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MBO Partners Webinar: Building Effective Client Presentations

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MBO Partners Webinar: Building Effective Client Presentations

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This exciting MBO Partners webinar featured practical strategies for designing and managing client presentations in ways that are impactful and actionable. Host Panayotis (Pete) Karabetis, Associate Director of Engineering at LMO Advertising in Baltimore, Maryland, walked participants through his most effective ​​ways to think through meetings and presentations as an independent professional.

This MBO Partners webinar tookplace July 21, 2016.

This exciting MBO Partners webinar featured practical strategies for designing and managing client presentations in ways that are impactful and actionable. Host Panayotis (Pete) Karabetis, Associate Director of Engineering at LMO Advertising in Baltimore, Maryland, walked participants through his most effective ​​ways to think through meetings and presentations as an independent professional.

This MBO Partners webinar tookplace July 21, 2016.


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MBO Partners Webinar: Building Effective Client Presentations

  2. 2. Moderator Sara Conde Director, Consultant Services MBO Partners
  3. 3. Webinar Controls
  4. 4. Live Tweeting Hashtag: #MBOWeb @MBOPartners @pkarabetis
  5. 5. Our Presenter Panayiotis Karabetis Assoc. Director, Engineering Operations, Proposals, Processes
  6. 6. My Opening
  7. 7. My Closing
  8. 8. Call me Pete
  9. 9. Today’s Discussion • Ideas • Body Language • Vocal Variety • Rehearsal • Visual Aids
  10. 10. IDEAS
  11. 11. The Printing Press
  12. 12. Forms of Communication
  13. 13. FOMO
  14. 14. Attention Spans Plummet
  15. 15. 5-Second Test
  16. 16. The “Croc” Brain
  17. 17. 20-Minutes of Convincing Power Croc Brain On Off
  18. 18. 18-Minutes or Less
  19. 19. Define an Outcome “I want my audience to…” … learn how to chop an onion. … start using Snap Chat. … give me venture capital money!
  20. 20. Today’s Outcome Statement “After my presentation, I want you to be excited about applying at least one new insight to your next presentation.”
  22. 22. William James
  24. 24. Nice try…
  25. 25. Really try smiling now!
  26. 26. Fake It Until You Make It
  27. 27. Facial Expressions & Gestures
  28. 28. Posture is Power
  29. 29. Types of Power Poses High Power Low Power
  30. 30. Warm-Up Opportunities
  31. 31. Eye Contact
  33. 33. Your Goal
  34. 34. Strive for Clarity Select words that are: • Clear • Accurate • Descriptive • Short Avoid grunt words like: • Um • Like • Uh • Right?
  35. 35. “Sometimes instead of saying “for example,” I’ll say something such as “such as,” for example. Demetri Martin, Comedian
  36. 36. Avoid Jargon Words JARGON ALTERNATIVE conceptualize imagine finalize finish implement begin output results strategize plan viable possible
  37. 37. Pause for Silence a break … anticipation … curiosity
  38. 38. Experiment with Variety • Volume • Pitch • Rate • Quality
  39. 39. REHEARSAL
  40. 40. My Wedding Vows
  41. 41. My Wedding Rehearsal
  42. 42. Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect
  43. 43. Practice Makes Comfortable
  44. 44. Critique Yourself
  45. 45. Remember to rehearse… • Set up / break down visual aids • Bring back-ups • Transition between main points • Look at your audience (not slides)
  46. 46. VISUAL AIDS
  47. 47. How to Use Visual Aids • To reinforce a main point • To enhance understanding • To save time
  48. 48. Make Objects Visible Low Quality High Quality
  49. 49. One Thought Per Slide
  50. 50. The 6-6 Rule 1. No more than 2. Six lines of text 3. Per slide 4. With each line 5. Having no more than 6. six words
  51. 51. Keep It Simple
  52. 52. Using Animated GIFs
  53. 53. Stuck on finding images?
  54. 54. Google Images FTW
  55. 55. Careful With Color
  56. 56. Be Consistent
  58. 58. Hit the Ground Running 1. Pick a topic 2. Define your purpose 3. Research your topic 4. Make an outline 5. (Start writing!)
  59. 59. Start With a Topic • Recent discussions • News or articles that interests you • Your expertise • Everyday experiences
  60. 60. Research Your Topic 1. What do I already know? 2. What am I interested in learning? 3. What don’t I know?
  61. 61. Make an Outline 1. Opening 2. Body 1. Main point 1. Supporting Point 2. Main Point 1. Supporting Point 3. Closing
  62. 62. Bibliography Help
  63. 63. Get Feedback
  64. 64. Set the Stage for Success 1. What one idea do I want to convey to my audience? 2. What vocal and body language will work best with my audience? 3. How do I want my audience to feel during and after my presentation?
  65. 65. Nothing is Guaranteed
  67. 67. Grand Finale
  68. 68. Thank you for participating!
  69. 69. Presentation Notes: Books • The Shallows by Nicholas Carr • Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff • The As If Principle by Richard Wiseman • Exuberant Animal by Frank Forencich • Give & Take by Adam Grant • Badass: Making Users Awesome by Kathy Sierra • Presence by Amy Cuddy
  70. 70. Presentation Notes: Video • TED’s Secret to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson • Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are by Amy Cuddy • Design Thinking and the Power of Play by Brendan Boyle • Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (Netflix) • Demetri Martin: Live (at the Time) (Netflix)
  71. 71. Presentation Notes: Tools • Google Images • Unsplash • Giphy • Flickr • Easy Bib
  72. 72. Presentation Notes: Reference • Consumer Insights (Microsoft, Canada) • 5-Second Test • Toastmasters Competent Communicator

