“How to Approach Presentation Design like an Innovative Thinking Genius”

[Webinar Recording]

Don’t you think the world has seen enough “me too” presentations? Haven’t too many people been lulled to sleep by watch nowstatus quo design? All great work starts with an idea, and presentations are no exception. And the more innovative the idea, the more exceptional the end product will be.

Ideas Thoughts Knowledge Intelligence Learning Thoughts Meeting Concept

Watch this interactive and engaging webinar on how to approach presentations in a way an innovative genius would. Mitchell Rigie and Keith Harmeyer, authors of the best-selling book, SmartStorming: The Game-Changing Process for Generation Bigger, Better Ideas, show us how to use out-of-the-box thinking and six idea-inspiring steps to get your ideas started out right and then apply it to presentation design and delivery. They will share real-world examples of how their clients used this to improve their presentations, both in style and in delivery. `

You missed playing the “What if” game to see how innovative you can become but download the handout and you can try it for yourself.  The “Idea Sprint” will inspire you.  Remember, no idea is off the table. This is the foundation to get the Picture2ideas started and build that innovative, wow presentation. Are you game?

Handout: How to Approach Presentation Design Like an Innovative Thinking Genius

Congratulations, Hilary Miller!  You won a signed copy of their book!

About Our Speakers:

Keith HarmeyerKeith Harmeyer’s professional background includes over 25 years in advertising and strategic marketing; sales and business coaching; and advanced communication and presentation skills training. As a marketing and creative executive at agencies in the Omnicom and Publicis networks, as well as founder and principal of his own marketing communications firm, Keith created countless successful brand marketing programs and business presentations for many of the world’s best-known and most successful companies, such as American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Sony, Time Warner, ABC, Disney, Philips, Fujifilm, Conde Nast, Sports Illustrated, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, McDonald’s, Footlocker, and many others. He has also coached and trained numerous business leaders on their sales and presentation techniques, utilizing his proprietary system for persuasive communication. Keith is a graduate of Loyola University and Tulane University, both in New Orleans, and of Coach University, the world’s leading training organization for professional coaches. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Florida Speakers Association.
Mitchell RigieA top creative professional for over 25 years, Mitchell Rigie has expertise spanning the fields of art, design, communications, strategic marketing, and human development. He is a thought leader in the emerging field of peak creative performance; his “Creative Flow Principles” have helped thousands of creative professionals in different industries achieve higher levels of productivity. As a Vice President and award-winning creative supervisor for advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi and Foote Cone Belding, and as a consultant for Grey Worldwide, he has managed creative teams in the development of campaigns for Fortune 500 clients including: Johnson & Johnson, American Express, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and General Electric. Mitchell is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and Coach University, the world’s leading training organization for professional coaches. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Rhode Island School of Design.

 

Presenting End Of The Year Data: Hacks With Tables And Charts

It’s been a good year and now it’s time to present your results in PowerPoint! Yeah…or yikes?   PXP_WatchNowIcon

Well before you chain yourself to your desk and try arm wrestling your PowerPoint tables and charts into shape, watch this interactive end of the year reporting webinar full of hacks, tips and tricks for fast tracking through these difficult object classes to get the data visualization you are aiming for. And start 2016 off with a few new tricks.

Taylor Croonquist, Nuts & Bolts Speed Training is back by popular demand to give us an hour full of fun and magic and he delivered an information-packed webinar featuring:

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End of the Year Charting Tricks:

  • Avoiding over labeling – getting more out of your data visualizations by doing less
  • Defaulting your charts – how to set your formatting once and reuse it throughout your PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Excel models (one of the most underappreciated features of PowerPoint)
  • Flipping your charts – don’t waste time rebuilding it in Excel, just flip your chart or filter it in PowerPoint
    Creating totals on top of stacked column charts – your first step towards advanced charting techniques to build more accurate visualizations.

End of the Year Table Tricks:

  • Creating Excel formatting within PowerPoint (double underlines within a cell and the accounting style formatting)
  • Overcoming the 3 Phantom Spacing Menaces – the three invisible factors that affect how far you can customize your tables
  • Boxing up your tables for rock solid layouts and why this works better.

Our Speaker:

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Taylor Croonquist is the shortcut and productivity guru for Nuts and Bolts Speed Training company, which helps companies build better PowerPoint slides in shorter time frames. Hailing from the home of Microsoft and Starbucks, he came up with the “One Armed Mouse” technique in order to be able to combine these two passions: PowerPoint-ing with a coffee in one hand and a mouse in the other. For more information about the company’s services, visit nutsandboltsspeedtraining.com.

