Stripping for the Audience: Secrets of Great Presenters

Some say the secret to being a good presenter is to visualize the audience naked. I say if you really want to be a great speaker, it’s the speaker who must strip for the audience.

Great speakers and presenters are not afraid to bare their souls to the audiences. They strip away their masks and illusions allowing audiences and prospects to see them for whom they are. Audiences walk away not only with increased knowledge but some insight into the presenter as a person.

Whether our goal is to sell, educate, or inform every speech or presentation has a goal, and key to reaching that goal is generating trust. In order to trust us, people must know us, like us, and believe we are credible.

It’s no wonder so many of us are terrified to speak in front of a group. Presenting speaks to our greatest insecurity – people may not accept us as we are.

Each person has a unique presentation style, and while some elements work well, others do not. Regardless of the presenters’ skill level, I have found most presenters can increase their likeability, credibility, and authority by at least 25 percent by unlocking the “four-second window.”

Within four seconds, most of us form an immediate impression and then spend the next 30 minutes justifying our impression. Think back to a blind date, first interview, or social situation. Did you make a snap judgment as to whether or not you were going to like him or her? Most of us do.

We do it to others, and others do it to us. Most audiences decide whether or not they like us before we utter our first word.

For some, this “four-second window” is a breeze. These rare men and women have naturally-high “likeability factors,” a face, smile, or presence in which people find instantly attractive. For most of us, however, this is not the case. We have to earn our positive rating in an incredibly short period of time.

Six factors contribute to first impressions: gestures, stance, movement, dress and grooming, stance, and eye contact. Of these, dress and grooming, stance, and eye contact are most important.
Experts abound on the subject of proper dress and grooming for presentations, yet the best advice I found came from one of my seminar participants. She suggested looking into the mirror and noticing if anything stood out, and if it does, taking it off and changing it.

One man I coached loved loud ties. While his neckwear reflected his outgoing personality, it also distracted from his presentation. The audience focused on his ties rather than his face, missing much of what he had to say.

Like appearance, stance contributes to instant credibility, and for many women, stance is a challenge.

Most women are taught at a young age to assume a dancer’s pose, feet close together with one toe pointed out at a 90-degree angle. While this stance may be feminine and pretty, it holds no authority.

Instead, I counsel both men and women, to stand tall, feet shoulder width and pointed outward, hands at their sides. While it is important to gesture naturally, hands should drop to the sides when not in use.

Stance is important in establishing credibility so don’t hide it. At no time should speakers stand behind a podium, desk, table, or other obstacle. Great speakers allow the audiences to see all of them – physically as well as emotionally.

The eyes have been called the “windows of the soul.” As such, they are one of our greatest weapons in winning audiences. When it comes to eye contact, great speakers use a rifle instead of a shotgun.

I coach executives to begin their presentations by standing in silence, finding a friendly face, establishing eye contact, taking a deep breath, and then beginning their talk. This simple tip helps speakers become grounded and start their presentations with authority.

Many presenters talk while moving their heads from person to person like a sprinkler system, or worse they lose all connection with their audience by staring at one person, the slide screen, or into space. I train presenters to pick one person and maintain steady eye contact with that person until they have delivered a complete thought. Intensive eye contact can be uncomfortable, yet it is also highly effective in generating trust.

Discomfort is a constant companion for great presenters for they know no matter how good they think they are they can always be better. Using appearance, stance, and eye contact, they generate instant credibility while constantly challenging themselves to share more of themselves with their audiences.

Top 10 Mp3 Players – Christmas Gifts Guide For 2008 – Get the Best Xmas Presents Now

As the music industry never leaves the limelight not even a second, no wonder people are more into electronic music gadgets this coming Christmas. Anywhere you look at today, you will notice that something’s plugged on almost everybody’s ears. So if you are looking for something that suits everybody’s dream this holiday, go and grab one of these cool gadgets. As a first step to guide you, below is a list of Top 10 MP3 Players as Christmas gifts for 2008:

1. Apple iPod touch 8 GB (2nd Generation). Elegant, hip, and extraordinary, this 8 GB iPod touch is capable of storing 1,750 songs, 10,000 photos, or 10 hours of video that can lasts up to 36 hours when fully charged. This is an iPod touch and not to be confused with an Apple iPhone. It has a 3.5-inch widescreen multi-touch display with 480-by-320 pixel resolution to give you the only best photos you have only dreamed of before.

