Sunday, January 31, 2010

Teaching Those You Teach

Presenting your message is not enough. If you are highly achieving presenter, you'll take a big part in helping your people learn what you are presenting.

Here are five ways you can help your audience receive your message more effectively.

1. Proper Note Taking. For a learners notes to help maximize one's memory, it is important that a learner is able to record the speakers ideas in their own words.

Help them as you go alone with comments like, "you'll want to write this down," "this will be point two," and my favorite, "this one will be on the test." (Even if it ain't so.)

2. Paraphrasing. This is like the above note taking, except that care is given to the actual words the note taker uses. Ideally, the words the learner replaces of the speaker's with has equal or added meaning to the learner.

3. Predicting. It will help a listener to project a speakers message into the future.

This "projection" allows a person to simulate the material they are learning in the theater of their mind.

4. Questioning. A good Q and A will help your audience learn your principles much better. Challenge your audience to come up with creative and meaningful questions, , , and then dig into answering them.

The quantity and quality of the questions brought forward by your audience members will go a long way toward a productive and collaborative learning session.

5. Summarizing. This much talked about concept is seldom used in most learning environments. Plan a specific, "Now what did we learn here today?"

Merely presenting your material is not enough. Helping your people in the listening and learning process is imperative if you want maximize your message to those who come to hear you present.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Entertainment Equal Impact (Part 1)

PowerPoint? The Whiteboard? A Flipchart? Even a high-dollar multimedia-media extravaganza? How effective are these commonly used medium? Really?

(I have my ideas.) Used correctly, in the right framework and any of these can boost your audiences understanding of your message many fold.

Are there better visual media than the ones listed above?

Yep! The Entertainment Media!

I will list four of them for you today and as time goes by, I'll discuss them each individually!

1. Comedy! Ninety percent of all presenters can vastly improve their up front performance through a new and tactical use of added humor in their speech or presentation.

Volumes have been written on the subject of using humor in public speaking, but to little of it has been read and applied. In the future we'll dig more deeply into how to go about doing this.

2. Ventriloquism. The sky in the limit for any presenter, in this category, , , and you don't have to be a Terry Fator to do it.

But, , , this skill does take a lot of work for most people who attempt it. The most important elements are dedication and then lots and lots of practice.

It is difficult to measure the learning impact of a good ventriloquist aided presentation.

3. Magic. Of the four methods mentioned in this article, magic is probably the easiest one to learn and apply to your presentation. In a future post, I'll cover the simple "first steps" to mastering the use of magic in your speaking.

4. Music. Readers of already know that I am very high on the use of hand-drawn visual aids and storytelling as "the best visuals you will ever use."

But, in my heart, I readily concede that music is the ultimate visual aid, , , and in a few days I'll explain exactly why it is so.

David Pogue is the technology editor of The New York Times. He is also a prolific speaker on technology and how it interfaces with real life and work.

He plays the piano (average). Sings (below average). And, he writes his own material (better than average). Put it all together, and he gives a very entertaining and educational speech. You won't want to miss his stuff. I hope you enjoyed his video (above).


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Paradox Box

A typical situation most speakers and presenters face is to explain paradox and contradiction.

The simple way to illustrate paradox is with a simple rectangle and a diagonal line running form one corner to opposite corner.

Check out this little diagram. The more you work, the more the more energy you use.

On my favorite list of favorite “presenters” is Dr. Howard Hendricks, of the Dallas Theological Seminary. His tenure has spanned from 1951 until now. (He is still going in his eighties.)

He has been a huge part of many influential church leaders. Thousand and thousands and thousands of them.

I’ve watched his work since the early ‘60’s. My evaluation of his illustrious career is that, “he is the greatest teacher of teacher in my lifetime.”

Back in 1988, he and his star student, Bruce Wilkinson, published The 7 Laws of the Teacher series.

