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Archive for February, 2013|Monthly archive page

Create A Yawn Inspiring Presentation – Join Us For Speakers Night Out

In BNI or other Networking Groups, Communication, Education, executive coaching, PowerPoint, Public Speaking on February 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM

At iSpeakEASY, we are constantly looking for new and innovative way to help you, the busy professional or the fast-paced business owner be more productive when you speak. Speakers Night Out is a tool to help you improve your business.

Sometimes the best way to learn is by watching others.

Observihappy audienceng other speakers provides us with insights on what “works” for an audience. We view the presentation from the outside and are able to distance ourselves from the content. This helps us see what really works as a speaker while picking up valuable ideas on what we should do (and not do) when we are the one at the front of the room.

At Speakers Night Out you will observe a presentation and be asked to offer your professional insights. You will discuss the presentation with the speaker and other audience members and engage in a discussion on techniques of presenting well. You play two roles: that of the expert and the learner. Everyone participates – everyone gains.

The presentation is not a “pitch” for the speaker or a 10-minute commercial – it is an opportunity for the audience and speaker to engage in conversation on how we can all improve our presentations. In the end, the speaker walks out with a more polished presentation and you walk out with new ideas on your speaking.

As Michael Scott of Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company put it – “This is a win-win-win situation”.

But that is not all. There is more to the evening

The evening has three parts:

  1. A workshop to improve the effectiveness of your speaking
  2. An interactive activity with other professionals
  3. A presentation and follow up discussion

Participants at Speakers Night Out are actively involved– not empty vessels waiting to be filled with knowledge.

Click HERE to register for the next Speakers Night Out

We begin with a presentation by iSpeakEASY owner Ethan Rotman on “Creating A Yawn Inspiring Presentation”.

You will then work alongside other professionals and business owner to learn and network.

The final activity will be to observe a presentation by a client of iSpeakEASY.

All this in a short, fun, fast-paced session. You will leave smiling, full of ideas, and ready to approach your next talk in a new manner. You will have new skills to help you make your point and close that deal, get that client, convince that person to follow your lead.

We are so sure of the value that we guarantee it. If you leave dissatisfied, we will give you your money back

Monday June 10th

5:30 to 7:30 PM

Inn Marin, Novato

$35 advance, $45 at the door

Click here to sign up for Speakers Night Out

Five Bad Assumptions You Can Make About Speaking

In Business Networking Groups, Business Presentations, Communication, executive coaching on February 15, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Preparing for a presentation is difficult as there are many unknown variables. It is acceptable for a speaker to make certain assumptions about a presentation. Here is a list of the 5 basic assumptions a speaker can make when preparing for a presentation.

  1. Assume all your equipment will work perfectly. Do not arrive early to do a check, do not call ahead to troubleshoot any compatibility issues. It can be a good idea to boot your PowerPoint as the audience watches this will allow you to share the cute picture you have on your desktop. assumptions
  2. Assume you are the expert and the audience knows less than you. You do not need to ask audience members what they know or believe about your topic – assume they know nothing. Speak the entire time leaving very little, if any, time for questions. The faster you speak, the more words you say, the bigger “bang for the buck” the audience receives.
  3. Assume you are more important than the audience. Do not waste time learning about your audience or listening to audience members before you speak. You are the speaker, not them. It is more important they learn who you are as you are the guest. Besides, in 45 minutes you will be out the door and will never see these people again. Anything you may learn will be a waste.
  4. Assume the audience will not care about your appearance. Dress in a very casual manner as this will help audience will see you as a regular guy. Overdressing can make you seem stuffy and unapproachable. Wearing jeans to a business function is good as your relaxed demeanor will help the audience relax.
  5. Assume the audience will forgive you if you mispronounce the name of your host and the organization that asked you to speak. This will demonstrate to them that you believe you are important and will leave them wondering if they named their organization incorrectly.

Speaking is often considered a “soft skill” – that is one that is less important than other business or life skills. Many people believe they can “muddle their way through” most any speaking situation without any formal training or even much thought. Research supports this theory as 82% of speakers are fair to poor.

Implement these 5 assumptions you can be part of the majority!

