Ready, Set, Present!

Ready, Set, Present! | HRDQ-U Webinar

60 minutes

Ready, Set, Present! You can have the best idea in the industry or the most powerful message in the room – but if you don’t present it right, it will fall flat. HOW we present is just as important as WHAT we present.

In this program, we’ll walk through crafting and delivering powerful presentations that immediately grab your audience’s attention, then spur them to engage and act. Notable takeaways include purposeful openings, time management, bringing complex ideas to life, and handling tough questions.

Participants will also walk away with an easy to remember solution for “on the spot” speaking.  Our simple formula helps confidently and concisely answer questions whether they are asked of you during a large presentation or in a smaller meeting setting.

Attendees will learn

  • How to construct a powerful presentation opening.
  • Master on-the-spot speaking with a simple formula.
  • Witness the power of bringing complex ideas to life.
  • Discover how to properly plan presentation timing.
  • How to identify their audience and specific needs.


Who should attend

  • Managers and supervisors
  • Training and HR professionals
  • Anyone wanting to improve their presentation skills




Christina Butler

Christina Butler transitions 20 years of covering breaking news as a reporter and anchor into professional coaching on presentation skills, development and media management. Fascinated by behavioral styles, she’s DiSC certified and runs programs for both individuals and groups. As a speaker, she uses her expertise in impression management, relationship building, and media coaching to help our clients in a variety of industries. Virtually, Christina enjoys connecting with clients and audiences on best practices for virtual engagement and presence. She is a contributing author for Best in Class: Etiquette and People Skills for Your Career (2018) and Making the Grade: Presentation Success from Classroom to Conference Room (2019). When she is not speaking or on television, Christina enjoys spending time outside with her husband and two children. Connect with Christina on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and at


Logo - Product
HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars

HRDQ-U offers a curriculum of 80+ virtual seminars for training employees in soft skills. Covering topics from leadership to communication, conflict to change, communication to diversity. Enroll your learners in HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars and let them develop soft skills from their home or office.

Learn more about HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars >>

Watch the video

Play Video

Ready, Set, Present!


Hi, everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, Ready, Set, Present, hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Christina Butler.


My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions, please type them into the question area on your GoToWebinar control panel, and we’ll answer as many questions as we can during today’s session.


Today’s webinar is sponsored by HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars, HRDQ-U virtual Seminars, are engaging soft skills training classes, with real-time interaction and expert trainers, enroll your organization’s learners in HRDQ-U virtual seminars, and let them develop the performance skills that they need from their home office. And on any device from desktop to mobile, learn more at seminars.


I’m excited to introduce our presenter today, Christina Butler. Christina transitions 20 years of covering breaking news as a reporter and anchor into professional coaching and presentation skills, development, and media management. As a speaker, she uses her expertise in impression management, relationship building and media coaching to help her clients in a variety of industries.


Virtually. Cristina enjoys connecting with clients and audiences on best practices for virtual engagement and presence.


She is a contributing author for Best-in-Class Etiquette and People Skills for Your Career.


Thank you for joining us today, Christina.


Thank you, Sarah. I speak for the professional edge. When I say that. We are always honored and happy to take part in these webinars and have this opportunity. So thank you. And Sarah, I want to ask you quickly as we move right in to our first discussion point, how many presentations do you think you have seen over the course of your lifetime?


I would say, especially in this position that I have seen hundreds of presentations, hundreds. Hundreds, OK. When you’re lucky that you’re able to see so many and glean so many different things. I want to bring in the rest of our audience and our participants now.


And I want to ask you, sitting in the audience at home, wherever you are to think about presentations.


You’ve seen anything from a Maid of Honor speech to a motivational speech by a manager. Maybe it was the state of the company presented by a CEO.


Any presentation that you have seen, and jump over to chat, CERA explained how we can use our chat function, jump over there, and give us just a word or two to tell us, what made that presentation that comes to your mind, what made it great?


Or what was it about the presenter that made that presentation or speech great? We’re looking for just a 1- or 2-word answer here. Jump over to chat and Sarah, maybe you can help me read some of these out loud as they come in.


Yes. So we have some responses are rolling in. We have presentations are good when they are relatable.


And engagement, emotion. Alberto says engaging. Daniel says connection.


Humor and personable, energetic, passionate presenter. Anna says to suspense and surprise.


Speakers, knowledge, energy, participant engagement strategies.


Steve says story. We have so many coming in or off here. We have Sandra saying enthusiastic about the subject matter. Sean says, vocal variety and Cindy said energy and stories. And we have a couple of comments coming in about confidence as well.


OK, the presenter had a lot of confidence, OK?


Well, thank you to everybody who just chimed in there and shared those, thank you, thank you, Sarah, for reading them aloud and, what I’m noticing.


None of these have to do with the actual content, and, you know, from decades of asking groups this question, this seems to be the theme.


When people think about good presentations, good presenters, it has more to do with their delivery dynamics and what they bring to the presentation, how they make it their own, how they own that presentation, than the actual content.


I am yet to hear somebody say, the best presentation I have ever heard was packed with specific data.


We just don’t hear that, because we know that good presenters and good presentations have more to do with the delivery dynamic and how we own them.


So, thanks again for sharing, sharing your thoughts on what makes a good presentation.


Lynn and I have done several presentations for HR DQ you before, and maybe you have heard specific presentation skills programs for us, where we’ve talked about content flow, narratives, stories, where we’ve talked about things in a broader aspect.


But for the next 40 minutes or so, these are the four things that we will talk about, we’re going to talk about how do you be a strong presenter by starting strong, how are you grabbing your audience right off the bat? How are you sucking them in, how are you telling them, hey, pay attention, this is going to be good.


Then, we’ll move into, how do you add interest?


