Communication and Presentation Skills – You Can’t Fake It

Jun 12 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

To make an impact in communication you need more than the information. Any communication intended to influence, especially a presentation, is much more effective if it engages the emotions as well as the intellect. So, which emotion are you aiming at?

And how exactly do you stimulate it in your audience?

Part of the answer is to be in the right state, i.e. to be actually experiencing that emotion yourself as you speak (or write). People will know if you’re not and will think to themselves, “Why would I go there if you don’t?”

And it has to be real. It’s virtually impossible to give a convincing performance of an emotional state without actually feeling it at the time.

So what’s involved in doing this effectively?

I worked with a lady whose job was looking after animals. Not in a zoo exactly but the animals were exotic rather than domestic. And she’d collected a wonderful set of 35mm slides from her travels and was starting to get requests to give illustrated talks at meetings of various local groups.

Her problem was that she had no confidence in her ability to do this.

Now, anyone who believes that they can’t do public speaking, but still has to do it, will probably develop strategies for minimizing their discomfort. Things like:

* standing facing the screen

* reading from notes

* speaking quickly to avoid being boring

* using “correct” language so as to sound clever

* using lots of slides

* apologizing.

These are all very effective ways of avoiding any kind of emotional engagement. You have to keep the emotion you’re feeling – fear – hidden at all costs so you try to act in a matter-of-fact way that soon has everyone snoozing.

If you feel like this, you’ll probably put more effort into preparation. This usually means preparing your material: researching the content information and putting it into a PowerPoint presentation. You’ll probably end up with far too many words on your slides and little option in presentation other than to virtually read it out word for word.

What you need to do as well (or instead) is to prepare yourself:

* getting clear about the emotion you want the audience to experience

* learning to get into that state yourself, and

* practicing your delivery.

You might think that’s fine for a fund-raising meeting or a political speech, but what about an ordinary workplace meeting or something really technical? That shouldn’t be “emotional”, should it?

Well, actually it’ll be much better if it is emotional – at least in appropriate places. If you’re trying to persuade them to take a particular path, then you want to leave the audience feeling completely confident in you and enthusiastic for getting started. These are emotional states.

If all you’re doing is conveying information, I suggest you’d do it more effectively in a written report. So, getting back to my animal lady, what did we do?

The essence of it was to bring out her very strong feelings about looking after animals. These feelings were based on her belief that “animals are important”. So we developed a script for her opening. It was simply, “I want to talk to you about animals, because animals are important”.

To begin with, she was too embarrassed to perform this in front of me so we had to work up to it, using the NLP technique of anchoring a positive state. In this case, the positive state came out of the feeling of concern and enthusiasm that she experienced when talking about animals in other situations.

When she’d managed to stand up and say the words a few times we could start to crank up the passion.

The simple statement “animals are important” is pretty bland. Easy to accept and to pass by, especially right at the start when people haven’t really tuned in yet. But say it like this:

[at a slow, deliberate pace]

“I want to talk to you about animals”

[pause for a slow count of 5 whilst engaging in as much eye-contact as possible]

“Because animals are important”

[emphasizing "important" and pausing for another 5]

“So let me explain what I mean … etc. “

[this in a much lighter tone and brisker pace]

This seems really hard to do the first time you try it. Five seconds feels like an eternity and every part of you is desperate to fill the silence. Then, miraculously at about the 3 or 4 point in your count, your embarrassment evaporates and you sense the tension building in the audience. They are a little bit nervous now. “What’s happening? Has she forgotten her script? What’s going to happen next? How long is this going to last?” You’ll be able to hear a pin drop.

You are in total control!

When you release the tension after the second pause, the relief will be palpable, and probably audible as well! Now they’re listening because they’ve felt your passion. They know you mean business.

So off went my client with everything she needed to know to develop and deliver some fantastic talks. Give it a try yourself. It feels great!

Copyright © 2008 empatec ltd

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Living in the Present Whilst Planning For Your Future

Jun 11 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There is a song by Janet Jackson, featuring
Q-Tip and Joni Mitchell, titled “Got ’till it’s gone.” The chorus says:
“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got ’till it’s gone?”

It’s a song about a lady that is lamenting that she did not appreciate her man till he left. But as I listened to it I got to thinking how the message is so applicable to many of the everyday issues we encounter in life.

Life in the 21st century has taken on a hectic pace and it almost seems that things are accelerating such that the days are shorter but there is more to do. Everything seems to be on fast forward, including our lives and thinking.

