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Best Selling Author Carmine Gallo On How To Up Your Presentation Skills

Do you want to really up your game as a public speaker? Polish your presentation skills? Get the audience engaged and hear the ring of enthusiastic applause?

We thought so!

If you want to be a better communicator, then Carmine Gallo is your man.

Carmine Gallo Headshot

Carmine is a world-leading expert on communication and public speaking.

He is the author of seven books, including best sellers The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs and his most recent is Talk Like TED, which distils the best of over five hundred TED Talks into nine common principles that anyone can learn from. He also works with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Coca-cola, LinkedIn and Cisco (to name just a few).

You can sign up for his newsletter at www.gallocommunications.com.

Recently he agreed to have a chat with us about everything from overcoming nerves to the brain science behind amazing presentations, the rules that underpin great public speaking and why it’s an essential skill for becoming wildly successful in today’s world.

This is a must listen/read for anyone interested in building their profile, getting ahead in their career and who wants to present better in public!

What will you learn?

  • The Principles of Great Public Speaking
  • The Psychology of Engaging Presentations
  • How to Overcome Nerves
  • How Public Speaking Can Boost Your Career
  • The Importance of Public Speaking as a Modern Skill
  • How Storytelling Can Transform Your Presentations
  • Using Video to Create Better Presentations
  • The Importance of Preparation
  • Where to Learn More About Public Speaking
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You can download the full podcast here (or listen to it online).

Here’s the full transcript:


MARK: Hi. I’m Mark Walker from Eventbrite. Welcome to another podcast edition.

So for those of you unfamiliar with Eventbrite, we are a self-service ticketing platform and live event experiences marketplace, and you can find out more about us at eventbrite.co.uk.

Now it’s my pleasure to be joined today by the best-selling author, speaker and communications guru: Carmine Gallo. Carmine, thank you for joining us.

CARMINE: Well, thank you, Mark. It’s a pleasure to be speaking to the Eventbrite audience in the UK and around the world.

MARK: Fantastic, they are very lucky to have you here.

For anyone not familiar with your work, you’ve now published, I believe, seven books in total, including best sellers The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs and you’ve also recently published Talk Like TED, which distils the best of over five hundred TED Talks into nine common principles that anyone can learn from. So that sounds like an absolutely fantastic read.  What gave you that idea, to publish that book?

The Principles of Great Public Speaking

CARMINE: Well, as you know, and I’m sure most of your audience knows, the TED Talks have become extraordinarily popular and really have reached the gold standard of public presentations and public speaking.

I have worked with some TED speakers as a communication coach. I have been analysing TED Talks for many, many years through my role as a communication expert and also as an author. And I’ve interviewed many, many TED speakers after they’ve given their TED talks.

So I realised that there is this platform that people love to watch. Something like two million TED videos are screened every day, some phenomenal number, and so I realised that there was this incredible opportunity to educate people out there round the world because it’s a global platform now.

This opportunity to educate people on why is it that some of these speakers can go viral? What is it about a presentation in eighteen minutes that elicits twenty million views? What is it that that person does that we can all learn from? That’s the point.

The Talk Like TED book, which is doing phenomenally well in the UK actually (it’s one of the best-selling general business books), I’m really proud of that, but a Talk Like TED book is not about the TED conference – I take care of that market in about a page; The Talk Like TED book is: what is it about the world’s greatest speakers that you can learn from? What do they do that you can apply in your very next presentation?

MARK: Right. And you noticed the pattern? That there are consistently things that great public speakers do.

CARMINE: There are very clear patterns – if we break it up into category of three parts. Every conversation, every inspiring presentation, every TED Talk that goes viral, has three elements. It’s emotional, novel and memorable. And as we go through this podcast we could take that time. But emotional means that you need to touch my heart, before you reach my head. Most professionals, most business professionals don’t quite get that part. Novelty. There’s a great guideline that comes out of….. and they say: “Thou shalt not trot out thou usual stick!” That’s actually what they say: “Thou shalt not trot out thou usual stick!” Which simply means: you’ve got to be different.

MARK: Carmine, sorry. The sound just cut out there for a second. Where’s that line from?

CARMINE: That line is actually from the TED guidelines that TED sends out to all of its speakers ahead ….. They say: “Don’t trot out thou usual stick.” Which simply means: do something different.