Notas do Editor

  • Thank you, Sara. And thank you to MBO Partners for this opportunity to speak with you today. Allow me to share an experience I had three weeks ago where I could have injured myself and a group of 40 unsuspecting people. It was a Thursday night at the Sheraton Hotel and I was on the roster to give a speech for my Toastmasters group. My group is a dinner club, so its members are easily distracted by wait staff and the smell of delicious food. When my name was called to speak, my colleagues clapped on command even though I knew they would rather be using their hands to eat their food. That night, instead of walking to the front of the room wearing a suit and tie, I dashed from my seat and ducked behind the lectern where I had stashed some clothing. As I dressed the part, a friend placed a towel on the floor in the center of the room and set a 2” thick patio block atop two vertical cinder blocks.
  • I emerged from behind the lectern wearing my old karate uniform, which thankfully still fit after 18 years of retirement.
  • My presentation was called “How to Break Bricks,” and even though I gave away the ending, my club let their food get cold and watched in anticipation to see if I would injure myself and other club members in the process. So, did I break the brick? We’ll soon find out.
  • My name is Panayiotis Karabetis, but feel free to call me Pete. I love seeing the world from different perspective and live to make complex ideas simple. I started at LMO Advertising as the Director of User Experience for our Engineering Department where I created digital experiences for clients like the United States Coast Guard and Ryan Homes. As of last year, I’ve been helping our Baltimore and Arlington offices work seamlessly together by setting up collaborative software and creative processes. As a result, I’m frequently training my colleagues and speaking at events on the subject of User Experience.
  • To be honest, it is quite the mental task to give a presentation about effective presentations. Can you imagine the pressure to make this talk successful? I’m sure you can. Here’s what we’ll cover today. You’ll learn why ideas are a dime a dozen and how your body language and vocal variety can either wake up your audience or put them to sleep. You’ll also discover that practice does NOT make perfect and that your visual aids should NOT be works of art. All this and more, right after our first poll.
  • Can we display that please?

    Which of the following led to a massive cognitive shift for humankind?

