How to Present like a Pro !

The Speakers Practice has invited Australian Business owners to submit articles on the topic of the Presentation Skills in the workplace. Contributors are experts in their industry , discussing aspects and giving advice concerning presentation skills in their field of expertise.Introducing InsideOut PR –

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INSIDEOUTPR specialises in internal and external communications for corporate and consumer brands. Break-through media coverage, strong brand engagement, a social media following, and messaging that resonates with your target audience.

In most realms of PR, marketing and advertising, being able to effectively communicate your ideas is essential. However not all of us are blessed with the coveted “confidence” gene…so we gotta fake it, til’ we make it!

To help get you over the line, we have come up with some simple tips that will have your audience sitting on the edge of their seats.

Be Prepared – Know your product inside and out and predict the types of questions that may come up in your presentation, so that you can answer them without fumbling. Make a list of the main points you want to convey and memorise, so that if you find yourself talking off track during the speech, you can always find your way back.

Engage – To engage with your audience, you must know them. Immerse yourself in their culture, use their jargon and make references they can relate to. Most importantly, try and make them feel a part of the speech. This can be done by using interactive phrases, such as “we are about to witness a revolution” and “I don’t know if you have this problem, but…”

Laugh – Don’t be afraid to throw in a few one liners. The trick is to keep them witty and inoffensive. Laughter helps keep your audience alert and makes you (the presenter) more likeable. Remember, if you have to question whether a joke will work with your audience, don’t risk it.

Loosen Up – One of the biggest mistakes presenters make is to stand still. It doesn’t look natural and is a dead giveaway that you are uncomfortable. Try and pretend you are conversing with friends, use hand-gestures, take a couple of steps around and try to take a relaxed stance. The easiest way to do this is to unlock the knee joints, keep your chest and chin out and your shoulders back.

Watch Yourself – When nervous, most people overuse stalling words like ‘um’ or ‘ah’ without even noticing. This can get irritating for an audience, and can lead them to lose. The best way to avoid using these words is to first identify your fall-back word (the word that you are most likely to fall back on when stalling). Practice in front of a friend and get them to help you pick it and when you know what word to avoid, it makes it easier to stop yourself from saying it.

Once you have nailed these, you are ready to go and pitch your ideas to the world. If you still need a confidence booster InsideOut PR finds that donning a killer pair of heels always helps!

Thanks to the team of InsideOutsidePR – to find out more about this dynamic PR team , based at Crows Nest, see www.insideoutpr.com.au . They can assist you to promote your business.

Be empowered to speak with confidence, influence and ease!

The Speakers Practice has invited Australian Business owners to submit articles on the topic of the Presentation Skills in the workplace. Contributors are experts in their industry , discussing aspects and giving advice concerning presentation skills in their field of expertise.Introducing Maureen Bell –

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Maureen Bell, “Speak with Presence” works with people and Companies who speak in public, to develop presentations, present to engage and speak with confidence. Maureen is based in Sydney.

The ability to present persuasively, naturally, and professionally is one of the most important assets you can develop in both workplace and social situations. It is one of life’s great truisms that they way we communicate with others determine’s the quality of our life. Good communication is vital because we often have to change or influence the thoughts and behaviour of others, particularly in the workplace. Good speaking skills are necessary to communicate a message clearly. However, many people feel scared or nervous to speak out particularly in the workplace and this can stop you taking opportunities or career advancements.

Understanding how to prepare and practise public speaking will decrease your nerves significantly. The following 10 tips are designed to help you focus when next delivering a presentation.

