She walked to the front and froze

Knowing of my interest in all things related to presenting, my wife told me a story this week. Her teaching colleague, Sara, had the unfortunate experience of “freezing” at the beginning of a presentation. She had done the presentation before, but not to this class. She walked to the front of the room, looked at the 50 students, greeted them, and froze. It was a surprising and difficult experience for her. Freezing in those first moments of a presentation is a physiological reaction to stress – it is the “fight, flight, or freeze” response.  The body releases adrenalin and cortisol into the bloodstream, which in turn causes an increased heart rate, faster… Read More

Continue Reading

I got spurs that jingle jangle jingle…

Have you ever been distracted by a presenter (or someone you are talking to), who jingles coins in their pocket? This always reminds me of the song Jingle Jangle Jingle (written in 1942 by Joseph Lilley and Frank Loesser).   Presenters are often nervous and/or excited about their presentation; this energy can show itself in (distracting) nervous habits.  However you don’t want to distract your audience by fiddling with things in your pocket (like coins!), continuously adjusting your clothes, or playing with objects in your hands. In her book, New Sales Speak: The 9 Biggest Sales Presentations Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, Terry Sjodin (www.sjodincommunications.com) devotes an entire chapter to… Read More

Continue Reading

“Everything here is a TLA!”

One of my colleagues used to say “Everything here is a TLA!”  (three letter acronym).  We use acronyms without even thinking.  During presentations I sometimes hear a TLA (or other multi-letter acronym) used that I don’t know, or remember. My favorite is EBITA – earnings before the deduction of interest, tax and amortization expenses (I had to look that up – again). The presenter assuming that the audience is familiar with the same acronyms they are is a sign of the “curse of knowledge”.  Being afflicted with the “curse” means that once you know something well you cannot go back to the state where you didn’t know it; you may… Read More

Continue Reading