Category: Media Training Tips

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How To Plan A Great Panel Discussion

Like any other presentation, you should understand who will be in your audience and what value they can glean from your panel. That knowledge will help inform your panel’s title and session description, as well as which panelists you should invite to join you.

Great panels are diverse. In this context, diversity can mean many things: age, gender, race, years of experience, viewpoint, and more. The key is to book panelists who bring different perspectives to the topic. Watching three people who all view the world similarly (and who basically look the same) can quickly bore an audience.

Once you select panelists, here are three questions you should ask them.

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How To Run A Great Panel Discussion A New Six Part Series

How To Run A Great Panel Discussion: A Six-Part Series

Panel discussions offer audiences a valuable opportunity to hear from several experts in a short amount of time. When delivered well, panels can be fast-moving discussions that leave audiences with crucial new perspectives.

Unfortunately, most panels don’t live up to their potential.

In this series, you’ll learn how to plan a successful panel, set the room, ask riveting questions, lead a dynamic interview, and much more.

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How To Practice For Your Presentations (Part 2)

In this post, you’ll learn three more great tips to help make sure your practice sessions are as effective as possible.

These tips emphasize quality of practice, not quantity — which will also save you time.

Among other things, you’ll learn what research says about the ideal location to practice, how to critique your own performance without being unnecessarily critical, and how to solicit feedback from others to ensure helpful rather than destructive input.

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How To Practice For Your Presentations (Part One)

Speakers occasionally tell me they’re best when speaking “off the cuff.”

That’s almost always a mistake. Practice sessions inevitably reveal soft spots that otherwise couldn’t be spotted in advance—and those speakers end up committing errors that otherwise could have been avoided.

Still, they have a point about striking the right balance between practice—which allows them to get comfortable with their presentation flow—and over-practice, which can make them come across as excessively rehearsed. Here’s how to focus on “quality” practice, not “quantity” practice.

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When “What’s In It For Me?” Is The Wrong Question To Ask

For decades, public speaking experts have instructed presenters to put themselves in the minds of their audiences by answering this question: “What is their WIIFM?”

WIIFM (or “What’s In It For Me?”) suggests that audiences will only act on your ideas if they see a direct benefit to their own lives.

That’s true sometimes —but too often, it ignores a far more important question.

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Shrinking The Gap: How To Persuade A Skeptical Audience

When a wide chasm divides you and your audience, you must shrink the gap that exists between you. The wider the gap, the sooner you should seek to close it.

Imagine a rocky stream, with you on one side and the audience on the other. Begin your talk by walking toward their side, taking their hands, and leading them slowly to yours.

Before you can convince, you have to connect. Here’s one great way to forge a powerful connection.

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Your ABSO: Audience-Focused Bright Shiny Object

In my two previous posts, you learned how to develop your presentation’s headline and “diagnose” your audience.

Now that you’ve diagnosed your audience, you have a better sense of where they are now, what their concerns or challenges are, and what points you might need to address during your talk to persuade them to adopt a new behavior or way of thinking.

The audience is so fundamental to your speaking success that we should put it front and center. Here’s how to do it.

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Public Speaking: 10 Questions To Analyze Your Audience

What would you think of a dermatologist who offered you a diagnosis for an itchy red spot on your leg that’s been growing larger for weeks—without even bothering to look at it?

Not much, probably. No wonder it makes me nervous when I see presenters rushing into any audience without knowing anything about the people to whom they’re speaking. They’re making the same mistake as the dermatologist.

Here are 10 questions you should ask before speaking to any audience.

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