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3 Reminders When Facing a Presentation Audience

Connecting with the audience and getting your message across is the goal of any presentation. The impact you make varies on the preferences of the people you’re facing. Nothing’s wrong with tailor-fitting your presentation for the specific group you’re presenting to.

Most of the time, it’s even encouraged. But if you’re looking for a general framework, there are some rules that apply to any type of presentation audience. Remember the following guidelines the next time you face a crowd:

Your Listeners Aren’t Children

No one wants to be talked down to. Although you have to explain your points clearly, don’t treat your audience like they don’t know anything. Be careful not to offend them by sounding like you’re belittling them. Doing so will make you sound obnoxious and would only deter them from listening.

Get to know your listeners either by interacting with them prior to the event or looking them up. This gives you a better grasp of how to handle them. In most cases, using the conversational tone is good enough to establish rapport without sounding condescending.

Consider how you would want to be addressed by another person and apply this when communicating with your audience.

Don’t Make Fun of Anyone

Engaging listeners is important in keeping their attention. One way to keep people interested is by involving them in your speech. Let your audience participate by prompting them with questions or incorporating humor. But don’t overdo it.

Don’t crack a joke just to get their attention. Make sure what you’re saying is still connected to your main idea. Straying from your point only makes things confusing.

Another important reminder when using humor is to never make fun of an audience member. In her book, Public Speaking is Not For Wimps, leadership speaker Kimberly Alyn dedicates a section to discussing the correct use of humor in public speech.

Although humor engages, it can sometimes do the opposite and further discourages the listener. This isolates and embarrasses the object of ridicule. The last thing you’d want in your presentation is to have someone feel discomfort because of something you did.

Be Professional

This may sound common, but professionalism is a must in any presentation. Don’t sacrifice your credibility in an attempt to appear familiar with your audience. Relating a few personal experiences is fine in creating a narrative where people can associate with.

On the other hand, steer away from being overly comfortable. Telling stories that are too personal can make the audience feel as uncomfortable as a stiff presenter. In a way, distancing yourself from your listeners also shows a form of respect.

People will appreciate your effort as you connect with them, but will also feel awkward if it goes overboard.


Dealing with your audience can be tricky. You need to know the right thing to say, at the right time. But once you find out how to win over your listeners, there’s very little else you need to be worried about. In case you don’t, you can apply common courtesy.

Don’t belittle your audience by over explaining facts or questioning their culture, unless it’s intrinsically a part of your presentation. Apply some fun to your speech, but never at the expense of another person’s feelings. Being considerate and empathic maintains a professional atmosphere during your speech.

Converse with people to ease tension, while keeping your own dignity intact. It’s a way of sounding like a familiar friend without overstepping your bounds.

Need a good PowerPoint to match with your well-planned speech? Contact our SlideGenius experts today and get a free quote!


Alyn, Kimberley. Public Speaking is Not for Wimps!. Florida: Llumina Press, 2003.

Featured Image: “Audience” by Jesper Ronn-Jensen on

Secret Santa Rules: How to Make Your Presentation Worthwhile [Infographic]

The cool Christmas breeze, sparkling lights in the cities, and merry carolers are only a few of the cues that the happiest time of the year is here again.

With the holiday season just around the corner, let’s all embrace the cheer and bring everyone joy.

This celebration isn’t only for those we love and care for. It’s also for the people we don’t encounter every day, and people who need a helping hand.

You don’t have to give grand and expensive presents. A simple and sincere Christmas greeting can brighten up one’s day.

A smile or a warm hug can liven up and give comfort to a lonely spirit.

So if you have this major presentation to deliver, why not give your pitch the warmth of giving and sharing?

Try presenting from a secret Santa’s point of view to deliver a bundle of joy and a wealth of delight to your audience, no matter how small or big the group is.

It doesn’t just allow you to reach out to them, it also lets them appreciate your presence and understand your message.

Be Like a Secret Santa!

Presentations are like holiday gift exchanges, you need to plan in advance to frame the right content with delivery they’ll truly appreciate.

Always follow the secret rules of making a worthwhile presentation.

First, stick to the limit. In gift-giving, it’s important to give something appropriate for that person you drew out of a hat.

In presentations, you need to consider your audiences and their needs to deliver your message effectively.