There is little time for living in the moment, little time to stop and “smell the air.” There is little time to appreciate what you have and where you are in life. Until…it’s gone.

I mean, when you are young you are in a hurry to grow up and become an adult. When you are in secondary school you can’t wait to finish and get to college or university. You will be happy when you are there because you will have your freedom and do all the things you really want to do but cannot right now.

When you are at university or college you can’t wait to finish and get your first job. After all, when you have more money and a qualification you will definitely be happier and more content. You can live the life you want without worrying about money. When you finally get that first job you can’t wait to get a promotion or get a better job. Surely a little more money would be the answer to a happier and more fulfilled life?

Somewhere along the way you may get married, after all you’re so sick of being single. Then you are in a hurry to have children. When the children come you just can’t wait for them to grow up. As they grow up you can’t wait for them to be old enough to live on their own. Then you can have the whole house to yourself and hopefully more time to do the things you really want to do… and be happier.

Meanwhile your time is running out. But you keep thinking that life will get better when this or that happens. It’s like you are forever chasing the end of the rainbow and trying to find that elusive pot of gold.

Then one day, looking back, you realise something amazing, but also very saddening. You realise that your secondary school days were some of the best days you could have ever had – no responsibilities to speak of and all your needs met. All you had to do was study and do well at school. You should have enjoyed it more.

University or college was also a blast. Or at least it should have been. It was such an experience in growing up, meeting new people and trying new things. You had some real freedom back then. But you did not really enjoy it because you did not know it. You were too busy looking forward to finishing your studies and getting a job. You realise you did not utilise your opportunities very well back then. You could have enjoyed yourself more, made a few more friends and tried a few more challenging things. You should have cherished your single days more.

The kids, oh they were such a joy to have around the home. They brought such life and warmth to the place even though they could be a pain at times. Now it’s so quiet and empty. You wish they could come around more often. But they are also too busy chasing that pot of gold. They don’t realise you won’t be around forever. They will – when you are no longer there. Then they’ll think how they should have made more of the time they had with you.

“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ’till it’s gone?” That is how life goes for a lot of us. But that has to stop. You have to stop that clock that is spiralling out of control. Take a step back from your life and think.

Think how good it is to be alive today, here and now. Think of all the things you have in your life that you need to be grateful for and appreciate more. Yes you have challenges, but so does everyone else. Even Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, has his challenges. They are just dressed up differently. Money will not make you stress free or happier.

Stop trying to change everything. If you wait for everything to be perfect before you can be happy you are in for a lot of disappointment. Acknowledge the flaws in your job, but celebrate and enjoy the good things about it. Acknowledge the flaws in your husband or wife, but appreciate and be happy about the good things about them. They will never be perfect. If you wait for them to be perfect before you can be happy you are in for a sad life.

In Ecclesiastes, which is probably one of the most discouraging books in the bible at first glance, the opening statement in reference to life is “all is vanity.” But several times the Preacher who wrote it says “Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?” That is wisdom indeed and the preacher says further that “every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.”

You cannot know what shall come in the future. Yes you will make your plans and be diligent, but not everything is in your control. You can only do so much. Therefore, enjoy what you have today, even as you plan for the future. The present is the only time that you have under your control. The past is gone. Cherish its memories and learn from its mistakes. The future is uncertain and you will never see it. You will only see now.

The most happiness you will ever have is yours today. You just have to decide to make it so. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“…man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.”

Live in the present. Don’t wait ’til it’s gone before you appreciate what you have.

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Presentations – Stand Out Tip – Show Enthusiasm

Jun 10 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Most speakers and presenters are taught the value of projecting energy when they speak. It’s crucial for standing out in front of an audience. But this quality is one of those “stand out” strategies that can serve you well in all of your interpersonal communication.

I read something years ago by cultural anthropologist Dr. Angeles Arrien that really resonated with me. Her research on ancient indigenous people revealed that the “power of presence” was one of the three powers that these ancient tribes looked for in their shamans, or leaders (the other two were the power of communication and the power of their convictions). These ancients believed that you exhibit presence by “choosing to be present and visible, showing up energetically.” Note the word “energetically.” Energy, or enthusiasm, is a powerful stand out attribute. It’s been around for thousands of years!