You can’t do something that everybody has seen before. That falls under what we call novelty. Because a lot of this is based on brain research too, Mark, which was the fun part for me.

The brain seeks out what’s called ‘alternative stimulation’. If you deliver a power point that looks exactly like every other power point that you see day in and day out, the brain gets bored; the brain gets bored really easily. But once you do something just a little different, all of a sudden, it’s a reminder. It’s like a trigger for the brain and it says: “Oh, this is different: pay attention!”

So there’s very specific things that we can do to make your presentations novel or memorable. And all event organisers need to understand that. If you have a slate of presenters who are all just delivering the same power point, that’s a sure fire way to put people to sleep.

MARK: Right. And we’ve all been to events like that. And we all want to encourage the audience, who obviously are listening and create these events, to find ways of delivering really unique powerful experiences to people and one of those ways is to educate their speakers, which is obviously what this book, and what your work, is all about.

The Psychology of Engaging Presentations

CARMINE: Mark there’s so many different ways you can do that. One speaker might have more of a traditional power point. Why not have one speaker do a Prezi? An Apple Keynote. Change the software a little bit. How about a demo? How about one speaker just using flip charts? How about one speaker taking a poll from the audience and using interactive polling? There are so many different things you can do. The point is to break it up, because the brain – and here’s the lesson – the brain gets bored easily.

MARK: Fantastic. And I think that’s the take-away. The brain gets bored easily. So make sure the event has lots of stopgaps, it creates a sense of novelty. There’s no repetitiveness in there. I think that’s the key. Make it unique. Make it memorable. Don’t let the brain get bored.

CARMINE: That’s absolutely right. I like the word you just used: stopgaps.

One of the techniques that I learned through the research in this book is the ten minute rule. There was a little research there – it’s not that well known, but there is a little bit of research out there, showing that we tend to get bored after about ten minutes – which means no matter how engaging a speaker is, there seems to be a natural pattern in our brains where we tune out, literally, tune out, after about ten minutes.

So I’m always recommending to people that obviously conferences are longer than ten minutes, most talks are longer than ten minutes. Always find ways to re-engage, every ten minutes. That can be a video, showing a video. That might mean going to a different speaker.

Apple does this all the time. Apple will deliver a ninety minute presentation on a new product and have like six different speakers up there. So there’s constant movement, constantly changing it up, to keep people engaged.

MARK: Right. That’s another really good piece of advice there. So change things up frequently; whether it’s within the same presentation, or actually by bringing on additional props or additional speakers.

Or maybe, I guess, is an idea to pause, take a breath, and ask the audience a question – try and get them engaged directly?

CARMINE: I love audience participation. Most people do not engage their audience nearly as frequently as they should. There are different ways of doing that, obviously.

Nowadays, especially when people are in person, I do like this trend of working with people on their smart phone. Get out your smart phone, tweet this and put the hashtag and I’ll answer your questions or make observations. That gets a little dicey. You’ve got to have a little courage for that, because you never know what you’re going to see. But I’ve started doing that and Mark – anything that breaks it up, so that it’s unusual, it’s different. So that when people are in the audience they say to themselves: “Oh this is different. I haven’t done this before.” That takes some creativity.

I mean you’ve got to think about these things ahead of time. If you just create your standard power point presentation that everybody has seen a million times and you get up there and you just deliver it like you’ve always delivered it, that’s a sure fire way to lose the attention of your audience.

You have to start thinking through: what is my story? How am I creating the narrative behind this idea, and then bring it alive. That takes creativity, Mark, it does take a little work.

MARK: Right, absolutely.

And to my mind, I think one of the big blockers for anyone who does public speaking, or has to do public speaking, is the idea of fear. It’s one of those things, like spiders and heights, that just seems to affect a lot of the population. People do not like public speaking. And I think that probably inhibits them – getting on the stage and being enthusiastic.

A lot of people they know their stuff, they know their subject, they’re enthusiastic in the office. And yet you get them on the stage and the power points, the crux that they have to use, because they’re nervous and they’re not confident.

So have you got any tips from all the research that you have conducted on how a first time speaker, or a nervous speaker, can actually get on that stage and inject some creativity? How can they overcome their nerves?

