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what is time

It’s A Two-Way Street

When a face-to-face meeting goes less well than it could, it’s often because people forget that dialogue is a two-way process. I work with businesspeople constantly who think a business conversation is mainly a matter of telling. Stating a position, explaining a rationale, proving you’re the expert… these are the sorts of aims that people […]

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presentation skills, business performance, rehearsing a presentation

Be Prepared

Preparing well for a presentation is vital. Most people know that. What they don’t know is how to prepare, or what the preparation is really for. To an actor, preparation mostly means rehearsal – and when I work with businesspeople, that’s what I tell them they’ll be doing on my training course. Companies put consistent […]

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Making Friends With Technical Stuff

Actors have nights in the theatre when they’ll come off stage at the end of the play and say that all their props jumped up and bit them. “The doorknob came off in my hand…” “My lighter wouldn’t light…” “I choked so hard on my drink that I couldn’t get my lines out.” When that […]

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presentation skills, energy, gesture, presence

How Efficient Is Your Energy?

If you really want to know how much energy it takes to reach whatever audience you’re presenting to, here’s a way of testing it. Get someone you trust to stand as far away from you as possible in as large a room as possible. Ask them to spend just a minute or so telling you […]

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Red Riding Hood

The Camera Often Lies

I never use video to teach people how to make live presentations.  In fact, I think video can be thoroughly misleading. Why? Because it’s a different medium. If you were actually being filmed giving your presentation, there could well be valid reasons for keeping fairly (though not rigidly) still. But that would depend upon the […]

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What shall I do with my hands?

What Should I Do With My Hands?

If this is one of your ‘presentations worries’, there’s a very easy answer. Do nothing at all. Luckily, your hands are quite capable of taking care of themselves. Hands – or any other part of the body – are usually a problem when your attention is in the wrong place. If your attention is fully […]

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Play Host

Arriving at a gathering of human beings where you don’t know many – or any – others can feel pretty daunting. For some people, it’s a lot worse if they’re the audience for your presentation. Others don’t mind that idea nearly as much as the thought of having to strike up ad hoc conversations with […]

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listening, questioning skills, power of silence

The Spaces In Between…

Most of us have probably met the guy in the cartoon at some point. (Let’s overlook the possibility that any of us might actually BE the guy in the cartoon…) Dialogue is a two-way street, of course – but sometimes people think that showing an interest is about firing a relentless sequence of questions at […]

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Know your audience

Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?

As you plan a presentation or meeting – even if it’s an informal one – do you ask yourself: “Who are my audience?” An audience can be… …a large crowd… …a small group… …or just one person. And obvious as it may sound, you need to consider who they are and what it is about […]

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