Why You Need Good Presentation Skills to Successful in the Workplace

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Presentation Skills Training

sales success
Most people will agree that presentation skills are important. But ask them to explain “Why?” and they are stumped. These folks might mumble something unintelligible and proudly declare “Because – everybody knows that it is”.

First, let’s clarify the statement “Presentation skills are important”. What we really mean is, “Effective presentation skills are important”. “Presentation skills” is not a black and white off/on switch. It is a rainbow of colors. Everybody has presentation skills. Some are better than others. The primary goal is for your presentation skills to be better than your competition, whoever and whatever that is. The secondary goal is for your presentations to get better with every presentation that you deliver.

So whenever you read “presentation skills are important” think better presentations are critically important”.

Presentation Skills are Important to Individual Success

For many individuals the first important presentation they deliver might be to the selection committee. It might be labeled as a “job interview” but it’s really a presentation. Success rides on their presentation outshining the competition. The results are black and white but the skills are a rainbow of colors.

In most organizations day-to-day business entails teamwork. That means presenting to your team or on behalf of your team. Career growth necessitates presenting your ideas to others. And if you want to be promoted you need to train others to handle your old job. If you want to fast track your career – volunteer to work on projects and deliver more presentations.

Presentation Skills are Important to Business Success

Having the superior product is never enough to guarantee business success. Apple is acknowledged as offering leading edge technology and Steve Jobbs is often modeled as a superior presenter. If you are not the Apple of your industry just imagine how much better your presentations need to be.

Business leaders are often expected to present their message with confidence and clarity to staff, clients, partners, investors and sometimes the public. Millions of dollars can ride on these presentations.

Presentation Skills are Important to Stress Reduction

The financial cost of stress to organizations is huge. Work related stress can be demoralizing to staff, management and executives. Effective presentation skills reduce miscommunication, which is likely the biggest cause of work related stress. Better presentation skills also reduces the stress on presenters which means they will be more willing to present and more effective with their communication. The principles and techniques of presentations apply to other methods of communication. Become a better presenter and you will become a better communicator.

Presentation Skills are Important to Time Management

Many presentations take too long and thus waste time because the presenter was trying to fill the time period. Better presenters get their message across in less time because they respect time, focus on the message and use the most effective techniques to communicate. Better presenters can deliver their 30 minute presentation in 5 minutes or 90 seconds when needed. Better presenters also save time while preparing because they prepare their presentation more efficiently. They know where they are going and how to get there faster.

Presentation Skills are Important to Leadership

Abraham Lincoln was not only known and praised for his speech at the Gettysburg Address but the fact that his Speech was less than 2 minutes and his predecessor and elder statesman Edward Everette spoke for about 2 hours and Lincoln’s was more noteworthy   because he got his message across in less time. Leadership in your community, association or organization demands effective presentation skills.

Every cause needs a leader. Every leader needs to be able to stand up and deliver a clear and inspiring message. The team and followers will often judge the leader and the cause on the presentation skills of that spokesperson.

Presentation skills are Important to Public Image & Opinion

It might seem unfair, but we will often judge you, your organization and your product on how you, your staff or executive delivered a presentation. We will tend to remember the extremes – really bad or really good. Remember that our perception is relative to how everyone else presented.
With effective presentation skills training, chances are that you may be able to succeed far and above the norm.

 

 

15 Body Language Secrets of Successful People

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Our bodies have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. Your body language has likely become an integral part of who you are, to the point where you might not even think about it.

If that’s the case, it’s time to start, because you could be sabotaging your career.

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). These people know the power that unspoken signals have in communication and they monitor their own body language accordingly.

What follows are the 15 most common body language blunders that people make, and emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid.

  1. Slouching is a sign of disrespect. It communicates that you’re bored and have no desire to be where you are. You would never tell your boss, “I don’t understand why I have to listen to you,” but if you slouch, you don’t have to—your body says it for you, loud and clear.

The brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up. Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position. It maximizes the amount of space you fill. Slouching, on the other hand, is the result of collapsing your form—it takes up less space and projects less power.

Maintaining good posture commands respect and promotes engagement from both ends of the conversation.

  1. Exaggerated gestures can imply that you’re stretching the truth. Aim for small, controlled gestures to indicate leadership and confidence, and open gestures—like spreading your arms apart or showing the palms of your hands—to communicate that you have nothing to hide.
  2. Watching the clock while talking to someone is a clear sign of disrespect, impatience, and inflated ego. It sends the message that you have better things to do than talk to the person you’re with, and that you’re anxious to leave them.
  3. Turning yourself away from others, or not leaning into your conversation, portrays that you are unengaged, uninterested, uncomfortable, and perhaps even distrustful of the person speaking.

Try leaning in towards the person who is speaking and tilt your head slightly as you listen to them speak. This shows the person speaking that they have your complete focus and attention.

  1. Crossed arms—and crossed legs, to some degree—are physical barriers that suggest you’re not open to what the other person is saying. Even if you’re smiling or engaged in a pleasant conversation, the other person may get a nagging sense that you’re shutting him or her out.

Even if folding your arms feels comfortable, resist the urge to do so if you want people to see you as open-minded and interested in what they have to say.

  1. Inconsistency between your words and your facial expression causes people to sense that something isn’t right and they begin to suspect that you’re trying to deceive them, even if they don’t know exactly why or how.

For example, a nervous smile while rejecting an offer during a negotiation won’t help you get what you want; it will just make the other person feel uneasy about working with you because they’ll assume that you’re up to something.

  1. Exaggerated nodding signals anxiety about approval. People may perceive your heavy nods as an attempt to show you agree with or understand something that you actually don’t.

 

  1. Fidgeting with or fixing your hair signals that you’re anxious, over-energized, self-conscious, and distracted. People will perceive you as overly concerned with your physical appearance and not concerned enough with your career.
  2. Avoiding eye contact makes it look like you have something to hide, and that arouses suspicion. Lack of eye contact can also indicate a lack of confidence and interest, which you never want to communicate in a business setting.

Looking down as you talk makes it seem like you lack confidence or are self-conscious, causing your words to lose their effect. It’s especially important to keep your eyes level if you’re making complicated or important points.

Sustained eye contact, on the other hand, communicates confidence, leadership, strength, and intelligence. While it is possible to be engaged without direct, constant eye contact, complete negligence will clearly have negative effects on your professional relationships.

  1. Eye contact that’s too intense may be perceived as aggressive, or an attempt to dominate. On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we’re listening than when we’re talking. The way we break contact sends a message, too. Glancing down communicates submission, while looking to the side projects confidence.
  2. Rolling your eyes is a fail-proof way to communicate lack of respect. Fortunately, while it may be a habit, it’s voluntary. You can control it, and it’s worth the effort.
  3. Scowling or having a generally unhappy expression sends the message that you’re upset by those around you, even if they have nothing to do with your mood. Scowls turn people away, as they feel judged.

Smiling, however, suggests that you’re open, trustworthy, confident, and friendly. MRI studies have shown that the human brain responds favorably to a person who’s smiling, and this leaves a lasting positive impression.

  1. Weak handshakes signal that you lack authority and confidence, while a handshake that is too strong could be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination, which is just as bad. Adapt your handshake to each person and situation, but make sure it’s always firm.
  2. Clenched fists, much like crossed arms and legs, can signal that you’re not open to other people’s points. It can also make you look argumentative and defensive, which will make people nervous about interacting with you.
  3. Getting too close. If you stand too close to someone (nearer than one and a half feet), it signals that you have no respect for or understanding of personal space. This will make people very uncomfortable when they’re around you.

Bringing It All Together

Avoiding these body language blunders will help you form stronger relationships, both professionally and personally.

