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People attending my training and coaching sessions mostly want to learn the essentials of good speeches or reach the next presentation level. Their questions are frequently quite similar. Some people have picked up ideas from literature or the Internet that are not always well thought out or simply not true. Let‘s discuss some of these myths in this blog post.

How many Bullet Points per PowerPoint slide?

I observe two contradictory developments regarding PowerPoint presentations: On the one hand, the vast majority of people delivering speeches browse through a number of bullet points. Here, PowerPoint clearly serves as a cheat sheet. Anyone who spends even a little time on rhetoric and presentations will quickly learn that a high-quality talk requires a different approach. On the other hand, many young people are aware of the importance of reduced information on slides. Read more

Do you lose your audience once you speak up? Or do you carry them along so they keep a high attention level throughout your presentation? A catchy structure is one of the important aspects you should consider. A strong introduction, an interesting main part and a meaningful conclusion are equally important. Guide your audience by transitions such as emphasized pauses and changing your position on stage. Also add interactions using polls, quizzes, and short discussions. Sometimes surprising twists and turns help.

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Too many people are satisfied with mediocrity. Some people work on themselves becoming better than average. Only a few people take the chance to achieve outstanding and excellent results. This is why I repeatedly see speeches in which the potential for excellence is ignored or disregarded. This is where I will address ten of the […]

What is important for successful speeches is available both in the vast literature and in this blog. But do you know how to adapt your speech in front of a virtual online audience? Since the next live events are not yet foreseeable in times of COVID-19 or Corona, online presentations will make up an important part of the future. The ongoing digitalization will further reinforce this development. The following blog series will therefore deal with the most important aspects of online presentations: Which nuances are particularly important so that you can inspire and take your online audience?

While many of the basics for good, high-quality presentations still apply in large parts, there are some key differences between live and online presentations if you want to get your message across online.

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With a single speech today, I can reach millions of people. An enormous potential for those who have something to say, who can present authentically and with a certain competence.

Chris Anderson, curator of the TED Talks, names the number of over 1 000 speakers who have already succeeded in doing so by 2016. The 25 most popular TED Talks alone generate a reach of 16 to 56 million clicks each. On YouTube, TED and TEDx Talks now have 30 million subscribers with 4.4 billion clicks.

 

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Do you present your project in English for an international audience? Do you adapt your presentations to people with different cultural backgrounds? Are you ready to take the next step delivering even more professional speeches? Here are some highlights on how you will succeed with your presentation.

 

Connect with your audience

The German way of thinking is said to be very precise. In short, their highly functional language can be traced back to numerous wars and subsequent reconstruction efforts. UN interpreter and author Susanne Kilian attributes this to Germany’s central geographic location in Europe. In fact, many German presenters introduce technical concepts full of details while also including numerous technical terms.

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Sarah and Simon met at a science conference. Sarah works as a research assistant at the Chair of Migration and Intercultural Communication, Simon is a PhD student. Both meet again two weeks after the conference: Sarah supports Simon in preparing his presentation for the next conference. They discuss the draft and Simon rehearses his presentation. He starts with the sentence “Dear Ladies and Gentlemen…”

 

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Sarah’s presentation was easily understandable and entertaining. In the discussion she gained new ideas and insights. At the coffee break she is approached by other people who want to learn more about her project. Simon is a PhD student at the symposium and listened to the presentation with interest. He wants to know how Sarah prepared her successful speech.

 

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A promising recipe for high-quality presentations is the proper language style: Use plain language! Speak in a way so that you are understood immediately and easily. Allow no space for average presentations.

You can skip the obvious at the beginning like in the following speech excerpt confidently: “Good day, dear audience. It is great that so many of you have appeared. My name is Wolfgang Schneider. I will first provide an overview of the research area, then I will present the methods before I move on to the actual results of our project. For the sake of completeness, I will list the literature sources on my last slide…”

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An expert on your subject, you have registered for an international conference. After weeks of waiting you are reading the message in your mailbox: Your presentation fits well into the program and will be accepted for the conference. Congratulations!

Presenting in your first language is comparatively easy for you. You know your way around the topic anyway. These questions may pop up in your mind when you are accepted to deliver a speech in a foreign language:

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