Tag Archives: presentation zen

Invitation to my home with lunch

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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 sylvieverleye@icloud.com. If all people who enroll speak Dutch, this workshop will be given in Dutch…This workshop is only for 10 people!

Transform slides into word document

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I presume your first question would be: ‘Why on earth would I do that?’ I can think of a number of reasons but the most important one is this: it is by far the best way to keep slides ‘ZEN’ during your talk, only showing messages. Though afterwards you ideally send your audience a detailed document, and slides with only messages will not do!

 

So how do you do this? First of all create your story and then translate that story into ‘ZEN’ slides. The best way to make simple slides is to draw your slides first on a paper or imagine what you would put on a flip chart if the beamer does not work.

 

When the slides are ready, press ‘file’ in the upper left corner and choose ‘export’. This is for the most recent versions. For older versions of PPT you might have to choose ‘publish’ or ‘save and send’. In either of these options you can click ‘create handouts in Microsoft Word’ (or similar descriptions). Click ‘create handouts’ again and then choose ‘notes below slides’.

 

Automatically a word document is being created. Slide 1 has become page 1. On that page your slide has become a picture and the rest of the page is empty. This is where you create your text that the audience can read afterwards. Save this as a PDF and send it to your audience.

 

You might say that you do exactly the same using ‘notes’ in your PowerPoint document. The thing is, I advise you never to send your slides because it is too big when you have lots of pictures and people never read the notes. Plus, you can edit the word document by deleting whatever is not needed or adding a logo on each page which is a good idea.

 

This works great to create for example a syllabus based on a slideshow for a training or for conference presentations. Enjoy your next presentation!

 

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!

 

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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.’

Pitch your idea and make it short

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Last week I heard once again that when you need to talk to a high level audience you better be prepared to make it short. It is not because they have given you 20 minutes that you will actually have 20 minutes speaking time. It is not because they let you begin your talk you won’t be interrupted…soon. So be prepared! Here’s an idea for you.

Next time you have to talk to a high level audience split your presentation in 2 parts: short talk of no more than 5 minutes and lots of room to fill in the details with a discussion. TELL your audience upfront that you only need 5 minutes to get your main messages across and afterwards you discuss the details together. Build your 5 minute talk around the main conclusions! And don’t end with ‘do you have any questions’. End with a valuable, straight forward question like: ‘On which parts would you like me to provide more details’ or any questions that works following your talk. Move from a monologue to a dialogue and notice how efficient this technique can be!

The audience is not your enemy

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I figured out long time ago that nearly everyone is nervous to do a presentation.The difference though between an experienced and non experienced speaker is that experienced speakers know how to deal with these nerves and ACT confident.They come close to their audience, they will rarely hide behind a lectern. They smile before starting and ‘connect’ with their audience. They make big gestures from their shoulders, they don’t make themselves small. Know that when you present your brain subconsciously might perceive the audience as the enemy. Your natural reaction is to hide from that enemy and protect yourself (you should sometimes see how people stand incredibly unnaturally to hide). Do the opposite and reinsure your brain that the situation is safe by coming close, looking for eye contact and stand in a powerful way!

Do you really need PowerPoint?

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I just witnessed an interesting converstation while waiting at a reception desk. 2 ladies just met their contact, and the latter proposes to have a coffee first and sit in a relaxed area. She even proposes to have the meeting there and asks ‘or do you really need to show a PowerPoint??…’ The other 2 ladies answer yes, they have prepared a PPT and their faces show apologies… Wouldn’t it be easier to have dialogues and conversations instead of monologues with PowerPoint?…

When you are enthusiastic, so is your audience

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I just watched a live stream presentation of Jef Staes. Each time it strikes me how much fun he has on stage. He really wants the audience to understand his message and is enthusiastic to get that message across. I noticed the same thing a few months ago during TEDx Maastricht. When I drive home after such presentations I always ask myself which presentations sticks in my mind. For the ted presentation 2 came to my mind. Not because these were the best presenters as such, but these 2 speakers were the most enthusiastic.So show enthusiasm for your next presentation. High volume voice helps, coming close to your audience helps and telling stories (examples) helps!

How to create a great pitch?

origin_2336190711  I don’t know why but lately I get a lot of questions on how to pitch? My first question then is ‘where do you want to use your pitch?’ An elevator pitch used for an informal networking event to let people know what you exactly do is significantly different from an investor pitch. My tips will focus on a pitch that you need to do ‘on stage’.
1. Focus on the WHY
Far too many presentations focus on ‘what’ and ‘how’ though the audience is far more interested in why because then it is linked to them. An investor needs to know why he should invest. This is not one of your agenda points. Your whole pitch focusses on the answers to this question.

2. Tell stories
You can tell audiences about the super team you have, your great product, facts & figures… but you can only make them care when you gives them examples or share anecdotes that proof what you say.

3. Connect
Your story should focus on them but so should you! A presentation is never a one way communication. Stand close to them and interact. Give them individual attention when you talk. Focus far more on them than on your PowerPoint. Ask questions to them. Make them part of your presentation. Don’t just talk to them, talk WITH them. It is less intimidating and allows you to communicate in a much more effective way.

Enjoy your next presentation!

e-Book on how to communicate with impact!

Presentation Tips from Presentation Coach Sylvie Verleye….After blogging and writing for 5 years on the topic of communicating with impact and presentations I decided last summer to share all my tips in an e-book. I had shared this free e-book after the summer break to everyone who had subscribed to my newsletter. As the feedback was so positive I have decided now to share it with everyone as a kind of New Year’s gift. Enjoy reading Presentation Tips from Presentation Coach Sylvie Verleye.