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SWaynePow'Rful Presentations Newsletter
October 2008 - Rehearsal Rids Resentment
Pow'Rful Presentations is a relatively monthly investigation of ideas, strategies and techniques to assist PowerPoint® Presenters communicate clearly with audiences.
In my effort to please the widest range of readers and knowing that adult learners acquire new skills in different ways, you may find typographical or grammatical errors in this newsletter. No need to point these out to me. Some readers learn best by analyzing text for errors. 
Also, depending on your background and my South African origins, you may find some of my spelling and grammar to be, well let us just say "imaginative".
© Wayne Botha 2008
The simple word that speaks volumes
It is said that Winston Churchill invested one hour of preparation for every minute that he presented a speech in public.

This week I was subjected to yet another instance of PowerPointledness. I was in the audience where a University professor presented the results of his research on best practices. Our presenter obviously did not rehearse the presentation. His comments such as "This slide is purposely too busy for your to see all the details because it is so complex you won't understand it", and "We have to many slides here for the time tonight, so we will just flip through some of them", builds resentment in the audience.
Our presenter invested all of his time in collecting slides from previous presentations and mixing up a brew of disparate thoughts with no clear message. He seemingly invested less than 30 minutes in preparing for a 60 minute presentation - which he also exceeded due to his incessant rambling. 
In this presentation, I wondered - and your audience will also think to themselves - "Why am I listening to this presenter? He is insulting me and wasting my time".

Let's share the solutions to presentations like this that take place all over the world, every day, so that you can excel in your presentations.
Let's do our part to make the world of PowerPoint Presentations better again by committing to set the example. How do you overcome these issues? Through rehearsal - The simple word that speaks volumes

Do the following when you rehearse, and your audience will see that you are on stage to help them understand the message:

1. After you have created your slides hook up a projector and review them. They will look different through the projector because suddenly your six-rows-by-12-columns table that is easy to understand on your laptop, makes no sense when you try to read it from the back of the room. You will be astonished to find out how little your audience can make out of your text-laden, content-packed slides. After you have revised your slides, try them through a projector again.
(If you can test out your presentation in the room where you will present, then so much better. Otherwise, be on the safe side and use text and tabular representations sparingly.)

2. Check the timing by speaking your presentation out loud. Use a stopwatch and start your presentation in your normal voice with normal rate of speech. Then you will get a sense of how much information you have and how long your presentation will be. In most cases, you will find that you have far too much information for the allotted time and you need to refine your content.
Highlight the most important information and remove the rest. If you don't yet have a core message for your presentation, then now is the time to write down the core message of the presentation. What do you want the audience to walk out of your presentation with? What information do you want them to leave with?
Also remember that no-one will resent you for finishing five minutes early. The situation changes drastically when you are still going strong five minutes after your allotted time has expired.

Just by rehearsing your presentation once, you will be on the path to getting rid of resentment in your audience. Go ahead and rehearse at least once to show your audience that you respect your time and theirs.
Educational Video of the month - Ignite
While we are talking about timing, here is a predictable way to keep your presentation on track. Take a look at the Ignite method and see if this can help you in your presentations.
Your audience benefits when you know that the presentation will be a fixed duration and slides advance automatically every 15 seconds.
If you are a Toastmaster, consider holding an "Ignite" theme meeting and have all of your slides advance every 15 seconds. You are guaranteed to learn the benefits for rehearsal in this meeting.   
Read my blog posting on the Ignite presentation method
My embarrassing moment of the Month. 
After winning my Toastmasters Club humor contest, I posted a video on youtube and called for feedback. I got many new ideas much feedback from friends and an eCritique from Darren LaCroix.
Based on the feedback,I overhauled my speech and put in the effort to deliver an award winning speech. I am proud to announce that I won a trophy and am an award winning speaker.
I am less proud that I came in third and was beaten by two speakers who obviously impressed the judges more than I did.
Although this is embarrassing for me, I know that we learn more from failure than success. In the famous words of Arnold Schwarzenegger "I will be back" and compete in the 2009 Spring contests. 
Upcoming Educational Appearance
I will present the Panic to Power workshop at the Toastmasters District 53 Fall Conference on October 11, 2008 in Trumbull, CT.
Register for the conference here if you want to learn simple and swift speaking strategies that anyone can use to give Powerful Presentations.

 Special Discount on New Educational Tool Bundle

Do you want to give a better speech? Do you wonder why you just can seem to clear your throat when you get up to speak? Do you know which fluids to avoid before making a presentation?
I provide the proven and practical speaking strategies that anyone can use in the new easy to learn audio CD "How to give a better speech".
"How to give a better speech" is a concise compilation of the speaking strategies that I have learned during 20 years of public speaking, four years in Toastmasters and studying under the World Champions of Public Speaking.
Subscribers of this newsletter are entitled to a special one-time discount on my new bundle of CD products. Also, please invite your friends and fellow Toastmasters to sign up for this free newsletter and get the special discount pricing.
Go here to read the details of your special offer.


Do you need a speaker for your conference? Contact me and let's discuss if I am the right speaker for your event.
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Get the EDGE. See dramatic improvements in your public speaking skills with ongoing education, mentoring and feedback from the best speakers in the World. People frequently come up to me and say "Wayne, I can't believe how much you have grown as a public speaker in the past 2 years - what is your secret? My answer is always the same - I got the EDGE, the Champions EDGE". Click here to learn what you are missing, and sign up today. (Or else just continue to be another boring speaker). 

Email me with any questions that you have about presentations and I will attempt to address them in a future newsletter.

More next time!

Wayne Botha

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