Don’t Pack Too Much

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

One of the biggest mistakes presenters make is they pack too much in! They are so afraid of running out of material that they over-do it, and then they run out of time. They start rushing to fit it all in, and we feel their panic. Their message may be lost in the flurry of words.

Pack your talk as if you were packing a suitcase. Don’t you want to leave some room for some goodies you find along the way?

I had a student who planned her talks to the second! During one of her talks, we thought something was humorous and we laughed. She waved her hands wildly to silence us. Afterwards, I asked, “Why didn’t you allow us to laugh?” “I didn’t have time for you to laugh!”

If that weren’t so sad, it would almost be funny.

It’s better to end up with extra time than to sit on your suitcase to force it closed.


Nix “I didn’t have a chance.”

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

Please remove this phrase from your brain and mouth: “I didn’t have a chance.”

“I didn’t have a chance to look at your website.”

“I didn’t have a chance to read your article.”

“I didn’t have a chance to visit your new store.”

Yes, you had a chance! Probably several dozen chances. The point is — you didn’t TAKE that chance!

Between session 1 and 2 of my presentation skills classes, I assign the reading of my book, Life is a Presentation. And I add, “Next week, no one gets to say, ‘I didn’t have a chance to read your book.’ If you didn’t read it, you must say, ‘I did not make it a priority to read your book.'”

I say, “Surely, you don’t want us to think you don’t have the power to manage your time, to keep your word, or to communicate appropriately if circumstances are truly beyond your control.”

I have a client who has been putting off an “uncomfortable” conversation with a co-worker whom he manages. After one month of avoiding this conversation, he is still telling me that he “hasn’t had a chance” and “the timing hasn’t been right.”

Take calcium for a stronger backbone, my friends! And take that chance when it’s right in front of you!


Tell Your Audience How Many Slides They’ll Be Seeing

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

If you plan to use power point during your presentation, create rapport with your audience before you start showing slides. Let people “take you in.” They need to sense whether they like you and trust you before they can be receptive to your message. They need to assess whether they’ll be safe in your hands.

THEN, say, “I am now going to show you (number) of slides that will help you get the most from this presentation.” People get uneasy and anxious when they suspect on-coming over-load. When you tell them how many slides they’ll be seeing (the fewer the better), they’ll know how much “band width” to allot for what’s to come.

After you’ve shown the last slide, finish up with a brief story, a conclusion, and a call for action. YOU should be the bookends of your presentation — not slides!