Presentation Essentials – 6 Tips to Success

One of the most powerful skills in today’s business world is the ability to deliver effective presentations. Few of us are born with the raw natural talent to be great presenters. For most of us, it requires practice, coaching, and hard work to master a skill which can be intimidating and frightening. At a time when it seems there is an aversion to PowerPoint presentations, there will always be a need or requirement for career-minded individuals to be competent and comfortable speaking and presenting in front of audiences – in person or online and to employees, colleagues, or clients. Here are 6 tips to success from a career of delivering more than 300 presentations.

1 Start with the end in mind

One of the most difficult steps in delivering effective presentations is the development of the presentation itself. We often struggle organizing a presentation so it delivers the messages you want, is well organized and flows nicely, and is visually appealing (if using visual aids). Start with end in mind. Identify 3-5 key messages you want the audience to remember. Once you have your messages, build your presentation around those messages. Create an outline for your presentation and fill in the blanks – introduction, body and content, value proposition of very most important takeaway message, and closing.

2 Keep it simple

We hear it often – keep it simple. I recall preparing a presentation for a CEO in the Middle East about 5 years ago. I worked on it for about a week and went into the meeting ready to deliver about a 45 minute presentation. Before I started, the CEO turned to me and said “I have about 15 minutes so please just hit the highlights of what you are proposing and how it will solve our issues.” This was a great reminder of how most of us our today – busy and overloaded with information. I improvised and shortened a 45- minute presentation into about 12 minutes. Always be ready to deliver an “executive summary” of your presentation if needed.

3 Use graphics and pictures

Using graphics and pictures in a presentation can be powerful. Use simple but attractive graphics to tell a story or convey and support a message. Use pictures to show your experience or an example. Graphics tend to trump bullet points and text every time.

4 Practice your presentation

There is no better substitute than practicing. Whether you are using visual aids or just standing in front of a podium, practice, practice, practice. You should rehearse in front of a mirror or in front of other colleagues (when possible) at least 3-4 times before delivering the presentation. Be open to feedback. Sometimes we can’t see what others see in us or we don’t realize we are doing something annoying like putting our hands in our pockets and jingling coins. Never try to “wing” a presentation. Be ready when it counts.

5 Bring energy and enthusiasm

Audiences and clients are perceptive. You need every edge you can get when competing against others for projects or competitions. Look like you want to be there by showing some excitement and enthusiasm. There is a fine line here with not over-selling or going out of character. Be yourself, be calm, confident, and make the audience feel you want to be there and you are enjoying it.

6 Nail your opening and closing

Leave nothing to chance, nail your opening and closing. You should practice and know the first 25-35 words you are going to open with, exactly. You should also know how you are going to close and summarize, precisely. Both of these are opportunities to capture the audience and then confirm you delivered a winning presentation!

Gary L. Miller lives in Tokyo, Japan and is the founder of http://logosreadyonline.com

Dodge Being Icky To Negotiate Successfully

Are you icky when you negotiate? When negotiating, the icky factor is not only a turnoff, but it can also be the death knell of the negotiation.

With a U.S. Congressman being perceived as being icky, as the result of recently getting caught in a spectacle that was made worse by the manner in which he addressed the situation, the question becomes, what makes one appear to be icky?

If you wish to avoid the perception of being icky in your negotiations, observe the following four insights.

Actions That Give The Appearance Of Being Icky:

Each negotiation situation is different from another. Thus, a myriad of factors can come into play, when attempting to isolate the icky factor. Nevertheless, there are constants involved in a negotiation that dictate what icky appears to be and what it feels like. Avoiding a direct question, especially when it’s posed several times, can heighten someone’s senses and enhance the impression that you’re not being forthright, which can lead to the thought that you’re icky. Another icky factor can be the way you speak. If you speak too fast or too slowly to someone that’s attuned to listening at a different pace, you can conjure up the image of one that’s ‘out of step’. Such actions can also create the impression that you’re evasive and thus, icky.

