Jiggling the Mouse & 4 Other Keys to Adult Learning

adult learning presentation tips


Anyone who has ever had to give a presentation, teach or lead a workshop… knows how difficult it can be to deliver your message AND have it received by the most hardened species of all, adult learners. Here are the five things you must know about adult learning:


Jiggle the mouse

Adults can only pay attention to one stimulus for about 20 minutes at a time before they start to tuning out. Just like your computer falls asleep after disuse, so do our brains and we need to jiggle the mouse to wake it up. Try switching your presentation style: move from delivering a lecture to asking questions about the content, insert a video or get the participants up and moving in an activity. Even something as simple as moving around the room as you are talking will encourage participants to follow you with their eyes, ears and bodies, unwittingly “jiggling their mouse”.

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The Business of Public Speaking: Interview with Tod Maffin

business of public speaking

I recently recorded an interview with a professional speaker I’ve admired for a while, Tod Maffin. He works in the digital marketing space with private and government organizations. We crossed paths while speaking at a real estate conference last year and just now had the chance to connect. I personally picked out a ton of extremely valuable tips and ideas from our interview and I’ll share some with you below.

You can get access to the full interview in MP3 once you join The Speaker’s Life community (sign-up form is below this post). Just scroll down to the Special Bonus section of the page once you sign up. Here is some of our discussion, edited for the blog format.

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32 Public Speaking Tips From Some Of The World’s Best Speakers and Coaches

Public Speaking Tips

I am incredibly excited to share this post with you!! It took a couple of weeks to pull all the material together and now you get a chance to pick through public speaking tips from some of world’s most sought after experts and speakers like Carmine Gallo, Garr Reynolds and Nick Morgan amongst more then 20 other contributors from a SpeakerMatch group.

When reaching out to these professionals, I asked two questions:

  1. If you were to start as a speaker all over again, what one thing would you do differently?
  2. What one tip would you have for someone just starting on their journey as a professional speaker?

The goal was to give you real world, actionable advice you could take and implement in your speaking practice immediately. Below is a selection of those answers:
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3 Minute Voice Warmup for Public Speakers

Public Speaking Voice Tips

Your primary revenue generating tool as a professional speaker, is your voice. Most of us, however, don’t really take care of our voices and that’s where we can run into trouble.

About a year ago I was giving a speech to a room of about 150. Intros went great, the opening got everyone laughing and focused. As soon as I got into the meaty part of my content – the lav microphone started crapping out. It would intermittently cut in and out. The AV folks ran over to install a fresh set of batteries – which fixed the problem. For a few minutes. Then I started sounding like a remixed version of T-Payne again.

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3 Kickass Speaking Tips I Learned From Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan Speaking Tips
photo by: Chris Brogan

Earlier this year, I MC-ed a fantastic social media conference. It was the first time I saw Chris Brogan speak in person and I was really excited to hear his thoughts about the industry and to glean some speaking insights, as he is one of the top rated and sought after speakers in the marketing space.

Here are three awesome speaking tips I picked up from listening to him:

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How I Doubled My Speaking Fees In One Day

Note: names, genders and event titles will remain anonymous – to save face and preserve everyone’s ego. Sometime mid-2009, I was invited to speak at a local trade industry conference. The pay for a 2 hour session was less then $1000. Without much hesitation, I accepted the offer because money was tight – everyone was […]

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Closing Remarks #1

This is a new feature segment that I hope you’ll find useful. In an effort to improve my own speaking and presenting stills, I’m always on the hunt for new techniques, tips, ideas and insights – so I follow quite a few different industry blogs. As soon as there are 5 good, solid articles I […]

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Start Your Next Presentation With a Bang!

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. We’ve all heard this expression before, but it wasn’t until early last year that someone put it into real perspective for me. I was having lunch with a member of the local CAPS chapter and discussing speaking and presentation tips he’d impart to someone […]

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5 Best Free Stock Photo Websites

Photo by: kitsu Aside from a good story and content structure, one of the main components of a great presentation is of course the imagery. A couple of years ago I read Presentation Zen (not an affiliate link) and have implemented many of the presentation tips and ideas from the book. One of the key concepts that made […]

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