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What You Can Learn from Nixon about PowerPoint
Categories: Business

This provocative title comes courtesy of a TechRepublic blog post on the importance of presentation skills beyond vocal delivery. Excerpts below. See the full blog post at

I want to know what’s the worst presentation story you have?

“In a recent post, blogger Thomas Wailgum offered five ways to ruin a PowerPoint presentation. One in particular resonated with me: “Ignore your body language and vocal delivery.”

It brought to mind the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy presidential debate. Although I didn’t see it live, I learned about it in college as an example of how your image can negate your message. Here’s the clip from YouTube: JFK vs. Nixon, 1960 debate.

After the debate, radio listeners deemed Nixon the victor. They didn’t see him darting his eyes, shifting his weight from one leg to the other, or dabbing the sweat from his mug with a neatly folded hanky. But for those who watched on TV, they named the charismatic Kennedy the winner.

Too many people, C-levels included, fail to realize how vital presentation skills are. If you sweat, stumble and lack confidence, your message will be lost.”

Posted by Kathy Sandler on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 12:01 AM

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