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Newsletter

April 2009

 
Vol 4  Issue 3    

Welcome

In their infinite wisdom the British government have decided that one way to kick start the economy is to give 500 to company directors, to pay for their continuing professional development.

I'm sure that you have heard the Train to Gain advertisements that claim that companies who invest in training are 2 and a half times more likely to survive the recession.

If you are a director of a company with between 5 and 250 staff, I whole heartedly recommend that you take advantage of this scheme and attend one of my Effective Presentation Skills courses. Not only will you improve your presentation skills, enabling you to better motivate, influence and entertain your audiences, you will be helping to kick start this country's economy and put an end to the recession.

Once you have claimed the first 500, they will even give you another 500 to match any investment you make in training your staff.

If you are not a director but know someone who is, please forward this message on to them. If you are not based in the UK, I'm sorry but you can't take advantage of this offer.

Anyone who is a position to take advantage of this scheme but chooses not to, is effectively forfeiting their right to whinge about the recession.

For more information and how to apply click here.

The A to Z of Effective Presentations article in this issue is dedicated to the letter "U". "U" is for Understanding and Unanimous.  

Yours sincerely,

Graham Young
+44 1276 502257

Upcoming Courses  

Upcoming Executive Business Presentations courses include:

            15th April - Bath Road, Slough
            12th May - Cathedral Hill, Guildford
(NB date has changed!)
            15th May - Thames Valley Park, Reading
            26th May - Stockley Park, Near Heathrow
             3rd June - Chineham, Basingstoke

            17th June - Oxford Business Park, Oxford

As always courses are limited to 6 people, so you may need to be quick to ensure your place.

For more information or to book click on your preferred location above. 

Please feel free to forward this on to your friends and colleagues.  If you have received this second hand and would like your own personal copy of future issues, please click here.

 

Paperback now Available 

I'm very pleased and proud to announce that a paperback version of my book "The A to Z of Effective Business Presentations" is now available from Amazon and "all good bookshops". Click here to see it on Amazon.

 

The 10 digit ISBN is 1849231133 and it costs only 5.99  

The A to Z of Effective Presentations

In previous newsletters, which you can access here, I have covered A to T , so now it is the letter "U".  In this issue "U" stands for Understanding, and Unanimous.

 U is for Understanding

The objective for most business presentations to is educate, influence and motivate people, while at the same time providing some entertainment to keep them interested.

To achieve this, the audience must understand what you are saying.  There are three aspects to understanding what someone is saying:

  • Vocal
  • Verbal
  • Visual

The standard percentages that are often quoted in relation to public speaking, are that 7% of the information is conveyed verbally, 38% vocally, and 55% visually.

These percentages are not only misleading, they are wrong.  The origins of these figures are two separate studies, one conducted by Albert Mehrabian and Susan Ferris (1967) which compared vocal tone to facial cues, and the other by Mehrabian and Wiener (1967) which compared vocal tones to single words.

Mehrabian himself says 'My findings are often misquoted.  Clearly, it is absurd to imply or suggest that the verbal portion of all communication constitutes only 7% of the message'

However, that said, the way you say something has a tremendous affect on the way the words are received and the visual stimuli have yet another affect.  What you want to aim for is all three communication mechanisms, verbal, vocal and visual to be in line with each other and to re-enforce each other.

Verbally

Are the words that you are using easily understood by your audience?  Try to avoid jargon and slang.  Follow the KISS principle, decide what your main message should be and stick to it.  Do not confuse the issue with a number of smaller less imported side issues, which do not support your main theme.  They may be interesting points but if they are tangential to the rest of your presentation, they are best avoided.

Vocally

Can your audience hear you?  Are you talking loudly enough?  Are you talking too loudly?

Talking too loudly can be as frustrating for the audience as someone who talks too quietly.  I remember one sales training presentation I attended where the speaker felt he had to shout to make his points.  The first couple of times he shouted everyone paid attention, the next couple of items people started to become irritated and from then on, everybody switched off and did not listen to a thing he was saying.

As well as the volume, try to enunciate clearly and do not mumble.  Put some feeling into your voice rather than just reciting information in a monotone.  By varying the pitch, tone and volume of our voice, you will capture people's attention and they will understand you better.

Practise by reading young children stories from their books, if you are unsure of how to put that sort of feeling into your voice.  Most people become more animated when reading children's stories aloud.

Visually

What the audience sees has to reinforce what they are being told, and how they are being told it.  If you were told by the managing director that the company was doing really well and was destined to break all its targets, while he was slouching about with a face as long as a wet weekend.  Would you believe him?

Do your slides remind you what to say or do they help put your message across by creating strong mental images that reinforce the words you are saying? One of the biggest failings I see is people relying on their slides to remind them what to say. What they don't realise is that by doing this their audience also know in advance what the person is about to say, which means they don't have to listen.

U is for Unanimous

While it would be lovely to have unanimous approval for every presentation that you give, you cannot please all of the people all of the time.  Do not become upset or lose your confidence just because of some poor feedback from one or two members of your audience.  Some people like to find fault in others, it is their way of elevating their own standing.

Take any criticism that is offered and consider it dispassionately the next day.  What can you learn from it?  What could you do differently next time you present?
 

Improve your presentations

I hope you have found this newsletter useful and interesting. You can learn a lot more about how to structure and give an Effective Business Presentation, by:

  • Attending a Young Markets Effective Presentations Skills training course
  • Reading my book "The A to Z of Effective Business Presentations" which you can download from my website today or buy the paperback on Amazon.
  • Taking my on-line course which is just one of the many sales related training modules at www.salestrainingonline.com  
 


Effective Business Communication

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