Category: Presenting

Your slides don’t have to suck

I hate PowerPoint. More accurately, I hate the materials so many people produce with PowerPoint. Most slide decks are dumping grounds for all that’s known on a subject. They’re encyclopedias of facts, figures, and far too much info. Newsflash: A dumping ground does not inspire understanding, belief, or collaboration. And

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Want your point to have power? Here are 7 things NOT to say.

Lucky you! You get to speak at an industry event, corporate conference, or team meeting.  No doubt, your presentation will include a set of slides. Slides are a de facto requirement for most business presentations. You gotta have ‘em, right? Incidentally, Jill and I have decided we don’t gotta have

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Your predictable headlines have no story to tell

As the holidays approach, I’m refining a new party trick. Let me try it on you, right now. “I bet I can guess the slide headlines on your most recent presentation.” “No way,” you say. “You don’t even know what I do for a living. You don’t know who was

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Think you’re not creative? Think again.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I say I’m a creativity consultant. The obvious comeback is, “Huh?” And for that, I have an answer: “I show business people how to use creativity and storytelling to communicate and get things done at work.” This explanation generally elicits

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Recorded meetings interfere with creative collaboration

“Hold on … let me start recording.” In the past few weeks, I’ve heard this phrase even more than the dreaded: “You’re on mute.” As someone who loves to work from the comfort of home and stretchy pants, I’m a huge fan of virtual meetings. As much as I’ve enjoyed

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Psst! These pointers will perk up your presentations!

‘Tis the season for high-stakes presentations. Nearing year-end, many of us are preparing to report on results, launch new programs, and invite colleagues and clients to embrace the new. ‘Tis also the season for distracted audiences. (In truth, this season is eternal.) That means your presentation needs more than clear,

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Unspoken Loudspeakers are drowning out your message

“What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Shhhh! I’m trying to hear you. I really am. I know you’ve put serious thought into those words you’re trying to share right now. Whether your message is written or spoken, I know you

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Persuasion: the teeter-totter of business communication

As a kid on the playground, one of my favorite attractions was the teeter-totter. Maybe you called it a seesaw. A teeter-totter is a dangerous apparatus, not to be shared with anyone but a friend you can trust to keep the thing in balance. I still recall the pain and

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Is it smart or shameful to manufacture Q&A?

Dear Corporate Poet & Cutter of C.R.A.P.: After all these months of practice, we’re finally pretty comfortable with virtual meetings. Everyone has figured out how to join a call on almost any platform, most have full command of the mute button, and only a handful are still reluctant to turn

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No joke: serious questions for smart storytellers

Ann, Barb, and Chuck walk into a meeting room. Sounds like the start of a joke, right? Actually, it’s the start of a storytelling project. These three managers have been designated “storytellers” for an event their company is hosting next month. A crowd of their peers will come from around

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