Presentation skills

Presentation Skills - How to Present an Award [VIDEO]

In this video you will learn how to present an award. Last week, I was asked what to say before giving someone an award at an official awards ceremony. So, I wanted to give a quick and simple way to help you learn what to say when you need to introduce someone and present them with an award. I posted the original article over on, as well. Helping people learn and answering their questions with direct responses is also an excellent form of content marketing, btw :)

1. Talk about the event

The first thing to do is briefly talk about the awards ceremony. For example, you can say something about what the event or award is celebrating, or why the award is being given.

2. Talk about the award winner

Now it's time to briefly introduce the person winning the award. You can do this by mentioning that the award is being given towhoever it is, then describing something special or unique about the award winner. A really great thing you can do is tell a story about the award winner, something that helps connect the audience and the person. It could be how you know the person or something the person has done that represents who they are.

3. Give the award

You did it! You successfully introduced the award winner and now you have to give him/her the award. After you give the award, simply step aside and let them speak. Your job is pretty much done, unless you have to present more awards.

Hope you found that helpful. Let me know if you have any questions or other ideas for how to present an award. And of course, please get in touch if you need help preparing your presentation or awards speech.

Shocking Improvement in Presentation Skills!

Just wanted to share some great news I received from someone who has been watching and learning from my presentations videos. It's times like this that make everything I do worth it. Believe me, it's not always easy making the videos week-after-week and trying to make sure people find the content useful. But when I hear back from people like this, it's all worthwhile. Here's a screenshot of the comment posted on "Presentation Design Quick Tips - You Need CRAP" on my YouTube Channel. The post is here on my site.

Improve Presentation Skills

Presentation Quick Tip #3 - Start A Presentation With Misdirection

You never get a second chance to make a first impression... Not always true for every situation, but a great start to your presentation can capture your audience's attention and keep them interested throughout. Screw up the beginning and the audience may have a hard time staying alert and following along. So you need to get their attention and here's how.

I guess this could be a little misdirection, like something a magician does. I'll have to ask my friend Charles Greene III, the Presentation Magician.

Anyway, the trick is to start your presentation by telling the audience you will NOT begin with the topic they expect. Instead, you tell them you will begin with something else.

But here's the misdirection…

The other thing you tell them is actually just a better way to tell them about the topic they originally expected. Ideally, you will tell a story that is directly related to your original topic.

To get the full run down, please watch the video or read the video transcript below.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to watch or right-click to download: Presentation Quick Tip #3 - Start With Misdirection

Length 1:03  

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Carl Kwan here and this is Presentation Quick Tip #3.

In this video, you're gonna learn a great way to start a presentation and get the audience's attention.

So what you're gonna say is, "I was going to tell you about A, but instead, I'm going to tell you about B."

Now B must be related to A and it should also be a kind of a story about A.

So for example, "I was going to tell you about the human genome, but instead, I'm going to tell you a story about a boy who lived down the street from me who was really sick.

So the rest of the story is gonna be how the boy was sick and how the human genome was able to help him.

The human genome project, that is, of course.

So how that was able to help him is gonna be a much more interesting story than just talking about the human genome.

So again, what you'd say is, "I was going to tell you about A, but instead, I'm going to tell you about B."

And that is Presentation Quick Tip #3.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below this video.

Thanks again.

Talk to you again soon. Bye-bye.

Presentation Quick Tip #2 - Use A Quote To Introduce Topics

It's time for Presentation Quick Tip #2 and this time I wanted to talk about how to use quotes in presentations. Specifically, how to use a quote to introduce topics because I think a lot of people are confused by how to best use quotes in presentations. And so I've got a simple, super-useful way to use quotes that you'll find very handy. Instead of your typical, "Now I'm going to talk about Topic A," start talking about your topic with a relevant quote.

Here's how it would work…

If your topic was about increasing productivity, then find a quote about getting things done. For example, here's a great quote from one of my personal heroes, Bruce Lee: “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.”

What YOU can say during your presentation is, "Bruce Lee once said, 'If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.' and that's why I wanted to discuss some ideas about increasing overall productivity.

