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PowerPoint Power Tips (hint – stop doing what you always do!)

PowerPoint Power Tips (hint – stop doing what you always do!)

Audiences rebel against PowerPoint

Have you ever gone to sleep at night saying to yourself, “Darn! I wish I had seen one more PowerPoint deck today.” ?

Have you ever gone to sleep saying to yourself, “Darn! I wish I had been more inspired today.”* ?

You, all of you, from CEO to Sales to Personnel to Purchasing, you are killing us with your PowerPoint.

That’s because bullets kill.

Five Main PowerPoint Offenders

  • Too many graphics on one slide.
  • Too many topics.
  • Too many bullets & too many sentences (which are worse than bullets).
  • Too many details.
  • Too many dissolves, spins or other cheesy transitions.

Every Main Offender on this list starts with “too many” because you are over-stuffing each slide. We do not know where to look first. In the midst of our confusion, we stop listening to you in hopes of being entertained by something on your slide.

Boredom + lethargy sets in and we shift over to what we really want to do – a sneaky wild round of Candy Crush Saga.

So, what’s a great slide look like?


Effective slides incorporate these three commandments

  1. Thou Must use good, clear (not copyrighted by someone else) pictures that support your message.
  2. Thou Must think ‘Less is More’ when putting your slides together. At the very least, can you please take one busy slide with many points and divide it into several slides so that each one has only one point/slide?
  3. Thou Must remember YOU are the presenter, NOT your slide deck. Don’t hide behind your PowerPoint deck – literally (you’re standing in the dark or hidden by your computer) and figuratively (you’re reading your slides and adding nothing else).

On the other hand, keep doing what you always do and Speak For Yourself® & Associates will remain busy cleaning it up for you!

*FYI, inspiration comes from stories that reinforce your message that can be supported by great visuals.

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

Photo ©:  123RF Stock Photo


Surprising Adds that Could Make You a Super Communicator

Surprising Adds that Could Make You a Super Communicator

Ever been to a business event, power breakfast or strategy session dominated by one person? How about a dinner party or book club? You know the one!

The best communicators aren’t always the ones who talk the most in these various settings.

Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, shares three ways we can be “super communicators” and really connect with almost everyone.

How to be a super communicator on a consistent basis

Ask questions

  • Super communicators ask a lot more questions. In fact, 10 to 20 times more questions.
  • Some questions invite you in. “Tell me more about your xxx.”
  • Some are deep questions – getting others to talk about beliefs, experiences. “How do you feel about being on the board of xxx?” Or, “Can you tell me a memory that is really important to you?”
  • Super communicators ask not just about facts but how you feel about what you are doing – all in hopes of creating reciprocal authenticity.

Be a humble conversationalist

Most super communicators were once crummy communicators. Duhigg’s research points out that these struggling communicators had to become keenly aware of having to listen intently to understand what the other person was saying. This heightened awareness propelled them to become super communicators with these attributes:  being honest, authentic,  vulnerable and nonjudgmental.

Looping for Understanding (great for conflict management):

  1. Ask a question … a deeper one. (see my first point above)
  2. Repeat back what they said.
  3. Ask if you got it right.

You don’t have to agree or disagree. “I understand where you are coming from. I think I’ve heard what you are trying to say. I have a different point of view…”

7 Super Communicator Goals

  • To listen for understanding.
  • To lower the burden of the conversation. You are not trying to get them to agree with you.
  • To find a connection.
  • To get others in the group to speak.
  • To be generally interested in what others are thinking.
  • To give credit to others when context permits.
  • To better navigate tough conversations.

Don’t dominate a conversation. Be the super communicator that makes the conversation of interest to all.

Thank you to Judy Dedmon Coyle for sharing this podcast with me.

Source: Krys Boyd’s NPR “Think” Podcast with Charles Duhigg, author of “Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

Nothing Eclipses Your Executive Presence

Nothing Eclipses Your Executive Presence

Well, maybe on April 8, 2024. 😎

That’s the date of the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse that will darken our skies, especially in my hometown, Dallas, Texas  … we are right in the middle of the path.

But, on every other day ➜

Show your executive presence by using the 7 C’s

Jun Medalla, writing for Business Insider, outlines these seven core tenets of executive presence:

☀️ Composure – Have grace under pressure. Stay calm.

☀️ Connection – Don’t hog the stage. Show others you’re engaged by asking for feedback and having good eye contact to all in the room and leaning towards those that speak.

☀️ Charisma – Share your positive energy by shining the spotlight on others. Listen, ask questions, have good eye contact and an open facial expression (aka smile). Make others feel understood.

☀️ Confidence – My mother-in-law, a professional portrait photographer always said, “Sit dynamically forward!”. Use body language to take control of the room. Sit tall. Stand tall.

☀️ Credibility – Demonstrate integrity, show expertise and good judgment, and be accountable, responsible and dependable.

