Steve Mandel


Steve founded Mandel Communications in 1983. He is a renowned presentations trainer and coach and the author of the highly-successful book, "Effective Presentation Skills." In addition to serving as a key Mandel company executive, Steve thrives on working directly with clients in one-on-one coaching and group workshop settings. He has a deep appreciation for the communication challenges faced by professionals and executives in high-stakes settings and works exceptionally well with mission-critical communication needs. Steve's business success and his avocation as an accomplished amateur astronomer have earned him special recognition in Forbes magazine.


Recent Posts
December 29, 2016

In my previous post, I talked about what you can do before a presentation to help you feel less nervous about speaking. This week, I want to focus on things you can do to reduce anxiety during your presentation. And, I want to offer an important tip at the end of this post about something you can do if none of these techniques work for you!

December 15, 2016
Of all the topics I’m asked about in my 30-plus years of coaching speakers, dealing with anxiety is the most common. Here are several anxiety-reducing techniques you can use before your presentation to help calm your nerves and make your experience a more enjoyable one for you and your audience!
September 29, 2016

In my 32 years of experience as a speaking coach, I’ve learned a few things that could be helpful to you as you strive to make your own ideas heard and to improve how you communicate with others—whether it’s making a sales presentation, updating stakeholders on the status of a project, or presenting to the Board of a Fortune 100 company. Here are 6 crucial tips to help you on your journey.

September 01, 2016
You’ve been asked to speak at a customer user conference, an internal sales meeting, or a similar type of event. It seems like lately, whenever you attend these types of events, you’re either wowed by greatness or bored by mediocrity. Of course, you want your presentation to be remembered as one of the greats! So, here are some pitfalls to avoid and things you can do to keep your audience engaged.
July 07, 2016

In his 30-plus years as a communications coach and trainer, Steve Mandel says there are two concerns Fortune 500 executives raise again and again about how people communicate with them. He shares what those concerns are and how they directly correlate to steps you can take to become a more skilled, confident, and highly competent executive communicator.

Note to our readers: This is an edited version of a blog post originally published on April 3, 2014.

January 21, 2016
Ready or not, you’ve probably already had to present to stakeholders or customers this year. And, the stakes are high. Building on my last blog post, here are some additional presentation tips to help you hone your skills and start 2016 off right.
January 12, 2016
Vacations are wonderful. That said, it’s easy for presentation skills to get a bit rusty over a long holiday break. Soon enough, you’ll be expected to present your ideas in person, or perhaps virtually, and many of those presentations will be high-stakes. So, here’s a quick refresher to help you brush up on your presentation skills.
December 23, 2015
The scientists and staff at Polar Bears International are dedicated to polar bear conservation. And, they face many of the same challenges business presenters do: they need to present complex data in ways anyone can understand and they need to suggest solutions that others will buy into and adopt. They asked Mandel for advice on how to do that. Here are three tips we shared with them...
November 26, 2015
Expressing thanks not only makes you feel good, it makes the recipient of your thanks feel seen, heard, and valued. Saying "Thank you" is a small act with a potentially big impact. It can help you build rapport and make your future interactions with people, both, more memorable and rewarding. In business, this can be especially helpful. Today, I thought it fitting to share a few tips for making a “thank you” as meaningful as possible.
October 29, 2015

Everyone has had to answer tough questions in their careers. Questions that challenge your ideas and opinions – perhaps even your credibility. How you respond to tough questions can make or break your relationship with listeners. Here's how to handle tough questions, while staying calm, cool, and collected.