HANDOUTS:

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Live from the 2015 Presentation Summit…One-on-One Interviews

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Live from The Presentation Summit…#PreSum15

Nolan Haims, Microsoft PowerPoint MVP – @Nolan Haims

Want to learn more from Nolan about imagery?  watch nowWatch the recording of his free webinar, How to Use Imagery Like a Pro!  

One-on-one with Graphics and Sales Presentation Guru, Mike Parkinson

 

Nigel  Holmes, author and keynote speaker @Nigelblue

Three part interview with Dr. Carmen Simon, Rexi Media

Dr. Carmen Simon – Rexi Media – Interview, Part 1

 

Dr. Carmen Simon – Rexi Media – Interview, Part 2

Dr. Carmen Simon – Rexi Media – Interview, Part 3

Day 2, The Presentation Summit #PreSum15

Shawn Villaron, Microsoft – Partner Group Program Manager, Analytics and Presentation PM- US

Three Part Interview with Taylor Croonquist, Nuts & Bolts Speed Training @Nuts_BoltPPT

Taylor Croonquist, Nuts & Bolts Speed Training, Part 1

Taylor Croonquist, Nuts & Bolts Speed Training, Part 2

Taylor Croonquist, Nuts & Bolts Speed Training, Part 3

Three Part Conversation with Microsoft MVP, Geetesh Bajaj – @Geetesh

Geetesh Bajaj discusses design trends – Part 1

Geetesh talks with #PresentationXpert editor, Dave Zielinski about number of slides vs length of presentation. – Pt 2

 

Microsoft MVP Geetesh Bajaj shares tips at #PreSum15 on managing expectations

PreSum 15 and Webinar Attendee,  John Rahmlow shares his thoughts on the PresentationXpert webinar program

 

Author and Keynote Speaker,  Keith Harmeyer

Rick Altman, Host – Presentation Summit

Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs, Julie Terberg and Echo Swinford with Sharyn Fitzpatrick, PresentationXpert

A Palette Primer: Picking Colors That Make Your Presentation Shine

With sight dominating our senses, it is no surprise that colors have come to hold so much meaning and importance in our culture. Consciously and unconsciously, we use color to signify our feelings: a red rose for our love, a yellow one for a good friend.

With colors so closely tied to emotion, and emotion so effectively increasing memory retention, it follows that colors are instrumental to powerful and memorable communication.

When selecting a main color for a presentation template, take into account the emotions that the content or brand should produce. Is the material meant to excite the audience, rile them up for a new product? Use a bright warm color (red, orange, yellow) to capture the energy of your message. If the material is about a trustworthy medical or financial service, use blues to convey reliability and fortitude. For more ideas on the right colors for your content, check out this awesome infographic from The Logo Company on how brand colors speak to our emotions.

Whether the starting point is a predetermined brand color or a color selected for its emotional qualities the next step to building a palette involves color theory.

Color theory starts at the color wheel, where our main hues are laid out showing the relationships between primary (red, yellow, blue), secondary ( orange, green, purple), and tertiary (red-orange, yellow- orange, etc) colors. The outer ring of the wheel is the fully saturated intensity of the color. As we move toward the center, the colors become less saturated.

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There are several different methods used to combine colors from the color wheel to produce a pleasing look & feel. These methods for mixing and balancing colors are called harmonies.

Harmonies

Different color combination methods, or harmonies, produce a different feel. Here’s a look at some common harmonies, how they are constructed and how they can be used.

Complementary & Split Complementary color palettes are vibrant and striking. Complementary colors are across the color wheel from each other and provide high contrast. Split complimentary colors are those on either side of the hue directly across from your main color.

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Analogous color palettes are pleasing to the eye and feel comfortable because they often occur in the natural world, like a sunset of pinks, reds and oranges. Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel.

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Monochromatic color palettes are built by selecting different saturations of the same color. They feel simple and elegant, but lack contrast.

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Triadic, Tetradic & Square color palettes use simple geometric shapes (triangle, rectangle & square,respectively) superimposed over the color wheel to determine color harmony. These palettes offer rich contrast and balance.

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Putting Your Palette To Use

So now that the palette is selected, how do we use it?