    The Discovery of Fire
    The Printing Press
    The Internet
  • Technically, all three changed our world In their own way, but we’re going to focus on the printing press. Since its creation almost 600 years ago, it has single-handedly impacted your every attempt at presenting.
  • Before and after its invention, there were as many ways to transmit messages as there are webinars today. Methods like grunting, smoke signals, carrier pigeons; stone tablets, animal skins, quill pens. What made the printing press so special is how it revolutionized human thought. When it was introduced in 1440, people were leading more peaceful lives with easier access to food and shelter. So why is the printing press so important? Aside from making the printing and distributing of books much easier, it actually rewired our brains. Think about it, this was a time in history where people were no longer being being chased by wild animals. Times were less stressful than the civilizations of the past and, for the first time ever, “modern” humans of that time could curl up with a good book and let their imaginations run wild. This encouraged deep thinking about new ideas and paved the way for challenging existing ones. Not only that, but other people with the same books now had a reason to discuss their own opinions and spread those ideas further. This kind of critical thinking allowed individuals to form their own beliefs quicker and start seeking new information to support them.

  • Nicholas Carr, author of “The Shallows,” suggests that this rewiring changed our behavior and made us susceptible to the dopamine effects the Internet. The Internet broke down more communication barriers than the invention of the telephone or radio ever did. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to notice the fire-hose of information fighting for your attention every day. Sadly, the constant distractions of this Information Age have made us a short-term gratification society.

  • A society where we’re trained to swipe, tap and click for the latest brain candy for fear of missing out. Much like the printing press revolution, our brains are once again being rewired to scan for new, novel information and ignore deep, prolonged thinking. This makes grabbing people’s attention more difficult than ever.
  • In a Microsoft study conducted last year suggests that since the mobile revolution of 2008, humans now have less of an attention span than goldfish, which apparently can focus for up to 9 seconds, whereas humans clock in at only around 8 seconds.


  • Surely, this is why the 5-second Test has become an industry standard in the field of usability testing. During a 5-Second Test, participants are exposed to an image of a webpage for—you guessed it: five seconds—after which the image is removed and they’re asked questions about what they remember seeing or feeling. We have to get to the point or people will leave, both physically and mentally.
  • In fact, the basis of Oren Klaff’s book “Pitch Anything,” revolves around this concept and how our feeble attention spans crave new, relevant information to stay active.

  • Oren describes what he calls the “Croc” Brain”—the most primitive part of our brain that’s hard-wired to protect us from stimuli that could threaten our lives.

    The Croc Brain wants information:
    Contrasting (new, different, novel)

    If your message passes the scrutiny of the Croc Brain, it has a chance to make its way through the Mid-Brain and higher-level Neocortex where it might be considered for processing.
  • Unlike the Internet where you get 5 seconds to make your point, being in front of people affords you slightly more time. Oren calls this 20-minute window your “convincing power” but you don’t get another chance.
  • This could be why Ted talks are capped at 18 minutes. I’m of the same mind as Chris Anderson, the creator of Ted, who believes that all great talks have one thing in common: sharing an idea. To Chris, ideas are patterns of behavior that inspire thoughts. Those thoughts form our beliefs. And our beliefs help us navigate the world. Oddly enough, Chris recorded a great talk about creating Ted talks that I highly recommend. In short, he confirms that the only way to spread your idea is to keep it simple and appeal to your audience.

  • Appealing to your audience starts with having a clear outcome of what you want to achieve. Regardless of whether you choose to inform, entertain, persuade or inspire audience, write an outcome statement to guide your efforts. An outcome statement is a single sentence that describes what your audience should do after your presentation. Only three rules apply to your outcome statement: (1) keep it short, (2) be specific and (3) make it actionable. For example…
  • Here’s my outcome statement for this presentation: [read statement]. It’s that simple, so let’s keep learning.
  • We’re going to move into Body Language segment with another poll question that I hope you never have to answer in real life.

    Which statement best describes you?

