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Effective Presentations works with the movers and shakers in virtually any industry.

We’ve all been there—you’ve worked hard on your presentation and you know it like the back of your hand. But when the moment comes to begin that presentation, you aren’t sure where to begin. So, what comes out? Perhaps something like this:

“Hi everyone, thanks for being here. Today I’m going to be talking about ‘Topic A,’ which includes point 1, point 2, and point 3. Let’s go ahead and get started.”

That’s a fine introduction…but it’s one that everyone has heard before, time and time again. You want to stand out from the crows—not just another PowerPoint! Use something more powerful to open up your presentations.

Power Openings

Why not start off with a hook or an attention-getter? When your audience is greeted with a rhetorical question, a startling statistic, or a concept to contemplate right off the bat, they are more likely to engage with the rest of your presentation. The anticipation level of each audience member should be very dynamic, and not taper off. You can ensure this is the truth with a strong, powerful opening.

Some Examples:

If you are giving a presentation on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, here a few ways you could begin your introduction with more “oomph:”

These are so much more engaging than “Hello, my name John Doe, and today I will be teaching you how to make a PB & J sandwich.”

Power Closes

How about ending your presentation?

Many of us hear and use the typical: “well, that’s all I have for you today. Thank you for being here; let me know if you have any questions.” And if it’s a virtual presentation, it follows with 30 seconds of awkward waving trying to leave the meeting!

Try these options instead:

The Bookend Close: To close a speech using the bookend method, you need to bring the entire speech full circle. Refer back to your original opening or challenge. Tell them again the important points. Remember, if you tell them enough times, they’ll have a better chance to get it!

The Challenge Close: You may want to challenge your audience to get off the sideline and take action. Challenge them to do something spectacular or to get out of their comfort zone.

The Echo Close: This is a very effective way to get your audience to remember your presentation. It can be used in combination with other power closes. Focus on a single word or phrase that will reinforce your call to action. Create the sound bite that continues to reverberate in their heads and moves them to action.

People will remember the last thing you say, and the first impression you left. The Power Opening & Close should be your biggest priority when creating an out-of-this-world presentation!

A Good Business Presentation Starts Strong

If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s just how important effective communication is to the health and sustainability of a business. Every good business presentation starts with great communication.

Until this year, a lot of businesses dabbled in online and digital communication, mostly in the form of emails and texts. Face-to-face communication was there—if we wanted it.

A world-wide health pandemic changed all that.

That’s when video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts really took off. For people sent home to work remotely, using these apps became a way of life. In fact, it’s estimated that Zoom added 2.22 million active users in January and February of 2020, far exceeding the 1.99 million users the company added in all of 2019.

Months later, we’re still using the platform to stay connected with colleagues and clients, family, and friends.

Like thousands of other businesses, Effective Presentations had to take a serious look at its service delivery in the spring of 2020. With travel bans and restrictions placed on gatherings, we knew we had to take a new approach to connect with our clients. And they, in turn, had to reach theirs in a different way.

Although we’ve been using Zoom and other similar video conferencing tools for years to deliver our presentation training workshops to businesses across the U.S. and Canada, it’s become the preferred (and necessary) method in 2020.

Not surprisingly, remote business presentation training has become a priority to thousands of companies. Businesses that once relied on in-person meetings suddenly needed a way to stay connected with existing clients and pitch to new ones.

We also saw an uptick in people who started to see just how important making a great first impression through the lens of a webcam is.

First Impressions are Important

Making a great first impression is always important, no matter how you’re meeting someone for the first time.

It’s especially important when you’re meeting with customers, because it’s during this initial interaction that their opinion of you (and your services) is formed.

Making a great first impression sets you up for a successful business relationship. A bad first impression, on the other hand, can set a negative tone you may never be able to shake.

If you’re finding it difficult to make a good first impression because you have to make it online, we have some fail-proof tips.

It’s possible to make a first impression over Zoom that’s just as good (if not better) as it would be if you were giving a business presentation live.

5 Ways to Make a Good First Impression

  1. Dress for the occasion. It’s definitely tempting to hang out all day in your favorite sweats when all you’re doing is sitting behind a keyboard. But if you want to make a good first impression, wearing your 20-year-old college sweatshirt with the ratty cuffs and mustard stains isn’t going to get you there. Remember, this is a business presentation.

