Kelly Vandever - Communications for Everyone

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Power of a Presentation: Developing Your Know-Like-Trust Factor

In Presentation Tips on July 30, 2011 at 11:18 am

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Roger Courville Whom I Met Face to Face!

I arrived yesterday at the National Speakers Association convention #NSA11.  On my list of people I wanted to meet face to face was Roger Courville @1080Group, the guru of all things webinar.  As I walked into the Friday night pre-conference comedy event, who did I see sitting at one of the tables… Roger Courville!!!  “ROGER!” I exclaimed and gave him a big hug.  I felt like I already knew him!  Here’s how we “met.”

I some how got on the distribution list for a free webinar that Roger held where he gave some incredible advice about designing webinars.   He seemed like a super nice guy.  He had a great sense of humor.  He presented the information in a manner that made sense and I could follow.  I got excellent yet practical information.  I felt like I got to know him. He seemed like a likable guy and his advice could be trusted.

I started following Roger on Twitter.  I learned more cool things.  I got a few laughs.  I came to the conclusion that Roger was a pretty cool guy.

One day, as I was strategizing about business, I contacted Roger.  He graciously spent time with me, unscheduled, on the phone.  Helped me work through some thoughts (basically he talked me off a ledge… but that’s a subject for another post!) and we had a great conversation.  When we learned that we were both coming to convention, we made a pact to look for each other at #NSA11.  Then last night, we met for the first time in person and had a great conversation.  And it all started with that webinar presentation.

When Someone Hears You Present

When an audience is getting great value from a presentation, they’re feel like they’re getting to know the speaker as a person.  As they get to know the speaker, as the speaker gives them great value, the audiences is getting to like the speaker as a person.  And as the audience gets to know the speaker, like the speaker and see how the speaker thinks and how the speaker interacts, the audience gets to trust the speaker.  When that speaker is representing their business, that know–like–trust fact element of a presentation will have a positive impact on their business.  When that audience member decides to seek out someone in the speakers field, the audience will trust that presenter that they’ve seen and that they know, like and trust over a google search.  When asked by a friend for a recommendation, the audience member will remember that speaker who seemed like a good guy and provided valuable information.  That’s the power that a presentation has.

On Roger’s webinar, I felt like I got to know him.  I liked what he had to say, how he said it, and how he treated me as a member of his audience.  He further cultivated that know-like-trust factor in me by being the same person on Twitter and on the phone that I met in his webinar.  When we discovered that we were both coming to #NSA11, I couldn’t wait to get to meet him in real life.

How Are You Cultivating Your Relationship with the People in Your Audiences?

When you have the opportunity to speak in front of an audience that’s important to your business, are you giving them valuable information that will help them even if they’re not one of your customers?  Are you letting them get to know you as a person?  Are you building that know-like-trust factor?

Real Results

I have not become a customer of Roger’s.  I may not ever have a need for his service.  But we are in discussions now about having him come to speak to an audience that could potentially have a real need for his service.  We’ll see how that plays out.

In the meantime, the real results that I’ve felt are that I have a new friend and a new colleague someone I trust in and would be willing to recommend and help in whatever way I can.  If neither of us ever gets any business results from that, that’s probably OK too.  The world can use as much good karma as it can get!!

What’s Your Experience? 

How have you built the know-like-trust factor through a presentation?  How has it made a difference in your business?  Is Good Karma Good Enough?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!


Get Feedback on Your Presentation – Even If You Have to Get Creative to Get It!

In Presentation Tips on July 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm

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Kelly Vandever Rehearsing at a Toastmasters Club - How Do YOU Get Feedback?

I’m a member of an advanced Toastmasters club in Atlanta called the Speakers Roundtable Advanced Toastmasters club.  Everyone in the club either at a certain level within Toastmasters, or they are a professional speaker or trainer.


I will often practice a portion of a speech in front of my fellow Toastmasters before I deliver it to my client audience.  I’m always amazed and appreciative of the great feedback they give me and I know it makes me a better speaker.


Everyone can benefit from practicing in front of a friend, trusted colleague or a professional coach before delivering an important presentation.  Getting feedback is such an important thing that I’d suggest you get creative in finding ways to practice and receive feedback on a presentation.


