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THE Presentations Japan Series is powered by with great content from the accumulated wisdom of 100 plus years of Dale Carnegie Training. The show is hosted in Tokyo by Dr. Greg Story, President of Dale Carnegie Training Japan and is for those highly motivated students of presentations, who want to be the best in their business field.
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What a double act they were. Two economists giving us some insights into where the markets are going and making sense of the world we face. Anytime you see an event where there is going to be some crystal ball gazing going on about where we are headed in the global economy, you want to be there. We are all more risk averse than greedy, and we want …
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Value is a difficult thing to pin down. In any audience, there is bound to be a wide range of interests, needs, and wants. How do we decipher that array into a presentation which meets all expectations? Well, we can’t. There are too many variables at play, so we have to work on hitting the target for the majority of those who have assembled to hear…
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We love another acronym, not! It is a handy memory jogger though, so let’s persevere with yet another one. Whenever you are in a situation where you need to get collaboration, support, funding or agreement, then the EAR formula is a very effective tool for presenters. It is simplicity itself in terms of understanding the formula. The delivery thoug…
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Where is the line between referencing our experiences and insights and just talking about ourselves? I attended a talk recently where the speaker had a perspective to share with the audience, to add value to their careers and businesses. What surprised me was how much of the talk was cantered on the speaker rather than the audience. I was thinking …
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I was recently reminded of the importance of openings and transitions when presenting watching a new speaker in action. They were using the occasion to establish their business here in Japan. Like this speaker, most of us face an audience who don’t know us when we start speaking. They may have glanced at the blurb from the organisers listing our ac…
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When we are planning our talk, we have to decide what is the purpose of this presentation? In business, typically, we most often deliver the “inform” type. We will pass over information we have come across in our travels and research for the edification of the audience. They have turned up to learn something they didn’t already know and expect valu…
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Navigation is critical in presenting. This is how we keep the audience with us and keep reinforcing our key messages. Years ago, I attended a speech by a serious VIP. He had jetted in from the US to visit Japan and made time to give the Chamber of Commerce members the benefits of his insights. It was a seriously meandering and confusing talk. I was…
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Does introducing emotion when presenting mean sharing a good weep with the audience? No, that is way over the top in a business context and would be the death knell of the speaker’s credibility. We are not turning up to your talk to see you burst into tears, carried away with your lack of emotional control. We are there with you for one of four rea…
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I was reading an interesting LinkedIn post about how at the start of your presentation in Japan you need to have slides on your background and credentials to get the trust of the audience. Let me quote from the post, so that you can get the flavour: “Most of the presentations I’ve seen by Japanese professionals tend to start with a detailed profile…
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It was a big affair. Many supporting organisations had promoted this expert dual speaker event and the large audience filed into the prestigious venue. I was sold on the advertising too. I was intrigued by the pairing of topics and according to the blurb, the speakers’ backgrounds looked the money. The MC kicked things off and handed the baton off …
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I hesitated to use this title, because it smacks of click bait, doesn’t it? To hell with it, live dangerously, I say! What flagged this question for me was an article in the Financial Times by Anjli Raval about Wall Street earnings calls. She mentioned that researchers from the University of Bergen and Said Business School analysed the question-and…
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Pasedena, January 31,1993. Michael Jackson performs at the Super Bowl. He suddenly pops out of the smoke on to the stage and strikes a dramatic pose facing right. He holds that pose for one minute and eight seconds, not moving a muscle. He makes one change and looks left. He holds that same pose for another 20 seconds before he takes off his sungla…
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It is very common to see panel discussions at business events. There is danger lurking in the shadows, though. The hosts invite a number of experts, usually around three to four, to interact with the MC. The idea is that a range of views will emerge and a richer resource of information will be provided this way, compared to the single speaker model…
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The education system in Japan from the early stages, right the way through varsity to most corporate training, is based on the lecture model. The instructor provides the information, and the participants write it all down. It is a very one directional, passive approach. When we are presenting, what do we do when we are using the “inform” model? Whe…
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There is a famous speech construct which we have all heard; “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you just told them”. Basically, this says open the talk by flagging what your central thesis is, expound on that thesis and then, in the summary, revisit the key points. There is nothing wrong with that approach, ex…
