Whatever you think about Lady Gaga, you have to admit she does one thing extremely well: she commands attention.

Image: Lori Tingey via Flickr, CC 2.0

That’s pretty important when you’re on stage, even if you’re not a professional performer.

And whether we realize it or not, we’re almost always on some “stage” or other; with business partners, clients, even on Twitter.

Commanding attention becomes even more important when you’re making a presentation. And preparing for, and then presenting at, Ignite DC No. 5 pretty much ruled my life the last couple of weeks.

I’ll write more about that later, but for now, here are seven extremely useful posts on presenting well:

1. 8 speech writing lessons you can learn from songwriters, from Six Minutes.

Why: if you want your audience to “virtually tap their feet,” as the post says, you need to read this.

2. How to give a great Ignite talk, from Speaker Confessions.

Why: Thanks to Shaun Dakin for pointing me to this. Even if you’re not prepping for an Ignite-like format, these are excellent lessons on presentation in general.

3. The power of online video (and presentation) to change the world, from Presentation Zen.

Why: find out what “crowd accelerated innovation” is and how your presentation might play a part in that.

4. The Zen of presentations, part 36: Prezi, from NeuroDojo.

Why: Most of the presentations I attend still use PowerPoint (which I do too, quite often). Prezi, which I came across a while back, is a compelling alternative to PPT, though I don’t think the latter is going anywhere any time soon.

5. Presentation lessons you didn’t learn in B-school, from BusinessWeek.

Why: It reinforces some of the most important things to keep in mind for successful presentations.

6. How to give a killer sales presentation, from BNET.

Why: One of the reasons we take on speaking engagements, often unpaid, is to populate a business development pipeline. This could help you turn your presentations into sales and new business.

7. 3 ideas for a persuasive voice, from Live Your Talk.

Why: Jill Foster was my coach for Ignite, and I’m serious when I say I would have sucked without her. You should read this to start finding your own persuasive voice… and you should hire her if you need a speech writing or presentation coach.

What great posts on presentation have you come across?

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke