Our Thoughts

Presentation Fast Fix Structure Your Talk

Presentation Fast Fix: Structure Your Talk

by: Debra Jasper  (adapted from her guest post in Columbus CEO)

At the end of a Breaking Through the Noise keynote talk recently, a man came up to the podium and asked a critical question. How could he convince his boss that his company’s sales presentations have to be faster, crisper and straight to the point?

All of our clients are crazy busy, he said. “We don’t have time to tell them all about the history of our company or its founders. If they don’t hear something that impacts them right away, they’ll start reading their emails or texting.”

He’s so right, of course.

In the past few years, I’ve given talks to thousands of people from Utah to Ukraine. And I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that whether your audience is made up of conference attendees, potential clients or even your own colleagues, it’s tough to get their attention. And it’s getting tougher every day.

Last year, professionals had on average an attention span of nine seconds. Now it’s dropped to eight. Eight seconds. That doesn’t mean people won’t tune in longer. But it does mean they will make a snap decision about whether your presentation is worth their time.

So in this post – the first in a series of five, I’ll unpack our Five Fast Fixes – key ways to dramatically improve your presentations, wow your audiences and get your message across.

First, the good news: Yes, attention spans are short, but in the presentation world, the bar is often really low. So even making one or two of these fixes will make a big difference. As a presenter, you’ll feel great, and your audience will feel grateful.

Fast Fix #1: Structure your talk (like a journalist would)

It sounds simple, but it takes some real thought to structure your presentation in a way that both piques curiosity and maps out where you’re headed.

Continue reading the full post here.

In the next blog post, I’ll talk about Fast Fix #2—and the biggest mistake we see in presentations today.

Want more?
Get a sneak peek at all five Fast Fixes, featured in the current issue of Columbus CEO magazine.

Or, learn more about our popular keynote talks, where we cover topics like:

  • Five Fast Fixes for Powerful Presentations
  • The Three Curses Standing Between You and Your Audience
  • The New Realities: The Three Shifts Today’s Business Leaders Can’t Afford to Ignore


Get Social Media Returns without Getting It Wrong

The Return on Investment in social media is big. That’s why 71 percent of financial advisors are using a social channel to bring in new business. But there is another ROI – and that is the Risk of Ignoring massively complicated compliance rules. A whole host of federal agencies are not just monitoring and fining you, they’re mandating that you get your employees up to speed on using new channels in smart and compliant ways.

At the 2013 Content Marketing World Financial Summit, our co-founders, Debra Jasper and Betsy Hubbard, show you how to take advantage of powerful new channels to engage clients and retain customers — all while staying within regulation.

We hope you can join us on September 12th at the Summit in Cleveland, Ohio

You can get a discount for the entire conference (September 9-12) by using the code “SPEAKER” when you sign up for the event. Learn more by visiting Content Marketing World or simply contact us for more details.

See you there!

new realities for nordic media festival

Thanks for joining us for today’s “New Realities” talk at the Nordic Media Festival. Debra and Betsy enjoyed speaking to everyone about the major communications shifts affecting today’s world.

Here are some links from videos and sources that we referenced today:

Research/information Sources

Creative videos/ new tools

links for twitter sessions at the nordic media festival

It was great meeting everyone at our Twitter sessions for the Nordic Media Festival today. Here are some tips and tools that we discussed in this morning’s sessions:

Research/information Sources

  • Twellow – a directory of people on Twitter and what topics they tweet
  • Tweetchat – a place for live Twitter chats
  • Hootsuite – a social media management tool for scheduling and tracking your tweets and reach
  • Storify – share your stories visually through social media
  • Geofeedia – find social media posts in a certain geographic location
  • Klout – track your influence on social media
  • Topsy – see how far your articles have gone on social media
  • Hashtagify.me – Not sure which hashtag to use? This one looks at the most popular for certain topics
  • Hashtag Battle – Compare two hashtags