How to Overcome Nerves

CARMINE: Nerves are very natural. It’s natural for any of us to be nervous about a task that we are not familiar with, that we don’t do very often. I play golf, if I were to get up in front of even a small gallery of people, I wouldn’t be able to hit the ball. Because I’ve never done that. And then you get Rory McIlroy who does that every day. You get past it at some point.

MARK: I know that phase. I hope I get past it too!

CARMINE: So you get past it. But get past it you almost have to do it all the time. Or you do it as often as possible.

So understand that it’s very natural to be nervous when you’re delivering a presentation, because you don’t do it all the time. You should be nervous. It’s OK.

The people who get past it, Mark …….. actually I don’t think anybody ever gets past it, I think you learn to manage your fear and you learn to control it a little bit better. You want a little anxiety there; otherwise it’ll actually be pretty boring. You want to be pumped up a little bit.

I find that in my experience with myself …. get past that natural anxiety, that most people would feel who don’t do this every day, is to practice the heck out of it. Over rehearse.

I know of a TED speaker, her name is Gill Bolte Taylor. If you go on to ted.com her speech was second or third highest rated TED talk ever – she practiced two hundred times over several months. So by the time you actually do it, it’s second nature. So then you start putting a smile on your face and really thinking through how you’re going to deliver the story and having a great time with it.

Now nobody, very few people, on our podcasts are going to practice anything two hundred times. But personally, if I have to deliver a mission critical presentation, a presentation that’s very important to me or my brand, I’ll practice it at least ten to twenty times. At least ten, minimum.

I feel that practicing a presentation at least ten times gives me a lot of confidence so that I know that if a slide doesn’t come up when I need it, or there’s something in the audience that I want to be flexible with, I have enough confidence about the material that I can go with it. It actually allows you …….. more practice, I know this sounds counter-intuitive, more practice actually allows you the freedom to be more flexible.

MARK: And that’s because of the muscle memory, the ability to relax into it….

CARMINE: That’s a big part of it. Just being able to relax and have fun with it and maybe adapt on the fly, because you know that you can always come back to it – you know exactly where you’re going next.

I remember working with a woman, general manager of Intel, the big micro-processor company and we practiced a lot, much more so than she was probably used to and she said it helped her. She gave a huge presentation in Taiwan, very important presentation for the company, and there was a small earthquake right before, just a few minutes before, small earthquake. And she said she was able to take the earthquake and talk about how data is generated and how people study things like earthquakes based on the data that’s generated and how micro-processors are critical for that data analysis to take place.

So even though her presentation was going to be about data, she was able to go with it on the fly. But if she had been so obsessed and absorbed about: Oh my gosh – am I going to start again? And what’s on slide number two …..then you have no will to have fun and to be flexible and be in the moment.

MARK: Right. That’s a great tip.

So a lot of people run events in order to build awareness, whether that’s for their brand or their cause or their charity. Of course, sometimes people run events for pure play profit, but a lot of people are not necessarily natural public speakers.

Now when you’re running an event, you’re essentially communicating with an audience, you’re communicating through your brand through a lot of decisions that you make; but generally speaking there’s probably a time during the course of the event where you need to address the crowd, the people who’ve arrived.

So my question to you is: are presentation skills only something that CEO’s and leaders need? Or are presentation skills that everyone should be able to do? Whether it’s called on during an event, or even if it’s just a small team presentation? Would you recommend everyone get a certain level of comfort with presenting? Or actually can people compartmentalise that and leave it up to the senior management team?

How Public Speaking Can Boost Your Career

CARMINE: Mark I think people do not appreciate, under-appreciate I guess, the ability that presentation skills, that great presentations can have, on their careers. Many people just don’t get the connection – which surprises me somewhat.

But when you’re in my field and you see just how powerful it can be for one’s career, it’s something that no-one would ever put on the back burner.

I’m just thinking out loud. I’ve got a couple of great examples. You said: is it just for CEO’s? Let me give you an example. I’m following a young man over the last couple of years who works for a major technology company that all of your listeners will know. Mid-level manager. And he has found that over the last two years….. because he is doing everything we’re talking about today and reading books and studying presentations and trying to improve his presentation skills ……. he has found that sales people around the work are now calling on him to deliver big presentations to major customers because he has been recognised within the company as someone who can communicate very, very well. He’s been called an evangelist. I don’t know if that’s his official title, but they’re calling him he’s an evangelist now and he’s been flown all over the world.