    I run away from the bear because I’m scared.
    I’m scared because I run away from the bear.
  • William James, the father of American Psychology, asked this question a lot because he truly believed that the way we act—contrary to popular belief—had the power to affect the way we feel.
  • So, let’s try something. I want you to initiate a half-smile. For the best results, focus on relaxing your entire face except for the corners of your lips. If you’re in private, give it your best—what do you have to lose? If you’re having trouble, here’s some inspiration for you…
  • Really isolate your smile and observe how you feel with most of your face at rest. How’s your energy level? How’s your mood? Good, now completely relax and let’s go the other way.
  • This time. I want you to smile as if you have a pencil between your teeth. Invite your entire face to participate—even get your neck and ears involved if you can. How do you feel now compared to before? You see, merely holding this pose for a few moments is enough to add a positive spin to your internal dialogue. That’s what William James was trying to tell us.
  • Richard Wiseman’s book “The As If Principle” is a collection of stories and studies that support James’ theory. We just recreated James Laird’s infamous “Pencil Test” that has been replicated time and time again and has shown an increase happiness in participants.
  • You see, simply acting AS IF can create the feelings you wish to have. Don’t confuse this with being delusional, though. Obviously, if you max out your credit cards buying useless stuff, you’re not acting rich, you’re acting careless and you’ll surely go broke.

  • It’s why you should view presenting as a way to let go and use as much of your face and body as possible. Presenting is your chance to infect a group of people what the passion you feel in order to accept the idea you’re suggesting.
  • It’s the premise of Amy Cuddy’s work that she talks about in her book “Presence.”

    Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?language=en
  • She suggests that our posture can drastically alter how our lives unfold. That’s a pretty big claim!
  • Amy talks about how to spot High-Power and Lower-Power poses and teaches us how to use them to alter our moods. Yes, this has a direct affect on how YOU are perceived in a room, but you can alter the mood of an entire audience by just getting them to go through certain motions.
  • This is what IDEO partner Brendan Boyle does in his talk, “Design Thinking and the Power of Play.” From the onset, he has his audience members pick a partner then draw a portrait of that partner for 30 seconds. When everyone’s asked to share their “art work,” the entire room bursts into laughter. This is important because, even though Brendan didn’t have each person stand up tall and place their hands on their hips like Amy Cuddy would, he got them smiling and building rapport with one another before he dove into his speech. More importantly, as I mentioned earlier, he encouraged them to accept one of his ideas AND share it with a complete stranger. Talk about turning a cold room of guests into a shared space of friends. Amazing job, Brendan!

  • One final way to mesmerize your audience is to make genuine eye contact with them. You’ll find that when you extend a warm, intentional gaze to someone, it hones that person’s focus even more on you. You can see this in action in the first 5 minutes of the Netflix documentary Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, as Tony urges a suicidal workshop guest to reconsider his stance on life. Imagine how you can affect change in your audience just by looking at them. In your next presentation, try making holding eye contact with different people in the room for at least 5 seconds each. You’ll be surprised how easily they get locked in to what you’re saying.
  • Your body’s partner in crime is its voice. Voice deals with not only what you say, but how you say it. Let’s cue up our next poll.

    Which mindset best describes you?

