Archive for the ‘Delivery Skills’ Category

12 Top Visuals Mistakes Presenters Make, And How to Avoid Them

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

As I was posting a PDF file of “12 Top Mistakes” on my website, I ran my eyes down the list. In doing so, I had three quick observations.

First, these mistakes are pervasive. Most presenters commit at least two out of the 12 errors.

Second, none of the mistakes ruins a presentation. But they’re like a glaring pimple on your chin – they sure don’t enhance the impression you make.

And third, these mistakes are all “sooo” easy to correct. We’re not learning a new skill here. Rather it’s as simple as knowing not to hike in high heels.

Here’s the quick list of 12 Top Mistakes, with a link at the right for those interested in remedies:

Mistake #1: Overlooking “Murphy
Mistake #2: Delivering Split Presentations
Mistake #3: Positioning Yourself Incorrectly
Mistake #4: Choosing the Wrong Screen Size and Position
Mistake #5: Seating Decision Makers in the Wrong Chairs
Mistake #6: Dimming the Lights
Mistake #7: Promoting the Screen
Mistake #8: Playing with Pointers and Other Toys
Mistake #9: Blocking the Screen
Mistake #10: Holding Remotes or Clickers
Mistake #11: Positioning the Lectern to the Side
Mistake #12: Reading Someone Else’s Text Slides

Which ones will you correct in your next presentation?


Bush vs Blair — the Visual Comparison

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007


As I watched President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair speak side by side again, I thought how dramatically different their delivery skills are. Putting aside their words, Bush as always came across as defensive and negative. When not speaking, his mouth formed his usual half sneer. He leaned on the lectern, emphasizing this barrier between himself and the audience. He admonished listeners by pointing his finger at them to emphasize his points. (Didn’t his mother tell him that pointing was impolite?) As he concentrated, Bush narrowed his eyes and looked down at the audience condescendingly.

Blair, by contrast, appeared positive, open and forthright. He stood straight without using the lectern as a crutch. His gestures appropriately emphasized his messages. His eyes were open and his gaze was expansive, looking both up and out. Even leaving aside his intelligence and his command of the English language, he is a stellar example of a confident and polished speaker. He appears to speak from the heart.

It’s enough to make you want to join the Commonwealth.