Archive for March, 2013|Monthly archive page

Eight “Tricks” To A Great Presentation

In Business Presentations, Communication, executive coaching, PowerPoint, Public Speaking on March 25, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Good presentations do not happen and excellent presenters are not born. A good presentation is one that is carefully crafted and an excellent presenter is one that hones her skills and uses her tools appropriately.

tricks and tipsHere are tricks you can incorporate to make your presentations a success.

1.       Create a clear message – Know what you want your audience to know and do when you are through speaking.

2.      Develop good visuals – Create visual aids that are interesting, clear, and to the point. Audiences often miss the message when visual aids (PowerPoint in particular) are poorly designed.

 3.      Know your audience

Research the group before you arrive. Take time to meet individuals before you speak. During the talk, pay attention to the energy of the audience.

4.      Allow for adequate time to prepare

Preparation is critical if you are to deliver a credible and moving presentation. Create an outline, good visuals, practice; and know how to use your equipment. The first time you deliver a talk should not be in front of a “live” audience.

5.      Make your audience comfortable

Audiences that are uncomfortable in their chairs, hungry, thirsty, in need of a break, or in a room with poor temperature control, will have a difficult time paying attention.

6.      Set up the room to meet your needs

Arrange the seats, tables, lectern and the screen so it works for you and your audience.

7.      Present yourself appropriately

The audience will judge you based on your dress, language you use, and your level of organization. Watch your use of “French”, jargon and technical terms.

8.      Evaluate your work

Check your success based on the goals you set in the first step. Revise your presentation to improve your presentation skills.


In truth, these are not “tricks” at all; these are tips you can use if you want to present well. Yes, it takes time to create and deliver a presentation that is memorable, a good speaker works to engage and motivate their audience – but is worth the effort.


iSpeakEASY helps people present information in an exciting and relevant manner. Visit us at or Contact us for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

© 2013 by iSpeakEASY. All Rights Reserved.


Making the Mundane Exciting and the Exciting Mundane

In Business Networking Groups, Business Presentations, PowerPoint, Public Speaking on March 16, 2013 at 8:47 AM

I sat through two presentations recently. One was an exciting talk that held the attention and interest audience and when it was over, many individuals approached the speaker for more information. The second talk was a recitation of facts delivered in an accurate, but rather dry manner and when it was over, the audience quickly left their seats in search of food.

Onetax talk was on how to handle an IRS audit, the other was a guided boat tour of the wildlife of Humboldt Bay in Northern California.

Call me crazy – but the CPA speaking on audits was the better talk. It is not that her topic is more inherently interesting to me (which it is not); it is that she is a trained speaker. From the beginning she demonstrated how her topic was relevant to the audience, told stories, and used humor. She had a single, clear message that was easy to understand, an outline that was easy to follow, and a call to action.

The tour of Humboldt Bay was relaxing and beautiful – a fun experience without question, but the speaker relied solely on his encyclopedic knowledge of the cultural and natural history of the area to deliver an informative, yet incredibly uninspiring lecture. While the tidbits of information were interesting in themselves, there was no message, no story, and no call to action.  It was a long morning of somewhat interesting and unrelated factoids.

She was a trained and prepared speaker. He was a man with a lot of information.shorebird

Topics are not boring and beautiful scenery does not make a talk worthwhile. A good speaker makes a presentation.

As the naturalist on the boat demonstrated, it is not wise to assume that your knowledge of the topic will allow you to speak well. The CPA demonstrated that any topic can be exciting, if it is presented properly.

Learn to present well. It will make all the difference to you and to your audiences.


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iSpeakEASY helps people present information in an exciting and relevant manner. The CPA in the story is our client and the naturalist should be. Visit us at or Contact us for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

© 2013 by iSpeakEASY. All Rights Reserved.


Designing Effective PowerPoint Slides

In BNI and Business Networking, Business Presentations, Communication, exective coaching, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, sales, Uncategorized on March 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

PowerPoint can be a tremendous visual aid or it can be a tremendous sleep aid.

Many audiences blame PowerPoint for being boring but that is like blaming a car for driving too fast ad swerving.PowerPoint is a tool and it is up to the user to determine how well it is used.

Here are some guidelines to help you be a skilled user.

General guidelines

  • Each slide should contain only 1 message
  • Replace words with images wherever possible
  • Eliminate distracting items from photos
  • Use a descriptive title
  • Use a black “safety slide” at the beginning and end of your show

Text slides

  • Limit slides to six (or fewer) lines of six (or fewer) words
  • Progressively disclose new information
  • Use a sans serif font that is at least 30 points
  • Display ideas – not sentences
  • Check your spelling

Keep charts and tables simple

  • Limit
    • tables to 5 rows/columns
    • bar graphs to 5 bars
    • line graphs to 3 lines
    • Pie graphs to as few slices as needed
  • Include only needed information (Eliminate redundant subtitles, grid lines and tick marks)
  • Use labels instead of keys
  • Place numbers directly on or by bars
  • Emphasize key elements with features, not a laser pointer


  • Select a background that matches or enhances your message
  • Mix it up – use a variety of backgrounds
  • Avoid using your logo on every slide


  • Fill your screen with the photo
  • Use one photo per screen

Many of us have developed a disdain for PowerPoint. The truth is PowerPoint is a great tool -it is just tends to be used improperly.

Use these simple guidelines to help you. If you have questions, contact iSpeakEASY or call to arrange for a PowerPoint skills workshop at your office.

© 2013 iSpeakEASY All Rights Reserved