Don’t let me catch you doing this!
Manner of Speaking
by johnzimmer
1M ago
If I ever find out that you are using one of the three final slides in the infographic—in any language—then, to paraphrase Liam Neeson, “I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill … your slide presentation.” Your audience can certainly benefit from well designed slides. For example, an aerial photo of a site on which you plan to build; a simple graph showing your company’s profit growth over the last five years; a relevant quotation superimposed on a compelling photograph. But do people really need to see the words “Thank You!” or “Questions?” to understand understand what is com ..read more
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My Message for 2024
Manner of Speaking
by johnzimmer
1M ago
It’s a new year! To all my readers, I wish you much happiness, health and success in 2024. I also wish you something else … the realization that any day can be as meaningful as January 1st. Make it a great year! PS – If you are looking for some public speaking resolutions, here are 50 from many years ago that are just as worthwhile today. Photo courtesy of Gary Lee / Unsplash ..read more
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Like a bridge, your presentation needs structure
Manner of Speaking
by johnzimmer
2M ago
A bridge is a useful metaphor for any speech or presentation. I like to imagine that I am standing on one side and my audience is standing on the other. I want the audience to cross the bridge and see things from my perspective. Now, if people are going to cross safely, the bridge needs to have a good structure. If it doesn’t, there are going to be problems. Potentially big problems! Just look at what happened to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. A bridge needs a good structure if it is to stand and it is no different with your speeches and presentations. How do you structure a speech? In three part ..read more
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Harry Potter can make your public speaking magical!
Manner of Speaking
by johnzimmer
3M ago
People often speak to me about the challenges that they face with their voice when when they present. In short, they say that they speak in a monotone voice and don’t know what to do about it. While there are many things that you can do to improve your voice, here is the best advice I know for lasting results: Read children’s books. Out loud. To children. I read dozens of books to my daughters when they were little. From Dr. Seuss to Maurice Sendak to Eric Carle. It was a great bonding experience but it also taught me the importance of having an expressive voice. You can’t read a book to a ..read more
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PowerPoint is not soap!
Manner of Speaking
by johnzimmer
6M ago
I was recently in Canada and stayed with my brother and his family in Toronto. In the shower, there was a bottle of this Irish Spring soap. How convenient: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash and 24-hour deodorizer all in one! I mean, the next step in the product’s evolution should be to have it sing “Oh Danny Boy” every time you open it. But while you might be able to get away with something like this in soap, you cannot do it with your PowerPoint presentations. What do I mean? I mean that PowerPoint slides serve one purpose. Not two, not four, not five. So often, people tell me that ..read more
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A Lesson from Gordon Ramsay
Manner of Speaking
by johnzimmer
10M ago
While I am not a huge fan of Gordon Ramsay, I have, on occasion, watched an episode or two of Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen. I always thought that the shows were intentionally over-the-top in order to boost TV ratings, but I do admit that I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. However, after recently reading Anthony Bourdain’s excellent Kitchen Confidential, I realize that some of the things that happen on Ramsay’s shows are closer to reality than I first thought. And if you pay attention, there are lessons to be learned that apply to more than cooking ..read more
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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 350) – Rudyard Kipling
Manner of Speaking
by johnzimmer
1y ago
Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936) English Novelist “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Rudyard Kipling ..read more
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Think like a “PRO” when you speak
Manner of Speaking
by johnzimmer
1y ago
When you speak in public, it’s not about you. It’s not about your company or organization; it’s not about your product or service or big idea. Every speech, every presentation is about the audience. Therefore, if you are going to speak in public, you need to think like a professional, like a pro. In fact, “PRO” is the perfect acronym to get you in the right mindset when it comes to preparing and delivering any speech or presentation. It stands for Privilege, Responsibility, Opportunity. Privilege Public speaking is a privilege. Not everyone has a chance to stand in front of an audience and sha ..read more
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The power of a prop
Manner of Speaking
by johnzimmer
1y ago
While flashy multimedia presentations and high-tech gadgets can be impressive, sometimes all it takes to drive a point home is a simple object. A prop is one of the most powerful tools that presenters have at their disposal. A prop is any object that you use to help illustrate or demonstrate a point during a presentation. It can be anything from a whiteboard or flipchart to a physical object that you bring with you to the stage. The key is to use a prop in a way that helps to make your point more effectively. Here is a wonderful example that I just discovered. It is a short TikTok video that ..read more
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2023 is here!
Manner of Speaking
by johnzimmer
1y ago
Happy New Year! I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and are feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the new year. As we enter 2023, I wanted to reflect on a few things. Back to regular blogging Regular readers of Manner of Speaking will have noticed that I was not very active here over the final few months of 2022. There were a few reasons for my hiatus: My work schedule was incredibly full (a good thing). I had a number of speaking engagements and corporate trainings throughout Switzerland as well as in Germany, Poland, Finland and, of course ..read more
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