Category Archives: Presentation Skills

Advance Your Presentation Skills with Questions

When you think of delivering a presentation, you might think it’s all one-way with you as the lecturer sharing key facts and graphs, while the audience listens intently. Actually, you couldn’t be much further from the truth, especially if you want to be an engaging presenter. When you watch a powerful presenter they have a way of weaving lots of interactive techniques into their remarks, with questions being one of the most powerful tools in the tool chest.

Sounds simple but in reality it helps to sort out the different ways you can use questions to keep the audience focused. Let’s take a look at three question techniques including:

Starting Broad
One way to start a presentation is to start with broad, general questions. Let’s say you’re going to give a talk on driving a foreign car on the autobahn. You might start with a broader question first such as – “Who here has ever driven on a busy highway?”. By asking this broad question you are establishing a common topic and you can drill down from there. Some people think of asking a series of questions much like a funnel; beginning from the top of the wide top of the funnel then working to the narrow end. With this in mind you can start with broad questions at the top of the presentation then work your way toward more specific questions. In this case, after having asked a broad question in the first moment of your talk, you might later add in more specific questions about driving cars in Europe, driving on the right side of the road, or ultimately driving on the autobahn in Germany.

Asking For Examples

To get your audience more involved in a topic it really helps to ask them for examples as they relate to your key messages. Not only do participants like to be more involved, the whole session benefits from the sound of different voices and opinions on a topic. You might say “Who here has an example to share with the larger group?”. It can be helpful to let the group know you value their expertise; in fact most professionals respond very well to opportunities to share their experience. For example, if you are talking about strategies to resolve conflict in the workplace you might ask participants for examples of strategies that have worked for them. You can even make a list on a whiteboard or flipchart to summarize the examples provided. By gathering examples from your audience you can also assess how to better customize your comments to meet their real life needs.

Connecting the Dots
Questions can be used very powerfully to connect your various sub-points and tie them back to the larger theme in your presentation. If you understand that most audiences need assistance connecting all the various ideas in a logical fashion you will see how the following question will be a crowd pleaser. When you come to the end of a section of your speech, pause then ask “Why is this important to us here at Company X?”. Look around the room. Hopefully someone in your audience will have understood the points you’ve made well enough that they can summarize them for the crowd. Alternatively, you might do a quick summary by answering your own question. People want to know how all the information you share will change their lives, transform their workplace or generally make a difference.

By using questions throughout your presentation you will help your audience understand the topic more clearly, prompt interaction, and connect messages to your overall theme. And that makes for a presentation worth listening to.

Why is the Title Important?

What’s in a title? Attraction! Interest! Engagement! You have a fairly vast subject to present. And everything leads to everything. At our presentation training events, you begin to understand that you old method of approaching presentations, data dumping, is death to the audience.

Your audience is like all humans these days; busier than busy. “Why should I spend my precious time with you?” they ask (subliminally). You better have a clear and solid answer if you want to capture their attention; if you want to be a success.  Presentation training will help you structure a strong message and hook their attention. We will teach you about the 4 A’s – a technique for engagement.

How is your presentation title?  In just 3-5 words, you are setting the direction of your short time together. You are giving them the ‘what’. But they also need the ‘why’.  Why will their time with you bring THEM more success?  A Presentation Training seminar can help you understand this hook.

So brainstorm titles. Have fun with it. Come up with at least five to choose from. Which one jumps out at you that will jump out at them as being a topic that they can’t do without?


Handling Tough Q&A as a Presenter

Do you feel confident about your upcoming presentation but worry about responding to tough questions or comments from your audience? Our Presentation training programs address strong behavior styles and how to handle them with ease.

A dominant “Doer” may not exactly heckle, but they can ask some very tough questions or make statements that may rattle you.  Our Powerful Presentations™ program can help you increase your skills and insights learning how to retain a poised look and sound, even under these trying conditions.

Another behavior style that can test your confidence are “Talkers”. They love the floor and can disrupt the flow of your presentational by impulsively asking a question in the middle of your thought.  How do you handle that?  Our variety of presentation training seminars will help you discover some powerful and effective tools for coming out ahead in these situations.

How can you possibly know the answer to every question asked, even if it doesn’t come from a forceful Doer or a poorly self-managing Talker? You can’t! But you can learn how to deftly recover and deliver a truly successful presentation in spite of challenges.

