INSIGHTS

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TED Talks have become a go-to example for how to give an engaging presentation from the big stage. They can be informative, inspiring, and often incredibly entertaining. But is the TED Talk format right for a business presentation delivered in a conference room? Probably not — but the skills used by TED Talk presenters definitely are! Learn how to identify what goes into a successful TED Talk and how to make those skills work for you in your everyday business presentations.
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Challenging questions, even confrontational ones, present an opportunity. Tough questions, when handled well, can help you and your team strengthen credibility and gain support for your ideas and solutions. The only question is, how to do it well? Learn Mandel’s 3-step model for skillfully responding — not reacting — to tough questions with confidence and ease.
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Data visualizations can help the human brain make sense of complex information — but only if you know how to present them. No matter who your audience is, everyone’s brain is hardwired to process the flow of information in the same way. Learn science-based tips for presenting data visualizations in a way that keeps any audience focused on your message and prevents them from feeling overwhelmed or distracted.
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You know your scientists, engineers, and technology experts are the best around. They're proven innovators and solution providers within your organization. Why, then, is presenting to a business audience such a common challenge for technical professionals? Learn 11 tactics your technical team can use right now to make them more effective and influential communicators for any business decision maker.
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Admittedly, I've struggled to find a reliable way to help people reduce their public speaking anxiety, despite years of trying. I’ve advised people to do just about anything I could think of that might help, e.g., breathing, meditation. While I haven't found the thing that works every time for every person, there is one technique that seems to be more effective than most. Even if you've already found something that works well for you, this technique is worth trying out.
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Imagine being asked to present to your entire company tomorrow. Does the idea of it make you nervous? You might be tempted to get right to work, writing every word down and committing them to memory. Now, what if I said you couldn’t memorize your talk? Whoa, wait a minute. You wonder, “How am I supposed to remember what to say?” Find out why memorizing is a terrible idea and what you should do instead to prepare for your next presentation.
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You’ve got all the ingredients in place for a fantastic user conference. Prime venue in a desirable city. Former US president as the keynote. An iconic rock band to entertain attendees. Now, there’s just one question...Are your technical experts ready for their moment in the spotlight? Be sure to set your speakers up for success. Read this week's blog to find out how.
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I met former Nobel Prize Museum curator Tobias Degsell in Belgium last month at the 2019 European ABPM Conference. An expert in creativity and learning, Tobias gave a fascinating keynote on the common ingredients of Nobel Laureate success. Among them? Creativity. Courage. Persistence. But there's another factor that research suggests matters even more. Read this week's blog to learn the secret ingredient to Nobel Laureate success. (Hint: It’s not just that they're smart!)
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What inspires and motivates people to action? Here’s a hint: it’s not a PowerPoint deck filled with data points and analytics. Learning how to share a powerful story can positively influence others and help your ideas become memorable. Perhaps you need to promote a new idea or close that crucial sale. Learn how some of the most successful business ventures today got their start from sharing a powerful story and how you can make your own narrative work for you.
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Executive briefings. Big sales meetings. Project pitch meetings. What do they have in common? The stakes are sky high. There’s a lot riding on them for you and your company — revenue, reputation, productivity. Do your people have, both, the presentation AND facilitation skills to ensure their success? Read the blog to find out and to get your free Discussion Leader Self-Assessment Tool and Facilitator Checklist.
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There’s a treacherous siren threatening learning effectiveness today. It seductively sings, “Don’t make it too difficult. Make it easy.” Now, there’s nothing wrong with trying to make learning more physically convenient for people. But is your learning at risk of becoming too convenient? Read the blog to discover why learning should be uncomfortable.
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Memory almost full. Imagine that warning flashing brightly on the forehead of every audience member. A successful presentation isn’t just about the speaker’s dynamic energy or their confident manner in front of an audience. Without compelling, easy to follow content, it doesn’t matter how comfortable you are in the spotlight. You and your topic will quickly be forgotten. So how do you ensure lasting, memorable impact? Learn how to be remembered by leveraging the ancient, globally relevant, and scientifically proven rule of three to focus your content, motivate your listeners, and make your executive presence shine.
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How do you feel about building rapport? Many introverts feel uncomfortable when it comes to rapport-building because they think it means having to make “small talk” with others. If that’s you, fear not. You don't need the gift of gab to build good rapport. And having the gift of gab (or being extroverted) doesn't guarantee success either — especially if you're the one doing most of the talking. Read the blog to get specific rapport-building tips anyone can use to quickly make a strong connection with others.
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Have you ever encountered an unfriendly meeting participant while presenting? Maybe you know someone who constantly interrupts, asks aggressive questions, or worse, tries to take over your meeting. Believe it or not, you have more control over these conference room bullies than you think. Learn how to recognize these strong personalities, the things you may be doing to trigger their behavior, and what you can do right now to strengthen your command of the room and feel more confident in front of any audience.
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Digital Transformation (Dx) has made working in IT more challenging than ever. The biggest barrier to Dx success? Culture and collaboration, according to 50% of companies surveyed by Appian. A further 27% say lack of collaboration between IT and LOB is the top roadblock. What prevents effective collaboration? Ineffective communication. Read this week's blog and learn why "soft" skills have become a critical success factor for IT professionals everywhere.
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How many meetings have you gone to this week? Were they productive, or did they just create the need for more? Now think about how many meetings happen every day in your organization. Companies lose millions of dollars each year on wasted employee time in meetings and, as a result, employees become increasingly stressed and unhappy. Believe it or not, part of the problem is the meeting invitation. Learn how a simple, quick addition to your meeting invites can help you and your organization have consistent meeting success every time.
Listening Skills
Listening is the most important communication skill. Why? Because nothing kills relationships or productivity faster than NOT listening. Communication barriers, like poor active listening, cost the average organization a staggering $62.4 million a year. Want to improve your team's listening skills? Want to become a better active listener yourself? Use these 4 steps to become a better active listener and start having more productive conversations with your colleagues and customers.
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Why is it so difficult to be your best self in front of an audience? And what can you do to change that? Turns out, there is more within your control than you think. This week, experience a personal coaching session with 10 of the most powerful dos and don’ts that you can implement right now to have an immediate impact on your performance. Along with this seasoned advice, discover detailed examples and the science behind what it takes to show your most authentic self.
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What's the one virtual communication skill that nearly everyone struggles with? Hint: um, well, err, still not sure? It's your delivery. This includes things like composure, intonation, energy, pausing, eliminating clutter words, etc. Poor delivery skills get magnified in virtual settings. It's the #1 reason why web meetings and webcasts earn a bad rap. The good news? Anyone can improve their virtual delivery skills by mastering composure and amplifying their energy. Read on to learn how.
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Do salespeople and technologists communicate differently? Is one group better at presenting than the other? Can the two ever agree on how to present or what info to share? Corporate Workforce Development expert, high-tech industry veteran, and former Mandel client Suzanne McLarnon shares the secret behind developing both sales and technical professionals into superb communicators.
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When presenting data, using tables filled with numbers should be your “option of last resort." Why? Because data formatted in tables can make it difficult to compare items being measured. Tabular data can also obscure trends that emerge over time. There are occasions, however, when a table might be the best, or your only, option. If that's the case, here are 3 "less-is-more" tips for effectively using tables in your presentations.