Know your audience. Why are you speaking to this audience? Who is going to be in the audience? Why are they attending?
Know your environment. Make sure you arrive early to check out your speaking arena. Check lighting, audiovisual equipment, microphones, room layout and anything that may impact your presentation to ensure all is ready and working fully.
Know your purpose. What is the reason for your presentation?
Is your purpose to inform, demonstrate, persuade, or entertain? Perhaps it is a combination of the above?
Know how to start. Start your speech or presentation with real impact. An effective introduction allows you to establish rapport with your audience. It should grab their attention and interest, as it is your chance to create a favourable first impression. Research show you only have 30 seconds to do this.
Know how to structure. Have you organised your presentation so that your main topic points flow in a logical order and are easy to understand? Have you used anecdotes, stories and humour to help your audience understand the meaning of your facts and statistics?
Know how to end your speech. Do not end with questions and answers and remember to end with a conclusion. The conclusion is an important part of a presentation as it is the last thing your audience hear. It is your last chance to create a lasting impression. It plays a key role in how your audience will remember you and your key messages.
Know how to talk with ease. Presenting is talking to other human beings, therefore talk to them rather than read from PowerPoint. Humans need connection and when you read from slides there is no connection with the audience. Use slides to reinforce or enhance your message. Remember the only way to influence people is by connecting with them. Look them in the eye and converse with them.
Know that you must practise. Have you practised your presentation over and over again using only abbreviated notes? Have you practised your eye contact, pace of speech, volume, tone and body gestures? Have you practised to the point where you are comfortable with the material or content?
Know when to use handouts. If your presentation involves statistics and analytical data, put them in a handout that the audience can refer to. Don’t bore them by reciting a plethora of numbers. When used well, numbers and data will add to the impact of a speech, rather than bogging the audience down in detail.
Know that it is you that brings a presentation or speech alive. What will the audience most remember? It is unlikely they will remember power point slides. They will remember well presented information supported with relevant data and anecdotes which is delivered with meaning and emphasis. They will remember you!

Thanks Maureen, some great words of advice. There’s alot to remember when delivering a presentation , your 10 tips will really assist anyone giving that important presentation.

Ten Top Tips for Presenting on TV. -Tim Stackpool

The Speakers Practice has invited Australian Business owners to submit articles on the topic of the Presentation Skills in the workplace. Contributors are experts in their industry , discussing aspects and giving advice concerning presentation skills in their field of expertise.
Introducing Tim Stackpool –
Tim Stackpool is a broadcaster and presenter, providing news and information to radio and TV station around the world on a variety of subjects. He has more than 20 year experience working for various on-air organisations, and now also provides training and workshops to broadcast and corporate individuals wanting to improve their on-air presence.

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Tim’s Top Ten Tips for Presenting on TV are:

1. Expose your personality, don’t change it. Your DNA is unique and it’s what sets you apart from everyone else on the planet. If you stifle it, you will appear contrived and pretentious.
2. Overcome the imposter syndrome. You are on-camera for a purpose and you have a story to tell. Don’t second-guess yourself. People want to hear what you have to say.
3. Know your message. Be very well prepared, so you can talk about the subject in both an authorative and casual manner for a very long time. Knowing all the facts and a good general knowledge will keep the flow of conversation going and avoid running out of words.
4. Mention your key message early. Leaving your important point until the end could be a disaster if you run out of time, or your audience might tune-out before you get to ‘the good bit’.
5. Imagine talking to just one person. TV is a mass medium, but if you can imagine yourself connecting with just one person…someone you know…you’ll connect with all the viewers individually. Avoid phrases like “Hello everyone…” Speak as if you are conversing with just one person.
6. Always look to camera. Darting your eyes around, looking at your feet or to the side will have viewers wondering what is more interesting elsewhere.
7. Be careful not to end all sentences with a rising inflexion, as used when asking a question. Aussies have a frightful habit of doing this.
8. Don’t have shiny skin. Make-up helps (even guys should use powder when ‘on-air’). While there is a tendency to want to appear ‘moisturised’ in real life, on camera it appears as looking oily and sweaty.
9. Avoid wearing stripes, pastels or brilliant white shirts or blouses. TV cameras can cause minute patterns to shimmer and look ‘alive’, distracting the viewer from your message, and wearing bright white clothing can make your face look very, very dark, making you disappear into the background scene.
10. Challenge you skills by doing a dummy practice each day. Pick a topic you might have heard discussed on the radio today, and talk privately, but out loud, about the subject for 1 minute. Pretend you are discussing the subject over the phone, and describe the situation and the facts as you understand them (doing this in the car on the way home from work is a good time to exercise this skill).