His statue, within an eighty thousand person company, is rising quite quickly. And I said: “What does that mean to you?” He said: “That means I can become probably lead a country, a country manager, much more quickly, because people are recognising me within the company. I’m standing out.” And it’s all because over the last few years he has decided: I’m going to be a much better presenter.

MARK: You’ve just reminded me of when I first started out. My first job was running conferences in the pharmaceuticals industry.

We had one chap who he presented one year and it took us a little bit of time to convince him of the value of presenting and he was, I believe, a brand manager. And the next year he came back and he was, I believe, a brand director and then another year later he’d moved up another step something along the lines of a country manager or country director and he directly attributed his success to being able to communicate effectively in public. It raised his profile within his organisation within the industry. He positioned himself as a thought leader. I’ve absolutely seen this in action as well.

CARMINE: I love that story. That’s a great story.

I had a young man call me not too long ago, I think it was last year, he had just graduated from …..as they say in the UK ‘university’…..so he graduated from college and he had landed a job. We were still in a recession here in America, it’s getting a little better, last few months, but it’s hard to get jobs and this young man got a job on his third interview. Sort of the job of a lifetime, a really hot start-up and directly attributable to reading some of my books. I’m not just saying this just for myself but I’m saying is: he’s focusing on becoming a better presenter.

So here he is focusing on being a much better presenter, does an interview, third interview, third company they hire him and the reason why they hire him specifically is because they said: you do a better job of communicating our technology and what we do, than most of our sales people.

And the recruiter, Mark, asked him: can we put you on video? Can you record that pitch again so that the other sales people can see? You see he was so articulate. And he studied and he rehearsed the pitch. He told me he rehearsed it for like eight hours.

So in other words he internalised the pitch so well that when they heard him talk about the company they realised: Oh – he does it better than we do!

So presentations, public speaking, communication: it’s not just for CEO’s or leaders, it’s for everybody in every field and throughout the organisation.

MARK: It’s a very compelling narrative that you told there with some very specific examples. I mean I just hope that our listeners take this on board and go out and read some of your books and really do try to figure out how to become better communicators as well as just public presenters, because it clearly is a skill that’s really in demand.

It actually prompts me to ask another question. In a digital age, where so much communication is done online in a hundred and forty characters through tweets and likes etc., is it more or less important to be able to communicate face-to-face and in public and at events?

The Importance of Public Speaking as a Modern Skill

CARMINE: Mark, I had that question myself up until a few months ago and I started talking to a lot of very successful, young people in the States, so venture capital funded CEO’s.

So these are the folks that get on the Forbes top thirty, under thirty type lists. So these are people who are already multi-millionaires by the time they’re thirty; they’ve already sold their third company, you know, people like that.

So I asked them: in your generation, especially the millennial generation, how important are these skills that we’re talking about?

They said: it’s actually more important than ever before. Because first – there’s more noise than ever before. So you have to be able to stand out from the noise. And secondly – and this was really interesting, Mark, I have not written about this yet, but I think I will – they said something really interesting. They said: we have millennials now, we have an advantage over your generation. I’m more…. what am I? …. I guess I’m Gen X, but they have more of an advantage over Gen X or baby-boomers, because they have been brought up in a society that credits and celebrates conciseness and simplicity and getting your message across quickly. That’s actually helped them communicate their message. Isn’t that interesting, Mark?

Because if you think about it, you go to …….how many baby-boomers do I have to watch? …. deliver presentations, and they’re long and pondering and meandering; and most of my clients are the baby-boomers. They realise they’re losing their own audience.

But the millennials are different: they already understand that they have to get their point across in a twitter post to get that. So it’s actually helping them communicate more effectively, because that’s the whole point. Effective communication is simpler, is more concise, and I think millennials already get it naturally.

MARK: Exactly. I think that they inherently understand that the brain gets bored after ten minutes, in fact not even ten minutes, ten seconds in some cases.

CARMINE: Yeah. They don’t necessarily know the science behind it, but they get it, like you said, inherently.

MARK: Right.