Learn how our interactive Presentation training seminars, Presentation training courses, and Presentation training workshops can benefit your team.

Presenting from a Positive Place

Feeling nervous about an upcoming presentation?  There are so many factors that are out of your control, however.  You may get a tough audience who are hard to engage or simply unhappy people.  It’s a challenge to not let this affect your presentation.  However, presentation training can prepare you for this challenge and teach you skills and strategies for rising above it to deliver an outstanding presentation regardless of your audience’s state of mind.


A Master by the name of Don Miguel Ruiz writes about not taking anyone else personally. That’s hard to do at first. But, like anything practiced well, you can train yourself to do just that. In fact, presentation training can help you be proactive and hone this very practice so as not to be caught off guard by negative energy from your audience.


While you are presenting, we at the Presentation Training Institute say that you are in fact the leader while in front.  And that also means you are leading from happiness to inspire audience members to greater happiness.   Presentation training can help you make the connections needed to equate both mood and relevant material for meeting your audience’s overt and inner needs.


Tips for Presentation Training and Audience Engagement

Have you ever sat through a boring presentation that you wished would end?  Learn how our presentation training courses can elevate your presentations for more engagement, vibrancy and persuasion.


The goal of a strong presentation is to capture your audience’s attention and keep them focused on what you have to offer.  These three tips will help you:


Use interesting words. Utilize a Thesaurus to add variation especially if your topic is not terribly exciting.  Through presentation training, you can learn how to maintain audience engagement as well.


Make eye contact!  This will let them know that you are speaking to them.  This will create a sense of intimacy and keep their focus on you and what you have to offer them.


Use gestures.  Our presentation training courses can help you learn the importance of body language and the effective use of gestures.  When your audience senses your enthusiasm, they are more likely to stay tuned!


Presentation training courses can advance your ability to not only deliver a strong presentation with ease but also engage even the toughest audience.


Presenting To Executives

Are you preparing to deliver a presentation to Senior Management?  Are your nerves getting the best of you?  These Executives generally expect more from a presentation than your standard audience.  Let Presentation training and coaching help you understand the skills and attitude you will need to be successful with this demanding and sometimes domineering audience.

Our Presentation training courses can guide you to understand the internal dynamics that cause the anxiety and show you strategies for harnessing that energy into a positive and confident presentation. You are the most knowledgeable person in that room on the topic you are presenting.  You have information that they need and appreciate, so let that be the place of power in overcoming your nerves.

Learn more about our presentation training courses and how they can significantly advance your skills set and increase your confidence.  Visit us at


Improve Presentation Skills with Training on 5 P’s – Part 3

What about Personality?

Personality refers to the color, warmth and meaning that comes from hearing your voice. The personality of your voice will dictate if people are "turned on" or "turned off" when listening to you. Certainly adjusting the pitch and volume will help the quality of your voice. Adding emotion will give your voice color and warmth. So too will a smile which softens and warms up the vocal tones that people hear. Personality can vary from passionate, to bored, to serious, to light.

What personality are you going for when you speak on a given topic? Give it some thought and choose a word that captures the tone you want your voice to convey. Write that word at the top of your notes so that you consciously strive to imbue your voice with the personality that will help you make the most impact.

Using the 5Ps of Vocal Control Together

When you’re just starting out you may want to focus on one P at a time then add in more until you are able to stretch your voice to reveal all 5 P’s in a given presentation. By playing around with each aspect of vocal control you can imbue your voice with interest, warmth, and personality! Utilize each of the P’s, including Pitch, Pace, Pause, Projection & Personality to actively engage your audience and keep them wanting more. If you want additional information on how to hone your presentation skills visit our website at .  Or to get a free copy of report on how to Master Your Presentation Skills drop by our site at


For More Information About Presentation Training

Do you want to learn more about how to improve your presentation skills?  Need some ideas for how to make better presentations at work?  Want to grow your presentation prowess in front of colleagues?  Look at our free resources and presentation skills training options at or at our partner site



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Improve Presentation Skills With Training on Pause & Projection – Part 2


Pause involves stopping momentarily for effect in the middle of your remarks. It is a tool that is used hand in hand with variation of Pace. A pause is best used before or after a significant point as a tool for emphasis. Pause is also a tremendous tool for nervous speakers who tend to speak too fast. By stopping at key points, the speaker allows the audience time to process key points before moving on to new material. One easy trick is to underline key points in your notes and then place the word PAUSE in large letters to remind you to stop speaking for a few seconds. Actively playing with pause will have a profound effect on your presentation prowess. Now that we have covered Pause let’s move on to the powerful tool of Projection.


