Ethan Rotman

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Giving thanks: Your toast for the holiday meal

In Delivery, Organization on November 25, 2009 at 2:39 pm

It is a gift when you are able to stand and deliver warm, heartfelt words at a gathering of friends of and family. To speak in a manner that makes makes those around you, smile, press against their spouses, hug their kids, and laugh. Maybe you will even bring out a happy tear or two.

As you prepare for your holiday, whether it is at home or elsewhere, take time to reflect on your family and friends, and why you love them. Look around for all the wonderful blessings around you. Think about the holiday and put those thoughts into a short outline.

  • Keep it to three points or less.
  • Practice saying it.
  • Speak slowly and look around the room as you talk allowing your gaze to meet the eyes of each person at your table.
  • Keep it light, keep it postive, and focus on the beauty and abundance around you.

You will amaze your family and friends will a heartfelt toast at dinner Thursday.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

The Less You Give, The More Your Audience Will Remember

In Attracting New Clients, Delivery, Organization on November 20, 2009 at 11:43 am

Simplicity and repetition are effective tools for helping your audience to understand your point.

An example of this is a series of campaign ads running on the radio in California.
The beauty and effectiveness of these ads is in how they are structured. The candidate is able to take something as complex as the economic crisis in California and boil it down to three simple issues. For each issue she offers one solution.

The rule of three. We can all remember three. Almost everything she says is in sets of three. The problems, the solutions, even her experience. Listen to her ads and count.

Regardless of your political views, the ads are brilliant. Meg Whitman has taken a very complicated issue with very complicated solutions and made them understandable and memorable. Listen to her ads and you will know her political platform. Chances are you will remember it as well. After all, we can all remember three.

What is it that Meg Whitman knows? That psychologists and learning specialist long ago figured out there is a limit to how much new information people can take in at one time. She knows that complex issues must be marketed in simple terms. She knows that her audience does not want (or need) to know all the details – they just want to know what it means. While her ads are simple, they are very effective.

We often are lured into saying far more about our topic than our audience both cares to know and have the ability to remember. The more we give our audiences, the less they remember. The less we give them, the more they remember.

The next time you speak, divide your topic into three facts, and talk about those. Just three – the rest are overkill and probably irrelevant. If Meg Whitman can simplify the problems of the most populated state in the US into three issues, it should be possible for you to present your ideas with three facts as well.

© 2009 iSpeakEASY 

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Are you blogging, tweeting and linking in?

In Social Media on November 17, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Are you tweeting, blogging, linking in and everything else you can think of to get noticed? Is it working? Here is a short read by an expert in the field. I know, everyone and their brother is offering workshops on social media – the difference is that Guy Kawasaki has been around the block a time or two. He was the first software evangalist for a small start up called Apple Computer.  This article is a fun and short read.





© 2009 iSpeakEASY 

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Pointers For PowerPoint Users

In PowerPoint on November 16, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Speaking Tip 52

You may be an expert on your subject, but your audience will judge you, in part, on the delivery of your talk. If you have “issues” with your computer or projector, it can frustrate your audience and leave a poor impression of you as a professional.

Conversely, presenting a well-delivered PowerPoint presentation that does not have any equipment problems helps the audience see you as a competent professional. Simple tools can often make a big difference.

Most projectors come with a remote control. These work, but tend to be complex and have many buttons to press. A sweaty thumb hitting the wrong button can send your show into an unrecoverable tailspin.

A simple remote such as the Interlink RemotePoint Navigator is very effective and easy to use, thus reducing the speaker’s stress level.

This particular remote has four buttons, nothing more. It interacts with your laptop (not the projector), which reduces potential problems.

The buttons are forward, backward, blackout and laser pointer. Simple enough. If you hit the wrong button out of nervousness, it is a simple fix. On/off, forward or back – nothing more. This remote helps you eliminate some of the common mistakes many presenters make that make them look like amateurs.

Professional Projection Tip #1.
Begin by displaying your first slide, not having the audience watch as you fumble through your desktop to start the program. Such fumbling wastes valuable time, makes the speaker look like an amateur, and is potentially embarrassing, depending on what else is on your computer.

A professional sets up her equipment prior to speaking and has the first slide ready to project. She hits the “blackout” button so the audience sees nothing until she is ready to start. Then a simple click shows the first slide. This gives the credibility of the speaker a “jump start”.

Professional Projection Tip #2
Likewise, using a remote control with a blackout button allows the speaker to eliminate that embarrassing “End of slide show. Click to exit” slide at the end. Showing this slide screams out “Amateur at the controls!”

Professional Projection Tip #3
Use a remote control that includes a laser pointer. Presenting a show is complicated enough without having to use one control for advancing slides and another control for pointing out objects on the screen.

Your credibility increases when you present well. Being an expert in your field helps, but being a polished presenter tells the audience you are prepared, qualified, and competent.

© 2009 iSpeakEASY 

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Proper Use of PowerPoint

In PowerPoint on November 10, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Speaking Tip 51

Have you ever found yourself making any of these statements?

  • “My audience expects me to use PowerPoint”
  • “Everyone else does boring PowerPoint, but I am different”
  • “I can’t give a talk without slides”
  •  “I hate PowerPoint”

PowerPoint can be a powerful aid to your presentation or it can be a huge distraction. Many speakers mistakenly believe that audiences expect or want PowerPoint. Most audiences have seen PowerPoint used poorly so many times they tune out before the projector is even turned on.

PowerPoint is a visual aid: a tool to visually show what the speaker is saying in words. Used properly, it supplements your words and helps the audience understand a concept. Used improperly, it distracts and bores audiences as they tune-out the presentation and take a mental holiday.

The words spoken and the images shown should be carefully selected to achieve a specific objective. A speaker needs to carefully decide what to say as well as what not to say to bring the audience to the desired end. The visual aids presented should compliment, not duplicate, the words.

Some common mistakes speakers make include:

  • Projecting their notes or entire script on the screen
  • Showing pictures or images not related to what is being discussed
  • Using graphs and charts with too much detail
  • Believing the slides are more important than the spoken words

Each image shown, each word and line projected, should emphasize, illuminate, or illustrate what you are saying. If it does not, it becomes a distraction.

PowerPoint can effectively:

  • Display an image to help the audience understand what you are saying
  • Highlight key words or phrases to focus attention
  • Show pictures that evoke emotion
  • Demonstrate trends on charts and graphs

A good presentation is built on a theme or message. The speaker outlines and crafts his words, then looks at what type of visual aid will enhance these words. Picking the correct visual aid and using it properly can be a tremendous asset to a speaker. Using the wrong visual aid, or using the right one in a poor manner, will undermine his efforts.

The speaker’s role is to capture and focus the energy of the audience. Use your visual aids to help you.





© 2009 iSpeakEASY 

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.