In the workbook for that course, Hendricks included a model and with that model this quotation, “The higher your predictability, the lower your impact. Conversely. . . the lower your predictability, the higher your impact.” *

That simple graphic has influenced my teaching profoundly every since.

His publisher has this visual aid locked by a copyright so I can’t reproduce it for you. But if you substitute the words predictability, and impact for work and energy and you’ve pretty much have the message.

Predictability kills presentations and speeches. Impact is the reward for being creative and changing things up. These two approaches are world’s apart.

You can use this same visual approach to illustrate any paradox that you want to discuss.


P.S. So, add this to your list, , , "another visual aid you can use in tomorrows' presentation."

* Dr. Howard Hendricks, The 7 Laws of the Teacher, (Atlanta GA, Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc., 1988) p.78

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Favorite "Cash Machine" Speaker

Who is the best public speaker in the world? I’m already committed to Don Hutson. But I still have all my category favorites.

One of those categories is “Cash Machine.” That means the ability to speak and then sell like a mad man or woman from the front.

My favorite in this category is Phil Town, the bestselling author of Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week! and now Payback Time: Making Big Money is the Best Revenge.

Town is a stock market investing expert.

He also speaks to arena-size audiences in major seminar events like Peter Lowe’s “Get Motivated” program. Crowds are typically around 15,000 (up or down).

Most often he finishes off his hour long speech by selling a software program that helps investors pick winning stocks. As I recall, the cost is about $500 for the software and six months of subscription to the online tools runs another $500.

That’s a thousand dollar ticket.

It appeared to me that he closed at least 20% of his audience. (I don’t know for sure.) But the math is pretty exciting any way you look at it, , , 20% would be around 3,000 takers or about 3,000,000 Buckeroos.

Maybe I was wearing rose-green sunglasses the last time I saw him and it was only half that many takers, , , that’d be a mill and a half of revenue for his hours work. Anyway you cut it, , , Phil Town knows how to make the cash register ring!

If you ever get the chance to hear Town do his entertaining and educational thing, don’t miss it. Here's a video of his opening stories.

Oh yes, at one time a few years ago, he was doing this two or three times a week, , , maybe more.

And he’s not the only person on Planet Earth that is doing it. I know in the internet marketing world that Armand Moran and Stephen Pierce have each sold nearly a million dollars worth of products after one single presentation.

Why am I telling you this stuff? And, what in the world does what Phil Town does have to do with visual aid design and use?

Because Town’s lead story is so powerful.

Once a white-water rafting guide on the Colorado River, , , He grabs his audience attention with one of his choice rafting stories.

Draw and draw and draw (as I recommend), , , or, , , play on PowerPoint ‘til your eyeballs pop, , , but you’ll never create a better visual aid than one like Phil Town’s opening rafting story.

Stories (watch my lips) are potentially the best visual you will ever use!

But don’t take my word for it. Watch his video, , , and then tell me I’m full of it. Or, even tell me that you can’t tell a story just as compelling as Phil Town’s.

And so add Signature Storytelling to your "visual aids you can use tomorrow," file. It is imparitive that you get yourself a few poweerful "signature stories."


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

There are two kinds of golf balls, , , that’s right only two kinds. Dry ones and wet one.

If you play golf, you know how one kind can effect your game quite positively and how the other kind can devastate your game. Yet, at general appearance both balls look very much the same.

People are much like golf balls.

There are only two kinds of people. Yep, only two kinds.

The ones who have given you their email address and those who have not.

If you are a public speaker, teacher, trainer, or online marketer, , , the people on your email list are a special kind of people. They are the salt of your Earth. They’re “your people.”

They’re like money in the bank to you.

I cannot over emphases this fact. As an ambitious presenter, it is vital to maximizing your profits that you build a strong, responsive email list.

And, as they say, “the money is in the list.” (Actually, the money is in your relationship with your list.)

Why am I telling you this? "I’m a speaker, not an information marketer," you may be thinking. This may come as a shock to you, , , but it’s your marketing that will make you the big bucks, not your speaking.