But here's the coolest part…

You can now summarize your presentation using the quotes, instead of just listing what you said. Now you can say, "We heard that Bruce Lee said, 'If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.' I then introduced three ways we could boost productivity."

Pretty cool, huh? I knew you'd think so.

Anyway, below is the video I made about this Presentation Quick Tip and the video script is just below the video.

Hope this helps and talk to you again soon.



If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please left-click to view or right-click to download the video here: Presentation Quick Tip #2 - Use A Quote To Introduce Topics

Video length 0:53



Hey there, it's Carl Kwan here.

So in this video I'm going to give you another presentation quick tip, while on vacation.

What you can do when you introduce a topic to get the audience's attention is to use a quote.

And one of the best ways you can do that, is to say, "Henry Ford used to say: If you think you can, or you think you can't, either way you're right."

That'd be a great way to segue into a topic about motivation or getting things done.

Then at the end of your presentation, you can then repeat the same quote to reinforce what you taught to your audience or what you said to your audience, help them refresh their memory.

So use it to introduce your topic, then also use the quote to summarize your presentation.

And that is a presentation quick tip for you.

If you have any questions or comments about this one, please let me know by leaving your questions or comments below this video and we'll talk to you again soon.

Thanks. Bye-bye.

Presentation Quick Tip #1 - Use a picture as a PowerPoint background

Presentation design is an expression that probably draws some cringes from people. Understandable since most of us just want to quickly get our PowerPoint slides finished before our boss or teacher wants them. So in this very first Presentation Quick Tip video, I share with you a speedy way to add some flair to your PowerPoint presentations. All you have to do is use a photo as your background, instead of the plain white or whatever colour the template is. I'll go into more detail on exactly how to do it in another post. The main thing is to use photos that are relevant to your presentation topic. For example, if you're putting together a presentation about your latest quarter's sales results, use photos of your product, or photos from sales team meetings, whatever.

The challenge of course is getting the photos. But with smartphones being so popular, it's just a matter of remembering to capture the moment wherever you happen to be and saving those in a well-named folder. Just hold your camera steady, keep the light source behind you and snap away.

One thing to not do is take pictures of people when there's overhead lighting only. Everyone will end up with big black bags under their eyes and forever hate you for taking such an awful picture of them.

Anyway, check out the video for more information.

Thanks and look for the follow up to this Presentation Quick Tip.


If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please watch or download the video here: Presentation Quick Tip #1 - Use a picture as a PowerPoint background

Video length: 0:58

3 Ways To Take The Trash Out Of Your Presentations [VIDEO]

One of the best ways to improve your presentations is to think about your message and make it clear and easy for your audience to understand. To do that, sometimes all it takes is looking at your current presentation and taking out the stuff that's unnecessary. You can also use the following techniques while going through each draft of your presentation. The 3 ways I talk about in the video are:

  1. Unnecessary repetition
  2. More than one point per slide
  3. Make your presentation shorter

Check out the video or read the full transcript below. If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please watch or download the video here: 3 Ways To Take the Garbage Out of Your Presentations

Video length: 3:04

In this video I'm going to show you three ways to create a lean, mean presentation by taking the garbage out of your presentations.

In Korea, we have one of the best recycling and garbage management systems that I know of.

When we take out the garbage at home, we get to live in a cleaner, healthier environment. The same can be said for presentations when you take out some of the unnecessary stuff that's in there. What you'll get is a presentation that's clear, concise, and that moves along at a good pace.

So here are three ways to take the trash out of your presentation.

First, take out any unnecessary repetition or filler words. It's good to have a key message that you repeat, which is something I've talked about before. But you might be overusing certain words. For example, words like "basically" or "actually". And when you're practicing, see if you use certain filler words a lot, such as "like" or sounds such as "um". Get rid of those because they make you sound unprofessional and unprepared, two of the biggest presentation sins.

Second, take out content that doesn't support or add to your presentation's message or purpose. In other words, you have to put your thinking cap on and consider what your audience really wants to hear. For example, it's probably unnecessary to have an extended introduction if your audience is already familiar with you or your company. A lot of times, it's better to just get to the point.

