You’re an Expert – Learn to Love to Present!

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There are plenty of us out there – we are experts in our fields, we do our jobs or run our own businesses with skill and we’re good at what we do. But we also need to promote our skills, achievements or the services we offer. Whether you’re in a job or running your own business, you still need to get your message across confidently. Sure, there are other ways to promote your business; however, presenting is an exceptionally good choice because you can reach a wide audience. Plus, the audience can see you and get to know you, and you can show them that you are an expert in your topic. So what can you do if you are not that comfortable with presenting, but you think it is a good way to get to your potential clients?
Learning to present

Presenting and public speaking are learnt skills.I believe we can all learn to present successfully in front of a group. However, if you want to develop your presenting skills, then you will need to commit time and energy to the task; and you must want to grow and develop, because developing your presentation skills also takes you on a wonderful personal development journey. What are the steps to follow on this ‘Learning to present’ journey?

Expand your comfort zone – as you learn to present, you will have to allow yourself to go out of your comfort zone and get uncomfortable in front of an audience. This takes courage and commitment. Your business is your livelihood – you’re willing to go and learn new skills for the sake of your business, aren’t you? Sure you are!Some presentations will go well and you will develop your confidence from these, but there are always those times when things don’t go smoothly. You have to keep going, keep trying, always stretching yourself to develop your confidence, no matter what!

Work at presentation skills training – there are many skills that go into presenting and it certainly will help you to work at these with a coach, someone who understands the process and has the skills to train you.The areas that you need to learn about are:
– speech structure and organisation
– how to keep an audience’s attention
– how to use technology e.g. PowerPoint, Keynote
– the importance of body language
– the use of the voice
– how to handle nervousness
– how to make a presentation captivating
– what not to do!There are plenty of coaches, classes and organisations to assist you in these areas.

Reduce negative self-chatter – Did you know that 40% of the population fear speaking in public? And it doesn’t matter what size the group. So if you don’t like public speaking and fear getting up in front of a group – you’re not alone. What is holding you back? What is stopping you from speaking to a group and giving them information that they need? Part of it is that negative self-chatter.Negative self-chatter dispels dreams, holds us back and reduces our effectiveness because we keep saying, ‘I can’t do that’, ‘They won’t want to listen to me’, ‘What if I mess up?’, ‘I don’t know where to start – it’s too hard to get my information together’, ‘The audience will be looking at me – I don’t like that!’, ‘People don’t listen to me’ – and the list goes on.If you are going to develop your presentation skills and confidently get your message across, you have to work (on a very personal level) to stop that negative chatter that goes on and on in your mind. You need to rewire the chatter so it becomes positive self-talk, which builds your confidence, builds self esteem, and will help you to achieve your goals and dreams.Again, this takes commitment and courage – remember the presentation is not about you, it’s about what the audience wants to know. You are giving them the information they have invested time to hear.

Overcome your nervousness – it’s natural to get nervous when speaking in front of a group, especially when you are not used to presenting. Remember, this involves at least 40% of the population so you are not alone.It helps to understand what happens to your body when you get nervous about presenting. Feeling nervous can trigger a ‘fight or flight’ response in the body. Adrenalin goes around the body, it’s difficult to think straight and breathing becomes shallow. To overcome the nerves, you have to find the approach that works for you. This could be exercise, any form of relaxation (yoga is fabulous), meditation, making sure you are prepared and rehearsed, or just having a positive mindset.The final suggestion is to keep giving presentations, because once you get used to giving presentations regularly, you’ll no longer feel that presenting is outside your comfort zone: it will be inside your comfort zone. This is very important – the more you give presentations, the better and more confident you will become.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse – this means running through your presentation so you are prepared and know what you want to say, making sure your slides are appropriate and look good, and checking that your timing is spot on. Mishaps happen, this is normal, but the more you rehearse and prepare, the more confident you will be when it’s your time to present. Actors and performers rehearse and rehearse; business people delivering presentations need to do this, too.

Presenting to promote

At the start of your presenting experiences, it all takes a lot of effort but, as you get more comfortable with giving presentations, the easier it becomes. When you are delivering content that you are passionate about, this passion will shine through and inspire your audience. Promoting your business by speaking is a great way to display that you are the expert. Build a presentation on a topic/subject in your industry. Don’t talk about products! Then go and find places to deliver your presentation – search out Rotary or Lions clubs, business associations, networking groups and so on. Choose your target market and look for presenting opportunities there.You can prepare video for your website and YouTube – this is another way to display your expertise. Presenting to camera will need some training; however, video marketing is becoming a popular strategy and is wonderful for use on social media.If you are an expert in your field and you develop your presentation skills, this will give you a marvellous opportunity to meet potential clients, build connections, even build a tribe. By developing your presentation skills, your confidence will grow and this will ultimately help you to grow your business. So, since you are an expert in your field, learn to love to present!