    Unless the occasion calls for formal dress, it’s perfectly acceptable to dress in business casual: a collared shirt or solid-colored sweater is always a good choice. Neither are distracting and both give the impression you’ve put a little effort into your appearance.

    While you’re at it, run a comb through your hair and show up generally looking neat and clean. Your physical appearance is the first thing your client will see. Even over video, showing up disheveled makes a strong statement about you—and it’s not good.

  2. Choose an appropriate background. When you’re meeting a client or colleague in a conference room or over coffee, you don’t pay much attention to what’s happening on the wall behind you. But when you’re meeting with someone over Zoom, this is an important detail you can’t overlook when you’re trying to make a good first impression.

    Choose a space that isn’t too busy or cluttered; a solid background with natural light is ideal. If you don’t have anywhere that’s suitable, you can use one of Zoom’s standard backgrounds to disguise your location. You can even search for free Zoom backgrounds online and upload an image to your Zoom profile so it’s ready the next time you have an online meeting. Here’s how you do it:

    • Go to Zoom.us and log in
    • Navigate to the “Settings” menu on the left-hand side of the screen
    • Select the “In Meeting (Advanced)” option
    • Scroll down to “Virtual background” and enable it by toggling to the right
    • Launch the Zoom desktop app and log in
    • Click the gear icon in the top right corner
    • Select “Virtual Background”
    • Choose a background shown or click the “+” sign to upload your own image or video to use as a background

    Don’t forget about the lighting in the room. Natural light is always the best choice if you have it. Even if you don’t, make sure your face is well lit and that your primary light isn’t coming from directly behind you.

  3. Speak to the camera. A lot of people will look at their screen when they’re on a Zoom call, and it’s something they might not realize works against them when they’re talking to another person online.

    The great thing about Zoom is that it allows you to have a face-to-face conversation with another person without being in the same room. However, you have to remember that you’re speaking to the person on the other end through your webcam. That means when you’re looking at the image of them on your screen as you talk, you aren’t looking into their “eyes,” so to speak.

    Eye contact is critical when it comes to effective communications. Meeting someone’s eyes when you talk makes you appear more trustworthy and it shows the person that you’re speaking with that you’re paying attention to them.

    Considering how important first impressions are, you need good eye contact.

    So rather than look at the image of your client when you speak during a Zoom call, talk directly to the camera so that it looks and feels to the person on the other end as though you are looking them straight in the eye.

  4. Use the mute feature. With so many people now working from home, it’s become commonplace to have unexpected interruptions, like kids or pets running into the room.

    And even though anyone with a family understands how difficult it is to work from home, you still don’t want to have your meeting ruined by noisy distractions in your environment. That’s why it’s important to learn how to mute your meeting so unwanted noises are kept out.

    First and foremost, plan to sit in a space where there will be little or no noise during your call. When another person on the call is speaking, engage the mute feature so unexpected noises on your end don’t interrupt the call. (You can temporarily unmute yourself by holding down the spacebar while you speak.)

    Listening is a critical part of a good business presentation, and it’s difficult to do that if you’re distracted by noises in your environment while on a call. Allowing that to happen doesn’t leave a particularly good impression with the other person on the call, either.

  5. Remember you’re on camera. When you’re not sitting directly across from someone, it’s very difficult for people to read your non-verbal cues. That’s because their view of you is usually limited to your head and shoulders. For that reason, it’s important that you are more deliberate with your gestures, and that you make them in front of the camera.
  6. On the flip side of that, people interacting over Zoom sometimes forget they’re in full view of others on the call. That means if you’re eating, looking off camera, or distracted by something else, your Zoom audience can see that.

    You’ll always make a good impression—on camera or in person—if you appear interested and engaged in the conversation. Set your camera so you’re centered on the screen, clear away distractions, and give the person or people on the call your undivided attention.

    And don’t forget to smile!

Making a Great First Impression Online

Head into every Zoom call like it’s an in-person meeting—because it is.

If you’re connecting with someone for the first time and it has to happen using a video conferencing tool like Zoom, you’ll make a good first impression by knowing how to leverage the technology. Talk into your webcam as though you’re looking your audience straight in the eye and deliver a friendly, effective business presentation straight from your computer.

