Evaluations – Practice Being a Coach to Improve Your Presentations

Do you watch Dancing with the Stars? One of the three judges is Bruno Tonioli. Usually, I have a problem with him. Particularly when he addresses the contestants. It is at that time that he will usually express himself in a manner such as “You need to work on your rhythm. You looked like Shrek lumbering about for your dinner!”

PU-LEASE! Is that type of comment necessary? I hope you will agree it is not. Perhaps, in the style of Simon Cowell, they hope to boost ratings. But let’s take a look at it from a public speaking standpoint.

Tonight, Bruno said to one of the worst dancers, “You were on, you were off, your were on… You had a section in the middle where you were with the music, but you need to work on that. Work on staying with the music.”

Don’t you think that is better than, “You look like a broken juke box! Skipping and jumping and not keeping the rhythm.”

As a presenter, you can learn two things from this. First, connect with your audience. Don’t alienate them. If you can connect with your audience, they are more likely to listen, to consider, and maybe to see it your way. That is true whether you are evaluating them, or whether your are presenting a new business proposal or donation request.

Second, learn from evaluations. Learn from others’ evaluations wherever you find them. And if you can’t find them, do them yourselves. Evaluate people. Do it in your head if necessary. Get used to noticing the things that you yourself need to work on. Maybe even by noticing mistakes in others, you will notice that you have the same problem which you didn’t notice before.

It is similar to when you purchase a new car. Before you bought that car, whatever make or model, you didn’t notice that particular car on the road. But once you bought it, you notice every one on the road. The same goes with any type of expertise. The more you watch for it, the more you notice it, the more easily you pick it up in the future. This can be used to your advantage. Look for good and bad presentation techniques in others and you will start to notice them in yourself.

By the way, there is a term for that sensitivity. I heard it on the radio last month. Do you know what it is?

There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.


How to Write and Design a Slide Presentation With OpenOffice Or NeoOffice Presentation Wizard

If you think you need to have MS PowerPoint to prepare a great presentation, I have to disagree respectfully. Actually there is a free alternative that does just as well, if not better.

OpenOffice (OO) and its Mac-version NeoOffice (NO) are two amazingly powerful and complete office suites with their built-in Presentation Program called Impress, which in my judgment is as good as MS PowerPoint. And… it also happens to be FREE. Search for “OpenOffice” and “NeoOffice” on the Google to download them from their respective sites.

Here is how to design and prepare a great Presentation by using OO or NO Presentation Wizard.

Select the Text Document option from the OO/NO menu to display the word processor.

Select File > Wizards > Presentation from the menu to display the Fax Wizard. (Note the Letter, Fax, Agenda, and Web Page wizards as well!)

Or alternatively, you can also directly select File > Presentation from the OO/NO menu. That also displays the same Presentation Wizard.


On the first screen (numbered 1) of the Presentation Wizard you can select from one of the following three types of presentation: a) Empty Presentation, b) From Template, or c) “Open Existing Presentation.”

a) If you select Empty Presentation option on SCREEN 1, you click Next and move on to the other wizard screens. (See SCREEN 2)

b) If you select From Template option on SCREEN 1, the wizard allows you to select from one the two modest built-in business templates available: Introducing a New Product, and Recommendation of a Strategy.

This same screen allows you to select a Presentation Background as well: Dark Blue with Orang, or Subtle Accents (my personal favorite).

You then click Next and move on to the other wizard screens. (See SCREEN 2)

c) If you open an existing presentation, the wizard will allow you to browse for it on your hard drive. Once you select and open the presentation, the wizard will carry you to the full-fledged editing window of the Impress application.

There, just like in MS PowerPoint, you can select from a variety of Master Pages, make any text edits you want on any slide, include a dizzying array of graphic elements, call-outs, images, and even manipulate the images (like rotating, etc.) The number of things that you can do both to your presentation template and the individual slides themselves is too long and has to be experienced in person to be appreciated. (All that from a totally FREE application!)

NOTE: Both OO and NO open any MS PowerPoint presentation perfectly well, without any problem! And once you’re through, you can again save them in MS PowerPoint format and no one would ever know the difference.

Click Next to advance to the next screen.


On the second screen (numbered 2) of the Presentation Wizard, you are allowed to select a Slide Design.

Here there’s a seeming-repetition that may confuse some users since the wizard again asks you to select a Presentation style and Presentation Background, the same options offered in SCREEN 1. However, that’s not a repetition of you ‘ve chosen the Empty Presentation option in the previous screen.

SCREEN 2 also allows you to select from one of the following Output Medium options: Original, Overhead sheet, Paper, Screen, Slide (my personal favorite).

Click Next to advance to the next screen.


This is where the fun really begins because you get to choose from a bewildering variety of Transition Effects, yeaah!

The Effect drop-down list presents you with over two dozen transition options like “Wipe Down”, “Uncover Left”, “Wheel Clockwise, 3 Spokes” etc. If the Preview check-box under the mini-preview window is selected, you can actually see in real-time each of these effects as you select them!

The Speed drop-down list allows you to select one of the three available transition speeds: Slow, Medium, Fast.

After that you can also decide whether you’d like to advance from one slide to another by Default (manually), or Automatically.

If you select Automatic, then the wizard also allows you to select the Duration of Page and the Duration of Pause in between the slides.

Click Next to advance to the next screen.


On the fourth screen (numbered 4) of the Presentation Wizard, you are allowed to type in the following general template information:

What is you name and the name of your company? What is the subject of your presentation? Any further ideas to be presented?

Click Next to advance to the next screen.


On the fifth screen (numbered 5) of the Presentation Wizard, you’ll be able to select the pages that you’d like to display as a part of your presentation.

Depending on the combination of the choices you’ve made in the earlier screens, you will be presented a dynamic list of page options.

For example, if you select “Introducing a New Product” template in SCREEN 1, on SCREEN 5 you’ll have the following page options:

Title, Long-Term Goal, Customer Wishes, Fulfilling Customer Needs, Cost Analysis, Strengths and Advantages, Next Steps of Action.

If, on the other hand, you select “Recommendation of a Strategy” template in SCREEN 1, on SCREEN 5 you’ll have the following page options:

Title, Overview, Long-Term Goal, The Present Situation, Development Up to present, Potential Alternatives, and Recommendation.

NOTE: No matter which kind of page list you are presented, you can always select and un-select each individual page to further customize your slide presentation.

After making all these choices you click the Create button to go directly into the full-fledged editing window of Impress.

And once you are there you can more or less take every editing action that’s available in MS PowerPoint, including selecting from a variety of Master Pages, making text edits on any slide, including a dizzying array of graphic elements, call-outs, images, and you can even manipulate the images (like rotating, etc.) to suit your taste and needs.

This editing window further offers you the alternative to work in the following editing modes:

Normal, Outline, Notes, Handout, and Slide Sorter.

You have no idea how powerful and complete this free presentation program is until you use it.

When you are done, you can select File > Save As from your menu and save your presentation in over a dozen presentation formats including (but of course!) MS PowerPoint.

A perfect Presentation wizard and application from a fully-equipped office suite that costs you zilch, zero, nada.

Go ahead. Whip up that great Presentation in no time and impress both your boss and your audience today!