Archive for the ‘Donald Trump’ Category

Presenting in the Boardroom

The most common form of public speaking and presenting occurs across the table, or in a clients Boardroom.

Presenting in the Boardroom requires a special understanding of certian unwritten rules and territorial factors.

SeatingBefore taking a seat, wait for your host to direct you. Never assume a position around the table.  When preparing, ask permission as to where you should set up, and if it is OK to set up now.  If you do need to sit down, ask if it is OK to sit in a particular seat. 

Respect the status in the room.  In some organisations there will be a very clearly defined hierarchy.  This may even include calling someone by their title such as “Mr”.  Make yourself aware of what is happening along these lines and follow suit.  In some groups, people will have clearly defined roles.  

Know your audience.  Do as much homework as possible on your audience.  Know what their hot-buttons are.  Know what they like and dislike, and tailor your presentation accordingly. 

Help them save face.  Ensure that you do not cause your host to lose face.  If you suspect that your host does not fully understand what you are saying, try re-phrasing your point another way.  If you are not sure if they understand, try something like, “Have I made that clear enough?”, as opposed to, “Do you understand what I am saying?”  This lets them feel that the reason they don’t understand is not due to them.  This is very important when dealing with Eastern Cultures.   

Be adaptable.  Be ready to bounce off what the people in the room do or say.  Being able to incorporate this into your presentation will give the impression that this is a completely unique presentation. 

Study the room dynamics.  In any group of people there will be some that are closer friends than others.  Some may even dislike each other.  If this is evident, avoid being drawn into it. 

Don’t skip slides.  If using PowerPoint, never skip a slid in front of a customer.  If you do, you will give the impression that you are hiding something from them.  If you need to tailor a presentation for a prospect, hide any unnecessary slides before you get there. 

You are there to make a sale.  Regardless of what you are presenting, you will be making a sale.  You may not be asking for an order number there and then, but if you want to have a future relationship with this audience, they will have to buy your credibility.  As in all sales situations, keep the following in mind:

  • K.I.S.S.  Keep it short and simple.  Attention spans are only getting shorter.  By getting to your point as soon as possible you will avoid wasting everyone’s time.
  • Understand what they want, and know what they need. Many people in a buying situation know what they want, but are unaware of what they really need.  Find out what their needs are, and fill them and you will have a better chance of success.
  • Use feature and benefits.  People do not buy the features of any product.  They buy the benefits those features give.  For example, people don’t buy a car with a V8 engine (feature) just because it has a big engine.  They buy a car with a V8 engine because of the power it has (benefit).  Understand the features of your product, and what benefits it brings to your client.
  • Use Questions.  A great way to understand more about your audience is to ask questions.  By asking questions, your audience will give an insight to what they really want.
  • Don’t over answer.  If you are asked a question, avoid the temptation to give a long answer that leaves no stone un-turned.  Answer as much as is needed to satisfy the person who asked the question.  If they ask more, great.  If they are asking questions, they are showing interest.
  • Leave questions to be asked.  By carefully omitting some information from your presentation you can prompt a question about it.  Some audience like to ask questions.  It lets them show that they understand what you are presenting.
  • Don’t finish with a Q&A.  Avoid finishing on with a Q&A session.  After you have dealt with all the questions, give a brief summary.  This allows you to have the last word and control what happens next.

 ‘Til next time,


Darren Fleming

Why people listen when Donald Trump speaks

It has been reported that Donald Trump earns about US$1.5m for a 1 hour keynote speech.  This would be in addition to any product sales that he has at the back of the room.  He will sell books, CDs, DVD and anything else he can get his face on.


But other than being pretty rich, why do people listen to him?  After all there are lots of other people out there that are just as rich (or richer) than he, but yet they don’t have the same cult following.  Why is this?


Have a look at this 2 minute video of him speaking and you’ll see why.


Why is he so good?


  1. He uses stories.  In this brief video he uses 3 stories
    1. What he learned at Warton
    2. His friend who bought a house
    3. The reporter at the back of the room.

Stories bring people into his message.  When people hear stories they connect with you as a speaker.  This is what speakers should be aiming for.


2.  Has a point to what he says.  Therefore, he has a reason for speaking.  If someone speaks for any period of time (even if it’s just a minute) and there is no point to what is said, there is no need to speak!


But is there anywhere that he can improve?  Well have another listen and see how often he cuts himself off mid sentence and fails to finish his point. On 4 occasions he interrupts himself to make a side comment or a general comment on what he is saying.  Only on 2 of these occasions does he actually go back and complete the thoughts that he interrupted.  The result is that he does not get his message across as clearly as he could. This can be frustrating for the listener.


“So what?”  I hear you ask.  “The guy gets paid $1.5m per hour.  He can do as he wants!”  Maybe so, but if I were paying that sort of money I would want all I can get.  But my real reason for bring it up is for the rest of us mortals who do not get that much but still speak to audiences.  Do you finish every thought and point that you start?  If you don’t, are you delivering your message as well as you could?  If you are not, are you getting the best out of your own time as well as your audiences time?


‘Til next time.




Darren Fleming

Australia’s Public Speaking Coach

0422 670 659

call now!

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