Ta-Daa! Presenting You!

It has been said that people fear public speaking second only to dying. Speaking to one or more people though is often the way that we generate interest in our business- both products and services. In fact, unless you hire a PR person to do all of your presentations, it will be the only way that you get the word out.

Last week we talked about telling people what we do in 10 words or less. It is very important that we present our information quickly in a way that is easy for others to understand. No jargon, no industry specific phrases.

Finding just the right words that address the prospective client’s problem takes thought and learning to say it so that it comes naturally takes practice. However sometimes we are required to make presentations to more than one person at a time, and for some, that is a scenario they want to avoid at all costs.

One of the ways to begin honing up your presentation skills is to offer to speak to small groups of people about your business. Church Coffee groups, small offices, social groups and volunteer organizations are but a few of the places that I advocate speaking and doing presentations for free. It is a great way to get the word out about your business, and many of the groups are grateful for the information that you provide for them.

Another reason you may be required to make a presentation is for applying for a business loan, or offering investors an opportunity to invest in your business. Workshops are also a good source of income, and sometimes people would much rather take a workshop and learn how to do what you do rather than hire you to do it. ( Always be willing to give this information away in the form of seminar or workshop. In this way you capture the interest of people who may have never been your client.)

Any way you look at it, there is going to come a time when you must make a presentation.So instead of planning your demise, try using these helpful and hints ideas.

1. Relax and think of the presentation as giving of yourself - not formal presentations. Really all you are doing is sharing your knowledge to help others.

2. Dress comfortably and conservatively. No low cut blouses or uncomfortable shoes. Wear your hair up so that it is not falling in your face

3. Practice your presentation in front of a mirror, or video tape it. Notice how often you move your hands or fiddle with your hair. Relax - your audience is friendly.

4. Test your equipment several times before you use it. Be familiar with the technology you will be using

5. If you are using Power Point to present use the 10/20/30 rule. 10 Slides. 20 minutes. 30 point font.

6. Use a blue or dark background. It easier on the eyes.

7. Do not hand out or write down all you are going to say. List the major points and then elaborate.

8. Know your subject. Presentations go much more easily when you know what you are speaking about.

9. Invite questions. Do not worry if you do not have the answers right away. You can offer to follow up and find the correct answer.

10. Relax and BREATHE. Drink plenty of water before the presentation. This can be fun if you make the decision to have fun.

The ability to get your message across is not easy for some to learn – but we all can do it. Face it, it is a lot easier to talk to 10 people at once then to speak to each one individually. What usually frightens people is that they think that what they do has to be perfect. In fact we are often striving to be as good as the last professional speaker that we heard at an event, not realizing that it may have taken that person years to get where they are now. Get rid of the perfectionism, and just decide to give good easy to understand information

Giving presentations can be a lot of fun, and the more you do it the more fun it becomes. If you think of it as helping to educate people, and give them great information, it becomes so much easier.

"One of the keys to effective communication and dispute resolution is understanding ourselves and how we think and also understanding how others are wired as well. Each of us has personality styles that are unique to ourselves - however there are also patterns as well. When you understand the differing personality styles and their blends - you begin to see people as they are with more understanding! For more information on understanding personality styles please contact Mandie at president@roaringwomen.com."

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Mandie Crawford is a marketing expert, business coach, trainer and motivational speaker who was recently awarded Calgary Business Woman of the Year for her contributions to the business community.

Mandie also has skills and expertise in providing high quality guidance in time management and system implementation for small a medium sized businesses. Her passion as a business and professional development coach is to helps women recognize their value and self worth.

She is the Preside...

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