Keep these 10 Tips in mind when presenting on TV or to Camera for great results.

25 Ways Presentation Skills training help you in the Workplace

By working on your Presentation Skills, this will help you in the Workplace and in your everyday life. The Speakers Practice offers the SpeakersTrainingCamp ® Public workshop and now the International Accreditation course for you to become an Instructor.

Here are 25 Ways the SpeakersTrainingCamp ® can help your presentation skills.

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Build Confidence
Look at Presentations from the Audiences view point
Looks at what you are wanting to work on
Learn to handle nervousness
Lots of participation and being involved
It helps to get feedback from member as well as a skilled trainer
You need to work on preparing presentations and deliver when possible. The more you deliver the easier it becomes.
You find out the three main areas a Speech needs to be success
You find out how to structure a presentation
You find out important parts to make your speech memberable
You find out how to keep your audiences attention
You find out about the attention span of the audience – this will surprise you1
You receive a template that greatly assists anyone who is wanting to prepare a speech.
The template halves the preparation time.
The template gives you all the details you need to prepare a presentation
You get practice on thinking on your feet
You get practice not only to give them presentation , you get to give evaluations of speeches
This is the fastest, easiest way to develop presentation skills
You get to work on body language, eye contact, voice skills and get an understanding on your style
You will work on delivering more wore impact
Think about delivering your presentation using a checklist to prepare – this is an amazing help!
Your presentations are videoed so you get to see how you can do things slightly differently to assist your overall impact.
You find out about the research that went into what audiences are wanting from their speaker.
You learn to increase the impact of your presentation, get your audiences attention and be heard!
Its fun, you meet great people and we get to laugh.

The SpeakersTrainingCamp ® has so much to offer – for developing Presentation Skills ! The Speakers Practice is offering the SpeakersTrainingCamp ® 2 day workshop March 2013 and the International Instructors course in October 2013 for the first time!! Ring Adrienne McLean on 0414 367 960 for details.

Where do you start when writing an article?

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Ok, you have a blank piece of paper and you need to write an article to promote your business.Busy executives and professionals tend to have time constraints ,they really need to get the documents done and working.

Where do you start? Ric Willmot has lots of suggestions, ideas and a wealth of business knowledge that can assist you.Grab your readers attention!

You need to remember that the way to keep the readers attention is by storytelling. The more clear and captivating the word pictures you paint, the more you will captivate your audience!
Ric Willmot , Executive Wisdom , recommends the following:

1. Get the Basics RIGHT – Understand clearly the purpose

– to sell?
– to influence?
– to build recognition?
– to motivate?

2. Consider the Foundation

– who are you writing to?
– What is interesting to them?
– Who is your audience?

3. What is the main claim?

I can highly recommend Ric Willmot’s Business Writing and Speaking workshop. For Business people and owners, Executives and professionals who need to prepare documentation for the workplace, this workshop will greatly assist and give wonderful structures to work by and make writing those documents so much easier.

Get Comfortable with being Uncomfortable………

The Speakers Practice has invited Australian Small Business owners to submit articles on the topic of the Presentation Skills in the workplace. Contributors are experts in their industry , discussing the value of presentation skills in their field of expertise.In this article , John Millar speaks about “getting out of your comfort zone”. With developing presentation skills, its all about getting out of your comfort zone, trusting in the process and learning. –

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John Millar, Managing Director
More Profit Less Time Pty Ltd
See: www.moreprofitlesstime.com

For most people their lives or business’ don’t get better because they don’t get better.Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you could turn back time by 10 years, or even 10 days? If you could redo some of your actions or avoid saying some of the things you said, how would your life be different? Or, what if you had forced yourself to do something you once didn’t have the heart to do? How would your life look today?

