Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Month: July, 2013

Better Personal Presentations to Groups

Introduction

The surprise of being asked to say a few words can shock anyone into speechless fright for a moment.  You could be asked to speak at any business meeting, to give your point of view or describe a new product.  Practise a few short openings, learn a few details (such as statistics) to give your points emphasis, and a strong conclusion.  G. B. Shaw’s advice to “stand up, speak up and shut up” contains the key; keep it brief.

Personal Presentation

Do not underestimate the importance of suitable clothing and a well-groomed appearance.  It shows you respect your audience, your company and yourself.  The audience will be distracted by anything unusual.  The best rule is to select good quality business clothes.  Suits should be made of dark materials without strong patterns, and shirts or blouses should be formal.

Avoid anything flashy or brightly coloured, and ensure that shoes shine and hair is well cut.

Many people pay more attention to the quality of another person’s shoes and accessories than anything else.  Practice your final rehearsal in the clothes you will wear on the day.  If you are confident about your appearance, that will be projected to the audience making the presentation easier.

Overcoming Nervousness

Having carefully prepared your presentation and rehearsed thoroughly, the following points will go a long way to helping you over the worst stages of nervousness.  The increased energy you feel as your confidence grows will make all the preparation worthwhile.

•           Believe in yourself.

•           Believe in the audience’s goodwill towards you.

•           Believe in what you are saying.

•           Don’t take yourself too seriously.

•           Know the opening by heart.

•           Don’t be too ambitious.

•           Practice deep breathing.

•           Practice the ‘as if’ theory.

Believe in yourself

Even if you don’t feel confident, do everything to project the authority that you really have (particularly after all that work!).  You are the one in charge and you probably know more than your audience about your subject.  Never take a negative viewpoint or apologise.  Such thoughts show in body language without you realising how clear they are to others.

Believe in the audience’s goodwill towards you

The audience wants you to succeed.  Show your interest in them with eye contact and a smile.  Such simple gestures will work well in the delicate first stages of your relationship with an audience.  At a medium-sized presentation, facial expression can be read almost as clearly as a face on television.  The more friendly your expression, the better.

Believe in what you are saying

The more committed you are to the subject, the less time you will spend thinking about your personal involvement.  When you have prepared thoroughly and rehearsed to a well co-ordinated level, the confidence of knowing that will be enough to conquer your nervousness.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Some of the most successful presenters aim for a degree of informality and quick pace.  This can mean the odd mistake on the way, but the lively delivery keeps the audience alert.  As long as the information is interesting, nobody minds the occasional slip.  Don’t expect to give a flawless performance.  It’s not a matter of life and death.  Relax and enjoy the experience!

Know the opening by heart

This will be the hardest part, so make things as easy as possible for yourself by knowing those opening words off by heart.  Take your time, move slowly, and remember the eye contact and smile before you speak.  Those first few seconds can gain you an extra helping of goodwill and attention.

Don’t be too ambitious

Keep your plans simple for the first few presentations.  Focus on the most important points and resist the temptation to lengthen the delivery, even if it is going well.  A good presentation can be ruined by an inconclusive fade-out at the end.  Stick to your plan and conclude powerfully!  Your last words will linger in their minds.

Practice deep breathing

Nervous tension is part of the body’s alert system, warning us, and at the same time supplying extra resources.  It is as though the body knows and reacts before we do, pushing us to move quickly to deal with an urgent crisis.  Do not view this negatively as it can help to achieve the goal of a first-rate presentation.  Deep breathing and deliberately slowing down, putting first things first, is a way to control this heightened alertness.  Manage the flow of adrenaline correctly and you will have the right balance for a lively but authoritative presentation.

Practice the ‘as if’ theory

Thoughts and emotions produce action.  If you are afraid, you will probably run away.  The interesting part, is that the reverse is also true.  If you smile, you will feel happier.  Look fearless, and you will feel fearless.  Behave ‘as if’ you are confident and you will feel more confident.  It really works.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question

The Great Social Tweet

By Brian Swinden
To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the ‘Net to send out
The slings and arrows for outrageous fortune,
Or to make posts of cats against a sheet of bubbles
And by clawing pop them: to ‘Like’, to tweet
No more; and by a tweet, to say we brave
A heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a communication
Devoutly to be wished. To ‘Like’, to tweet,
To tweet, perchance to stream; Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that tweet of mirth, what trials may come,
When we have shuffled off this wi-fi band,
Should give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes Calamity of paltry life:
For who would share the whips and scorns of time,
The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely,
The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a YouTube vid? Who would followers bear,
To drink and whine of thumb-typed weary posts,
But that the dread of something after login,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather share those ills we have,
And fly to others that we know not of.
Thus dissociation does make experts of us all,
And thus the native hue of communication
Is sicklied o’er, with the vivid lack of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard their intentions turn awry,
And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The fair Tweeter? Not in your mobile be
All my sins remembered.

 

 

Brian Swinden is the Owner of Brian Swinden Productions Winnipeg, Canada

Marketing and Advertising

Top ways to slim down flabby copy

Shorter, punchier copy is more readable and more memorable than obese copy. You can test this in your own life. Why do we like top ten lists, for example? The claim is also supported by experimental data; such as Jakob Nielsen’s research. So how do you put your copy on a diet?

1. Zap filler text. Just get straight to the point and delete the run up. For example, most press releases contain this kind of waffle: “In order to demonstrate our commitment to cutting-edge technology, innovation and customer service…” It’s what the delete key was invented for.

2. Cut paragraphs before you cut sentences. It’s better to change the structure of your piece by deleting low priority content than it is to try to make all your points but with fewer sentences.

3. Don’t lock down the word count before you start. A fixed word count is a guarantee of maximum verbosity (as the old Infocom games used to say). If you commission 500 words from a writer, that’s what you’ll get. Better to say ‘up to 500 words’ or ‘between 350-500’ and make sure that the writer focuses on the message and the quality of the writing. Similarly, ‘lorem ipsum’ copy on websites gives designers way too much influence over the copy length. Better to get a writer involved from day one, perhaps by using wireframes.

4. Delete hype words, clichés, adjectives and adverbs. Accurately chosen perfect words make this sentence the most beautiful one ever written. Or not. All readers have an inner cynic that discounts any hype word they read so using hyped-up words has the opposite result to the one you wanted. D’oh! See Words to avoid for more. They just sit around watching TV and eating your food like unwanted house guests. They don’t even do the washing up.

5. Shorter sentences. Breaking down a long sentence into a series of short ones, sometimes even using the machine gun style to spit out a sequence of very short sentences, can make a paragraph much shorter. In other words, short sentences rule. Use readability tools to provide objective feedback on your sentences.

6. Use ‘you’. It’s fine to address your reader directly. It’s also okay to say ‘I’ or ‘we’ to describe the person or company who’s speaking. This gets you out of a world of pain when struggling to find the subject of a sentence and avoid the passive voice. It also leads to shorter, punchier copy.

7. Give instructions. ‘Don’t run with scissors’ is shorter than ‘surveys by leading analysts suggest that velocity and cutting implements don’t mix.’

8. Write with information. If a sentence doesn’t include a fact or make a strong, clear point, it’s a candidate for deletion.

9. Use a bigger font. Sounds daft, but it’s much harder to write lots of words if your screen fills up quicker.

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

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