Need more help improving your on-camera performance? We offer virtual training packages for individuals and teams. Contact us to learn more

Business Communication Relies on Active Listening

Stephen R. Covey said: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

Everyone has an opinion and something to say, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problem is when people spend too much time responding and not enough time listening.

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The Importance of First Impressions

You’ve probably heard the saying “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression,” and it’s certainly true when it comes to public speaking.

When you’re building your brand or contributing to your business, every interaction with a new person is the starting point to a world of opportunity. That means the first impression you give can make or break your career.

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The Power of The Elevator Pitch

Everyone’s heard of them, and maybe you know you need one, but you still haven’t taken the time to create the perfect elevator pitch.

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Keep Your Interview Skills Sharp

Research shows that as much as 92% of the population fears at least one aspect of the interview process.

From “trick” questions to incomplete answers of communication interview questions, you’ve probably gone through an interview or two that could have ended better if everyone was on the same page.

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Darth Vader and the Virtual Meeting

Back in 1980, George Lucas and his production company, Lucasfilm, released a little movie by the name of The Empire Strikes Back. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Looking back (and compared to today’s standards), the special effects were a little corny and the costumes were pretty outrageous. But something happened in that film that was light years ahead of its time:

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How To Be A Leader

Whether you’re the newbie in the office or a seasoned employee with tenure, learning how to be a leader will positively impact your business life in many ways.

Maybe you want to be the boss one day, or maybe you just want to earn respect from your colleagues and clients as a trusted expert. Whatever the case, knowing what makes a good leader and taking time to invest in leadership skills will only serve to benefit you.

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Why Effective Communication Is the Most Important Soft Skill

Humans are built for connection. Whether that connection is brief (asking a sales associate for a price), constant (bonding with your coworkers), or deep (such as the relationship with your spouse), truly effective communicators can find a way to bridge the gap between themselves and any person they come in contact with.

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Are you communicating effectively with Co-workers?

One of your most important audiences is co-workers. You are communicating to every co-worker in your vicinity, sending both verbal and non-verbal signals. You may be communicating consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally, actively or passively. Regardless of your intentions, others are watching and hearing from you. They are your audience and have the same power as any other audience. (more…)

Introvert and Extrovert Misconceptions

When you think of an amazing public speaker, you probably picture a charismatic, charming, engaging individual who can drive their point across with ease and finesse.

Although you’d identify this person as super extroverted, somewhere along the way, you misclassified the differences between an introvert and an extrovert.

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Align Your Types of Communication

Any time you engage with another person, there are two types of communication at play: your voice, which is sending a verbal message, and your body language, which is conveying the majority of information through your physical behavior.

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Speak From The Heart, Right From the Beginning

You know that the first few minutes of your talk are crucial. It’s in this small window of time that you’ll either captivate your audience and convince them to keep listening, or lose their attention and struggle throughout your presentation to regain it.

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Staying in Touch Through Phone Meetings

As your business grows and your client base expands, you’re probably finding it challenging to meet with everyone face-to-face.

How do you maintain the same level of intimacy and customer service in a world that’s becoming increasingly virtual?

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PowerPoint Presentations Don’t Have To Be Awful

Using a PowerPoint presentation or one created with Google Slides to convey your message is a great way to enhance your presentation with visuals. Do you dread sitting through a presentation that uses PowerPoint or Google Slides because they’ve been used in the same way so many times that you expect the same boring outcome the minute the screen flickers on?

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Performance Anxiety Got Your Tongue?

Being able to speak with confidence in front of the camera and set aside your performance anxiety isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. Even the most experienced speakers can feel nervous in front of the camera.

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A Great Sales Pitch Starts with Effective Communication

A good sales pitch can be used almost anywhere: in business presentations, at conferences and networking events, on the telephone, or even over coffee with a friend. That’s because a strong sales pitch isn’t really about making a sale for you; it’s about you solving a problem for someone else.

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Public Speaking Anxiety Isn’t The Same for Everyone

If you had to paint a picture of your fear of public speaking, what would it look like? A troll? An eerie shadow? A dark cloud hovering over you standing in an otherwise sunny location?

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Why Is Getting Presentation Feedback So Important?

