Presentation Skills

You’ve only got about fifteen to thirty seconds before people start to settle into their impressions. Hence, when effectively presenting, we want openers that will not only grab our audiences’ attention, but will also quickly establish our credibility, cultivate goodwill with our listeners and introduce our topics.

Think of your opening as not being more than 10 percent of your entire presentation. Budgeting your speech in this manner forces you to organize your time so that you know exactly what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Scrap the old fillers like, “Today’s topic is…,” or “I’m going to speak on…,” or worse, “I was assigned to talk about….” When preparing your opener, think of efficiency and accuracy. First of all, consider ways that will grab your audience’s attention and perk them up. Several of the most effective approaches involve the use of humor, the telling of a personal story, the posing of a question, the sharing of a quote or the presenting of a startling fact or statistic. Anything that you feel will get your audience to tune in is critical to your opening.

When preparing your opening, how do you establish credibility? One thing is for sure: Don’t just start spouting off your accomplishments and credentials. Nothing will turn an audience off faster. Sure, education and experience matter, but there are subtler ways of mentioning them. Sometimes it will be natural to mention the school from which you graduated, to refer to a publication you authored, etc. Many times, you can do so without seeming pompous. A better strategy than tooting your own horn is to have someone else introduce you before you come on. Another handy way to highlight your qualifications without including a “Why I’m So Great” section in your speech is to include a written bio sketch in any materials you may hand out. Your biography could even be included if a basic itinerary is handed out. Such background information is commonly seen for keynote speakers in programs, for example. A written bio can be very effective, but it is very important to keep in mind that when furnishing this “blurb” about yourself that it be written in the third person-that is, as if someone else is describing you (“s/he” instead of “I”).

When I say you want to establish goodwill with your audience members, what I mean is that you want them to feel that you genuinely care about their needs. You want to exhibit your desire to share something that is both meaningful and useful to them. Very early on in your presentation (in your opening), you must clearly communicate the answer to the audience’s two most pressing questions: “WIIFM?” and “WSIC?” “WIIFM?” stands for “What’s in it for me?” “WSIC?” means “Why should I care?” Your audience has to have a reason to want to listen to you and providing them with the answers to these questions gives them one. If you can answer their unspoken, but sincere interest in WIIFM? and WSIC?, they will definitely feel goodwill towards you. You can then achieve a win-win situation where the feeling of goodwill extends in both directions.

Finally, how do you go about introducing your topic? You introduction can be worked into the opening story, question, statistic, quote or joke you use to grab your audience’s attention. Alternatively, you can set up your presentation so that the way in which you grab their attention smoothly transitions into your topic. Last but not least, I will state the obvious and remind you that a charismatic demeanor from the get-go will carry you miles beyond a dry, monotone one.

Understanding different types of audiences will also help you determine how you design and deliver your message. Following are some different categories of audiences and some strategies on how to deal with each of them.

Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Beware of the common mistakes presenters and persuaders commit that cause them to lose the deal. Get your free report 10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands and explode your income today.


Persuasion is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you’ve seen some success, but think of the times you couldn’t get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others.

Buying and Selling Automobile Dealerships – Axioms When Negotiating

Buying and Selling Automobile Dealerships – Axioms When Negotiating the Contract

No two negotiations are alike and in the art of negotiations there are no fixed responses; there are only basic rules that are to be adapted according to each circumstance and basic duties that formulate the boundaries of hyperbole. The basic duties when negotiating are discussed in another article. The basic rules of negotiating are as follows:

(1) Be prepared. Axiom 1: Do your homework.

(2) Identify your objective ahead of time and when you reach it, STOP. Many times I have seen lawyers that have won their cases keep talking until they have talked the judge into ruling for the other side. During negotiations, many dealers who have found what they were looking for, have lost the deal because they tried to sweeten-the-pot one too many times. Axiom 2: Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.

(3) Always keep your objective in mind when negotiating and do not get sidetracked on meaningless issues. The negotiator is not at the negotiation table to win a debate or to teach someone a lesson. The most successful negotiator does not bicker. Axiom 3: Keep your eye on the doughnut and not the hole.

(4) Answer only what you are asked and only to the extent to which you are asked. Do not anticipate what the other side wants to know. You are not there to educate them, or to impress them with your knowledge. For example, if asked when you were born, you do not have to volunteer location and lineage. Axiom 4: It is usually what you say, not what you hear that hurts you.

(5) Do not volunteer to immediately relinquish any written documentation that you have researched and prepared, if the other side will settle for it being mailed at a later date. Axiom 5: If something was not originally written for publication, always re-read it with the idea of publication in mind before you release it. Axiom 5a: Don’t give away free information.

(6) Outline the other side’s position and concessions and have them initial the paper before leaving the negotiation session and give them a copy. Axiom 6: Faded ink is clearer than the sharpest memory.