It’s important because if you can’t get excited about your product, your service, or yourself — then I certainly can’t. We generally don’t look to shy, reserved, wallflower types for leadership and guidance. Leaders have dynamism — a dynamic presence. By conveying a conviction and passion for what they do, their presence is powerful, motivating, inspiring, and adds value.

Occasionally, I hear some pushback from clients that they’re just not naturally demonstrative people – they feel as if this enthusiasm concept is something that would be artificial for them and make them come across as fake. But I believe anyone, no matter how reserved or quiet they might be, can express enthusiasm if they just follow the clues in the last four letters of the word: “iasm.” Think like this: “I Am Sold Myself.” If you believe in something, if you are committed to the rightness or the justice of it, if you are convinced it will solve the problem or is the best answer, then you should be able to show that. Whether it’s the strength of your voice, the purposefulness of your gestures, the intensity of your eye communication, or the expression on your face, you can project a form of enthusiasm that works for your style.

The thing is that if you don’t project that, if you’re lackluster and noncommittal, shrug off responses, mumble replies, look bored — then I think it’s safe to assume that others will have a hard time believing that you believe in what you’re talking about.

You’ve probably heard the old adage that enthusiasm is contagious. I don’t think that means that if I’m all bubbly and excited about something, it’ll make you all bubbly and excited. But what I think it implies is that we do tend to respond more positively to enthusiasm. If I present an idea in a dreary, uninspiring way, you’re not nearly as likely to get excited about it as you might if I showed my conviction and passion about it. Enthusiasm sells.

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What To Look For When Ordering Presentation Folder Printing

Jun 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Presentation folder printing can be a tedious project if you don’t choose the right online printer to assist you. It’s better to conceive ideas for your custom presentation folder printing than it is to undertake its creation. Why? Because once you’ve selected the perfect company to carry out your marketing deeds, you can sit back and relax knowing that your custom prints will be taken care of from the moment you say go. It’s not only worth the money; it’s effective as a marketing supplement in the short-term and long-term.

Your printer should have just under a billion ways to create your order with your personalized flare. First, figure out what you want out of this type of printing. Are you looking to stay with a minimalist approach, opting for basic designs and layout or do you want something with a little more punch like elastic interior bands, diagonal pockets, business card slits and more? These presentation folder printing options will be available to you at the online ordering page and can help people distinguish your company’s materials from another competitor’s.

Does their web site have an instant pricing calculator? Nothing irks a business owner more than when there are hidden fees later on in the process. These can eliminate any frustrations ahead of time, giving you full knowledge of things like your price per unit, coating options, paper type selections and of course, quantity. When your professional life is on the line, use these folders to help support who you are and why their contents are so important to your audience.

Another thing to make sure of is the fact that they are an accredited business with seals of approval from multiple authorization and authentication agencies. These can include anything from rainforest initiatives (for eco-friendly printers) to better business bureaus and even secure payment sites like Authorize.net. It’s also wise to go with a presentation folder printing company that features plenty of testimonials in regards to its products. These can be huge factors in influencing your decision.

How about a free sample? Most printers send out kits full of their best printing free of charge in order for people to make a more educated decision. Why not test the water first before you buy? It’s a good idea, especially when you’re on the fence between a few different companies. There’s a fine line between a good printer and a great printer so be on the lookout for these tell-tale signs.

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Improving Presentation Skills – Getting to Know Your Audience, Prospects, and Clients

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

At a recent Roundtable of Chief Information Officers, a brave young man came to the audience microphone and asked the panel, “How do you like to work with vendors?” The audience and the panel chuckled at the question – though the many vendors in the audience (myself included) leaned forward, eager to hear the reply.

“The internet works both ways,” said one of the panelists. “Do your homework.”

With the free flow of information on the Internet, there are more and more ways to find out about your clients, your prospects or any audience you want to address. Social media has added yet another twist to the equation. But we mustn’t forget the “old school” ways of finding out about our audiences either. Here are eleven ways you can find out more about any audience, prospect or client.

Old School Approaches

The Organization Web Site

There’s nothing quite like seeing what an organization has to say about itself. A hit to the “Press Releases” tab and BAM there is the information that the organization wanted to be sure to get out there to the general public. The “About Us” page often will include the history of the organization, bios of key members of the organization, organization goals and vision, guiding principles, and more. Everyone assumes that you have read their web site, so read it! You may walk away knowing more about the organization than half its members!