Sometimes we’re handed maybe a slide deck or e-mailed a slide deck, or we’re told, here’s a budget, do a presentation on it, OK. But how do we add interest to make it our own? We’ll talk about that.


Then we’ll move into timing.


How do we plan for the right amount of timing, and how do we adapt our timing if we need to?


And then finally, we will talk about on the Spot speaking and for that, we will give you very easy to remember acronym that you can use in your day-to-day life, both in your personal life and your professional life, about how to answer opinion related questions on the spot.


Now, I mentioned that you may have heard Lynn, and I talk broadly about other aspects of presentation skills, and presentation skills training. throughout this program.


If there is something related to that that you have a question about, please jump over in chat and write it just because these are the only four things we’re talking about today. Doesn’t mean we can’t open it up to other questions at the end. So, please ask questions as they, as they pop in your mind. Write them down in the chat function, and Sarah will relay those questions to me. I’ll check in periodically to see what questions we have. The other thing I want to remind you about is that you can take notes through all of this. Another trick, I find virtually extremely effective. We always all seem to have our phones right near us. If you see something on the screen, that, you think, wow, that really resonates with me. Or I want to remember that grab your phone and take a picture.


That’s a good way to document some of the stuff that we’ll talk about today, as well.


So, those are the four things that we will focus on, but, again, feel free to ask questions about anything, presentation, skills related.


And, before we jump into starting strong, I do want to give you a little bit more of my background. Sarah introduced me, but I want to explain to you why I’m really passionate about presentation skills.


I worked for 20 years as a television journalist and that meant some days, I was in the studio anchoring newscasts, but other days I was out in the in the field. We call it and that means I’m reporting that deck. I’m out in the community.


Those days, we would spend eight hours collecting information.


We would be getting video gathering interviews and really pinpointing down information.


We will take all those nine hours of work and condense it into a minute and a half story or presentation.


I learned very quickly that you have to make that 1.5 minutes’ worth it for your viewers, if you’re going to invest time into putting it together. You better make sure it’s prepared. I also learned through 20 years that you have to start strong and that’s where we’re going to start, we’re going to start with the importance of starting strong with your presentations. Yes, we did it in a newscast.


But you do it with presentations to, I get how right off the top, how are you grabbing your audience’s attention.


In starting strong, it is a four-step process. And there are four steps what we’re going to focus on. The first part of that how will be grabbing attention.


Another way to look at this is, what are the very first words out of your mouth?


Now, I know plenty of us are guilty of it. When we’re in that presenter seat, we get up there and I may say hi.


My name is Christina Butler, and I’m with the professional edge. And today, I’m going to talk about presentation skills.


All right. Or, hi. I’m Julie, and I’m with such and such company, and today, we’re going to talk about this, OK, or it passes. It works.


But, chances are, your audience already knows who you are. They either have it on a flyer in front of them. If they’re in person or a screen behind you, or for virtual, they’ve already seen a slide that has your name on it, the topic. So, that’s wasted airspace. OK, if I am having the first words out of somebody’s mouth to me during a presentation, or a repeat of something, I already know, guess what I’m doing. OK, I can tune out.


I’m going to go; I’m going to update my planner here. I’m going to pick up my phone. So we want to take advantage of those very first few moments and start strong.


If you watch Ted Talks, which is a great thing to do. If you really want to up your presentation skills game, there are so many pointers you can pick up.


But if you watch Ted Talks, you’ll notice this is something their speakers do, and here’s an example.


one, this is by a woman you may be familiar with, her name is Doctor Amy Cutty, and she is behind power posing and, and the theory that how you hold your body can impact how you think and how you feel.


Her ted talk started like this, so I want to start by offering you a free, No Tech Life hack, all it requires of you, is this, that you change your posture for two minutes?


That is a good opening.


Hi, I’m doctor Amy Cutty, I’m going to talk about this. No, that’s a good opening right there. I want to know what, you’re gonna give me a free life hack. OK, great, go ahead, so that’s a good way to open. And there are some other ways to that we can talk about, and again, as you watch presentations from now on whether they’re Ted Talks, whether they’re politician, speeches, whatever, they are starting to see If you can notice these in strong presenters.


You can start your presentation with a question, then follow it with a statement.


So let’s say you are a manager, and you are about to give an update on new safety compliance policies.


You could start with a question, maybe it sounds like: what was the longest streak of accident-free days? This plant has ever seen.


I’m going to tell you, it’s 212, then you can move into yoga. But we’re here today to see how we’re going to double that. You start with a question, and then follow it with a statement.


You can also begin with a statement, and then follow it with a question.


Can you just be flipping the two around? But, the important thing, is, these are the first words out of your mouth. The next three ways to grab attention, give a statistic or state of act.


Use related humor or share a quote.


The important thing about these is they have to relate to your topic, OK? Everybody loves humor, we all love jokes.


Maybe that’s a way to get your audience laughing, but unless it connects with your topic, it’s irrelevant. So, a shocking statistic, of fact, that people don’t know, as long as it relates to your topic.


I have five more ideas to share with you, but I’ll pause here briefly, and say a quote. this could also be a statement. I’ll give you an example of one that I could have used as my attention grabber, when I began speaking to you.


I could have opened by saying that more people speak their way to the top of an organization and get there any other way that could have been a good grab or something to open this presentation with.


Instead, I asked you a question, because I wanted that involvement, but this one worked, too.


It’s a powerful statement that makes people think, and it sucks them, and so, that’s an example.


I promise you buy more. So, here are five more ways things you can use.


Again, take a picture of this if you want to remember some of these, but you can make a prediction, OK? Let’s say you are in HR, and you are about to introduce a new app, internal company promotion system.


You can look around the room, and you can open the first words out of your mouth.


