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SPEAK LIKE A CEO


Home Study Course
Master the Art of Speaking with Impact and Influence

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com


TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Introduction 4

- Welcome to the Home Study Course 4


- The First Step In Achieving Your Goals 5
- A Step-by-Step Plan to Guarantee Success 6
- What Will Make This Program a Success For You? 7

II. Assessment 8

- Communication Skills Assessment 9


- Personal Balance Sheet 10
- Videotape Notes and Observations 11
- The 360 Process 14
- The Trusted Advisor Survey 16

III. Goal Setting 19

- Reflections on Your Goals 20


- Speakers You Admire 21
- Brainstorm Your Goals 22
- Goal Statements 23

IV. Creating an Action Plan 25

- Your Action Plan 26


- Launching Your Action Plan 27
- Identifying Speaking Opportunities 28
- Speaking Engagement Spreadsheet 30
- Your Action Plan Journal 31

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

V. Making Presentations 55

- Presentation Worksheet 56
- The Audience 58
- Storytelling 64
- Quick Prep Method 86
- Project Journal 91
- Practicing Your Presentation 95
- Using Visuals 105

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION
Welcome to the Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course!
Congratulations for committing to a program that will help you master
the art of speaking! If you’re a leader, or you want to lead, you know
you must be able to communicate. The recognition and visibility that
public speaking provides is amazing. Even the smartest, hardest
working people are only successful when they can articulate their
wisdom and share powerful ideas. Those who do make it to the top of
their professions and become big stars.

Since most people don’t ever master the skills within this home study
course, completing it is going to make you stand out. With these
skills, you’ll find yourself moving ahead faster. People will notice how
confident, at ease and in control you appear in every speaking
situation. You will achieve your goals faster and enjoy being in the
spotlight.

My goal in this program is to help you take your career to the next
level through public speaking. You’ll learn how to present your ideas,
win people over, and influence decisions. You’ll project confidence,
be relaxed and appear natural, no matter how much pressure you
face.

The Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course provides you with proven
methods and practical tools that will help you to chart your own
course. Take advantage of everything here to create your own
customized plan. We’ll talk about speeches, presentations, leading
meetings, handling the media, giving elevator pitches, even managing
conversations.

Now that you’ve made an investment in this program, I encourage you


to invest a little more -- the time it takes to successfully complete it.
Commit to a few activities each week, and soon, you will be amazed
at what you have accomplished. I wish I could tell you there is a
magic formula for success – there isn’t. Hard work and diligent effort
will get the results you want.

In my mind, this home study course is the next best thing to hiring a
personal coach. I’ll be with you every step of the way. Still, the one
person responsible for your success is you. Do yourself a favor. Get
yourself on the fast track. Work hard, apply what you learn, and
watch your successes grow. So let’s get started!

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course INTRODUCTION

The First Step in Achieving Your Goals

Making a commitment to a program for learning public speaking is


not something you take lightly. You have to do this over a period of
months. It may take up to a year, or longer. Don’t be discouraged –
everything worth doing takes time. Focus on one task at a time, and
you’ll see progress.

I want to get one thing straight from the outset. There is really no
such thing as a natural born speaker. You’re as good as you decide
to be. You have the power to master these skills – to appear before
any audience and command the room – if you choose to do the work.

Even before you begin the program, there are a few things you should
already be doing to raise your level of awareness about good
speaking:

 Attend conferences and meetings


 Watch how good speakers connect with the audience
 Note how they use stories, visuals and other techniques
 Join a Toastmasters, networking or speaking group to practice
 Take a presentation skills workshop or seminar
 Ask colleagues and friends to tell you what they think of your
presentations
 Enroll in a writing class, an acting class or even a standup
comedy course to build skills and confidence
 Experiment on your own with creative approaches to
presentation writing, adding stories and humor

To be successful in this course you must go outside your comfort


zone. For example: if you speak well off -the-cuff but hate formal
presentations, schedule a more formal talk, and do it. If you are
comfortable giving “just the facts” PowerPoint presentations, point by
point, but would faint if you had to speak without those slides,
schedule a talk in which it’s just you and the audience. Each time you
add something to your repertoire you come closer to mastery.
Experience and preparation are the only way any speaker ever
develops confidence.

I can hear you wondering right now, “How am I going to find the time
to learn these new skills? I’m already way too busy!” There’s only
one way: Make appointments – every week – with yourself. Commit
to speaking and improving. A goal is just a goal until you put it on
your to- do list, and your calendar. There is no other way if you want
to be great.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course INTRODUCTION

A Step-by-Step Plan to Guarantee Success

Step #1 – Assessment

What’s the first step in creating your roadmap to success? Knowing


where to start! You must get an honest, thorough assessment of your
current level of skill.

Step # 2 – Set Goals

Use the results of your assessments to create clear, defined goals. I’ll
provide the techniques and tools. You determine which parts of the
program to focus on first.

Step #3 – Create an Action Plan

Goals are just dreams until you put them into action items. That’s the
third step of your program. In this section, you’ll find spreadsheets
and journals to help you set a month-by-month action plan.

Step #4 – Practice the skills

Set up opportunities to speak to real audiences and use the tools and
techniques to get organized and deliver great presentations. You’ll
have a schedule of presentations throughout the year, and each time
you speak you’ll develop confidence and skill.

Step #5 – Use Tools and Resources

The rest of the guide is filled with articles, tips and tools to help you
become a better presenter and speaker. We go beyond public
speaking to include topics such as leading meetings and giving
elevator pitches.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course INTRODUCTION

What Will Make this Program a Success for You?


During the next several months, as you work this program, I promise
that you will discover talents and strengths you never knew you had.
You will uncover a passion for connecting with people through
speaking. Don’t worry if public speaking has never been one of your
strengths. I wouldn’t even be concerned that you don’t enjoy
speaking; few people enjoy it until they are good at it. You also
shouldn’t let it bother you if you are more of an introvert than an
extrovert. The tools and skills will help you develop confidence.

Let me explain some of the approaches and practices that will help
you make this program a success.