Collecting presentation feedback is probably low on your list of priorities, especially if you’re terrified of public speaking and not making a fool of yourself in front of a group of people is your biggest concern. But having some sort of response system in place so your audience can provide you with feedback on your presentation is an incredibly useful (not to mention inexpensive) way to improve your public speaking skills and become an even better presenter.

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Presentation Disasters Happen All The Time

There’s an old saying that goes: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Translation: I don’t care who you are or how much planning you’ve put into something, stuff goes wrong. That goes for presentations, too. Presentation disasters happen every day.

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Filler Words In Public Speaking

I know you notice when others use them. I know you don’t mean to use them yourself. But those awful filler words have a way of creeping into your presentations the way a family of skunks hides under your front porch. You don’t notice them at first, because they’re so subtle. Then one day you realize no one’s coming around anymore because, well, your house (and your presentations) stink.

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Close a Presentation Effectively

You may think your presentations are incredibly well put together; you invest a lot of time into practicing your delivery and you are careful to use body language that sends a positive message to your audience. You know your stuff. You speak confidently. You hook your listeners with an opening that they can’t resist.

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The Truth About Body Language

When people tell us about their fear of public speaking, we find that what they’re most worried about is giving a bad public speaking performance. They worry about messing up their words, about forgetting what they want to say, or making some other mistake. If you’re one of these people, you should know that a very small percentage of what an audience takes from a presentation has to do with the words being spoken.

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Are You Guilty of These Bad Presentation Habits?

What makes a bad presentation…well, bad?

You’ve heard the saying “There are no small parts, only small actors?” It’s pretty much the same for public speaking: There are no bad presentations, only bad presenters. You can win over any audience talking about any subject when you know how to present your material in a way people find engaging. But If you’re not willing to put any effort into developing strong presentation skills, it will show in your presentations.

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Your Presentations Need More Vocal Expression

A lot of presentations are boring, aren’t they? I know I’ve sat through my fair share of really, REALLY bad presentations. The ones where the speaker droned on far too long, his voice so monotone and flat that I had a hard time staying awake, much less hold interest in what was being said.

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Create Exciting Presentations That Stay Exciting

One of the most challenging things about public speaking is keeping your audience interested. We’ve talked about engaging your audience before, and there are a lot of things you can do to make your presentation fun and enjoyable for the people listening. But how do you make it a fun experience for you, too?

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Create A Strong Opening Statement

One of the best speakers I ever heard was a guy who started with such a touching and inspiring story of how he overcame personal tragedy.  As I listened, I couldn’t help but think: If this guy can come from the depths of despair to build a successful business and life, there is nothing anyone (including myself) can’t do.

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Memorizing Speeches is a Big No-No

When we emphasize the importance of practicing to attendees of our Presentation Skills Training workshops, we hear the same question come up over and over: “What’s the best way to memorize my speech?”  And our answer never changes: “You don’t.”

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Public Speaking Mistakes Happen to Everyone

Tell me if this rings a bell: You’re going along, giving a great speech or presentation, when all of a sudden you draw a complete blank. Your train of thought has derailed. It’s about to crash and burn and take your presentation with it.

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Mind Mapping Works for Presentations

When it comes to putting together a great presentation, sometimes the hardest part is figuring out how you’re going to share all of the information you want your audience to have, and in what order you’re going to deliver it.

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Make Sales Presentations Your Specialty

Sales presentations take on many shapes and forms. They can be small and casual between a single salesperson and a customer, or they can be formal and elaborate, delivered by sales teams to corporate executives. Regardless of their size, they all share the same end goal: to make the sale.

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Communication in the Workplace

It goes without saying that communication in the workplace is the cornerstone to success. Without it, we can’t set goals for the good of the business or make plans to collectively achieve them. Without strong communication skills, no one would be able to share their ideas or concerns. There would be no relationship building, no connections.

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Funny Presentations: They’re the Ones You Remember

One of the most powerful communication tools you can use to deliver your message is humor. It’s what makes you real. And when it’s used appropriately, it can be one of the most effective ways to make your presentation memorable.

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Public Speaking With Confidence

What is it about public speaking that robs people of their confidence? They stand up in front of a group and all of a sudden their shoulders drop, they fidget, and it’s blatantly obvious to everyone that they don’t want to be there.

