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Episode 182 Premium: Improving Your Virtual Project Meetings - One Tweet at a Time (Premium)

This episode is reserved for subscribers of the Premium Podcast. Learn how to subscribe to the Premium Podcast to access this interview and transcript...

This episode is sponsored by The PMP Exam Simulator:
PMP Exam Simulator

Wayne TurmelIn this premium episode of The PM Podcast we you get to hear more of Wayne Turmel’s wisdom on improving your presentations.

But not just any kind of presentations... Remember that Wayne is the president of, which means, that the one thing he knows more about than most of us is... well... how to lead great web meetings and how to ensure that our virtual meetings are  without mistakes. That’s why my first question to Wayne is what he thinks are the greatest mistakes we make when giving virtual presentations.

The we will once again open up his latest book “#PRESENTATION tweet - 140 Ways to Present with Impact” and we will look in detail at a dozen or so tips on virtual presentations in more detail.

Of course, we are also doing a book giveaway and we have 2 copies of Wayne’s book. As always: 1 copy is reserved for our premium listeners and one copy is raffled off via our facebook fan page. So go to, find the post with this book giveaway and leave a comment to participate in the giveaway.

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: This is The Project Management Podcast™. We bring project management to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at‑ or send your emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to this Premium Episode #182. I am Cornelius Fichtner. This is The Project Management Podcast™, nice to have you with us.

In this premium episode of the Podcast, we get to hear more of Wayne Turmel’s wisdom on improving your presentations.

But not just any kind of presentations. Remember that Wayne is the President of, which means, that the one thing he knows more about than most of us is, well, how to lead great web meetings and how to ensure that our virtual project meetings go off without any mistakes. And that’s why my first question to Wayne is what he thinks the greatest mistakes are that we make when giving virtual presentations.

Then we will once again open up his book “#PRESENTATION tweet - 140 Ways to Present with Impact” and we will look in detail at a dozen or so tips from the book on virtual presentations in more detail.

As always, because you are a paying and premium subscriber of The Project Management Podcast™, you are automatically entered into our book giveaway here. If you want to double your chances, please go to and look for the giveaway announcement. Just leave a comment and that’s it, you’ve just doubled your chances.

And now, there’s virtually no limit to Wayne’s tips on virtual presentations. Enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Wayne Turmel, President of, The Connected Manager Blogger for and host of the Cranky Middle Manager show.

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello Wayne! Welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™.

Wayne Turmel: Thanks man, good to be here!

Cornelius Fichtner: In our first interview, we focused on those sections of your book “#Presentation Tweet...” that gives solid and general advice on presenting and we ended with the “Do not use a laser pointer.” So have you got yours with you today?

Wayne Turmel: I actually do not even own a laser pointer. Can I tell you what my guilty pleasure was all these years?

Cornelius Fichtner: What?

Wayne Turmel: The collapsible ones.

Cornelius Fichtner: Oh yeah, the one that you unfold?

Wayne Turmel: You can stretch out and put back and stretch out and put back and I would sit there and talk and I would just make people crazy by opening and closing it while I was talking. It was a lovely nervous habit.

Cornelius Fichtner: Wonderful! No, I do own a laser pointer but I’m also the proud owner of 2 cats and they are going absolutely nuts over it.

So in the second interview today, we now want to focus on Section 3. And Section 3 is about presenting in a virtual world. But before we open up your book, what do you think are the 2 to 3 greatest mistakes that people make when giving a virtual presentation?

Wayne Turmel: I think there are a couple of things and then obviously, there are a lot of sub-categories to that.

The #1 thing is that people do not know the platform and its capabilities. And here are a couple of startling numbers. I actually talked about this in another book. People who use platforms like whether it’s WebEx or Gotomeeting or whatever it is and there are 127 platforms out there. So if I say WebEx, I mean those types of presentation tools. People who use those tools generally use less than a quarter of the capabilities or the features of those platforms. And as a result, the meetings are less interactive, less engaging and less effective than perhaps they could be.

And here’s the reason for that. Most people, barely 10% of people who present with these tools actually get any training or coached practice on how to use those tools before they are placed in front of a live audience. And what that means it is it’s like learning to give a presentation while programming your TiVo. You know you’re so busy multitasking and stressing about the technology that all the higher level communication and facilitation skills go out the window. Once you’ve learned the platform, you know what it can do and you’re comfortable with it, you can focus then again on communicating. So if you’ve been through a lot of really bad webinars and web meetings in your life, it’s probably because the poor person leading that meeting has been told “Here’s a WebEx license. Try not to hurt somebody” So I think that’s #1.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah! Didn’t we talk about preparing for your presentation doesn’t just mean looking at the slides as you’re sitting in your office; it means going there and actually presenting it? That’s the same thing, right, in this case here, know the technology?

Wayne Turmel: Well and online, because there’s that added level of complexity. We know that most people don’t like to present anyway. They’re kind of nervous about it. It’s not their favorite thing. And now oh by the way, I don’t get the fun of meeting with people live. I don’t get that energy. I can’t see their faces and their reactions so I can’t respond to it and I’ve got to work this technology and last time I did one of these, it crashed and it was horrible. And then were shocked that the presenter isn’t as effective as perhaps they could be.

Without taking the time to learn and practice and become comfortable with the tools, it’s like learning to drive by taking your parents to the airport. It’s doable but it’s no fun and nobody is going to be in a hurry to do it again.

Cornelius Fichtner: Right! I interrupted you. You were going to jump in to the second item, the second greatest mistake that you know of?

Wayne Turmel: The second biggest mistake is limiting the interaction to one-way communication. Most of us think of a webinar as somebody’s got a PowerPoint or they’re going to do a demo of something and I’ll sit there for 35 minutes and put my phone on mute and answer my email while the person talks. The fact is that these can be in the right hands very engaging, powerful tools. And they are designed unless you’ve got hundreds of people on the line at the same time to be interactive and collaborative.

If I was going to teach a class and you’ve done enough training in your life, you know this. If you said to the class at the beginning: “Okay for the next 45 minutes, I don’t want you to talk to each other. I don’t want you to talk to me. I want you to look at the PowerPoint slides on the board and I’m going to turn and talk to the screen and not make eye contact with you and I want you to hold all your questions to the end.” How effective would that training session be?

Cornelius Fichtner: In percent?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete PDF transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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