And the third and final way to take the garbage out of your presentations is to make your presentation shorter. Whatever length your presentation first appears to be, edit the content for clarity and flow and shorten the presentation. For example, if your presentation is 10 minutes long, I'll bet you could trim it down to seven or eight minutes, or even 5 minutes if you think about how to better communicate your message. This not only leaves you with extra time for Q and A, but your message will be clear to your audience and they'll thank you for not making them sit through a presentation that's too long.

There you go! Three ways to take the trash out of your presentations. And those three ways were:

  • First, take out any unnecessary repetition or filler words.
  • Second, take out content that doesn't support or add to your presentation's message or purpose.
  • And third, make your presentation shorter by editing the content for clarity and flow.

Thanks for watching and talk to you again soon.

3 Things Every Presenter Can Learn From James Bond [VIDEO]

Recently, the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, was released. While some thought it wasn't that great, I loved it. It's safe to say I've loved every Bond film I've ever seen. And with the exception of a couple absolute duds, I am a big 007 fan. After seeing Skyfall, a friend mentioned that every Bond film is basically the same old storyline. I don't disagree, but it's what works. I then got to thinking what a systematic character James Bond is and how we could probably learn a few things about presentations from him.

The point is we all need someone to look to for motivation or inspiration. Hopefully, one of these tips will help you improve your presentations.

Let's have a look at three things you can learn from James Bond in the following video. The full transcript is below the video. If you can't see YouTube in your location, click the following link to download the video: 3 Things Every Presenter Can Learn From James Bond

Here are the links mentioned in the video:

  1. Gavin McMahon on understanding what the audience really wants
  2. Craig Hadden on opening PowerPoint automagically before giving a presentation

I have been a James Bond fan ever since I can remember. I've always loved the car chases, the cool gadgets, and who doesn't like the Bond girls, right? But on top of all that, I've always thought that James Bond is such a cool dude. Not only is he highly-skilled in driving, skiing, the martial arts and ahem…

Seducing Bond girls, he does everything while always remaining cool and in control. He's even cool just saying his own name!

Bond, James Bond.

How many people can do that?

Obviously, I can't.

But I also realized that he would be an awesome presenter. So I'm going to teach you "Three Things Every Presenter Can Learn From James Bond."

Number one.

James Bond can handle any situation, enemy, or Bond girl because he's not only well-trained, but he's also well-prepared. He's practiced his skills over and over so that it seems almost effortless when he's out in the field.

I realize of course that it's just make believe, but hey, it's my video.

Anyway, before he goes out on a mission, he always knows who he will go up against and what the goal of his mission is.

As a presenter, you also have to be well-prepared by starting your preparation early and leaving at least a couple of weeks to practice so you can deliver your presentation as effortlessly as 007 skis backwards and shoots bad guys with his ski pole slash gun.

And you also absolutely have to learn about your audience and what the goal of the presentation is going to be. Just remember that your goal and the audience's goal is usually not the same so make sure you know what the audience wants. In fact, you never want to give a presentation without clearly understanding who your audience is and what they want.

Gavin McMahon gave a great technique for doing this in the interview he did for me, so check out that video.

Number two.

No matter how many bad guys there are, no matter how dangerous the situation, or how close a laser comes to cutting him in half starting from the family jewels, James Bond remains cool under fire. He could be shaking and screaming like a little girl on the inside, but he always maintains a calm and cool exterior.

As a presenter, you may sometimes be very nervous, your throat might feel tight and dry, and your hands and legs can't stop shaking…

In other words, you're totally freaking out.

The interesting thing is that most of the time, the audience doesn't notice. And because of that, don't make the mistake of telling the audience how nervous you are, since they probably don't even know.

But if you're presenting for the first time, your voice might betray you and reveal your secret like a double agent in a Bond movie. So what you have to do is remember the first thing I said about preparing well in advance. In fact, it'd be a great idea to make a video of yourself giving the presentation so you can get instant feedback and work on being more calm.

