Articles

Are you bringing the light?

Imagine the photo attached to this article without any light. Firstly, it would be pretty damn scary for the people in the hot air balloon! Secondly, it would make for a very boring photo. As humans, we are subconsciously drawn toward contrast, therefore we need light to balance the shade. It's a shame then, that most presentations are devoid of it. If you want to up your presentation game and be more engaging, then carry on reading and I'll share with you a few ways in which you can bring a bit of light into your presentations. Trust me, your audiences will appreciate it! We're not talking literally are we? No, we're not. Whilst it's probably not a good idea to make…

view more »


Are you bringing the passion?

If you've ever been in a relationship, you will know the importance of passion. It makes everything more exciting, and crucially keeps the other person interested! Why then, when it comes to presenting, do we leave that passion at the door? Now, I'm not suggesting we bring our 'bedroom passion' to the table (HR would probably frown upon that), so carry on reading to find out how you can bring the right passion that will have your audience eating out of the palm of your hand... So what are we actually talking about? Passion comes in all shapes and sizes, but it has a key central component that doesn't change, and that is emotional connection. Passionate people really care about what they're…

view more »


The power of the pause

Sometimes when I'm coaching people, they deliver what would be a great presentation, except for the fact that they rattle through it without any punctuation whatsoever. It's such a shame, as regardless of what the presenter is saying, all the audience are thinking about is "I wonder how long they can keep going without taking a breath?" So, we're going to have a quick reminder of why a good pause here and there can really help. It forces you to breathe! As I've just mentioned, if you're speeding through your presentation without any pauses you definitely won't be doing any decent breathing. As I've covered in a previous blog, proper breathing is one of the very best ways to help to calm…

view more »


It’s not rocket science!

Every now and then, I get asked if I can share some advanced presentation techniques with people. The problem I have with this is that the vast majority of people (I'm talking 99%) are not getting the basics right, so sharing advanced techniques would be like putting a cherry on a cow pat. Giving a good presentation is simple - do the basic things exceptionally well and you'll be so far ahead of the field you won't be able to see them anymore. So, what are the basics? Know your purpose A presentation without a purpose is like a dog without an owner - it will wander aimlessly around, and although it's generally harmless enough, it will most definitely start to annoy…

view more »


Beware the front pocket jangle!

We've all seen it, some of us have no doubt done it: that moment when a nervous bloke giving a presentation inadvertently starts jangling his keys in his front pocket. It's priceless, and hilarious, but sadly renders everything the poor presenter is saying completely useless. We need to be aware of our body language so that it engages, and doesn't distract - so what else do we need to watch out for? The usual suspects When I'm coaching people one-on-one, the first thing I do is get them to give a 10 minute presentation, which I record on video. To say that my coaching clients aren't best pleased with this start is an understatement. However, it's the closest I can make the…

view more »


Where the magic happens

You may be relieved / disappointed to learn that this post has nothing to do with either a) wizardry, or b) bedroom activities! The more I coach people on how to present in a more compelling way, the more it appears that most people (even very senior people) would rather not, given the choice, 'put themselves out there'. So we're going to take a look at how to take that step just outside of our comfort zone, because THAT is where the magic happens. Does it though? Does it really? Take a moment and think back to anything great that's happened in your life. I'm willing to bet that for each thing you think of, to make that happen you took a…

view more »


Don’t make her angry!

As I'm getting married next month*, I thought I'd make a slight diversion from the normal topics, and give others that may have to stand up on someone's wedding day to give a speech a bit of advice. In all honesty, if only one person reads this, then as long as it's my Best Man I feel my time writing it will have been well invested! Don't be fooled.... For those of you that are good at giving presentations, you can often be lulled into thinking that a speech is pretty much the same thing. It isn't. The delivery skills may be very similar, but the key difference is that a speech should be word perfect, and that can catch the…

view more »


Make it stick

Happy New Year! We are now in the month of shattered resolutions, when all those good intentions lay wasted in a pile of takeaway boxes and empty bottles. The question is "why do so many resolutions often fail?" and maybe more importantly "what has that got to do with giving presentations?" Believe it or not, it has EVERYTHING to do with successful presentations. Read on and I'll tell you why.... The link When you give a presentation, more often than not you will be hoping to compel your audience to take some sort of action (whether that's to think differently, use a different process, buy something etc.). In essence, you're asking them to change who they are - to think or behave…

view more »


Match Your Energy

No, this is not about getting a better deal on your household bills (although if you want to do that then check out www.uswitch.com!). This is about the power of matching your personal energy to that of your audience. The old adage 'people like people like themselves' is very true. If you want to be engaging, then this is an often overlooked but vital step. Read on to find out more.... A short example The other day, I had the pleasure of observing a colleague deliver a training presentation to a group of Care Home Managers. Like me, he has a fairly energised natural style. I was therefore interested (and impressed) to see him bring that energy right down when talking to…

view more »


Calm your inner crazy person!

You may be sitting there thinking "Simon, I don't have an inner crazy person", well, that voice that just said that to you - THAT's your inner crazy person! Don't get me wrong, it's not always crazy, but when it is, it can make presenting well a much bigger challenge than it needs to be. Read on to see how, within minutes, you can massively increase your confidence. How is it crazy? Think back to a time when you were lacking a bit of confidence, did these types of statements flow through your mind at any point? "They are never going to listen to me" "There's no way I can do this" "I'm going to freeze in front of them" "Nothing's going to go the…

view more »