Four Basic Things Your Message Must Do (If You Want to Get Results)

June 17th, 2014

Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry began football camp every year by holding up a football and saying, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Celebrated UCLA basketball coach John Wooden’s first lesson for new players each year was teaching them precisely and specifically how to put on their socks and tie their shoes. “Wrinkles cause blisters. Blisters mean you don’t play. And if you don’t play, we cannot win,” he reasoned. Two record setting and record-breaking coaches believed so strongly in the value of going back to the basics that they did so every year. I’m going to give it a try….

Posted in Advertising, AEC, Business, Communication, Marketing, Presentation Skills, Writing | 2 Comments »

 

Powerpoint Slides and Presentation Skills: How to Beat Boredom and Hold Their Attention When Creating Slides and Giving a Presentation

May 15th, 2014

Do you know how to make your presentation slides more interesting and use them effectively in your Powerpoint (or Mac Keynote) presentations? Here are three simple things you can do to improve the presentation itself, and your skills in delivering it. Done well, slides can add punch to any Powerpoint (or Mac Keynote) presentation. Done poorly, your slides can put people to sleep. You don’t want to be boring, do you? Know Thy Enemy. Your presentation has an enemy. It’s not the competition, nervousness or the heckler sitting in the corner, in the dark, in the back. Your enemy has a….

Posted in AEC, Communication, Presentation Skills | No Comments »

 

Can You Give People the Only Two Reasons They Need to Hire or Buy from You?

April 16th, 2014

People have the same two reasons for everything they do. They are: 1. The real reason. 2. The reason that sounds good. The real reason is emotional, based on feelings. The reason that “sounds good” is full of facts and logic, used to justify the decision. That’s why, in a logic-versus-emotion smack-down, emotion wins. Every time. Don’t believe me? Ask your neighbor why he bought that expensive new car. You’ll likely hear him quote Consumer Reports for gas mileage, resale value or safety ratings, right? Sounds good, but you know better. You know your neighbor sees that car more like….

Posted in AEC, Business, Communication, Presentation Skills, Sales, Uncategorized, Writing | No Comments »

 

Three parts every new business pitch needs to prevent chaos

April 23rd, 2013

Congratulations! You or your firm made it to the short list. It’s between you and who-knows-how-many other folks who do the voodoo you do. Woo-hoo! Let the fun begin. Or maybe not? You may have anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to give your presentation. Ugh. How do you convince anyone of anything in 30 minutes? You may have anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks to create and rehearse your presentation. Rehearse? You mean “talk about it in the car on the way over.” Input? If it’s a team presentation, and you’re in charge of pulling the pitch….

Posted in Advertising, AEC, Business, Communication, Marketing, Presentation Skills, Sales | No Comments »

 

How To Give Facts and Logic the Power to Prove Your Point

March 27th, 2013

Don’t get me wrong. Despite my rants about the power of emotion, I don’t hate facts and logic. Facts, studies, numbers, step-by-step logical explanations and reasons are the go-to, default tool we all use whenever we need to support a recommendation, make a point, justify a decision, sell an idea. Facts are my friends, honest. However–you knew that was coming, right?–facts are not necessarily the slam dunk, double dog sure way to get the response you’re looking for. Why? Because facts can be cold and preachy. Numbers, percentages–even when presented as pie charts–can be mind numbing. Statistics? Don’t get me started…..

Posted in AEC, Business, Communication, Presentation Skills, Writing | No Comments »

 

The Worst (and Best) Way to Close a Presentation or Pitch

January 8th, 2013

“Are there any questions?” That’s how most people close a presentation, pitch or meeting. It’s seems perfectly natural. If there was something that wasn’t quite clear, the Q&A is the perfect time for you to clarify. You don’t want to leave them confused. No way, not you. Or,  perhaps a question might spark more discussion. They want you to go into more depth. That feels good, doesn’t it?  You get to show off a little bit right there at the end, speaking extemporaneously about things you didn’t have time to include in the first part. If you’re presenting at a….

Posted in AEC, Business, Marketing, Presentation Skills, Sales | 7 Comments »

 

Tell me something I don’t know

December 8th, 2010

I spoke at a marketing conference about three years ago and recently got a call from the new conference committee chair . Apparently someone who heard me speak back then was now on the 2011 committee, and she recommended bringing me back. “Have you got any new material?” the committee chair asked me. Yes, I did, but I hesitated telling him so. I had just been chatting with a colleague about the notion that for a presentation to be worthwhile it has to be full of new, never-heard-before information, and I didn’t want to reinforce that notion. The colleague I….

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Posted in Communication, General, Presentation Skills | 3 Comments »

 

Less ordinary, more effective marketing in six minutes, 40 seconds.

July 28th, 2010

After I was selected to make a 20/20 Lightening Round presentation at the National Speakers Association annual convention this month, it made me realize how much CAN be said in a short amount of time. If you focus, rehearse, re-focus, reject, revise and rehearse a whole lot more. Context? The Lightening Round is a 6-minute, 40 second presentation that consists of 20 slides that automatically advance every 20 seconds. Whether you are ready are not. You can decide if I was or wasn’t right here.

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Posted in Communication, Funny, Marketing, Presentation Skills | No Comments »

 

What’s the point?

May 13th, 2010

We’ve all been there. You’ve suffered through a meeting or presentation where a rambling, all-over-the-place, disjointed, thinking-out-loud, more-likely-than-not rushed person tries to tell, sell or convince of you something. And ‘fess up, you’ve done it yourself to others when making presentations. As I mentioned last month, the universal problem when it comes to so-called presentation skills is that we just have too much stuff inside our heads. (Actually, it applies to most communication.) We think surely, if we just get enough stuff out of our heads and into the listener’s ears, something relevant will click or stick. They will see….

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Posted in Communication, Presentation Skills, Sales | No Comments »

 

Terri Langhans

Terri Langhans, CSP, COE
Certified Speaking Professional
Chief of Everything
Blah Blah Blah Etc., Inc.


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