You’ve spent your entire career learning, perfecting, reformulating, and enhancing your knowledge base. You’ve gathered invaluable experiences, made amazing and impactful partnerships, and have crafted a name for yourself in your field.
Kudos to you for all of your efforts!
You are a huge asset to your professional community and considered one of the top Subject Matter Experts (SME) in your field.
There comes a time in most senior professionals’ careers that they must decide where they want to take all of the experience and knowledge they have amassed and how they can now pay it forward to the next generation of professionals. Many have this yearning for more before they even realize exactly what it is. This feeling of wanting to give back to an industry or corporate community in a way that will make their life’s work have lasting meaning….a legacy, if you will.
We see this a lot when we work with...
Building credibility and trust as a speaker is a lot more involved than simply including your credentials on your opening slide.
There is a science to earning respect with an audience and a few key steps to get you there:
Something’s been bothering me, weighing heavy on my heart and mind. If you know me well, you likely already know that I cry at commercials and feel intense empathy when in conversation with another human. I’m instantly joyous with you, yet easily moved to tears…even during a presentation, which happened recently.
During my workshops, we often discuss presenters and their ability to connect with their audience. We talk about strategies for building relationships with our audience.
As presenters, some are quite naturally able to connect with audiences. They bring passion, they seek to understand, they aim to help. I’ve seen shiftED alum and some of you present to audiences, and I’ve witnessed time and again how you connect with your audiences of one or many, in person or online.
I observe and I learn. Always. Wanting to do better.
A perpetual student.
The participant who welled up my eyes this past week pointed to the one-on-one conversation we...
In two previous blog posts, I shared tips for optimizing the online learning experience before the learning event takes place as well as during the actual learning event. If you present online to groups of participants within your organization, there are strategies within this series of three blog posts for increasing adoption rates during firm-wide policy rollouts or technology implementations or other internal training initiatives. If you are a business owner or consultant and you present online to your clients, you might find a nugget or three for maximizing audience engagement and ensuring your objectives are met.
Whether you present online within your organization or beyond, seek to understand your specific audience's preferences then apply best practices and only the very latest research on teaching and learning.
In this post, as with the others, you'll find a few ideas for optimizing the online learning experience for your...
In a previous blog post, I talked about a few planning and design strategies for optimizing the online learning experience. Following that, I received emails and direct messages from people who were either considering implementing an online program or had done so and wanted to refine their process.
Some asked about maximizing engagement and minimizing their audience’s tendency for multi-tasking. Others challenged my best practices (which I love, by the way), suggesting they wouldn’t work with their particular audiences – my reaction is, consistently, “you know your audience better than I do, but let’s hold off on saying it won’t work until after you’ve tried it, okay?”
Fact is, some strategies will work better with certain audiences. There are differences with respect to facilitating an online workshop for a small internal team in comparison with a public webinar. What I mean by that is, let’s say you are talking...
If you are a subject matter expert with an audience, you already know that engaging with the people in front of you is a critical part of the social learning experience. And if you are teaching others, this engagement also serves to increase retention rates for your participants.
While there are bucketloads of methods for inviting participation, your options and choice will often depend on the size of your group, the purpose of your presentation, the audience composition, the time allotted, and your venue, to name a few. For example, if your presentation is in a large theatre or auditorium with an audience of 300 and you have been offered 10 minutes on stage, you wouldn’t necessarily opt for audience engagement that involves moving about the room – theatre-style row seating and the timing do not lend themselves well for that freedom of movement, although it can certainly be done.
But what if bums are firmly planted?
Does that mean you can’t engage the...
Let me guess, almost half of you have made new year’s resolutions: promises to yourself about losing weight, eating healthy, getting more sleep and being more financially responsible.
We humans just love to use the calendar year as a reset button to jog ourselves into new habits. The trouble is, we generally don’t put much effort into how we plan to stick to the promises we make to ourselves and to others. We have good intentions, and even greater desires, but without making the time to formulate a real plan for achieving our goals, they often fall flat. In a hurry.
I was told at a cocktail party last year that there is a 10% dropout rate for resolutions by the second week of January. I’m not sure to which research the person was referencing, but if that trend trickles through the rest of the year, we’ll have all failed well before the year is out!
What I find particularly troubling with this disastrous figure is that many of us make the same resolution year...
I started my formal presentation experience, as many others, in boardrooms, classrooms and group settings, and then later, as technology advanced, in the online space. 15 years ago, I helped launch the Canadian operations of a global human capital management software company into the world of online facilitation.
At that time, we began delivering synchronous interactive webinars and virtual facilitator-led computer classroom sessions. It was pretty cool to watch attendees engage in actual hands-on activities as if in a physical computer lab. The facilitator could basically ‘walk’ around the virtual classroom and literally watch the participants perform a series of tasks on software programs they did not yet have on their own computers, all through the magic of technology. I immediately appreciated how that technology helped people learn using non-traditional methods and in an incredibly powerful and accessible manner.
I trained and mentored facilitators across...
Last week, a subject matter expert in the marketing and social media industry asked for my advice on presentation software for a course they are developing. They were hesitant about using Microsoft’s PowerPoint application and were looking for alternatives, having heard about the phenomenon commonly known as Death by PowerPoint.
To be sure, there are alternatives.
And concerns about this horrible affliction are valid. Many of us have fallen victim to the condition.
There are countless articles and online commentary, books, even comedic videos and cartoon depictions for the ghastly ennui that plagues so many seminars.
Presentation decks with text-heavy slides and the ineffective use of display settings, animations, and transitions, paired with a facilitator who then feels obliged to read each slide, word for word, can elicit participant boredom and downright disengagement.
But PowerPoint doesn’t have to be a ‘death’ sentence.
In fact, I love it....
Research has proven time and again that incorporating imagery is beneficial for learning. Because of that, and the ease with which we can access a vast array of creative work, presentations often show up on screen with pictures and graphics.
So, we agree? Presenting with visuals is good?
Good. End of blog.
Wait, what’s this now? You freely use whatever images you find online? They’re in the public domain and no one will ever know if you use them, you say, so what’s the big deal?
Lawyers, photographers, graphic designers, and other subject matter experts inform that you may be delving into the world of copyright infringement. And that’s kind of a big deal.
Let’s be honest. You cannot simply search Google for images and haphazardly copy them into your presentation slide deck. Well, technically, you can, but you shouldn’t. It’s illegal.
Whaaa…aaa…aat?! Copyright infringement is against the law?
Open Google, and search...