Add this point to your thinking, , , savvy marketers tell us that every name on your email list can be worth one dollar of profit to you every month. Five thousand names, , , $5,000 of additional profit every single month.

Even if you are not a very good email marketer, you can still pull 50¢ per name in additional revenue.

So as people visit your website or blog, keep in mind how nice it would be for them to be on your email list.


P.S. Later we’ll talk a lot about how you can use your visual aids as a means of building a large and hungry email list.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Everyone Has a Hero

I have mine. Brian Buffini, Don Hutson and Phil Town. Armond Morin. Dan Roam. And, of course Zig Ziglar. And I have others.

But I have one more—you!

You for being here digging. For your digging for a real way to positively effect the way the world lives their lifes.

And, especially because you have figured out that having a strong visual package is an incremental part of your success. That’s why you are my number one hero.

I appreciate you, so I’m going to share with you an approach that can insure your long-term prosperity.

To do this, let me introduce you to three more of my heroes, Frank Kern, Michael Koenigs and Ryan Deiss. If you know the workings of internet marketing you probably already know who these men are.

If not, , , these are marketers at the highest level.

A little over a year ago, Kern and Koenigs introduced a crude whiteboard drawing they called their “Paid for Life” business model.

They used this hand-drawn, quickie to promote their “Paid for Life” seminar. They did the program as a fundraiser for Koenigs wife’s favorite charity. They sold out the seminar and as I remember, raised over $700,000 for the cause.

All from one simple whiteboard pitch.

These two “gentlemen” have a friend in Austin, Texas, , , Ryan Deiss. Deiss is an online marketing genius. He knows exactly what works and exactly what does not.

A few months after Kern and Koenigs did their “Paid for Life" thing, Deiss came out with a program he called the “Continuity Blueprint.” He did his pitch on the back of a napkin.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were made by all.

Friend, , , both of these visuals were very simple and easy to draw. Yet, they worked like gangbusters in the marketplace. And the good news, , , anyone can use their technique. Especially, you!

I have included my fancy version of both of their business models. But I must make this disclaimer, , , I’ve made them look prettier but I have not made them more effective.

The real reason this trio are heroes of mine is that they are using, with great effectiveness, the business model that I recommend to you, , , to insure your long-term prosperity. . .

The Continuity Approach. It can make you rich. Study it. Learn all you can from Kern, Koenigs and Deiss.

I think every public speaker should be learning about and planning to develop their own continuity program (membership site, tape of the month or newsletter, etc). Recurring income should be the goal of every deep-thinking presenter. At least, , , that’s my opinion.


P.S. Oh yes, an abbreviation glossary for Kern and Koenigs model, , ,1. IP = Information Product, 2. CGM = Customer Getting Machine, and 3. C = Continuity.

An Open Letter to All Presenters

I write to a very, very large audience—every person who chooses to get up front, speak and then answer for the results of that presentation. I suppose that’s a few million, in America, alone.

They tell us that former president, Bill Clinton is the highest paid speakers in the country. He is on one end of the scale.

On the other end of the scale is a whole new crop of middle-schoolers who are making their very first oral book report. Most of them are scared to death of the assignment.

But, within that great group of students there is a “chosen few” who think of the experience as, “this is pretty cool stuff.” And further think, “I’d like to do this again.”

Between the extremes of a former president and the “wanna be speaker kids,” is that unique portion of our population to which you and I belong. Like I say, a few million of us.

My grand goal is reach them all. (So I need your help.)

This group is a diverse one.

From rank amateur to polished, and prosperous professional or millionaire celebrity. All levels of experience, confidence and credibility are included. Some are in business. Some in education. And, some public service. There’s the preacher, the politician, and the performer. And the list goes on.

What All Presenters Have in Common
First, you have identified public speaking as your way to make a difference in your world.