If you are wanting to develop your presentation skills or help your staff to present with impact, contact Adrienne McLean at adrienne@thespeakerspractice.com.au or ring on 0414 367 960.

7 Things about Your Presentation Topic Your Boss Wants to Know

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Business presentations are essential to communicate projects,management issues,business restructuring,system implementations,marketing strategies,sales successes and so on. The Business Presentation is a pivotal method of communication to clients, staff and executives. How can a Business Presentation be structured to best get the message across?

1.Strong Opening Grip your business audience with a strong comment to open – a question – a story – a quotation or the one big success of why you are there.

2. Background – why they need to listen – you need to detail why your audience needs to listen to your presentations. What is in this presentation for them Detailing briefly why they should listen and what is going to be addressed by listening will keep their attention.

3. Execution – the audience doesn’t want to know excruciating detail but they do want to be included in the journey – so detail some of the important steps so they can understand how far the project has come.

4. Challenges and How you overcame them – Show your best work – what challenges have been faced and how have you used your skills to address these challenges. Don’t blow your own trumpet but be proud of the work and details the achievements and developments.

5. Results – the Bottom Line – Results are what the Boss wants to know – focus on these and the impact these results are having on the business.

6. Benefits to clients – External or Internal How do these results benefit the clients, staff, shareholders? Business projects and simply work are at the end for this – so explain the benefits.

7. Summary of success A brief summary to finish will keep your hard work at the front of the Bosses mind – the huge steps forward , whatever you want the Boss to remember , this goes at the end.

A Business Presentation is an important tool – it can win or loose business, staff can be kept engaged or can be discouraged. It is dependent on the topic, on where you put your focus but the results and the impact are crucial then by looking and sharing some of the important details, this can show you are working towards the same goal and you will really shine!

What I learnt by attending The Voice Australia Blind Auditions

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The Voice is an exciting , performance based selection process for singers seeking to be the new, hot star. My family happened to get some free tickets to one of the blind auditions. We are under strict guidelines not to give away details – we are not allowed to say anything about the performances that got through or take photos of the auditorium or any part of the performance or performers – understandably – this is to keep the program a surprise for when it is broadcast. Still, audience members tried to snap that secret photo!

However, my interest is in what were the judges looking for? What helped the performer get through? It was gruelling for the performers and the standard is very high – they only had 2 minutes to grab the judges attention – what is it that made some performers stand out?

Whether it is singing or delivering a presentation at work – to get and keep your audience’s attention in whatever forum is the challenge for the presenter.

The Speakers Practice presentation skills training, the SpeakersTrainingCamp program ,details three very important areas that impact on the performance of a presenter.

Steak – the information and the way the information is structured during the presentation has a great impact on the overall ability of the audience to take in the content of the presentation.
Sizzle – the parts of the presentation that make us listen – examples like stories , photos, statistics – all sorts of methods to keep the audience watching and listening. For singers – it may be the highs and lows of the song and making some parts soft and some very loud – For presenters – it may be a story with a lot of emotional connection , using a pause to capture attention , a prop or some statistics and data that are presented in a clear, concise manner. You get to decide what works best and really gets your message across.
Style – this is the way the presenter delivers the content – eye contact, vocal variety, body language, and the list goes on. The important thing here is that the presenter needs to be authentic –

So what I learnt from attending The Voice Blind Auditions was that whether you are trying to get ahead on a top rating television show or you need to make a great impression with your next presentation to the boss, learning to develop these three major areas of your presentation – the Steak, Sizzle and Style , will really help the success of whatever your next presentation is.

Good Luck!

How to Prepare Your Business for the New Year

The Friday Forum is for business people – we discuss many topics and hear how our guests have included speaking to groups as a marketing strategy – today Julie Ashton of Dynamic Business coach is detailing some great tips on “How to Prepare Your Business for the New Year”.

Julie has a unique talent for simplifying complex processes and concepts while identifying and implementing practical strategies for her clientèle. She is known for teaching people how to work quickly and efficiently while happily delivering great service, whether it be by phone, internet or face to face.

Adrienne McLean interviews Julie Ashton on how to prepare for the approaching new year – there are some great tips and advice for being prepared and ready for a successful year ahead.

Champion Speaker’s Recommendations

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Champion Speaker’s recommendation

On the 18th April,2011, I had the opportunity to meet Lance Miller, Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking 2005. Lance Miller was a wealth of information and he had these recommendations.