Another thing you can do is speak a little slower because when we're nervous or excited, we tend to speak faster and faster, which is not good for a presentation because your audience is going to have trouble listening. And also remember to take nice, even breaths. Just focusing on breathing can help you calm down and remain cool under fire like 007.

 And number three.

007 is famous for having the coolest gadgets to help him defeat his enemies or get out of trouble, like the ski pole slash gun I mentioned earlier. But having cool gadgets is one thing, knowing how to use them is another. Luckily for our super-spy, he's able to figure out how things work even though he tends to do what most guys do and ignore instructions on how to use the stuff.

However, as a presenter, it is extremely important that you know how to operate the equipment you will use when giving a presentation. Make sure you know how to turn on your laptop and how to connect it to a projector.

You should know how to start PowerPoint and get your presentation going in the shortest time possible.For that, you should check out my friend Craig Hadden's post on how to set up PowerPoint for Windows so your presentation opens up automagically when you turn on your laptop.

And if you're going to use a presentation remote control, please make sure you've got fresh batteries in it and make sure you've got spare batteries, too.

One final thing to say about knowing your presentation tools is to also know what to do if something goes wrong, like if the location has incompatible plugs, or the projector suddenly stops working or something. You should consider what to do as a backup in case something bad happens before or during your presentation.

There you go, three things every presenter can learn from James Bond.

And to recap, those three things were:

  • Number one, be well prepared and know your audience.
  • Number two, remain cool under fire because the audience likely doesn't know how nervous you are.
  • And number three, know your presentation tools and have a backup plan, just in case.

Okay, so my question for you this week is, "Which fictional character do you think would be a great presenter and why?" Let me know by leaving your answer in the comments section below.

Thank you for watching and talk to you again soon.

3 Easy ways to get the audience's attention during a presentation (Lesson 2) [VIDEO]

Last week, I made a video about using video to help you get and keep the audience's attention during a presentation. I mentioned that I was going to do a follow-up and teach you something else about getting the audience's attention and so, here we go. In case you haven't seen the previous post about this, I highly recommend that you check it out because one of the techniques I'm going to teach you in this week's video builds upon last week's lesson. Identity Crisis

The three techniques you'll learn in the video were inspired by a recent trip to the Lotte Department Store in the Myeongdong area of Seoul. I was helping some tourists from Hong Kong and messed up what I wanted to say to them. Afterwards, I realized I made some simple mistakes that every presenter has probably made, as well so I wanted to help you learn from my mistake.

So check out the video below or you can skip the video and read the transcript underneath it. Either way, let me know if you have any questions about what I teach in the video.

Thanks and talk to you again next time.

Carl Kwan is a presentations, promo-video, and marketing consultant based in Seoul, South Korea by way of Vancouver, Canada. Carl specialises in presentations skills training, customised presentation design, video work to promote your company and marketing advice for local and global clients. Carl has been making presentation tips videos since 2009.

Get in touch with Carl by phone at 82-10-9087-2086 or by email to discuss how he can help you and your organisation give better presentations, grow your brand and sell more of your products and services. Transcript

Some of you know that I live in Seoul, South Korea. But not all of you know that I'm not Korean. I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada. So I'm actually Chinese-Canadian… or is that Canadian-Chinese?

But what does that have to do with getting people's attention in presentations, right? Well, you see, since I speak Cantonese and a bit of Korean, I sometimes help tourists from Hong Kong if I see them having some trouble when they're buying something or whatever. In fact, it just happened recently where I helped some people buy some food but in my excitement to speak Cantonese, since I don't get to do it that often here, I ended up speaking Cantonese but with a Korean word thrown in.

I knew I said something wrong but I couldn't quite figure it out and these people were looking at me like, "Huh?" I guess I was too excited to show off that I can speak some Korean and Cantonese and got a bit anxious and ended up confusing people, instead.

Anyway, I thought my experience would be a good presentations lesson in getting the audience's attention during a presentation, especially when you have to give a presentation in another language, like English, or if you're a bit nervous or anxious during your presentation.

For those of you following along at home, this is a follow-up to the video from last time where I talked about using video during your presentation to get attention.