Second, it is not enough for you to get up front and do your thing. You want to be a change agent. You desire strongly to have your ideas accepted.

Another thing that drives you, , , the overwhelming need for constant improvement. You are always hunting ways to move your presentation skills to the next level and beyond.

How to Make a Difference
And meet most of your other goals. Build a life-changing topic and have it driven home by a powerful visual aid.

To my knowledge, no one else of Planet Earth teaches this principle as a major part of speaking success. My friend, , , get yourself a hot topic and a simple, easy to understand Theme Model and you are on your way.

And so, it doesn’t matter where you fit on the spectrum.

Even if you have a name like Antion, Blanchard, Collins, Fripp, Gleeck, Kiyosaki, or Roam—you need to know how to create a strong model for everyone of your speeches.

So join me now! Nowhere online or offline can will you find so much quality information at so little cost (free) about developing this vital skill.

All I ask, , , is for you to tell all your “speaker type” friends about


Editorial Note

What is to follow are two, more lengthy posts. These two posts go together but are distinctly different articles. They can change your life. So consider them intently. There is nothing to buy, , , only an opportunity to prosper as a public speaker, etc.


P.S. And if, after you have read and learned from them, please tell your speaker friends about . Thank You!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dealing with the Unknown Factor

A riddle for you, , , Figure A, , , what is it?” . . . “Give?” “It’s a kola bear, climbing up the other side of a tree.”

“At least, that’s what it looks like up climbing in the tree.” “Oh, I suppose it could be something else, , , say, , , if we could see a tail.” (A monkey, maybe?)

And you continue, , , in front of your audience, , , “This is why we are here today, to find out, , , What’s in that tree?

“We hope to discover exactly what’s up there in the tree of our industry. For any of us to make the most of our involvement doing what we do we’ve got to know (and not guess) what’s climbing around the branches of our industry.

“Sometimes it even looks like a different tree, , , with all the different kinds of animals its attracting these days.”

And so you go on with the rest of your message.

It’s a common situation for all presenters and consultants—identifying, explaining and “harnessing” the new animals up our trees. Sometimes you have very few clues with which to work.

This tiny little visual riddle can help you introduce and explain what is that is new and different in your field of expertise. So our new task is to explain (etc.) the unknown in a time of great perplexity.

A more popular way to illustrate this all to common reality is the use of the classic “tree model” shown here. Figure B..

I think every speaker, trainer, teacher, consultant, and information marketer should learn how to draw this visual on demand, just to illustrate their “unknown factor.”

I did this drawing with a mouse, , , that’s a lot harder than with a pencil or marker.

So the time has come, , , for you to practice up! I mean it. Over the coming weeks, draw a couple hundred “trees.”

It’s practice that will pay you huge dividends as you work before your people. These two figures (or illustrations) will become highly effective tools in your visual communication arsenal.


P.S. And you can use the other element of the tree (trunk, bark, limbs, leaves and even fruit, etc.) to represent the things you do know about your industry or field. Of course, the tap root and the entire root system are below ground and will represent or the unknown factor.

P.S.S. So, there you have two more visual aid tricks you can use in your very next presentation. For Free!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Charts (and Graphs) vs. A Theme Model

Excel, PowerPoint and any number of applications will help any presenter create all kinds of charts and graphs; pie charts, bar charts, and splatter maps, etc.

Although such diagrams are easy to make, they are not necessarily the type of visual aid most speakers, trainers, teachers and consultants should be using every day.

You see, for the most part, charts and graphs are based on pure data.

They are looking back, , , at the past. They are a picture of what “has” happened. They are about the history. And in 2010, it may be “ancient history.”

If you are like most presenters, , , you are about the future, , , about where your audience is going, , , not where they’ve been.

You’re presenting to new leadership, with a new direction and a new strategy, new plans, even a new company, with new products, and yes, even a new nation. One with new ideals and goals.