Second, you have to be a good observer. This is essential in finding a perfect gift for your loved ones, as well as with business pitches.

Pay attention to your audience and their visual cues for a surefire performance.

Lastly, show some creativity. Make your presentation unique like a beautifully wrapped gift.

Get creative with your visuals and content to end your message on a high note.

Wrap them all up together and your audience will value the gift of information.

Here’s an infographic from SlideGenius to show you how acting like a secret Santa makes for effective presentations:

Pressing Pause: Using Speech Pauses in Presentations

A common misconception is that a speaker must never allow any gaps or pauses in their speech. However, letting silence into your performance can foster a healthy connection between yourself and the audience.

Pausing every now and then projects confidence and a willingness to listen. Depending on how you use them, pauses can improve or hold back your presentation.

Use pauses to your advantage in three ways:

Establishing Your Presence

Starting your presentation as soon as you get onstage can leave you breathless by the time you’re halfway through. Still, taking your time before beginning doesn’t mean you’re just going to stand there silently.

Use the moment to establish a positive atmosphere before you present. Smile and make eye contact to connect to your listeners. This lets them know that you intend on communicating and conversing with them, not solely to drop a few points in a stiff presentation.

You can also take deep breaths to calm you nerves and organize your thoughts. Having time to think about your speech results in more articulate delivery.

Pausing to Emphasize Ideas

One of the most effective uses of a pause is to stress a key point in your speech. Maximize this function by pausing between major ideas you want your audience to remember.

The types of pauses vary depending on the type and importance of the message you’re trying to convey. A brief pause is enough when trying to differentiate between two clauses. On the other hand, a longer break is required when you’re pausing after an entire statement.

Six Minutes founder and speech evaluator, Andrew Dlugan, enumerates the types of speech pauses on his site. Among these examples, the longest pause, also known as the paragraph pause, is used when you’re transitioning from one main point to the next.

The key to this type of pause is to mentally place punctuation marks in your speech. It also adds tone and variety in your way of speaking, further engaging your audience.

Collecting Your Thoughts

You might come across a roadblock in your presentation. An audience member could interject unexpectedly with an awkward or difficult question, or you lose your train of thought somewhere along the way.

In one of her posts on Quick and Dirty Tips, Lisa B. Marshall, host of The Public Speaker podcast, writes: “Take a moment to pause if you get flustered or blank out. Reiterate your previous point and move on to the next one you remember.”

Instead of saying filler words like “ah” and “um”, Marshall suggests you use silence to your advantage. It may look counterintuitive to pause at such a time, but silence lets the audience know you’re thinking of an answer.

Don’t panic if you can’t say the next thing right away. Panicking will only worsen the situation and prolong your pause. Instead, allow yourself a few seconds of thinking before getting back on track.


Used in the right way, silence can help create a powerful presentation. In front of an audience, resourcefulness means maximizing every resource at hand, even the pauses you make in your speech.

Make use of the first few seconds before your presentation to establish your presence and connect with the audience. Speech pauses can especially be used for emphasizing key points and collecting your thoughts during unexpected situations. Just remember to stay calm and composed so you don’t make the pause too long.

Silence isn’t always a bad thing, so start taking advantage of pauses during your next presentation. Need help with your PowerPoint needs? Contact our SlideGenius experts today and get a free quote!



Dlugan, Andrew. “Speech Pauses: 12 Techniques to Speak Volumes with Your Silence.” Six Minutes. Accessed October 12, 2015.
Marshall, Lisa. “5 Tips for Powerful Pauses.” Quick and Dirty Tips. Accessed October 12, 2015.


Featured Image: “[Play] Pause” by Martin Kenny on

Brand Conquest: Mainstreaming Your Niche Like Star Wars [Infographic]

The latest Star Wars film is coming out next week, and excitement is in the air with the buzz created by fans, both online and offline. Like all big franchises, the Star Wars brand name is one that’s inspired and influenced many. But before it got to where it is today, Star Wars’ brand was a new name in the market, and its niche, space opera, wasn’t as popular yet in films.