    “I want you to know this information.”
    “I want you to know that I know this information.”
  • [react to poll results]
    Frank Forencich is one of my all-time favorite speakers because he presents from a place of deeply-embodied knowledge. He asks people to consider his information and uses language like “We” instead of “I” to invite them into his world. No force, just a sincere desire to share information with people to improve their lives.
  • He’s what Adam Grant identifies as a Giver. In his book “Give and Take,” Adam talks about how Givers, as opposed to Matchers and Takers, have the greatest potential to both fail and succeed. If you think of your idea as a gift to people, they’ll be more accepting of it because you’re looking out for their best interests. Besides, who doesn’t like gifts?
  • In this case, the act of giving has only one outcome: to make your audience feel like its better for having heard you speak. Remember, when you speak to people, you’re not selling a product, you’re not selling a service. You’re not even selling a solution. No matter what business you’re in, you’re selling people a better version of themselves. Kathy Sierra would say that you’re allowing them to feel like Badasses! Her book isn’t about being a better presenter, but it reveals the invisible ways that products speak to people’s desires and, ultimately, improve the quality of their lives.
  • To come across as a giver who creates Badass experiences, you have to be clear about your intentions and the words you use to convey them.
  • Select words that are clear, accurate, descriptive and short. Get rid of words that don’t matter. This also applies to grunt words like uh, you know, like, ummmm, right?
  • This doesn’t mean you should sound like a robot. Have fun with word play. Take a page out of comedian Demetri Martin’s book. For example, “Sometimes instead of saying “for example,” he’ll say something such as “such as,” for example. See what I mean?
  • He’s a perfect example of someone who can conceptualize and implement a viable, finalized strategy for optimized output. See what I did there? I totally lost you. Please, please, please replace jargon words with simpler ones. Not only will your audience appreciate the simplicity, but they’ll have less to think about, which means you can drive your points home with ease.
  • Remember to pause for silence, too. Silence is a break that builds anticipation and fosters curiosity. Silence creates a void where the next person that speaks [… be silent…] gets the attention. That next person should be you, so take advantage of moments of silence in your presentation. You can even try combining pauses with intentional eye contact to amplify its effects.
  • Most of all, have fun and experiment with the different ways you can say things. WHAT TO SAY HERE
  • Speaking of which, let’s display our next poll.

    What’s your preparation style?

    I over-prepare for everything.
    I cram at the last minute.
    I improvise everything.
  • This is me on my wedding day—arguably one of the most difficult presentations I’ve ever given. Despite my crooked tie, I got all my words straight. My posture promised my wife that I meant what I was saying. She cried, which in turn made the audience cry. Now, you have to promise not to tell her this—but the entire time I was reciting my vows, I was laughing on the inside. This is because, a few hours before, while I was getting dressed, I was looking in a mirror putting on a bow tie, when suddenly… I realized I looked just like Pee Wee Herman.
  • I laughed so hard that I lost my train of thought and forgot to practice my vows. I spent the moments leading up to my wedding taking photos like the one and posting them all over social media. I’m not suggesting you do this before a big talk, but what this experience did for me is help me stop worrying about what our family and guests would think.
  • I’ve never totally believed that practice makes us perfect. Mike Tyson said it best when he stated that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.
  • Instead, I believe that practice makes us comfortable. I urge all of you to rehearse until your ideas become your own. Practice by yourself in the car on the way to work, practice in front of your spouse—even practice in front of your pets! Just make the words come out of your mouth so you can make the message your own. When we internalize ideas, our personality has a chance to shine through, and, we can better respond to the unexpected! Notice I didn’t say react. Reacting is instinctual. Responding, on the other hand, is deliberate and mindful .
  • Acting natural is easier said than done. With the technology we have access to today, there’s no excuse not to record yourself to critique your body language and vocal variety. If you don’t feel like spending the time to record and watch your progress, at least practice in a mirror to catch a glimpse of what your audience will see so you can correct it ahead of time.
  • You only get one chance to give your presentation, so don’t blow it by thinking everything will go as planned. [read bullets]. And speaking of which…
  • Let’s get a few things straight about visual aids.

    I think presentation decks are:

    The best thing ever
    A waste of my time
    A necessary evil
  • Visual aids help your presentation flow. Your slides exist to reinforce your main points and drive those points home. Why waste time explaining something with words when you can use concise images and animations to speak directly to the visual parts of the brain faster.
  • However, this only works when your media is sharp and readable. Nothing ruins a powerful idea more than a supporting image that’s pixelated or text that’s hard to read.
  • That’s because people can’t consume your slides and pay attention to you at the same time. In case you were reading this comic, I said that people can’t read your slides and pay attention to you at the same time. You have the power to choose how to direct attention with your slide content, so limit your slides to one idea each because when we say yes to one thing, we have to say no to another. Make sure your audience is saying yes to you.
  • If your slides only display text, keep the 6-6 rule in mind: [recite rule]
  • Your slides shouldn’t be a work of art, so keep them easy to consume. It helps to remember that a picture is worth 1000 words.

