After a fun 2 days full of communication exercises and learning with IT consultants last week, I delivered the following references to the participants. Maybe there is something in here you can learn from?
- “The consultant you want to hire”
- Creating strategic action
- My favourite SWOT questions and 10 tips for effective SWOT analysis
- Book on “Business Acumen” plus my blog-post summary/video
- De Bono’s book on creativity skills: “6 thinking hats”
- Book on body language (including simple exercises to try): “The Power of Charm”
- Book on interogation techniques, which includes a lot on body language: “Criminal interogation and confessions”
- Information on “what eye movements may mean”, although this blog says it is all rubbish
- Book on cultural differences: “Riding the Waves of Culture”
- Book on sales: “The New Strategic Selling” by Heiman + Miller
- “Be FAB to be heard” on positioning benefits, instead of features
- An interesting CV idea 🙂
- Job-hunting strategy + tips
- My blog on how to build a presentation in 5 steps, including lots of examples via links
- Prezi presentation (with sound) on the 4 pillars of an effective presentation
- Video: “Create Strong Messages” including reminder of the 3 most important questions
- Book “The Pyramid Principle” on how to structure communication, including “situation, complication, resolution”
- Book on Presentation Skills “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs”
- Book on “ego states”, how you build your own “story” and all things “transactional analysis psychology”: TA Today
- 10min video on “ego states” – how your perception of the other person impacts your ability to behave in the way you want
Thanks for reading!
Too many numbers, lack of focus and bad formatting make tables impossible to understand and energy consuming for your audience. Follow these 8 simple tips to make effective tables that you can use with pride in your presentation.
If you need to present numbers, you may believe (like me and Gene Zelazny) that graphs and visuals are the best way to go. But if you (your company or audience) are number-hungry, maybe you’ll still need to include a table in your presentation from time-to-time.
But PLEASE: Don’t let it look like this…
This is the kind of table that might drive Don McMillan mad in “Death by PowerPoint” . It is bad because there is no message, there is too much data and nothing stands out.
If you insist upon including such a “raw-data” table somewhere in the appendices or giving it as a hand-out for the finance guys, then at least make it look like this:
…or this, if you like a bit of colour …
To achieve an effective raw-data table like the ones above, consider the following 5 tips:
- Differentiate row and table headers with different font formatting
- Add background colouring to cells to seperate columns or distinguish headers from data
- Put totals in a different font, or in bold
- Use more white space to separate chunks of data
- Make cells large enough to have some white space around the numbers
…now you have a nice raw-data table for your appendix or hand-out.
But if you are presenting numbers with tables as an integral part of your presentation, you cannot drown your audience with large data like the tables above. Follow these additional 3 tips to bring a clear message and focus to your numbers:
- Identify your main message and make it the title for the table
- Remove any irrelevant data – other numbers can always be seen in the appendix
- Highlight anything that needs to stand out using formatting
Applied to the numbers in the raw-data table above, with a specific message in mind creates a table more like this:
So, if you want to make effective tables that you can use with pride in your presentation, concentrate on your key message, reduce useless data and bring more focus to what counts.
Thanks for reading!
Got any more examples? Share them please!
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During a recent presentation skills training, one of my participants suggested I was like Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother”. At the time, this meant nothing to me, as I had never seen the sitcom. 2 weeks later, I received a spontaneous email from another participant of that training, Christophe Schmitz, containing this text-based presentation…
As a side note, I’d say he learnt well 🙂
Presentation by Christophe Schmitz…
Hi and Welcome to this absurd “presentation”.
One well known rule to make a high impact presentation is “know your audience”. Dan spoke about this during his presentation skills training at CSC.
And what better way to know people in the audience than knowing their entertainment interests? It could be a song, a book, a movie or even a sitcom .. whatever … People like and retain such things because they recognizes themselves in it … And it probably reflects their personality.
Most of Dan’s training “audience” at CSC were born in the 1980’s (except me and Dan himself). They didn’t know “Top Gun” [we will talk about this later ] but they did know “How I Met Your Mother” (HIMYM)
During training … one of them said:
You know Dan, you kinda look like Barney Stinson in the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”
..but Dan didn’t get it. He’d never seen it. Hence this “presentation”.
