Category: Best of the Blog


How Delta Airlines Got Passengers To Watch The Safety Video

Imagine you’re an airline communications executive facing a vexing problem: How can we get our passengers to pay attention to our pre-flight safety demonstration?

It’s a critical question that can mean the difference between life and death—but you know that many of your passengers are far too busy staring at their phones or reading books to look up.

Some airlines, recognizing that problem, have gotten creative with their safety demonstrations. On one recent Delta flight, they played this creative video.


Why You Should Take Advantage Of PowerPoint’s “Presenter View”

One of the most important insights we offer during our presentation training workshops is this: You lead the slides; don’t let the slides lead you.

Here’s what I mean by letting the slides lead you. Most speakers finish talking about their current slide, click to the next one, and then begin talking about that new slide.

But gifted speakers do something different. They set up the next slide before clicking to it. And there’s a tool that makes that task easier for them.

Bill Cosby's star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Bill Cosby: A Powerful Cover And A Number That Matters

When Bill Cosby was arrested in late December for the alleged sexual assault of one of his many accusers, the New York Daily News ran a memorable cover.

Their cover art — which has stayed in my mind for a couple of weeks — is a great example of how to make raw numbers come to life in a much more meaningful manner.

In this post, you’ll find two examples of powerful numbers — and how you can use a similar technique in your presentations and media interviews.

Interview or making a speech with microphone concept for speech, communication or presentation

A Stunningly Simple Way To Improve Your Presentations

At the beginning of our presentation training sessions, I often ask a participant to deliver a practice talk.

Before the trainee begins speaking, they usually take the slide remote, load their presentation, and turn back to the screen to confirm their slides are displaying properly. The remainder of their talk usually plays out along similar lines—they make a point, click to the next slide, turn to confirm the right slide is up, and then repeat the cycle.

If you’re like most speakers, this probably sounds familiar. Here’s an easy technique that leads to dramatically stronger results.

Businessman holding wooden alphabet blocks reading - Shy - balanced in the palm of his hand.

A Trainer Asks: How Can I Expand My Client’s Range?

A fellow presentation trainer wrote in with a question about a client who was particularly shy. After three hours of working together, the trainer had exhausted his options and run out of ideas to help draw his client out.

In this post, I’ll discuss two techniques I’ve used successfully with shy clients. The first I use somewhat frequently. The second is rather dramatic — and while I don’t use it often, it’s yielded interesting results when I’ve needed it.

Comedian performing on a black background

The Comedy Formula Every Public Speaker Should Try

Stand-up comics are often on the road for hundreds of dates each year.

No matter how successful their performances, they know they can’t keep returning to the same cities with the same set—so they continually try new material. But introducing new, untested material can be risky.

Here’s a technique comedians use to mitigate that risk. It’s a technique public speakers everywhere should use.

PowerPoint Projector

How To Select The Perfect PowerPoint Image

Many presenters understand that it’s a bad idea to clutter their PowerPoint slides with dozens of words, numerous bullets, and a handful of sub-bullets. They know that it’s better to use a compelling image, one that visually reinforces the point they’re making verbally.

Knowing that is a good start. But it’s not enough.

In this post, you will see the evolution of a single idea over four slides, which will help you learn an easy way to identify the right images for your next presentation.

Fitbit Flex

A Clever Way To Control Your Time At Speaking Events

I bought a FitBit Flex Wireless Activity Wristband last year.

The FitBit is a terrific little device that tracks the number of steps you take, the number of miles you walk, and the number of calories you can eat each day based upon your activity level. It’s a high-tech and feature-rich modern day pedometer that syncs automatically to your smartphone or computer.

Believe it or not, the FitBit has also made me a more effective public speaker.

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