 Work in real time on actual events on your calendar, such as


speeches, presentations, interviews, meetings. You should
be preparing and practicing for meetings and events you will
do anyway; this will maximize your time.
 Do something each day to move you closer to your goals.
Don’t let the daily “fires” on your desk, the grind of email,
phone calls, and interruptions prevent you from doing what’s
important for your career.
 Commit a specific number of hours each week to working
this program. Treat it as any high priority project – you
deserve to have success! We’re all given the same amount
of time – 24 hours each day – the only decision you must
make, is how you use the hours outside your personal life to
achieve your career goals.
 Stretch and try new things. Eventually you will master them.
That builds genuine confidence. You shine from the inside
out. People see it, feel it and believe in it.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS

ASSESSMENTS
Your Personal Assessment
It’s time to take stock of your strengths and needs for development.
Through the assessment process you’ll discover what you do well,
and what you need to work on. One reason why many people never
get better at speaking is they never stop to find out how they are
doing. They never get honest, constructive feedback from others who
can help them grow.

Have you ever asked someone “How did I do?” after a presentation,
and heard, “Great job!” Did you wonder if they meant it? Was there
anything you could have done better? Failing to get accurate,
detailed feedback prevents you from improving. The lack of “data” on
your performance may keep you in a rut. You know you could be
better. Assessment is the first step to finding out how.

You may have come a long way in your career without reliable
feedback on your communication style. It’s easy to become
complacent, or believe that you “are who you are.” Perhaps you
believe you’ll always be anxious in presentations, or that you will
never get rid of a monotone voice, learn to tell stories, add humor, or
break away from your notes. The first thing I want to ask you to do is
believe anything is possible. But to get there, you have to stop and
take stock of your skills.

In this part of the program, you complete a self-assessment and


receive feedback from other people you respect and trust. You
complete a personal balance sheet of strengths and needs. This
information will be invaluable in your program.

This part of the course provides you with:

 A Personal Communication Assessment


 A Balance Sheet to help you define your strengths and needs
 Videotape Assessment sheets to use for notes on
presentations
 Information on how to use 360 Surveys and Feedback
 A Trusted Advisor Survey to give to colleagues and friends

If possible, you should arrange to videotape at least one speech or


presentation. If you cannot record a live presentation, record a
practice session. Use the videotape assessment sheet to make
notes. If you have the opportunity to have a formal 360 interview
report prepared, with interviews from colleagues, by all means, do.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS
Take all this information and create a balance sheet on your
strengths and needs.

Personal Communication Assessment

Write out your answers to the following questions in a journal or electronic folder.

1. What are my strengths in communication?


2. What do others tell me they like about my communication style?
3. When am I most comfortable talking to other people?
4. Who are my best “audiences?”
5. What are my weaknesses as a communicator?
6. Presentation skills evaluation – pros and cons
7. Keynote speeches – pros and cons
8. Conversation skills – pros and cons
9. Skill at leading meetings – pros and cons
10. Listening skills – pros and cons
11. What have I always avoided doing regarding communication?
12. What are the consequences?
13. Why have these weaknesses developed?
14. What would it actually take to improve?
15. What would be the benefits?
16. What kind of commitment am I willing to make for this process?
17. What are the outcomes I expect?
18. How will I know I have succeeded?

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS
Personal Balance Sheet

Your Strengths Your Needs

1. 1.
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3. 3.
4. 4.
5. 5.
6. 6.
7. 7.
8. 8.
9. 9.
10. 10.
11. 11.
12. 12.
13. 13.
14. 14.
15. 15.
16. 16.
17. 17.
18. 18.
19. 19.
20. 20.
21. 21.
22. 22.
23. 23.
24. 24.
25. 25.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS
Videotape Notes and Observations
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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS
Videotape Notes and Observations
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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS
Videotape Notes and Observations
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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS
The 360 Process

Many companies now provide executive coaching programs for


leaders, and these often begin with 360 feedback – through
interviews with direct reports, colleagues, clients, customers, and
bosses. If your company provides 360’s as part of their internal
professional development process, take advantage of the
opportunity. 360 interviews typically focus on leadership and
management issues, but they can include questions about your
effectiveness as a communicator, especially if you specifically request
that be included.

In the hands of a skilled professional, a 360 interview is constructive


and revealing; an opportunity for you to learn what people may not
tell you directly. In my experience, most people are delighted and
grateful to receive confirmation about their strengths. And, it’s
equally liberating to know the areas where people think you need to
improve. Knowledge is power. Now you can really go to work, and be
sure the effort will pay off.

In the 360 interview process, a coach or HR professional will ask


questions of your colleagues, direct reports and superiors, and then
provide you with a compilation or summary of the feedback. This
information should be strictly confidential – shared only with you. If
you wish, you can share it with trusted advisors, but that decision is
yours.

Sometimes as part of a 360 feedback process, you will have the


opportunity to work with a coach. If communication skills are a
priority, be sure that your coach has experience in coaching
communication skills. Some executive coaches do not specialize in
this area. If that’s the case, consider recruiting other trusted advisors
or mentors to help. Think of your coach as just one of the people on
your team.

Use the feedback you receive in the 360 to create your list of
strengths and needs. And if you had a 360 some years ago, pull it
out and review it – you may rediscover issues you had forgotten, and
information that could still help you develop as a professional. The
360 report is a valuable tool that provides insights you could not
easily obtain any other way. It can be the most important single
guideline in creating your coaching plan.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS

Notes from 360 Interviews on Communication Skills


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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS
Trusted Advisor Survey

Another valuable tool for gathering outside perspective on your


communication skills is a tool I have developed, called the Trusted
Advisor Survey. The survey can be a supplement to the 360
interview, or it can be used as a substitute, if your company is not
sponsoring you in professional development. The idea of the Trusted
Advisor Survey is to find people you trust and respect, and get their
feedback on your talents and skills, as well as what skills you need to
develop.

A trusted advisor can be anyone whom you trust and believe can
provide an accurate, constructive view of your abilities and needs. A
trusted advisor could be a mentor, friend, or someone you admire –
anyone in business, who has an interest in your success. This person
should have the opportunity to see you regularly in a business setting,
be willing to spend time giving feedback, and be available to you, to
check in from time to time through your program.

Seek out people who can and will be candid and have real insight.
Give them permission to be truthful and direct. Even close friends in
business may be reluctant to critique you unless you tell them it’s OK.
Don’t be afraid to hear the truth; it’s the only way you can really
improve.

You may choose to interview the trusted advisor in person, and type
or tape record the answers. You can also send the questions by
email or mail, and ask them to write or type out answers at their
convenience. I recommend that you choose more than one person to
provide feedback. It will give you a broader perspective. The more
information the better! Remember, your goal is to improve!

My List of Trusted Advisors to Interview

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS
Sample Letter to Trusted Advisor

Dear Friend,

This questionnaire is a tool that I am using to enhance my communication skills. I value your
opinion and hope that you will provide me with candid, constructive feedback on my
strengths and needs. Please provide brief answers to the questions below. There is also a
space at the bottom of the survey for general comments.

