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.
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.
Mandel Communications, known globally for its presentation and conversations skills workshops, fills a major gap in the field of human communications training by announcing its new neuroscience-based, listening skills-building workshop, “The Listening Edge.”
This innovative training is bolstered with a validated, proprietary, science-based personal listening assessment that accelerates this learning and its application on the job.
If your 2020 user conference plans were impacted by the pandemic, you’re not alone. And if, like many, you’ve chosen to move forward by converting to a virtual conference, you’ll be relying more than ever on your speakers’ skills. Share these 8 tips with your virtual conference speakers to help them prepare to impress.
As we continue to work in remote environments, virtual video meetings are keeping us connected and business moving forward. They’re also leaving us exhausted. The extra mental processing required to navigate screen-based interactions means even those accustomed to frequent meetings are experiencing the burnout. To restore and productivity, consider four alternatives for business communication that eliminate the screentime.
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually and promoting remote team collaboration.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for encouraging collaboration in your virtual meetings:
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually and collaborating on virtual teams.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for improving virtual meeting experiences:
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually, and collaborating on virtual teams.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for engaging your teams in virtual meetings:
- Top Virtual Communication Mistakes – and How to Overcome Them in 2021!
- Tell a Story. Close a Deal. Even on Zoom.
- Throwback: Why Appreciation Matters in Life and at Work
- Tips for Communicating Effectively While Wearing a Mask
- Five Tips From a Virtual Meeting Producer
- How to Lead Hybrid Meetings: 5 Tips for Success
- What are the Four Listening Styles?
- How To Develop Listening Intelligence In Your Organization
- Mandel Launches Neuroscience-Based Listening Solution, The Listening Edge™
- Hosting a Virtual User Conference? Prepare Your Speakers to Succeed