Tag Archives: training

Presentation Skills: 7 Tips for Using Overhead Projectors

By Mike Aoki

Improve your results by using these 7 simple techniques during your next presentation:

1) Attach strips of thick paper or cardboard to the left and right hand sides of the projector glass to block out any excess light. This also provides a guide you can use to easily center your transparencies on the glass. (Safety note:  check that the paper or cardboard stays cool, despite the heat from the projector.)

2) Use tape to secure any extension cords that might cause you to trip while giving your presentation.

3) Before the participants arrive, find the sight lines for the projection screen. Have a volunteer sit where the audience will be. Then slowly move around the front of your stage or presentation area and have your helper note when you are not blocking the screen. Use masking tape to indicate those sight lines so you know where to stand during your presentation.

4) Face the participants, not the screen. Have a paper copy of the transparency in your hands so you can glance at it rather than turning and looking back at the screen while talking.

5) Use a pen to point to items on the transparency so you can remain facing the audience. If you turn to point at the screen, your back is to the participants.

6) If you want to unveil bullet points on your transparency, place a sheet of paper UNDERNEATH the transparency and pull it down the page to unveil each bullet point. Note: If you place the sheet on top of the transparency, the paper may shake or blow away due to the draft from the projector’s cooling fan.

7) Even if the projector does not work, you should still go ahead with your presentation. Remember, YOU are the best audiovisual!

Use these 7 simple techniques the next time you use an overhead projector and make a great presentation!

© 2010 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Mississauga, Canada

Related tips:
This article talks about “Death by PowerPoint.” This related story gives tips on how to energize your audience and eliminate disruptions. Here is a list of some popular presentation skills workshops.

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Computers Versus Live Instructors: Which One is Best?

By Mike Aoki

speech_practice_sm1In my opinion, the difference between computer based training (CBT) versus facilitator led training is like the difference between a written driver’s license test and the actual road test.  Both are quite useful, as long as they are used appropriately.

On the one hand, there are wonderful computer based training (CBT) programs. This software is great at teaching facts, such as a product’s features. These programs can also incorporate multiple choice or ‘true or false’ tests to check for understanding. Computer based training is an excellent tool for teaching your sales and customer service people the facts about new products and services.

But passing a CBT test is similar to passing your written driver’s exam:  you may understand the rules of the road, but you haven’t proven you can physically drive a car.

On the other hand, facilitator led training is the best way to teach “soft skills”, such as how to interact with an actual customer. A skilled facilitator uses techniques such as simulations, group discussions and role-plays, to help participants learn from each other. It’s like taking driving lessons, where you get to practice driving a real car, in a safe environment like a parking lot or a quiet street.

Both computer based training and live training are good. The important thing is to use them appropriately:  If you want to teach facts, use computer based training. If you want to teach interpersonal skills, use facilitator led training.

© 2009 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Toronto, Canada

Related tips:
This article gives 7 tips to reduce your fear of public speaking. This related story shows how to setup your meeting room for success. Here is a list of some popular presentation skills workshops.


Three Tips For Using Handouts During Your Presentation

Giving your audience visual aids like a handout or workbook increases the impact of your presentation. It also gives them reference material they can use to reinforce their newly learned skills.

Three tips on how to use an audience handout:

  1. Encourage listeners to take notes on the handout. Taking notes helps your audience remember more of your information.
  2. Be a good “tour guide.” Direct your audience to the correct page number so they can keep up with you.  Better yet, tell them exactly where to look on the page i.e. “Look at the middle of page 5, under the heading “Speaker’s Tips.”
  3. If you have multiple handouts, print them on different colored paper. Then you can easily direct participants to look at the “Yellow colored handout” or the “Orange colored pages.”

Use these tips to help your audience make the best use of your handouts.

© 2008 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Toronto, Canada

Related tips:
This article gives 7 tips to reduce your fear of public speaking. This related story shows how to setup your meeting room for success. Here is a list of some popular presentation skills workshops.

Presentation Skills: How To Keep People Energized

Question: I am facilitating an evening training session for people who have already worked a full day.  How do I keep their energy level up?

Answer: Speakers face this hurdle while giving after dinner speeches.  Trainers see this obstacle when they facilitate evening training sessions.  It is the dreaded “low energy” challenge.

Here are some techniques I have learned to keep participants awake and full of energy:

Change the environment:

  • Have you ever felt sleepy sitting in a stuffy conference room?  Make the room temperature slightly cool so your participants stay awake.
  • Keep the air circulating. Open the doors and windows if possible.  Stale air leads to fatigue.
  • Make people move around. Do stretch breaks every half hour to keep them alert.

Modify your content and delivery:

  • When people are tired, emotional examples produce a better response than dry data.  Use more humor, props, and anecdotes to captivate them.
  • Arrange your content into bite-sized pieces. Make the information easy to digest.
  • Avoid showing long video segments. Many people associate watching TV in the evenings with dozing off for the night.

Use these techniques during evening speeches and training sessions to keep your participants awake and full of energy.

©2008 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Toronto, Canada