Networking Events

Go to the places where your audience, prospects, and clients hang out. Attend chamber events, professional associations meetings, open networking events, and anywhere else the people you’re trying to reach are likely to hang out. Listen to the topics presented. Find out what they care about. Look for the “n & n” clues – places where they nod and take notes as they listen. Find out what messages resonate with them.

Ask Them

I know… it seems too obvious, right? Find out about people by asking them about themselves? Yes!

People LOVE to talk about themselves. Start a conversation, and then be a very good listener. Ask them about their opinions, their experience, their struggles. It’s flattering to be asked to talk about yourself. You’ll be amazed at what your audience, your prospects and your clients will tell you if you just ask them!

Listen to Them

I was on the phone with a prospect the other day, talking to him about a meeting he was planning where I hoped I might be a speaker. The man planning the meeting is a top seller for his company and planning a celebration of top performers with the goal of incentivizing other sales people who weren’t making their goals to want to be part of this celebration in coming quarters. As I’m listening, I’m thinking my speaking topic, presentation skills, it’s a fit for his event. I’m still listening to what he is planning for his event. Then it hits me. This guy isn’t the manager of the group – he’s a top performer – so why does he care if the others sales people don’t do as well. Is he just altruistic? What? So I asked what was motivating him to organize the event. Turns out, his bonus is tied to overall company performance. So if his fellow sales people have to make goals for him to get his bonus. By listening to him, I understood that I wasn’t a good fit to do a speech for his meeting, but a couple of questions later, I found an avenue into the organization that was a great fit for my topic and that would really help the organization.

Listen to what the prospect is saying. Ask for clarifications. Work to understand what’s important to them and if you’re the person who can help.

Google

This is probably obvious. You probably already Googled the organization to find their web site. A Google search will also reveal articles from other sources about the organization and potentially Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups, Twitter accounts, and YouTube video that we’ll cover in the Social Media section below. Look for happy customers. Unhappy customer. You never know what may show up. But you’re sure to get additional information that can help you get to know your audience, prospects and clients better.

The Person Who Owns the Meeting

If you’re speaking to an organization – as in a formal presentation for a professional association or a sales demonstration for a prospect – talk to the person who invited you. Find out from the meeting planner why they decided to bring you in and what they believe the audience, prospect, or client is interested in what you have to say. Ask that person what they hope the audience will feel, see, or do differently as a result of the meeting. This will help you get to know the motivations of the person planning the meeting and what they think is important for the group.

Additionally, ask the person planning the meeting about the group. Find out demographic information such as gender, age, roles, etc. of the people who will be attending the meeting. Find out what do they have in common? How are they different? Knowing about the background of the people you’ll be speaking to will help you to know how to approach the material, what examples or analogies will work best with the audience, etc.

Ask for Names and Contact Information of Some Meeting Attendees

While the person planning the meeting will give you valuable information about the group, ask if you can also speak to some of the members of the group as well. Get their input as to what’s important and what they want to get out of the meeting. This will also give you a chance to validate assumptions.

I was once on a board of an association who was approached by a vendor to partner with them on a business idea they thought would be beneficial to both the association members and the vendor. The vendor made an assumption about the association being in competition with another association for members. But the two associations weren’t in competition for members. In fact, several of the board members were members of both organizations. The vendor had done some research on the Internet and had drawn her own conclusions. A few quick conversations with members of the group could have corrected her false assumption and helped her credibility.

If it’s possible, try to talk to members of the organization before doing your presentation or sales demo. It could save your credibility too.

Other “Old School” Ways

What else and I missing? Email them to me at [email protected] and I’ll add the item and your name to the list!

Social Media Approaches

Twitter

It was from blogger, author and tweeter Chris Brogan that I first heard the idea that Twitter is a great place to listen. He’s right. If they are on Twitter, then Twitter is a great place to learn about your prospects, clients, and audiences. You can see what they are saying. You can see what they think is important, or funny, or interesting by what tweet and what they retweet. You can see who interests them by taking a look at who they following. You can see who else is interested in them by reviewing their followers. (Is your competition following them already?!) And considered how flattered they will be if retweet a message they sent!
For public events such as association meeting or chamber events, where the meeting planners want as many attendees as possible, then Twitter can be a good tool to publicize an event where you are speaking. The organization you are speaking to will appreciate the publicity. And may even be willing to coordinate with your if they have a Twitter account to ask there followings to answer a question that you can use to find out more about them or get some feedback on the subject of your speech.