Could be along the lines of take a look around the room.


70% of us will not be in the current role that we are in right now.


Have grab people’s attention. Then you go on to explain the new internal promotion process.


A couple of other ways. Let’s say. Number seven, relate your experience. Maybe you’re onboarding. Maybe your job of the day is to deliver an onboarding experience to new employees. Tell them about your first day. I remember when I first started here. You can relate your experience to your audience that connects with them.


You can also pay them a compliment.


We all of complement your audience, a compliment right off the bat complement. Show them a visual, this I can’t say enough about this when we are virtual.


When we’re virtual showing a powerful visual, before we do anything else, it can be extremely effective.


And maybe you have this setup in, you know, if you, if you have a virtual meeting, and it’s open for a couple of minutes before you start.


Maybe you just have that powerful visual there for your participants, your audience members, your colleagues. As they’re waiting, they can see this visual, and then when you start, you reference it right away.


Another idea here is to tell a story. And, again, we’ll put the caveat here that it has to be related to the topic you’re about to speak with, but we all love stories.


If you say, I want to tell you a story, or let me tell you a story.


People can’t help themselves. They lean closer, but I want to hear a story, tell me.


So you can start with a story.


Another example here where you could do this: maybe you are about to give an update on new company’s social media policies, and you can start that presentation with a story.


I’m going to tell you a story about a company that ended up getting sued, because an intern posted something on social media, OK, and then tell that story. That sucks your audience, and so these are different ways that you can grab attention. Not, Yeah, there are other ways, but these are the top 10 ways that you can grab your audience’s attention right off the bat. I’ll give you one more example on this one also comes from a Ted Talk, but it’s powerful. Again, they’re not getting up there and saying their name, their position, and what they’re going to do. They’re getting up there.


Sucking the audience in. This is Dan Pink. He’s a speaker on a variety of things. But this particular one was on the puzzle of motivation.


This is how we started that, instead talk. I need to make a confession at the outset here a little over 20 years ago. I did something that, I regret something that I’m not particularly proud of, something that, in many ways.


I wish you no one would ever know, but that here I feel kind of obliged to reveal.


I wish I could see you right now because I’d say, give me a thumbs up if that would make you pay attention, that would certainly make me pay attention. That’s what we’re talking about when we say these grabbers. These attention grabbers.


Do they take some time to come up with?


Yes, maybe they do, but if you don’t grab that attention right off the bat.


but your presentation falls flat, so put some time into that. And then here’s the other bit of bad news. Yes, that might take some time to think of a grabber that connects with your topic. But then there are a couple more steps to the starting strong, and this open the. Second one.


After you grab their attention after use you, you’re showing them, hey, pay attention, this is going to be good. Then you have to tell them why they should pay attention, in other words, the what’s in it for them.


When I’m presenting, I like to think of my audience sitting there with an imaginary thought bubble above their head and it’s saying so what?


So what? Why do I care?


And I picture that, I picture my audience with that bubble above their head, so I remember to tell them, what’s in it for them.


Hey, what are they going to get out of this?


And establishing your credibility. Now, sometimes this has already done for you. Step three and starting strong.


Sometimes you can skip this.


If, for example, you’ve already been introduced, maybe you are presenting to co-worker’s, you’ve known for years, then you don’t need to establish your credibility. But if it’s a new audience, if it is colleagues you don’t work with, that often who don’t know your expertise, your background. You need to establish your credibility.


So, again, you’re telling them, hey, pay attention with that.


Rather than you’re saying, this is why you should pay attention, and this is why you should pay attention from me. Here’s my expertise, so you want to get that in.


And then finally, our last step of our starting strong are open, is we want to preview the content and set the tone, OK? This is where we get to our agenda. This is where we let our audience know, hey, here’s what we’re going to talk about, here’s how much time you need to invest with me right now, and here’s what to look out for. So maybe you preview the content you’re going to talk about. You preview the agenda and set the tone.


Right off the bat in this introduction, you’re setting the tone. Is it an interactive program? Tell your audience, right that. And, by the way, guys, I really want a lot of involvement today, so you’re telling them that right there. You’re setting the tone. I’ll be taking questions throughout this program. You’re setting the tone of it.


All in those first four steps, starting strong, will grab the attention. Pay attention.


Here’s why you should pay attention. Here’s why you should pay attention to me on this. And also, here’s what’s, here’s what’s coming up.


one question, we sometimes get about this as well, OK, well, that seems like a lot. It seems like a lot of information. I have. How am I supposed to do all of this and then still have time for my content?


A good rule of thumb, good rule of thumb and it can vary based on the topic or the type of presentation.


But a good rule of thumb is to keep this open, two, about 10 to 15% of your time, but you need to invest that 10 to 15% of your presentation into this open to get there, get that attention, tell them you’re going to keep it and tell them why. So about 10 to 15% of your presentation could be tied up in this open or this starting strong open.


Sarah, I’m going to ask you in just a moment here, if we’d have. If we’ve had questions come in as I’ve been going through this, this idea of starting strong, but I love to give news examples, in the 20 years of news experience. I find a lot of examples that I can use when it comes to presentation skills.


And a good way to think about this is when you are watching, say, your favorite, late-night TV show, maybe it’s your 10 to 11 PM show that you watch. And then the 11 o’clock news comes on. As soon as those credits for that show and that you’re watching immediately. You see what’s called a news open. It’s quick. There’s music fancy, open on the screen, and what do they do?


This four-step open, OK, they grab your attention.


And let’s think of an example.


Maybe the story of the day is something like killer bees. I’m making this up, I’m making this up. But let’s say it’s killer bees, OK. So what do they do? They grab your attention. So maybe first you’ll hear a soundbite from a mama was crazy. All these killer bees came out everywhere my children were running OK. You’ve got your attention because you’re thinking what the parable soundbite.


