Anna Soo Wildermuth

Welcome to Personal Images, Inc.!

Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Presentation Skills

For a successful message, begin with the end in mind

3637986782_Google20Talk_xlarge_answer_2_xlargeOften, folks presenting start with the details and eventually get to the point. However, presenters who begin with the end in mind and then wait for a reaction from the audience can discuss the supporting points based on that audience response, tend to deliver a more impactful message. They show their audience respect and allow them to ask better informed questions.

How do you connect with your audience?

Stripe Shirts with TiesThere much to learn by watching the politicians on stage, from the way they speak to their clothing choices. In a recent New York Times article, the vice presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, was featured about his clothing choices. He was compared to President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
President Obama is a Hart Shaffner Marx customer (custom tailored to his physical size – tall and slender). Vice President Joe Biden was not wearing an off the rack suit either. The average man on the street rarely wears a suit today and if he does, it is not custom tailored. Tim Kaine wore a non-custom made suit along with a matching shirt and a not-current-style tie. His clothing sent the message: I am just like the average guy on the street and I am for you. The idea is to dress for the audience you want to connect with.

How do you sound?

microphone-vectorExpressing passion when speaking about your subject is an important way to connect to your audience. The key is to control the volume of your voice. It is easy to mistake yelling for passion. Practice by audio and videotaping your presentations. This helps determine when and where the voice needs to change to reflect the key moments in the speech. When a voice raises in sound, it projects a different feeling than yelling does. Use one to three fingers on your throat to gauge when your voice goes too high or low. You can raise or lower your voice to make a point and determine the most effective tone based on the audience size and speech content.

Present to the audience needs

microphone-vectorIn group presentations, the key is to provide what the audience needs. Sounds simple, but is it really? In a recent meeting with a client, we worked on major areas to master when giving a group presentation. One, the answer to the question being asked should be backed with common sense, stats if possible and some context or history around it.

Secondly, the answer must flow in the overall presentation, whether it is to present a situation or provide forecasts for the group or organization.

Lastly and most importantly, the presenter must truly believe in it. Using these three simple rules means a 90% chance for a successful experience.