Once you have your main colors selected, create a palette by adjusting saturation in your two main colors and adding in a neutral. This supplies some variance in the intensity of your colors, but you don’t want to go overboard. Using too many colors can dilute the cohesion of your palette. A limit of 5 or 6 is generally plenty.

Take the split complementary harmony, which is both pleasing to look at and easy to work with. This palette has three main colors. To create an intentional and polished look, one color should be dominant. The other two will be used as secondary and tertiary accent colors. To flush out this palette we can add variances of our main hues and a neutral for balance.

A built out split complementary palette might look like this:

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Adding more hues of your main colors doesn’t change the harmony that you’re using, but you will want to make sure you’re establishing balance. Color balance in the composition will create a more polished and professional-looking piece.

One easy rule of thumb for balancing your colors is the 60-30-10 Rule. Using this compositional guideline, sixty percent of the color on a given slide will be the dominant color. Use it for big shapes or recurring elements. The secondary color should make up about thirty percent of the color, while the tertiary color is used only for small accents and “pops” to grab attention.

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Of course, not all content or brand guidelines will fit nicely into the 60-30-10 rule, so don’t be afraid to use your judgment. The best and worst thing about working with color is that there are very few hard & fast rules. The main tenets are: not too many , not too few and do it if it looks good to you.

Whether designing for website, marketing collateral or presentation, a good color palette begins to tell the story immediately and subliminally. Evoking emotion through color increases the effectiveness and memorability of the content. Selecting the right color palette for the message and the content is vital to communicating to the audience on both an intellectual and emotional level. Working with a color palette is a subjective matter, but starting from a solid palette and keeping balance in mind will set you off on the right track.

To read more about design theory in general and presentation design in particular, visit our blog, Visual Sugar.

About the Author:

Bethany Auck is the founder and creative director of SlideRabbit. SlideRabbit designs killer custom presentations and infographics.

The Sit-Down Presentation: Can it Be Effective?

One question I get asked regularly is about sitting down to present. If there are only a few people in the room, if it’s an informal setting or if it’s a board meeting and all the board is sitting,  I want to send out a casual message. I don’t want to be too authoritative – then can I present sitting down?

Often the real reason people want to present while sitting down is that something happens in their head when they sit: it no longer feels like a presentation or a speech, but rather a conversation. And so they don’t get nervous.

Anything to avoid that horrible feeling of adrenaline coursing through your system, right?

And that becomes a circular argument for sitting down – if I don’t get nervous then I present better and if I’m presenting better doesn’t it make sense to sit down?

A recent study comparing students who sat and students who were given standing desks sheds a little light on this question. It turns out that the standing students were able to focus better and longer than the sitting ones. So you think better on your feet.

Now there’s a reason for speakers to stand. You think better. That reason alone should nullify all the other arguments for sitting.

But if it doesn’t, then here’s a more reasoned one. Think about what you’re giving up when you sit. Authority is naturally taken by the person standing in a room full of seated people. If you sit down, you give up the authority and let other people take it or at least share it. The result is that it’s much harder for a speaker to hold the floor if he is seated during the presentation.

I worked with a CEO once that I persuaded to try the following experiment. He had issues with people deferring to his authority too much, and he was working with me on developing a more collegial style of communications. Just for fun, I suggested that he use a body language trick to change the authority dynamic in the room when he was meeting with his direct reports.

I suggested to him that they would naturally defer to him by keeping their head lower than his. He was skeptical, but offered to watch out for it. Specifically, I instructed him to start lowering his head in his next meeting, very slowly, by leaning back in his chair and sliding down surreptitiously.

When I chatted with him after the meeting, he was still laughing about it. He had become a believer in the power of body language, because as he lowered his head (very, very slowly) he saw each of his direct reports do the same thing, keeping their heads lower than his. By the end of the meeting, everyone was nearly under the table.

Here’s the kicker. No one was aware of what was going on. The CEO couldn’t believe it, but he had seen it (indeed, controlled it) himself.

Authority is very precisely determined by relative height. Standing up takes authority naturally without having to be pushy. Sitting down gives it up.

I usually recommend people to do the opposite – i.e., start out seated, and then seize the moment and the authority when you’re ready to speak by standing up. It’s a natural, effortless sign that you’re ready to go.

Why would you do otherwise?

Many times working with clients I’ve seen the moment when a client gets the new way of thinking about his or her topic that I’m suggesting – it’s usually when they stand up. They’re taking charge. They get it. They’re ready to run with the idea.