Give them the what’s in it for them.


So you hear the soundbite and then you hear the anchor’s voice saying, tonight how you can keep your children safe. That’s what’s in it for them.


Then they establish their credibility. Then a voice track comes in that says you’re watching ABC 16 News, the valleys, news leader for 25 years.


Then it goes to the anchors, and they say yeah, good evening, we’re going to get to those killer bees, but we also want to talk about this, and this tonight let’s get started with. They’ve just reviewed the content. So if this seems like a lot to remember, just think of a news, open playing in that can help guide you through this process.


Sarah, have we had any questions come in related to starting strong at this point, if not have any questions so far?


OK, all right, well, another reminder that if you have questions, please put them in chat, and Sarah will make sure that she gets them to me, and I will make sure that I get them answered.


We can move past, starting strong, if there are no questions, and we move into adding interest.


I mentioned in the beginning that oftentimes we might be given a presentation, we might be given a slide deck, a packet of information, and told, OK, put together a report on this, and be prepared to deliver it on Monday, OK? All the information there, slides are there. But how do you own it?


How do you take control of that presentation, you add interest?


Now, typically, I would not jump to visuals. I would not talk about visuals. Being a way to add interest.


But in this virtual world that we’re living in, we are all staring at our computers. We are on so many virtual meetings where there are presentations that I feel like we have to address to address visuals under the adding interest category.


And, when I say visuals, I mean, in this, in this instance, if you were doing a presentation that involves PowerPoint, what are your slides? Look like, what did those visuals look like? I’m not talking about prompts or anything. I’m talking about visuals that you might see on your screen.


And, let’s say I am going to talk I’m going to give a presentation on stage fright.


If I put this up as my visual, OK, you are all reading it right now. OK, if I would start talking about how stage fright is usually worse before your performance, but then it gets better. You’re doing 1 of 2 things, right?


Now, likely, you’re doing 1 of 2 things.


You are either reading, or you’re listening to me.


Like that idea of watching closed caption TV or a movie with closed captioning. Or subtitles even, you know, at first it works, but after a while, your brain gets really mad. OK, which one should I be doing? And that’s what happens when we put too much text on our screens.


So instead, maybe a better way to do it is with simple, clear graphics.


So, I could say this instead I could show a graphic like this.


And I could say three out of four people have stage fright.


In fact, it’s a more common phobia than the fear of spiders, then the fear of heights and then the fear of death.


Then I could go on and talk more about it.


Do you see the difference there?


It’s much easier to focus on me, and my messaging, and what I have to say.


When we have clear graphics. So that’s what I want to stress about when we talk about adding interest visually.


When we are virtual, we want simple, clear, easy to read graphics.


And, again, I know some of you may have been on previous webinars with Lynn Braille and myself, and we may have shown this, but I think it’s worth repeating.


I think this billboard is such a perfect example of how we should be aiming to create our visuals when we are the presenter, OK, when we’re presenting, do our visuals match this type of thinking, OK, they didn’t waste all that space.


They got straight to the point, OK, so think of the visuals that you’re using as a billboard. Could people fly by glance at the Y by on the highway? Or in this case, can glance at their screen and understand what your visuals are trying to say.


two clear visuals, and we want them to be easy to read.


And again, the reason I’m mentioning this as under adding interest is because we are still in this virtual world, it also has changed this virtual world. And a pandemic has changed the way we treat visuals.


Used to be that if somebody was looking at a PowerPoint, chances are it was on a big projected screen.


We could get away with smaller fonts and more on the screen, but now, probably right now, some of you are watching this webinar through your phone, or through an iPad or a small laptop. So, there have been a lot of changes in how we have to adapt our visuals as presenters. So, that’s what I want you to remember when we talk about adding interest via visuals. But there are other ways to, as far as what we say, not just what we show, but what we say, what are we doing, how are we owning our content, let’s get into that. We can add interest by owning your presentation with three things that we’ll touch on today.


Analogies, examples, and stories. I’ll work backward here, and stories. The reporter and me would talk to you all day, long about the importance of stories and communication.


We’re humans, our brains are hard, wired, first story.


That’s why little kids love nursery rhymes.


We love a narrative. We remember, our brains remember narratives and stories, so anytime you can put a story that relates to the topic you were talking about into your presentation, do it. Do it even if it’s a quick one.


Do it, put it in there, People will remember that.




I’m working up here, examples, I don’t know about you, but there are plenty of times that I’ve been in the audience somewhere. And I’m thinking, OK. I think I understand what this person is saying. I think I’m like 80% sure I understand what they’re talking about.


Then, I hear those magic words, and they say, well, let me give you an example. Ah, OK. Now I feel confident now, I know, I’m going to understand what I’m talking about.


So use examples when you can, and the last one, analogies.


This is of course the idea of taking complex idea and comparing it to something that everybody understands. So we have to know our audience here to know, you know what their understanding of certain concepts would be, depending on the topic, but we can talk broadly here, and say analogies will always help people connect to complex ideas. I have a couple of examples for you to make sure you know exactly what we’re talking about here in this first one.


Go back to early pandemic days, and while I’m out of the, the general news, I no longer. you know, chase on criminals, or do snowstorms. I do still work as a health reporter. I host a live call and health show, and part of that involves interviewing doctors and researchers in the medical field.


And early in the pandemic, we had a researcher who was going to talk about convalescence, plasma therapy. This is one that was a very new term. A lot of nobody had heard about it at that point.


And he was tasked this researcher, and this professor at Penn State Health College of Medicine, was tasked with explaining convalescent plasma therapy to an audience of non-medical people here, to explain this to the general public.


