Hide Your Title Slide

Giving a Power Point soon? Try this:

Don’t display the title slide as individuals enter the room – leave the screen blank. Instead, greet those taking their seats, welcome them with a smile.

When it’s time to begin your talk, move a little closer to the audience if space allows. Keep that title slide hidden. Start with just you. Give a brief, general explanation of your presentation objectives. Itching to start that slide show? Hold on. Resist the temptation to take the focus off yourself for just one more moment. Maybe there’s time to tell a short, related story. Wrap it up and move to the space you’ll use for the majority of your talk.

Why hide the slide? It’s simple, really. If you put the above tactic in place for your next talk, something  powerful happens: YOU become the presenter, not your “Power” Point slides. When it’s just you and your audience for that brief 1 or 2 minutes, you’re doing something your slides cannot do, not now, not ever. You’re establishing trust, increasing credibility and creating a meaningful rapport. Frankly, you’re doing something most presenters don’t do: You’re talking without the visual support of their slides. You’ve got their attention now and you will see a return on this investment.

When you eventually do put that title slide up, invite people to write down questions you’ll take and answer at the end. Now they’ve got a job to do, a reason to listen. During the presentation, keep the relationship with your audience going by peppering main points with “I/you” language. This helps keep audience members from checking their cell phones – or checking out entirely.

Above all, do everything in your power to avoid reading your slides. Remember, your audience wants you to succeed! Know your material. Practice out loud. Help yourself by connecting with them from the first word you speak until the “Thank you” you utter, signaling the end of your talk.  I guarantee your presentations and discussion sessions will be significantly more productive and  with this approach. Try it out, and let me know how you do!


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Testimonials

“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

When speaking at the CTL conference this spring, I had the privilege to sit in on Cindy’s Storytelling talk. Cindy has an impressive background, and a wonderful approach to helping you present more effectively. Telling a compelling story is crucial for effective presentations that connect with your audience, and Cindy can equip you to prepare and present in a structured, but seemingly unrehearsed way.

Kristin Sherry, Author|Speaker|Coach

Cindy was selected to present at the Career Thought Leader Conference in Denver. I attended her session and was impressed with her presentation and content marketing expertise. I have been a trainer for over 20 years and her presentation added specific impactful strategies that I will include in my next training. Cindy has a natural engaging style that is persuasive and professional. I would highly recommend working with her if you are looking to increase your business presentations.

Beth Kennedy, Executive 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

“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