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“I want to be perfect when I speak”. No, you don’t! Let me tell you a tale of two CEO presenters with different approaches to addressing their audiences. One CEO used recent movies as his navigation for his speech. Actually, I had watched none of them, but he added enough context for me to get the point he was making about his own journey as a CEO,…
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The Master of Ceremony (MC) goes to the microphone to get the programme underway but the audience are simply oblivious, caught up in their own riveting conversations. The situation is much worse at receptions where alcohol is already flowing and the people down the back are generating a roar, a positive din, that drowns out the speakers. Apart from…
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Best intentions, higher callings, righteousness – all good stuff but without good communication, our efforts fail. Instinctively, we all know storytelling is a great communication tool, but the word itself is a problem. We associate it with bedtime stories and therefore the idea sounds a bit childish. In the modern era, Hollywood talks about the ar…
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Public speaking throws up many fears and challenges for all of us. As part of High Impact Presentations, one of our public speaking courses, we have been surveying the various participants for the last four years about the types of things they most want to improve. The most common request, from both Japanese and English speakers, is to “be clear wh…
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It is a big crowd, yet the conversation suddenly dies and a hushed silence now sweeps through the room. All eyes are fixed forward, as the MC tears at the envelope and announces this year’s award winner. Polite applause fills the air as the proud selectee stands up, glances around smiling, shakes hands and navigates between the maze of tables and c…
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We are such a judgmental lot aren’t we! We form opinions about people within seconds of seeing them, often even before we hear them speak. We judge their dress, their body language, their style without knowing anything about them as a person. We are slow to unwind our first impression as well, so those first seconds of any interaction are vital. We…
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There are a number of common structures for giving presentations and one of the most popular is the opening-key points/evidence-closing variety. We consider the length of the presentation, the audience, the purpose of our talk and then we pour the contents into this structure. Generally, in a 30 minute speech we can only consider a few key points w…
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Our mental approach to our activities determines our success. We know this in sports and in business, but when it comes to speaking in public, we somehow manage to forget this vital point. We know we have to make a presentation, so we get straight into the details and logistics, without spending even a moment on our proper mindset for the activity.…
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We may not have the chance to give that many public presentations in a year, but usually we will have some common themes which we can speak on. As businesspeople, we will have our areas of expertise and experience and based on those attributes, the hosts will invite us to present. Basically, in the lull between hostilities, we do nothing and just w…
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The chances of this happening anywhere is pretty remote, but especially so in Japan. Audiences here are polite and wouldn’t be so rude as to interrupt the speaker. Having said that, things can happen for which you are not prepared. I was delivering my debut speech in Nagoya, as the founding Australian Consul, in Japanese, and the unexpected happene…
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We often mix up words like metaphor and analogy, using them in the wrong context. Anecdote is another word we often use, but sometimes are not sure what it means. Basically, it is storytelling about a real incident or about a person. I was reminded of the power of the anecdote the other day, when listening to a presentation to a select private grou…
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The chances of this happening anywhere is pretty remote, but especially so in Japan. Audiences here are polite and wouldn’t be so rude as to interrupt the speaker. Having said that, things can happen for which you are not prepared. I was delivering my debut speech in Nagoya, as the founding Australian Consul, in Japanese, and the unexpected happene…
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I had an interesting collision of presenting styles recently. We were conducting one of our High Impact Presentations Courses and I was one of the two instructors for this programme. On Day One, a very important pivot takes place. They do three presentations that day and during the third one, they stop focusing on themselves. In the first two, they…
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Presenting is physical labour. We can do it with minimal energy or we can expend large amounts of effort. There are dangers with both extremes. The dull speaker, barely getting the words out of their mouth and hard to hear, isn’t going to ignite much interest from the members of the audience. The nervous speaker, pacing across the stage like a junk…
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Japanese culture is pretty specific about making eye contact with people. In ancient times, a commoner might lose their head if a samurai felt they were making eye contact with them in an arrogant or disrespectful way. Even amongst samurai, in the presence of superiors, you would only raise your eyes to make eye contact when invited to do so, other…
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It is a mystery why more people don’t bring storytelling into their presentations. Technical subjects may seem to be oblivious to storytelling, because we are only dealing with hard data. Absolutely not the case. This type of dry talk really benefits from injecting stories into the presentation. Numbers can be brought to life through telling storie…
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In some professions, there is a lot of media scrutiny on what the speaker is saying. The organisation they represent also has very strict rules around who can say what. This makes giving the presentation very restrictive and difficult. Usually, the people in that line of work, are used to giving these types of presentations, so they are accustomed …
