What Is the Secret to Success?

Hiroshi_Mikitani_at_the_37th_G8_Summit_in_Deauville_040

Photo Credit: Guillaume Paumier / Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-3.0.

According to Rakuten Inc. CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, teaching is the secret to success.  He isn’t saying that everyone should go out and become a university lecturer.  Instead, he states that there are teaching opportunities to he harnessed in almost every career (through mentoring, presentations, and so on). Continue reading

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Dress Rehearsal

So you’ve  been doing your presentation routine for a while now.  You’ve gotten used to your regular rotation of topics and can anticipate what the audience will be like for each one.  Your stomach is officially butterfly free. Continue reading

Three Ways to Customize Your Presentations

Image credit: Robert Frye

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

Case Study: Managing Flow

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

Managing Flow Part I: Eliciting

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

An Introduction to Flow

A while back, while reading an article about game design, I stumbled across the concept of “flow.” Flow is an optimal state of motivation. We’ve all experienced it before: that page-turner that you couldn’t put down or the project you worked on for hours straight, forgetting about basic needs like eating and drinking. Continue reading