Business Presentation Expert Gives Free Pointers on Getting Your Message Heard

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President of understands what you are up against in business.

At the age of twenty-one, Bob Lipp was teaching public speaking at The Ohio State University. During his tenure, the Chairman of the newly formed Communication Dept. at the university asked him to join a team of PhD consultants. Bob was honored and spent his time working with research and mid-management people at Procter & Gamble helping them to be better speakers.

“The first thing I learned about verbal communication was that it didn’t matter what you said, as much as it mattered what your audience heard,” said Lipp, who went on from teaching to become a successful owner of an advertising and public relations agency. He also continues to consult on business presentations.

“People tend to talk too much, anyway,” added Lipp. “Listeners usually can’t digest half of what a person says, and very often that gets in the way of their main message. Imagine sitting down to a buffet that never ends, and then being asked how you enjoyed the main course. Too many business people think that if they keep talking, their audience will recall at least something. In fact, the audience usually walks away mystified at whether the speaker had any message at all.”

Lipp suggests that all good business presentations, whether to an audience of one or one hundred, have a basic core statement and no more than three points with supporting evidence of some kind.

“If communicating is hearing, not speaking, plan your presentation accordingly,” added Lipp. “Before you even begin writing an outline, ask yourself, ‘What is the message I want to convey?’ That’s your core statement. Every good presentation has one and no more.”

Lipp believes that many business people are not confident presenters, and opt for quantity, not quality. During our interview he indicated that speakers often convince themselves that the audience actually wants to hear what they have to say, but in most cases they can’t wait for the speaker to finish talking.

“It’s a vicious cycle. The speaker doesn’t feel he or she is getting through, so they talk more, and in the process completely turn their audience off.”

Lipp also pointed out that some speakers do, in fact, deliver a core statement whether through an anecdote, a humorous remark, or some other device, then they go on to put the audience to sleep with point after point after point.

“Three points with supporting evidence. That’s it. If it isn’t enough to ‘sell’ your core statement, move on.”

Lipp also is a big advocate of dialoging, not long-winded diatribes. His mantra, ROAD (Research, Organize, Adapt, and Dialogue) suggests that you get more positive feedback from your audience when you engage them in conversation, rather than lecture them.

We asked about the ROA parts as well, but Lipp was true to his word.

“One core statement, that’s enough for now,” he said, making the point that sometimes you make the biggest impression by saying nothing at all.

Lipp is among many presenters featured in a new book Presentations That Change Minds, the fourth book on selling and presenting by sales and marketing expert Josh Gordon.

Better Business Presentations is a division of Marcomm Group, Inc. For further information, and free links that will improve your business presentation skills, visit or call Marcomm Group at 516-829-0404.

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