Break This Rule: #5 – Open with Your Introduction and Close with Questions

Sound like a dreaded college lecturer? BOOKENDS will hook your audience and send them out singing! The most important moments in your presentation are the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds. I call them bookends. The opening hooks your audience and gets them interested, and the closing sends them out energized by your…

Break This Rule: #4 – Picture the Audience in Their Underwear

Stupid visuals distance you. Connect with your audience! (Who really wants to visualize Bob from accounting in his underwear?) I’ve heard them all. Participants in my workshops tell me they’ve been instructed to not only picture the audience in their underwear but also in chicken suits, or with silly propeller hats, or as monkeys. Stop!…

Break This Rule: #3 – Practice in Front of a Mirror

Mirrors are just a one-person show. Practice often, out loud and on your feet! Practicing in front of a mirror sounds like great advice. We don’t know what we look like when presenting, and videotaping is not always possible, so why not? This rule is one that everybody knows is “right.” Wrong. A mirror makes…

Break This Rule: #2 – Give Informational Presentations

That’s about as exciting as watching grass grow. Take action! Why would you break all the rules you took the trouble to learn in your presentation skills class? Because they’re awful! Many rules bind us up and make us boring. Be yourself and you’ll be so much more effective. One of the most problematic rules…