1. What do you see as my strengths in communicating?


2. Can you give me a specific example?
3. What areas of communication need further development?
4. Please give me a specific example.
5. What is the consequence of not developing this area?
6. How do you believe other people react to this?
7. What would be the best way for me to address this need?
8. What other areas of communication could I work on?
9. Why are those important?
10. Please rate my skills in these specific areas:

 Leading meetings
 Conversation
 Listening
 Writing
 Presentations
 Speeches

11. Please tell me how I do with these groups:

 Direct reports
 Colleagues
 Board of directors
 Customers
 Industry analysts
 Reporters and editors
 Other important constituencies

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ASSESSMENTS
Sample Letter to Trusted Advisor

12. Assess my executive presence such as:


 Posture and body language
 Wardrobe and style
 Personal grooming
 Office décor and environment
13. What else do I need to know in order to grow?
14. Are there any other comments you have that would contribute to my work?

Other questions I want to ask:

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course GOAL SETTING

GOAL SETTING
An essential part of the Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course is goal
setting. This section provides you with a place to brainstorm and
become clear about your goals. The assessment process should
have helped you see clearly what strengths and needs you have. Now
it’s time to set your sights on the future. What is most important to
you in the coming year?

I encourage you to spend some time on this. Write a first draft, then
walk away, and then come back. Review, rewrite and refine. Your
goals should feel big and important. They should be exciting! Your
passion will help you devote time and energy.

Next, you may want to identify speakers you admire – and notice
what works for them. After that, write down ten aspects of your
speaking and communication that you’d like to improve. Words have
power. They set your intentions in motion; the universe responds.

Try this - imagine it’s a year from now. You’ve already achieved X, Y
and Z. How does it feel? What does it mean? What have you been
able to accomplish as a result? How did it help you with a promotion,
career advancement, building your business, branding your company,
creating greater visibility, helping you earn more money or building
wealth?

After you complete that process, you’ll use a worksheet to turn goals
into action items. Essentially you create a big to-do list and put it on
your calendar. In the final part of goal setting you’ll add to action
steps the benefits, names of people who can help you, resources,
timelines, and measurements of progress.

If you want to put all of this on your computer, by all means, do so.
Do whatever it takes to keep your goals front and center every day.
It’s up to you to create the system that keeps your eyes on the prize.
The more often you check in and use these development tools, the
more likely you are to succeed.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course GOAL SETTING

Reflections on Your Goals

What is most important to you in the coming year?

What would you be thrilled to accomplish?

What would that do for your career?

Imagine it is now one year from today. You’ve already achieved these
goals. What has happened?

What were some specific benefits?

 Promotion or career advancement

 Recognition, branding, visibility

 New opportunity, interesting work

 Money and wealth

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course GOAL SETTING

Speakers You Admire

All of us need role models when beginning down a new path. Are there
people you admire who are good speakers, who communicate well in a
variety of situations? What makes them great? Why do they stand out?

People who you consider to be good speakers, and why:


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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course GOAL SETTING

Brainstorm Your Goals

Analyze what makes these good speakers effective. Then, reflecting on your own strengths
and needs, take these attributes and write down what you would like to adopt as your own.
What skills would you like to have? What would you like people to say about you as a
speaker?

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2. ________________________________________________________________________

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course GOAL SETTING

Goal Statements

Now it’s time to shape those goals. The more specific the better! For example, “Be a great
speaker” is too general. “Give an interesting, action-packed presentation that wows my team
and convinces them at the next meeting” or, “Win 5 major new clients with an incredible
sales presentation,” is better. What would you need to do first? When will you do it? Write
that down below.

#1 Goal:
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Action to Be Taken:
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Target Date or Dates:


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#2 Goal:
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Action to Be Taken:
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#3 Goal:
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Action to Be Taken:
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Target Date or Dates:


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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course GOAL SETTING

Goal Statements
#4 Goal:
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Action to Be Taken:
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Target Date or Dates:


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#5 Goal:
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Action to Be Taken:
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Target Date or Dates:


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#6 Goal:
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Action to Be Taken:
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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN

ACTION PLAN
On the next page you will find a spreadsheet that allows you to write
your action plan in detail. Here is what I recommend you do: Decide
the priorities of your goals, and write them down in order. Next to
each goal, write down the benefit of achieving it. Knowing why you’re
doing this tells you whether your goals are big enough and will keep
you motivated to work hard and achieve them.

Once you know that you have big, worthy goals, and why you are
working toward them, jot down several action steps. You don’t have
to itemize every action. A goal sheet like this is a living, breathing
document – it will evolve. The first step will determine what you do
next. Your plan will continue to form as you master new skills.

I also recommend that you write down the names of people or


resources you’ll need along the way – it might be colleagues,
mentors, books, courses, or professional associations – all the places
you can go for information. Finally, determine how you will measure
progress on each goal – and what the timelines will be.

Once you complete the plan, keep it handy. Check in often. This
single page is your plan at a glance – a roadmap to helping you
decide what activities to engage in each week.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN

Action Plan for ______________________

Goals Benefits Action Steps Resources/Trusted Advisors Measures of Progress Timelines

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN

Launching Your Plan


Now it’s time to launch – to put your action plan in motion. To do
that, you’re going to move that to-do list into your calendar. Week in
and week out, you will be engaging in activities and executing your
plan. If people suggest you present in a meeting, you’ll say yes. If
you’re asked to do a media interview, you’ll accept. If you get invited
to a conference to make a presentation, you’ll actually jump at the
chance knowing it’s an opportunity to move further and faster toward
your goals.

Review Your Professional Calendar for Events and Speaking Opportunities

I believe in working in real time on projects you have to do anyway.


Look at your calendar for the next few months and see what is
coming up. Meetings, events, client presentations, off-site meetings,
industry conferences, employee brown bags, business roundtables,
panels, investor presentations or media interviews are all
opportunities. Step up and volunteer to speak. One of the keys to
making this program work is to finding reasons to be up in front of
people.

One project each month

Identify one project per month, for a year. Look at your business
calendar, at events in your company, as well as outside events where
you could speak. If you are diligent, you should be able to find 12
opportunities to speak during this period. Practice is one key to
success– the more you do, the better you are.

Why this works

If you are working in real time on projects you have to do, work the
program, and speak at least once a month, you will improve. Once an
event is on your calendar, you have to follow through. You find time to
prepare and practice. In the next section I’ll ask you to identify those
12 opportunities.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN

Identify Speaking Opportunities

This is your chance to put some muscle into your plan by creating 12 real opportunities
to be in the spotlight – and present.