Any that, well, I can’t even explain convalescent plasma therapy, unless I can explain plasma.


So I better think of a good way to explain plasma before I expect them to grasp the broader concept, And here’s what he came up with. This was this was his analogy.


If blood is soup, plasma is the broth, OK? Perfect. Now, we How, I understand, I have a great understanding of what plasma was, I’m going to stop here, I’ll pause.


And I’m going to let you read how he ended up taking this further in this full explanation of convalescent plasma therapy.


I’ll give you a minute to read what’s on your screen.


So that definition make sense now, because now we understand what plasma is, based off of his analogy. I have one more, and this one is going to be a video, and I’ll preface it by telling you, this is a pediatric heart surgeon. I can advance it without playing the video, OK? You’re looking at this is Doctor Brian Clark who’s a pediatric heart surgeon. And we were interviewing him.


He was telling us about a patient who I believe was five days old and needed heart surgery.


But he has to explain this, again, to a non-medical audience, and also to the parents of this five-day old baby who have no medical background. And I just want you to listen.


It’s about a minute long, and I just want you to listen to how he does this and how he makes these concepts understandable.


Valentine’s Day are to pump into versus pump blood out.


Here are two quotes to two different voices.


one pump system by the other pulses of loss, and some babies through some combination of quality fats are left with only one good pumpkins.


What we can do today is, we can re-arrange the plumbing, so that one pumping chamber, and essentially do the work to this primary problem as a newborn.


With that, he didn’t have a good source of blood the lungs.


So, what we did, this first operation is we provide a new source temporary source blood flow to the lungs through to a little too about like McDonald’s straw, although not quite that big 1 or two is lower than that with detour, blood.


I’m the boss.


Body circulation to the lungs.


OK, I apologize there paused, but I hope you were able to see some of those analogies that he used. He was able to take, he didn’t even talk about atrial failure. He used those analogies that really helped his presentation to the news audience. But also, I’m sure, to those parents, that that child, by the way, turned out to be perfectly healthy. But I think that’s a good example of how we use these analogies, how we add interest, how we own our content.


And one other thing I’ll skip ahead here, that we want to mention when we talk about adding interest, this idea of adding these examples in the stories, we need to remember to pause before we do them.


To recapture our audience’s attention. This is helpful face-to-face, also, virtually, we don’t want to pause too long. People think that our audio has gone out.


But if you have a really strong analogy, a great story, an example, pause for a couple of seconds.


There’s power in that pause to engage your audience and get them ready to listen to it.


You can also do this in two different ways, when you are face-to-face, if you are presenting, and you have something, like a story that you want to tell, you can hit be on your keyboard.


And this is when you’re face-to-face, virtually, varies among your platform, So we won’t get into that, but if you’re face-to-face presenting you with PowerPoint, you can hit B on your keyboard, and it will blank out your slides.


It’s a perfect time to do this, when you have one of those stories, examples, and allergies, You’re the message can blank out your slide virtually. And again, this varies. Sometimes platform to platform, I won’t model it here because every platform is different.


But the virtual equivalent to blanking out your screen before you get into these points of interest within your presentation, is to drop your slides. You see on the image there, she is what, what I call a full gallery view. If you were in a different platform, say, Zoom, you can just hit stop share And all of a sudden, it’s full circle, full, full gallery view. And that’s when you can tell those stories or use those examples, connects you with the audience.


So that’s what we mean about adding interest.


And Sarah, before we wrap up batting interest, I want to check in. We’re about to move into timing. but any questions so far that we can address?


Yes, we had a great question come through from Stephanie and Stephanie asks, what do you do about adding interest when your presentation is also going to be sent to those that didn’t attend, so that they can get looped up, lived in in on the content?


OK, what can you do for people who weren’t there?


Wasn’t the question is, how can you add the interest to a presentation, when you also have to consider that you’re sending out your slide deck, too, an audience, that maybe wasn’t able to attend your Lives session.


Sure. I know, I’m, I’m sure there’s a way to answer this. Stephanie, thank you for that question. I’m sure there’s a way to answer this. If you were talking about adding interest specifically, when it comes to, you, know, information or company specific slide decks.


When we’re talking about this, we’re talking more about the presentation, the delivery, and Stephanie, my advice would be to think about the difference between how somebody will listen, and pay attention, and engage when they are in that live experience, versus if they miss that live experience. And now they are just looking through a slide deck, or looking through, you know, an update that you sent. They’re not going to give it that same focus, so in that case, you might not be able to add those stories. You can save those. And really just make sure they’re fine-tuned for that face-to-face experience, or that virtual. But that live experience.


And, Stephanie, if I think of anything else with that, I’ll come back to it. But for now, that would be my answer. Really thinking about the difference between how people, view, pay attention to do a post, non-live presentation, how they would look at that deck, versus how they would listen to it if they were live.


Sarah, were there any other ones before we move on?


That has us all caught up.


Alright. Thank you. I thank you, Stephanie, for that question.


And, you know, we move into timing now, and one of the questions that we sometimes get his, OK, that’s great. I love to add all this interest, but how do I know? You know, how the what secondary to my timing? What if I don’t have that much time? How can I take if I only have 10 minutes to give an update in a presentation? I don’t want to waste my time. Putting all of this in there, is there a secret formula? There Is There is.


This is the good news you will leave with a secret formula for timing your presentations. Sarah, we have a poll here actually for time management, and I want to ask you, before we get into that formula, let’s launch our poll. And the poll has to do with time management. And let’s say you were planning a 30-minute presentation, that includes interaction, meaning you might be taking questions throughout it. You might be asking for opinions, how much content should you plan for? You can go ahead and answer there 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30, or 45. Give you a minute to answer that.


And we have Responses Streaming, and we’ll give you about 30 more seconds here.


