HELP! I Have To Deliver A Presentation!

“The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.”

- George Jessel

What is it about public speaking that drives people nuts? Many studies have shown that given the choice of what registers the greatest fear in humans, “untimely death” actually is less fearful than speaking in public!

1) Public Speaking or Humiliation

2) Peer Rejection

3) Untimely Death

It is hard to believe that such angst is caused about presenting to groups. As with many things in life, I believe it comes down to one thing and one thing only: Preparation. Those that are thoroughly knowledgable in their subject matter as well as their delivery of the subject matter, find presenting not only easy, but actually energizing.

One of the goals I have always used in delivering speeches, is to know the material so well, that the well-prepared content is delivered in a nearly ad-libbed fashion. This casual delivery style keeps the audience engaged through both delivery of content as well as inflection in the voice. In the early days of my speeches, I used to have three key words highlighted in my speaking notes for each slide. I would ad-lib the slide but always ensured that I covered the three key words – that was the solution to delivering the message. Now, I practice speeches so much that the “ad-lib” sections and anecdotal stories flow seamlessly to capture the essence of the presentation.

Rules Of Thumb:In a nutshell, make the presentation entertaining! Presentations should be inspirational, exciting, well-thought through and yes, entertaining. From the look and feel of the presentation, to its delivery, it is critical to keep the audience dialed in. Specifically, I prefer the following as my simple rules of thumb:

  • Black background with vibrant colors to pop of the slides
  • Kabel Ultra Bold font for the best readability – not everyone is sitting in the front row
  • No more than 3 bullets per slide in – short and to the point!
  • Graphics on every slide – think entertainment and interest
  • Presentation should be timed to about one minute per slide – keep the audience engaged

StoryBoard It! Slow down… and don’t race to create slides just yet. Before you start creating slides for your next presentation, plan what you’re going to say. Storyboard the flow of the speech first – this will make your presentation more cohesive and easier to create the slides. Believe me, some time spent up front in mapping the sequence, will save you more time than it takes to create it. This storyboard process will help you clarify what you want to say, when to say it and how you want to say it. The flow of the presentation is equally important as the content of the slides.

Never, Ever Read Slides: Raise your hand if you have been in the audience of a speech where the presenter read the slides WORD-BY-WORD… positively riveting! Don’t be THAT guy! The audience can read the slides – keep them brief and to the point – accentuating what’s on the screen with anecdotal tidbits that enhance and personalize the slide. Keep the pace moving so that the audience does not fall into a trance staring at a slide with 100 words on it for five minutes.

Be A Story Teller: Personalizing your speech is an excellent way to deliver a message. Interweaving anecdotal examples of real-life stories that help to characterize the essence of the point create a longer-lasting impression on the audience. In addition, these interjections of personal experiences enable the speaker to humanize the points and allow the audience to create commonality with the presenter. The more the speaker can make the content their own, the better the reception from the audience.

Be Prepared – Practice! Now is not the time to go lightly – this is the area that will make or break your speech. You MUST practice your speech to the point that it flows effortlessly from your mouth to the audience. In your mind, you need to know not only where you are in your presentation but what is coming up next. I always love it when I get “in the zone” where I am simultaneously delivering the speech while thinking about what is going to be presented next. Or as Wayne Gretzky, hockey Hall-Of-Famer would say, “skate where the puck is going, not where it’s been.” That is being in the zone.

Overcoming the fear of presenting is solved through one way only – preparation. Know your stuff, be well-practiced and your delivery will be seamless and well-received. The “rubber chicken circuit” is not for the faint of heart, but with proper planning and preparation, you can unleash your “inner orator”.

Tip For an Effective Presentation in English


Sometimes customers come to me, complaining that they feel stuck in the planning stages of a presentation. In other words, they do not know where to begin.

A tip that I recommend is to try thinking backwards. Try asking yourself, “What would I want the participants of my presentation to take with them at the end of my presentation?” Write down all the things you wish to happen. For example, after my presentation:

- I would like the participants to remember the price of my top three products
- I would like the participants to enter my website during the week
- I would like the participants to remember four advantages of my product

This list will assist you in creating the presentation in a more accurate way.