If there are conferences or meetings that your clients, prospects or audience attend, see if there’s a hashtag associated with the event. If there is, try searching for the hashtag to see what is making news at the conference or what other conference attendees are concentrated on. (Try http://search.twitter.com to search for recent post. Or use http://tweetchat.com watch posts related to a conference while the conference is still going on. These two sites are time sensitive so also try Google for additional results.)

Twitter can be a great way to get to know a client, prospect or an audience.

Facebook

While Facebook seems to be used by most people for personal information, there are companies that have fan pages. In a few instances, these fan pages are start by actual fan. In most cases, the fan page is started by someone associated with the company. Either way, it’s interesting to see what the organization says about itself and what others have to say as well. Take a look at the friends list to see again who is connected to the organization. And where the fan page “friends” are associated with the organization, take a look at the people as people. What are they interested in? Who are their friends? You may find out you have things in common that can help you as you talk to them as people.

YouTube

YouTube is another means for an organization to say something about themselves. Like wise, it is a way for others to say something about them too. Like the other avenues discussed, poke around and see what you can learn by seeing what’s being posted.

LinkedIn

Because LinkedIn has professional information on individuals, it can be a great source of information about the people in your audience and in your prospect or clients organizations. You can find out more about
their educational background, previous employers, interests, and other areas that you share in common. Additionally, you can see what LinkedIn groups the person belongs to. This can give you more information for the real world meeting and networking that the audience, prospect and client are interested in.

Other Popular Social Media Approaches

In this case, I won’t ask “what am I missing” because when it comes to social media, there are dozens (or hundreds or thousands) of sites that are trying to get their slice of the social media pie. The ones I’ve listed above are currently the most popular. Are there more ways to use these sites to get to know your audiences, prospect or client better? If so, email them to me at [email protected] and I’ll add the item and your name to the list. Or if you want to advocate for what you think the next widely adopted social media tool will be, shoot me a note. I’ll keep my eyes out and if you’re right, I’ll add them to this list with a big note that says “you told me so!”

Getting to Know Them – The Big Picture

As I was writing this, talking about ways we can find our more about our audiences, our prospects and our clients, the words of one of my friends kept ringing in my ears – “I’m not doing social media. I’m guarding my privacy. I don’t want everyone knowing everything about me.” I guess I’m the kind of person she was talking about when she said that!

I look at it like this. If I can get to know my audience, be they a group of professionals in an association meeting, a prospect or a client, I can serve them better. If I’m not the right fit for their purposes, I can save us both time and energy. If my training and coaching programs can help them achieve their goals, then we’ll both be better for us finding a good match.

As we talk about it here, getting to know an audience is a noble thing. A flattering thing. An inevitable part of the way we’ll all do business now and in the future. If we are to serve well, it’s best for us and for our future audiences, if we find out more so we can all make better, more beneficial connections.

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I Need a Present, Maybe a Heated Back Massager

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

I can sometimes find it difficult to buy presents for loved one. I just don’t know what to get people. Many people now a day’s get anything that they desire so it’s a lot more difficult to purchase a present with meaning and something a little out of the ordinary as they are probably guaranteed to have something the same if not similar. I love shopping for present on the world wide web as not only do they accommodate for today’s world of people who want for nothing but it gives you the time to relax and think about what you should be getting them at your own leisure. Whether that’s will a glass of wine or in bed.

When you go to a store you can’t help but think that you need to be somewhere else or that the sales team are trying to get a sale out of you and then push you out of the door. With internet bases shops you can look at your leisure.

They suggest gifts for people who have bad back or people who work in front of a computer all day. The heated back massager is a therapist who is at hand 24/7 at the touch of a button. This gift is designer to be a cushion which will sit on top of your normal desk chair which enables the chair to be more comfortable.

With five motors which massage your back so your stress fly away. It also has an additional heat option to heat penetrate relief to your lower back and thighs.

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Sales Presentation Secrets – Tell Them the Value Before the Features

Jun 04 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

After reading this article, you will understand why you should explain the value of your product or service before you explain anything else. This will make your presentations compelling and will improve the attention the audience is going to pay to what you have to offer.

Most people, myself included, that are giving a sales presentation or demonstration start by giving information about the company, the features, and then finally they demonstrate the value of the product that they are trying to sell. Let me tell you something, most people have tuned you out before you have gotten to the features.