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Answering Audiences Questions Appropriately

You've crafted an excellent presentation: you've practiced the talk, rehearsed your presentation, and even managed to come up with a few great jokes. But have you thought about the questions your audience may have for you when you're finished?

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If you’re lucky enough to land yourself a public speaking gig, the last thing you want to do is waste the opportunity.

Yes, you read that right: I said you’re lucky to be offered an opportunity to give a presentation. Why? Because it means someone believes you have something important to say. Someone has chosen you to share your experiences, your insights, and your opinions on a topic that others want to learn more about. And not just anyone is asked to do that.

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Effective Use of Visual Aids

Any presentation stands to benefit from well-placed, effective visual aids. By giving your audience something to look at, you can help them understand difficult concepts, reinforce key points, and keep them focused on your presentation.

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We talk a lot about a fear of public speaking, and there’s good reason for that: A significant number of the people we work with have glossophobia. In fact, the majority of Americans—anywhere from 75 to 95 percent—admit to being afraid of speaking in public. These are real fear of public speaking facts!

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A presentation is more than just an opportunity to explain a position or idea; it’s a means to demonstrate the hard work and research you’ve invested into it. And when it comes to preparing for a presentation—any presentation—you need to remember that the way you deliver your presentation is just as important (perhaps even more so) than the actual content.

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Your presentation method—that is, the way in which you deliver a presentation—is just as important as organizing your material ahead of your presentation. How you deliver your message is actually a vital component of the message itself. Your goal is to engage your audience and compel them to listen and act on what you’re saying. For that reason, you really do need to invest some time into selecting the best presentation method.

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Think back to the last presentation you heard that used PowerPoint. Was there anything memorable about it? How was PowerPoint used, and did it add value to the presentation?

Too many times we see PowerPoint used as a crutch. Instead of delivering a strong presentation that’s augmented by PowerPoint, the presenter hobbles through his presentation, reading his PowerPoint slides to the audience. Bo-ring.

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Practice, Practice, Practice

When was the last time you practiced on your elevator speech? What happened the last time you actually put it to use?

If you’re staring blankly at the screen right now, wondering what an elevator speech is and why in the world you would ever possibly need one, here’s a crash course.

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When we talk about effective presentation skills, it’s the ‘speaking’ part that comes to mind first. And it only makes sense: it’s not much of a presentation if you don’t say anything! But did you know that aside from your voice, it’s your eyes that are your most powerful communication tool?

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Dealing With the Media

So you have to do a media interview and you sense the crowd may be hostile.

Understanding that you may be asked some tough, pointed questions has you a bit on edge.

Certainly you’d like to control the situation and get out of there with your hide still intact while at the same time appearing genuine and open with the press.

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How To Have Effective Gestures

We talk a lot about verbal and non-verbal communication in our public speaking workshops, but what exactly is non-verbal communication? To put it simply, it’s the way you communicate through body language or gestures, and it’s a critical component of presentation skills training.

To make a gesture is to move your body in a way that reinforces a verbal message you are trying to get across. People often gesture with their head and shoulders (nodding and shrugging are both examples of gestures), but when it comes to presentations and public speaking, it’s typically the hands and arms that do the bulk of the gesturing.

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Using PowerPoint Effectively

Who hasn’t attended a meeting or presentation where the speaker overused their PowerPoint Presentation and created a slow death for their audience?

You know; the one that had 125 slides and went through them in 20 minutes. Or the presenter that had to read each slide because the font was too small.

Believe it or not, power points do have a set of best practices that if followed will position you as a PowerPoint expert. You’ll begin using your PowerPoint to add value to your presentation rather than being the presentation.

Here are some common PowerPoint mistakes and how to avoid them:

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How to Prepare For a Presentation

So you’ve been called on by a senior manager to deliver a presentation to the company’s Board of Directors at their next meeting. You’re no stranger to public speaking; you frequently lead team meetings and make presentations to senior staff several times a year. But we’re talking about the Board of Directors here! The last thing you want is to look like anything but a seasoned pro.

Here’s something you might not realize: The one thing every good speaker does to prepare for any presentation is… Practice. Yes, even the pros. There’s no greater tool for improving your public speaking skills than practicing them out loud, and the reason is simple—no two speaking engagements are exactly the same. Even if you are delivering the same presentation over and over again, there are variables that will always change, the single biggest one being your audience.

