Category Archives: Blog

What’s the BIGGEST Mistake Presenters Make with PowerPoint ?

No, reading all the words on the slide is the close but it’s not the biggest mistake that presenters make when using PowerPoint. The biggest – and I see this so in almost every presentation – is –

Information overload on each slide.

Too much text. That’s the first and most often seen. Far too many ‘bullet points’.

Then we have the complicated graphics. Charts of every shape and type. Arrows from here to there and back again, trying to link the message,

Pictures that can’t easily be seen, Too many pictures !

Where do I look ? What’s important ? This is so confusing and takes away from the core of the message.

In simple terms, while the presenter is talking in this situation, the audience is trying to take in the text and images – and isn’t listening to the speaker.

There are many ways to overcome this, many ways within the design of PowerPoint but my overall message when putting your PowerPoint presentation together, think “Do I really need all these words/images/charts/arrows to convey my message ?”

The answer – of you’re really being honest – will likely be ‘No’.

One of the most important things to remember when you’re developing your visuals, is that PowerPoint, or for that matter, the video you’re showing or flipcharts you’re using, with very few exceptions, are not your presentation, they’re an aid to your presentation. You are the expert, those you’re presenting to want to hear from you and not be confused by an overload of text and charts and the like.

But what if the images and charts, even many photos, are the essence of your presentation, let’s say you’re a property developer and you have images of the properties, or you’re message is about endangered species of animals and you need to show photos or a new scientific development about the working of the human heart.

Sure, there are exceptions.

I’ll show you how to present these – correctly – in my Presentation Skills workshop.

When you don’t make this, the biggest mistake, you will engage your audience in a way that will increase impact – and they will remember more of your presentation.

So what about the second Biggest Mistake with PowerPoint.

Join me for my next blog in this series.

What’s the Second BIGGEST Mistake Presenters Make with PowerPoint ?

You might think after all these years we’ve been using PowerPoint, that we’d learned to move on, that presenters don’t make this mistake.But, sadly, they do. I say ‘sadly’ because it usually has fatal results.

It’s called ‘death by PowerPoint’.

Death by PowerPoint occurs simply by the presenter filling the slide with text – and then reading every word. Their presentation is simply a reading of the words on the screen (I can see you’re starting to snore already !)

Can you believe this is still happening ?Yes, it is and it’s not only insulting for the intelligent audience but it’s infuriating.The presenter typically spends 87% of their presentation looking at the screen and not at the audience.

Let me be really clear: PowerPoint is an aid to your presentation, it is not your presentation.

If you’re the presenter, YOU are the expert, the audience, whether it’s the weekly team meeting, your monthly presentation to the Board or that million-dollar pitch to the new client, YOU are the expert.

So, show that you’re the expert by engaging them, influencing them, persuading them expertly and seamlessly.

How do you do this ?

Well, practice is a good place to start. Don’t avoid any opportunity to present and look to improve every time. Sure, ask for feedback from a colleague after your presentations.

I’ve got FIVE sure fire ways – simple but very effective ways-  you can do to nail this and I share them in my Presentation Skills Workshops – to help YOU become a STAR presenter.

Improving This Skill WILL Boost your Career

Presentation Skills

I want to take a few moments to talk to you about Presentation Skills. Whatever level you are in business today your ability to present well will have a significant effect on your career.

Why do I know this ? Well, there’s two main reasons: Despite the enormous growth of electronic communication in business, the communication which is delivered personally, by the individual, has and will always have the most impact.

And the second way I know it will impact your career is that I’ve trained and also coached senior executives who not only know how important it is for them to present effectively, but have seen significant career impacts as a result of working with me.

I’ve been conducting presentation skills workshops and coaching for, oh, around 20 years.  I understand what’s required and I understand how to bring out the best in the people I’m working with, after all, we’re all different.

My workshops are very personal – as I want to develop your skills, whatever level you’re at and whatever experience you’ve had.

Speaking in front of others may be something you struggle with, maybe you run away from it. And, like the others I’ve helped, I can help you overcome that as well.

Of course, there are many Presentation Skills courses in the Middle East. So what sets mine apart from the rest ?

Well, there are a umber of reasons. The first is that as well as being an experienced facilitator, I’m a professional speaker. Some courses are available where you don’t know the name or the experience of the trainer before you arrive for the training. But In this case, very clearly, you will be given individual attention not only by a facilitator with over 20 years experience but someone who is also an international professional speaker. I earn my living doing what I will be developing in you.

I share with you not only my experience but my observations of many hundreds, maybe thousand’s of other speakers.

There are a number of aspects which I know are only available through my course.

During the 3 days, you will be videoed 3 times. You will be given a copy of each recording as well as my written comments. This has been proven over the years to be most effective.

But there is one other reason why you will get the best possible outcome with this training. It’s called ‘ongoing learning opportunities’. That’s right. You see as a facilitator, I know that the learning is embedded, becomes a ‘part’ of you, when you actually do it in the workplace and have learning opportunities alongside that.

