Presentations

Making A Recommendation In Writing

Our guidance on writing recommendations taking into account your boss's DiSC profile.

When you need to get a decision from someone, anyone, the best way to present the information is in their DiSC style. It's the way they understand information best, the way they like to work and that helps you get the decision you need. Here's how.

[Editors Note: I'm sorry for posting this late. Please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience! --- Mike]


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Presentations - Movement

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I use movement effectively during presentations?
  • What elements of my body language can I change?
  • What should I be attempting to do during presentations?

How to use movement in presentations.

Presentations regularly come in the top 10 lists about what people are most afraid of. And, we regularly sit through terrible presentations at client sites. Presentations fall into the Christmas rule: if you do it rarely, and it's important, you're likely to underperform. But luckily for us, with presentations, in the land of the blind, the one eyed person rules. You just have to be a little better than everyone else, and you'll look good.

We've covered voice and gestures and now we're going to talk about movement.


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Presentations - Gestures - Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I use gestures to be more effective when presenting?
  • What are some effective gestures in presentations?
  • What are some ineffective gestures in presentations?

The conclusion of our discussion on how to use your gestures in presentations.

Presentations regularly come in the top 10 lists about what people are most afraid of. And, we regularly sit through terrible presentations at client sites. Presentations fall into both the Christmas rule: you do it rarely, it's important, it's bound to go poorly, AND the one-eyed man is king rule: you just have to be a little bit better and you'll knock your audience's socks off.

We've covered voice and now we're going to talk about gestures.


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Presentations - Gestures - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I use gestures to be more effective when presenting?
  • What are some effective gestures in presentations?
  • What are some ineffective gestures in presentations?

How to use your gesture in presentations.

Presentations regularly come in the top 10 lists about what people are most afraid of. And, we regularly sit through terrible presentations at client sites. Presentations fall into both the Christmas rule: you do it rarely, it's important, it's bound to go poorly, AND the one-eyed man is king rule: you just have to be a little bit better and you'll knock your audience's socks off.

We've covered voice and now we're going to talk about gestures.


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Presentation - Voice

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I use my voice effectively during presentations?
  • What elements of my voice can I change?
  • What should I be attempting to do during presentations?

How to use your voice in presentations.

Presentations regularly come in the top 10 lists about what people are most afraid of. And, we regularly sit through terrible presentations at client sites. Presentations fall into both the Christmas rule: you do it rarely, it's important, it's bound to go poorly, AND the one-eyed man is king rule: you just have to be a little bit better and you'll knock your audience's socks off.

How do you do that? Start with your voice.


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Coaching Presenting Skills With Toastmasters

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I teach my directs to be better presenters?
  • How do I become a better presenter?
  • How do I coach my directs?

This guidance recommends having any of your directs who present, and maybe even yourself, join and attend a Toastmasters Chapter.

We don't often recommend external sources for managerial development, but it's hard not to just bow low to an organization as effective a tool for managers as Toastmasters is. Toastmasters is probably the most effective quasi-professional member-driven voluntary organization we know of.

And why Toastmasters? Because presenting matters, and most of us just aren't very good at it. That said, it's not as if we're all naturally born with the skill, or that we're taught it well. Some schools in the US have started students presenting more but there's very little instruction on it. (To be fair, though, let's not go the other way and just teach it without having young people do lots of presenting.)

A brief definition for those of you unfamiliar with Toastmasters International: TI is an international organization dedicated to helping people become effective presenters and communicators. There are over a quarter of a million active members all over the world, who generally meet in weekly or bi-weekly meetings. There are HUNDREDS of chapters in most of the major cities in the US. Over 200 in Chicago. There are 12 in Paris, and 25 in London. It's an incredibly LOCAL organization - local chapters meet and practice speaking, and that's about it. You go to TI to become a better presenter and communicator. There aren't service projects which are a big push for you to be "more involved." There are some small fees, and it's unlikely that you as a manager couldn't afford paying yourself for your team, let alone having your company do so.

The modern workplace has become much less vertical and formal than it used to be. More folks are expected to be able to present at all levels. (It used to be 95% of all presenters were managers). More folks know that they have to manage their own careers. Not as many know that results are where their career marketing starts...but surely folks know that others' impressions of them matter a great deal.

If you have directs who present, it's your job as a manager to help those directs be effective when they do it.


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Introducing A Presenter

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I ask a presenter ahead of time?
  • How do I construct an introduction?
  • How do I prepare for the introduction?

This cast gives our guidance on introducing people.

A while ago, Mark and Wendii traveled to an organization where Mark gave a presentation on career skills. Before Mark arrived, Wendii and the organizer had a long chat about Mark, his background and what qualified him to give this type of presentation. They also discussed his current work at Manager Tools.

When the organizer stood up to into introduce Mark, they both cringed. He was obviously uncomfortable speaking in public and either couldn't read or remember his notes. The event started with a fizzle rather than the bang we'd rather have seen. If you're asked to make this kind of introduction, what can you do to avoid the fizzle?


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Creating A Presentation

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Where do I start when I need to create a presentation?
  • What are the steps to creating a presentation?
  • When should I start creating my presentation?

This cast helps you start to plan to create a presentation.

We've covered a number of aspects of presentations in both Career Tools and Manager Tools, but we've never really told you where to start. A great presentation doesn't start when you stand still in front of the room (Presentation Basics - Principle 1). It doesn't start when you send the invites out. It starts way, way before that. At least, it does if you want to be successful.

It's human nature to wait until a few days before a deadline (or the night before) before starting anything, and yet we all know the sooner we start, the easier it is and the more successful we'll be. So, if you hear nothing else in this cast, hear START EARLY.


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Offsite Presentation Preparation – Hotel Logistics (Part 3 of 3)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I need to do when organising an event at a hotel?
  • How do I get the hotel to do the things I want them to?
  • How do I negotiate for what I need from a hotel?

This cast concludes the discussion of our recommendations on what to do when preparing logistically for a presentation at hotel or offsite location.


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Offsite Presentation Preparation – Hotel Logistics (Part 2 of 3)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I need to do when organising an event at a hotel?
  • How do I get the hotel to do the things I want them to?
  • How do I negotiate for what I need from a hotel?

This cast continues the discussion of our recommendations on what to do when preparing logistically for a presentation at hotel or offsite location.


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