[On] Point to Ponder: When You’re the Speaker

Remember giving speeches in high school? How you hated standing at the podium in front of your friends? How you were sure they’d laugh at you, point out all your weaknesses, or just plain ignore you? You’d think these experiences of fear, dread, and severe nervousness would be a thing of the past for speakers as they enter their professions of choice. Not always. One bad public speaking experience can really stick with us, sometimes for years.  I often hear stories about a terrifying experience from a client’s early days that continues to re-surface. The person can’t shake the feeling that…

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[On] Point to Ponder: “Do Stories belong in my Slide Deck?”

When you tell a story during a presentation, which slide is on the screen as you tell it? The truth is, I have a love-hate relationship with slide presentations. Microsoft launched Power Point in 1990, almost 26 years ago. The business world has changed dramatically as a result of this tool, for better and for worse.  As speakers, we’ve been conditioned to have some tidbit of information “up” for every moment we talk. Why? It’s simple. 1) This reduces the already intense nervousness we feel; slides give the audience something else to watch. 2) With slides already prepared, we tell…

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[On] Point to Ponder: Why do Speakers Ramble?

Last week I took questions at the end of a talk on Storytelling in Business. One woman raised her hand and asked, “Why do so many speakers ramble? Why do they sometimes go on and on … and on?” She had obviously been held captive – on numerous occasions – by speakers who have committed such a crime.  Her question was punctuated by the collective groan I heard from the rest of the audience. They’d been there too. We all have. And the answer was simple. “There’s only one reason why a speaker goes on and on pointlessly,” I said.…

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CTL 2016 – “Strengths Finder” on Public Speaking

I just spent 2 days at the Career Thought Leaders Conference in Denver and presented alongside a talented group of business owners. When I was in the audience, I was able to engage in one of my favorite activities: Watching speakers, and finding their strengths. The speaker lineup was excellent overall. Here’s a rundown of 5 elements that mark excellence in public speaking, and who displayed them in spades at CTL 2016. Presence: Vaneese Johnson, The Boldness Coach, has a presence most professionals strive for years to achieve. It’s a natural gift, and she comes to the stage with a strong voice,…

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The Art of Storytelling

Join us at Liberty Common High School this Saturday, March 5th from 9am-12pm for the First Annual Spring Colloquium! We’ve lined up 20 presentations on a wide variety of subjects including black holes, the Thirty Years’ War, the history of the color red, and I’ll be speaking on the art of storytelling at 11:15 a.m. Don’t miss it! See for location, speaker bios and talk summaries. Cindy Skalicky, M.A.: The Ageless Art of Storytelling LCHS parent and owner of On Point Communications, LLC, Cindy Skalicky will analyze the art and function of storytelling. Using one of her On Point coaching tools, she…

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“Last year, I reached out to Cindy to help me with a sales deck I use frequently. I learned how to personalize my presentation in an authentic and informative way, making it more interesting to deliver and for my audience to observe!  Cindy was professional, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable and her suggestions were spot on.  If you want to enhance your communication skills, gain confidence in speaking, and improve overall delivery, I definitely recommend working with On Point!”

Nicole Steed, Global Account Manager | Helms Briscoe

“Cindy was truly instrumental in getting a compelling, professional pitch deck put together. Without her structure and guidance on how to tell a compelling story, I know we wouldn’t have had nearly the success and traction that we have. I look forward to continuing to work with Cindy and making our pitch evolve alongside our business.”

Jennifer Henderson| CEO at Career Allies

“Cindy, Your coaching was fantastic. You are so good at this. I have done a lot of this too, but I am in awe of your approach, the simplicity of your suggestions and your general professionalism. Thank you.”

Susan Strong, Director at SAGE Boulder

You are a wonderful presenter Cindy! I have taken so much from your presentation at the conference. I noticed when you speak, you at times lowered your volume in a way where we still heard you, but it PULLED the audience in, as if you were confiding in us.

Your vocal variety was lovely, (as well as your content, of course!). The advice to gather your stories from your past and weave them into your presentations is spot on.

Julie Roberts, Linked In profile writer|Coach

“As a professional speaker, I know the value of getting feedback before giving an important speech. As I prepared my TEDx talk, Cindy was the perfect person to give me outside perspective. She did a beautiful job taking the many ideas I had floating around in my head and helping me select what to use, how to organize them, and how to tie it all together.

I love the way she coached, not trying to make her words my own, but instead, considering what I was trying to achieve and helping me stay true to my voice. If you have to stand and deliver a great talk, working with Cindy can help you ensure you’re at your best!”

Tanis Roeder, Elevate Your Communication