So how does this work? Well, as a graduate from one of my courses, you are given – yes, given – access to material to help you develop further.

This includes an MP3 audio program immediately on completion of the course.

Then, for 20 weeks, you’ll be sent weekly tips and reminders to help you develop further.

Yes, I’m committed to your development. I’d love to see you speak with impact.

Naturally, if I’m going to give you the best possible attention, places on this course are limited. I will only work with 10 and I’d be really pleased to see you among that exclusive group.

But you’ll have to register fast.

Click here to know more about the Presentation Skills Workshop

Simple Changes To Improve Your Presentation Skills

Presentation Skills

Do you use a remote when you’re giving your PowerPoint presentation ?

This is an essential tool that will help you present seamlessly.

However, there are two things I often see that you need to be aware of.

The first is that I still see people either not using the remote – or ‘clicker’ – or having someone else use it for them.

No, YOU, the person giving the presentation must be in control and that means in control of when and how we move to the next slide.

The second thing I see – and I see this so much – is that when the presenter wants to move to the next slide or PowerPoint image, they point the remote to the screen and push the button on the clicker.

Seriously ? The screen is ‘dumb’. It’s simply a piece of white fabric material. There are no electronics in the screen.

The activation is in the computer on which the presentation is being driven. And these days, thanks to the technology which has been around for many years, you don’t even have to point the remote towards your computer.

I hold the remote device comfortably in the palm of my hand and when I want to show the next slide, without moving my arm to ‘point’ the remote anywhere, I simply ‘click’ on the button with my thumb.

Simple. Discrete. Professional.

So if you’re in the habit of ‘pointing’ to the screen, I guarantee you will make a difference which others will notice when you simply ‘click the button’ without pointing.

Are You Suffering from ICRO (Information Capture and Recall Overload ) ?

Mind Map

There’s got to be a better way !

Do you ever feel that these days there is so much information coming our way, so much we have to remember, or be aware of, or organize that it’s almost overwhelming ?

The amount of information which travels through the internet every day is growing exponentially. And the amount of information which comes directly to us as individuals seems to grow each day, also.

Tony Buzan saw the difficulties we face in this regard many years ago. He challenged the way we recorded and recalled information in what was the ‘traditional’ way. The ‘linear’ way of recording information, that is, writing lines of text, is, he believed, limiting – and tedious.

There’s got to be a better way!

Developing a visual process that replicates the way the brain works, he ‘invented’ Mind Mapping.

Images, single words, using color, all connected and associated thoughts form basis of the amazing ‘structure’ of a Mind Map.

Mind Mapping – correctly, as devised by Tony – will transform your thinking, your ability to recall, your problem-solving ability, your creative thinking, your organization skills and so much more.

You can Mind Map your to-do list for the day, your personal and professional goals, your holiday plans, you can mind map a book you’re reading – or going to write – as well as the company’s org structure, the new project you’ve just been assigned….the list is never ending (even your shopping list !)

And the process itself is so simple although there are ‘rules’ to follow to get the best results. Words in a series of boxes connected by lines are what we call ‘proto-mind maps” and they’re not effective.

The only ‘tools’ you’ll needs are plain sheets of paper and a set of colored pens. And of course, these days there is fantastic and easy to use software like iMindMap.

Mind Maps will transform the way you think. The estimates suggest that over 250 million people around the world use Mind Maps.

Mind Mapping Will Change the Way You Use Your Brain – for GOOD

Mind Mapping Applications

“How can any business person be without this powerful tool?”
 Stephen C Lundin, author of the five-million-copy bestselling FISH!

Yes, that’s a Mind Map

It’s a Mind Map showing just some of the applications and uses of mind maps.

This one was created on a software called iMindMap that was developed by the man who invented Mind Mapping, Tony Buzan.

Of course, when Tony developed a process which is now used by some 250 million people world-wide, he didn’t develop the software at the time. Rather the Mind Maps he – and millions of other people draw – are hand-drawn. On a blank sheet of paper, using colored pens or pencils.

I carry a pad and colored pens in my brief case – as well as the software program on my laptop – so that I can draw mind maps wherever there is a need.

So where might there be a need ? Well, just some of the uses of Mind Maps are set out above. I might be in a meeting, preparing a presentation I’m due to make, planning my holiday, even thinking about where I want to take my business in the next 12 months.

Drawing a Mind Map absolutely develops your ability to think more clearly, to think of ideas, strategies, creative approaches and much more than you would otherwise.

And then, I know, you’ll recall that information so much more easily.

Here’s an example of what I mean about as I write this and mention the ‘easy recall’, I’m reminded of a Mind Map I drew 9 years ago setting out all I had to do for my move from Australia to live in Dubai.  I haven’t seen that Mind Map for … years .. and yet I can still see the items I included on that Mind Map now. I could have written a ‘to-do’ list but the Mind Map was far more effective – and memorable to this day.

People talk about or suggest setting things out on a mind map. So often they think that a mind map is much like a ‘flow-chart’ and they draw it accordingly. But in doing that they are missing out on the key elements for successful and effective Mind Maps.