You’re an optimist in a pessimistic time. You speak “to the future.”

For that you need a new kind of visual approach. One that pictures what is to come. You look to the past, only to best diagram the future.

That’s why you need to use a Theme Model (in stead of charts and graphs). My 2010 suggestion is that you chart a new pathway for you and your audiences and that you do it using the tool I call a Theme Model.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Adult Learning Secrets (Part 3)

Let’s revisit Elaborative Rehearsal one more time. I said it was more than mere practice. It’s more than repetition. It’s more than a steroid approach to memory making.

It’s about connecting information. First to the Short Term Memory (STM).* Then passing it alone from the STM to the Long Term Memory. Only then can new information be recalled for use in ones work, life, relationships and substantial making a difference to mankind.

Here’s a model that will help you visualize this process.

The idea is to get the new info to the right-hand side of the model. And not let it fall through the cracks somewhere. (And there are many ways that can happen.)


* The term, Short Term Memory was changed to Working Memory by researcher, Alan Baddeley in 1974, (Baddeley and Hitch) and is now generally excepted among cognitive practitioners.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Adult Learning Secrets (Part 2)

Some time ago, about the adult learning principle of elaborative rehearsal. I listed five tips you could pass on to your audiences so they could optimize the impact of your message in their life and learning.

Today I’m going to finish that list by adding three more ways your people can enhance your message in their mind. These three tips will help them recall and use your information much more effectively.

Plan for Implementation. Your learners may ask, “Will this idea work in my world?” If the answer is “yes” or even “maybe” ask them to make up a story of how it would go down.

Optimism is everything. Without instilling it into their thinking, even good plans will not work. Help them to “expect” your message to work.

Visual Imagery. Ask them how they picture their above plan to work? What images do they hold in their minds? What symbols might stick in their thinking.

Help them to compare the new idea with former ideas.

It helps to lead them into a “What if, , ,” game.

And, of course, give them a good visual aid that shows them exactly where they are going.

Deeper Processing. Once your audience has had a chance to get their mind around your principles, , , and study them for some time, , , and ponder them over and over, they will take on a completely different structure, , , whether they work or not.

This deeper level of learning will either confirm or reject the ideas you have presented.

More adult learning ideas in the future.


Friday, January 15, 2010

More About Wayne

At this writing, I'm 74 years old. I am not a trained artist, though I've drawn my whole life.

And I'm not a public speaker, yet I have over 10,000 hours on my feet in front of a critical audience.

My design and speaking work has been limited to three areas; religious education, USArmy training aid design and building, and all phases of custom home building.

"Then Why Should You Listen to Me
When It Comes to the Design and Use of Visual Aids
in Your Own Speaking"
Because all of my life I've created only one kind of visual aid. I call them, "Have To" graphics. The visuals I've worked on, literally, have to work.

In religious education--because faith and moral character are such a vital part of life.

In the USArmy--because the training aids I created had so much to do with young soldiers survival on the battle field.

In custom home building--because profitability and customer satisfaction were so dependant on the designs and drawings I created for the valued features (expensive kitchens, elegant and huge fireplace face details, complicated steam showers, and high tech home theaters) we built in their new home.

Plus, my experience working with buyers of million dollar and up homes has taught me how to "draw what the buyers were thinking."

From actual experience, I know how to draw what people are thinking.

Finally, every since I was 14 years old, when I made my first presentation, using visual aid with in my speaking and writing has been at the front of my mind.

Though the presentation industry doesn't have a clue who I am, I have volumes of visual information any speaker or writer can benefit from. That's my opinion.

But only you and your audiences can decide how valuable my material is, , , so do a comment post and tell me how I'm doing.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Quick Note!

To get a good look at all the visual aids I've generated for this blog, , , left click on them. You can right click, and then save and paste that image in to MS Word, MS Publisher (my preferance) or some other program (or even paste in into PowerPoint as a static graphic).

Let me know how it works.


