Speaking star Howard Rheingold takes the stage with only minutes to spare

September 12, 2014 | Presentations, Verbal communication

Mike Consol teaches public speaking, PowerPoint presentation skills and business writing to companies and business professionals in the Oakland-San Francisco-San Jose Bay Area. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 925-449-1040.

The billboard method of PowerPoint slide design

September 11, 2014 | Presentations, Verbal communication

Here’s a simple way to make your PowerPoint slides more visual. Ask yourself: What would this slide look like if it was designed to be a billboard? What do we know about billboards? They must communicate at a glance. How much better would our PowerPoint slides be if they communicated at a glance? The marketers and copywriters who design billboards know that drivers must be able to assimilate the billboard’s meaning within three seconds. We don’t have such an urgent time restriction with an audience sitting in chairs. But adherence to the Three Second Rule makes great sense. It forces us to refrain from glutting our slides with text or complicated charts, graphs and other images that slow and complicate our presentations. (Watch this video to learn more by clicking on the headline.)

The 3 questions your audience members are silently asking

September 09, 2014 | Presentations, Verbal communication

Whether consciously or subliminally, all audience members are asking one of three questions. This video will tell you what those questions are, why they are being asked, and what we need to do about it. (Click on the headline to watch this video.)

Writing coach tip #5, write in active voice

September 06, 2014 | Writing

As my writing clients will attest, I place a lot of emphasis on writing high-velocity copy. In other words, making sure the words we write are a fast read and energize and engage the people who read them. There are many tools for accomplishing this.One of the best is making sure we write in active voice, rather than passive voice. This video illustrates the difference. (Click on the headline to view.)

5 basic story elements business people routinely overlook in their communication

September 04, 2014 | Presentations, Verbal communication, Writing

The five basic story elements have been used in fiction and non-fiction writing for centuries. Books, movies and stage plays return to these story elements time and again. Yet, they are rarely used in business communications, despite being entirely relevant to business, industry, entrepreneurship — and even speech writing, PowerPoint presentations and many other types of written business documents. Here is a brief video that illustrates all five of those story elements. (Click on the headline to view.)

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