Star Wars’ reputation for being one of the films that popularized the space opera genre can be attributed to several factors. Among these is its strategic use of film elements to bring the Star Wars universe to life. It also tapped into the social trends of its time, and took a compelling approach to a story set in space. Compared to its competitors, Star Wars was a novelty that drew from and capitalized on its audience’s interests.

Get some inspiration from the movie franchise and expand your own niche. Knowing what you’re good at is the first step to building your brand. Working with your strengths gives you a direction on what approach to take in the market. Like Star Wars’ masterful use of the medium, you also have to find something that you can use as a leverage over existing brands.

Innovation and uniqueness are two things that catch people’s attention. Brainstorm creative ideas that both reflects what you stand for and piques prospects’ interests. Observing your market and keeping track of people’s preferences can be effective in your brand positioning and getting more people to subscribe to your niche. Remember, focusing on your customers’ needs is the way to good business.

For more ideas on how you can follow Star Wars’ example and become a well-known brand name, read through our infographic on the film franchise’s brand conquest:

How to Bounce Back from a Presentation Meltdown

This is a guest post from

Imagine yourself in front of a crowded room. The lights turn down low so that only the stage and projector screen are in focus. You hear murmurs and whispers from the audience, patiently waiting for the next speaker to talk about the importance of building your network. They’re waiting for you.

Your hands start to sweat. The room suddenly feels warm even if you’re already in front of the AC, and the index cards (a.k.a. cheat sheets) you’re holding are starting to moisten at the sides. You prepared for this talk all your life — well, maybe just for a couple of days — but the experiences you’ve gathered since the start of your career make up for it.

This is a common problem whenever you’re about to do a presentation: anxiety. But when you can’t tame that anxiety, guess what will happen?

You’ll freeze up. You’ll experience mental block. And, worst of all, you’ll have it right in the middle of your presentation, just as you’re about to make an important point.

There’s a secret weapon you could use to bounce back:


It’s not just a word or an acronym. It’s a process conceptualized by Terry Gault, Vice President of the Henderson Group, an investment management company.

Let’s see how these six letters can keep us grounded:

A – Aware


First things first: be aware that something’s gone wrong. You’re in an awkward situation, so don’t panic. If you do, you end up choking, and embarrassing yourself in front of your audience even more. Instead, what you should do is to…

B – Breathe


Panicking can make you forget to breathe, or start breathing too fast. In fact, worried pacing or shallow breathing contributes to more panic. Calm down and breathe slowly. Take two deep breaths, and smile so you won’t look too tense. Remember: the mind needs a good supply of oxygen to function well.

S – Stillness and Silence


It’s best not to tell your audience that something has happened, or that you forgot what to say. Instead, keep quiet, and again, keep calm. Silence creates anticipation and lets your audience absorb information you presented. That should buy you a couple of seconds to…

O – (Consider Your) Options


What are your best possible options to casually get back on track?

Should you skip the slide? Should you make a joke? Should you scan through your notes?

Our advice: scan through your cheat sheets without looking like a total fool for forgetting. Casually walk towards where you placed your notes (and, hopefully, a glass of water), take a sip of water while scanning through them, then put down the glass and scan again.

R – Respond


If you’ve figured out what to do, act on it quickly but casually. Talk slowly after a few seconds of awkward silence just so your audience could also get back on track with you.

B – Breathe again


Take another deep breath to eliminate any remaining anxiety. Swiftly evaluate whether your response was effective. If not, try another approach. But if it was, remain calm and celebrate your victory!

When presenting, losing your nerve can be inevitable. Letting this get the best of you is not.

Develop this strategy when you’re prone to anxiety during presentations, and find a way to transform that energy into a positive approach. Otherwise, you’ll keep running into mental blocks.

Master your presentation so that you won’t even need to look at the slides. All it takes is practice, practice, practice!

Kalibrr is an online job matching platform based in the Philippines with over 5,000 customers worldwide. Kalibrr’s vision is to connect talent to opportunity at scale. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more career advice.

All the World’s a Stage: Presentation Lessons From Theater [Infographic]

Are you more interested in taking in information through visuals rather than through plain text? No worries. We’ve created an infographic about this topic for your viewing pleasure. Scroll down to the end of this post to see it in action!

Does the crowd seem not to pay too much attention while you’re presenting?

It might  be time to make a few adjustments to build connections and promote better engagement.