What Makes a Visual Aid Work?

Diversity, pure and simple.

The adult learner is easily bored. Do the same old thing every time you come before your audience, group or class and you're in for trouble.

Sameness is a killer when it comes to impacting your audiences. It's the number one reason a 30 slide, bullet-point riddled PowerPoint presentation puts so many people to sleep each and every day.

I recommend that you think beyond PPT.

Add a prop. Pull a common object out of your purses or pocket.

Use it to tell a story that makes your point.

Do a demonstration.

Make a profound statement--then step to a flipchart of whiteboard and write the word, "why?" Then have a hearty discussion.

Use a sign or symbol.

Metaphor and analogy are incredible "visual aids."

Break out a poster. Or, a map. Or, a book.

An ainmated body language. Well thought hand signals.

Huge tip; Learn to "draw what people are thinking." (And saying.)

Ask a member of your audience to draw what the group is thinking and saying.

Use a flipchart. This time-tested medium will work forever.

Same thing with the forgotten overhead projector.

Master the use of the whiteboard. (It is my medium of choice.)

As a user of PPT, there's one thing I know for sure; being "electronic" does not insure that your audience will remember what you say.

Diversity does! Here's a real simple model that express it all. More Modality, More Learning.


Monday, January 11, 2010

What's a Theme Model, Anyway?

In high school and college work you have to write book reports, and term and theme papers, etc. Most instructors insist that a lead part on these writings include a "theme statement."

It's a two or three sentence statement of what the paper is all about.

A Theme Model is much the same thing, , , only the graphic version. In it every point of your presentation is reduced as far as possible, , , but every necessary element is contained in it.

It is a paradox, with which every speaker must deal while they're developing their content, , , and now it is putting it into a visual form. Edited but complete.

Abraham Maslow's pyramid model, known as The Hierarchy of Human Needs, is the most widely published theme model. It embodied all that Maslow taught.

Chris Andersen's, model, from his book by the same name, Long Tail, The, Revised and Updated Edition: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More is the same sort of visual aid.

I live and breathe graphic modeling. I've studied the visual aids used by world-class presenters every since I was a teen. And that's been a long, long time.

The design and use of theme models is the calling of my life. I create them. I use them. And I teach other people to do the same.

I use PowerPoint a lot.

But I am a firm believer that the best way to really learn theme model building is with a marker and a whiteboard.

So, to teach other presenters how to do their own model drawing, I have developed a very unique seminar-workshop. It's simply called, How to Draw Your Message.

In this program everyone will have their own whiteboard and markers.

The boards will be arranged in a circle around the room.

I will draw something on my board. Each attendee will follow suit and draw the same thing I do. Every box, every circle, every line, every arrow, every stick man, and write every word I do.

You'll learn by doing!

It will be an unparalleled experience. And you'll have fun doing it.

When we are all done with the thirty categories we draw and discuss, you will know how to generate your own Theme Model. Guaranteed!

More about this career-changing program later.


P.S. Keep your eyes pealed on this blog and pick up on part two of this article, , , it's called, Is One Visual All I Need? And tell others about it.

What's Coming Up

First, Janurary 14, I'm going into the hospital for some surgery. I hope it doesn't lay me up very long.

You know my posting pattern, , , a new one ever other day. I'll try to keep 'em coming but I might not be able to. So keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Thank You!

Second, I have already begun a series of posts, giving you a visual aid idea you can use in your very next presentation, speech or publication. The first concept was the use of Venn Circle Models.

And also, you have been introduced to my own exclusive PowerPoint technique I call the Simulator. In it, you can simulate your actual drawing process on a legal pad using the drawing and animation elements found in PowerPoint.

(My last post was a static slide, but I've hooked up many of these types of presentations using the animation features in PPT.)

They works well when you are simulating your "live drawing" via. a PowerPoint projected image. Simply click your way through each animation as you speak.