Aside from ensuring you are well versed on the material you are delivering, practicing ahead of time can iron out other issues that may potentially crop up unexpectedly. Here are a few things you should pay attention to (and perfect!) while you’re practicing:

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The Power of Charisma

Have you ever noticed how some speakers seem to have a special power to draw others in? Their presence is engaging, comforting, and their passion makes you want to listen to what they have to say. They are compelling, and you spontaneously gravitate toward them and want to follow their lead. This quality has been called many things, from the “it” factor to a magnetic personality, but can be summed up in a word – Charisma.

Being charismatic requires a collection of traits such as being warm and friendly, while at the same time being confident and compelling, without being arrogant. When giving a presentation a charismatic speaker inspires the audience, and their message motivates the listeners to action and leaves a lasting impression.

Many people are naturally charismatic – they were born that way. So what if you weren’t so lucky? One can also learn to become charismatic. If you did not inherit the charismatic gene, you can boost your charismatic factor by focusing on certain characteristics.

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Effective Presenters Always Tell a Story

Effective presenters all have one thing in common. They are excellent storytellers!  Connecting with your audience on an emotional level can be accomplished by the art of storytelling, which makes it easier to pull them in and keep them engaged.

The question I am asked most often by participants in our Effective Presentation Skills workshop is, “How do I engage an audience?” If you’ve ever felt the need to grab an audience and move them to take action, nothing will get their attention like a well-told story.  To become a truly effective presenter, you need to master the art of storytelling.

In classrooms, boardrooms and at the feet of parents around the world, stories are used to sell ideas, educate and communicate ideas more effectively. So, how do you become a great storyteller? How do you take an ordinary idea or concept and bring it to life with a story that moves people to take action? The following ideas will help you to become an effective and exceptional presenter though the art of storytelling.

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Passion Engages the Audience

Passion is the key to really being able to engage your audience!

There is no shortage of rules that relate to public speaking. Stand up straight. Speak clearly and with enough volume. Make eye contact if you want to engage the room and on and on and on. All of these areas are important to be effective as a public speaker, but they seem to miss the mark on the most important of all presentation tips.

If you really want to engage your audience, stick to the topics that you are deeply passionate about. The greatest thrill for an audience is to buy in to a speaker’s enthusiasm.  If you are simply delivering a book report and don’t feel passion for the topic, you can forget about engaging your audience.

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Presentation Skills and Customer Service

Companies large and small are all coming to the same conclusion, customer service is their lifeblood. As profit margins are squeezed and customer acquisition costs continue to rise, what can business owners do to stay competitive?  Simply differentiating your product or service is becoming less and less effective – in fact, futile.  And focusing on price alone will most certainly doom your efforts.

Organizations from every industry acknowledge exceptional customer service as the differentiator, and they also recognize that communication skills are of paramount importance.  And effective presentation skills are critical not just in strengthening relationships with current customers, but perhaps more importantly in presenting your product or service and driving market share.  Just ask many failed businesses found that this out the hard way!

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Fear of Public Speaking

What is it that causes so much fear and trepidation when it comes to speaking in front of other people? Why do we always become so nervous and jittery when giving presentations? Essentially, we are concerned about what people will think of us. This fear has become so embedded that it was etched into Chinese culture by way of the phrase “tiu lien”, or “to lose face.”  And for speakers, the risk of performing badly, of losing face, becomes huge.

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Impact the Audience With Storytelling

Successfully presenting your thoughts and ideas, and effectively impacting others with your message, can be a gateway to better relationships, more productivity and an enhanced bottom line.  Delivering a successful presentation requires that you truly connect with your the audience, and storytelling can quickly establish that connection.

Most presentations promote a concept, or an idea you wish to convey.  Your hope is to persuade the audience to a certain manner of thinking, and the use of an appropriate story, if practiced and perfected, can easily drive your point home.  Storytelling is entertaining, informative and perhaps the best way to captivate your audience, provided the listener can directly relate to the story.  There are many important considerations, the first imperative is to know your audience, the second to narrate the story in such a way that they are able to quickly identify with it.