Consider this formula: Who you are and how well you do today is the sum result of your desire, past experiences and past choices. If you want to feel more satisfied in your private domain or if you want to be more successful in your business, the only way of doing this is increasing your desire (drive), increase your experiences (education) and thinking through your choices before you take action (response). In other words getting out of your comfort zone.

The majority of people tend to get into a comfortable rut. They know what they will be doing each day, each week, and each year. Within certain guidelines, their lives are predicable and stable.

Predictable and stable, however, are not factors that lead to success. Risk taking and instability are the keys to going from mediocre to stellar. Most people have a difficult time moving out of a comfortable situation and into one of insecurity and unknown turns. But this is exactly what you have to do to become successful – get out of your own way.

The best way to do this is to take small steps towards a larger goal. Realize that there are four major areas that make up our comfort zones: Geographical, personal, activity-related, and mental. That is:

• Geographical: Where we live, work, and play

• Personal: Our friends, family, and co-workers

• Activity-Related: Our entertainment and hobbies

• Mental: What and how we think

Let’s say you are at home in your living room; this means you are within your geographical comfort zone. If you’re in a place where you have never been before, you are outside of your geographical comfort zone. If friends surround you, you are within your personal comfort zone, and if strangers surround you, you are outside of your personal comfort zone. If you do something you have been doing your whole life, like a card game you grew up with, this is within your activity-related comfort zone, and if you do something brand new, you are outside of your activity-related comfort zone. If you think about something you are familiar with, like job tasks you do on a daily basis, you are within your mental comfort zone, but if you think like you have never done before, you are outside of your mental comfort zone.

Where do you prefer to be,within your comfort zone, or outside of it? Ninety-five percent of people feel more comfortable within their comfort zone, and you probably fall into that category; this is absolutely fine!

But why do most people feel better within their comfort zone? The explanation is simple, yet frightening: Humans are born with an innate, primary instinct that continues to control our lives, yet it is no longer necessary to our survival.

A very long time ago, humans were only able to survive as gregarious animals, and therefore, Mother Nature gave us the appropriate herd instinct: Never leave your comfort zone, because that’s your safe place. Danger impends when you leave your comfort zone.

This is why most people spend their entire lives within their comfort zones, desiring more of the same and occasionally wishing for better. Because you already know everything within your comfort zone, unfortunately development is only possible if you step outside of it.

Now, the trick to expanding one’s comfort zone is to not change all these areas at once. Try one or maybe two at a time, get used to that and then move on to the others. Changing any one area can be stressful. Doing too much, too soon will send you scurrying back to your comfortable rut.

Understand that expanding doesn’t mean getting rid of what’s already there. You can make new friends and not abandon the old ones. You can pick up a second hobby and still enjoy the first. This is an addition not a subtraction process.

Once you have taken a small step outside a certain area of your comfort zone, it’s important you never go back into your old one. Stay consistent, no matter how unnatural you feel; you have to follow this rule until you know and feel comfortable with everything.

Once you’ve achieved this you will be on another level and that then becomes your new comfort zone, which then needs challenging again for your continued development. In other words, get comfortable with being uncomfortable…..

Thanks John, I agree, we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable!

The Marshmallow Challenge

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The Marshmallow Challenge

Recently, I was asked to facilitate a warm-up session. I thought well “let’s do something fun”! They’re needing to be warmed up afterall.

I have a background in research and development. I’ve worked as a paint chemist for years and innovation is what laboratory people do as well as architects, software deisgners, business people in general. happened to come across this challenge called “The Marshmallow Challenge”. Perfect!

What is The Marshmallow Challenge?