Now I’ll be doubly pleased because I know that they’ll think better on their feet. And it’s my excuse to keep standing.

So you can sit down to present. But now you know how much you’re giving up.

About the Author:

Dr. Nick Morgan is one of America’s top communication theorists and presentation skill coaches. In his blog he covers modern communications from a variety of angles, including the latest developments in communication research, the basic principles and rules of good communication and the good and bad speakers of the day. For more information about his coaching services or books, visit www.publicwords.com

Each Time You Present a Lifetime of Baggage Comes With You

Recently I had an opportunity to do some personal presentation skills coaching with Michael. That’s not his real name but his story could be your story, your manager’s or maybe even your company president’s.

Michael certainly made a very polished first impression as he walked in.  He was well groomed and very executive looking in his well-tailored suit. “Feel free to take off your jacket,” I told him.  He politely declined.

During the first 15 minutes with a new client, I always spend some time to try to understand who’s sitting in front of me.  I learned a long time ago  I’m never just working in the moment – I’m working with the sum total of someone’s life experiences; both good and bad, acknowledged and deeply buried.

“I wasn’t completely honest with you about setting up this time.” he continued. “And there was a reason I kept putting off this personal coaching time. Even the thought of presenting is terrifying to me and has been for as long as I can remember.”

Not much explanation was needed.  You see, I had experienced this many times before over the years.

During one coaching session a senior executive recalled an extreme presentation embarrassment 50 years earlier as he stood in front of his 6th grade class…with everyone laughing.

After a speaking gig, a young senior account representative in a large PR firm pulls me aside and asks about her incapacitating fear in front of clients.  “I completely freeze up,”  she confides.  “What’s happening to me?”

Then out of the blue a few years back, a senior officer in a large company calls me looking for some insight into his debilitating anxiety when presenting to his Board; other presentation settings were never an issue.  His coping mechanism?  Xanax for the anxiety and avoidance whenever possible.

Baggage for All

We are all the sum total of our life experiences.

I find few people who relish presenting, but for most they find a way to cope, some surviving the moment at best. For others, however, the pressure of an important presentation brings back old tapes, deeply internalized embarrassments, harsh words or confidence that has been systematically dismantled over decades by the relationship with a parent.

And it’s precisely these moments that I realize that no matter how good I may be as a personal presentation coach, I am woefully inadequate in untangling issues that have ensnared people for most of their lives.

So my counsel to them and maybe you is pretty much the same.

I can help them work on the outside and very visible manifestations of their fear. But for the stuff on the inside, presenters owe it to themselves to better understand what’s going on, if for no other reason than to live a more fulfilling life. One that isn’t metered by fear and anxiety.

So whether you’re simply a survivor of anxiety or have never turned the corner on overwhelming fear, know this…personal victories in this area can and do happen.

I’ve seen breakthroughs change people’s lives through a partnership of a coach and a clinician, all focused on helping individuals overcome the things they fear most. Deeply held anxiety slowly mitigated not only by meaningful insight, but also a client seeing with his or her own eyes a more confident, polished presenter on the video playback in front of them.

They can’t believe it’s them.  Old tapes slowly rewritten.  Self-defeating scripts joyfully discarded. Confidence blossoming.

And most of us have experienced this important truth – avoidance is not a very successful strategy.  Because presenting our thoughts and ideas to others will be something we will be asked to do the rest of our lives. And there simply aren’t enough places to hide.

So if this article strikes a little close to home for you… maybe it’s time to go to “baggage” claim.  Check your tag carefully, and finally find someone to help you carry it all to the curb.

About the Author:

Jim Endicott is president of Distinction Communication Inc, a Newberg, OR consulting firm specializing in message development, presentation design and delivery skills coaching. For more information about the company, visit www.distinction-services.com

3 Tips for Handling Hostile Questions During Presentations

Chances are that you’ve seen the following happen more than once: A colleague builds a beautiful case to support his recommendation. Then comes the relentless questioner who pummels him with questions that seem to have nothing to do with the core case, and the colleague limps to a close as if he’d been attacked by war planes rather than stung by a B-B gun.

If you haven’t experienced this in real life, you’ve certainly seen it on TV press conferences.

People ask hostile questions for any number of reasons:

  • They disagree with what you have said or have wrong information.
  • You have not established credibility with them.
  • They’ve misunderstood you.
  • They think they are “saving the day” for everyone else or their entire organization.
  • Their personality makes them always look for the cloud in every silver lining.
  • They are angry with someone else and are taking it out on you—consciously or unconsciously.