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Use of Humor in Presentations Makes Them Memorable

One thing the National Republican debates have reminded us of, is the importance of humor in presentations.  The candidates are obviously not aware to the extent that their comments will be twisted into late night fodder. They certainly do not give us these valuable nuggets for this purpose, but the comical statements and wisecracks played over and over again on late night television comedy routines reminds us that our audience is listening and they do take note of what we say and how we say it.

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Leadership and Communication Skills

Great leaders are great communicators. Great communicators are great leaders. The ability to confidently and persuasively communicate are critical to great leadership, and those who rise to the top are the ones who can stand up and speak effectively. When was the last time you watched a CEO of a Fortune 500 company deliver a lousy presentation and fall flat on his face? It doesn’t happen often—if ever! Most fortune 500 CEOs will tell you that the secret to their success is strong communication and presentation skills.

Effective communication skills are increasingly viewed as essential to the success of organizations and their leaders. Furthermore, the skills required to be an effective communicator are changing rapidly and continuously. For today’s leaders it is mandatory to communicate in “real time” via a host of communication channels. Leaders are evaluated by their candor and transparency, and are required to be constantly present, responsive and accessible.

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Saturday, February 04, 2012 – 1:27 pm
 

Effective Presentations, Introducing New Video Production Company

 

February 4 — Already one of the nation’s premier providers of public speaking skills training and motivational keynote speakers, Effective Presentations of Lakewood, Colorado is preparing to expand its impressive line of products and services.

The main focus of Effective Presentations growth will be the creation of a new division of the company, Xtreme Media, which will provide video production services and content solutions for companies. From day one, the new outfit’s staff of video production experts will help small businesses and large corporations alike create promotional videos, such as commercials and video blogs. Effective Presentations will be moving to a larger space to accommodate its expanded operations.

Founded by 25-year industry veteran Mike Fruciano, Effective Presentations has already changed the lives of thousands of individuals — on both personal and professional levels.

During Effective Presentations relatively-short run, the company has amassed a client list that includes State Farm, Wells Fargo, Pepsi and Starz. Additionally, its roster of professional speakers reads likes a who’s who of Denver Broncos Alumni history – Effective Presentations books top notch speakers for keynote speeches and personal appearances.

Xtreme Media is currently looking for video production professionals to join its team of highly-skilled videographers. For more information of Effective Presentations or its new video production arm, Call toll-free at 800-403-6598.

7 Ways to be Ineffective at Networking Meetings

1) Talk about yourself:  After all, you are the most important person in the room.  Don’t engage the audience or ask anyone a question because they came to hear your story, not theirs. So it is all about you!

2) Never, ever make eye contact:  When you walk into the room be sure to roll your shoulders forward, look down, find the closet corner and stay there.  Remain statuesque, don’t move around or look up because someone might catch your eye and start a conversation with you!

3) No smiling:  Looking disinterested or angry is a certain way to create tension and produce a cold environment so people know you are unapproachable.

4) Always talk religion and politics:  It is important that everyone understands that your political and religious views are important to you, and therefore, should be important to them!

5) Read from a script:  You are extremely busy and have no time to memorize your pitch.  When the time comes to give your 30 second commercial, read slowly, word for word so you don’t leave anything out!

6) Everyone must have your information:  Walk up to every individual and hand them your business card, along with any other printed material you can carry.  Ask them what part they see themselves playing and how they can help build your business!

7) Carry a small brown paper bag:  Should some folks manage to get their business card in your hands, immediately toss them in your bag with a look of disinterest – and be sure to leave the bag near the exit on your way out the door!

Listening Skills for Personal and Professional Success

Realistically, we spend about half of our time listening to people. We take instructions from our boss, participate in group discussions, and listen to our colleagues, friends and relatives. Unfortunately, many do not recognize the importance of developing good listening skills. Poor listening skills can cost you an important sales deal, a vital promotion, or even a valued relationship. It is important to realize the importance of good listening skills, and to work at developing them if we want to achieve success in both our professional and personal life.

Why Listen

One primary reason to actively listening is to obtain information. We also listen to gain understanding, and for enjoyment as well.

Research has shown that we generally retain 25-50% of what we actually listen too, meaning that about 50% of the data is lost due to poor listening skills. If we can strengthen our listening skills, we can increase our productivity, enhance our negotiation skills and avoid conflicts.

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Effective Presentations works with the movers and shakers in virtually any industry.
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