Friday, March 30, 2012

5 Keys to a Successful Presentation

Here are five key elements great presenters and facilitators consider paramount to a successful performance:

• Tight content flow. This includes the first few seconds, how points connect, how much time is spent on a point or activity, the length of time until the audience changes the way they input information, a tight connection between activity/story - point - personal application, the closing, etc.

• Great questioning. If your presentation includes any calls to action, you must include great questions to lead the audience where you want them to go. Great questions result in a challenge, context setting, creating a gap for the audience to fill with future behavior or information and personal application.

• Strong material. It is true that how you look and how you talk are important, but strong material is very compelling. Great content is fresh, creative, story-based, true (or truth glorified), personal, and joined at the hip with your key points.

• Content knowledge. Great presenters know their material top to bottom. The key understanding is that you have to practice to be natural. You can only hold one thought in your head at any given time. This one thought cannot be what to say next. This is also one of the key challenges with many coaching environments I have seen - trying to coach delivery when the speaker doesn't know the material top to bottom. You can't work on body language or even demonstrate your true speaking ability if you are preoccupied with remembering what to say.

• Positive and flexible frame of mind. This is the key value point between coaching to perfect and coaching to performance. The real world of presenting is unpredictable and messy. Your best laid plans are going to get dominated by an angry audience member, an AV glitch, having less time to present, etc. The best presenters cultivate a mindset that is naturally positive and upbeat and is spontaneously pliable. When things go off-course, they go with it. Literally!


Monday, March 5, 2012

10 Fresh Leadership Activities

Just got home from another tremendous PLI trip to California for the annual CADA state convention. What an amazing group of activities directors, teachers, administrators and staff. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the CADA family.

Click here to download my handout from my Saturday Meet The Pros roundtable.  It contains ten of my newest leadership activities that I lead in my own keynotes, workshops, camps and conferences.

Enjoy and remember - you can have the best ingredients in the world, but the only way to ensure it doesn't come out tasting like Play-Doh is to become a master chef. These activities and the impact they can create are only as powerful as your skill in leading them allows.  Good luck.