The Hulk Needs Confidence Building

Dear Diary: Speaking in public is challenging for most people, but the thought of some characters presenting in public is almost mind-boggling.  This was my thought during a recent coaching session with The Incredible Hulk.  Yes, the big green guy stomped into my office (note to self – get the door fixed) and asked for my expertise in writing a speech.  It seems he has been asked to address the upcoming Avengers Reunion, and he just didn’t feel like he could say “No.”

Problem: Mr. I. Hulk is not especially articulate.  To give you an example, his plea for help consisted of, “Avengers meet. Me talk.  Hulk want to smash, not talk. Help! …Now!” So we got to work.  It was a little difficult getting all the information I needed from him. A few sessions and temper tantrums later (note to self – replace desk, hammer dents out of file cabinet) we had a theme for the speech, and an outline we both felt good about.  But giving the actual speech was still before us, and Incredible was nervous. He needed some confidence building.

Solution: I wrote a pretty good speech for Mr. Hulk, but our practice sessions were not going well.  Mr. I. Hulk kept losing track of what he was saying, rambled, and dealt with this in his usual way. (Note to self – call landlord about wall.) We decided to use Podium Pro, the public speaking app on his iPad, to help him deliver his speech.  The color timer bar would help keep Incredible on topic and on track during his talk, and if he gestures a little too forcefully he won’t lose his notes.  Better yet, I can use Podium Pro to scribble in some additional pointers directly onto his presentation. Once we finished up, Hulk uploaded his perfected, notated speech to Dropbox and now he can retrieve it at any given time.

Thank you, PodiumPro! Another happy customer! The Incredible Hulk spoke well, and I got a few referrals, although some are a little odd.  I am confident that Podium Pro iPad App for Public Speaking Domination will save the day again, just like any good superhero would.

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Top 5 Ways Teachers and Speakers are Using Twitter

The social media application, Twitter, has taken the Internet by storm, enabling users to “tweet” their thoughts and activities at any given time. But did you know that this enormously popular site is also credited with helping teachers communicate with their students as well as enhancing audience participation for public speakers?
Educators can use Twitter as a classroom tool in several ways.

  • They can post review questions as well as supplemental websites on material that was presented in class that day.
  • Twitter can be used as a mechanism for students to ask questions that they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to during class.
  • Teachers can post and discuss current event items and involve their students in the Twitter exchange.
  • Help students who were absent to catch up on the latest material.
  • In the college setting, Twitter is helping to increase participation amongst students in large lecture halls. Thanks to budget cuts, it is not uncommon for students to be sitting amongst 200-plus classmates in the same room. To make sure every student has the opportunity to be heard, professors are utilizing Twitter to solicit questions and comments from students during their lectures.

In addition to the classroom, Twitter is also gaining popularity as a helpful application for public speakers.

  • Many audiences wishing to participate in a speaker’s presentation now have a way of doing so by using Twitter to make comments and ask questions.
  • Audiences who may be receiving the presentation offsite also have the opportunity to engage in the exchange by tweeting in their information.
  • Promoting a presentation before it happens. For example, information on what the presentation will be about is broadcasted which may attract a wider audience.
  • Research comments on the subject material so that the presentation can address those opinons.
  • The speaker can have a follow up Twitter exchange with audience members long after the presentation to keep up on the latest issues.

If you are a public speaker, the new Podium Pro App can assist you with your speech presentation with outline and document importing from your computer as well as highlighting and editing of your notes at the last minute before you deliver your speech. Other exciting new features will be made available in the near future. Contact us for more information on how Podium Pro can make you stand out as a presenter.

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App Details and SCREENSHOT Released!

Podium Pro has released the first screenshots of their iPad App for public speakers. Check it out here and let us know what you think. App Details |

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iPads In School Increase Test Scores

Reposted with permission from

Using an iPad in school

Students are quick to figure out the steps to making a movie with their iPads. Pacific Elementary School, Manhattan Beach. Photo by Brad Graverson 2-15-12

The iPad is making significant inroads in schools. Just over a month ago when Apple announced iBooks Author software and the iBooks textbook distribution method, Apple’s Phil Schiller said that 1.5 million iPads were in use in education settings, leveraging more than 20,000 education applications. While that’s a small number compared to the total number of students in the US, there are a number of recent announcements that will add to those numbers.

The state of Texas likes to do things big. In an announcement today, McAllen Independent School District in the southern part of the state began distributing 6,800 devices this week — mostly the iPad tablet computers, but also hundreds of iPod Touch devices for its youngest students.

The school district is planning to provide every one of its more than 25,000 students in grades K-12 an iPad or iPod Touch over the next year. The district believes it’s the largest to try for complete coverage and while Apple would not confirm that, other districts the company noted as having made large investments have not made ones as big as McAllen’s.

The district hopes to transform teaching and learning, change the classroom culture (making it more interactive and creative) and close the digital divide. The district has a significant number of lower income students.

Zeeland Public Schools in Michigan gave 1,800 iPads to all of its high school students last fall and hopes to eventually cover every student in grades 3-12. Chicago Public Schools bought about 10,000 iPads and some individual schools in the district have bought more using discretionary funds, but it’s far from districtwide.

