Issue #71 November 9, 2004

1. Presentation Coaching

By now most of you have figured out that I am an expert on PowerPoint and using it to effectively communicate a message to an audience (that's why a number of you have asked me to consult or do workshops). But I know enough to know that I am not an expert in every aspect of presentations. I am an expert at presenting my PowerPoint ideas, but I would not say that I am an expert at coaching others on presentation skills such as how you stand, gestures and filler words. I think you should work with experts in each area of presenting, so I have partnered with a presentation coaching expert named Richard Peterson, who has many years of experience helping executives and professionals deliver more powerful presentations. Richard helped me this summer prepare for an important presentation in Arizona, so I know how good he is. I recently interviewed Richard on how to create more impact when delivering a presentation. I recorded the interview and have posted it on my web site for you to listen to. It is about 5 minutes long and in this short interview he reveals how to be comfortable when presenting (it has to do with what happens before you even speak your first word), how to keep your visuals simple and how to close your presentation so your audience takes action. If you are interested in getting better at your presentation style and delivery skill, check out the interview on my web site at this link: http://www.communicateusingtechnology.com/presncoach.htm On that page I have also given you the opportunity to let me know what other question you want me to ask Richard. I'll put together the best and most popular questions and record another idea filled session with Richard in the next few months.

2. Remembering Settings

If you have to change settings on your system or in a software program, it is difficult sometimes to remember what the settings were before you started the changes in case you want to go back to the previous settings. Here are two ways to capture the current settings so that you can look at them if you need to reset the changes. The first technique is useful for those settings that you can change before Windows even starts. These are usually BIOS settings that relate to the order in which your machine checks the drives in booting, and other hardware related items. Most of us never go into these settings - they are usually accessed by pressing the Esc or some other designated key while the machine is first booting up. Because it is so rare to access these settings, forgetting what they used to be is a real issue. The simple way is to take a digital photo of the screen before you make any changes. Then, if you have to go back to the previous settings, just view the photo on your camera and you should be able to reset things the way they were. This technique works for any settings, but is most useful for BIOS settings since there really isn't any other technique except for writing it all down. The second technique works only for those settings in an application like PowerPoint or Word. Before you change the settings, hold the Alt key down and press the PrintScreen key (sometimes shortened to PrtSc on your keyboard). This take a picture of the dialog box you are working on and saves it to the clipboard. Then open Windows Paint or Word and Paste the screen shot into the document by holding the Ctrl key down and pressing the V key (the Ctrl+V key combination which is the shortcut for Paste). Now you can save that file and if you need to reset the settings, just open the file and you will see how it used to look. These techniques just may save you hours when you are trying to adjust a setting.

3. Incredible photo resource

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a wonderful collection of photos on their web site at http://www.photolib.noaa.gov. Photos of weather, scenery and animals are included that would look superb in many presentations. Please read their terms of use - they are very generous in not asking for payment, just a photo credit. Highly recommended.