Recently, I conducted a workshop for sales representatives of a large and well-known retail chain that sells computers and computer accessories. When I sat down with the manager in order to plan the workshop, he wasn’t sure about the content he wanted to convey. The moment I presented the issue ‘backwards’, things became clearer:

“What would you want your sales reps to know how to do by the end of the workshop?” I asked him.

“Ah, that’s easy,” he answered, “I want them to be familiar with several selling techniques in order to sell more successfully.”

The moment he phrased it that way, things came into place: we knew that the workshop has to contain specific hands-on tools and techniques that will improve the effectiveness of the salespeople. Once we knew what the final target is, it became easier to build the workshop ‘backwards.’

One last comment:

People tend to see presentations as something that is related only to the business world. However, it’s important to remember that a presentation is a delivery of information in a way that conveys the message in the manner that will be best understood. What am I trying to say? I’m trying to say that trying to convince my wife to join me for a Hamlet performance next Friday is also a type of presentation. And, if I want to convince her to come with me, especially if she’s not a big fan of Shakespeare, then I need to spend a few minutes thinking about how to present it properly and convincingly. We present all the time, and to everyone. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” said Shakespeare (As You Like It, Act II), and if the famous Bard said so, then perhaps we should listen.

I would love to hear about interesting or weird presentations you’ve had.

Good luck.

Mr. Miron Abramson

Ukrainian Ladies – The Appropriate Presents

If you are romancing a Ukrainian lady, you will probably try to impress her with some kind of present. What are good presents for your lady?

If you are in love with a Ukrainian lady, you are one of the luckiest persons in the world. Tender and devoted, they will do their best to be perfect for their beloved ones. Men try to return the gesture by giving appropriate gifts.

The Ukrainian culture is rich in traditions and presents should depend on the stage in your relationship. Presents are accepted as signs of attention and affection to the woman and should not be too direct.

If you are a new couple and are still getting to know each other, the best will be to stick to the cliches and the traditional solutions. Many websites offer direct delivery of a big bunch of flowers and you can select among many beautiful arrangements. Roses are sign of love and passion and it is better for initial contact to prefer other flowers. Otherwise your sweetheart could decide that you are too direct. Orchids are relatively expensive but a good option. They are not as red and hot as the roses but they are a valuable present and can tell more about your feelings than anything else.

Cuddly toys and teddies are sweet but sometimes too childish. The teddy bears are a traditional sign of love and probably you will be advised that the bigger the bear the better. Actually before making any order for a bear delivery, be sure that your Ukrainian lady will like it. Many women consider the toys stupid and meaningless gifts. They are not heartless but practical. With the money you spend on a teddy bear you can buy something more valuable for a woman.

Chocolates and champagne are also good practice in the romance presents list. Again, you might be at risk because some women refuse to eat chocolate because they are afraid that they will put on weight. If you send out chocolates too often, you will become too predictable for your Ukrainian lady. She might think that you are not creative enough and you are simply choosing ready-made solutions.

At a later stage, when you know each other better, you can send more intimate presents to your sweetheart. If you know her favorite perfume, do not hesitate and offer her this gift – particularly French perfume.. The real perfumes in Ukraine are very expensive and a good brand and scent will show your affection in an indisputable manner. In addition, buying her perfume is a sneaky way to reach her heart, because subconsciously her mind will start associating the smell with you.

Clothes and underwear are too intimate as presents and we do not advise you to buy them until you know your Ukrainian lady better. Especially underwear is sign of uncontrolled desire and this could take her aback. Women do not want to be treated as toys so do not act as someone who wants to dress pretty dolls and play with them.

For initial contact and impression, always listen to your previous experience and do not try to impress with things that are too big, expensive or eloquent. Small presents can make a big impact so start with something more modest and little by little make them bigger but only if you feel that it will be right for your relationship.