I have developed some hand-drawn elements as a sort of templete presentation, , , and I'm going to make them downloadable to you, one way or another.

Because PowerPoint files are a little bulky, I may have to link them to you one slide at a time.

What follows here is a bit of an experiment.

I'm going to try to make available to you the "legal pad background" I used in my last post.

(It's a mess doing these things when you only know three things about a computer, , , PPT, MS Publisher, and how to email. Oh yes, I'm learning Blogger.)

Be patient with me. I'll figure it out.


The Hundred Year Old Visual Aid

While I'm writing this, I'm watching my 7 year old, boy/girl twin grand children paint with tempera.

They love to paint. The arty stuff seems to run in the family.

Tempera paint mixes well. I am watching them mix blue and yellow to make green. It's a discovery they've come up with all by themselves.

Which reminds me, , , when two elements come together, a third one is created. It's a visual lesson you can apply to the design and use of visual aids again and again in your speaking career.

Back in the 1890's, a Cambridge math professor named John Venn, came upon a way to illustrate this reality.

By using two circles, that overlap, he demonstrates how the overlapping area represents a third and new element formed from two merging principles.

This type of diagram form has survived to this very day, being part of many Microsoft Office applications in their Design Gallery feature.

Probably the best known Venn Circle visual aids is published in Stephen Covey's (and co-authors) 20 million selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He shows how when knowledge, skills and desire come together, habits are formed. (p. 48)

Years ago, Robert Ringer used a two circle venn to show how character is the result (or overlapping) of what you say and do.

The forming of a relationship can be drawn the same way.

Say, one circle represents Bob and a second Jane. Their coming together and spending quality time with one another results in a relationship that can be viewable by the space in the overlapped area.

There is no end to the many ways you can apply two and three circle Venns to your speaking and writing activities. Your only limit is your innovation.

Accept our belated "Thank You," Professor Venn.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Draw Your Message

I use PowerPoint a lot, but only when it serves my needs, and more specifically, my audiences needs.

But, I much prefer, as do my audiences, hand-drawn visual aids.

The basis of all visual-centered speaking is someone's ability to "draw your message." Most likely, You!

Let me assure you, you don't have to be an artist to become a powerful user of visual aids. All you need to start is ability to draw a collection of smiley faces, stick men and women and an array of lines, arrows, boxes and circles.
The Key Is Practice
I am generating a PDF download of all the above visual ingredients. When it is posted, download it, and start practicing and then become a professional doodler.

Persistence is the secret.

Every time you have a spare moment draw. Soon these little friends of yours will come to life as part of your topic. Here then is your jumping off point.

In the future in this blog you will further develop your ability to draw your message in a way that your audiences will appreciate.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Seven Ways to Make Your Complex Topic Simple

I just completed the article, Attention Speakers, Teachers and Writers; Seven Ways to Make Your Complex Topic Simple. You’ll find these seven tips helpful as you prepare your lessons, speeches and documents.

I suggest that you print out this page, three-hole punch it and put it into a special binder of one page “quickie” guides for many topics having to do with speaking, teaching and writing.

Here’s your link to this valuable PDF file.

We’ll keep the good free stuff coming.


Six Pixels of Separation

That’s the name of Mitch Joel’s latest book, Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.

If any of you are wanting to make the most of using social media as a means of promoting your speaking, teaching or consulting career, here is another “must read.”

He presents six factors that he says make up today’s new “Trust Economy.” Here’s my own visual version of this piece of vital content.

But, , , ya gotta read the book.


Exactly How You Should Use a Visual Aid

StomperNet has just added Melanie Benson Strick to their prestigious faculty. Her field of expertise is staff building.

She was just featured in a highly informative video that you won’t want to miss. See it at (As long is it's still available online.) (OPS, it's only an audio track now. More of Melanie coming soon.)

Melanie is speaking about StomperNet’s latest project, the Virtual Team Building System.

