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Backstage Pass for Trainers, Facilitators, and Public Speakers

Backstage Pass for Trainers, Facilitators, and Public Speakers
Your Guide to Successful Presentations

July 2005 | 136 pages | Corwin

This little book is a do-it-yourself speaking coach, mentor, and image consultant rolled into one!

Confident and effective communication is a skill every public speaker craves and every exceptional speaker continually hones. Effective presentations require preparation, savvy performance, and sound communication to win audience approval and "buy-in." Inside Backstage Pass for Presenters, Trainers, and Public Speakers you will find strategies to help you do just that, including:

  • Designing audience handouts and seating the audience
  • Maintaining group energy and timing group work
  • Working with angry and challenging audiences
  • Structuring breaks for more active audience participation
  • Quality closers that highlight session gains
  • Self-evaluation assessments that include feedback from colleagues
  • Lists of Q&A's and Do's and Don'ts

This practical yet humorous handbook demonstrates how to get your point across and win your audience-by zeroing in on the keys to successful communication, whether your goal is to bring a change in ideas, attitude, or performance from your audience.

Preface and Acknowledgments
About the Author
1. Preparation Precedes Success
Clear Communication: Exceeding Expectations

Questions and Answers

Minmizing the Chance for Misunderstanding

Tailoring Programs: One Size Does Not Fit All

Preparing Handouts

Organizing for a Relaxed Delivery

Do's and Don'ts

2. Little Things Mean a Lot
Sleep for Efficiency

Eat for Sustained Energy

Dress for Success

Pack Light and Catch the Early Train

Questions and Answers

Packing Checklist

Sharing Book Resources

Heading off Equipment Trouble

Hydration - Wet Your Whistle to Whet Your Brain

Do's and Don'ts

3. Lights, Camera, Action!
Readying the Facility


Start Before You Begin

Questions and Answers

Crutches to Stay Calm - and On Course

Room Set Up - The Good, The Bad, and The Adjustments

Seating Participants for Great Results

Distributing Handouts and Materials

Charts, Slides and Overheads

Grand Entrances

Do's and Don'ts

4. Quick- Let 'Em Love You!
Gaining Acceptance

Building Audience Rapport


Establishing Common Ground

Friendly is good, Familiar is Not

Acknowledging Knowledge and Know-How

Working Around Personal Quirks

Questions and Answers

Honoring Audience Expertise

Increasing Visibility

Changing an Audience's Point of View

Agendas and Overviews

Introductions and Openers

Positive Communication

Do's and Don'ts

5. Put Teeth into Your Technique
Purpose Drives Process

Question and Answers

Delivering the Main Course: Information, Skills and Message

Limiting Content

Reflections and Connections

Motivating an Audience

Generating New Thinking

Understanding: Taking the Road Less-Traveled

Non-Verbal Communication

Small Groups to Enliven Learning

Timing Group Work

Maintaining Involvement

Regaining Attention

Ensuring Active Participation

Tight Parameters to Ensure Success

Do's and Don'ts

6. Enthrall 'Em All
Job I: Make Time Disappear

Infusing Excitement into Sessions

Variety as a Vehicle

Monitoring an Audience

The 1-2-3 Rule

Questions and Answers

Introductions Set the Tone

Change of State

Movement, More than a Sign of Life: The Glue for Learning



Putting Lecture In Its Place

Covering Volumes of Content: Alternatives Methods

Accountability in Group Work

Group Size

Visuals to Enhance Meaning

Directing Attention

Applying Content

Handling Questions

Do's and Don'ts

7. Rave Reviews: Making Sure You Still Have an Audience Left After Break





Questions and Answers

When You Don't Have the Answer

Building Fun Into Learning

Creating Physical and Emotional Comfort

Prizes and Rewards

Meaningful Mixers

Time and Organization

Handling Difficult Audiences


Setting Yourself Apart

Do's and Don'ts

8. That's a Wrap!
The LASTing Impression

Questions and Answers

The 3 Features of a Quality Closer
Audience Awareness of Session Gains
Review, Rehearsal, Application
Positive Endings

Do's and Don'ts

9. Make it a Great Plant, Then Keep Weeding, Watering and Talking to It Sweet
Consistency - An Allusive Target

Inviting Improvement

Informal Feedback

Formal Feedback

Collegial Feedback

Do's and Don'ts



“A wonderful contribution to the presentation field. As a presenter for 15 years, I have purchased, read, or perused many books on presentations. This is the most useful and captivating book I have read thus far. . . .  I love the dollops of research integrated into the manuscript. Since brain research is my area, I am happy that others will see how it relates. The author makes important connections between preparation, presentation, and prudence. This Backstage Pass can make the difference between an acceptable presentation and an outstanding one!”

Marilee Sprenger
Professional Development Consultant, Presenter, and Author

“The warm, friendly, conversational tone makes it feel like the author is right there with you, cheering you on as you put her tried and true suggestions to work. . . . Her suggestions resonate with my own professional experience. I found myself laughing, agreeing, and shouting ‘yes!’ (even though there was no one in the room to hear me). . . .I plan to re-read this book periodically to remind myself of this powerful advice and apply it to my own presentations.”

Lynell Burmark
Thornburg Center Associate, Presenter, and Author
Key features


  • Practical tips and strategies for effective presentations and workshops
  • Friendly, humorous, and easy to read in one sitting or on the plane or train, this little book is a do-it-yourself speaking coach, mentor, and image consultant for the busy educator and trainer
  • Focuses not only on communicating information, but also on winning audience approval and buy-in

Purchasing options

For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

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ISBN: 9781412915014
CAD$ 36.95

For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

For instructors