OK, great, and we will share those results now, OK, Alright, yes, yes, 15 minutes, 15 minutes is the key there. That’s exactly what you should do again If you’re planning for a presentation that has involvement only plan for 15 minutes of content. And here’s why here. Is that that formula if you are planning to have a presentation that has conversation only, plan to fill 50% of the time.


If it is more of a straight lecture, 75% of the time.


So one of these, where I’m asking some, but we’re not all on camera talking. You want to plan to fill 75% of the time.


Here’s why.


We over speak, especially virtually.


Hey, when we’re rehearsing in our head. It’s nice. It’s concise. It’s clear. It’s straight to the point. Once we are live, so to speak, we over speak, we talk more, particularly virtually.


So right now, as a presenter, I can’t see any of you.


I can’t see you nodding your heads to give me those signals. I’m following, I’m following, I gotta now move ahead. I can’t see anybody tapping their feet. When you can’t read people’s signals virtually, then you really tend to overtalk because you’re not picking up on those. So this is a good formula go ahead, snap. A picture of it, if you want, but, if you’re planning, conversation, type presentation, a lot for 50% of the time, Straight, lecture, 75% of the time.


Now, what happens is that we’ve crafted this great introduction. We’ve thought about these analogies example stories.


We’ve thought about all this stuff that we can put there, but now; I have to only use 50% of the time. Now, do I have to do now, unfortunately, we have to edit, Edit, edit, and the first version will always have too many points in it. And this one, I feel, I feel just wanted my bones because, again, I was talking about how that in my news reporting days, I would spend eight hours collecting all this great stuff.


But when I put it all together, it was going to be way more minimal. and half, so we have to edit, edit, edit.


And it’s hard, but it’s hard. It’s hard. We’re connected to information trade for us as a presenter who is so attached to that information to figure out what’s important and what’s not.


This is where a lot of people get hung up.


Am I going to go really wide with my information?


OK, I’m going to cover a whole bunch of, but I’m not going to cover all the nuts and bolts about everything, but not go very deep in the information, or am I going to narrow down my information to one specific point, but go very deep on that point.


We have to choose Scope or depth. We can’t choose both.


When we are trying to go wide and deep, that’s one, our timing will get, really, OFS. We have to pick one of these.


Now, if there is, if there’s just no way possible for you to decide this, and you think some of that information is just way too important, there’s no way you can cut it out. That’s when you can jump ahead, and you can put that in your appendix, or you can send follow-up e-mails, or even pre-e-mails, but for the actual presentation, pick one of these.


one more note about timing.


And, again, this is more, this pertains more to virtual because that’s the world we’re back in right now. But you can carry this over to face-to-face presentations and meetings as well.


At a minimum, people need a break every 90 minutes.


Every 90 minutes, you should be saying to your virtual audience, OK, let’s take a 10 minute, Byo, Coffee, whatever, break, 10 minutes, but I would even encourage you to go further than that, and give your participants, at least, a camera off moment, every 45 minutes, if your presentation is longer than 90 minutes.


So if you have a 90 minute presentation, Halfway through, say, OK, I would, I’m gonna let, I’m gonna ask you all, turn off your cameras, take a step, stretch, break, do whatever you want, and just turn the cameras off for a couple minutes. I will stay here for questions, but everybody, just take a couple minutes to turn your cameras off and re-energize, is it, lets them get those distractions taken care of.


You’ll notice, though, that I said, I’ll stick around for questions. And that’s a good way to give your group a break. Give your audience a break, but not lose that valuable Q&A time that you might need in the presentation. And then that moves us into our next topic, which is handling questions. And, Sarah, I’ll ask you for questions up until then, as soon as we wrap this portion up, but handling questions? I always think another news story I always think back to my first anchoring job, which was in Charlottesville, Virginia, and it was a Friday night. and the big story, the big story that night locally was a security that threat at a high school football game server to rival high schools. And there were threats that somebody was gonna bring a weapon. They’re going to be these fights. And that was a big story of the night.


So we send our reporter out, everything goes fine at the game. She does her 11 o’clock report.


Everything is fine. Safety. Does her thing perfect report, does an excellent job. She tosses back to us in the studio. My Co-anchor happens to be a diehard local football fan.


So he says, OK, thanks for that report. But Julie, who won the game?


And poor, Julie, looked like a deer caught in the headlights. She had no idea who won the game here. She was doing a story about a football game. But she didn’t know who won the game. She was so focused on her story about safety, that that wasn’t on our radar. At that moment, I remember thinking you need to be prepared for questions all the time.


So, that’s what we’ll move into handling questions. You need to be prepared for the questions.


When they’re information based ahead of time, be thinking, what questions would I be asked that would really rattle me? Write them down so you’re prepared ahead of time.


But as far as the acronym, the tool, the trick that you will walk away from today, in the next couple of minutes, we talked about Oreos.


This has to do with how do we speak on the spot with opinion related questions.


OK, I’m going to explain why there’s an Oreo here in just a minute. When I break down the O R E O. But, Sarah, first, I’ll bring you back in.


I know that I had asked you ahead of time.


I said, can you think of a, an opinion related question to ask me, so I can model this before I explain it? So go ahead and ask me, Sarah, an opinion related question.


The rules for this, by the way, They, nothing political, nothing controversial, we’re just asking opinion related questions. So go ahead, Sarah, if you have one.


Yes, my question for you is, is a hot dog, a sandwich?


Is a hot dog, a sandwich? OK, an opinion related question there as a hot dog a sandwich, so here’s how I would answer that, Sarah.


I would say, my opinion is that hot dogs are, in fact, a sandwich. They could be classified as a sandwich. And the reason why is they have a lot of the same components. A hot dog has the same components as a sandwich, for example. They both have bread.


