Really learning (part 2): back to attention

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog!

For those of you who teach, did you think that leveraging emotions was a good idea? If so, how did you practically do so? For those among you keen learners, did you agree that emotions facilitate both the processing and later the recall of new knowledge, as I proposed in my April post?

In this month’s article, I am continuing to look at how we learn and some of the brain processes associated with that activity. I want to return to attention (I hear some of you moaning "oh noooo….). In a future post, I propose to engage you around the notions of meaning and chunking.

As such, in addition to the opinion that we best learn when the new knowledge is associated with a positive emotion, I also hold the view that we best learn when we are able to pay as-close-to undivided attention while being taught. But that is a tall order – judging only by the masse of self-help books which expound on techniques for captivating and retaining an audience’s attention. [Read more…]

5 Tips to Help You Structure your Talk and Slides

Overcoming Presentation Challenges Part 3 (of 3): Structuring your Talk

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!) 

In this third and final article on the topic of presentation challenges, I am turning my attention to how to structure your slides and your talk for maximum impact.
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5 Tips to Help You Present with Confidence

Overcoming Presentation Challenges Part 2 (of 3): Delivering Confidently

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!) 

In this second article, I am continuing to focus on presentation challenges. The first article was concerned with overcoming presentation jitters by understanding the three sources of presentation anxiety. If you missed it, you can read it by clicking here.

In this second instalment, I am turning to presentation delivery techniques with five tips to help you stand up and speak confidently. But before I list those, let me make a fundamental point: your audience has come to listen to a person. You and they may have forgotten this truth so remind both of you. Indeed, your audience hasn’t come to hear about derivatives pricing or how to sell more widgets. They’ve come to hear YOUR MESSAGE about derivatives pricing and increasing widget sales.

Would you agree with me that a boring topic can be brought to life by a gifted speaker? If so, then the most important part of your presentation is how YOU bring it to life. While your slides can help (and we will look at this in the third and final part of this series on presentation challenges), even the most dazzling slides will fade if the speaker is unable to do them justice. Whereas a good speaker will be able to rescue a set of mediocre slides. For that reason, the tips I am about to share with are all about bringing yourself into the room in a way which will engage the audience.
[Read more…]

The 3 Main Reasons We Get Nervous when Presenting

Overcoming Presentation Challenges Part 1 (of 3): Presentation Jitters

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

In this article, I am turning my attention to presentations. Presentations have become part and parcel of corporate life, especially in larger organisations and I have noticed that, while a lot of time and money is invested in training folks so that they both write and deliver good presentations, not all of this training actually pays off when I think of all the challenges I hear about when it comes to presentations. So I thought I’d spend some time looking at presentations, starting with the fact that most of us experience a fair bit of anxiety when it comes to presenting. In follow-up articles, I will share with you what I consider to be core techniques to confidently deliver your presentation as well as tell you about a simple approach to design a powerful presentation guaranteed to have impact.
[Read more…]