That’s reminded me of a really interesting post that I read literally just a couple of days ago by the guys over at Contently. And they released a really interesting piece of research where they’d taken blog posts……so this was written communication, rather than verbal….. but they’d taken famous books including books by Ernest Hemmingway and Harper Lee and lots of other classics and best sellers including by J.K. Rowling the Harry Potter books and then other business books. And then they had taken things like government mandates and legal and they put it all into a data visualisation tool that basically broke down how simple it was to read. And there was a really clear coloration between the best-selling authors, the loved classics, and they basically write at a mid-school level or for a mid-school level.

CARMINE: I have to see that. That’s perfect. I remember seeing, and this applies to what we’re talking about, I remember seeing something very similar, where someone did some kind of visualisation tool where they looked at the word choice of people like Steve Jobs, versus other CEO’s who were not considered great speakers. Steve Jobs uses simpler words: what a concept! So this whole idea of simplicity and simple words.

I just read a biography of Winston Churchill and in the biography it had these examples. Well, you folks know Winston Churchill, this is great for you guys in the UK, obviously one of the greatest speakers of all time. But they have these speeches where he crosses out long words and replaces them with short words. Even he, at that time, understood the power of simplicity and the power of word choice too.

MARK: Fantastic. I didn’t realise that. I haven’t read that biography yet.

CARMINE: Speaking of the UK, I’m a big fan of understanding Winston Churchill because he’s a perfect example for what I do – which is all about communication – the power of communication. I mean here’s a man who probably, you know we can make the argument single-handedly, saved civilisation, because he turned around public opinion. And how did he do that? He did that through the power of words.

MARK: That’s a powerful case study.

CARMINE: People get bored. I’ve noticed, Mark, that people get really bored with history. Whenever I write blogs …. I’m a blog writer too….. so any time I write things that are more historical, I don’t get a lot of views. I do it anyway, because I feel like people should know about it.

MARK: Well, sometimes you have to write for yourself, as well as views.

CARMINE: Oh exactly, otherwise we would just have the …. what’s it called quick bate…(laughter)

MARK: Exactly. OK, great. So here’s a question for you:  is being a good presenter the same as being a good story teller? That’s obviously a bit of a leading question. So if not, what are the differences?

How Storytelling Can Transform Your Presentations


They’re very complementary. I don’t think you can deliver a good presentation if you haven’t thought through the story.

So Steve Jobs and, like you mention, I wrote an entire book on Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was a good story teller. He would tell you the story behind the technology. He wouldn’t just come out and say: “Hey we’ve got a great new product today, it’s called the IPhone, take a look at it!” No, he actually built up the drama, he built up ….. where have our previous products taken us? What have we learned from these previous products?

And now look at the problems people have with current products, let’s take the phone category. Here are the problems people have. Here are the villains. It was beautiful. It’s like a villain, and then the hero. The villain is the problem. So every great story has a villain, has a conflict, and then the hero is the product. So he never just came out to introduce the product, like most of us do.

Most of us in a business presentation say: “Hey, we’re very excited: we’ve got a new product to show you today, and here it is! Isn’t it cool?” That’s not telling a story.

Steve Jobs was excellent at telling a story. So the story telling, even in business, is very, very important and then after that we can talk about having a presentation. Yes Mark.

MARK: Sorry. I interrupted then. I was just going to ask: why is story telling so powerful? What is it about story telling that resonates?

CARMINE: Yeah. I’ve been doing a lot of research on that Mark. We’re hardwired for it. There’s a lot of research that shows we are completely hardwired for story. That’s the way we’ve evolved, we’ve learned.

You born primitive man who walked out of a cave and was consumed by a tiger, the next person tells another person the story, so then you survive because you hear stories. I know that’s a little weird, but there’s actually studies out there that show that stories were imperative for our survival. So we actually evolved with the precept that stories are something that we need to listen to, because that’s how we learn. We are actually hardwired for stories. It’s really fascinating.

And the reason why you can be consumed in a book, and literally get lost in a book, they’re just words on a page, and yet you think you’re there, is because of the way it’s told: the narrative. If it’s a badly written narrative, then you lose interest quickly, don’t you?

It’s the same with business presentation, it’s the same with a conference, same with a presentation. Are you going to be drawn in because of the narrative, because of the way it’s created and put together? Or are you going to lose your attention the first few pages?