☀️ Clarity – Prepare for meetings to avoid uncertainty. Use our Speak For Yourself® Blueprint presentation outline to strategize your 2 to 5 main points.

☀️ Conciseness – Less is more. Embrace your inner editor by asking yourself these 3 questions before you speak: “So what?” and  “Who cares?”  and  “Is anyone interested in this besides me?”.

Don’t get eclipsed by poor executive presence. You do not want to be kept in the dark, except from 1:40 to 1:44 CST, in Dallas on 4.8.24.  ☀️⚫️☀️

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

Silencing The Noise – how to communicate in a crisis

Silencing The Noise – how to communicate in a crisis

You now know that Catherine, Princess of Wales, has been diagnosed with cancer and she’s in the early stages of chemotherapy treatment.

The British Royal Family, according to the NYT, “focused so much on privacy they created the information vacuum that resulted in all this white noise and nonsense.”

Catherine silenced the noise.

Communication vacuums

A communication vacuum happens when a gap is allowed between what a person thinks others know and what they actually know.

Ed Pike writes in Leadership Wizdom, “Leaving a vacuum in communication invites your team to fill it with their worst possible nightmares or scenarios. Every nuance that you did not realize that you had made can be converted into a skyscraper sized monster.”

How to handle business communication vacuums

1️⃣  Be aware ➜  As leaders you must be proactive about how you communicate information. Are you leaving gaps?

2️⃣  Be timely ➜  Consider if you can pre-empt and get ahead of the storm. Tell what you know, and what you DON’T know – along with when you hope to share more info.

3️⃣  Be transparent ➜ Why? Uncertainty paralyzes your team and their performance. Fill the vacuum with as much info as you can to give your team predictability and a feeling of control.

With eloquence and gravitas Catherine, Princess of Wales, cleaned up the “dirt” in this vacuum frenzy.

One Trick for Texting that Guarantees More Productivity

One Trick for Texting that Guarantees More Productivity

Text messaging (92%) is second only to phone calls at 95% as the most widely used form of communication.

Texting is integral to the way you now communicate due to its speed, convenience and ability to create a permanent record.

So, how can you get more efficient with texting?

The other day I texted a fellow boutique business owner. She’s busy. I’m busy. I had three different time-sensitive questions to ask. I numbered the questions… #1, #2 and #3.

Because she’s smart, she answered each question using the same numbering and same order.

I responded … and you know how … same numbering system.

Done! Questions answered! In less than 10 minutes.

Your Texting Trick for more productivity

Organize your texts by numbering your questions, or answers, or observations.

Heed this one tip because an organized  text can save you time and money.

Number away.

PS: What other time-saving texting tips do you use?

➜ Thank you to @AnnZimmermanGallant for being this blog’s muse. You also do great texts! 😎

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

The Best Speech That Broke All The Rules & how this relates to you

The Best Speech That Broke All The Rules & how this relates to you

Jason Kelce seated at Eagles News Conference reading his retirement speech

Jason Kelce’s retirement speech

Longtime Eagles center Jason Kelce announced his retirement with a nearly 45-minute speech filled with tears, memories and thank yous.

The Philadelphia Inquirer writes, “After 13 seasons with the Birds, there was a lot to say — and Kelce made sure he didn’t miss a thing, starting with his first day in pads before moving through high school, college, and the NFL. The 36-year-old future Hall of Famer also made sure to shout out his family, his fans, and the entire city of Philadelphia…”.

I’m not a Philadelphia Eagles’ fan. I’m not an avid sports follower. I am mesmerized.

Speech rules Jason Kelce broke

🎤 Rule: There’s an old and reasoned adage – “Be brief. Be gay. Be gone.”    ✅ Jason’s take: Talk for over 40 minutes and show emotion. He cares which makes us care.

🎤 Rule: Don’t cry.    ✅ Jason’s take: He cried, a lot. USA Today writes, “Even people who aren’t sports fans tuned into the press conference and cried with the Kelce family. It got many people thinking: It’s refreshing to see men cry.”

🎤 Rule: Don’t read verbatim from your notes.   ✅ Jason’s take: He looked down most of the time reading from his mobile.

🎤 Rule: Have good eye contact with your audience.   ✅ Jason’s take: See above! He’s staring at his phone.

🎤 Rule: Conclude with a compelling ending.   ✅ Jason’s take: End by saying, “That’s all I got.”

How rules and breaking rules applies to your presentations

Speech rules are a starting point. Our Speak For Yourself® Blueprint 8-step presentation organization tool works. You’ll be able to plan and execute speeches without going nuts.

Jason shows that you can pivot. And, like Jason, here are the times when you can break the good ‘ole rules:

  • You know your audience and you know they’ll understand your MO.
  • You know your topic, inside and out.
  • You have a high presentation skills’ comfort zone.

Quoting Jason Kelce, “That’s all I got.”

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

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