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Become an Engaging Presenter

Lesson 3 of 15

Why Presentations Miss the Mark


Become an Engaging Presenter

Lesson 3 of 15

Why Presentations Miss the Mark


Lesson Info

Why Presentations Miss the Mark

The reason why I think we miss the mark most is because we follow tradition. How do all of you think about your presentations? What is the way that you present? Especially if you work for a company. We watch the person who did the first presentation when I started at that company, and that's what I do. I've actually worked at a company where somebody, after a presentation, came to me and said, "Ooh, their presentation "was really lousy," and then a month later, they presented, and they used the exact same deck. They walked up the exact same way. They actually gave the information in the exact same way, because that was our tradition at the company. This is how you present. So we learn that. We also have these crazy traditions which are, "This is how you should view the audience." Right? We've all heard that. "View the audience in their underwear." I don't want to do that. No offense to everybody. But we get these traditions in our head. Speak loudly, make sure you're speaking to the ba...

ck of the room. So if I do that, and I speak to the back of the room, you get one voice modulation, it's monotone, and over time, you all start dropping off. So I have to pay attention to what traditions we have out there, and I have to look at what works and what doesn't. Have all of you been to presentations, and there were things you really loved, and there were things you didn't really like? I need to take those and make them into an effective presentation. That's what growth is for me. I don't want every presentation to be the same. Otherwise, I rely on what I know, or I rely on the fact that now it's gonna be over. We started, I'll be done soon. Then I move on. But I want to be here right now with you, and I want to talk about what we're doing, so it's really, really important. Here's my impression of what a tradition is for presentation. (speaking loudly) Thank you so much for having me here today, I'm really excited to give you a presentation this morning, about presentations. Believe me, I'm not lost in the fact that I'm literally giving you a presentation on presentations. (class laughs) You're welcome. So today we're gonna do some things, I'm probably gonna walk up nervously, 'cause I haven't warmed up. I'm gonna start slow, 'cause I want to make sure you like me. I may bore you at times, which is okay. I'm gonna tell some bad jokes to try and make you laugh to get you more engaged. I will avoid answering the tough questions, and then I will literally finish awkwardly and run off the stage. (class laughs) Is everyone ready for our presentation? That's tradition, right? We see that, and that's what something in my head says, "This is how people told me to present." Put an agenda slide together, tell everyone I'm gonna do, but you can all read. So I don't need to. This is a point of reference. But the point I'm trying to make is, what we see often is someone puts their decks together, and they just read everything. Do you all know Guy Kawasaki's example of how to put a good pitch slide deck together? He uses the 10/20/30 method. It's very famous, and he talks about maximum 10 slides. 20 minute presentation. For those of you, we're gonna make it a little bit longer today. But no smaller than 30 point font. It's a great way for you to start to understand that if I just put everything on the deck, I'm actually not presenting. I'm just reading. I can read you all a story. How many of you have started to put information on there and be like, "Oh, I might forget that point, "so I better put that on there," and all of a sudden your fonts go (squeak). And then all of a sudden, what happens is you just have this gigantic bit of information. I have a rule of thumb, which is the higher people go, the less information on the slide. Because when you present in front of people who are executives, they're on their phones. They're really busy. They're working, so if you put a bunch of information on there, they absorb none of it. I don't do anything less than 45 point for something like that. That's what you get. It's up to me to present and be engaging. Because people are definitely gonna avoid it.

Class Description

Does your work require you to give presentations? Are you just getting through them and hoping for the best but not quite hitting the mark? 

Are you building decks to pitch your ideas and to present to clients, but feel as though your presentation skills are mediocre at best? 

Have you lost out on opportunities because you failed to connect with your audience? It’s time to learn how to improve your presentation skills and to start actually enjoying the entire process. 

Join former Late Night with Conan O’Brien performer, accomplished career coach, and small business owner Andrew Whelan to learn how to be an engaging, dynamic presenter. 

This class is short, actionable, and something you can always reference before you go into a pitch. 

In this class you will learn how to: 

  • Prepare your story and rehearse 
  • Prioritize your message 
  • Improve your vocal strength and physical presence 
  • Get emotionally connected with your audience 
  • Keep the momentum going to develop a rhythm 
  • Read cues, connect with your audience and present yourself as an authority 
  • Manage anxiety and handle the unexpected 



This is my second time as an audience member for Creative Live, and I have to tell you all - I'm hooked! I decided to give it a shot because I'm genuinely interested in the subject being covered, it is a wonderful networking opportunity, and its free for audience members - so I receive the course and the bonus materials. For those of you that are nervous about the cameras like I was, let me assure you that you hardly even notice them. If you ever watched a few courses before becoming an audience member, you can tell how little the audience is even shown. Now as for Mr. Whelan - CL couldn't have picked a better presenter to present about presentations. His knowledge and experience reflects in his presentation - he's warm, personable, and if he did rehearse and prepare the way he recommends, it's not noticeable. He's natural and you can relate to every point made. I hope there are other Andrew Whelan courses in the future. I highly recommend CL - as a participant and an audience member - for their variety of course content and bonus materials that I continue to use in my day-to-day. I strongly recommend any class or workshop that includes Andrew Whelan. His advice, experience, and genuine empathetic approach to helping others become better, is invaluable. Thank you Andrew and Thank you Creative Live!

Carolyn Winslow

Thank you! You gave me some fresh ideas to share when I am presenting, and when I'm helping folks be more comfortable when they need to speak in front of others. Good examples, to the point without fluff, and even a bit entertaining. Thanks!

Jack Foxe

This was my first live audience experience, and wow was i shocked how engaged i was! Im someone who has an awful attention span so the fact that i was listening and taking everything in was fantastic. Thanks Andrew for some great tips and making me laugh and thanks to Creative Live for having me in the audience. If anyone who interacts with other people on a regular basis this class is essential!