 

This “tongue-in-cheek” speaking tip is provided by iSpeakEASY.  Our clients become the 18% of speakers that are good to excellent. Visit us at www.iSpeakEASY.net or www.iSpeakEASYblog.wordpress.com. Contact us for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

© 2013 by iSpeakEASY. All Rights Reserved.

“I’ll Just Pick It Up Along The Way”

In BNI and Business Networking, Business Presentations, Communication, Education, executive coaching, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, sales on February 5, 2013 at 8:40 PM

by Stanley K. Ridgley

Adolescent Attitude

One of the conundrums of business presenting is that it’s what is known in the parlance as a “soft skill.”

This moniker, whatever else it purports to mean, suggests that skill at business presenting is somehow “softer” than, say, accounting . . . and that therefore it needs much less attention or development.

Or that it’s somehow “easier.”  That it’s something that can be “picked up along the way.”

This belief – and it’s out there, held by distressingly large numbers of folks – does incredible damage to the early careers of young people, who form a decidedly wrong impression of the craft of speaking publicly.

The Reality

pick it up 1Public Speaking – excellent public speaking – is tough.  Delivering a superb business presentation is one of the tougher tasks, because it often requires coordination with others in a kind of ballet.

And it requires practice, just like any other discipline.

But invariably, the “soft skill” label moves it down the priority list of faculty and college administrators and, hence, of the students they serve.

I can quickly gauge the attention on business presenting at an institution by simply watching a cross-section of presentations.  To be generous, student business presentations are usually lacking across a range of dimensions.  They come across most often as pedestrian and workmanlike.  Many are quite bad.

But this is not to say that they are worse than what passes for presenting in the corporate world.  They are, frankly, usually as good – or as bad – as what is dished out in the “real world.”

The Great Embarrassment

The great embarrassment is that the majority of business students have untapped potential for becoming competent and especially powerful business presenters, but never realize that potential.

Some students pass through the business school funnel with only cursory attention to presentation skills.  Perhaps I’m too demanding, and the degree of attention I’d like to see just isn’t possible.  But . . .

But the craft of presenting needs only the proper focus and priority to transform young people into quite capable and competent presenters

And some institutions get it right.

I’m blessed to serve an institution that takes presenting seriously and whose winning results in case competitions demonstrates this commitment to preparing business students to excel in the most-demanded skill that corporate recruiters seek.  A coterie of professors, particularly in finance, have recognized the power bestowed by sharp presentation skills, and so emphasize their acquisition far beyond the norm in most schools.

Administrators, too, insist that students pass through rigorous workshops that inculcate in students the presenting skills to last a business lifetime.

Especially Powerful Results

And the results can be phenomenal.pick it up 2

Merely by virtue of exposure to the proper techniques, students gain tremendous personal career advantage.  And by elevating business presenting to a level commensurate with the sub-disciplines of, say, marketing, operations, or risk management, B-Schools can imbue their students and faculty with the appropriate reverence for the presentation enterprise.

One result of this is the creation of young executives who tower over their peers in terms of presenting skills.  And especially powerful presentation skills are in high demand by corporate recruiters.

And so, back to the original contention of folks who wonder what could one possibly write about in a “business presenting blog” . . . just as there is much to be learned, it means there is much to write about.

There is much to be distilled from 2500 years of recorded presentation wisdom.

The wisdom is there . . . it remains for us to seize it and make it our own for enhanced personal competitive advantage.

© 2013, Stanley K. Ridgley. Reprinted with permission.

For more on especially powerful business presenting, consult The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting.

About Stanley K. Ridgley

Stanley K. Ridgley, PhD is one of the country’s foremost experts on delivering Business School Presentations and is the author of the award-winning 2012 book, “The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting.” He is also the faculty instructor for the course “Strategic Thinking” in the DVD series TheGreatCourses.com. Dr. Ridgley brings to bear the most powerful instructional techniques from one of America’s great business schools and combines them with the lessons of military leadership and high strategy learned on the front lines of the Cold War as a Military Intelligence Officer.

This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. Contact us for information on individual coaching or group workshops.