The first step is to go through your calendar and see what’s already there. What team
meetings, board meetings, brown bags and other events happen every month and
provide an opportunity for you to give a presentation?

Right now, list events you already know about (where you can or could speak):

1. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
4. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
5. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
6. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
7. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
8. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
9. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
10. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
11. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
12. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN

Identify Speaking Opportunities


If you don’t have many (or any), make them up! Suggest a presentation. Call a meeting.
Contact an industry association. Ask to speak at a conference. Set up a brown bag
lunch in your office. Inquire about speaking at your local Chamber of Commerce. Pitch a
media interview to a newspaper or radio station. Be a member of a panel. The
possibilities are endless. Challenge yourself to come up with several great opportunities!

Use this list to name people and organizations you will contact about speaking this year:

1. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
4. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
5. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
6. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
7. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
8. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
9. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
10. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
11. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
12. ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

Once you have this list, the next step is to make contact. Call, email and inquire
about opportunities. Choose different settings than those where you are accustomed
to speaking.

 If you like informal talks, give a formal one.


 If you like small audiences, choose larger ones.
 If you are familiar with a topic, freshen up your repertoire and speak on
something else.

Doing this will help you develop greater confidence and a repertoire.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN

Speaking Engagement Spreadsheet

Event Date Goal of Presentation

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN

Action Plan Journal

In this section you will keep track of your monthly projects. It’s a place to make notes that
help you prepare for each event. This is where you can get organized, determine what you
need for the presentation, track where you are in your preparation, and later look back and
appreciate your achievements!

Start by writing down the topic, audience and the homework you need to do to make it a
successful engagement. This should include the research you need to do – creating the
vision or outlining the project, finding facts, interesting quotes and humor, materials for
slides such as graphics; the homework section is yours to use as suits you and the
presentation. On the next pages you’ll find places to write down your desired goal and a
quick outline of your plan for each month. We’ve given you 12 months but feel free to add
more.

1st Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN

Action Plan Journal

Desire goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

2nd Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

3rd Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal
4th Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal
5th Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

6th Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal
7th Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal
8th Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal
9th Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal
10th Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal
11th Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN
Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN

Action Plan Journal


12th Month Event:

Topic

Audience

Homework

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course ACTION PLAN

Action Plan Journal

Desired goal or result

Outline

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 54 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

MAKING PRESENTATIONS
Step-by-Step Guide to Preparation

There are several important steps to preparing a presentation. I don’t


recommend taking shortcuts. To give a dynamic talk that wows your
audience, you need to invest time and effort – up front. The time you put into
thinking about the presentation, as well as research and writing, will pay off
many times over when you finally get up to speak. Your audience will know
you’re the real deal.

Here are the steps:

 Learn about the audience – You need to know who they are, what
they care about, why they’ve invited you, and what you can do for
them, even before you determine your topic. The presentation is
always about the audience.
 Decide on a topic and focus once you know your audience. This is the
opposite of what many speakers do, but it’s the only way to determine
what you should present. When you know the audience you can
choose something of interest and align yourself with them.
 Determine the format – Work with the person planning the meeting (if
there is one) to determine how much time you have. Find out if you’ll
be the only person presenting or part of a group. Determine whether
you need slides or not. The setting also informs you on format – on
stage, at a lectern, in front of a conference table, sitting across a
desk. And, find out if this is a practical, hands-on presentation like a
workshop or seminar, or whether it’s a keynote.
 Research the topic – Your job as a speaker is to bring new,
interesting, relevant, and timely information to your audience. Even if
you know the topic, you need to stay fresh. People come to hear
something new; they are there to learn.
 Outline your presentation– Getting organized will drastically reduce
your writing time. Write down three points you want to make, and
what is included under each. It’s easy and efficient to prepare from
an outline.
 Write out your talk – Yes, I know this seems arduous, and perhaps
you have never done it. However, whether you are giving a keynote to
500, or just sitting down with a client to tell the story of your
business, writing out your narrative is the only way to be sure you say
exactly what you mean, and really connect with your audience.
Openings and closings are especially important to write, even in an
informal presentation.
 Prepare slides or handout materials – Most people make the mistake
of preparing slides first. Do this last. Know what you want to say.
Your slides support the presentation, not the other way around.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Presentation Worksheet

Here’s a worksheet you can use to determine what you need for each
presentation. Duplicate this worksheet and use it for every presentation.

Audience:

Topic and focus:

Format:

Research I need to or have done:

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 56 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Presentation Worksheet (Continued)


Outline of presentation:

Stories, elements I need to write out (on a separate page):

Slides and handouts I will need:

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 57 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

The Audience

Let’s return for a moment to the beginning of your preparation process –


analyzing the audience. If you know who is out there, you will be able to select
a topic that’s relevant and exciting to them. Even when you are speaking to an
internal team, taking time to analyze the audience will help you reach them and
motivate them.

The more you learn about your audience, the easier it is to focus the lens of
your presentation. People skip this audience analysis step all the time,
assuming they know what to talk about. In my experience, that’s usually why a
presentation falls flat. Speakers mistakenly talk about what they want to talk
about, instead of what the audience wants to know. That’s usually why
presentations miss the mark. The same topic can be presented in a
dramatically different way, after analyzing the audience.

I devised the Audience Agenda System to help my private clients hit the mark
with each audience. Every audience is different. It’s important to do this each
time you speak. It will save you time and make you far more effective in the
long run.

The goal of this exercise is to help you distinguish between your own agenda
and the audience agenda. What’s remarkable about this system (and I know it
works, because my clients use it) is that it works even if you’ve never met or
spoken to anyone in your audience.

There are four steps to the Audience Agenda System.

Step 1: Write down your topic and describe your audience.

TOPIC AND AUDIENCE

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

The Audience

Audience Questionnaire

Here are some questions you can use to brainstorm about the audience, even if you don’t
know them. Answer these questions as best as you can. It will help you figure out what you
don’t know. You can also ask these questions of the person planning the meeting or a
representative of the group.

What do you know about their problems and needs?


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

What do you know about their concerns or objections?

______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Identify decision-makers and influencers:

______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

What would make the presentation a success for them?


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

The Audience

Step 2: “My Agenda” vs. “Audience Agenda”

On the left side of the column on the following page, write down
everything you want to do in this meeting: what you want people to
know, information they should have, what you hope to persuade them
to do, what action you would like them to take.

