Showing posts from March, 2018

The Dog Ate My Speech: Preparing an Important Presentation at the Last Minute

You have an important speech or presentation coming up on Monday. It’s Sunday now and you have prepared nothing. Maybe it’s not your fault because the plan was changed at the last minute, or maybe you had allocated time to prepare but then there was an emergency to deal with. Or maybe it is your fault. But it doesn’t matter.

Surprisingly, perhaps, the situation is not at all hopeless. You can always recover from a zero-preparation situation and sometimes it can even lead to a better outcome, provided that you know how to do it.

Pretending to be ill or saying that the dog ate your speech might get you off the hook, but long term this will work against your credibility. Your best approach is to go ahead but to use a lean approach to crafting a brief but powerful speech.
Here’s one way to solve the problem:
First of all, throw away all of your old notes, slides and other materials. It’s tempting to try to recycle old stuff but you will find that trying to find and adapt existing things …

How Organic Networking Helps Introverts Grow Their Network

Many people avoid networking because they are introverted or just shy, but a much better idea is to simply avoid the "artificial" networking opportunities like cocktail-hour mingles. You can get much better results anyway by networking organically through activities.

When you are working with other people you naturally build strong connections as a side effect of the co-operation, simply by being a good team player, colleague, employee or manager. If you have any sort of job you are already building a network in your workplace and environment even though you are probably not aware of it. You can greatly increase the reach and effectiveness of this networking by adding other activities to your daily job. These activities could be other projects in your workplace or related to your work, like organizing a work event. They can also be activities outside of work.

Probably the most effective of these outside activities is to volunteer for non profits that involve something that …

Three Secrets of Calm Public Speaking

After every talk that I do there are as many questions about speaking technique as there are about the actual content. One of the most interesting is "How do you stay so calm?". Partly this is just a question of practice, but there are also some specific techniques that make this much easier. Here are three of them, techniques that anyone can master:

Prepare a Backup "Unplugged" Version. Some stress is always caused by the fear that there will be technical problems with the presentation. No matter how many backup copies of the presentation you have and no matter how many tests that you have done before the show the projector can still fail or your laptop suddenly starts to misbehave. One way to avoid this stress altogether is to prepare a backup "unplugged" version that you can do using just a whiteboard, a flipchart or even nothing. You should create a minimal version with the essential content and make a list of the stories you will tell and the visuals…