When putting a speech together, the critical items are:

Be a Champion of your ideas
Look at what the winners are doing
Put behind any regrets
Public Speaking is not acting – Public Speaking is about connecting with your audience
Public Speaking has everything to do with Keeping the attention of your audience. A perfect speech keeps the attention of the audience right through the whole presentation.
Use Series of Threes – 3 main points to get your message across
Use of Pause – this allows your audience to lock into the last phrase said. If you want to make your point important – then Pause!
To make a point – tell a story. This is because we are not computers.
**You have to touch the heart of your audience,
to change their minds.**

When you speak to your audience, lay the concepts to the audience and let them absorb your ideas. Start with a story everyone agrees with then personalise it, put yourself in the story and then add a message to the metaphor.

Lance Miller speaks on ” Finding Your Voice”
The areas one needs to look at when wanting to Find Your voice are-

The message has to do with the speaker
There has to be 100% Conviction – NO doubts
Passion – when you are passionate about something it is much easier to get the message across
Sincerity and humility = There is no place on a stage for “Swollen Heads” – Your stories don’t have to be sensational. They do need to be sincere.
Life Force – 20% Mechanics, 30% Message and 50% Energy
You’ve go to be honest with the audience – sincere!
Touch the heart and change the minds of the audience. Be humble
80% of the Mechanics is to do with Preparation – See our last Blog on The Power of Practice.
Be yourself, Your Philosophy and your values
We all have defining moments that change our lives – talk from your heart – create the extraordinary from the ordinary things of life – what I’m struggling with and add an inspiring message
Your topic doesn’t have to be a sensational concept – you just have to be sincere and look at changing the lives of your audience.
Ask yourself – ” What’s my attention on? ” That’s what you speak on.

Lance Miller finished the evening with these points –” The world is controlled by people who are heard. The Skills that are needed are – Speaking in Public and knowing how to run a Meeting.”

It certainly was a pleasure to meet Lance Miller. He is such a generous gentleman with his time and information. From this presentation, the audience learnt so much.

The Power of Practice!

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For The Speakers Practice’s Opening Blog, it seems appropriate to look at the Power of Practice.

It’s through Practice, that people who give presentations can work on their presentation to give maximum impact to their audience. It’s one thing to talk about what you want to speak about, its another thing completely, whether your audience understands the points you are delivering.

Even the most experienced presenters practice their speeches, fine tune their messages, understand the timings of their presentations so their audience really gets the most out of attending and ultimately wants to hear more and wants to do business with the presenter.

So , what is the Process of Practicing a Presentation?

PREPARE – this is where you gather your information, write your presentation, look at your objectives for giving the speech and what your message is. Use stories that are yours , this will help you to remember what goes next. This is where most of your time is spent. The SpeakersTrainingCamp® has a wonderful structure that can really help you to look at every aspect of a presentation.

REHEARSE – you have your presentation ready, now to get your delivery smooth and confident, you need to rehearse a number of times so that you really feel that you know it inside out. Then you can present your speech not relying on notes, you can have them there ,however, it really helps your presentation if you are not glued to your notes and you are looking at your audience.

AUDIENCE
– you are delivering your presentation to inform, inspire and guide your audience. You can make a difference with your presentation – whether it’s an important presentation to an executive committee , a work group or its a social presentation. Your presentation is for your audience.

CONNECTION
– Practicing your presentation will give you the opportunity to maximise your connection with your audience. The more confident your presentation, the more you know your message, the more authentic you are, the more eye contact you have with your audience, the more you know about your audience – the better your connection with your audience and the more you will be successfully able to get your message across.

TIMING – Always ,and I mean , Always respect the timing of your presentation. Know your presentation, and by going through this process you do now, Know how long it takes and suite the timing to what is expected. You may be given 20mins, then , have your presentation going for 20minutes. This point is really important. Speakers that think they can go on for hours instead of minutes loose their audience’s respect as well as credibility. By practicing, you can fine tune the timing and increase your confidence.

IMPROVE – Professional speakers practice and improve their presentations so that they can confidently present their speech and achieve maximum impact. Don’t wing it, practice and Improve then you will get maximum impact from your presentation.

CONSOLIDATE
– Now you have Prepared, REhearsed , thought about your Audience, built a Connection wtih your audience, worked at the Timing, Improved – all these tasks have Consolidated your presentation so that you can really achieve what you would like from your presentation – and that is Impress them!

EXCEL – when you follow this process , you will Excel and do your best. Ok, there’s always areas to work on ,however, by continuing along this path of Continuous Improvement and Practice of your Presentations , you will Excel! this is the Power of Practice.

Consider joining The Speakers Practice – Speakers Forum. Attendees are like-minded Business People who are wanting to promote their businesses by speaking to networking groups, associations ,etc. We discuss presentation skills , present current speeches and get audience feedback on delivery, objectives , on how we understood the message, and so on.

Enjoy your Presentations, Practice your Presentations and appreciate the Power of Practice!!