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Evaluating RNC Speakers: How to Influence An Audience

The Republican National Convention offered a chance to examine our ability to influence others in the workplace.

Every single speaker on that stage in Cleveland wanted to influence us. They wanted us to take a clear and decisive action: Vote Trump/Pence.

Their approaches were as diverse as their backgrounds. Chris Christie used theatrics, Eric Trump applied evidence, and Ted Cruz carefully omitted words that he was expected to say. Donald Trump himself tried to influence our vote by painting a dark picture of a country without his style of leadership.

Who was most influential?

To answer that question we need to review more than just their speeches and how they were delivered. We must also examine our perceptions before these speakers walked to the podium. Consider how you would perceive their message if you believe they shared your values, had a strong record of accomplishments, and had a positive reputation among people you respect.

Posted by Marjorie Brody in influence, influencing, influencing others, Public Speaking.

Learn Microsoft’s Lesson: Don’t Let Technology Sabotage Your Presentation

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“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

Wise words from Microsoft’s co-founder & former CEO, now philanthropist.

That quote is especially relevant to two specific occasions in Microsoft’s history in 2012 and 1995 — when the tech giant had epic fails during live product launch presentations.

The most recent incident featured Microsoft’s former President of Windows and Windows Live Division, Steven Sinofsky, as he delivered the official launch presentation for the Surface tablet. Right in the middle of his presentation, the tablet seemed to crash, resulting in a painful 20 seconds where he said, “Excuse me just a second” before running to grab a backup tablet behind a lectern that was ready to go.

Posted by Marjorie Brody in Business presentations, Presentation Skills, Presentation skills training, Public Speaking, Uncategorized.

Successful Presentations Focus on Audience’s Needs, Not Your Own

oopsKnow your audience and capture their attention.

This statement sounds so simple, but many of us forget what it means.

You can’t expect to convince or sell anyone anything if you don’t understand what he or she expects or wants from you. What do they want to receive from your message?

What’s in it for them?

Let me share an example of what happened when a presenter failed to remember this basic message…

One of BRODY’s clients is a major pharmaceutical firm that throws a party when an employee hits the 30-year anniversary mark. I was honored to be invited to Pete’s 30th anniversary celebration.

More than 60 coworkers, clients, and upper management execs gathered for Pete’s party, where we sipped and nibbled as we waited for Pete’s new supervisor to come in and make the celebratory toast.

Posted by Marjorie Brody in business faux pas, Etiquette, Listening, Presentation Skills, Public Speaking, Uncategorized, Workplace, Career, Business, Communication, Professionalism.

Presentation Skills Lessons Learned from Tarzan

The word Practice on a Cork Notice BoardA story from Tarzan: a different kind of success story…

This week I’m going to veer from our new “let’s share a business story” angle and write about how a classic cartoon can impact your business success.

No, I haven’t gone mad. You read that right – sometimes we can find life lessons from the simplest things and everyday events around us. In this case, it’s a Tarzan cartoon that I remember vividly to this day.

In the first scene, Tarzan just learned that Jane is in the jungle and he’s excited to meet her, but very nervous — just like many of us are before an important meeting or presentation.

He wants to make a great first impression – hey, apparently even guys in the jungle know just how important that is!

Posted by Marjorie Brody in development, Executive coaching, Humor in presentations, Presentation Skills, Presentation skills coaching, Public Speaking, Uncategorized, voice and diction, Workplace, Career, Business, Communication, Professionalism.

Leadership Presence in Action: A Story of Audience Connection

Businessman yawning over white backgroundWhen I think of leadership presence, I always remember Joanne, a managing director at a large private bank. Here’s her story …

It was the summer of 2010. This client company bank brought in 15 top Ivy League college graduates that they’d carefully recruited for an intensive six-week training/onboarding program.

I was booked to deliver a presentation skills training session about five and a half weeks into this program. I was scheduled to first join the 15 participants for dinner, so I got there early and sat down in their windowless training room. The first thing I noticed was that there was NO energy in the room. None. People looked exhausted, dazed, confused, and the guy next to me whispered, “There’s only 45 minutes left till dinner.

Posted by Marjorie Brody in influencing others, leader, Leadership presentation, leading, persuasive speaking, Presentation Skills, Presentation skills coaching, Presentation skills training, professional development, Public Speaking, Uncategorized.