Step 3: Write out your audience’s agenda.

Now, set aside the work you just did. In other words, forget about
what you want. Actually imagine you are sitting in their chairs. Why
are they in the room? What is on their minds? What are their
problems and needs? What questions do they need you to answer?
Why have they given up their valuable time to listen to your
presentation?

Even if you don’t know your audience members, you can usually
make a few very good guesses about them. It’s also important to do
your homework; call the person in charge of the group or meeting to
ask, research the group or company on the internet – do all you can
to find out. Once you have enough information, write down what you
believe is the audience’s agenda.

You’ll find the worksheet on the following page.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

The Audience

Agenda System

My agenda Audience agenda

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

The Audience

Agenda System

Step 4: Compare these two agendas side by side.

If you have done the exercise properly – really thinking the way your
audience does – you will find the two agendas are different. There
may be some similarities, but most people are quite surprised to see
how different their agenda is from their audience’s.

The rest of this exercise focuses on the audience. Set aside what you
think they should know, and let them know you are in tune with them.

Write down the purpose and agenda for your presentation based on
the right-hand column – the interests and needs of your audience.

Purpose and agenda

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

The Audience

Create Audience Benefits

Once you understand your audience, you can write out an opening to your presentation that
explains the benefits of listening to what you have to say. It’s very important to help them
understand what they will get from the presentation. Tell them why it’s worth their time!
Give them compelling reasons to pay attention!

List here three benefits they will get by listening to this particular presentation. Later you’ll
use this list to create the open to your presentation:

1. ________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
2. ________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
3. ________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 63 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS
Storytelling

Putting stories into speeches and presentations is a powerful way to


make every talk more compelling. When well written, practiced and
told well, stories are a fabulous speaking tool. A good story with a
killer point is priceless, because it gets your audience focused on the
topic. You win their hearts and minds when they know you’re going to
make it interesting. And stories can make powerful points without
preaching.

When people hear a story, they remember the story, and if they
remember the story, they remember the point. Would you rather
watch a speaker slog through the data, present the facts, or relate a
story that brings a concept alive?

What Makes a Good Story?

There are many different types of stories that work in presentations.


But one thing good stories share is tension. You may think of it as
conflict and resolution. A story can be funny, sad, serious or
touching, but a good one usually has something that must resolve.

An element of suspense is also good. You want your audience to


wonder what’s going to happen. That keeps them riveted.
Sometimes you want to relate a story so they get the point even
before you appeared to get it.

Remember you can find these stories not only in your work life but in
your personal life, too. Never share anything too personal – you don’t
ever want to say something that would be embarrassing or awkward
for others. This doesn’t mean you can’t laugh at yourself. Self-
deprecating humor is the best kind. In business, you should rarely, if
ever, discuss politics, religion, sex, race, or other inappropriate topics.

Stories don’t have to be extraordinary; in fact, some of the best


stories come from every day experiences – things that happen to you
or colleagues, employees, competitors, parents, children, friends,
neighbors, and acquaintances.

Your childhood and young adult years are rich with stories. They
provide audiences with insight about you, things they might not know
even if they’ve worked with you for years. When they learn more
about you, they relate to you and respect you. You build trust. Stories
are one of the most powerful tools of communication.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Storytelling
How to Start Your Story Collection

It’s a good idea to start writing down your story ideas so you have a
record of your material. As you collect more and more you will
develop a treasure of ideas and concepts.

A good story takes time to “cook.” Jot down what happened and go
back to it in a few days. Use a little creative license to make it work –
audiences expect a story to “tell well,” and don’t mind if you
embellish a bit.

As you work on your story, read it out loud, evaluate what works and
then rewrite and edit it. Read it again, and work on it until it’s right.
Then learn it by heart. Don’t memorize – just visualize and
internalize, so when you get up to tell the story you recall the major
events and picture the people, and can relate the essence of what
happened while remaining conversational.

Once you’re happy with the story, keep it in an electronic file, and in a
notebook. The same story can make a lot of different points, and can
be used with a wide variety of audiences. In fact, stories are like wine,
they get better with age (and telling). Some speakers keep a journal
of their best stories.

Where to search for stories:

 Personal challenges, difficult decisions, choices, hurdles, obstacles

 Startling events, major changes, new experiences, lost


opportunities, anything that you had to work hard to achieve

 Embarrassments, awkward situations, dumb ideas, failed


attempts, turnarounds, last-minute saves

 Inspiring people, remarkable achievements, memorable events,


athletic contests, wins and losses

 Seemingly insignificant, everyday occurrences, travel stories,


interesting people you meet, places you’ve been, discoveries, the
unexpected

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Storytelling
Original Stories

It’s easier than you think to come up with your own stories.

As you look for stories for your speeches and presentations,


remember:

 Original stories are best. People want to hear something


new, not something canned. Your own stories are
powerful and reveal a lot about you as a leader and a
person.

 Original stories don’t have to be about you. They can be


about people you know, events you’ve witnessed, things
you’ve observed. You should not be the hero of your
own stories unless the primary point is to relate
something you felt, understood or learned.

 You can also make yourself the central figure if you are
using self-deprecating humor to make a point. Many
leaders use humor effectively to become one of the gang
or part of the crowd. Humor is a great way to break the
ice and it’s also a way to set up learning.

 A story should include a few colorful descriptive words to


make it real, but not too many details to bog it down.
Write it out and edit to be sure the story takes people
there without dragging on and on.

 Every story should make a point. It may be a riot at a


party but if it doesn’t drive home a business point, leave
it at home.

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 66 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Storytelling

Your Personal Story Kit

Directions:

These questions are designed to prompt you to come up with your


own, original stories. Read the question, relax, and allow your mind
to wander for several minutes. Jot down anything that comes to
mind. Some of what you recall will be good material for stories; some
of it you may later reject. Right now, the idea is to allow you the time
to tap into life experiences and find the kernels of good stories. The
more time you take, the more you will remember. Soon you will see
what a rich source of material you have, simply from living. These are
stories no one else can tell!

Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of telling stories “about
themselves.” That’s not necessarily the idea here. While some
stories may be about you, you may not be the center or the hero. You
may recall something you witnessed, experienced, or even heard from
a mentor, a friend, a colleague you admired; it may be a story about a
difficult person who made your life miserable. Just because a story
comes from your life, doesn’t mean it’s about you. The people you
know, places you’ve been, and things you’ve seen are interesting to
an audience, simply because they are original!

Answer these questions:

1. What are the two or three most memorable things that happened to you in grade
school, high school or college; what impact did each have and why?