By Dr. Travis Bradberry

How to Impress Your Sales Prospects Quickly to Get the Door

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How to Succeed in Outside Sales

In order to succeed in outside sales you need to start on the inside. So how do you cover a lot of ground to build your sales funnel these days ? It’s not easy because there are so many means of communicating with a potential customer. Nobody answers their phone anymore and nowadays some folks will not even respond to your email! They say that social media is the new way to the attention or communicate your information to potential customers and they will come to you, but eventually you will have to engage in a conversation with your prospect via telephone to get in the door.

Top Sales Techniquessales success

So how do you achieve sales success? After many years in sales , I actually developed my sales skills on the telephone to “get the appointment” working with one of the major radio broadcasting stations. There were 12 sales professionals selling to a very narrow demographic so you could imagine what was left to call on. My plan was to find old accounts that nobody wanted and to find ways to sell different demographics creating alternate needs for the our product. I wanted to cover as much ground as possible without wasting a whole lot of time and energy so the best way to target the companies that I had in my was to try to call them by phone to get a chance for an appointment. These days if you do get an appointment it means two things – They have a genuine need to see you or they need another quote which can also end up in a sale but that is a whole new conversation. The first thing I did was research on the company, and have some semblance of a solution ready for them when I got them on the line. One thing you NEED to keep in mind is that you do not want to sound like a canned sales pitch, to avoid this most successful sales professionals keep their “pitch” conversational and this is the approach I used . I was successful at this method because in the course of conversation I would find out in a short period of time if they were happy or not with their current situation then the prospect would invite me in for an appointment and then my chances were very good that I would end up closing them. Needless to say I increased my sales 400 percent using these tactics and was asked to become a mentor for the other new reps and then shortly thereafter to become the Sales Manager.

Sales Tips for Success

Most recently I had the opportunity to perform my skills with sales coaching for a software company that provides sales training to the automotive industry. I was tasked to listen in on the sales people’s repertoire and found that they would just go into their usual routine of presenting the product. Their close ratio was low and I found a couple of simple key things that helped them to be more successful. The first thing I taught them was to find out why the prospects inquired about the program in the first place. Then to talk about that pain at the beginning of the sales call and reiterate the pain throughout their sales presentation and attach it to the solutions that the software company offered.

This method immediately got the prospect talking and asking questions, which leads to closing the sale! (When your prospects starts asking questions you always have a good chance of selling them.)

The secret to successful telephone sales is getting the prospects attention in a very short period of time, this is why the company research and offering a solution to your prospect that creates value will get you in the door to insure inside sales success.

 

How to Improve Your Memory Quickly

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Having a Good Memory

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Fortunately I have always had a good memory and thought that most people did too, but was surprised how many people out there have trouble remembering events, names and occurrences. I also learned and been teaching a memory technique that is one of the best I’ve come across in years. This memory technique is a product of learning to tap into your potential in order for self improvement.

These days’ people are looking for the latest and greatest in order to be successful. How many times have you just got off the phone after a successful interview and forgot the person’s name that you were speaking with or met someone at a business function and minutes later forgot their name. This could be detrimental to your success in life. William James, a Psychologist said that (and I am sure that you may have come across this statistic sometime in your lifetime) that most of us only use 10% of our potential in our lifetime. That means there is 90% of untapped human potential.

Memory Techniques

I’m going to illustrate that we can tap into that potential by simply using a simple exercise to improve your memory in a short period of time. The mind tends to think and relate better to pictures faster, so here goes the magic. If I suggest to you to think of the word duck what pops into your head ? an image of Donald Duck, a Mallard Duck sitting on a pond, of course you immediately get a mental image of the word that is heard and processed by your brain. You do not immediately think of the word DUCK do you? The problem is that when we were taught early on in elementary school how to memorize they did not use a technique associated with the mental image process. Instead you were just taught to memorize by rote and that was a lot harder and longer process. Well here’s a memory technique that will help you improve your memory and it goes like this if you already had not guessed. If I taught you ten public speaking tips and the next day you tried to remember without using this memory technique you may get three or four but if I you used this technique you would probably remember 8 or 10 and probably in order! Let’s try five to illustrate this example.

