Five Presentation Techniques Not to Use as a Speaker

I hope you will learn some good presentation techniques by my pointing out what NOT to do when presenting. Remember the following are techniques to AVOID.

Be late for your presentation, or rush in at the last minute, just in time. This will convince the meeting planner and the audience members of how busy a person you are. You didn’t even have time to call them to let them know you were on the way. It will just make your arrival more dramatic and will also let them know how little you care about them or the impression you are making (or not making).

Don’t worry about your appearance. After all, they hired you for your expertise, not because of the way you look. You were in too much of a hurry to make sure that your clothes were pressed and your shoes were shined. Anyway, you are a creative person who doesn’t worry about looking sharp. Besides, the audience is dressed in casual attire, so why shouldn’t you? Even though we hate to believe it, their first impression of your sloppiness will remain as a lasting impression of you as a non-professional.

Start your presentation with a joke that has nothing to do with your topic. Isn’t this the time-tested formula that speakers have been using for years? How about an off-color joke, at that? That will really cement you as a far-from-professional presenter in their estimation. Or, if you don’t have a joke, you can always start with the lame opening, “It’s so nice to be here with you today.” That will knock them off their seats and get them to sit up and pay attention.

Become known for your large array of mannerisms and/or distracting habits. You can work to add many of these to your repertoire. Some habits to try are: filler words such as “um,” “er,” “you know,” pacing back and forth, swinging your arms, putting your hands in your pockets (jingling change will enhance this habit), picking at your clothes, wringing your hands, smoothing your hair, swaying from side to side, glancing at your watch continually, leaning on the lectern, putting your hand in front of your mouth, and laughing so hard at your own jokes you can’t continue. All of these are guaranteed to keep your audience from remembering anything you told them.

Do not pay attention to your voice and/or speed of speaking. After all, if you have meaningful information, it doesn’t matter, does it, if you speak in a monotone, or speed along so that you can fit it all into your limited time frame. Both of these techniques are guaranteed to cause your audience to “turn off” and take a needed rest. They may even thank you for the break.

Banish all of the techniques that I have highlighted, and you will give presentations that listeners learn from and enjoy. And, you will be asked back!

Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy

CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER is structured much like most of Clancy’s books. We’re told a large number of stories from different places and points of view. At first they seem unconnected, but the threads will come together by the end.

It may seem somewhat “risky” in that, although this is a Jack Ryan book, Ryan himself is off-stage until the final two hundred or so pages. He doesn’t even know what’s going on. But part of the plotting is to dramatize what he does when he finally does figure out the truth. But the “real” heroes of the book are Clark and Chavez.

Clark is a CIA op who’s appeared in previous Clancy novels. Chavez is a young, talented light infantry fighter.

The most obvious focus of the book is drugs and the Medellin Cartel of Columbia that imported so much cocaine into the United States.

The U.S. sends several small squads of light infantry fighters into the jungles of Columbia — of course without the permission or knowledge of the Colombian government. At first, their job is simply to spy on known airfields, radioing in the location of planes taking off. Eventually they attack processing centers.

In the meantime, a Coast Guard ship happens upon a small yacht just after two men have murdered its family of passengers. Using illegal, unorthodox and unlikely methods, they learn from the killers that the man was a laundering money for the Medellin Cartel, but had been caught skimming and was killed for that.

I’m not so sure such low-level killers would know that much info. I think they’d just be told, “Kill and get away.” Their legal odyssey dramatizes how drugs are impacting out court system. Their lawyer is as slimy as defense lawyers for drug cartel murderers can be — but from good-heartened, good-liberal motives. Their final fate shows how drugs and drug money are whittling away at both the bad and good guys in law enforcement.

Yet it’s with the upper most levels of the U.S. government that this novel is most concerned. And the possibility of people at that level sending soldiers such as Chavez into danger, and then pulling the plug on them to save their own political careers or just to keep themselves out of jail.

And of course, there’s the whole issue of whether or not drugs do constitute a “clear and present danger” to the United States. Some people even refuse to believe that terrorists pose such a danger. Senator John Kerry said he wanted to return to treating it as a law enforcement issue, and many of President Obama’s actions lean in that direction.

The Medellin cartel is gone, but Columbia and other countries still manage to smuggle a lot of cocaine into the U.S., and will continue to do so because there’s a huge market for it. That’s the real problem, and it’s one that can’t be fought by special ops forces.

All in all, this is a novel that could surprise people who hate Clancy and even some of his fans may assume he’d take a more direct stance on these issues, but there’s also plenty of action for those who simply want the military suspense.

Live Bait Fishing – Proper Tackle And Bait Presentation Is Critical To Triggering A Fish To Bite

Having fished the sport fishing boats based in Southern California for many years, I have learned that bait selection and presentation are probably the two most critical, yet often overlooked, steps in fishing with live bait that can ultimately lead to a successful fishing trip. Anglers who have the good fortune of fishing live bait such as anchovies, sardines, mackerel and squid, can easily better their chances of landing more fish with these simple measures that begin at the bait well or tank.

When selecting a bait from the well, spend some time choosing the hottest, or liveliest bait in the well. The bait should not be missing any scales and check to see if the nose of the bait is red. The nose should always be a natural color and not red. Baits with red noses and missing scales are normally stressed from improper handling, overcrowded tank conditions or disease and do not look or swim in a natural behavior, the key to enticing fish to feed.

After selecting the best bait, bait scoops should be used to remove it from the others. If a bait scoop is not available, the angler should carefully slide his hand under the bait and slowly grab the bait with light pressure by the head, so as to not remove the slime or any of the scales on the body. Quickly bait the hook and fluidly cast it as far from the boat as possible, landing the bait softly in the bite zone. Make sure that your tackle, rods and reels, match the appropriate bait and creates as little excess drag on the bait as possible.

Anglers should always be aware of the fishing conditions that surround them. This includes tides, moon phases, currents, patterns and more. Knowing what the fish and the fishing conditions are doing should determine how the angler should bait their hook. Baits can be hooked in the nose, collar, shoulder and butt, depending on how the angler wants the bait to react. I like to nose hook my baits because I move them around as much as possible, including when I retrieve them. Nose hooking is the only way to retrieve the bait with a natural swimming motion, head pointed towards the angler.

When you collar, shoulder or butt hook a bait, they usually get ripped off, fall off or come back in an awkward spinning motion. I only hook my bait in the collar or shoulder when the surface fishing is good and when I know the bait will be inhaled before I need to wind it in. On the other hand, butt hooking is used when the bite zone is deeper and not on the surface. Normally, butt hooking will force it to swim down and away, the ideal scenario for many fishing applications. The price you pay is that you sacrifice the ability to wind the bait back through the bite zone if it did not get bit in the first pass. When butt hooked, the bait will usually spin and come in backwards, not a very appealing appetizer for a finicky fish.

Also, make sure your tackle matches in size and weight to your bait. Sometimes, fishing conditions demand heavy tackle for small baits and on other occasions, light gear for big baits. Other than these times, your rods, reels, bait hooks, fishing line, weight and sinkers should not create any excess drag on the bait. Spinning and conventional casting combos come in a wide range of actions and line classes in both freshwater and saltwater versions and carefully selecting the proper live bait rod and reel is essential.

With these bait selection and presentation tips, I hope you will someday be able to enjoy the thrill of being picked up by a trophy size fish. There is nothing more exciting than fishing with live bait, the heart stopping sensation when you feel that familiar thump on the end of the line, followed by a thumb burning grab of your line from the now, rapidly spinning spool waiting to be engaged with a flip of a button, turn of a handle or a slide of a lever with the familiar call of “hook up”.