Sunday, January 27, 2013

Applying Lean Principles to Presentation Skills: Respect People

by Gilda Bonanno LLC www.gildabonanno.com

Lean manufacturing is a management philosophy which has its roots in the Toyota Production System and focuses on creating customer value while eliminating waste.

These principles have been applied to many industries and services. And as a presentation skills coach with work experience as a project manager using Lean principles to run process improvement projects, I believe Lean principles have a valuable application to presentation skills.

A key Lean element is "respect people," which means creating an environment of mutual trust, engaging the people on your team and valuing their creativity and contribution.

"Respect people" is directly applicable to presentation skills and translates into "respect your audience."

Here are 8 ways to respect your audience:

1.  Know Your Audience

Find out as much as you can about their background, interest level and what's important to them. For example, do they prefer details or big picture, data or stories, problems or solutions?

2.  Follow the Golden Rule
I define the Golden Rule of Communications as: to communicate unto others as THEY want to be communicated to - not as YOU want to be communicated to. So once you understand how the people in your audience want to be communicated to, you can shape your presentation accordingly and make an effort to "speak the audience's language."

3.  Know Your Subject

This should be obvious but we have all seen speakers who lack a solid understanding of their subject matter. Before you present, take time to do your homework and prepare so that you something valuable to share with the audience.

4.  Set Expectations

Somewhere near the start of your presentation, set the audience's expectations about your message, the level of detail you will provide (introductory, intermediate, advanced, etc.), how long you will speak and whether or not/when you will take questions.  

5.  Stay Within the Time Limit

No one will object if you end your presentation a few minutes early, but if you go over time, you are disrespecting the audience. Practice your presentation so you know how long it takes to deliver and cut out anything that is not essential to your message.

6.  Tell the Truth

In order to set up an environment of trust with your audience, be honest. If you don't know the answer to a question, admit it and commit to finding out and getting the answer to them later. And if you have to communicate something controversial or negative, I strongly recommend that you tell your audience the full truth upfront. Honesty – especially upfront rather than after the truth is discovered - is the best policy.

7.  Make Eye Contact With Everyone 
Eye contact is an important element of non-verbal communication and allows you to connect with the audience, helps you keep their attention and demonstrates your confidence and sincerity. Rather than looking at the screen or your notes, make a conscious effort to make eye contact with everyone in the audience. And if there are too many people in the audience to make eye contact with every individual, be sure to make eye contact at least with every section of the audience.

8.  Engage the Audience

An engaged audience is more likely to understand and retain whatever you are presenting.  Make sure they can hear you - use a microphone if necessary.  And use relevant stories and animated body language to capture the audience's attention.

If you follow these 8 guidelines, you will demonstrate your respect for the people in your audience, which will help build a positive environment in which they are more likely to pay attention to you and appreciate your effort in sharing your  knowledge, skills, experience, expertise and stories with them.


For more of my posts applying lean principles to presentation skills, see:

 

 


 

Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com
 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Applying Lean Principles to Presentation Skills: Optimize the Whole

by Gilda Bonanno LLC www.gildabonanno.com

Lean manufacturing is a management philosophy which has its roots in the Toyota Production System and focuses on creating customer value while eliminating waste.

These principles have been applied to many industries and services.  And as a presentation skills coach with work experience as a project manager using Lean principles to run process improvement projects and do value stream mapping, I believe they have a valuable application to presentation skills.

A key Lean element is "optimize the whole."  According to Mary and Tom Poppendieck whose book, 7 Principles of Lean Software Development, explains how to apply Lean manufacturing principles to software development, "Optimizing a part of a system will always, over time, sub-optimize the overall system."

So if you try to fix one part of the process or presentation, you could end up breaking something else thus making the overall presentation worse. 

For example, when you prepare a presentation, you often work on the content separate from the delivery.  However, unless you practice combining your content with your delivery BEFORE you actually have to give the presentation, you could end up with a problem: you have well-organized and clear content, but it takes longer to deliver than your allotted time limit.  So focusing on just the content can sub-optimize the whole presentation.

Likewise, I've seen speakers who are trying to speak louder also end up speaking faster.  They've optimized one element of their body language - volume - while sub-optimizing another - speed.  The overall presentation is sub-optimized because it's more difficult for the audience to follow even if they can hear the speaker better.

While it's fine to break a presentation into different components and sub-processes to work on, such as content, non-verbal elements, slides, room logistics, etc., it's crucial to put it all back together into a coherent whole and practice it before you have to give it live.

Or as the software developers would say, try the presentation in a test environment before you move it into production.