Texas District Embarks on Widespread iPad Program

A number of schools in the south bay Los Angeles area are experimenting with iPads.

“There is not a ton of debate about whether this is a direction the schools are heading,” said Annette Alpern, assistant superintendent of instructional services at the Redondo Beach Unified School District. “The question is more: How quickly will the future arrive?”

Leading the charge is Manhattan Beach Unified, which purchased 560 devices for a pilot project this fall. That’s one machine for every dozen kids in the K-12 school district – although many more students get a little face time with the iPads, as the devices are rotated from class to class, usually on a cart with wheels.

While 97 percent of the participating teachers in Manhattan Beach reported in November that the iPad makes class more engaging, that proportion had dropped to 86 percent by the end of January. The proportion of students who said so also dropped, though less steeply, from 81 to 77 percent.

This kind of drop in interest and excitement makes sense to me. Anyone who has experienced a new gadget will experience a similar type of drop in enthusiasm. That puts a tremendous onus on teachers to change the way they think about teaching and learning. I hope this kind of feedback spurs innovation and creativity in teachers to try new things.

South Bay schools on an iPad mission

A new research study shows that Kindergartner students using iPads scored better on literacy tests than students that didn’t use the device.

“The objective has to be learning, not just getting the technology out there,” said Muir. “We are paying attention to app selection and focused on continuous improvement — we aren’t just handing equipment to teachers.”

The study, conducted in Auburn, Maine, randomly assigned half of the districts 16 kindergarten classes to use iPads for nine weeks. In all, 129 students used an iPad, while 137 students were taught without an iPad. Each of the 266 students were tested before and after the iPads were introduced into the classroom.

“Too many innovative programs don’t prioritize their own research, and even if they collect observations and stories later, they don’t make the effort to do a randomized control trial, like we did,” said Muir. “We wanted to make sure we could objectively examine the contribution of the iPads.”

According to the literacy test results, classes using the iPads outperformed the non-iPad students in every literacy measure they were test on.

 ”We are seeing high levels of student motivation, engagement and learning in the iPad classrooms,” said Sue Dorris, principal at East Auburn Community School. “The apps, which teach and reinforce fundamental literacy concepts and skills, are engaging, interactive and provide children with immediate feedback. What’s more, teachers can customize apps to match the instructional needs of each child, so students are able to learn successfully at their own level and pace.”

iPad improves Kindergartners literacy scores

Fourth graders in teacher Kristie Mahin’s class at El Camino Creek Elementary School use their school issued iPads. — Charlie Neuman

As mentioned earlier, Apple announced their iBooks Author software just over a month ago. There is evidence that schools are considering going digital for their textbooks.

School Districts in Southern California are purchasing iPads for their classrooms. The biggest roll out by far will be done by the San Diego Unified School District, which announced late Monday it will be purchasing close to 20,000 iPads for its fifth- and eighth- grade classes and select high school subjects this spring.

The shift to digital text books will however take time. Many school districts will slowly phase in digital textbooks while some will go all in. The US Department of Education would like to see the shift made within five years for all students.

Encinitas Union Superintendent Tim Baird said he’d like to see publishers break digital books into individual units so teacher can purchase a unit on photosynthesis, for example, but not have to buy the entire book.

“I think digital textbooks are an intermediate stopgap between where we are now with paper textbooks (and the future) but I think in this day and age, you don’t need something that starts on page one and goes to page 327. You don’t need a textbook model,” Baird said. “Ultimately, my hope is that the child will never have to take home a textbook again or it will be the iPad. … That ultimately we are textbookless and paperless.”

One of the hurdles districts will have to overcome is how to pay for these digital books. The State Department of Education in California is broke. So individual districts will have to use local funds to purchase what they want. That may slow down the adoption rate for some districts – while other, wealthier districts, may find the cash they need more readily.

Schools get in touch with digital books

My opinion is that this shift will happen. What’s your opinion about the shift to digital textbooks and the proliferation of the iPad in schools?

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When Public Speaking, Authenticity First

Here’s a great blog post about the very nature of authenticity while doing public speaking. The writer starts off talking about a great public speaker, but then realizes that she can never be the great speaker that he is, because she’s a different person and can never do what that person does.

She writes:

While it is tempting to try to replicate another’s techniques, what I’ve discovered after years of presenting all types of information to all kinds of audiences in every format possible is that it’s not about being funny or quick, it’s about being authentic.

She’s exactly right about that, but sometimes the problem is that it’s hard to be yourself right from the start. It’s important to be authentic, but standing in front of a crowd can make you forget your own name, let alone all the words that you are trying to say.

Lets say we were going to try to emulate the complete style of another speaker, like Christopher Walken for instance. He has such a unique style of speaking when he is in front of the camera that it would take quite a bit of training to really nail his body language, long pauses and tone of voice. Even if we did nail it, the result would most certainly be humorous. As most of us have probably seen, the better a person/actor can imitate Christopher Walken, the funnier it is. This is great if we are training to be comics, but doesn’t help us reach our end goal of identifying who we are as speakers and bringing that out of us.