The problem is not always that we have a horrible product or service to sell. The problem is that most people have followed the same template that every company uses when formatting their PowerPoint presentations:

1. About Us

2. Our Customers

3. Features

4. Data

5. Benefits

6. In Conclusion

Why if you want to stand out from your competitors, would you ever structure your presentations in this fashion? The “standard” sales pitch will bore your clients to tears and cause you to lose clients and sales.

Why do we as presenters fell it is necessary to present data in this manner? Do we follow tradition, are we nervous, or maybe we just have an over reliance on our PowerPoint decks.

Whatever the reason, it has to stop. For the sake of my sanity when listening to sales pitches, you need to change your slides and present in a way that will demonstrate value, find out what the customer needs are, and connect with out customers.

What to do instead:

1. What value does your product or service offer – For example if I was selling coaching on this topic, I would start with: A sales executive that was coached by me increased sales by 75%.

2. Stop and ask the customer what their needs are. This is a check to make sure you really know what the customer wants.

3. If you are selling a product that they use, like software, hardware or a tool then let them touch or interact with it in a demo that meets their needs. In that way they can see what you are selling really does.

4. Now go through the features, data, other customers that are using the product, and what the next action will be on the part of the customer.

Changing your sales and demonstration presentations to this format will radically change how your customers and clients feel about your product or service in the first minute your are presenting. No longer will they have to slog though 50 slides that mean nothing to them because you get to the point with what value you offer, you care about their needs, and you are able to demonstrate it on the spot. Then if you need to, you let them know all that other stuff that you used to lead with.

It is all about the value. Let your customers know what value you bring, how you understand their needs, and what you can do to help them. Too often we get bogged down in the introduction and don’t get to the root of what our customers need. In an ever hurried world, we need to get to the point and present on what they want to see.

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6 Presentation Secrets To Gain Competitive Advantage

Jun 03 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Maybe you’re at the top of your team, and wondering why you aren’t getting promoted. Or maybe you’re a young manager who wants to win respect and gain trust. Or perhaps you’re a budding entrepreneur who wants to win attention for your hot new business.

No matter where you are, you are probably reading this because you want to get exceptional results from your business presentations.

Here are 6 powerful secrets to getting attention and winning a distinct competitive advantage for yourself and your business.

1. Research Like Crazy

Do your homework. Find out everything available about your audience, client, organization and situation. Find out about where you’re speaking, who is before you on the agenda and what’s coming afterwards.

From the biggest news to the tiniest detail, be prepared by doing your homework. If you’re tempted to go out with your buddies instead of researching, get focused. Your success depends upon it.

2. Gather Shocking Statistics

One of the first things you’ll need to do is win attention of crazy-busy decision makers. To do this, you need to be prepared with data, facts and statistics.

The best ones? Statistics that have a shock value. Think I’m kidding? Check the headlines of the newspaper. Shock, awe and fear sell papers. You’re aiming to win attention-start with a dramatic reason why people want to listen to you.

3. Relate To Real People

There are a lot of professionals, business experts and people in the world. What makes you different? Your ability to relate in a natural, conversational tone.

You’d be alarmed to know how rare this is. Just consider. When is the last time a presenter paid attention to you? See what I mean?

A lot of presenters are fully occupied with thinking about themselves. They may be nervous. They may be confident. But it is rare to find a presenter who is spacious, open and relating to people in the audience.

When you learn how to do this, you’ll have a distinct advantage.

4. Offer Your Expert Help

Audiences are always on the look out for advice, help and expert insights. Start with an attitude of sharing your expertise, and keep things simple.

This sounds easier than it is. The reason you’re in your field is because of your passion, knowledge and depth understanding. So it may have been years since you explained your topic to rank beginners. Keep this in mind as you’re organizing your presentation.

It should work equally well for experts and novices. By offering your expertise in simple, easy-to-understand way, you’re reaching the largest number of people. This is a proven recipe for success. Reach the largest number of people with the simplest solutions possible.

5. Anticipate and Solve Problems

Understand your audience and anticipate the problems they are facing. Depending on your industry, this will vary widely. From “10 tips for fixing the truck-sounding motor in your refrigerator” for an appliance company…to “10 tips for (fill in the blank) problem in your industry.

Not sure what to write about? Think about the questions your clients and prospects ask you. If you see a pattern, you’ve stumbled on a recurring problem you can solve.