2. Apple iPod classic 120 GB Black (6th Generation). Can’t believe this 6th generation Apple iPod classic? Well, you better start believing because this gadget can make you go crazy with 30,000 songs, 25,000 photos, or 150 hours of video with its 2.5-inch color LCD widescreen with LED backlight and 320-by-240-pixel resolution.

3. Apple iPod touch 16 GB (2nd Generation). This classic and modish digital player with a 3.5-inch screen multi-touch display gives you 3,500 songs, 10,000 photos, or 20 unbelievable hours of video to enjoy. It supports an array of audio formats from AAC to MP to WAV and video formats too like MPEG-4 and H.264.

4. Apple iPod nano 4 GB Silver (3rd Generation). Voted as the world’s most popular music player, this Apple iPod nano 4 GB silver from the 3rd generation gives you 5 hours of extreme satisfaction through TV shows, movies, and video podcasts among others. No wonder it’s hard to find one because everybody’s looking for this!

5. Apple iPod nano 8 GB Black (4th Generation). Leading the 4th generation of Apple iPod nano is the 8GB Black iPod which boasts of its 2,000 songs, 7,000 photos, or 8 hours of video. It supports various forms of audio, video, and even image file types giving you the time of your life!

6. Apple iPod nano 8 GB Black (3rd Generation). Made even better and larger, this iPod nano 8 GB Black from the 3rd generation gives you the chance to leaf through your music and video playlists even when you are already listening to your favorite music.

7. Apple iPod touch 32 GB (2nd Generation). Regarded as an almost perfect music device, it mixes top of the line video and audio, leading UI, amazing games, hundreds of cool applications, and an unbelievable access to the internet into this 32 GB iPod touch. Simply irresistible!

8. Apple iPod nano 8 GB Purple (4th Generation). Spoiling you with its royalty purple color, a modern curved design, and awesome features, this iPod nano from the 4th generation truly mark its spot in all the princesses and princes out there!

9. Apple iPod nano 8 GB Blue (4th Generation). For those smart alecks, self-reliant, and amazingly responsible, this blue iPod nano from the 4th generation acknowledges your amazing character with thousands of fun music, photos, and videos throughout the day!

10. Apple iPod nano 8 GB Green (4th Generation). Service-oriented, naturally benevolent, and innovative, the Green 8 GB iPod nano as one of the best MP3 players as Christmas gift that awaits to reward you for all your remarkable acts with 2,000 songs, 7,000 photos, or a marvelous 8 hours of video!

This is the Top 10 MP3 Players as Christmas Gifts for 2008 which is fit for music lovers and cool tech stuffs. This is a perfect present this yuletide season.

How to Make a Flawless PowerPoint Presentation

The world economy is in a state of extreme tension and competition. The current times are such that all companies expect their employees to prove their efficiency by exhibiting impeccable interpersonal skills and confident public speaking. Doing good work is no longer the only criterion that makes someone successful in their job. Making presentations is also an integral part of excelling in today’s corporate environment. These presentations go a long way in determining the understanding of the individual regarding the topic at hand.

Many people are fearful of making presentations as they wonder if they will be able to pull them off. Also, they are not sure of being able to cover the entire content and prepare a presentation that meets industry standards. Presenting the content in front of many people is another aspect which sends shivers down the spine of persons who have not made a presentation before. The following tips are sure to assist an individual considerably when they are out to make a PowerPoint Presentation.

  1. Understand that the presentation is a means to complement your program; your program does not revolve around it.
  2. Always remember to take back up of your presentation on a disc to ensure that the content is not lost and can be retrieved in spite of a computer crash.
  3. While using handouts, it is always advisable to carry an original copy of the presentation. In cases where the handouts fall short, these copies prove to be saviors.
  4. Experts suggest that the person presenting on PowerPoint should always position himself in a lighted area. This ensures that the audience can see the face of the presenter even while the lights have been put off in order to make the screen clearly visible. Not being able to see the presenter adversely affects the efficiency of the presentation.
  5. Usually, the final slide of the presentation always contains the contact information of the presenter. It helps to put this slide up while the question-answer session with the audience is on. This tip helps immensely because this way, the details of the presenter is visible to the audience for the longest possible time. The audience is given enough time to take note of the name, email address and phone number of the presenter.

People who keep all the above points in mind while making a presentation can be sure of coming up with a presentation that meets the highest standards of quality and professionalism.