For one thing, using space matters a lot especially when giving any presentation.

The audience’s ability to understand your message depends not only on carrying out detailed information and visuals, but also on how you maximize your body movements.

Imagine yourself onstage, standing stiffly with your arms at your sides, without making any gestures at all. This inaction might be enough to convince the crowd that you’re not interested with what you’re doing.

Does the lectern hinder you from moving closer to your audience? Take that stand away and start engaging the audience!

Make Way for the Speaker

Words aren’t enough to encourage your audience to take action.

You might have prepared your PowerPoint deck to convey your idea, yet failing to back it up with the right body language can only undermine your entire performance.

Whether you’re in a large hall or in a boardroom, don’t stop yourself from moving around the podium to establish connections with your listeners.

Theater actors maximize their space when exchanging dialogue and interacting with the crowd because it can be effective in capturing audience’s attention and generating their interest.

No matter what the situation, content and delivery work hand in hand in getting your message across.

By actively matching your words with proper body movements and staying closer to your audience, you can make them feel comfortable, enough to give you their undivided attention.

Drop your fears and take the chance to use the stage to your advantage. Give up hiding behind a lectern and start wowing the crowd with convincing moves and assertive stances.

Here’s an infographic to help you learn the importance of space. It’s time to discover your greatest potential: to be the best performer onstage!

Share this infographic!

Reinvent the Wheel: Microsoft Makes PowerPoint Less Boring

Microsoft PowerPoint has established itself as the standard Office program for anyone giving their own presentation. Its user-friendly features make it even easier to understand on-screen. But though it reigns over all other visual aids, critics have raised several arguments against it… the most infamous of which is Death by PowerPoint.

This basically means an abuse of the software tool that results in a lengthy and often boring presentation. However, Microsoft has modified PowerPoint to serve its users better. The company’s latest additions to the program may be the best yet.

Better Designs

If you’re not someone who settles for PowerPoint’s slew of generic templates, then the PowerPoint Designer feature is for you. This new element is a welcome departure from PowerPoint’s previously limited options. Now, you can choose from a wide range of slide designs that coordinate themselves with the images you upload on your deck.

This includes a suitable color palette and strategic layout that’s sure to catch the audience’s attention. Ticking off your deck’s layout from your presentation checklist gives you more time to focus on prepping for content and delivery. Effortlessly feel like a pro with this easily customized creation.

Seamless Animations

Microsoft’s second pet project, PowerPoint Morph, makes creating slide animations more efficient for both veteran and first-time presenters. With this new tool, PowerPoint takes a step forward from their presentation forte and brings it up a notch to basic animation. As with Designer, Morph lets you add a personal touch to your slide. It eliminates awkward and stiff transitions, helping you create impressive animations for your deck.

For those who want more animated slides, Morph takes care of that process for you. Whether you’re tweaking text, images, or 3D shapes, it allows you to animate all the objects in your slide. All you need to do is duplicate these objects and outline the path you want them to move in.

Gone are the days when you had to fumble for videos online. Now, you can make your own moving clips with PowerPoint Morph’s help.

Optimized Engagement

With the arrival of these two PowerPoint game-changers, what else could Microsoft possibly have up their sleeve? As it turns out, they’ve got a lot more. The company also introduced Office Insider to loyal Microsoft users, particularly those using Microsoft 365.

While this third announcement isn’t an additional feature per se, it does give loyal customers a glimpse of more upcoming add-ins regarding Microsoft Office. Those who sign up for Office Insider will get to see PowerPoint’s latest features before anyone else does, even getting to try it out for themselves. This move has possibly endeared users even more. After all, increased customer engagement with the product is a great way of reaching out to people.

Being in the loop better guarantees long-term patronage of Microsoft’s services.

Back in the Game

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that PowerPoint’s new features are game-changers for visual presentation. Despite the criticisms thrown against it, the attempts to make Microsoft PowerPoint less boring are actually working, and they’re effective, too. Their Designer and Morph add-ins bring raw text and images to life with effortless design and amazing animation.

Microsoft further caters to its customers by letting them sign up for Office Insider and get in on the latest software updates. Of course, it still doesn’t hurt to ask for a little help from presentation gurus every now and then. Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!