The MarshMallow Challenge requires:

Teams of 4
Aim to Build the Tallest Free Standing Structure with the marshmallow at the top
18minutes
Your kits have:
20 stickes of spaghetti
1m tape
1m string
1 marshmallow

You need to deliver Clear Instructions

Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure
The winning team is the one that has the tallest structure measured from the table to the top of the marshmallow
NO suspending from a higher structure
The Entire Marshmallow must be on the top
No cutting up or eating the marshmallow
Use as much or as little of the kit as you wish
Can breakup the spaghetti, string or tape
Challenge last for 18mins
Teams cannot hold onto the structure if the time runs out
Does everyone understand the rules?

Finishing requires: Measuring the structures and identifying the winning team.

Lessons from the Creators:

Kids do Better than Business Students: On virtually every measure of innovation, kindergarteners create taller and more interesting structures. Kids test things out using an iterative process – they get feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

Prototyping Matters: The reason kids do better than business school students is kids spend more time playing and prototyping. They naturally start with the marshmallow and stick in the sticks. The Business School students spend a vast amount of time planning, then executing on the plan, with almost no time to fix the design once they put the marshmallow on top.

The Marshmallow is a Metaphor for the Hidden Assumptions of a Project: The assumption in the Marshmallow Challenge is that marshmallows are light and fluffy and easily supported by the spaghetti sticks. When you actually try to build the structure, the marshmallows don’t seem so light.

The lesson in the marshmallow challenge is that we need to identify the assumptions in our project – the real customer needs, the cost of the product, the duration of the service – and test them early and often. That’s the mechanism that leads to effective innovation.

See www.marshmallowchallenge.com

To finish, this is an absolutely fantastic warm-up exercise. Can be done with small groups upto 800! It gets people working together, into a creative mindset and focused. Its great fun too so is a real team building exercise. Enjoy!

7 Key Elements to a Profitable Sales Presentation

The Speakers Practice has invited Australian Small Business owners to submit articles on the topic of the Presentation Skills in the workplace. Contributors are experts in their industry , discussing the value of presentation skills in their field of expertise.Introducing Dr Joanna Martin –

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Joanna Martin, Managing Director
Shift Speaker Training
See: www.shiftspeakertraining.com

There are two key ingredients essential to getting big money from stage results: the first is your passion for your products and services. The second is your sales presentation. If you don’t love what you sell, the first thing I suggest is to find something to sell that you love, because otherwise your audience will see straight through you. Be authentic. Stay in integrity and your audience will resonate with you. Once you have a product you’re passionate about, it’s time to focus on how to present it.

The 7 Key Presentation Elements

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There are 7 Key Elements to a Profitable Sales Presentation. These 7 Keys are spelled out here assuming you will make a sale at the end of your presentation.But these same 7 Key Elements are will work even if you are not closing a sale.It all boils down to influence- and influence is the ability to act upon someone’s character and destiny (preferably for the better!)So you can use these same 7 steps with a little creativity to inspire someone to book in for a free coaching call, to join the local parents and friends or to donate to your cause. All the principles are the same. But right here I focus on using effective presentations to make sales- because once you can do that- you can do anything!

The 7 Key Elements to a Profitable Sales Presentation are:

1. Create Connection: Become a welcome guest and inspire trust and responsiveness in your audience.

2. Get Permission To Do Your Thing: Demonstrate credibility and earn the right to be speaking to your audience by illustrating your past results as powerfully as possible.

3. Engage with Your Content:Decide on the action you want the audience to take, and craft the backbone of your presentation with this end in mind.

4. Establish a Need:
Create dissatisfaction in your audience by illustrating where they are vs where they want to be.

5. Reveal the Product and Build Tension: Give a benefit driven description of your product.

6. Make a No-Brainer Offer: Package up your product with bonuses, and ensure you create urgency and take away risk

7. Invite Immediate Action: Finish powerfully with a commanding invitation to buy.

Summary: Refreshing yourselves with these 7 simple steps is often the key to unlocking any challenges you might be experiencing in your speaking game. Remember speak with passion and authenticity and then structure the presentation around these steps. See if you can create your presentation around this model, or if you already have a presentation, see if you can hone it even more. You never know, you might just double, triple or quadruple your conversation rate…

Presentation Skills for Sales are so important. If your presentation is stronger, you may win the sale instead of the competitor. Thanks Joanna for raising important points for delivering Sales Presentations. Great Information!