MARK:   Absolutely. There’s clear parallels there. And you were going to go on and talk a little bit about presentations versus story telling

CARMINE: Well presentations versus story telling – it’s a little different thing. I don’t think you can have a great presentation without being able to tell a story, but then on top of that: what is a great presentation?

Steve Jobs and TED Talks …. there are a number of things that they do I would recommend that all event organisers really start doing (if they’re not doing it already.) The vast majority of the power point slides need to be visual. They need to be visual.

Here’s one good tip for event organisers. Recommend, or encourage your speakers, depending on how much influence you have over them, recommend or influence your speakers to have very few words in the first ten slides.

I like to follow what I’ve called the ‘ten forty’ rule. The first ten slides have no more than forty, four zero, words, ten forty. And I developed that because I realised….I started counting words…. And I started looking at Steve Jobs’ presentations, and I started looking at other great presentations. And I realised that when they begin a presentation, you know how most of us create a power point, we’ll put a hundred words on the first slide.

If you look at a great presentation, one that just becomes world class, world changing, it’s hard to find forty words, until maybe about ten slides in, so they actually don’t reach forty words until about ten slides. So I call them the ten forty principle. Which simply means they’ve tried to minimise the number of words in the first ten slides.

Guess what that forces you to do? It forces you to be more story telling. It forces you to tell a story behind whatever comes next, forces you to be more visual. You’ve got to put something up, so what are we going to put up? Well how about some images, or pictures?

So if you watch some of the best TED Talks, and some TED Talks that I’ve actually worked on, you’ll notice that the template that I have is that they’ll always start with a story. Very powerful. And some people say: well doesn’t that get derivative? Or contrived? Ah, maybe, but so few people do it, that it’s not quite there yet. Most people don’t start with stories anyway, so I don’t think we’re there, or it’s going to look contrived.

MARK: Absolutely. OK. So make sure you’re telling a good story and a fantastic tip there: make sure first ten slides, try and keep it under forty words. Very practical advice for event organisers and presenters that are listening.

Using Video to Create Better Presentations

CARMINE: Yes. The ten forty rule works very well. The ten minute rule is also a good one. It’s very practical, that we talked about earlier: make sure that you re-engage the audience every ten minutes. And of course there’s a million ways of doing that – you’ve got to be creative, but you could tell stories, go to a demo, go to a video.

Video, let’s talk about video. I rarely see video in conferences or in presentations. Rarely. Watch an Apple Key Note. You can go to apple.com and all their public presentations are on there.

Watch an Apple Key Note. Watch the number of videos they have. The videos are ….. it can be an ad: Hey take a look at our new ad. OK, that’s the simplest. Or they can say: in our last product so many people were very excited about it, let’s take a look at how people are using it. And then they cut to a video. Here is a video from one of our designers who talks about how he designed this particular product, so there’s constantly video. We’re a YouTube generation. We love video. Why aren’t we putting video on our business presentations?

MARK: That’s a very good question.

CARMINE: I don’t necessarily have an answer to it, but some people find it complicated. It doesn’t have to be complicated. The new power point, or the new versions of power point, allow you to insert video within the power point pretty easily. I use Apple Key Note, which makes it even easier, because the video is literally part of the actual deck, so it becomes very easy.

You don’t have to have this beautifully reproduced corporate video – it could be something you took on a smart phone. I’ve seen that done very, very well. Someone will say ……when I was travelling to India, (this is a perfect example of what we’re talking about): here take a look at this thirty second video I took on my smart phone. And it becomes very compelling. It doesn’t have to be something fancy and expensive.

MARK: No. I think sometimes the more rough and ready the more genuine it seems and the better it will connect with the audience anyway. So I think that’s a great tip.

CARMINE: Nobody does it, Mark. It’s a good tip, because nobody does it. Very few people do it.

And when you do include video, make it easy on your conference organiser and make it easy on the AV people.

What I see all too often is these poor AV people, the folks who are running the audio video for the conference, they’re handed like a USB two minutes before somebody’s going to go on, and that person will say: my video’s on the USB.

So obviously they haven’t prepared this ahead of time. They haven’t inserted the video into the deck. It does take a couple of extra steps when you use video and make sure that you do it seamless – practice it. Insert it into the power point so it’s not on a separate device, and that way it becomes a little more seamless rather than ……

Oh, here’s the worst Mark, I see this all the time: “OK now I’m going to close my presentation and bring out a video.” Why do you have to do that? Just insert it into the presentation, so it’s seamless.