So: Does Dan Steer look like Barney Stinson ? Let’s see…
5 REASONS WHY DAN STEER IS BARNEY STINSON
Similarity number 1: They both like tweetable messages .. and both love how the word “Awesome” sounds
What does Dan say?
Here’s just 2 excerpts from his blog
- Talking about how Yannick Noah’s connects to his audience: “I’ve never seen anything like it. 60,000 people and he still jumped in. It was awesome!”
- “Follow my blog by entering your email address… Its free and its awesome “
..and if you’ve ever followed Presentation Skills training with Dan, you have heard this word a hundred times!
Similarity number 2: They both have “Awesome” presentation skills
If you’ve ever seen Dan present, you know he’s great.
…but Barney Stinson elevates presentations to a religious level. For example in his insane theory called the “Ewok appreciation” he explains the only obvious reason why his girlfriend Nora couldn’t like possibly like Ewoks (video)
As a side-note:
- Dan is a massive Star Wars fan … and was born after 1973
- You can get the entire Barney Stinson Ewok slide-deck here
Similarity number 3: They both “Air graph” [*]
(*) Air graph” is to presentation, what “air guitar” is to rock ‘n roll : It’s the ability of an individual to draw graphs in the air using nothing but its fingers and arms to mime an invisible graph.
We all know Dan Steer does this regulary in training 🙂 Often in our late-night CSC training sessions, lazy-Dan would stay seated and sketch out an entire graph or model with only his hands.
Similarity number 4: Awesome Synthesis capabilities
Just like Dan Steer can resume your entire presentation of 15-or-more minutes in one minute, Barney Stinson can recap the entire sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” in less than one minute (video)
Similarity number 5: They are both huge TOP GUN fans
If you’ve never seen Barney suit-up Top Gun style, watch the video here
…and everyone knows Dan Steer’s famous iPhone ring: “Top Gun Anthem Instrumental”
As I said in the introduction, movie interests can tell you a lot about people’s personalities 🙂
And so, to end this “presentation” (as Dan told us to), let’s summarize the 5 similarities:
- Tweetable awesome expressions
- Awesome presentation skills
- Awesome air graphs !
- Awesome synthesis capabilities
- Awesome TOP Gun passion
In conclusion… Dan Steer and Barney Stinson are the same person !
And that is why knowing your audience entertainment interests can be of major importance
Thank you for your attention
ps from DAN: When I read this post, I thought I must check out HIMYM and I’m hooked. Thank you Christophe 🙂 Barney IS awesome 🙂
Tomorrow the Belgian media and learning world will say goodbye to Bob De Groof, deceased earlier this week. Much has been shared and said about Bob this week via Twitter and at the end of this post, I will direct you to those “in memoriams”. If you knew Bob, I invite you to think of him tomorrow morning and if you want to know how I knew him, read on…
Read the 2005 article “Wie is Bob De Groof?” from De Standaard and you will see that by the time I was watching Star Wars for the first time, Bob had already done so much as a media-man in Belgium. I can’t add anything to his career notes, as I simply don’t know enough. I just wanted to share 4 of my own Bob stories, to share what Bob means to me. These stories remind me of an inspiration, an industry standard and one of the world’s last true gentlemen.
Bob is an early morning chat about what’s important in life, about following your dreams.
I first met Bob in 2006 at Logica, when I hired his “Presentation Skills” training services with Kluwer. As “Training and Development Manager” of that company, I was looking for the highest standard of trainer to help the top managers in the company to improve their ability to pitch, tell a story and sell a solution. Enter Bob. At 7.30am.
Aside from me and Bob, no-one was generally around at that time in the office, so we got to chatting. (Don’t tell my ex-boss!). In fact, every time Bob would come to Logica, we would spend about an hour before the working day waxing lyrical about everything from the day’s news to my kids or his, travel or everyday stuff. One day, I told him I wanted to be a “Presentation Skills” trainer myself and he encouraged me to follow my professional dreams. If I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing, I should change it. Simple as that. Extremely polite and “correct” in his speech, I found in Bob a certain “direct authority” combined with the kind of objective but caring friendliness you might expect from a favourite uncle.