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We know that being formal and stiff creates distance between the speaker and the audience. We also know that a “conversational tone” is ideal, as it creates a strong feeling of inclusivity between the presenter and those in the room. That conversational tone means a relaxed style on the part of the speaker, but how relaxed? We gauge people’s educat…
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There are facts, provable information, data, research results and opinions. What is the right mix when presenting? Should we just marshal the detail, lay it out for the audience and let them draw their own conclusions or do we need to direct them? How expert do we have to be to start handing out advice to others? Are we seeding the emergence of opp…
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I was held up at the hospital, which those who live in Tokyo will know, is a typical occurrence, so I was late to the presentation. One of the speakers had just started, as I slid into my seat at the back. The screen was hard to read, because the scale of the content was small. The presenter was speaking in a voice range which was probably fine for…
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“You are too loud”, “You are too high energy”. These were some survey comments following some training I was delivering for 60 managers for a client. You can imagine that the venue to hold ten tables of 6 participants each has to be quite large and spacious and that was the case. To project to an audience that size, in such a large venue, means you…
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“I have been presenting since I was 17, but I am not good at engaging the audience”. This comment from a man in his fifties was telling. He was in a very technical area which requires a highly acute mind and he is a leader in that field. He has a big job today for a famous brand name firm. If he has been getting lots of practice presenting since a …
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How much is too much? For the expert, the boundaries on this equation can be quite broad. For them, we are only tapping into the very superficial elements of this worthy subject. They have so many layers at their disposal and they can go to exquisite depths of complexity and nuance, within a heartbeat. When they are addressing the great unwashed, t…
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When we are giving a public presentation, it is rare that we will be given carte blanche by the organisers to promote our product or service. That type of blatant self-promotion is frowned upon and your reputation in the market will be negatively impacted. Great, but I want to sell more stuff. How can we promote ourselves without seeming to be brea…
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This last week I saw two speakers who were presenting, but both managed to do so with absolutely no presence. They could not command the room and they were both hard to hear. One was hosting an event with experts assembled, there to gain more knowledge. The other was leading the opening of a prestigious event to a very large audience in a big ballr…
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The best personal branding is to say something useful and interesting in a compelling, professional way. That is a snap right? Maybe not. What constitutes useful and interesting will vary, depending in who is in the audience. If we pitch the content complexity too high, we may be over the heads of our audience. They will take nothing away, because …
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“Greg is all style and no substance”, my erstwhile colleague happily told everyone who would listen, while I was on stage. It was an occasion where each Division Head presented to the entire company on what they were doing and where they were taking their part of the firm. He had preceded me and immediately felt his own inadequacy as a presenter, s…
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I gave a speech recently to a room full of managers, some foreigners and some Japanese. It was an internal talk and the purpose was to get the leaders motivated and get their mojo going, after having been hammered by three years of Covid. They recently passed across the feedback and it was quite confusing. Some said, “love the passion, dynamism” et…
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TikTok, Reels and all of the other super short form visual media are creating a nightmare for presenters. Twitter started things off with the very limited number of words allowed per tweet, forcing people into tiny corners of the mind. The trend toward short form rather than long form has meant that audiences are getting trained to absorb informati…
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The vast majority of the time in our company we are teaching presentation training to groups of fourteen. We have two instructors and we video everything. We provide an enormous amount of one-on-one coaching during the training and the results are spectacular. All good. From time to time, we provide one-on-one coaching to company Presidents. Usuall…
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Most foreigner delivered presentations in Japan will be delivered in English and have a mixed audience of both Japanese and non-Japanese. There is the tendency to imagine, because it is in English, that any necessary Japanese cultural components can be over-looked. The presumption is the presentation can be delivered, just as it would be, for a for…
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There were three experts on the panel for this luncheon event. One man and two women. They were using microphones but that didn’t help in one case. A very well presented, professional woman was adding her insights and point of view on the topic, but I couldn’t catch what she was saying. My table was situated right in front of her but to no avail. T…
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When I exchange business cards in Japan, I select from the one designed for a Western audience and another for a Japanese audience. Often, I will hand one over to a foreigner and then a different one to the Japanese person accompanying them. This will draw a remark, “Oh, the back of the cards are quite different”. I like to ask the Japanese person …
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