They both have me.


They both have condiments and I love pickles. So because of that, yes, I do think a hotdog could be considered a sandwich.


Now, Sarah, let me ask you, regardless of whether you agree that a hard job can be classified as a sandwich or not, how does that sound to you as an, as an answer?


I think it’s added convincing, and it sounded complete like you gave me your opinion, your reason why, and then you’re wrapped it up again with your, your opinion.


OK, so then it almost sound like this, Here’s the acronym, right, that order that I went through, Thank you, Sarah, for that feedback.


Because the order I went through there, I gave my opinion I gave my reason.


Example, the bread, the Mid-Continent, and then I came back to my opinion. OK now you can say reason or rationale you can say example or explanation, but we’re gonna keep it simple for today So when you are asked to give your opinion on something on the spot, you can follow this formula.


Maybe you are in a meeting, and you are put on the spot, and you are asked, well, what’s your opinion on whether the workforce should come back and work in office, OK, or should they stay remote, OK, you can use this, OK, here’s my opinion, here’s my reason, here’s my example, here’s my opinion, Sarah, I will bring you back in. And I went to ask you an opinion related question. And we can see how you would model this.


And my question for you would be, are cats or dogs’ better pets?


That’s a, that’s a tough one.


But following this O R E O, I would say: my opinion is that cats are better pets than dogs.


The reason that I say that is because cats are self-sufficient and they do their own thing, for example.


And I went away for the weekend, and I just had to make sure that I’ve put out enough food and water for my cats, and that’s why I think cats are better than dogs.


OK, perfect, Sarah. Thank you, thank you, and even if, even if our participants in the audience members here don’t agree with that, maybe they’re dog people.


I don’t think anybody could argue that That was not a clear and concise answer, So, thank you. Orio, take a picture of this if you want, try it out.


That’s on the spot speaking tip, so we will wrap that up. We’ll wrap everything up before we go into the questions. Again, a final reminder, please, if you have questions about anything presentation skills related, drop them over in the questions chat area. But here’s a look at what we’ve talked about, we’ve talked about a lot in the past 45 minutes together, we’ve talked about starting strong.


How do we grab our audience’s attention right off the bat? How do we use that grabber?


And then the remaining steps? What are the four steps of starting strong in any presentation?


And again, I encourage you, as you listen to, ted Talks are powerful speeches start noticing. If people do that, those strong presenters, we talked about adding interests, both visually, and as well as our content. How do we add interest to really own our presentations? We moved into timing, kinda do’s and the don’ts of timing.


Then we talked about on-the-spot speaking. And we gave you that Oreo acronym that I hope you will remember.


There, I’ll bring you back, and now, I know our time is starting to wrap up here. And what questions have we gotten about these four topics, or any other presentation skills related topics?


Yes, so we did have some questions for today. And if you do have any questions as Christina mentioned, make sure you type those into the questions box. And we’ll answer as many as we have with their time, as many as we can with the time that we have remaining.


Our first question that we have is from Sandra and Sandra asks: When delivering online if people insist on having their camera off, how do you know if they are engaged or not? How best can you capture their attention?


Yes. Oh, thank you for that question. As a presenter trainer, myself, I struggle with this when, when participants don’t have cameras on, but that is when it’s important to do those check ins.


Even if their camera isn’t, are we asking them to check in via chat?


Are we asking them to do quick polls, OK, we know, we know how many people, how many percentages of, what percentage of the audience is engaging with those polls?


There are also some really great tools across the different platforms, zoom teams go to, that are just almost virtual signals, so give me a quick thumbs up, OK, give me a quick thumbs up, or, you know, there’s another one, there’s a different platform where you can just tag your name. You can put an asterisk by your name if you agree with something.


So, you can still do those check ins without that visual.


Can you take advantage of the other platform tools to check in? And I’ll add one more thing to that before I ask for some more questions from Sarah.


When you are looking for that engagement, those check ins.


A good rule of thumb is to try to do something that engages or checks in every five minutes.


Every five minutes or so, check in with your audience, remotely, when you’re virtual. Thank you for that question.


Great, and we have another question here from Daniel. And Daniel asks. He says, infographics have been very helpful and condensing large concepts into understandable bites.


Are there times that you can think of where they can lose the point that the presenter was making, or they can lose the point?


Danielle, if I’m if I’m understanding correctly, and please follow up if I’m not. Are you using that the infographic might overpower the presenter? In other words, I would be tuned out. Let’s say, I’ve put up an infographic that was fancy and very clear, and you’re right, they can be very helpful. But can it overpower the presenter?


Absolutely, absolutely If what is on your screen is more impactful then what you were doing more powerful, more stronger, just visually even.


That will take away from what you were saying as the presenter.


So my guidance there would be if you do have one of those infographics that is pertinent, that is relevant to your presentation, That graphic can explain something in a much more clear and concise way than you ever could.


Just pause audibly.


Say, say to your virtual audience, I’m going to pause now, and I want you to look at this infographic and let it soak in.


So if it’s that powerful, pause.


let the graphic have it. Have its time and then come back.


Great. And then we have another question here from Alberto and Danielle said, Danielsen, spot on. Thank you. John.


Alberto asks, it says, your voice, your projection, articulation, pace, inflection, etcetera, can have an impact on your presentation. Do you have any recommendations to improve your voice?


Sure, absolutely, yes. Yes. And one of my very favorite things to do I say that a joking way dripping with sarcasm is to pull out some of my very first TV tapes, tapes back in the day. Not, you know, YouTube video my tapes and watch them and I cringe because of the difference in my voice and the coaching I got always centered around pacing. So, for me, pacing was very important. I can, I’ll speak to pacing. I think that’s an immediate improvement. People can make a lot of quick talkers.