Bob is one of 3 or 4 people that really inspired me to make the decision to go it alone and do my thing. I’m very grateful.
Bob will always be THE standard. The point of reference for excellence in his domain.
At the end of the very first training Bob delivered at Logica, 2 of the manager/participants came to see me. I was worried. Had I made a mistake? Did Barbara Verscheuren sell me a dud? Far from it! They came to tell me that it was amazing to have such a trainer. “How could one man have SO MUCH experience to share?” Despite their years of pitching business, Bob was able to bring real value and improve their presentations. He was a master in “Presentation Skills”.
Jump forward to 2010: Kluwer asked me to pick up some of Bob’s training. What a compliment! I remember telling my wife that I (yes, little me!) had been asked to take over for Bob. (Yes, for Bob!!). I never pretended to be able to fill his shoes, but I was damn-well going to do my best to fly his flag high! I still am.
Bob makes you feel good about being whatever you are.
That’s a rare talent, I think. I do know one other person who comes close, but its still rare. When I was with Bob, I felt like I was the most important person in the world. Not because I was, but because he made me feel like I was. I don’t know if he consciously made an effort to find and tap-into the things that made people tick, if he knew he did it and did it on purpose, or if that’s just Bob. But it was the same everytime.
In particular, I remember one evening where all the Kluwer trainers got together on a barge in Leuven for a cooking party. As I left the boat, I bumped into Bob and Helena Van Caekenberge from Kluwer. Seeing me, Bob announced: “Ah, the rising star of Kluwer”. Again, I went home and told my wife. What a compliment!
Bob makes you raise your own standards. Or wear different shoes 🙂
As I already said, Bob De Groof was an excellent trainer. You follow his course, you improve. Simple. But it doesn’t stop there..
Last year, I was invited by Kluwer to speak at their evening Trainer’s Lounge on the usage of “Social Media for Training”. I saw Bob just before, dressed (as ever) in his suit and tie. Having myself had the day off, I was dressed in what I call my “Zuckerberg plus-1” conference look of jeans, trainers and a shirt (the shirt being the “plus-1”). Having always been troubled by how one should dress for a presentation, I shared my thoughts on the topic and asked Bob what he thought. His reply was simple: “Always dress a little bit better than the audience. And at least wear a nice pair of shoes.”
I can’t say do the first part, but I definitively swapped the trainers for a good pair of shoes the very next day.
So that’s “my” Bob: An inspiration, THE standard, a motivator and all round smart gentleman.
If you want to share your own ideas, please comment below.
Thanks for reading.
If you want to read more, here’s a selection of this week’s “in memoriams’:
- Lukas De Vos, DeWereldMorgen.be: “De gladde generatie: in memoriam Bob De Groof (1945-2013)”
- Wim Chielens, Brieven uit de Westhoek: “Bob De Groof, I.M”
- Kluwer’s IM
- DeRedactie.be and VRT.be
Several years ago, my wife’s company invited its employees and family to “Roi Baudouin Stadium” in Brussels to see Johnny Hallyday in concert. Now, I’m not going to mention his name again, or (dare I say it in Belgium) mention how terrible that entire experience was for me. But I would like to say something about his support act, Yannick Noah.
Noah was a tennis player first, but now makes music. Opening for Johnny, he was wild. Hs music was full of energy and so was he. And then it happened: With his cordless microphone in hand, he jumped off the stage and ran into the crowd of 60,000 people, running around singing IN the crowd. I’ve never seen anything like it. 60,000 people and he still jumped in. It was awesome!
Now, I don’t think this was a pre-thought strategic move from him. i think he did this out of pure excitement. It not as if he was greeting his fans – they were there for Johnny (or because they were Belgian, or out of some kind of “wifely work obligation”). But what he did was brilliant and a good lesson for any presenter: Get in there. Be with your audience. It breaks boundaries, creates dynamism and connects you to the people you are talking to.