Koenigsbauer, Kirk. “The evolution of PowerPoint—introducing Designer and Morph.” Office Blogs, November 13, 2015. Accessed November 18, 2015.
Passary, Summit. “Microsoft Introduces New PowerPoint Design Tools: Designer And Morph.” Tech Times, November 14, 2015. Accessed November 18, 2015.

Featured Image: “136/366 – Death by PowerPoint” by Paul Hudson on

Be Like Secret Santa: How It Makes Presentations Worthwhile

“We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give,” — Winston Churchill.

People celebrate success and achieve happiness when good results come their way. However, one can’t achieve great outcomes without exerting any effort. Don’t just focus on yourself while climbing up your own career ladder. After all, most businesses aren’t run by just a single person – they’re built up of several people. You can’t sell something without having someone to sell to, either. That’s why if you want to help yourself, you should also reach out to others.

It’s a great time to do this, especially since the Christmas season is just around the corner. So if you have this major presentation to deliver, why not embrace this season of giving and sharing? Share helpful insights with your audience, and you’ll get undivided attention in return.

Here’s how to be like a secret Santa and make your business pitch worthwhile not just for yourself, but for others.

1. Stick to the Limit


In the context of gift-giving, you can’t buy something random for that person you drew out of the hat. You have to pick an item that can be used by anyone of any gender, without exceeding the maximum budget allotted. Similar to the limits imposed on what kind of gift you can give, making a presentation also comes with its own list of things to consider. It’s tempting to go over the maximum number of PowerPoint slides that you’re allowed to use, especially if you’re struggling to convey your message effectively with less content.

Going over the limit might give you more room to explain your point, but keeping it concise makes it easier for the audience to remember what you said. Likewise, overly-designed visuals in your slides can distract the audience, not only taking their eyes away from your deck, but making them lose their interest in you as well. Sometimes, it’s not about the quantity of your offering, but the quality of your gift. Make your presentation design simple yet interesting to engage and entice them with your speech.

2. Find Out What They Like


Finding the perfect Christmas gift can be both exciting and challenging, just like when you’re pitching a business proposal. The greatest challenge is presenting something that meets your client’s expectations and interests. You have to observe how people act so that you can map out a great strategy. This applies before, during, and after your presentation. Don’t forget to take a real glance at your audience while you’re speaking. Do they look engaged, or are they checking their wristwatches or cellphones instead?

You can try segueing with a somewhat related topic in order to regain their attention, but make sure it’s connected to your message. Otherwise, your audience will think that you’re giving them random information, just so you can say that you offered something, even if it’s knowledge that the audience can’t use.

As a presenter, you also need to watch for what signals they’re sending in. Their expressions are big hints as to how they’re receiving your presentation. Is your audience smiling at you or are they giving you a neutral face? If it’s the former, keep going. If it’s the latter, it’s time to re-evaluate your tactics – and quick.

For example, if business jokes don’t seem to work on them, then you should probably go for something serious. Once you’ve picked up on their visual clues, re-align your thoughts and switch to another style of delivery to recapture their interest.

3. Get Creative with Your Gifts


Receiving a beautifully wrapped gift can make anyone feel extra special. After all, it brings the holiday spirit to life in that one simple moment. If lovely gift-wrapping adds value to a gift, then all the more reason to wrap your speech with a nice note, too. Instead of talking about your topic dryly, go for a creative approach to not only hook but also inform your audience. For instance, you can include an animated video or a movie clip that sums up your intended message with maximum impact.

If you really can’t think of alternative ways to deliver your message, don’t fret. There are plenty of different avenues you can take: you can include infographics, success stories, and up-to-date news to support your main idea. Of course, sprucing up your deck with eye-catching design and layout will help your audience pay attention to what you’re saying. Make sure to align your colors and elements to your personal branding, and arrange your text and images in a way that clarifies your main points, rather than detract from them.

Wrapping It Up


Presentations are similar to Christmas cringles and gift exchanges. You need to put in more effort to make your audience value the gift you’re sharing: the gift of information. Follow the basics, and don’t go overboard. If they set a limit to the kind of gift you can give, then stay within those limits. This not only saves you time, but keeps you from straying from your main topic, giving your audience a meaty presentation instead of one filled with irrelevant information.