In her introductory video, she features a little graphic she calls the On-time Results Model. It is as simple as a visual aid can be, yet it packs three profound principles anyone wishing to build there own productive team can put into immediate use.

She presents this incredible little model on a single 8½ by 11 piece of paper.

I’ve enhanced this visual aid with the help of PowerPoint (shown here). But, let me make this point very clear: I have not improved the actual content at all. Only it’s general appearance. In it's primitive form, it's still an incredible communication tool.

Also shown on today’s blog post is also another model she uses in this great video.

Regardless of what your topic is—you do not want to miss this video. You will see demonstrated, before your very eyes, exactly how you should use a visual aid in your presentations.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Three Visual Aid Principles

By now you can begin to see my ideas at work as I design visual aids for public presentation. Focus your attention on three principles, , ,

1. The white background. Why? Because readability tests say that text written on a white background is more readable than any other color. (There are two “close seconds”, , , very light yellow and very light blue.) (Deiss, 2009)

But to insure that you can print a Microsoft Word (or Publisher, etc.) version for a film transparency or for a handout, , , I will always stick to the white background.

2. The white background. (Part 2) For iPhones and other smart phones, etc. Plug this into your hard drive. In the future, every visual aid you use in any video media can ultimately wind up on or forty (or so) other video hosting services, , , whether you put it on there or not.

Then, here comes the ever-expanding handheld gang. (Twenty million iphones, alone and growing--fast.)

All of the original slides I am posting on this blog will look good and read well on a two and one half inch screen. And, they will show well even in a dark environment.

(I guarantee you, you’ve never heard any graphic production advice concerning the huge and exploding, handheld market.)

3. Highly readable text (or type). First, all the “must read” info is in a basic bold typeface. Second, there’s always high contrast with the background. And, third, , , the amount of text is held to the fewest possible elements.

These simple lessons give you some clues as to how I create and use visual aids in my speaking and writing. It’s all about your audience. Every graphic you use as an information merchant must be a very user friendly form.

Tell me what you think. More later.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Who's the Best?

Some people ask me who I think is the best speaker or presenter in the world today. Well, there’s one I like best when it comes to actual monetary results. And, one I think is the funniest. And, one that I think is the most inspirational, and so on.

But when “push” comes to “shove,” my gut instinct goes to the dean of Value Selling, Don Hutson.

Almost every week of the world, he heads out to three or four more Fortune 500 type companies to spread his wisdom to eager and intelligent audiences, , , and he has been doing it for over three decades now. (I first heard him in 1975.)

There’s no one better on Planet Earth at what he does.

You can watch him perform at his website, by clicking onto the "Selling Value" link.

Recently, he sent out his “New Year’s” email article, titled, The Power, Pitfalls and Potential of Resolutions. It’s a “must read” for any forward-thinking person.

Click on the title above, and access a PDF version of this incredible article.

Above is a visual aid I created to help you understand and pass-on the valuable principles Mr. Hutson teaches.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Word of Mouth Marketing

According to Andy Sernovitz, in his latest book, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking, Revised Edition
“Word of Mouth” has been around for a long, long time. What’s absolutely new is the second “M,” or Marketing.

Or, the idea that a company or marketer can actively influence the amount of “work of mouth” that really takes place. He says that this influence is actionable, trackable, and plannable just like any other marketing strategy or tactic.

Here’s an interesting visual I created that will help you explain Sernovitz’s principles.


The Single Page Summary

Through my life in speaking and design, I’ve become aware of the constant need to simplify the complex. It’s often the major goal with any presentation.

In the PDF document that will follow in a few days, I’m going to kill two birds with one stone.

First, you’ll receive a document called, How To Simplify the Complex. It tells you exactly how to make your messages simple and easy to understand.

Second, this page is a perfect model (in both visual form and writing style) for the “Cheat Sheet” format you should use to summarize almost any speech or larger document.

Give me a day or so to get it finished.