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Kathy Reiffenstein
Washington, DC
Recent Activity
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Scary may be a good thing for Halloween decorations and theme park rides but certainly not for presentation slides. With all things scary taking center stage as we get ready to celebrate Halloween, it's a good time to ensure that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2016 at Professionally Speaking...
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There would be people who'd disagree with the premise of Michael Parker's new book, It's Not What You Say. I would not be one of them. Parker, a former vice chairman of the global communications and advertising agency Saatchi &... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2016 at Professionally Speaking...
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Research on how our brain works and how it responds to information gives us a better understanding of human behavior. What is becoming increasingly agreed upon is that images (a.k.a. visual cues) used instead of, or in addition to, words... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2016 at Professionally Speaking...
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I recently read an updated statistic about people’s attention span. According to research done at Kaiser Permanente, humans have an average attention span of 8 seconds [one second shorter than a goldfish!]. As presenters, this should be very worrisome. We’ve... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2016 at Professionally Speaking...
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Dear Santa, I know you are terribly busy at this time of year building and packing all the toys, motivating the elves, polishing the sleigh and grooming the reindeer. But I could really use your help. Business presenters all over... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2015 at Professionally Speaking...
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In the early 1600s around Plymouth, Massachusetts the pilgrims observed days of thanksgiving to offer gratitude for the bountiful harvests. Some 400 years later we celebrate a day of Thanksgiving to offer gratitude for our bounty -- friends, family, good... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2015 at Professionally Speaking...
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Since the days when we were mere babes in arms we have used facial expressions to convey what we feel, what we want, what we think. It has been such a successful way of communicating our emotions over the evolutionary... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2015 at Professionally Speaking...
Craig, thanks for your comments! It is really amazing, isn't it, that people hold on to certain behaviors without questioning whether or not they actually make sense...or at least playing devil's advocate to test their validity!
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2015 on Presentation Myths at Professionally Speaking...
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I am one of those fortunate beings who gets to dedicate my life to creating happiness for my feline companions -- Gilbert, Sullivan and Jake (aka the boys). This is not an endeavor I take lightly, nor do they. And... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2014 at Professionally Speaking...
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Of the various titles I’ve held in my career, myth-buster actually hasn’t been one of them. Yet when I teach the Association for Talent Development's (ATD) Presentation Skills Certificate program and other presentation courses and workshops, I find myself “busting”... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at Professionally Speaking...
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I doubt you've ever heard anyone say they wished they had more meetings to attend. Most of us complain frequently about how unproductive meetings are and how they interfere with getting our job done. In addition to being time-wasters, meetings... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at Professionally Speaking...
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If you're familiar with the character of Sherlock Holmes -- whether from literature, the BBC's production starring Benedict Cumberbatch or the CBS series, Elementary -- you know that Sherlock is a data junkie. The facts and evidence he collects about... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2014 at Professionally Speaking...
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The brilliance of your message is only part of what an audience will focus on during your presentation. The other part is you. Specifically, the visual package you present. Your audience brings a holistic perspective to your presentation. So what... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2014 at Professionally Speaking...
We humans love contrast. We employ it in decorating [current hot trend: purple and green]; in fashion [current hot trend: Placid Blue and Hemlock Green with a dash of Radiant Orchid]; in story [long time trend: good vs. evil]; and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Professionally Speaking...
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New normal is a frequently heard phrase these days, describing everything from the tough economy to instability in the Middle East to the make-up of the modern family. I'm thinking maybe it's time for a new normal in presentations because... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2014 at Professionally Speaking...
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'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the hall the well-rehearsed speaker kept her audience in thrall. Her metaphors were crisp, her words well chosen, on her the attention of the people was frozen. The slides on the screen... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2013 at Professionally Speaking...
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With Thanksgiving kicking off the festive holiday season next week here in the US, many of you will find yourselves in numerous situations where a toast or a few words to a group will be in order. Just because you're... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2013 at Professionally Speaking...
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The frightening ghosts and goblins who will be afoot this Halloween are no match for the scary things that can happen [or you imagine can happen] during your presentation. Let's take a look at three common presentation scares and see... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2013 at Professionally Speaking...
Hi Valary, Thanks for your comment. You are SO right! The key is providing value -- from the executives' perspective -- and then, time won't be an issue. Best, Kathy
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Executive level presentations can threaten the equilibrium of even the most skilled business presenters. A planned delivery can be tossed upside down as unexpected interruptions, questions and dialogue usurp the allotted time. This series of tips will help you make... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2013 at Professionally Speaking...
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Most presentations are filled with truck loads of data, communicated through slide after slide of mind-numbing bullet points. The likelihood of your audience extracting the significant facts from this data dump is low. Data is dry and lifeless until you... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2013 at Professionally Speaking...
Hi Seblora, Thanks for your comment! Just like with presentations, I only have a few moments to capture your attention and encourage you to read on, so I try to find a "grabber" opening. I definitely had fun writing this one! Best, Kathy
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Dear Presenter, You suck. Sincerely, Your Audience Luckily most of our audiences are too polite or professional to write such a letter but that doesn't mean they don't want to. Business audiences across the globe complain about the same presenter... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2013 at Professionally Speaking...
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In many ways what's happening on your face when you're presenting trumps everything else: the words you speak; the way you stand and move; what you do with your hands. Your face is the primary focus for the audience [or... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2013 at Professionally Speaking...
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Speak clearly if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall. Oliver Wendell Holmes When making a presentation, the clarity of your diction, or lack of it, affects how you're perceived. Slurred consonants, words tumbling on... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2013 at Professionally Speaking...