Authenticity trumps just about everything when talking to people. So much so that a crowd is very forgiving of imperfections when they see sincerity, truth and genuineness in your delivery.

Authenticity first. Fine tune the details second.

Sean Evangelista is CEO at Podium Pro, the iPad App for public speaking domination. Coming soon to The App Store. He lives in Virginia Beach with his family and 2 dogs.

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Be Kind to Those You Meet. @MadProgrammer Tells us WHY!

Public Speakers, Teachers and fellow PRO talkers take heed. In the hours before or after we make a presentation, we are very likely to run into someone that will impact our goals. Being cool to people never backfires. Be prudent, be above all..just be cool! Check out this great blog post link below!

Be Kind to Those You Meet.

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Fantastic Speech! When You Want to be Successful as Bad as You Want to Breath…

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Early Adopters Wanted to Beta Test iPad App

Early Adopters Wanted! Beta test Podium Pro, the iPad App for public speakers. We’re looking for a few people to test drive version 1 of the new App in May, give us feedback and input on like and dislikes etc. Get on the list here: We sincerely appreciate your time and help.


Sean Evangelista

757-581-6936 cell

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Public Speaking Advice For Entrepreneurs

Whether you’re explaining your product to potential customers, making an appeal to financiers, or addressing an audience of your peers, public speaking is a vital skill for any entrepreneur. An iPad with a good public speaking app can help you deliver a quality presentation with confidence.

This entertaining and informative article from Entrepreneur offers some more great advice to make those business presentations go more smoothly, with less anxiety and better results.

The article starts off with two important things to keep in mind. First, you’re not as bad a speaker as you think. Most people tend to underrate their own performance. Secondly, a little anxiety is good. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t feel nervous. The key, the author says, is to care about the right thing, which in this case is your audience:

The last thing the audience wants to do is sit there for half an hour and watch someone fidget and have difficulty speaking. They want to listen to someone who is in control. Because someone in control is someone who can help–someone who can help them, specifically.

Audiences are selfish. Which is the key to everything.

So, focus your energies and your concern on that audience. What can you offer them? How can you help them? Begin by looking at them–make eye contact and see them as real human beings. It may seem scary at first, but if you really engage and concentrate on the audience, it will take the spotlight off you. And focusing on yourself is the reason you feel so nervous to begin with.

Try to think of your presentation as a conversation rather than a speech. Even though you’re the only one talking, addressing your audience directly the way you would in a personal conversation makes everyone in the room much more comfortable.

Once you’re focused on the audience, tell them what you have to offer them. Tell them why you are there. Tell them what you are going to talk about. Establish your authority. Take charge of the presentation. Your speech should tell a compelling story. Even if the subject is not inherently interesting, it’s your job to make it interesting. Figure out how this topic relates to your audience and solves a problem for them. “Give the audience something to take away. Ideas, tips, rules–something useful,” says Dr. Karl Albrecht, an executive managementconsultant and author of the book Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success.

Finally, although you want to convey your enthusiasm for your topic and demonstrate that you are happy to be there, try to keep your energy level in check. Don’t talk too loudly or too quickly, or move around too much. There’s no need to put pressure on your audience or push too hard with your message. Remember, whatever you’re selling is really secondary. Keep in mind that “key to everything”–your audience is selfish. So provide them with valuable information they can use, and your presentation will be a success.

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Public Speaking App = Hungry Lion Repellant

Why do three out of every four people experience some anxiety when giving speeches? Are we all that afraid of hecklers? Or is there some primitive brain response when we’re the focus of a group’s attention? Do our primitive brains react as if we’re a lagging antelope noticed by a pride of hungry lions, making our hearts pound and pumping adrenaline through our blood so we can run for our lives?

As a shy junior high student I was determined to overcome my fears, and signed up for public speaking. I spent the evening before each weekly speech in tears, agonizing about the next day’s ordeal, while my mother, who was growing more and more exasperated, advised me to “just quit the class.” I didn’t quit. I sobbed over my collection of 3X5 index cards covered with my notes, and the next morning stood before the hungry lions blushing and stumbling through my speech instead of running for my life.

Did I become a better public speaker? Who knows, maybe a little better, when I didn’t drop or mix up the 3X5 index cards. A public speaking app would have made life so much easier by keeping track of what I had to say and when I had to get it said. An app that could keep the content in order and keep me on topic to avoid rambling and jumbling my presentation would have helped enormously too.

Let’s face it, public speaking is just hard for some people, but sometimes you just have to do the hard stuff. If you have to speak in public, either because you want to do battle with your fears or because your job or family or friends need you to give a speech or presentation, then I say take advantage of anything that will help you succeed and make the experience a little easier. Ditch the traditional 3X5 index cards, sticky notes, and printed PowerPoint slides and grab the latest technology. It’s the latest in hungry lion repellant.

Sean Evangelista is the CEO of Magoozle LLC, a software development company in Virginia Beach, VA. Their current project is Podium Pro, the public speaking iPad App, coming soon to The App Store!

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