9 Pitfalls To Avoid In Your Business Presentation

The Speakers Practice has invited Australian Small Business owners to submit articles on the topic of the Presentation Skills in the workplace. Contributors are experts in their industry , discussing the value of presentation skills in their field of expertise.

Introducing John Millar –

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John Millar, Managing Director
More Profit Less Time Pty Ltd
See: www.moreprofitlesstime.com

The business owner gets up to speak. Everyone there needs to hear what he/she has to say but within ten minutes, they are either hopelessly confused or falling asleep. What is the business owner doing wrong?Any business owner who sets out to present, persuade, and propel with the spoken word faces 9 major pitfalls.

1. Unclear Thinking.If you can’t describe what you are talking about in one sentence, you may be guilty of fuzzy focus or trying to cover too many topics. Your listeners will probably be confused too, and their attention will soon wander. Whether you are improving your own skills or helping someone else to create a presentation, the biggest (and most difficult) challenge is to start with a one-sentence premise or objective.

2. No Clear Structure.Make it easy for people to follow what you are saying. They’ll remember it better–and you will too as you deliver your information and ideas. If you waffle, ramble, or never get to the point, your listeners will tune out. Start with a strong opening related to your premise; state your premise; list the rationales or “Points of Wisdom” that support your premise, supporting each with examples: stories, statistics, metaphors, and case histories. Review what you’ve covered, take questions if appropriate, and then use a strong close.

3. No Memorable Stories.People rarely remember your exact words. Instead, they remember the mental images that your words inspire. Support your key points with vivid, relevant stories. Help your listeners “make the movie” in their heads by using memorable characters, engaging situations, dialogue, suspense, drama, and humour. In fact, if you can open with a highly visual image, dramatic or amusing (but not a joke!), that supports your point, you’ve got them hooked. Then tie your closing back to your opening scene. They’ll never forget it.

4. No Emotional Connection.The most powerful communication combines both intellectual and emotional connections. Intellectual means appealing to educated self-interest with data and reasoned arguments. Emotion comes from engaging the listeners’ imaginations, involving them in your illustrative stories by frequently using the word “you” and by answering their unspoken question, “What’s in this for me?” Use what is called a “high I/You ratio.” For example: Not “I’m going to talk to you about customer average sale,” but “You’re going to learn the latest trends in improving your customer average sale. You’ve pulled the listener into the story.

5. Wrong Level Of Abstraction. Are you providing the big picture and generalities, a sort of pep talk, when your listeners are hungry for details, facts, and specific how-to’s? Or are you drowning them in data when they need to position themselves with an overview and find out why they should care? Get on the same wavelength with your listeners.

6. No Pauses. Good music and good communication both contain changes of pace, pauses, and full rests. This is when listeners think about what has just been said. If you rush on at full speed to crowd in as much information as possible ( and generally this is a challenge for the newer coaches), chances are you’ve left your listeners back at the station. It’s okay to talk quickly, but pause whenever you say something profound or proactive or you ask a rhetorical question. This gives the audience a chance to think about what you’ve said and to internalise it.

7. Irritating Non-Words. Hmm–ah–er–you know what I mean–. One speaker I heard began each new thought with “Now!” as he scanned his notes to figure out what came next. This might be okay occasionally, but not every 30 seconds. Record yourself to check for similar bad verbal habits. Then keep taping yourself redelivering the same material until such audience-aggravators have vanished.

9. Misusing Technology.
Without a doubt, audio/visual has added showbiz qualities to our presentations. However, just because it is available, doesn’t mean we have to use it! Timid speakers who simply narrate flip chart images, slides, videos, overheads, or view-graphs can rarely be passionate and effective. Any visual aid takes the attention away from you. Even the best PowerPoint(r) images will not connect you emotionally. Use strong stories instead if at all possible. Never repeat what is on the slides. If you do, one of you is redundant. Make technology a support to your message, not a crutch.