Here are a few that I’ve used with clients.




Obviously face-to-face rehearsal, preferably in front of a group, is the best way to get feedback on your speech.  In addition to soliciting specific feedback, you can also read the body language of those watching the rehearsal and see if they reacted in the same way that you thought an audience would react.  But even if you don’t have a group, delivering the presentation to one person who is will to provide honest commentary and helpful suggestions will ultimately help you improve your important presentation.


Take it one more step by recording your practice session using a video camera and/or audio recorder.  The camera doesn’t lie.  You can take the feedback you receive and compare it to the actual recording.  Priceless!



Skype Rehearsal


Set up a time, get on Skype with your colleague or coach, and practice your presentation via you web cam.  Yes, it might be a little jittery at times, but it is a good substitute for when you can’t be in the same room.


Ecamm makes a recording software for Skype for the Mac that you can download at I find it easy to use and it has some cool features to make the most of the recording.  Plus at $19.95, it’s a great bargin!


I know of at least one other recording software for the PC called Super Tin Tin.  I’ve not used it so I can’t vouch for it.  It’s $29.95 and available at


Again record the session so you can see with your own eyes how you did and can evaluate the feedback from your colleague or coach.





Record a practice session (or even a live presentation) and burn it on to a DVD to give to your coach or colleague for feedback.  And be sure to watch it yourself too!



Presentation Gym 


New in the world of creative solutions to receive feedback is a company called Presentation Gym.  They’ve partnered up with several professional presentation coaches – myself included – to offer those who are serious about practicing their presentations a place to do a presentation workout.  There are fees involved, but you can get great feedback from people who study the art and science of presentations for a living.


The way it works is clients practice their presentation in front of their web camera, upload the video and their slides to the site.  There’s a self-evaluation portion and resources available through the site to learn more.  Then a coach provides you written feedback to help you improve even further.

One of the other great feedbacks of Presentation Gym is that they’re global.  They have coaches from the US, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, England, Turkey, Sweden, Netherlands, Australia, Hong Kong and France – and are working to add a few more countries as well.  So if you’ve got an important presentation outside the US, Presentation Gym gives you the chance to get culturally sensitive feedback too.  You can check out Presentation Gym at





YouTube gives you the ability to upload video and make it private so that only you and those you designate using their emails or YouTube user names can view the video.  Of course you may need editing software to break longer presentations into shorter clips as you may be limited to clips of 15 minutes or less.  But YouTube can be a viable alternative to get the feedback you need to make your presentation better.



What Else?!


Have you come up with another way to get feedback on your presentation?  What have you tried?  Please share with us all in the comment section!!

Marketing Departments – Your Branding Is Being Ignored… So Drop It from Your Presentation Slides

In PowerPoint Slides, Presentation Tips on July 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

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Your Marketing Message Is Being Ignored Like a Low Value Tweet

When I first I joined Twitter back in 2009, I started following a few people I didn’t know but who seemed to be talking about topics of interest.  There was one guy in particular, we’ll call him Dee, who tweeted a whole lot.  Dee’s face adorned the left side of my screen regardless of the time of day or night when I visited Twitter.  I wasn’t finding his tweets especially helpful but I never took the time to go in to my “following” list and physically stop following him.  I found instead that when I say his head on the side of the tweet, I’d just skip over his tweets and read those on either side of his.  He wasn’t enough of an annoyance that I stopped following him, but I pretty much ignored his messages.

It’s my contention that standard marketing slides used in most corporate presentations have become like Dee’s tweets.  They have that “branding” information at the top and bottom of the slide.  But people pretty much ignore that chatter and focus on what’s next to that branding.

Delete the Corporate Branding at the Top and the Bottom of Your Presentation Slides

I know why corporate marketing departments were asked to came up with the standard slides.  Left to their own devises, corporate citizens came up with some hideous slides.  Having people use a standard set of fonts and colors definitely made the slides look more professional.

But as more and more presenters are moving away from bullet points and adopting strong visuals for their messages, the header and footer branding on the slides has become an annoyance.