Be a good observer, not just someone dispensing information, but someone who takes in available information as well. Things may not go the way you planned them to, so it’s crucial to adapt in case you notice the crowd starting to doze off. Watch out for visual clues about your listeners’ interest levels and adjust according to the situation. Finally, unleash your creative side. Think of other ways to effectively convey your message. Anybody can stand in front of a crowd and start talking about straight facts, but only those who prepare well for it can relay their messages in compelling and convincing ways.

Adopt a secret Santa approach and you’ll bring joy to everybody in your audience. By sincerely giving what meaningful knowledge you have to others, you’re sure to receive sales and numerous successes in return.



Dabbah, Mariela. “Secret Santa:  7 Golden Rules for Giving.” Mamiverse. September 12, 2011. Accessed November 17, 2015.

Use Social Share to Post Your PPT to Facebook & Twitter

Use Social Share to bring your PowerPoint to your Facebook feed or send a download link via tweets. This free plug-in was developed by Microsoft Garage, a small and diverse community within Microsoft that creates innovative projects.

Now, there’s no need to open a new browser to check on your deck’s status. Use this new feature to share your deck on Facebook and Twitter without having to leave PowerPoint, saving you the time and effort of switching from program to browser.

Fast and Easy Application

Upon downloading the plug-in, you’ll see a new tab in PowerPoint’s ribbon called Social Share. This is where you can choose which social media network you want to share your deck to. It also automatically uploads your documents to OneDrive, where you can share a link of your file to your friends.

Post your presentation per slide as an image, an album, or even a video on Facebook. PowerPoint will already display a live feed of your presentation’s status on Facebook and Twitter. You can watch the activity feed from this window and get immediate feedback from your presentation.

Watch this video to see Social Share in action.

A Few Hitches

Since it’s a recent release, Social Share comes with a few limitations.

Because Twitter doesn’t fully support it yet, you currently cannot share a photo album or video on that social media platform. Not all is lost though: there will be a download link to your presentation at the end of your tweet. Social Share also can’t tag friends and add location information to your deck when you post it on Facebook.

In addition, authorization is also limited to the Friends-Only status for this popular social network. Despite these setbacks, you have nothing to lose by downloading this free plug-in.

Use Social Share to work on your slides anytime, anywhere, and share your deck while opening up more opportunities to gain instant feedback online.



“Microsoft Social Share Makes It Easier To Share Your PowerPoint Presentations To Social Networks.” Microsoft News. November 5, 2015. Accessed December 2, 2015.
“Share from PowerPoint to Facebook and Twitter.” Social Share. Accessed December 2, 2015.
Social Share, A Microsoft Garage Project. Office Wildfire.


Featured Image: “

Content Creation / Curation: Find the Sweet Spot [Guest Infographic]

Have you ever met someone who only ever talks about their own interests, qualities and successes without showing any concern whatsoever for your input?

It’s not always the most engaging conversation for both parties, and by the end of it you’ll likely think of them as a self-centered and arrogant individual whom you would do anything in your power to avoid.

The same idea applies to businesses that use overly self-promotional advertisements, or create content that points all fingers back in their direction.

You don’t want to be stuck with absolutely no chance of being seen either.

The trick is to find a balance between how much of your content should be curated, and how much should actually be original content.

First, let’s get a better understanding of the difference between content creation and content curation.

Content Creation

According to Curata, content creation refers to “… the original creator of the content, either the author, illustrator, researcher or whomever is the original source.”

Content creation is necessary for influencers and marketers to position themselves as thought leaders within a particular area of marketing.

However, content creation can be extremely time-consuming, and crafting content that stands out requires a lot of research.

Content Curation

Content curation is similar to content aggregation (i.e. collecting a bunch of articles or references on a particular subject), except that this content is handpicked by the author.

This is a great way to take existing ideas and either provide an opinion on them or simply provide your audience with a selection of refined resources that you recommend.

So how do you find the sweet spot of content curation and creation?

Convince and Convert did some great research on how well an article performs based on where your outbound links lead to, and how frequently you should lead to your own work.

The following infographic by Venngage visually summarizes just how you can find the content curation and creation sweet spot.

content curation infographic

This infographic was made with the Infographic maker Venngage.