6. Focus On Specific Action

If you’re in an organization, you know the importance of specific actions, times and deadlines. If you’re new to business, you also know that getting specific is the key for sales.

For example, set an offer with a time, date and discount. “Until Friday night at 8pm, you get 30% off.” This kind of specificity helps buyers focus on a specific action, a specific time and a specific savings.

If you’re ready to gain a serious competitive advantage, put all of these 6 secrets into motion. You’ll give killer presentations that give you the recognition and results you deserve.

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Presentations: Scarier Than a Haunted House?

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

A nightmare.

Maybe you’ll survive.

Sounds like someone had a pretty scary experience, doesn’t it?

Did they just visit a Haunted House to enjoy a fright before Halloween? (Although why anyone enjoys being frightened, I don’t really understand!)

No, this person was worried about something much spookier than a Haunted House. He was worried about giving a presentation at work. It’s not because he doesn’t know the material, because he is good at what he does.

It’s because, as a non-native speaker, he has to speak English in front of hundreds of people, and he is concerned about his American pronunciation. He hasn’t had much opportunity to improve his spoken English, so he’s not sure the presentation will go well.

Have you felt that fear, too? Your boss tells you that you must give a presentation and you feel that tingle on the back of your neck, your stomach flips around, and you break out in a cold sweat.

What if they don’t understand me?
What if I pronounce important words wrong?
What if my presentation isn’t clear enough?
What if I lose my job?

You know that you are smart enough and that you do your job well; that’s not the problem. But speaking English in front of a roomful of people and hoping they understand you? Now that’s something to be afraid of!

Or is it?

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel confident the next time your boss asks you to give a presentation? It would be such a stress-reliever to know that you will be understood when you speak!

Did you know that there are accent reduction coaches who can work with you over Skype to help prepare you for your next presentation?

We work on voice projection and pronunciation, focusing on your specific topic to be sure that you sound as clear and confident as possible. Giving a presentation doesn’t have to be scary anymore!

But what if your next presentation is very soon and you don’t have time to seek outside help?

Try these tips to improve your American pronunciation:

  • Write out your presentation so that you can practice. Speaking unprepared is a great skill, but right now you want to focus on improving your pronunciation.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Become very familiar with your topic so you can focus on the pronunciation of the words rather than the content.
  • Open your mouth wide and over-enunciate your words. It may sound odd to you, but it will greatly improve how easily you are understood by others.
  • Slow down. We all have a tendency to talk fast when we are nervous, but slowing down is one of the best ways to make sure that you pronounce your words clearly.
  • Practice in front of a mirror. This will help you see if you are able to make good eye contact with your audience. Get comfortable watching yourself, and add facial expressions and gestures for emphasis when appropriate.
  • Practice with a native speaker, if possible. Find someone who can listen to your presentation and point out obvious mispronunciations you can work on.
  • Take a deep breath and think positively! The deep breath will help you relax and the positive thoughts will help you perform at your best. Research has shown that we usually perform about as well as we think we will, so the more positively you think, the better you will do.

Once the presentation is over, evaluate yourself fairly. Congratulate yourself on the things that went well, and make a note of what you can do to improve your spoken English for the next time. Be honest about how clear your American pronunciation is, and work on the troublesome sounds.

Soon, you will see the stage not as a scary Haunted House, but as an exciting platform for you to share your brilliance!

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Presentation is Everything

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Have you ever spoken to a group of people, only to get a blank stare? Remember…the one where the person in the front row fell asleep? Is it your subject? Or is it you? Whether presenting one-on-one or to a group, many speakers drone on and on, unaware that people are tuning them out. Their audiences blame style, delivery and organization. While these criticisms may be valid, it takes far more to keep your audience’s attention in today’s fast paced world and executives are realizing that expert knowledge is no longer enough—they need to hone their speaking skills to succeed.

I work with a lot of terrific people who are exceptional at what they do. But in order for them to take their careers to the next level, senior management needs to see them as leaders who can command attention and respect. That’s what a top pharmaceutical executive recently told me before I coached key members of his team. When delivering presentations, he said it is essential for them to be able to hit it out of the ballpark if they hope to take their careers to the next level. The executive says a person’a ability to present key information clearly and concisely is critical to their credibility, and the respect they earn both internally and externally.

Yet, even top tier managers will privately admit they are not sure how to deliver more effective data packed presentations that contain fewer slides and more personality. They acknowledge that their PowerPoint driven presentations are too long, lack organization, substance, style and sometimes fail to provide perspective, context or direction.

