Tag Archives: tips

To Be a Better Presenter, Prepare for Floods (or Anything!)

A recent office flood reminds us to prepare for ANY eventuality when we speak or present!

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group

Last week, we narrowly escaped a technological catastrophe… We had a total flood in our office. Gallons of water rained down from the ceiling directly above the desk in our webinar presentation space.

We’d only been in our new office space for a month when we heard the sound of running water. Upon investigation, we discovered water gushing through the ceiling, directly onto the computer, monitor and phone in our webinar room. A leak in the office above ours had caused a sudden flood of water to burst through the ceiling and into our office.

The computer was flooded, the desk was drenched, and the seat soaked. The water showered down in the exact spot I had been sitting to deliver a Webex just hours before. After we salvaged the brand new computer equipment, we reflected on the situation. “What would you have done,” my colleagues asked, “if you were teaching a Webex during the flood?” I burst out laughing—“Imagine if it were a video class? I almost wish it had been!”

In our workshops, we teach people how to keep their cool and be prepared for unexpected interruptions when they present; PowerPoint failures, ringing cellphones, and late arrivals can serve as major distractions to a presenter. We teach people how to command executive presence and demonstrate confidence in all sorts of situations. Regardless of the distraction, it pays to be prepared and expect the unexpected. What would we have done if the flood had happened while we were live with clients? If it were an audio call, it wouldn’t have been obvious to the listeners, but I would have had to acknowledge the sudden downpour. We could take a break and resume the workshop from a colleague’s desk down the hall.

We can’t ever predict every eventuality, but we can think on our feet and try to maintain our cool. Remember that the audience will take your lead on the situation. If you’re able to continue your presentation without skipping a beat, they will likely dismiss the distraction and stay with you. If you need to address the situation, do so quickly and return to your agenda. If you find yourself suddenly soaked in the middle of live call, after the initial shock, be honest.  We’re all human and life is unpredictable— your candor will win you credibility with your audience.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com

In God We Trust… Everyone Else, Bring Data

There are a few questions we frequently hear from our workshop participants. And perhaps the most vexing is the question of detail… how much do I need, where do I put it, how much is too much? Without exception, it comes up and is a major topic of conversation in every workshop. Why? For two… Continue Reading

Always Be Ready to Argue the Other Side

We think and talk about persuasion a lot over here at The Latimer Group. We believe that the ability to use your words to create good outcomes is a critical skill in our world today… this has probably always been true, but perhaps never MORE true than it is today. In a world where communication… Continue Reading

Do Your Words Inspire Others to Keep Talking?

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. It’s the time of year for graduation ceremonies and new beginnings. We’re seeing inspirational books displayed on the shelves of our local bookstores, graduation cards at stationary shops and snippets of commencement speeches flooding our newsfeeds. As I think of the… Continue Reading

6 of the Most Common Interview Mistakes

In our coaching and training, we end up discussing the interview process all the time. Many of our clients interview regularly for promotions within their company. And almost all of our clients have to conduct interviews with others, for positions they are trying to fill on their own teams. Part of our coaching process is… Continue Reading

3 Keys to Being a More Memorable Speaker

Here’s a great goal for you in your next meeting or presentation. Make it your mission in life to make it easy for people to remember what you say. Have you ever had the experience where a presenter just walked into the room, and from the moment he or she opened their mouth, you were… Continue Reading

Video: The 4 Skills of Great Communication

Ask anyone who performs at a high level: athletes, dancers, singers, etc. They all prepare and practice their skills the same way. They break their skill down into smaller “sub-skills,” then practice each one individually, then put them all back together, and their overall skill level has improved. The same is true with communication. “Great… Continue Reading

3 Simple Changes to Give Your Meetings Fresh Perspective

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. This week our team sat around a conference table with a consultant and after half an hour, he looked at us and said, “Maybe we should pause this discussion.” It was an unusual situation; typically we’re brought in as consultants and… Continue Reading

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