Whatever the reason, your presentation success and credibility often rides on your ability to remain unruffled and walk away from the situation on a positive note with an air of confidence. Here are three tips that can help you do just that.

Rephrase a Legitimate Question… Minus the Hot Words and Hostile Tone

If the question is, “Why are you demanding that we submit these forms with an approval signature? I think that’s totally unreasonable,” try rephrasing it to emphasize its validity, and then respond:

“Why do we think the forms should have an approval signature? Well, first of all, the approval signature allows us to. . . .”

Don’t feel that you have to refute an opposing view in great detail, particularly if the hostile view is not well supported itself. Simply comment: “No, I don’t think that’s the case.” No elaboration is necessary.

Your answer will sound authoritative and final and will make the asker appear rude and argumentative if he or she rephrases and continues.

1) Upgrade the Tone

Avoid matching hostility with hostility; try to maintain a congenial tone and body language. The audience almost always will side (or at least respect and empathize) with the person who remains calm and courteous.  Keep in mind that how you answer questions will be remembered more clearly and for much longer than what you say.

2) Acknowledge and Accept Feelings

Try to determine possible reasons for any hostility. By acknowledging and legitimizing the feelings of the asker, you may defuse the hostility and help the other person receive your answer in a more open manner.

Examples: “It sounds as though you’ve been through some difficult delays with this supplier” or “I don’t blame you for feeling as you do, given the situation you describe. I’m just glad that has been the exception rather than the rule in working with this audit group.”

3) State Your Own Experience and Opinion

People can argue with your statistics, data, surveys, and facts indefinitely. But they cannot argue with your experience. It’s yours, not theirs.

After you’ve listened and acknowledged their opinion and feelings, feel free to end by stating your own in a non-confrontational way. “My experience has been different. Based on X, Y, and Z, it’s my opinion that ABC approach will work in our situation.”  Then break eye contact and move ahead.

Your audience will take their final cues from you.  Make them positive.

About the Author:

Booher Consultants, a communications training firm, works with business leaders and organizations to increase effectiveness through better oral, written, interpersonal, and enterprise-wide communication. Founder Dianna Booher is the author of 46 books, published in 26 languages. Recent titles include Creating Personal Presence: Look, Talk, Think, and Act Like a Leader and Communicate With Confidence! The Revised and Expanded Edition. For more information, visit www.Booher.com
Copyright © Booher Consultants; article used with permission.

The 5-Point Formula for Powerful Presentations with Author, Simon Morton

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watch now on Brainshark

The presentations that are the most critical to the success of your organization today are not the ones delivered on stage in front of hundreds of rapt listeners.  They are the ones you and your colleagues deliver every day, looking to connect with an audience – of a few, or many – and drive action.  This webinar will challenge everything you thought you knew about creating and delivering engaging business presentations.

Based on Simon Morton’s critically-acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab: Learn the Formula behind Powerful Presentations”, this webinar is a great resource for the everyday presenter looking to drive results.  book framedHis consultancy, Eyeful Presentations has perfected their methodology and created a formula for the success of their clients. Watch this webinar and Simon will teach you how to successfully:

        • Assess the needs of your audience
        • Structure an effective story
        • Be prepared for informal, interactive presentations
        • Use visuals with real meaning
        • Master nuances for blended presenting – live or on demand, in person or online, or a combination

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About Simon Morton, Eyeful PresentationsSimon_morton with frame

Simon Morton’s early career as an executive for an international technology company exposed him to more PowerPoint presentations than was good for him.  With his firm, Eyeful Presentations, based in the UK and with 6 international offices, Simon has been ridding the world of ‘Death by PowerPoint’ for over 10 years.  In his new book, The Presentation Lab: Learn The Formula Behind Powerful Presentations, Simon shares the methodology and approach that has driven Eyeful’s success and that of its world-class clients.

In the Trenches: Real World Solutions to Corporate Presentation Challenges

We know best practices for presentations (“Use less text!” “Create separate handouts!” “Avoid bullets points!”), but the realities of corporate America often get in the way when we sit down in front of the computer. In this webinar, presentation strategist Nolan Haims shares numerous techniques and strategies, developed out of pure necessity, for achieving best practices while still meeting tight deadlines and contending with difficult clients.