Sheepishly and slightly embarrassed, they divulge that this is the way it’s always been done and say they’re afraid to leave out important information or personalize their presentations for fear of not being taken seriously.

While most communications coaches, including this one, will teach you to craft strong opens and closes, organize material, develop powerful messages, improve delivery and body language, you will be hard pressed to connect with higher ups if you do not learn how to appeal to their emotions. While your subject matter may be complicated and technical, you must put the content in context to make it relevant to the listener. By combining facts with emotional appeal, you will have a better chance of influencing perceptions and communicating your way to the top.

GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY
You know your business which is why you are speaking. So, stop trying to jam ten pounds of information into a two pound bag just to prove you know your stuff. Figure out how the facts and information bring relevance and value to your audience. If you’re talking technology, how will the technology save them time and money? If you?re presenting promising clinical data, how will the information eventually help a patient? Fewer injections? Lower doses? Reduced side effects? How will your work today improve someone’s quality of life in the future? Step out of your shoes and into theirs to address audience concerns.

DROWNING IN DATA
People remember impressions, not drifts of data. They remember how you made them feel. When we see stories about the December?s tsunamis, we don?t remember all of the facts. But, we’ll never forget the stories, the images and how we felt when we saw almost indescribable pictures of death and devastation. Make your facts and figures stronger by supporting them with real evidence such as powerful numbers, examples, anecdotes and visual images that leave a lasting impression.

STUMP THE CHUMP
It is almost inevitable that management will interrupt your presentation to ask a question. As distressing as this can be, they are not trying to stump you. Think of the question as an opportunity to address their concerns and use it as a stepping stone to repeat and reinforce key points or deliver additional information. It?s helpful to anticipate questions and prepare answers in advance.

REMEMBER THE THREE C’s
Obtaining the financing you need to grow your business might require delivering a financial presentation to investors before you can ask them for money. Delivering information and presenting the numbers is not enough. You must be Clear, Concise and Credible. You must quickly articulate what your business will provide, how the company will make money, what you are doing to address problems, anticipated hurdles and how your strategy will drive future profits.

NO ONE CAME TO SEE A SLIDE SHOW
Today’s business presenters often equate preparation to preparing a slide presentation. Visuals should reinforce what you say, not serve as your script. Don’t read the slide! Audiences are looking to you to make sense of information. Prepare your presentation first. Then develop visuals that support your key messages. Additionally, write in bullets or phrases to help you talk more and read less so you are free to look at people and engage them.

PET PEEVES
Senior executives are a bit like television reporters. They want you to get to the point quickly. When they ask a question, they want the facts, not long winded answers. If they interrupt you in the middle of a slide to ask a question, they want you to answer the question and then move on instead of answering the question and repeating all of the information on the slide. Often, presenters over answer management questions to buy time, fill the silence or because they think a brief response is too simplistic. Less is more still holds true. Long answers frequently dilute messages, lack examples and open the door for unwanted questions.

DON’T DULL IT DOWN
I once worked with a pharmaceutical company that had a terrific opportunity to excite a New York Times reporter about a promising medication. Instead of offering compelling case histories and sharing impressive results, the doctors bored the reporter with endless diagrams and medical flow charts that meant nothing to his audience. He never wrote the story. Step away from your expertise to put the information in perspective. Instead of tackling tactics and strategies first, start by presenting the significance of the problem so they understand why the solution is so important. For example:For nearly 20 million people who suffer from depression each year, the holiday season can be an especially difficult time, resulting in time away from work, strained personal relationships and an inability to complete every day task.

VOICE VISION WITH VOLUME When you speak, you’re on! Even if it’s a small meeting, you want to project so your voice is strong and authoritative. We’ve worked with many people who are soft spoken and others who start out strong, but trail off at the end of a sentence. We advise visualizing a person in the back of the room straining to hear you. Speak to that person in an effort to better project. And, whenever possible, stand up to maximize the richness of your voice.

If you stop and think about it, you can probably recall a couple of memorable business presentations. What is it you remember? What did they have in common? Chances are these presenters were personable and energetic. They were able to quickly cut to the chase and repeatedly reinforce their key points. And, while they likely rehearsed their well thought out, organized, pre-planned and prepared remarks over and over again, they probably made you feel as if they were simply speaking off the cuff for your benefit.

Copyright (c) 2009 Karen Friedman

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