Use the power of storytelling  in your life, career, and community


Never, Never, Never ... Be Boring!
by Chris King

Having recently attended an Information Technology (IT) trade show featuring IT seminars, I was struck by how boring the presentations were. As I looked around the room, I saw people with glazed looks and others falling asleep. It was a shame, because the presenters were obviously knowledgeable and had been asked to speak on interesting and timely topics. Even though the presenters were not professional speakers, how could they have avoided being boring?

Work on vocal variety! I realize that “nerves” can cause dry mouth and the tendency to talk in a monotone, but this can be deadly. If we take time to look different audience members in the eye and speak to them as if in a one-to-one conversation, we will sound more natural.

Lighten up! Add a bit of humor. I am not suggesting starting the presentation with a joke. I am suggesting that in the field of computers, technology, and every type of business there are lots of true and humorous anecdotes that would elicit laughter and get audience members on your side. Laughter will also ease a presenter’s tension.

Don’t tell us everything you know! Content is incredibly important, however, as presenters we must not feel that we have to pack everything we know into one presentation. Usually covering three main points/topics is sufficient for a dynamic presentation. An effective speaker leaves an audience wanting to find out more not overwhelmed by the amount of material covered.

Use props with care! It is fine to use props, including digitally generated slides and visuals, however, when we rely on these for our presentation — for example, reading what audience members can see already rather than pointing out important features — we lose their attention quickly. Also, boring visuals with lots of words and no graphics are a complete turnoff.

Involve the audience! Besides getting the audience to laugh and feel that we are talking directly to them, we can ask them questions and also encourage them to ask us questions or make comments on our statements. By starting a presentation by having everyone write down what they want to learn and having a few participants share what they have written is one way to get them involved from the start.

Prepare, prepare, prepare and practice, practice, practice! The more prepared we are, the more comfortable and enthusiastic we will be when presenting. And, I am not advocating memorizing, but I am suggesting that we have mapped out our direction, tested our stories, and practiced a strong opening and closing.

Work on all of these, and I guarantee, you’ll never, never, never be boring!

Hot News:

A brand new FREE eclectic e-newsletter, Career Success Planning, is on the way. I will be contacting former sbscribers to Portfolio Potpourri and all who have taken the Portfolio Career Self Test to subscribe to the new FREE e-newsletter. Use the form below to sign up!

Email Marketing by

We never sell names and/or e-mail addresses, and if you ever wish to "opt-out" that's not a problem.

Contact Chris King at:
or at: 36250 Lakeshore Blvd.
Eastlake, Ohio 44095

Phone: (440) 918-1313

Home / Free Newsletter/Stuff / Special Reports /
Free Articles / Editor's BioAsk Questions / Creative Keys /
Storytelling Power
/ Chris Recommends



How to

In this complete manual
by been-there-done-that
author, Chris King,
you will learn everything
you need to know to
become an

Powerful Presenter!

Don't wait another day to
get started.

You will be glad you did!

We hope that you are
learning some new and
effective presentation
skills from this site, but
also are having fun
while here.

to be


By developing your own personal and professional STYLE,
you will live your life
on purpose - with class, pleasure and success in every area.

We have created a Special Report, 125 Ways to Develop
Your Personal and Professional STYLE.
Click HERE for more information.

And don't hesitate to
send us your questions,
comments, tips, and suggestions. We
welcome your

101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers In 101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers, Caryl Rae Krannich Ph.D offers hands on, reader-friendly, practical ideas that will help develop the skills and confidence necessary for a successful presentation.

Secrets of
and Persuade
How do highly paid
professional speakers put magic and motivation into every talk? Lilly Walters reveals their secrets and strategies in this practical, conversational guide. Mark Twain reputedly said it took him three weeks to prepare an impromptu speech