2. What kind of a student were you in school, what were some of the challenges you
had to overcome, who helped you and why did it make an impact?

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Storytelling
3. Did you participate in sports, anything competitive? Or did you participate in other
activities that were a learning experience, such as music, clubs, or extra-curricular
activities?

4. Did you have a job when you were younger? What was it like and what did it teach
you?

5. Did you take a life-changing trip, attend a camp or participate in anything that taught
you a life lesson?

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Storytelling
6. What did you parents do for a living; what did they teach you, how do you use that
knowledge in business?

7. Where were you in the family order? Do you recall anything that happened with
siblings that was important?

8. If you have your own children or family, what stories from family life are relevant to
business? What issues have you struggled with, what have children said or done, or
what observations have you made about these relationships or people?

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Storytelling

9. What were some early career challenges? What did you learn from those? How do
you use them now?

10. What are some stories you often tell from your career that would be appropriate to
business? Have you worked with a good boss or a bad one? Worked with a good
team, or a bad one? Ever had a mentor? A nemesis? What happened, what was the
outcome, and what did you learn?

11. Have you worked on a project with a difficult obstacle, or achieved something great?
How did it happen? Why did it matter? What value or principle does it illustrate that
you want to demonstrate to others?

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS
Storytelling

Story Kit: Situational Stories

You can often find stories for presentations right under your nose – in
the day-in, day-out activities of business. Not all of these stories are
astonishing, riveting, hang-on-for-your-life experiences. Some will be
anecdotes – slices of life – funny or serious. Anecdotes are quick
and simple. They should not take long to tell but should be elegant
and economical in making a point.

Other stories from business life do have some drama or suspense.


They can be inspiring or motivating. These stories have conflict and
resolution, more detail, such as scenes and people, or “characters.”

As you develop this type of story, don’t be afraid to “dramatize” a bit.


A few gestures, facial expression, different tones of voice, or
character voices will bring it alive. Don’t be afraid to ham it up a little,
even in front of a business audience. I have never seen anyone
arrested by the speech police for making people laugh or feel
emotion in a business meeting.

As you write your story imagine how you might “act it out” with your
hands, or “show” a feeling with facial expression, instead of simply
saying that you were upset, angry or thrilled. Showing is better than
telling. Make a note in the margin of the text, to remind you where to
pause and appear perplexed, or irritated, or happy.

Where do you find situational stories? Let your mind wander back to
the office. Think about what’s happened over the last few weeks or
months. What is remarkable, unusual, interesting, encouraging or
inspiring? Tell it as a narrative instead of writing out bullet points.
Believe me – your audience will love it. You definitely won’t get
penalized for failure to create another boring PowerPoint slide.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS
Storytelling

Questions to Help You Write Situational Narratives

Ask yourself the following questions to generate ideas and then take the best
ones and make them into situational stories. There are blank pages where
you can write your answers on the following pages.

 What was the big challenge?


 How did we identify it?
 Why was it a concern?
 What did we notice about it?
 When did it become an issue?
 Why was it important to fix it?
 What milestones have we achieved?
 What have we won?
 What have we lost?
 What disappointments have we had?
 When were the key moments?
 Who said what to whom?
 How did we arrive at decisions?
 What did we do to satisfy someone?
 What did we do to disappoint someone?
 Who was the key to any positive outcome?
 What exactly did they do?
 How did it make a difference?
 How did you devise a new product or service?
 Describe the process that allowed you new insights.
 Has anyone figured out a new way of doing something?
 What revelations or “aha” moments have you had lately?
 What action resulted?
 What’s everybody doing right now?
 How do you think it will turn out?

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS
Storytelling

Situational Story Worksheet

Jot down your answers to the questionnaire here.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Storytelling

Situational Story Worksheet (continued)

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS
Storytelling
Situational Story Worksheet (continued)

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Storytelling

Exercise: Opening Story

Opening with a story is a great way to capture attention. The job of


the opening story is to set up a theme or major point of your
presentation.

To find an opening story, consider your big theme. Imagine what you
would like your audience to be thinking about, once you get rolling?
How do you want to set the stage? The story you choose can be from
your situational story list, or a life story from the previous exercise.

The opening story should not be about how smart, wonderful or


brilliant you are. You can be in the story, but please don’t make
yourself the hero. You need to make it about something they care
about, something you learned, something that matters to them.

Story topic:

Why it’s relevant:

Essential elements of the story:

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Storytelling

What is the point, lesson or observation you want to share?

Write out your story here:

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 77 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Story File
In this section, you can write your stories. I’ve provided blank pages for you so you can keep
them all in one place.

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 78 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Story File

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Story File

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Story File

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Story File

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Story File

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 83 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Story File

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 84 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Story File

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Quick Prep Method

Preparing an Informal Presentation in 30 Minutes or Less

There are few shortcuts when preparing a talk. You must think it through. To be
successful you must consider your audience, do your research, write out your
messages, organize the presentation and practice out loud. These steps help you
develop a reputation as a “natural born” speaker.

But we live in the real world. You don’t always have weeks, or even days or hours to
get ready for a presentation. Some just happen. You get a day’s notice. Maybe a
couple of hours! You have to know how to prepare for these, too. That’s where our
“Quick Prep Method” comes in.

The method is based on questions and answers. Imagine walking into a meeting and
being asked on the spot to speak – on a topic you know. What questions would your
audience ask? How would you respond? What would be the major points?
Answering these questions is the core of the Quick Prep Method. You’re getting into
the heads and hearts of your audience by asking the questions they would ask, and
answering them.

The procedure for preparing in Quick Prep format is simple:

 Write down the questions you know your audience would ask
 Organize those questions in a logical sequence
 Answer the questions in bullet-point style

180 Thinking

If this is going to work, you have to quickly get into the heads of your audience
members. Imagine you are one of them. What’s on their minds? If you are having
trouble, go into the conference room and sit in their chairs. Do what it takes to get
into their frame of mind. This is what I call “180 thinking.” It’s the basis of creating
an audience-focused presentation, which is sure to win rave reviews.

Even in a “quick prep” talk, audience focus is the secret to success. Presentations
are not about you, or your topic. They’re about the audience – always. When
deciding what to put in, and what to leave out, the audience has all the answers.

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 86 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Quick Prep Questions

Here is a sample list of questions you can use to prepare your informal presentation.

 What is this project, activity, event or idea?

 Why are we considering it or doing it?

 What are the advantages?

 What are the disadvantages?

