Presenting? Three Quick Tips

One of the benefits of delivering a lot of speeches is the chance to watch others, and learn from them as well.

Here are three things that I’ve learned and used along the way. I hope they serve you well:

1. Don’t Let “The Facts” Speak for Themselves

People can make facts and numbers mean almost anything. I think it was Mark Twain who noted, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” 

Facts need interpretation, so interpret yours. And, be prepared to cite the source and how those facts were determined. 


2. Use Two Kinds of Numbers

Exact numbers sound very credible: “The number of survey participants who said the company is communicating “very well” is 61.7 percent.” The human mind processes that as “sounding exact” and, therefore, accurate.

Rounded numbers offer the appearance of an estimation. “Almost two-thirds” is easier to remember than 61.7 percent.

Which to use if you want the numbers to be credible and memorable?

Both. Use the exact number first and round it off later when you refer to it in examples.

3. Capitalize on the Legitimacy of the Printed Word.

For some–actually about 75%–having something on paper makes it official and “real.” 

Think about this: Even small business owners (smart ones) print fees, prices, terms, and conditions on their official stationery. When you quote something verbally it makes it subject to negotiation. Whether you’re selling a concept, a motorcycle, or a holiday cruise, put it in a written form–even if it’s a picture–that someone can see, touch, and hold. 

Make it real.


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Steve has designed and delivered leadership and communication programs for some of the world's largest organizations, and has more than 30 years in training, development, and high-level executive coaching. His Roesler Group has created and delivered leadership and talent development internationally for corporations such as Pfizer, Minerals Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, NordCarb Oy Ab, and Specialty Minerals--Europe. Steve is currently involved in the latest update of his Presenting With Impact program, a cross-cultural presentations workshop that has been delivered on five continents to more than 1,000 participants representing nearly 60 nationalities.


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