I love to know if there are any intolerances I need to know of or food you really don’t like…You can enroll by sending a mail to If all people who enroll speak Dutch, this workshop will be given in Dutch…This workshop is only for 10 people!

Schrijf jouw presentatie met 14-jarigen in gedachten


Toen ik Marcia De Wachter (directeur-schatbewaarder Nationale Bank van België) interviewde vertelde ze mij dat ze elke presentatie schrijft alsof ze zich richt naar 14-jarigen. Het werkt om ervoor te zorgen dat je het verhaal eenvoudig houdt. In hun boek ‘Made to stick’ hebben broers Dan & Chip Heath het over ‘the curse of knowledge’. Wanneer je veel weet over een bepaalde topic dan gaan we er al te vaak van uit dat het publiek ook alles begrijpt. Maak het eenvoudig, gebruik vergelijkingen, geef voorbeelden,…allemaal manieren om het ‘simple’ te maken!

Is your company presentation a christmas tree or a story?

large_6604960497 I actually should have written this newsletter one month ago as I love to compare company presentations with christmas trees. What we tend to do is focus on detailed slides, like a brochure. And as we all know by now that visuals work in slides, we decorate the bullets with pictures, even clipart (still), pretty much like a christmas tree. But here’s a question for you: do you show and comment these slides when you present your company or do you have a story to tell??

I advise you to focus on a story and use your slides as backup to use them if needed during the discussion with your prospect. Of course, the first thing you will do is ask questions and get to know what their problem or question is though at one point you will have to tell your story. You should be able to tell that story in 1 minute, have a 5 minute version and sometimes it can be even a longer version.

Here is a guideline you can use for your 1 minute that is actually the basis for every longer presentation you would do:

  • Describe a situation, which often results in a complication
  • Ask the most important question linked to that situation
  • Give an answer, which is your core message

When your answer is a solution, end with the 3 most important reasons why this could be a solution for your prospect.
When your answer is a specific product or service, end your 1 minute with the 3 most important benefits for the customer of that product or service. 3 is a magical number, easy to memorize for you and memorable for your audience.

Don’t just focus on a agenda saying where you come from, how big your are, what your mission is. Focus on them, give them benefits, tell your story and prepare it well!



You may need an expert for your live event!



I just read this article by Kyle Tanner and I absolutely want to share it with you as I agree with him 100%. I have seen too many speakers fail on stage because of lack of preparation. Please speakers on events, I love to guide you with your next presentation!!! Read the article of Kyle below…

‘A few weeks ago I was at a medical event. 4 days of pack filled presentations. I was responsible for making sure all imagery was going to screens. I was running 3 PC’s and 3 Macs and we had a tech running video playback.

I was amazed at how many “seasoned presenters” were handing me a thumb drive literally seconds before walking on stage. A few presentations were using special fonts, so those were not showing. A few presentations had linked videos, but the presenter could not find the original files. Some video files were embedded but with the wrong Codex (so basically useless) some presentations were 4:3 projecting to multiple 16:9 screens. Some presentations had audio clips (yet we never had a chance to check the levels).

If the techs don’t have time to preview your file(s) on their system, that’s when problems occur (the audience doesn’t care what your presentation looks like on your computer). When I get the file the day before, I can preview and makes sure videos are working, sizing is correct, volumes are good, etc. When I get the file as you hit the stage, every click forward is a new surprise for all of us, and I don’t like to rehearse in front of hundreds or thousands of people (aka your audience).

And, while I’m correcting slides, 2-3 slides ahead of the current slides on the screens, these “seasoned presenters” who have given this ‘same talk hundreds of times’ were taping me on the shoulder asking if they can change a few slides before they go on in 3 more minutes.

At some point (i.e. the flight to the event), you need to decide, this is my talk and this is my visual support, and I really don’t need to cause 99% of my stress over one detail out of 200 slides.

So if you want your next prefect presentation here are some ideas.

1 – You may be an expert CEO or brain surgeon, but you may need an expert to help you fine-tune your presentation! Yes PowerPoint & Keynote can be easy to use, but so is Word, but I do not consider myself a best selling author.

2 – You are at your event to give an amazing talk on your subject. Do you really need to be stressed the last 3 minutes before going on stage to make sure the right graphic flies in from the left edge or your special font is working?

3 – If you are an event planner, consider an amazing service to your Speakers. Provide a Speaker Ready room. I can tell you when I have been in the Speaker Ready Room, and its slow, I have spent hours with presenters fine tuning their presentation. 1 – It’s a must for an event with lots of files. 2 – It helps the speakers and the crew. 3 – It’s a great-added service for your Speakers (if you have a service oriented person wanting to help).

4 – Know the difference between a Graphic Designer who can create an amazing presentation, and a Graphic Operator who specializes in live events and can interface with the onsite video crew and engineers, to get you the best results possible.

If I can help you on your next event, please let me know. I truly do love to help people and being on the road. I’ve worked with Fortune 500’s, TV Networks, and small companies with presentations just as important.’

Invitation to my home

casa Simply Talking 3casa Simply Talking 2casa SImply Talking 1          I love to help people with their communication/presentation and I love to cook. So now I decided to combine the two. My husband has renovated our barn and it has become kind of a ‘lofty barn’. Great to live in and very well suited to organize a workshop.

As I am very much into short communication these past few months the topic for the workshop will be how to pitch your idea. I welcome you with a great breakfast. You get to know my presentation model that helps to communicate in a crystal clear way to your boss, team, colleagues or customers. The model can even help you to communicate to big audiences.

For lunch I serve a home made lasagne (with meat and without) and for the afternoon break will probably be a mixture of fruit for the health addicts and a chocolate pie for those who love sweets. If you are interested, just send me a mail at The date is still open as I organize this at home and I want to wait for the reactions. I plan to look for a date that suits for all. Hope to see you :-)