Anyway those are little things that people should be doing when they work on presentations that don’t take that much time.

If you don’t know how to do, go on to YouTube and search on it, and you’ll get a thirty second tutorial on it. But you have to put in a little extra time.

Great presentations are not something that you just throw together the night, and then come in two minutes before the presentation. That’s not a great presentation – and it never will be.

MARK: I think that’s a really good point to re-emphasise again as we’re drawing towards the end here – that one of the keys to really great communication, great presentations, great story telling is preparation. Preparation and repetition.

The Importance of Preparation

CARMINE: Mark I hate to be the bearer of the snooze for your listeners, but great story telling and great presentations actually take a lot of work. Sorry. They just do. It takes creativity. It takes brain storming.

When I begin a presentation I do not open power point first, or key note, or whatever I’m using. We white-board it. Just like a director. White-board scenes. How do we visualise those scenes?

I sometimes use outside designers to create visuals for slides that I myself would never be able to do. And people can do that easily now, because there are so many freelancers who do that sort of work.

But you have to think through the story first. It’s not just a matter of: “Hey, I have a presentation tomorrow. I’m going to open power point and fill up each slide with a bunch of words.” That’s not going to advance you any.

MARK: I love that idea of white-boarding the presentation first. I’ve never tried, but I love that idea. That’s a take-away I’m definitely going to try for my next presentation.

CARMINE: Well Mark when you start working with designers, and I’ve started doing this myself, and I’ll admit it – a lot of my best slides, I did not create. Because it’s not that expensive any more.

There are power point designers who you can find on the internet if you go to some of those platforms where people are freelancers and they can turn around beautifully designed slides that would take you weeks or months of learning to learn how to do. So I started making it real easy on myself and using more professional designers to help.

MARK: That sounds like a great idea.

I have to say it takes me a long time to put together presentation slides, because I want them to look good as well. But it’s not my skill set necessarily so being able to outsource it is a really good idea. I like that a lot.

I think we’ve covered off a lot of great practical tips here for presenters and event organisers across the board, whether you’re presenting for a business, for a charity, to introduce your event, to persuade people around to your way of thinking. There’s so many uses of story-telling and presentations that people come across in the events industry, or when they’re at events.

But we obviously can’t cover everything in this short space of time. So where can our listeners go to learn more about communication and improve their skill sets?

Where to Learn More About Public Speaking

CARMINE: Mark if they just remember my name, which is a good Italian name for you: carminegallo.com so it’s C-A-R-M-I-N-E-G-A-L-L-O Carmine Gallo. Just go to carminegallo.com, sign up for my newsletter. That is where we send out all the new material that I do and it’s also the best way of keeping in touch with me. Because when people respond to me, maybe in my newsletter, responding to the email, it gets routed to me and I can see and I respond to people. So that’s the best way. carminegallo.com, sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get all the fresh content.

MARK: Fantastic. And then for anyone listening, again, who are not aware of Eventbrite, or haven’t tried us out yet, please do come on to the blog which is: blog.eventbrite.co.uk or our main site: Eventbrite.co.uk to learn more about events. And we’ve got a ton of different tips and guides on event planning, event management, event marketing. Everything that you need to help sell out your next event.

So with that plug, also make sure you sign up for Carmine Gallo’s newsletter there, carminegallo.com, and Carmine thanks very much for joining us. It’s been an absolute pleasure. I’ve certainly learned a lot and I’m sure our listeners will have as well.

CARMINE: Well Mark, thank you and congratulations on doing a blog that is certainly better than the average blog, because most people who blog put up just OK content, but it doesn’t really advance society any. Whereas your blog, you’re actually going out to third party speakers, you’re reaching out to people like me all the way in California and setting up these talks and podcasts. Your blog is already in the top five per cent of content. So congratulations on doing a good job with it.

MARK: Well thank you for pushing us up into that five per cent Carmine. It’s really been a pleasure.

CARMINE: Let’s get to the top one per cent. Maybe this podcast will do it. (laughter)

MARK: I think it should. I do think it should. Alright thank you.

CARMINE: Thank you Mark.

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