Blog

Spoken Impact Blog

We post brief articles to address questions and concerns that come up as the result of our ongoing workshops and trainings. We invite you to check back here often for insights and observations on business communication.

  • Keys to Business Storytelling - “People want story because story fits the mind. It is how the mind absorbs, sorts and structures reality.” Robert McKee Storytelling is an extremely effective way to share information with an audience. It makes complex data easier to understand. It can clarify or emphasize an important point. It also has more sticking power so your audience can hold on to ... >> Continue Reading
  • Ideas to Engage Your Audience - Think back to the last presentation you heard.  Was it engaging and captivating?  Did you find yourself anticipating what was coming next? Were you pulled into the presentation by the presenter?  Most likely you answered no to all of these questions.  Unfortunately, most business presentations lack audience engagement and leave use feeling uninterested.  When you are uninterested your mind wanders ... >> Continue Reading
  • Making it Concrete with Cookies - How can you bring pizzazz to a presentation that focuses primarily on financial or numerical data? Here’s how Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s did it. To get people’s attention, he created an animated short in which he described the deficit in terms of Oreo cookies and emailed it to a small group of people –  who then forwarded it ... >> Continue Reading
  • Looking for a Way to Engage Your Audience? - If you have several topics you want to cover in your talk, how about getting your audience to help you announce the topics? Our client, Lee Roper-Batker, President of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, used this method recently to great success. Lee recently spoke at a fundraising event where she introduced the five cornerstone initiatives for the foundation. Instead of ... >> Continue Reading
  • Leave Your Listeners With a Visual Image - When you want to convey the impact of numbers or statistics, it helps to leave your listeners with a visual image. Using charts or graphs is one way to do that, but it may not always be your most creative or effective choice. A young 28 year old man with Cystic Fibrosis was speaking at a fundraiser and wanted to ... >> Continue Reading
  • Grab Attention with a Strong Opening - A strong opening engages the audience and leaves them wanting more. Using a prop helps to quickly focus your audience. One well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. The speaker asked, “Who would like this money?” Hands went up all over the room. After promising to give the money to someone in the room, ... >> Continue Reading
  • How Do You Lighten Up Your Presentation Even If You Aren’t Naturally Funny? - So often we feel ourselves going on and on in a presentation and we long for a way to lighten up the atmosphere and reconnect with the audience. But if you are like many presenters, finding ways to add a light moment is not easy. One of the best techniques is to replace the expected with the unexpected. Next time ... >> Continue Reading
  • Make Your Key Message Stand Out in Lights - How do you make sure that your audience walks away remembering your key message long after your presentation is over? Look for creative ways to deliver the message with props or by involving the audience. One of our clients used both of those techniques when she presented her company’s unique 9-step process for creating client designs at the Annual Graphic ... >> Continue Reading
  • Leave Them With a Lasting Visual Impression - How do you manage your time and set priorities? It’s a large topic about which much could be said. One speaker found a way to deliver his key message so that it left a lasting impression with his audience. To make his point, the speaker pulled out a one gallon wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on the desk in ... >> Continue Reading
  • What if You Could Get a Hollywood Pro to Help You With Your Presentation? - That would be ideal. So do the next best thing: insert a short movie clip at just the right time. Or create your own. That’s what this team did to get their point across. A team of employees at a large retailer was working with their management at headquarters on their customer-returns policy. The team had visited all the stores ... >> Continue Reading
  • Get Buy-in by Asking Your Audience to Participate - If you’ve ever managed a diverse workforce, you know it can be challenging to get everyone working productively as a team. One of our clients who is a sales manager, found himself in that position as he prepared to speak to his brand new team of 13 sales executives. He had recently been assigned to manage them and this would ... >> Continue Reading
  • There’s Money to Be Made if You Listen - If you’re in sales, you know how important it is to listen to your customers. Bill Daly, of Federated Insurance, wanted to make this point to a group of sales people, so he decided to give them a direct experience of the importance of listening. When he opened his presentation, he spoke a lot about himself. He talked about his ... >> Continue Reading
  • What Group are You In? - When you want to drive home a point, involve your audience in helping you make it. One of our clients did just that when she wanted to make a point with the audience about the importance of exercise, nutrition and rest. First, she gave everyone in the audience a card from a deck of cards. Then she asked all the ... >> Continue Reading
  • Use a Prop to Help You Deliver Your Message - How do you make an abstract concept real and meaningful to your audience? It helps to first relate the concept to something specific and familiar that your audience understands. Here’s how one presenter used a prop to do just that. This presenter is an agronomist who often does presentations on soil and sustainability. When explaining wind erosion, he passes out ... >> Continue Reading
  • Use an Activity to Break the Ice - Invite your audience to get right into your topic by asking them to participate. Here’s how one presenter got the attention of twenty CEOs when he was asked to speak with them about financial risk. The CEOs were seated in groups of five at four separate tables. After handing each one a sheet of paper, the presenter asked them to ... >> Continue Reading

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