INSIGHTS

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Over many years of attending, speaking at, and preparing speakers for user conferences, I've learned there are three all-too-common deadly failures that conference speakers make. Learn what those 3 killer fails are, so you can avoid them.
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I’ll be the first to admit that the proper use of acronyms can benefit listeners. First and foremost among the benefits is increased memorability. But, overusing acronyms unconsciously can be damaging and abusive to listeners. Here are 3 keys to using acronyms effectively in your communications. And, don't miss the fun and illuminating Mental Floss video on what many of our most-loved acronyms and initials really stand for.
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Presenting on-camera can be a nerve-wracking experience. Just walking onto the video set at Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) raised my anxiety. Here are three suggestions I learned from my own experience that may help you better manage anxiety when it’s your turn to record a video.
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I've seen too many people, whom I know to be engaging communicators and experts in their field, come across as stiff and unnatural on video, ultimately damaging their credibility. The secret to effectively presenting on camera lies in practicing. But...you have to practice right. Apply these three principles and your odds of credibly connecting with your viewing audience will dramatically improve.
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While organizations are increasingly using video to educate, entertain, and train employees and customers, many people are still uncomfortable presenting on camera. Fear not, because anyone can learn how to effectively communicate on video — and develop a level of comfort doing so. Over the next few weeks, I'll use my own experience recording videos for Harvard Business Publishing to highlight important ways you can prepare for and improve your presentations on-screen and off.
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If you think delivering the same presentation over and over again can get boring and monotonous, you’re right...it can, IF you let it. The bottom line? If you sound bored giving your presentation, you can bet your audience is bored, too. Here's how to keep it fresh...it's another lesson from Disneyland's Jungle Cruise.
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Do your slides make you seem outdated? I can’t remember the last time I gave a presentation using the old 4:3 aspect ratio. When your slides are in the 16:9 aspect ratio, your audience is likely to perceive higher production values and a more modern presentation, which all reflects back positively on you—the presenter. Here's why the 16:9 ratio is just plain better.
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Search the internet for pipeline mortality and you’ll only get a handful of hits and not one of them will have anything to do with the sales process. But my colleague David Mears, Mandel’s Chief Sales Officer, loves to use this term. The meaning is fairly obvious – it describes the potential deals put into the sales pipeline that never close, either lost to competitors or inaction. And David believes that many sales leaders are willing to accept pipeline mortality rates that are needlessly high and costly.
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I'm proud to say that I was a Disneyland Jungle Cruise skipper. I wore the hat, shot the gun, and made “the backside of water” water joke more times than I can count. For me, it was the ultimate part-time college job. The pay was good, the work itself was crazy fun, and it turned out I learned lessons about effective presentations skills that stick with me today. Here are three that anyone can use to be a better presenter.