 What is it going to cost in time, money and/or resources?

 How did you come up with the idea or recommendation?

 What makes you think it will work?

 What alternatives are there?

 What does this group need to do or decide?

 How will we measure success?

 What’s the next step?

Now it’s your turn. You may use these questions, or write your own questions, on the
following page.

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 87 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Quick Prep Worksheet

Topic:

Audience:

Write down the anticipated questions. After you’ve written all the questions, go back
and answer them in short, bullet-point fashion. Write enough to prompt you to speak,
but not so much that you have to read:

Question
Answer

Question
Answer

Question
Answer

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 88 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Quick Prep Worksheet


Question
Answer

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Answer

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Answer

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Answer

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 89 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS
Quick Prep Worksheet

Question
Answer

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Answer

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Answer

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Answer

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 90 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Project Journal
The projects section provides blank pages for outlining and writing
your presentations.

I recommend that you also create an electronic journal, or buy a three


ring binder, and use it as a placeholder for everything related to this
project.

The electronic folder or binder should include all of your outlines,


stories, notes, research and other materials. If you are keeping it in a
binder, three-hole punch everything, and put it in tabs or sections.
Eventually you will have a complete record – a personal anthology –
which becomes a resource for future speeches, presentations,
meetings, panels and events.

Here are two examples of how to use this section:

 Let’s say you are writing a speech. Use the blank pages to
outline your theme and major points. Collect story ideas and
then add research you gathered online, like famous quotes,
or intriguing facts. Anything you find interesting and relevant
to your topic should be included. Become a collector,
regularly add to your collection, and soon you will have a
treasure of great stuff to make your speeches,
presentations, toasts, tributes and conversations stand out.

 Let’s say it’s a client meeting. Jot down thoughts about


what’s on the agenda. What’s happening lately? What’s
new? What do they want to know? What’s the hidden
agenda? Put all those into your folder and start creating an
audience-based agenda. Then, create a place for your
research, handouts and materials.

Bates Communications, Inc. 40 Grove Street Suite 310 Wellesley, MA 02482 - 91 -


Phone: (781) 235-8239 Web: www.bates-communications.com
Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Project Journal

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Project Journal

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Project Journal

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 94 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Practicing Your Presentation


Techniques That Guarantee Success

A lot of people really hate practicing a presentation. I’m one of them.


And yet I know that if I don’t, I will not get the result I want.

Even successful business leaders, politicians and celebrities have anxiety


about public speaking. After 30 years on The Tonight Show, Johnny
Carson's heart rate doubled every night before he walked on stage. Like
most of us, Johnny felt the effects of adrenaline, but he actually used that
to energize his act on stage. Great comedians and actors learn to
manage those symptoms and relax. The secret is: experience and
preparation.

Fear of speaking isn't a chronic, untreatable disease. While you may


never avoid a flutter of nerves, you can learn to manage them at a
comfortable level. The best, most fool-proof way to become comfortable
and confident in the spotlight is to practice. Forget the old, inaccurate
adage "practice makes perfect." Practice makes prepared.

The secret behind those speakers we label as "naturals" is preparation.


There is no such thing as a natural born speaker, which means that you
have the opportunity to improve your speaking skills no matter what your
experience is. Ahead are some tips that will guide you!

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Practicing Your Presentation


Techniques That Guarantee Success

1. Set aside the time. Don't wait until the last minute. Depending upon
the length of the talk, you may need to have a completed script a week or
two in advance, so you can practice several times; put it onto your
calendar as an appointment with yourself.

2. Practice out loud. You will become more comfortable hearing your own
voice, an essential step in becoming a more powerful public speaker. This
also commits the script to memory and allows you to make changes so it
flows when you give the real presentation.

3. Use a mirror. Since you are your toughest critic, you will be able to
recognize distracting gestures, awkward stances and wandering eye
contact right away. Don't use this technique until you have already
practiced without the mirror, so you already know the material reasonably
well.

4. Record audio and/or video. Playing back a recording of your speech


will help you identify areas that need improvement. With an audio
recording, you'll be able to hear annoying vocal habits, areas of hesitation
or uncertainty, and awkward sentence structures. A video recording is
your best bet.

5. Practice a minimum of 5-6 times. Everybody's different, but we all


practice. Make sure you know your speech well enough to deliver it
naturally and conversationally without relying on your notes too much.

6. Don't memorize. You are in too much danger of forgetting what you
want to say. Learn concepts, practice phrasing, but don't be a slave to
saying it word for word the way it's written.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Practicing Your Presentation

7. Use a script or outline. But don't be married to it. You should practice
so much that the note cards, or loose script, simply become a reference –
start with a script, then bring the talk down to bullet points as you learn it.
That will make you sound more natural.

8. Time your presentation. If you have a time requirement you must meet,
timing your presentation will determine where you may need to eliminate
or elaborate material.

9. Use a friendly test audience. Asking a trusted colleague or mentor to


listen to your speech will help you begin to feel comfortable speaking in
front of other people. Ask them for their observations – what they liked,
what you might improve, if they understood your message.

10. Phrase for meaning. Learn how to speak in phrases. Use phrasing to
change the pace and timing to make your voice more interesting, but
without using a sing-song voice. To know whether you are succeeding,
record your talk and play it back, listening for phrasing.

11. Visualize success. As you practice, learn how to see the audience in
your mind's eye. The more you can imagine the room, the people, the
smiles, the applause, the more successful you will be when the day
comes.

12. Use positive self-talk. We find this is a powerful technique when used
in combination with steady, devoted practice. Don't tell yourself you're
going to just "get up there and get it over with." Say, "I'm going to love this
audience, I'm going to share something important, and they are going to
get everything they wanted from this presentation!"

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Practicing Your Presentation


13. Practice making eye contact, smiles and gestures. If you practice out
loud only using the words, without the gestures, facial expressions and
smile, you are bound to get up and fail to make the important non-verbal
connections. This is as important to successful practice as learning your
messages.

14. Avoid perfectionism. Audiences don't need you to be perfect – they


need you to be interesting. Perfectionism can ruin your experience, and
the audience's experience, too. If you beat yourself up over every little
thing you didn't say, you will never feel successful. Go with the idea that
you are going to make sure this audience understands and enjoys the
experience. Focus on them, not you, and you'll succeed.

15. Reward yourself. After you give a presentation, give yourself a pat on
the back. Do something you enjoy to anchor the experience as a positive
one. Have a massage, treat yourself to lunch, buy a book or something
you have wanted so that the next time you're asked to speak, you’re
thinking “Yes! Because at the end of this is another reward!"