Ok, so here are the three easy ways to get the audience's attention during a presentation.

First, slow down at the important points in your presentation and speak really clearly, like you're overemphasising those words.

This will help you say what you want to say correctly, unlike what I did, and overemphasising certain words will get the attention of your audience because there is a change of pace in your speaking and in your voice tone.


For emphasis.

Whenever you briefly pause just before you say something important in your presentation…

The audience gets drawn in. You only need to pause for a couple of seconds because any longer and people might think you forgot what you were gonna say.

Third, repeat your key message.

A little while ago I made a video called "How to give a memorable presentation with one sentence" where I talked about having a key message that you repeat. In this case, what you can do is repeat your key message using one of the techniques I just taught you. So for example, you could say your key message slowly or you could pause just before you say it. This will not only get the audience's attention, but will also help them better remember your key message because you'll have repeated it several times.

There you go… Three easy ways to get the audience's attention during a presentation.

And they were…

Number one, slow down at the important points in your presentation.

Number two…Pause…

For emphasis.

And number three, repeat your key message together with one of the other two ways I just told you about.

What's something you'd like to learn about giving a presentation? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for watching and talk to you again next time.

Does Your Presentation Need A TV Commercial? (Lesson 1)

One of the most important things you need to do in any presentation is get the audience's attention. It's a topic that I've covered on many occasions but is something that needs to be repeated again because it is very important to understand how to get and keep the audience's attention during a presentation. Using Videos In Presentations

So today, I'm going to talk about one such way of getting the audience's attention. There are several other ways that I will teach in the coming weeks but today we will start with using video to get and keep attention during a presentation. And notice that I say during the presentation and not at the beginning of the presentation.

Why Use Videos In Presentations?

The reason why is because we often forget how short a person's attention span really is. It's important to recapture a person's attention in the middle of your presentation, as well as at the start of your presentation.

Check out the video below for the full details of using video in a presentation. You can also read the full transcript below the video. And be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback about what I taught. I would love to hear from you.


Video Transcript

Quick! What is something you have to do more than anything else in a presentation?

(Buzz) Time's up!

If you said you have to know your audience, be well prepared, or practice a lot you would be correct. However, that's not the right answer in this case. The correct answer and the thing that is most important in any presentation, is getting and keeping the audience's attention. And I'm not just talking about at the beginning of your presentation. I'm talking about during your presentation because people have a limited attention span. So before you get bored, let me show you what to do.

You might not like TV commercials during your favorite TV programs but a video is a great way to get the audience's attention and keep it for a short time during your presentation. You should prepare to use a video for every 3 to 5 minutes of speaking. That means that if your presentation is 20 minutes long you will need three to four videos. For a 10 minute presentation, one video will be okay.

The video should be short like a commercial, about 15 to 30 seconds or even 45 seconds at the most. It must also be relevant to your presentation topic and be interesting for your audience. The video could be an interview with somebody talking about your presentation topic, or a demonstration, or a story about somebody's experience related to your topic.

If there is already a video available, great. But if not, it's pretty easy to make your own video. Just make sure you have good lighting from a window or shoot the video outside in the morning or late afternoon. And if someone is speaking, try to get him or her close to the camera so the sound will be good and so you won't need any special audio equipment.

Making a video does take some preparation but the effort will be worth it because your overall presentation will be that much better.

And this is really important, make sure you get to the presentation venue early to test your video on the equipment. Make sure your video works before you give the presentation or else your efforts will go to waste and you could be really embarrassed during your presentation if the video doesn't work properly.

So there you have it. One of the most effective ways to get the audience's attention during your presentation. Next time, I will talk about another great way to get and keep the audiences attention during a presentation. Let me know what you think about getting the audience's attention by leaving a comment in the comments section below.

Thank you for watching and talk to you again next time.


Carl Kwan is a presentations, promo-video, and marketing consultant based in Seoul, South Korea. Carl specialises in presentations skills training, customised presentation design, video work to promote your company and marketing advice for local and global clients. Get in touch with Carl to discuss how he can help you and your organisation.