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Why is my slide deck so boring?

Because you call it: a file, a slide deck, a pack or any other name for a big dump of information into a PowerPoint file.  I challenge you to change your mindset around these PowerPoint or Keynote files that you put together.  Call them what they are, supports for a communications occasion   Call them presentations!  Call […]

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Afraid of what someone in your audience will say or think?

Then head them off at the pass!  The fancy communications industry term for it is “stakeholder management” which requires an “audience analysis.”  A stakeholder is someone else who has an interest, or stake in whatever it is you are communicating about.  These stakeholders are most likely to have something to say when you are up […]

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Wanna feel more comfortable with your audience?

Let’s say you’re about to speak at a large-stage conference and you’re totally nervous.  You hardly know anyone in the audience and you really wish you did because you know you speak better when you feel a connection to the lovely faces that you’re looking into.  What do you do? It’s simple:  network! If you’ve […]

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How to battle stage fright

Having just worked on 2 major events, I’ve been deeply reminded of the bane of most speakers’ existence:  STAGE FRIGHT Stage fright is what causes speakers: to forget content that they know inside and out, to speak with a nervous voice, to fidget, to close their body language up and just generally not perform as […]

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Lesson from an educator

I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Sean McManus of The Economist on their upcoming conference about innovation in March.  (Check it out here:  My task is to put together 5 San Francisco based speakers to do Ignite-style presentations on the topic of innovation.  The best part about the current stage […]

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How to structure a case study

Many clients have been asking for help with design and execution of case studies.  And we’ve been giving a pretty similar answer for each cases, so we want to share that answer with you! For those of you not in the know, a case study is a business term for a business example that illustrates […]

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Tips for holiday toasts and parties

It’s that time of year again:  New Years and Christmas!  Which means:  Office parties and family dinners! It’s a time of year when many of us see family that we typically don’t see, party with co-workers we typically wouldn’t drink in front of, and attend networking events that are a bit more elaborate than the […]

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Things to do to get ready for Investor Presentations

We work with all kinds of clients, including start-ups who want help with their investor presentations. Investor presentations provide a unique challenge for a variety of reasons, including: The firmness of many investors – they want you to get to the point Culture clash – start-ups are more of a “Can Do” loose environment, VC […]

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Great way to synthesize data post conference

So, we at The Presentation School are a bit lax on sending out posts about presentations because we’ve been attending them.  This past week, we were invited to The Economist’s Human Potential conference in New York City.  A great mix of formats was present (one-on-one interviews, individual talks, performances, panels, talk-shows, comedic recaps).  A great […]

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Audience metaphor

We’ve just been made aware of a fun metaphor for thinking about your audience and wanted to share: Your audience is a container to pour liquid in.  Your content is the liquid. So what does that mean for you, as a presentation deliverer? Like you prefer to drink clean healthy water, your audience wants clean […]

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