I got an urgent call from an old friend and client, a senior marketing executive for a well-known global tech firm, who was preparing his company’s new CTO to speak at their annual user conference.
In just seven days, the CTO would be making his debut in front of several thousand users, plus industry analysts and his own company’s leadership team and sales force.
Unfortunately the dry runs weren’t going well.
The CTO’s story was compelling. His slides were awesome-created by a leading graphics house-and the CTO himself was both brilliant and a good speaker. Yet the presentation was falling flat and was hard to follow. My friend couldn't figure out why. Two days and a long plane flight later, I was observing another one of the CTO’s dry runs.
To me, the issue was obvious—a commonly overlooked problem: slide transitions.
Like most presenters, the CTO was taking a reactionary approach with his slides. He'd advance to the next slide and then immediately start talking about it. This causes your audience to disconnect for a moment as they attempt to process the information on the new slide, while at the same time try to listen to your explanation of it.
When this pattern is repeated slide after slide, your audience quickly grows fatigued and has trouble paying attention to your presentation.
So here’s what the CTO and I worked on. It leverages how humans naturally process visual information.
First, say it.
Before advancing to the next slide, provide context for it with a brief verbal preview. Be sure to plan these verbal transitions when you prepare your content.
Then, show it.
Advance to the next slide and pause for a moment while the audience processes the information on the slide aided by the preview you provided.
Now, talk it.
Hold your pause till you notice the eyes of the audience starting to move from the slide back to you. The pause may feel awkward the first few times you try it, but your audience will love having that moment to process the slide before giving their undivided attention back to you.
It took a little practice and planning to get the hang of it, but it helped make the CTO’s presentation a huge success. I’d recommend you give it a try.
I think you’ll find that using “Say it. Show it. Talk it.” slide transitions gives your audience the time and context needed to process each slide, enabling their primary focus to stay on you, and making it effortless for them to follow along.
For more PowerPoint best practices, download our White Paper, How to Use Presentation Software Effectively.
Conducting a hybrid meeting, one where some of those attending are in the room and others are virtual, is a lot harder than many think—and it’s quickly becoming the new norm.
Focusing on a few key aspects of your delivery can help you take advantage of this new meeting mode.
With remote jobs increasing in 71% in 2020, many leaders continue to manage remote workers as if they were managing a co-located team.
Yet, fifty three percent of leaders we surveyed at a recent webinar said that they had NOT received any training on leading a virtual team.
Under normal circumstances, staying present and being able to fully commit to listening is difficult. However, in this new reality of digital interaction and mental fatigue, listening has a new set of challenges.There’s good news. We can make listening easier in our virtual meetings, improving the experience of our participants! Here are a few tips.
What does the hit on Netflix called The Queen’s Gambit tell us about how to sell in a virtual setting? Actually, something very important.
Before we break down how this show teaches us the key to virtual selling let’s look at the backstory.
With the beginning of the New Year, it’s the perfect time to address the virtual communication mistakes that have become common with so many of us working virtually this past year.
Here are 3 of the most common mistakes when communicating virtually, and what you can do to overcome them.
In every virtual training workshop that Mandel delivers, we dedicate a Virtual Meeting Producer (or moderator or facilitator) to act as the Trainer’s co-pilot.
A Virtual Producer manages the meeting platform functions and mitigates any technical challenges, allowing the Trainer to focus exclusively on the learning and development of the workshop participants.
As someone who wears a virtual producer hat, here are 5 best practices to help you create engaging virtual meetings.
As part of our research into listening intelligence, we’ve detected four distinct styles (or preferences) of how people listen. These four listening styles cover what individuals pay attention to as well as what they are likely to miss in any collaboration.
Learn more about the 4 Listening Habits, and how listening impacts both the well-being and productivity of your virtual teams.
- 7 Tips for Leading Zoom Panel Discussions
- Why Listening Is Key to Onboarding New Hires—Especially If They’re Virtual
- Welcome to the Future of Sales (Hint: It’s Virtual)
- Listen Closely: Your Company Culture Depends On It
- How to Deliver Impactful, Engaging Hybrid Meetings
- Leading a Virtual Team Means Doing Things Differently
- Are You Really Listening?
- 4 Listening Tips for Improving Your Virtual Meetings
- The Irresistible Power of Stories in Virtual Selling
- The Top Sales Skill for 2021!