10. Not Having A Strong Opening And Closing. Engage your audience immediately with a powerful, relevant opening that has a high I/You factor. It can be dramatic, thought provoking, or even amusing, but never, never open with a joke (unless you are a humorist with original materials). Get your audience hooked immediately with a taste of what is to follow. And never close by asking for questions. Yes, take questions if appropriate, but then go on to deliver your dynamic closing, preferably one that ties back into your opening theme, and has your prospects wanting to sign up for your services. Last words linger. As with a great musical, you want your audience walking out afterwards humming the tunes.

When you can avoid these 9 common pitfalls, you’re free to focus on your message and your audience, making you a more dynamic, powerful, and persuasive communicator, getting more clients.

Thanks John. You raise some great points. Clarifying our business concepts and being able to articulate them clearly is essential. There are some great recommendations here!

Media training is about presenting and then some

The Speakers Practice has invited Australian Small Business owners to submit articles on the topic of the Presentation Skills in the workplace. Contributors are experts in their industry , discussing the value of presentation skills in their field of expertise.

Introducing Amber Daines

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Amber Daines, Founder of Bespoke Communications and a member of the Media Skills™Network

See: www.bespokecomms.com.au

Wading through the media sound bites that resonate the airwaves, fill ours newspapers, and clog our in-boxes, its easy to think we are all just passive players in the relentless public relations machine. As a former journalist turned PR professional / media trainer, I am guilty of adding to the case but am here to argue the real damage is done when the talent is not trained at all.

Good media training builds on presentation skills and will never detract away from the key message of the speaker. It takes a discipline and practice to ensure you make your point, back it up, wrap it up and shut up – all within the limited time given for that 10-second grab or one liner that makes a front page headline or 140 character tweet. Authenticity and passion are key as well as sharinhg stories, being informative and remembering your audience.

Most PR professionals will attest to sleepless nights worrying how their client will deliver the goods on a TV, radio or print interview. And it is not about your strategy or the client’s knowledge. The CEO or whoever is worthy of a journalist’s attention generally knows their company or the issues they face inside out. What they may struggle with is the delivery when the heat is on.

My job is to really ensure that even the most reluctant interview participants are put through their paces. Most fess up afterward that the experience has added value to their brand, their company, their careers. Good training is about the confidence to be interviewed by a reporter and walk away happy with the outcome.

Spokespeople need to know how to stay on message and to understand that an interview is not a regular conversation between two people. There is a very different give and take and purpose in an interview, and interviewees need to be able to recognise that.

I believe that the true value of media training is often not fully appreciated until one experiences the benefits for themselves – benefits that extend beyond the realms of the media interview.

As a former news journalist, I know that the most memorable, even award-winning reporting comes from interviewees who make a shock confession in an “off the record” chat or make a gaff that gets them on Youtube for all the wrong reasons.

Most seasoned journalists can still get under the skin of the most astute media performers. It’s fair to say that media training rarely registers on a journalist’s radar when they’re interviewing someone – although that is changing thanks to auto-pilot politicians and self-styled celebrities who are so obviously trained to repeat key messages ad nauseum.

For media training to work well, the end game is that a journalist should walk away with a good story that they publish. The resulting interview should be smooth, the content kept varied and answers must be devoid of phrases that sound like spin. Appropriate tone of voice and convincing body language is also vital for visual mediums.

Having seen the benefits for many clients – from CEOs to political leaders to SME owners – the best media training delivers something newsworthy with crisp quotes and tangible examples. This folks is what matters for your clients and your business.

I always think of media training as bullet proofing your PR campaign. In the hogwash of the 24/7 news cycle, stakes are high every time anyone speaks to a journalist so why just “wing it”?

Thanks Amber. Giving us an insight into the media world, this helps all small business people to promote their business. After all, its all about the marketing. Great article!