A while back, I wrote about adding value to your presentations. Presentations should be treated like products and your audiences are the consumers. One way to increase the value of a product is to customize it for the consumer. If you have the opportunity to learn about your audience before you present, here are three ways to consider customizing your presentations: Continue reading
Now that we have introduced the concept of flow, and two major tools to achieve it, let’s bring it all together with a practical example. The following slides are taken from the Talking About Your Company segment of one of my business English seminars. It’s designed for lower-intermediate-level English learners. Continue reading
Scalability means adapting to increased demands. As presenters and teachers, we must design our presentations to adapt to our audiences’ increasing demands for the right level of challenge in our seminars and classes. Continue reading
Last week, I introduced the concept of keeping your audience in a state of flow by actively managing the difficulty of your seminars and classes.
Designing your presentation with your audience’s skill level in mind is a given. Problems arise, however, when you can’t get accurate information regarding your audience or you simply misjudge the difficulty of your own material.
We all know the situation: you start presenting and quickly realize that your material is too easy, and your audience’s attention is evaporating. Or, on the other hand, it’s too difficult and the audience is filled with blank stares. The worst thing to do is to plow on through your material, ignoring these cues. Eliciting is the first step in resolving (or, better yet, preventing) this problem. Continue reading
Before answering this question, let’s take a look at a typical (yet highly simplified) supply chain:
From the perspective of the manufacturer, who are the customers in this diagram? Many people go for the obvious answer: the end users. Indeed, down the line, they are customers that need to be served and satisfied. Don’t forget, however, the manufacturer also has more immediate customers: the retailers. They, after all, are buying products directly from the manufacturer to be resold to customers. Continue reading
It doesn’t take a psychologist to realize that most people resist and fear criticism. This makes sense. It’s not easy to hear that the great class, lecture, or presentation that you worked so hard on wasn’t perfect (or perhaps majorly flawed). However, if you are truly committed to becoming a better public speaker, you not only have to learn how to accept feedback, but you must also learn to embrace it. In fact, you may even have to actively seek it out criticism. Continue reading
One of my first clients as a business English instructor used to be a constant source of anxiety. Although they seemed to enjoy their class and were fun to teach, they didn’t seem to take it very seriously. Their attendance was sporadic and their homework performance was no different. Upon hearing that I would have to have a meeting with the company president (and that he would sample my class), I feared my teaching days were going to come to an abrupt end. With the students behaving as they were, naturally, their English was not improving very quickly. I was positive the president wouldn’t be satisfied with their progress (and therefore my performance). Continue reading
The best way to become a better instructor or public speaker is repetition and practice. You need to become comfortable being in front of people and interacting with your audience. Of course, it’s helpful to take courses and read books on the topic, but the only way to truly become an excellent public speaker is by trial and error. Continue reading