August 06, 2015
Want better presentation results? Plan strategically, not tactically. Instead of recycling slides from older decks and making them fit your presentation, start with who your audience is and what you want to accomplish. Here's how.
July 23, 2015
In the 30 years that I’ve been training presenters, the same presentation myths (disguised as tips) have resurfaced time and again. While most are well intentioned, they do more harm than good. Today, I’d like to expose and dispel 3 of the most potentially damaging myths about presenting.
July 09, 2015
Do you ever have to give a presentation at the last minute? Whatever you do, resist the temptation to re-label old slides or repurpose an entire presentation. Instead, when you have no choice but to do a rush job, here are some tips on how to prepare for and deliver last-minute presentations that your audience will appreciate.
January 15, 2015
If you've given presentations in places other than networked conference rooms, you've probably used an LCD projector hooked up to your computer, to project your slides. You may not realize, however, that there are slide projection snafus to avoid, as well as ways to use a projector to improve the quality of your presentations.
December 18, 2014
Have you ever made communication resolutions? As the New Year approaches, I always like to reflect on what I’ve done well and what I could improve next year when it comes to communicating with my colleagues, employees, and clients. You may be surprised at how much doing so can strengthen your relationships with the people around you.
November 26, 2014
Expressing thanks not only makes you feel good, it makes the recipient of your thanks feel seen, heard, and valued. Saying "Thank you" is a small act with a potentially big impact. It can help you build rapport and make your future interactions with people, both, more memorable and rewarding. In business, this can be especially helpful. Today, I thought it fitting to share a few tips for making a “thank you” as meaningful as possible.
November 13, 2014
Can conversation and presentation skills save wild lions, zebras, and elephants? Recently, I traveled to Kenya to conduct training workshops for people who work with the wildlife conservation groups Ewaso Lions, Grevy's Zebra Trust, and Save the Elephants. These organizations focus a lot of their efforts on global education, outreach, and collaboration with governments and local people. Their ability to communicate well is essential to their success.
October 16, 2014
When you break rapport, you've communicated that you don't have your listener's best interests at heart. And when that happens, you lose your ability to keep his or her attention or to influence his or her thinking. So this week, I thought I’d focus on ways people break rapport and how to avoid them.
October 02, 2014
Sharing a meaningful story or anecdote can be nerve-wracking, especially in a business setting. Every time you do it, you’re putting your ideas and your credibility on the line. But you don’t have to fear it. In fact, you were made for it. Learn why storytelling works and how to make it work for you.
September 18, 2014
It’s time for businesses to stop squandering resources, time, and money on a project management problem that is entirely preventable. Communication skills, rather than a saboteur of success, can be an agent of outperformance.
September 04, 2014
Where and how your audience members are seated can have a major impact on what you must do to connect with them during your presentation. Each type of seating arrangement presents unique advantages and disadvantages. Here's how to best manage three of the more common set-ups.
August 28, 2014
Whether you're presenting standing up or sitting down (in a live meeting or presenting virtually), using good posture is important. We all remember mom's admonitions, “Sit up straight” or “Don’t slouch.” Well, she was right, especially when we communicate with others! After all, your posture is one of the first things people notice about you. What do you want it to communicate?
August 21, 2014
Even though you yourself might not be an executive, you must come across in a manner that demonstrates you're confident, credible, and someone who understands the executive's world. Here's how to project executive presence when selling up.
August 14, 2014
Could your meticulous focus on the details be off-putting to others? What can you do to avoid this? Here are a few simple things you can do to better communicate with non-analyticals and big-picture people, so that they feel more connected and satisfied in their interactions with you.
July 31, 2014
Want better presentation results? Plan strategically, not tactically. Instead of recycling slides from older decks and making them fit your presentation, start with who your audience is and what you want to accomplish. Here's how.
July 24, 2014
Moving around when you speak benefits both you and your audience. Here are some tips for how and where to move, so that you enhance your connection with your audience, as well as their enjoyment of your presentation.
July 17, 2014
Not only are quotes a great way to punch up what might otherwise be a dry presentation, but they lend credibility to your thoughts and ideas. Here are a few tips on where to source quotes and how to use them effectively in your presentations.
July 10, 2014
Do you ever feel awkward about what to do with your hands when you give a presentation? You're not alone. Isn't it strange, though, that people almost never feel this awkwardness during everyday conversation? Gesturing comes naturally outside of the presentation environment. Anxiety interrupts the ability to gesture when presenting. Here's how to overcome your anxiety and use gestures effectively.
July 03, 2014
Executive Briefing Center presentations are typically high stakes. When millions in revenue are on the line, expectations are high on both sides of the table. If you're asked to present, you feel the pressure. That's why preparation is essential. And, practice is mandatory. Here are a few essential tips to help you prep for and deliver world-class briefings.
June 26, 2014
In the business world, people and events seem to move faster than the speed of light. You've barely completed one task, when five more appear needing your attention. And, they were all due yesterday! Given that you can't stop the earth from spinning, or time itself, here are a few things you can do to keep your communications efficient and relationship-positive amidst the chaos.
June 12, 2014
Speaking to a big audience can be intimidating. Often, bright lights are shining in your eyes, the stage is huge and elevated above your audience, and the stakes may be very high. The pressure is on! At last month’s Cisco Live event, we provided coaching around the unique challenges of speaking to large audiences. Here are a few of the tips we shared for tackling these challenges.
June 05, 2014
Everyone has had to deal with questions that are difficult, asked in an angry voice, or just plain hostile. And, when you're caught off guard by such questions, it's easy to be thrown into a panicky state and not answer well, jeopardizing your credibility. Here's how to avoid losing your cool under pressure.
May 08, 2014
It's not uncommon to talk too fast and speed through a presentation. Too often, people fill potential pauses with filler words such as, “like” or “ya know” or “um” or “ah”. But, the effect on your audience can be devastating. Instead, learn how to use pauses effectively to enhance your audience's understanding of your message and their esteem of you as the messenger.
April 17, 2014
The two-part blog series on How to Communicate with Executives was so well-received, I wanted to write a third and final bonus post. Not to mention, Fortune 500 executives have shared so many invaluable tips with me with over the years, that it's difficult for me not to want to share them all. So, this week I'll conclude the series by focusing on (1) the use of slides when presenting to executives and (2) how to manage push back when interacting with executives.
April 10, 2014
This week, in Part II of this series, I'm going to focus on how to present yourself to executives in order to earn their respect and confidence. How do you communicate non-verbally? What's your body language saying? Or your vocal tone and volume? Here's what executives believe executive presence should look like.
April 03, 2014
In Part I of this two-part series, Steve Mandel shares two common concerns Fortune 500 executives have voiced again and again about how people communicate with them. Their concerns directly correlate to steps you can take to become a more skilled, confident, and highly competent executive communicator.
March 06, 2014
On any sales call, your goal is to get as much valuable information as you can from the client—information that can help you recommend a relevant solution or service, build trust, and close the sale more quickly. Here are 9 questions to help you gain the insight and info you need to build better relationships with clients and close deals faster.
February 20, 2014
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who averted eye contact with you? It feels awkward and off-putting, at worst. At best, it can be difficult to connect with what that person is saying. A presentation is a conversation with your audience. The degree to which you use eye contact effectively will help you and your audience feel more comfortable and engaged.
January 16, 2014
Have you ever attended a webcast or virtual meeting that bored you to tears? Were you more engaged with email or Facebook, than with the faceless presenter droning on over your phone or computer's speakers? Virtual presentations don't have to be boring. Here's how to grab and keep your audience's attention.
January 09, 2014
"Death by PowerPoint" is very much alive and well. Learn how to spare your audience the pain. Gain three easy tips for dramatically improving your presentation slides.
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Mandel Communications is a global consulting and training services firm that has helped 100,000+ professionals from more than 500 companies in 55 countries develop Moment of Truth Communication and Selling Skills.
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