Notice the presentations all around you

Standing in line at Trader Joe's the other day, I witnessed a young man return a bag of cashews. He did what all good presenters do: he established rapport, he told a relevant, concise story with humor, and then he used the bag as a prop to demonstrate the hole in it. Most of us make presentations every day in informal settings and we do fairly well. Then, for some reason, when we stand in front of an audience or speak at a meeting, we forget our good instincts.

The next time you present in an informal or formal setting, what can you emulate from cashew man? Some ideas:

-Build rapport with your audience before your talk begins. -Open with a concise, relevant, even funny story. -Use a prop or demo - it's guaranteed to be the most memorable moment of your talk. -End with a clear call to action. What do you want your audience to do or remember after they've walked out the door?

Until then, send me a story of a presentation you made or witnessed and how you used these skills. And keep noticing the presentations all around you!