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 98 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Practicing Your Presentation

Practice Session Workshop

 Practice your presentation

 Record it on audio and/or video tape

 Review the practice and evaluate content and style

Speech/Presentation Checklists

These are quick checklists that can help you prepare and evaluate your speech or
presentation. As you review a videotape of yourself, use these as a guideline.

Message & Content

_____ Story or anecdote to open

_____ Clear statement of theme or agenda

_____ Well-organized and to-the-point content

_____ Focus on the audience

_____ Clear audience benefits

_____ Inclusive language (you, we, us)

_____ Good use of stories, anecdotes

_____ Interesting facts, illustrations

_____ Word pictures, descriptive language

_____ Current events or news

_____ Useful handouts to support presentation

_____ Eye-catching, easy-to-see visuals

_____ Useful, relevant information

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Practicing Your Presentation

Communication Style

_____ Conversational

_____ Energetic

_____ Relaxed, open posture

_____ Purposeful language

_____ Effective gestures

_____ Warm smile

_____ Good eye contact

_____ Appropriate language

_____ Interesting voice, inflection

_____ Pleasant vocal tone, appropriate volume

_____ Varied pace, good use of pauses

_____ No vocal habits like “um” or repetitive words

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 100 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Practicing Your Presentation

Videotape Assessment

It’s a good idea to videotape a practice session for an important speech. Here’s a worksheet
you can use while you review the video. Take your checklist and jot down what you like, and
what you want to work on.

What I like about this presentation: What I want to work on:

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 101 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Practicing Your Presentation

Videotape Notes and Observations

Here are some blank sheets for you to write down thoughts about your videotaped practice
session.

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Practicing Your Presentation

Videotape Notes and Observations

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Practicing Your Presentation

Videotape Notes and Observations

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

Using Visuals

Why use visuals?

 Audiences learn visually

 Visuals help you organize

 Visuals add professionalism

PowerPoint Presentations That Wow Your Audience

How many times have you suffered through a presentation where the
speaker fumbled through 40 or 50 slides, all with tiny fonts,
incomprehensible charts and complicated graphs? If you create great
visuals, you will stand out from the crowd. Audiences will be more
impressed, more interactive and best of all, inclined to seek you out
after the meeting.

PowerPoint presentations should be the visual candy that gives your


presentation polish and pizzazz. Today, it’s harder to wow audiences
because they see so many computer-generated presentations.
Visuals should be what a stunning picture frame is to a great photo –
subtle, appropriate but powerful images that still keep YOU at the
center of the presentation.

We coach our clients to plan what they are going to say BEFORE they
even begin to create their slides. You want your speech to drive your
visuals – not the other way around. Each slide should highlight key
messages and drive home memorable points.

Here are some tips to remember when creating your next PowerPoint presentation:

 One idea per visual

 Use clean typeface

 Use color/contrast

 Have a consistent background throughout

Using Visuals
Tips (continued)

 Use a readable font size

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Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course MAKING PRESENTATIONS

 Use bullet points

 Use as few words as possible

 If you have a lot of information, divide it up into separate slides, rather than
trying to squeeze a lot of information into one slide.

 Know your audience. Some might appreciate graphics or photos, others may
not.

 Remember, if your audience is too busy trying to read your slide, they’re not
hearing you!

© Bates Communications ∙ (781) 235-8239 ∙ www.bates-communications.com - 106 -


Speak Like a CEO Home Study Course RESOURCE GUIDE

Suzanne Bates is an executive coach, author, keynote speaker, and former award-
winning television news anchor. She launched Bates Communications in 2000
after a successful career in major market television. Today, Bates
Communications has a team of seasoned consultants who improve their clients’
businesses by transforming leaders into powerful communicators who get
business results. Bates Communications offers strategic communications
consulting, executive coaching, workshops, executive presence seminars and boot
camps. Clients include Dow Chemical, Fidelity, Merck, Bank of NY Mellon, John
Hancock, VF Outdoor, EMC, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and The North Face.

Suzanne is author of Speak Like a CEO: Secrets for Commanding Attention


and Getting Results (McGraw Hill), which became a bestseller on amazon.com
in 2005. The book has also been published in Chinese, Russian and Indonesian.

Her second book, Motivate Like a CEO: Communicate Your Strategic Vision and Inspire People to
Act!, was published in January 2009, also with McGraw Hill. Within weeks of its release, the book became
a #1 bestseller in books on communication skills, and a business bestseller on amazon.com and
barnesandnoble.com. The book has received accolades from highly regarded business authors such as
Marshall Goldsmith (What Got You Here Won’t Get You There) and Charles H. Green (The Trusted
Advisor). Her other products include the Speak Like a CEO Toolkit, the Speak Like a CEO Home
Study Course, and a course on How to Make a Name in Business.

For 20 years, Suzanne was an acclaimed on-air personality with major market television stations WBZ-TV
Boston, WCAU-TV Philadelphia and WFLA-TV Tampa-St. Petersburg. She won an AP News Award and was
nominated for a Columbia DuPont Award, and, over her career, interviewed thousands of political leaders,
CEOs, authors and celebrities.

As a nationally recognized expert in business communications and leadership, Suzanne has appeared in
hundreds of publications including the New York Times, New York Post, Business Week, Investors’ Business
Daily, the Boston Globe, and the Boston Business Journal. She routinely publishes articles on leadership and
communication in her organization's monthly newsletter, The Voice of Leadership, and on her blog:
ThePowerSpeakerBlog.com

Suzanne pioneered an executive coaching program model focused on leadership and communication. The
program includes proprietary tools including the 40-Point Leadership Communications
Assessment and 360 Feedback Questionnaire, which guides the professional development of leaders. This
coaching model has been used with high potential leaders who must master the ability to communicate
effectively in order to move their organizations forward.

Suzanne also developed the Quick Prep Method, the Audience Agenda System, and other tools that
are taught in Bates’ boot camps and workshops. She has developed more than a dozen workshops
including The 7 Elements of Executive Presence, Powerful Presentation Skills, Leading Great Meetings, Your
Communication Style, and How to Give Great Media Interviews.

Suzanne is an active member of many organizations. She is currently on the Board of the National Speakers
Association, and is among an elite group that has earned the professional designation of CSP, Certified
Speaking Professional. She is a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization. She is past president of
the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. Suzanne earned a B.S. in Radio-TV Journalism from the
University of Illinois. She lives in Wellesley, Mass. with her husband and daughter.

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