The Perception Of Being Icky:

Being perceived as icky stems from offending the sensibility of the person to whom you’re speaking. Such actions can occur from the manner in which you position your proposal, the perceived bravado in which you delivery it, and the background of the other person. To avoid such perceptions, take into consideration how you’re perceived when negotiating and adopt mannerisms that are appropriate for the environment.

Talking Too Long:

In any situation, if you discuss a subject too long, you run the risk of losing whatever goodwill you’ve generated. It’s better to communicate with certitude, in order to avoid the appearance of being perceived as icky. When you’re in a tenuous position, to avoid being perceived as icky during a negotiation, try to be as transparent as possible. If your behavior is perceived to be out of line with the manner in which it should be, the other negotiator may perceive something as not being right. He may not realize that he’s sensing his emotions at a subliminal level, but his gut will instinctively alert him to proceed with caution. If you project an image that causes him to experience such feelings, you’ll be alienating him, while simultaneously digging a deeper proverbial hole from which it may become extremely difficult to extricate yourself.

Gain Insight:

You can gain insight into the manner that someone perceives your actions by the way they respond to you. If they think you’re not being straightforward, they’ll display body language signals, such as leaning away from you, putting their hand over their mouth when you or they speak, and/or casting a look that you’ll perceive as being troubling. In essence, they’ll be dispelling what you say. If you sense such an action and you’re being forthright, question their perception of your sincerity. If there’s a need for clarification do so before proceeding with your position.

To assist in projecting the proper demeanor for your negotiations, alert your body to what mood you’d like to project. Then, observe the synchronization between your body language/mannerisms, and the way you’re perceived. If everything is in harmony, the other negotiator should perceive your sincerity and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

• To enhance the probability of being successful in your negotiations, avoid being perceived as icky.

• Anyone can misperceive a situation. If you sense your sincerity is being questioned, alert the other negotiator to what you perceive. Don’t allow the situation to go unheeded. To do so could be paramount to flirting with danger, needlessly.

• In any negotiation, negotiators may not see eye to eye on certain points. If you take the time and you’re skillful at decreasing the icky factor, you’ll increase your likability factor. In turn, subliminally, you’ll enhance the negotiation process.

Have You Tried Credit Card Debt Negotiation? A Do-It-Yourself Credit Card Debt Solution

Credit card debt negotiation can be a very tough task. If not done carefully it will clearly not lead to the desired result. To pay off a huge debt is a hard job to accomplish, and who would not want a negotiation on the debt that has to be paid? But there are a few rules which one must keep in mind while doing the credit card debt negotiation.

There could always be chances that one might get their interests negotiated unlike what many people think. Always remember that some people have the ball in their court and not the company. They want money back from you at any cost and that is their primary motive which is also their weak point that one must target. Another factor that could help you, the customer, is that there is a lot of competition in market. Some companies want you at any cost as the money they make from the interest that you pay is tremendous. The company wants to make as much money as possible and would want as many customers as possible. They would have to maintain a good reputation in the market and this is how the competitiveness can work in the favour for your credit card debt negotiation.

If one has being paying off credit card debts for some installments, there could be chance for the credit card debt negotiation, the bank might give you lower interest rates. These can range from 1-2% less than the average interest rate of the country. Also one can negotiate for better repayment plans than the existing ones. Obviously the bank would prefer that their money comes back to them slowly rather than money not coming back at all. However, this credit card debt negotiation works only if one has not been paying the previous installments. If one is good at negotiation then one could get rid of the late payment fee, using ATM fee etc. But there are of course a few companies which will not budge on the ground rules they have. One should always keep their eyes open for various offers like zero interest rates, lowering of interest rates on existing loans or on balance transfers. Never get onto these offers directly as they can be used as a weapon at a later stage. Always first ask for lower interest rate and then slowly jump onto these plans. This could definitely be one of the ways to get out of credit card debts.

If none of the above works then one can lure the bank that you can take another card and get your balance transferred to another card with a lower interest. The best way to get away with this one is to keep an alternate card offer with you. If one does not have any, then you could research on them and then go for the negotiation. Credit card debt negotiation is a very tricky work. But keeping in mind some of the tips mentioned you can definitely pay off credit card debt more easily and quickly.