For other application of lean principles to presentation skills, see:

my December 9 blog post, Applying Lean Principles to Presentations: Eliminate Waste 

my January 27 blog post, Applying Lean Principles to Presentation Skills: Respect People
 
 
For more about the Poppendiecks, visit www.poppendieck.com
 
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com
 

 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Using LinkedIn to Deepen Business Relationships - ASTD SCC 1/28/13 Meeting

Using LinkedIn to Deepen Business Relationships: Surround Yourself with a Personal Learning Network

Speaker: Marc Halpert, Managing Partner, Your Best Interest LLC, Connect2Collaborate

Southern CT chapter of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD-SCC) Meeting
Monday, January 28, 2013
Norwalk, CT

LinkedIn keeps evolving: come learn about the recent changes and ensure you are using the tool to its fullest. With the surge of social media we not only have the ability, but have the need to manage our own reputation both online and in real life.

As a Training and Development Professional are you managing your personal brand? Step out of the crowd, looking your best and help your constituency grow their development in use of this technology tool.

You will walk away from this session with practical and useful hands on skills in using LinkedIn.
·         Maximize your Branding Efforts, learn best ways to showcase your profile, headline, certifications, education, skills and experience
·         Learn about relevant groups and how to benefit from them as individuals and from your unique position of helping organizations grow
·         Tap into your peers, colleagues and experts in the field whenever the need arises to further your own knowledge of training and professional goals

Date: Monday, January 28, 2013
Networking: 5:45 PM
Dinner Served: 6:30 PM
Program: 6:45-8 PM

Location:
Hosted by the Southern CT chapter of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD-SCC) at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center, 99 East Avenue, Norwalk CT 203-838-2000

Price:
Members: $35
Non-Members: $50
Students: $20
 
To register or for more information, visit http://www.astdscc.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1078833&eventId=587438&EventViewMode=EventDetails

Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone and Find Your Sweet Spot

by Gilda Bonanno www.gildabonanno.com

Several of my recent blog posts have been inspired by Daniel Coyle’s new book, The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills, which includes simple, practical tips based on examples and research from the world’s greatest talent hotbeds. He is the New York Times best-selling author of The Talent Code.

Tip #13 – Find the Sweet Spot is an essential part of learning new skills.  Coyle suggests that you "stretch yourself slightly beyond your current ability, spending time in the zone of difficulty called the sweet spot."

The sweet spot is right outside of your comfort zone, which I’ve written about often.  We build our comfort zone over time, constructing it out of habits, routines and thought patterns that allow us to deal with reality.

The problem is that too often, fear keeps us trapped in our comfort zone and prevents us from breaking through it to change, learn and grow.

Once you move beyond your comfort zone and into your sweet spot, Coyle suggests you reach into that sweet spot often, for deep practice, in order to improve your skills.

And this also applies to public speaking as a skill.  Whether you define your public speaking comfort zone as “I’m not great at public speaking, but I’ll never get any better,” or “I guess I’m good enough at public speaking, but not as good as I could be,” getting stuck in that comfort zone will prevent you from stretching beyond it into that sweet spot where you can take your skills to the next level. 
 
Yes, breaking out of your comfort zone and finding your sweet spot means that you have to face your fear of failure and deal with the discomfort of change, but it will be worth it.

Click on the video below for “Break Out of Your Comfort Zone to Live a Move Purposeful Life,” an excerpt from a keynote speech I delivered at a conference for the Project Management Institute, which explains how breaking out of your comfort zone can apply to different aspects of your life

Success Inspiration Speaker: Break Out of Your Comfort Zone to Live a More Purposeful Life
6 minutes, 10 seconds
If the video doesn't play, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmpsbvKLmEU

 
For more on Daniel Coyle, including The Little Book of Talent and his blog, visit his website http://thetalentcode.com/

For my other blog posts inspired by Daniel Coyle, see:

 



Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Monday, January 7, 2013

Exaggerate to Practice Your Body Language – Inspired by Daniel Coyle's The Little Book of Talent

by Gilda Bonanno LLC www.gildabonanno.com

Daniel Coyle, the New York Times best-selling author of The Talent Code, has written a fascinating and informative new book, The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills, which includes simple, practical tips based on examples and research from the world’s greatest talent hotbeds.

In his Tip #31 – To Learn a New Move, Exaggerate It, Coyle suggests that “going too far [exaggeration] helps us understand where the boundaries are."  The goal is to “go too far so you can feel the outer edges of the move, and then work on building the skill with precision."

Here are 2 ways to “exaggerate it” when practicing your presentation skills:

1.    Exaggerate Your Voice
Go through a whole practice of your presentation just focusing on your voice.  Speak louder than usual – don’t shout, but breathe fully and project your voice.  Exaggerate your enunciation, your pausing and your intonation.  Over-emphasize the most important words in each sentence and how you vary your voice to communicate emotion and meaning.

2.    Exaggerate Your Gestures
Do another round of practice just exaggerating your gestures.  Don’t focus on your words, slides,  voice or anything else – just make big, dramatic, visible gestures that correspond to what you are saying. Use bold gestures to draw pictures for the audience and to illustrate your content.