Again, myself, I’m a quick talker, find that focusing on pausing is one of the most beneficial things they can do to improve the quality of their voice.


If you speak fast and you try to purposely slow every single word down, that’s going to backfire. It’s going to back there.


You’re going to get the energy sucked out of your delivery, OK?


You lose that dynamic that you have instead focus on pausing after every thought.


Just for a brief moment, pause after every thought, and that can help with your pacing.


And I know you mentioned a couple of different parts of delivery dynamics there. My best guidance without getting into each and every one, is record yourself.


We are our own worst critic that that, and our older sister, if we have one, I always say, But we’re our own worst critic.


So, if you are looking to improve your delivery dynamic, your tone, that type of thing. Your articulation record yourself, and listen to it, that’s going to give you a really clear idea of what you need to focus on.




And then, we have another question here from Joan, and this goes back to, when you’re talking about taking a quick 45-minute break, and Joan says, how do you gather your group back once you do give that 45 or that quick break at 45 minutes, OK, how do you get them back?


You know, face-to-face. I’m thinking about teachers who just blow a whistle and all the kids come running we can’t do that, especially virtually.


So, set it, set that, from the beginning, make it the first time you give that break, you say five minutes, you as the presenter are back on exactly at five minutes, and you start your camera. You turn your camera back on, and you start talking, you don’t wait, OK, we’ll give them another minute. Alright, I still see a couple of all right, we’ll give you another minute soon, it’s six minutes, seven minutes. Don’t you set that example that if you say five minutes as the presenter, as the trainer, whatever role you are, and where you are the one speaking, five minutes when that five minute is up, you turn your camera back on. And you start talking.


Rate, and then we have a question here from Melissa, And Melissa says, if participants are hesitant to engage and ask questions, how can you encourage them to do so?


How can you encourage participants to ask questions? OK, thank you for that question. I think there are a couple of different things, if we’re talking virtually take advantage of breakout groups, maybe they are more comfortable in a smaller setting, asking questions encouraged that chat feature.


OK, and that Chat feature, because that’s, might not be, it might not be as reluctant to type in chat, and type a question in chat as they would be to unmute themselves. Turn the camera on and talk, because take advantage of those.


When you’re face-to-face, a really good way to encourage people to ask questions, is to preview the question, and that can sound like this. In a moment, I’m going to ask for your thoughts on this.


But before I do, I want to mention this, because you are giving some of those people who might be a little trigger, shy to jump in, you’re giving them that morning. OK, alright, take a moment, OK? And then when you ask, say, OK, now I’m ready for your questions. Are now I’m ready for your thought? Make eye contact with that person if you have a group of 10 people. And you know there’s one person who really struggles make eye contact with them because maybe they are more timid, maybe they’re not going to be the one to jump out of their seats. So make eye contact, give them the first chance to ask that question.


And Daniel would like to know, and he says, in our presentation, is there a way to talk about possible, controversial topics or issues that is inclusive of various listening audiences and backgrounds?


Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, sure. So, how could you talk about controversial topics? I guess, you know, this, this is a tricky question to answer without a little bit more context, or without an example.


I’m in this, Mike, but, you know, get into it, if there’s no need for the controversy and a topic, I would avoid it altogether, for example, when we did the, on the spot speaking examples, that was a guideline. We, this isn’t the place this this format in this topic isn’t the place to bring in controversy, so let’s avoid it. You as the presenter set that standard.


If, I’m trying to think I’m struggling, think of a specific example that you that you might be thinking of, Daniel, that, would you want that type of controversy? I’m sure there are. I’m just one doesn’t jump to mind, but, if you can think of a better example, or an example that would help me understand a little bit, more, jump over into chat, or we can follow up separately on e-mail with this.


Great. And then we will conclude with one more question for today. And there was a lot of great feedback about the Oreo model, and we did have a question. If you could just repeat that very quickly. So maybe that’d be a great way to wrap up the Q and A for today.


Sure, the Oreo.




Yes, I can repeat that, Herodotus.


And again, scribble it down or take a picture of this. But Oreo, we want to state our opinion.


We went to give a reason, or a rationale, but reason example, opinion, opinion, reason, example, opinion, Oreo, just like that. So that is, that is the acronym. I hope you take that with you, I hope you remember it, I hope you can use that the next time you are put on the spot and ask your opinion about things. Again, we’ve covered a lot over the last 45 minutes. Thank you for your time. I will leave you with this, I’m revisiting. I thought that we shared earlier a quote that we shared earlier, and it’s this more People speak their way to the top of an organization and get there. Any other way.


This is something we talk a lot a lot about at the professional edge, because we know it’s true, and we’ve seen firsthand how effective, good presentation skills can be. So, Sarah, I’ll turn it back over to you with that message closing us out today and thank you once again for the opportunity today.


Great. Thank you so much, Christina, for your time today.


Thank you.


And we had Stephanie wrapping up, saying that now she’s hungry as well. Thank you all for joining today’s webinar, today’s webinar was sponsored by HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars. Be sure to check out our curriculum of more than 80 virtual instructor led online seminars. You can go to for more information and make sure that you join HRDQ-U on your favorite social media site, for quick access to all of our latest webinar events and blog posts. You can find us at HRDQU. That is all the time that we have for today. Thank you again, Christina, for your time.


Thank you.


Thanks for the opportunity, and thank you all for participating in today’s webinar, happy training.


Thank you.

© 2021 HRDQ-U. All rights reserved.


Related topics
Career development
Career Development
Business coaching webinar
Creativity and innovation skills training
Creativity and Innovation
Webinar customer service
Customer Service
Ready, Set, Present!
Decision Making
Diversity and inclusion webinars
Diversity and Inclusion
Ready, Set, Present!
PM webinars
Project Management