(7) Do not feel pressured. There is nothing the other side can do to embarrass you into an agreement. Axiom 7: If you do make a mistake, 99.9% of the world will never know or care.

(8) Do not get emotional unless it is an act — and then, only get emotional if you have previously won an award for “Best Acting”. Axiom 8: The most skilled negotiator never loses control.

(9) Do not be afraid to be self-deprecating, if that’s what it takes to get the job done. There is an old story about the fur salesman who came to work one day, only to find that, during the night, the cat had peed on the furs. Later, when a customer was trying on a coat, she told the salesman that the coat smelled like pee. The salesman responded that it was not the coat she that smelled; but that a cat had peed on his jacket. Axiom 9: Sometimes you have to pee on yourself to get the job done.

(10) Every deal has key elements (such as the offer, acceptance, consideration, and time of performance), have your checklist and be sure to cover all of the elements. Do not walk away thinking you have an agreement when in fact you do not. Axiom 10: A sale is completed only after the check clears and the buyer has legal title to the assets.

(11) Do not lie. Axiom 11: It is better to say nothing, than to lie.

(12) Do not make concessions unless you have thought them through while away from the pressures of the negotiating table. There is nothing wrong with saying: “That sounds reasonable; let me check one thing.” or “That sounds reasonable, let’s take a break for a few minutes and mull it over.”

(13) No matter how ridiculous other party’s arguments may be, put your self in their shoes and walk them through. At best, you might find their arguments have some merit and at worse you will better understand what drives the other person.

(14) Always conduct yourself as a gentleman, or a lady. The loud mouth may dominate the conversation, but the gentleman or lady, controls it. Axiom 12: The most proficient negotiator is not the loud mouth.

(15) When negotiations are finished and you going home do not be tempted to pat yourself on the back; try to think of what you gave away. Axiom 13: Even a dunderhead gets lucky sometimes.

(16) There is nothing the other person can say which is binding without your consent. Axiom 14: if you hear something outrageous do not attack, negotiate.

(17) If you make someone want to do something for you, they will help you find a way.

(18) The “Real Buyer” calls nearly every day. The prospect that creates more than two unwarranted delays is probably not a real prospect. Axiom 15: Do not confuse sincerity with a “soft touch.”

(19) Negotiating with one prospect at a time is a mistake. Axiom 16: The first real buyer to the table with a contract and a check wins. Axiom 16a: The “real” buyer isn’t always the one with the highest bid.

(20) Real buyers have monetary limits on the amount of money they will commit to a deal. Axiom 17: People who say they have no monetary limit are almost always not serious buyers.

(21) To succeed, keep the initiative. Negotiation is a business, not a game. Axiom 18: Due diligence is a sign of professionalism, not of weakness.

(22) Be as careful near completion, as you were at the beginning. Axiom 19: Many a race was lost near the finish line.

(23) Take a break during the negotiations and re-read rules one through twenty-three.

Preparing a Perfect Rental Investment Presentation

If you are raising capital from a number of potential investors a perfect presentation could be a key component of achieving your goal. Over 150 investor presentations given in the past decade concluded in raising millions of dollars of equity capital and millions of dollars of debt equity provides a good basis for understanding how to deliver a superb presentation.

What does experience say about a good investor presentation?

  1. Clearly describe the investment.
  2. Clearly define what you will ask of the investor and how much they can invest.
  3. Describe the time frame for the investment.
  4. Explain how the invested capital will be held prior to closing the investment.
  5. Define what the investment life will be and what return to expect.
  6. Describe how the project(s) will be managed.

Describe the background and experience of the principals. Where they worked, accomplishments, investing experience, significant volunteer work and so on can be included. Some interests and personal information is good to add as it makes the principals into people and causes them to have color and depth in your presentation.

Return tables, sources and uses, and pro forma tables are critical components of the presentation. All of the information above should be included. However, the meat of your presentation should be the things like:

  • How much money the project will make, why that is reasonable, and what could effect it.
  • How much money the project will cost, why that makes sense, and what may impact the costs.
  • How risk is being managed and why this is a really smart way to do so.
  • How opportunity is being captured and why this is the smart way to grab the brass ring.
  • How you will manage the project.
  • How you will market the project.
  • How you finally get the investors capital out of the project.
  • What you will do to keep the investor completely in the loop on the project.

These items in a top line sense are the “features” of your investment. From the features, you should be talking advantages of the investment. Finally you hit the emotional button. Your presentation should be heavy on emotions for why investment and those emotions should be backed up with great graphics that say the same thing in a very visceral way to your audience.

With all this in place, you have created a compelling investor presentation that explains what the investor is getting into, all the great reasons they are doing it, and why is such perfectly exciting and wonderful thing for them to do with their money.