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  • Multiple tactics for encouraging less text and fewer bullet points, including the disappearing content trick and the ridiculously simple “chunking” technique
  • Leveraging PowerPoint’s Notes view in unique ways to effortlessly create well-designed and distinctly different handouts
  • Creating “reskinnable” templates that can be turned into custom presentations in minutes
  • Keeping presentations highly editable through vector graphics and PowerPoint image-editing techniques
  • Breaking out of PowerPoint-think with “walking” and portrait print decks

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About Nolan Haims:

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After careers in theater and the circus, Nolan Haims moved into the world of presentation, creating presentations for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading financial institutions, and all the major television networks. Most recently, Nolan was a Vice President at Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, where he oversaw presentation and visual communications. He blogs at PresentYourStory.com.

 

The One Presentation Skill That Anchors Them All

I remember my first big speaking engagement with the International Association of Business Communicators.  It took place over a decade ago in Vancouver, British Columbia, and like any trip across the border, it involved a brief chat with a uniformed agent in the customs booth.

What would happen next would remind me once again about one of the most important presentation skills we can master.

As I stood patiently in line behind a hundred foreign exchange students, my mind began to wander through my opening comments in a few short hours.  My goal with this large group: be intentional about making a very personal connection.  This can seem like a daunting task at times.

But suddenly I was shaken out of my thoughts by a rather foreboding customs official giving me her well-practiced “come now” gesture. I slid my documents through the window and then it happened.  The same thing that has happened dozens of times before…but somehow my awareness level had been elevated in that moment.

Her eyes came up, met mine and then she began to ask me some questions (A few seconds felt like an eternity).  And in those moments I came face-to-face with one of her most practiced and job-essential skill sets – discerning truthfulness.  She was a trained professional in the art.  She didn’t look at my hands.  She didn’t see if my feet were shuffling.

She looked me straight in the eyes.

We may not be professionally trained at this lie-detector skill, but we’ve come by it quite naturally – every one of us.  And over the thousands of times we’ve asked our workshop attendees how they discern trust and believability in someone they’re seeing for the first time, the #1 most consistent answer is through the presenter’s eyes.

(A great case study…. observe Lance Armstrong’s eyes during his Oprah interview.  Watch at 5:38… “And I am sorry for that.”  Really?)

And why should you care if from time to time your eyes seem to bounce around the room?  Because at the heart of every important communication opportunity is this very simple truth:

If someone cannot trust you, why should they trust what you have to say?

In my 20 years of personal skills coaching, there are typically 4 reasons people struggle with this very important foundational skill:

  1. We’re creatures of habit and it takes less mental (and personal) energy to simply scan a room. It also helps us stay in our own heads to get the message right.
  2. Sometimes a bad experience or a result of unhealthy human interactions greatly impact someone’s personal comfort level.
  3. Simple brain mechanics are in play as a presenter’s eyes disengage (drop to the floor) as their brain buys time to think what’s coming next (usually accompanied by a series of umms or ahhs).
  4. Cultural issues can cause eyes to drop as a sign of respect – but carry a very different perception in North America.

Although these are all very real issues, the people on the other end of your presentations only know what they perceive in that moment.  Your personal history, bad experiences or even cultural upbringing really don’t matter. All they know is something doesn’t feel right.

And at the heart of most of these habits is a ‘presentation mode’ we’ve forged over decades. Well-entrenched. Deeply ingrained. And over time they feel like a comfortable pair of shoes.

Gone  is the warm, engaging eye contact we may have exhibited with others in our offices (or Starbucks) minutes earlier.  We become instantly detached in front of a group.  Mechanical.  And our evasive eyes send messages our audience must now struggle to reconcile.

Here’s one simple piece of advice….

Turn every presentation opportunity into a series of 1-on-1 conversations no matter what the group size; communicating to one set of eyes for 3-4 seconds, then another… then another.

For a great example of this skill, check out a TED Talks video of Jane McGonigal. Although she’s presenting to an audience of hundreds, her great eye communication makes it a personal and engaging experience for her audience… and we trust her and what she has to say to us.

You see, without trust you have no influence. Without trust there is no relationship. Without trust you have no chance to persuade or inspire.  And trust is built first and foremost through our eyes.

Now you know why it’s the one critical presentation skill that anchors them all.

About the Author:

Jim Endicott is president of Distinction Communication Inc, a Newberg, OR consulting firm specializing in message development, presentation design and delivery skills coaching. For more information about the company, visit www.distinction-services.com

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