How to avoid death by Powerpoint

How to avoid death by Powerpoint by David JP Phillips

Your values


“Your values are what you will or will not do in order to get what you want and still be able to look at yourself in the mirror and like who you see.” – Richard Elmes

Response: Student’s are not customers; Are they?

A LinkedIn post by , Dean of IE Business School in Spain,  asked the question, Student’s are not customers; Are they? You can view the post here.
Here is my response:
Absolutely. Teachers / Trainers are Salespeople selling the ideas and concepts that they want their Students to buy into and learn. The primary role of the teacher / trainer is to convey the information to their student’s in an easy-to-digest manner (aka Don’t be boring). Even though students are interested in the topic (because they invest their time and money to attend the class), they will not effectively grasp the information taught if they can’t understand it, or can’t stay awake in class.
I know that my favorite (and most effective) teachers / trainers have sold me on their ideas and concepts. So, I believe that Students are definitely Customers.

Creative Vulnerability

Womans eyes with fear“There is NO creativity without vulnerability.” – Dr. Brene’ Brown, Researcher, Storyteller, Author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection.

Starting your talk with a startling statistic – 3 examples [Video]

I found the follow post that was written by Craig Hadden,  an instructional designer (training developer) living in Sydney (Australia).

Surprised Audience Members

You’ve likely heard it said that opening your talk with a startling statistic helps to grab people’s attention. But what exactly does that technique look and sound like?

In this post, you’ll see 3 clear examples on video, and I’ll discuss key takeaways from each. So you’ll come away with solid tips you can use in your own talks.

Ultimately, I hope these examples inspire you to use some startling statistics yourself.

For easy reference, here’s what he said:

“Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat,
four Americans that are alive will be dead –
through the food that they eat.” [25 words]

Key takeaways – video 1

Jamie made his opening line personal… in 3 specific ways

I love that Jamie made his opening line personal – by tailoring it to his audience in 3 specific ways:

  • By scaling the death rate to “the next 18 minutes”, he matched his statistic to the audience’s current moment (instead of quoting a less tangible annual figure).
  • Rather than using words like “my talk” (which would in effect ignore his audience), he included people (and set the scene as an informal 2-way conversation) by saying “our chat”.
  • As his talk was in the US, he made his statistic specific to “Americans” (rather than “people” or “Britons”, even though he’s clearly British).

Did you also notice how subdued he was during his opening? So don’t feel you need to start your talk with great passion – that’s hard to do (because of nerves). Let yourself gradually get into your flow, and your passion will come through more as you progress.

Also, by building momentum during your talk, you let the audience warm up to what you’re saying, and you add interest through more vocal variety. After all, as former World Champion public speaker Craig Valentine says:

“If you are always dynamic,
you are no longer dynamic”

So don’t feel you need to start with great passion – or have the same level throughout your talk. In many ways, using a subdued manner when citing a startling statistic makes it stand out, through contrast.


Check out the rest of the blog post, including the 2nd and 3rd video examples by clicking here

Motivational Quote: Inspiring


“A good teacher can teach you the subject, but a great teacher can inspire and teach you lessons and skills that can be carried through your life.” – Matt Ward, VP Ward Heating Products

Motivational Quote: Bravery

“Bravery is not being scared to do something, but is feeling scared, pushing through the fear and doing it anyway.” -Survival Expert Bear Grylls

Maureen Irwin Blakeley on the Edge walk on top of the CN Tower

Maureen Irwin Blakeley on the Edge walk on top of the CN Tower