Your marketing branding messages at the top and the bottom of slides have not become so offensive that audiences have stopped listening to the message of your presenters.  But the branding has become so routine and repeated that they’re ignored.  So why include them on the slides any more.

Put the branding on the first slide.  Put the branding on the last slide.  But remove all that other noise so that the people who are doing your presentation can focus on your message and message not be surrounded by an annoyance that people have learned to ignore anyway.

What Do You Think?

Do you disagree?  Do you think branding on the slides of a presentation are effective?  Explain your views in the comments!

A Better Beach Angel – Creating a Repeatable Phrase with Meaning for Your Presentation

In Presentation Tips on July 7, 2011 at 11:40 am

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What's Your "Beach Angel" Phrase -- But with Meaning?

Over the 4th of July weekend, we took a family vacation to surprise my mother-in-law by having all of her five children and most of her grandchildren all in one place.


Now let me explain something about my husband Rich and his siblings.  They’re loud.


The last time they were together several years ago the frenzy was all about loudly quoting lines from the Austin Powers movies and the Shrek.  This time, it was the “beach angel” commercial.


(Here’s the original commercial if you’ve not seen it. )


Here’s how it went (all weekend long).  One sibling or a spouse would do something spectacular, like sink a shot in the yard game of “Bags” (which the family affectionately calls “Cornholes”) and it would start, “You’re amazing.”  “You’re a beach angel, ahhhhhhhhhhhaaaaahhhhhhaaaa.”   Before you knew it, less and less spectacular accomplishments would kick off another round, “You’re a beach angel, AHHHHHHHAAAAAAAHHHHHHHAAAAAA!”  What must the neighbors have thought?!


In the world of advertising, getting a saying to stick like the beach angel expression must seem wonderful.  But none of us could remember what product was being advertised.  Has that ever happened to you?  You remember the commercial but can’t for the life of you come up with the product?  My guess was a lottery commercial… turns out, it was Travelocity.



What Beach Angels and Speakers Have in Common


As a speaker, if we can find a phrase that sticks with our audience that too may seem like a good thing.  But my contention is that the sticky phrase is only good if it helps our audiences remember and apply what they’ve learned.


So what are some examples that worked?


“I have a dream” – Martin Luther King

“It’s the economy, stupid” – Bill Clinton

“Tear down this wall” – Ronald Reagan

“Yes we can” – Barrack Obama



As a professional speaker, I’ve been searching for a phrase that would stick with my audiences.  A phrase that people would be repeating when they came out of a program and which would help them remember some important point about effective presentations.


I’m still looking.


But I have some ideas about ways of finding a phrase that works for you.



Let It Happen Spontaneously


Either as you’re preparing your speech or as you’re delivering your presentation, sometimes something magical happens.  Call it a “God wink.”  Call it luck.  Call it a sign of your brilliance.  Sometimes we come up with a phrase that just sings.  When that happens, write it down!  Repeat it!  Don’t let that great notion get away!



Stick Around after the Speech


Early in my speaking career, I accompanied an experienced speaker to a presentation where he spoke in the morning and then stuck around and facilitated more meetings during the day.  I was fascinated by the phrase within the speech that resonated with his client.  They kept repeating it throughout the day.  It’s not a phrase that I would have guessed having heard the speech before.  But it was clearly a phrase that really spoke to them.


If after you present you skedaddle on your way, you’ll miss the opportunity to hear what the audience is repeating from your presentation.  Stick around.  Listen to what is resonating.  Chances are it will be significant to future audiences as well.  And it may not be the phrase you think would stick!



Watch the Twitter Stream


If you’re in a meeting with a hashtag, check the Twitter conversation and see what people are talking about out of your presentation.  If people have tweeted, or more significantly retweeted something you said, then you may be on to something.  Keep listening and see if you have your version of a beach angel… but with a meaning that will stick around for your audience!




What Have You Seen Work?




Let’s hear about other successes!


What have you’ve said that you know has stuck with your audience?  How did you know?   How did you come up with your effective “beach angel”?



What have you heard that stuck with you?  What about that phrase made it relevant?  How has the phrase helped you remember a lesson?


Tell us your experience in the comments!