This aspect of voice is by far the most important as it correlates to your audience’s ability to hear your remarks. Even the most intelligent presenter can not have their desired impact if the people in the room can not hear their key points. With projection, everyone can hear your comments without having to strain their voice. However, there is still value in varying your projection to add intrigue and interest to your comments. For example, you might want to soften your voice to emphasize a key point and then later increase the volume for another point. In either case you must ensure that all members of the audience can hear each and every point. Practice projecting your voice by imagining that everyone is sitting against the far wall in the room. Ensure they can hear you and that you are speaking from your diaphragm.

Now that we have discussed Pause & Projection keep a look out for part 3 of this series which focusses on how to improve presentation skills through practice, coaching and training.  If you are looking for free resources you can visit us at or visit us at

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If you would like to learn more about the Presentation Training Institute, and its parent company Bold New Directions,  please visit us and view our free resources at or  at

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Improve Presentation Skills With Training On Pitch & Pace

Voice is a powerful tool for presenters. Voice can make all the difference between success and failure when you’re wanting to fully engage your audience. In sales meetings, company updates or technical meetings, it is critical to keep your audience involved and interested in your remarks. Learn how to stretch your voice by understanding the 5 P’s of Voice Control including Pitch, Pace, Pause, Projection & Personality.  We’ll explore the many aspects of voice and its impact on presentation skills in this three part series.  


Pitch refers to the ups and downs of your notes when you speak. We all have the ability to speak from a vocal range – which includes higher notes and lower notes. However, it takes great awareness and practice to notice your own pitch and to change it consciously. Why is pitch important? A monotone voice bores the audience and a bored audience is less likely to recall your key points or to take action. To play around with pitch try thinking of popular characters who have voices at either end of the vocal range then practice speaking (or singing!) like them. For example you might think of Michael Jackson’s high pitched voice and then compare it with Barry White’s deeper tones. You can also simulate the voices of movie actors to start expanding your own range. Over time your awareness and practice with pitch will enable you to vary your voice as you speak – all in the aim of drawing your audience into your remarks. Now that we’ve looked at Pitch, let’s move on to Pace.


Pace refers to the speed at which you speak. Just as monotone is boring so is mono-pace. A good speaker knows the value of changing the pace as they speak. For example, when you are introducing a topic that is exciting you can speed up the pace of your voice. On the other hand, when you want people to focus their attention you may slow down for emphasis. The overall point is that variation is the key to success here. So play around with your pace next time you speak to see the impact on your audience. Now that we have explored Pace look for the next article in the series that will look at Pause.  See our website at for more information or see our main site at for free tools to improve your presentation skills and overall impact.

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If you’re looking to boost your presentation skills through coaching or training look at our website at for information and free resources.  Want to download a free report on overall communication skills?  Visit our main site at 

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Boost Presentation Skills With Training On How To Bookend Your Remarks

Bookends Boost Presentation Impact

Have you ever wondered how to start your presentation? Lots of people struggle with how to open up their remarks. Even more worry about how to have a powerful close. Learn how bookending your presentation takes the stress of both these problems away. Bookends are simply communication devices and presentation tools that you use at both the opening and closing of your comments. They can range from a story, to a quote, to a combination of statistics and questions. The point is to use powerful hooks at the beginning of your presentation as your first bookend. Then re-use the same hooks at the end of your presentation comments, but with a closing twist. These bookends really work well with questions. For example, you may start by asking your audience a powerful question then close by asking them the question again.

For example, you may start by saying:  "Did you know that less than 10% of professionals have set aside enough money for retirement?". Then in the middle of your presentation remarks outline a plan for saving for retirement successfully. In closing, to use your bookend again for reinforcement by asking "And how many of you would like to be in that 10% of professionals who have signficant retirement savings?". 

As a powerful presenter, your presentation remarks will emphasize all the audience has learned in between the opening and the closing bookend.  If you want additional information on how to hone your presentation skills visit our website to get a free copy of report on how to Master Your Presentation Skills at or at



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