  • Which goes to say that an animation is worth a 1000 pictures. Whereas the quality of static images should be crisp, animated GIFs pack large ideas into tiny animated spaces, so they can be a little fuzzy since your audience will be focused on the animation and probably won’t be close enough to notice the details. Check my presentation notes for online resources that make creating animated GIFs fast and easy.
    Convert Youtube to Animated GIF: http://makeagif.com/youtube-to-gif

  • Speaking of finding images, there’s no shortage of free and paid photography resources online, but having a few go-to sources will keep you from burning out and focusing too much on which images to use.
  • You’ll find that Google Images has sophisticated advance search features that save tons of time. In addition to helping you find any image, it lets filtering results by size, color and image type—yes, even by animated GIF. Results can even be narrowed down further using time frame and license options to ensure your images are recent and don’t violate copyright laws.

  • And quick word about color. Colors against a contrasting background can easily draw attention away from you or distract people in general. Use it wisely and test colorful slides before you unleash them.
  • Lastly, when it comes to creating presentation decks, don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead of wasting time on layouts and fonts, focus on researching and shaping your idea. Start with an existing Powerpoint or Keynote template to avoid tinker-itis.
  • [read quote] When it comes to building slide decks, there are many frameworks to follow and a lot of details to consider, but it doesn’t have to be complicated and it definitely doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • Let’s go over some final tips.
  • Here’s a framework I like to use to get started quickly. First, pick a topic, then do the research necessary to create an outline and start writing your narrative. Notice I didn’t mention firing up Powerpoint to start laying out quotes and images. During this discovery stage, the sky needs to be the limit and presentation tool slow down progress.
  • Most of us have a shoebox full of topics to keep us busy, but if you don’t, consider any recent discussions you’ve had or articles that interest you as a starting point. If that fails, ask yourself: “What am I good at?” or “What everyday experiences could I share with the world?”
  • When you move on to research your topic, remember that your goal is to fill the gaps in your existing knowledge with facts that support your topic. So, regardless of the methods you use to discover information, always ask yourself these three questions before you begin …
  • Your answers will generate so much content that your outline will be bursting at the seams. Just keep reminding yourself to section off an opening, body and closing and fill the body section with supporting points. If what you write doesn’t support your topic, get rid of it. When it comes time to rehearse, you’ll find that memorizing your opening and closing statements will make giving the rest of your presentation infinity easier.
  • If you need to cite your sources and don’t remember how, go to easybib.com. Just select the source of your and fill out a short form and the website will generate an acceptable citation in MLA, APA or other accepted formats for you.
  • Most people are shy about giving feedback because they either don’t know how or they don’t want to hurt your feelings. Help them to give you feedback that will improve your presentation. Here’s one approach
    GOOD: “I like this…”
    BAD: “There’s an opportunity to do this better..” or “I’d like to see more of …”

    You could also ask:
    If you had to sum up my message, what would it be?
    Was my message clear?
    What could I improve overall?
    Don’t ask what you did well because it’s not relevant and chances are that the things you did really well will come up on their own. You care about improving, not getting a big head.
  • Remember, nothing is guaranteed. A fun, easy weapon you can add to your presentation toolbox is the discipline of improv. If you’ve ever thought about signing up for a class, now is the time. Improv and public speaking go hand in hand. Nothing can prepare you for being unprepared like the ability to think on your feet. That’s my wife, by the way. Can you see I married her?
  • So, did I ever break that brick? You bet I did.
  • And I had all eyes on me until the very end. Best of all, my hand is in one piece and not a single club member went to the hospital that night.