After you have practiced the exaggeration and have built the skill, dial back the exaggeration and return to a more heightened sense of “normal,” a “new normal” where you are able to incorporate powerful and appropriate voice and gestures to add impact to your presentation.

(A different, though also interesting, means of using exaggeration as a practice technique is to record yourself on video during a normal practice session and then play it back without sound, fast forwarding through it so your gestures and movement are exaggerated. In this exercise, you will be observing the exaggeration, rather than experiencing it directly.) 

For more on Daniel Coyle, including  The Little Book of Talent and his blog, visit his website http://thetalentcode.com/

For my other blog posts inspired by Daniel Coyle, see:



Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com
 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Mark LeBlanc Presents at NSA-CT Meeting January 17

The CT Chapter of the National Speakers Association (NSA-CT) is proud to present:
Past NSA President and Guest Speaker Mark LeBlanc
January 17, 2013
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Hilton Garden Inn, Shelton, CT
Growing Your Business When YOU Are the Business!
Find out what you need to know and what you need to do, when it's up to YOU to make it all work.

Mark joined NSA in 1983, at the ripe old age of 22, and is now considered a seasoned veteran by many, and one of the few people that NSA professionals and legends turn to, for business advice and counsel.

He runs Small Business Success, and is the Author of the little book, Growing Your Business and Never Be the Same, inspired by his 500 mile walk across Spain. His soon-to-be, released book, Growing Your Business When YOU Are the Business, will be available in the coming year.

LeBlanc will share keen insights, observations, and sound strategies that will make or break your speaking career. If you thought you had it all together, and your calendar isn't where you want it to be this is your must-attend meeting.

You will discover:
1. How to put more money in your pocket,
2. How to position yourself for higher fees,
3. How to create a marketing plan that gets you booked, and
4. How to set up a system for staying focused on a daily basis.

Mark will share several of his turning points, as well as, some of his painful mistakes.
He is one speaker you can listen to over and over again, and keep learning new things every time you hear him speak.

He speaks to small business groups, and professional associations of all types, and is attracting the attention of corporate sales groups who want their people to think more like a business owner, than a salesperson. He is the creator of the Achievers' Circle weekend program that is highly-regarded as the anti-boot camp experience.

For more information, and to see a two-minute, video commercial on Mark, go to: www.MarkLeBlanc.com

ABOUT Mark LeBlanc...
Owner of Small Business Success, Mark has special expertise on the core issues that business owners and professionals face on a daily basis. His presentation attendees walk away feeling more focused, able to attract more prospects, stimulate more referrals, and ultimately craft a plan for generating more business. He is the author of the popular book, "Never The Same".

Mark is a member of Master Speakers International, a seasoned veteran with NSA, and served as NSA's national President in 2007-2008. His strategies and ideas are distributed to Chamber of Commerce executives and Chamber members around North America. He is also the creator of the Small Business Success Coaching Network and the Founder of Y.E.S. (Young Entrepreneurs Succeed) Foundation. Its sole purpose is to give $3,000 grants to entrepreneurs under 30.
A sampling of corporate sponsorship backing many of Mark's speaking presentations include: SunAmerica Mutual Funds, Chamber Nation, National Association of College Financial Advisors, Siemens, Inspiring Champions and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.
For more info: www.MarkLeBlanc.com.

January 17, 2013
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Hilton Garden Inn
25 Old Stratford Road
Shelton, CT 06484

To register or for more information, visit http://nsact.org/meetinginfo.php?id=39
Guests are always welcome at our meetings for $35. That includes a light meal, networking and education.

Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com
 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Practice Your Body Language by Miming It – Inspired by Daniel Coyle's The Little Book of Talent

by Gilda Bonanno LLC www.gildabonanno.com
 
Daniel Coyle, the New York Times best-selling author of The Talent Code, has written a fascinating and informative new book, The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills, which includes simple, practical tips based on examples and research from the world’s greatest talent hotbeds.
 
In his Tip #28 - Mime It, he suggests "removing everything except the essential action lets you focus on what matters most: making the right reach." Miming it translates into playing piano with your fingers on a tabletop instead of a piano keyboard or swinging at empty air rather than holding a golf club or baseball bat and swinging at a ball.

This tip also can be applied to practicing presentation skills.  For one of your practice sessions, try miming your body language.  For this particular practice sessions, the "essential action" is the body language element that you want to work on. Stand up and deliver your presentation, but don't say the words out loud.  Instead, just "go through the motions" - use eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, posture and movement as if you were delivering the presentation. Run through the points in your head and as needed, change your body language to communicate that point. 

Watch yourself in the mirror or record yourself on video. The point is not to memorize specific gestures to use - that will end up looking insincere and too rehearsed.  The point is to become comfortable enough with your body language that when you add your voice and words back in, you are able to use natural body language that matches what you are saying.
You want to feel in your body how it would feel to use gestures, make eye contact with different parts of the room or stand confidently facing the audience. 
 

Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com