Category Archives: Presenting Live

10% Hate You

Dave Gordon is an incredible speaker, speech coach and brand educator that I’ve worked with a lot in the past as a colleague and client. He has a great piece out on not getting discouraged by that portion of your audience that no matter what, will always be overly critical and in some cases, flat out hate you.

10% of the people will come up to you at the end of your talk and tell you in person how much your message meant to them. They will shake your hand, give you their card, or somehow make a connection.

80% will respond via survey that they enjoyed the presentation and got at least one thing out of it that they could do to advance their career.

10% hate you. For whatever reason, they didn’t like you, your message, your clothes, your hair, your accent. Whatever it was, they just didn’t connect.

Those who get nervous when they present, focus on the 10% that hate. You want everyone to love you and your message, but that’s not possible. The key is to remember “show and tell.” Get up and share something meaningful for you that you know over 90% of your audience will appreciate and enjoy. Find the friendly faces and nodding heads in the audience. They are the people you talk to. The other 10% aren’t really listening anyway, but that’s about them, not you.

I suppose it’s a bit like pricing your services in which if you’re not getting a small portion of clients saying you’re too expensive, then you’re not charging enough. If you don’t have a small portion of your audience “hating” you, maybe you’re doing something wrong.

In any case, read the piece here, and sign up for his newsletter which is always filled with good stuff.

Categories: Presenting Live.

Presenters Network 2016 Get Together



We had another great Presenters Network Get Together this week organized and hosted by David Grupper of PointMade Animation. Saw old friends, some very old friends and met lots of new designers and presentation professionals from the New York area. And we had some great presentations from speakers.

Take a look at all the pics here!

Categories: Presenting Live.

Upcoming Presentation Events – NYC & Las Vegas


The good folks at PointMadeAnimation are again hosting the Presenters Network, an evening of  drinks, talks and networking for anyone involved in the world of presentation. Last year’s event was a huge success and a lot of fun (check out pics and videos here), so if you’re in New York,  come by on July 19th to this rooftop event. Registration is required, but be sure to put in the discount code “pointmadeanimation” for a big discount.

And as I did last year, I’ll be one of the event speakers. This time I’ll be talking about Office 365 and the latest game-changing features to have come to PowerPoint.

Hope to see you there!

Presentation Summit

And, it’s also time to start registering for this year’s Presentation Summit, being held this year in Las Vegas.

The 2016 lineup for the world’s only conference dedicated to presentation is very exciting. the always amazing Nancy Duarte will be delivering a keynote address, and we will also be welcoming Sunni Brown for a first time visit and talk.

As always, there will be breakout sessions galore including a number that I will be giving. I will also have the pleasure of moderating a late night roundtable discussion with Nancy on the business of presentation. Check out the entire schedule and list of presenters here.

I know I say this every year, but this is really a conference not to be missed. It is unique among business conferences in so many ways, but mostly in how intimate the organizers keep it. You have direct access to the best minds and players in the world of presentation, and there is no way to attend and not leave a better presenter and creator of presentations. The conference always sells out, so sign up soon, and use the following code for a nice discount: “nh75”

If you have any questions or are on the fence, drop me a line, and I’d be happy to convince you further!


Obama’s 2016 Enhanced SOTU Was Also “Big Picture”


President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union last night was more “big picture” than is typical, and so was the traditional Enhanced State of the Union. Fewer charts and graphs and numbers overall and more imagery and singular statement “slides.” I also liked that they didn’t feel the need to fill every moment with a visual.

Watch it here:

Categories: Presenting Live.

What “5 Slides Only” Really Means

There has been an increasing trend in companies these days of insisting presentations be limited to just a few slides. I’m hearing more and more from clients that bosses are demanding “5 slides only” or “10 slides maximum” for an internal presentation.

So, what does this actually mean and how do you handle a situation like this?

Slide Number Agnostic

First of all, I have always been slide number agnostic. For an on-screen presentation, it makes no difference if you present 10 minutes worth of content with one slide or with 20 slides. In my trainings, I routinely use upwards of 100 slides per hour.


But herein lies the clue for you when given a cap on number of slides. Anyone who asks you to limit your number of slides is actually asking you to limit and focus your content. Most people assume content is related to slide number the way that a newspaper article is related to word count. But it’s just not true. It’s quite possible to put 60 minutes of content onto 5 slides—and that’s precisely what some people do…

It’s About Time Allotted

The first step in answering this challenge is to truly examine how much time you have to present. When preparing a presentation, overall time and time per slide are two of the most important metrics to consider. If you’re given 5 minutes to present next year’s sales strategy, that’s a pretty good indication that this is not the place to discuss the work history of your 25 new sales reps and the 15-phase implementation plan for the new B2C website. Given 5 minutes, you can only address the big picture and the actionable takeaway, if any.

They Just Want the Big Picture

And that gets us to what most people are actually asking for when they ask for a cap on slides. They simply want the big picture and the takeaway. But for whatever reason, corporate America has failed time and again in adequately expressing and teaching people how to deliver this. Raise your hand if you’ve ever delivered more than you knew you were asked for. Why did you do it? Well, nobody has ever been fired for including too much…

So, let’s accept some collective blame here, and now understand why you are being limited to 5 slides only. It is a clumsy attempt to force people to not put needless details up on the screen.

So How Do You Handle the Slide Cap Request?

Clarify the presentation’s objectives with whoever has requested the slide cap. Talk in terms of time allotted to present and ask what level of detail and takeaway is required. In most cases, people don’t want all the detail behind the overall message. If it seems as though the requested information can fit into the allotted time, but is still more than what will comfortably fit on 5 slides with one message per slide, then ask for an exception and explain why. If the requested information is too much for your allotted time, then ask to provide additional content in a handout that will never be projected. Detailed tables and endless research notes have a place—just not on the screen in a live presentation. And keep in mind:

“5 Slides Only” = “Just Give Me the Big Picture”


Three Minute Thesis

Think you can’t possibly present your entire business idea in a few minutes like your boss has asked? Take a look at the Three Minute Thesis project from the University of Queensland and see how PhD candidates (not known for their conciseness to begin with) manage to communicate their theses in just 180 seconds.

H/T to Rob Nachum for this!

Here’s one of the 2014 winners…



visual training presentation