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If you are a stand-up comic or a natural story teller, you may well decide to use humour as a way of making your presentations or public speaking opportunities memorable. For the rest of us, it is a high risk strategy. There are three main reasons why attempts at humour in presentations and speeches can fall flat. The audience does not understand Humour often depends on colloquial use of words and expressions, or familiarity with cultural icons and references. Throwaway lines and punch lines may depend on speed and timing for their effectiveness. In a culturally diverse group of people…
If you’ve done any presenting at all you can probably think of moments when you could feel that your audience was completely absorbed by what you were saying. Most of us unfortunately have also had the experience of talking to an audience when we just couldn’t seem to make any connection. When you have a good connection with your audience you are in rapport.  You feel good about the presentation, the audience enjoys it and you are more than likely to achieve your objective.  If you are not in rapport with your audience, you might as well be talking to yourself!  The…
In a presentation you only have one chance to make a first impression so it is important that you get off to a good start.The ending to a presentation is equally important, because of the lasting impression that you leave. The ending to a presentation has three elements. The summary If you planned the presentation well, you would have summarized each of the topics or key points as you went along. When you come to the end, you need only refer briefly to each of these points and drawl them together into a conclusion. Do not be tempted to use…
You sigh as you doodle along the edge of your page, then sneak a peak at your text messages.  Another meeting! You’re not sure what its purpose is or why you’ve been invited. You don’t have any contribution to make. The arguments go round in circles. And why doesn’t someone do something about the guy at the end of the table, who clearly likes the sound of his own voice? A clear statement of the purpose of a meeting and the outcome that is required provides the basis for everything that follows, before, during, and after the meeting has taken place.  Meetings can have…
In a well run meeting you can solve problems, motivate people, initiate new projects, solve conflicts, get buy-in and build relationships more quickly and easily than in any other way. It’s no wonder meetings are so popular! Research shows that the written word carries only about 7% of the true meaning of what you communicate and 38% is carried in the way that things are said. A full 55% of the meaning and the feelings behind a communication are carried in facial expressions and other nonverbal signals such as gestures and body movement. With these statistics as background, it’s no…