Here are a few simple ideas to try out the next time you speak in public:
- Don’t stand in the same place all the time. If you read “What you can learn from Dora-the-Explorer about presenting” you already know that movement can reinforce presentation structure. But it can also improve audience relations. Movement will change the room dynamics, the connections you have with one or other audience member…
- If you are presenting to a large audience (a big room, say 200 people) use whatever you can from the room layout to add dynamic movement to your presentation. If you can walk up an aisle to get closer to someone who asked a question, do it.
- Don’t forget that movement goes up and down as well as left and right and back and forth. I like very much to squat down or perch on the edge of a table when listening to a long comment or group discussion during a presentation in a small room. I’m trying to send the message that its not about me anymore, so I get a bit more out of the way.
- Meet people at the door. I’m sure if Yannick Noah could have shaken hands with the 60,000, he would have. The last time I spoke at a conference as part of Epsilon2012, I shook hands with every one of the 200-odd people coming into the room, looked them in the eye and thanked them for coming. Get in contact with your audience!
Almost every presentation you never see is either exactly the same as the last one, or a minor upgrade in terms of performance. Try these tips to make a mark on your audience and really connect.
i’m currently researching for more content for my e-book “Build and Deliver Awesome Presentations”. What else should I include? Please leave me a comment with ideas…
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If you want to learn how to architect and deliver awesome presentations, join me in Brussels for the this training. Read on for more information…
..but if you just want to keep self learning, skip to the references at the end of this blog. There’s a lot of great content!
Training, 21st and 28th March 2013 – What’s In It For Me?
- Improve your presentation messages in order to better inform and convince your audience
- Be able to efficiently build a presentation that creates maximum attention, understanding and recall
- Learn about the 4 pillars of an effective presentation: Message, Structure, Content and Style
- Boost confidence and fluidity …even when facing audiences of different types
- Be able to confidently deal with whatever comes your way during your presentation… (Questions ? “Difficult people”, experts in the room.. “Blank faces staring back at me”)
- To book a place, contact me by email mail @ dansteer.com or call 0472-36226
- Dates = March 21st and 28th 2013, from 9am to 5pm each day
- Location = Brussels
- Language = English
- Small group – max. 5 participants
- Everyone will present several times
- ½ day trainer-led start = assess current approach vs. best practice with specific exercises
- 1½ days participant led learning = starting from your presentation(s), you receive complete constructive feedback and relevant techniques to improve your performance regarding the 4 pillars of an effective presentation
- Participant pack includes: USB with filmed presentations, workbook, copy of “Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs” by Carmine Gallo, after-training email with all specific learning points + additional references
- Pre-work includes:
- Survey of current competence, experience + expectations
- Share thoughts on keys to effective presentation via wallwisher.com
- Invitation to join LinkedIn group to meet other participants prior to day1
- Investment = 1100euros HTVA per participant
If you know someone who can profit from this training, please feel free to share the link.
Thanks in advance..
..now, for those of you who wanted references to keep on self-learning:
- The 15 Best Prezi Tips I Found Today
- The Only 3 Questions That Count
- Be FAB To Be Heard
- What Can You Learn From Dora-the-Exporer About Presenting?
- Why I See Citroen Xsara Picassos Everywhere and Why You Should Care
- The Power of StoryTelling
- 9 PowerPoint Essentials for Real Business People
- Build Your Presentation in 5 Steps
- Putting The Bottom Line Top When Talking
- Dressed For Presentation Success
- Speaking Too Fast? Tips for Presentation Nerves
- 5 Simple Tips to Help You Deliver Conf-Call Trainings
I received this email yesterday, spontaneously, from a Presentation Skills training participant. We had discussed the power of storytelling, including how it increases recall… For more on this topic, follow this link
I couldn’t find your business card straight away for your email address so I picked this one up at your website.
You challenged each of us at your training to remember your bee story. I don’t remember it completely but I do remember the moral of the proactive bee story. If they would’ve carried bags as the proactive bee wanted, they could have been more efficient in their harvest, meaning that proactivity could lead to improvement.