  1. 90 % of your nervousness does not show.
  2. Do not try to recite word for word.
  3. Do not memorize your speech
  4. Show up early
  5. Take Deep Breaths
  6. Look for a friendly face in the audience

Now try to memorize these in order then close your eyes and try to recite them. Don’t cheat

After you try to recite and only get a couple then try this.

Associate the six tips with a little story and it goes like this and is based on a horse race

  1. Favorite horse no showed
  2. Jockey was trying to write a down grocery list word for word
  3. Could not remember exactly what his wife wanted
  4. because he was watching his time
  5. Horse had to take deep breaths from running fast
  6. The jockey in front was smiling cause he was ahead

 

Now use this memory association scenario and then close your eyes and try to remember the seven tips. I’m sure that you probably get them all and probably in order because of the logical sequential flow of the scenario. It’s easy to see how using a simple technique can improve your memory quickly!

 

 

How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

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public speaking skills

Public speaking skills are valuable both in your personal life and career. Even if you don’t regularly engage in public speaking, developing skills in this area will increase your confidence and reduce anxiety about situations in which you may be called upon to speak in public. Below are some key skills held by good public speakers.

Public speaking skill #1: Stage Presence

Good public speakers appear confident, friendly, enthusiastic and energetic.

Confidence comes from choosing a topic you like and researching it well. Friendliness can be conveyed simply by smiling at your audience. Enthusiasm and energy will naturally follow when you enjoy your topic and are well prepared.

If you feel that your stage presence is lacking, take some time and view clips of speakers that you admire. Aim to imitate their style. If you are adequately prepared, there isn’t any reason why you can’t “fake it ’til you make it”. In other words, act confident until you feel confident.

Public speaking skill #2: Voice Control

Your voice is the most important tool you will use as a public speaker. One key skill to improve the quality of your voice is to practice diaphragmatic breathing; breathing from your diaphragm instead of your chest. Doing so will reduce the feeling of breathlessness caused by speech anxiety. In addition, this type of breathing will allow you to better control the tone (quality), pitch (high or low) and volume of your voice.

Public speaking skill #3: Body Language

It is not enough to practice how you will speak to your audience.

It is also important to consider your body language and the message that it conveys. In general, you should practice standing with a relaxed upright posture. Your hands should be at your sides or clasped in front of you, unless you are making a gesture to emphasize a point. Become aware of your facial expressions as well; they should match the message you are delivering.

 

Public speaking skill #4: Delivery

When it comes to public speaking, delivery is everything. Even if you have a great voice and good body language, your message will get lost if the audience can’t easily follow what you say. Below are some tips for developing good delivery skills.

  • Speak slowly and deliberately; it should seem too slow to you.
  • Pause between ideas.
  • Carefully articulate and pronounce your words
  • Avoid filler sounds like “Um” and “ah”
  • Vary the pitch and volume of your voice to add interest

Public speaking skill #5: Audience Relations

Good public speakers are in tune with their audience. Public speaking is more than standing in front of a group and talking. Acknowledge your audience right away and begin talking as soon as all eyes are on you; similarly, if you need to set up equipment, converse with your audience at the same time to keep their attention. Make eye contact and watch for communication from the audience. Smiles and nodding are good; fidgeting or confused looks may mean that you need to adjust what you are doing.

What is the bottom line? Remember that the goal of public speaking is to deliver a message. In addition to the above skills, you need to be connected to your material. When you are knowledgeable and speak with passion, both you and the audience will have a more enjoyable experience.

 

By Arlin Cuncic

Social Anxiety Disorder Expert