Sure, the Mind Map above is rather simple in it’s ‘lay-out’. What it should contain are images to support the words and even replace the words. Why are images important ? Well, the brain understands, identifies and relates to images far more than it does to words.

When Tony Buzan developed Mind Mapping, he related the entire process to the ‘organic’ way the brain works. For example, the inclusion of images and colors to stimulate and excite the dendrites and neurons on the brain and allow us to think more clearly and creatively

And the lines are not just ‘lines’. They ‘grow’ out of the central image, like branches and lead to smaller or sub-branches just like brain cells.

Mind Mapping WILL change the way you think. And it’s surprisingly easy to use – when you do it the right way.

Graham Moore

Graham is a ThinkBuzan Licensed Instructor. (The highest level of accreditation issued by the Buzan Organsation.) He regularly presents his Mind Mapping courses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Karachi, Lahore, Bangladesh and Palestine.
Graham has been personally trained by Tony Buzan, the Inventor of Mind Mapping and global authority on creative thinking and by Jennifer Goddard, the No. 1 Master Trainer for Mind Mapping.

Here’s what Tony Buzan said;

“Graham….You have an excellent understanding of the ThinkBuzan methods … your extensive experience, creativity, enthusiasm and depth of knowledge give me no doubt that you will go on to teach our methods in the most effective way.”  Tony Buzan

Comments from recent Mind Mapping courses run by Graham:

“Fantastic. Knowledgeable, able to connect with diverse audience, great communicator, patient, open to ideas, supporting and motivational.
Overall – a great educator !”
Shaima Alawadhi
Manager – Key Account, DEWA 

“Thanks & feel lucky to do Mind Mapping course with you. I’m already practicing & it really works.”
Noor,  Qubee, Bangladesh

Presenting Skills: Small Changes, Big Results

IMG_0640

How often have you seen a manager or even someone more senior in your organization make a presentation to a group of colleagues or the team, even a more important ‘event’ and then someone else then follows that person and you react with a “Wow – that was impressive.” ?

I say in all my presentation skills programs that “The way you present, can be career limiting.”

And it’s true. (I’ll share an example in my next Presentation Skills Blog)

One executive or employee at a lower level may have a depth of knowledge about their field ; they might be ‘technically the most proficient accountant… or marketing expert … or operations manager…. the list goes on.

But when it comes to speaking in front of a group – large or small – the way they present shows a of lack impact and connection with those they’re speaking to.

Big fail.

On the other hand, people who present with confidence and know just a few simple ways to engage the audience and deliver the presentation with impact, stand out.

Having of knowledge of the topic is important but it’s not as important than the way you present.

Here’s one simple tip: make eye contact with your audience. Of course, that’s easier to do if the presentation is around a board table or a presentation where the numbers are small but look at the eyes (yes, the eyes) of one then another of your audience momentarily.

One senior executive I was working with recently told me that when he started doing this something happened which he couldn’t believe : his audience looked at him – not their mobile phones !

Making impact with your presentation skills, often requires just simple strategies which will get great results form you – and the effect will build your confidence and impact of your career.

I’ll share more simple but effective tips – so stay in touch.

Graham

Leaders Are Born …. And So Are Managers

Leader Are Born

I’ve been delivering leadership programs for … well, many years.

In nearly every workshop I deliver, I’ll have at least one person who believes that “Leaders are born that way” Or “You have to be born with leadership skills”.

Let me share something personal with you. I wasn’t born with these skills, traits, characteristics, ‘leadership DNA’ or whatever you want to call whatever leaders are supposed to be born with.

Probably the person who knew me best as I was growing up was my Mum. My Mum couldn’t believe what I was doing, career-wise. The words she said which I – and my sister – clearly remember were “I can’t believe he’s doing this, he was such a shy boy.”

And yet this ‘shy’ boy at the age of 28 in the corporate world was a leader who had 4 direct reports and a total of 60 and up to 80 others at times who were in the team.

I simply ‘learned’ the skills required. I was fortunate to work for 17 years with a managing director – and wonderful leader – who I learned much from.

As Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner say in ‘The Leadership Challenge’, “Leadership is an observable and learnable set of skills and abilities.”

So I learned – and I continue to learn. You see, I wanted to be a leader. I chose to learn and become a leader. If I had chosen to become an airline pilot or accountant – or pianist or mountain climber – I could have chosen that path and learned the skills required.

But those – and many other skilled occupations and activities – were not choices I made. I knew that as a leader I could, to use a cliché, ‘make a difference’. That difference would be in the lives of others as well as in my life.

By saying that “You’re born with leadership skills is really an excuse for not learning. Our path in life, and the successes we achieve are so often about the choices we make – and the skills we learn.

If you make the choice, if you learn the skills required, if you demonstrate these skills with consistency and frequency, and learn on an ongoing basis, you can become an exemplary leader.

And you’ll be one like me and many, many thousands of others who disprove that old myth about leaders being ‘born that way’.

Yes, leaders are born – and so are managers….accountants ….and …