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Newsletter

May 2009

 
Vol 4  Issue 4    

Welcome

On the off chance that some of you have decided not to give up in the face of adversity, i.e. the current recession, I have published a new set of course dates which will takes us through to the end of the year.

I look forward to meeting you and/or your colleagues on one of these dates.

As the unstoppable momentum of social computing continues to grow, I have at last decided to join in the fray and start blogging, twittering (or should that be tweeting) and general networking. See below for details.

The A to Z of Effective Presentations article in this issue is dedicated to the letter "V". "V" is for Variety, Visual aids and Volunteering. 

Yours sincerely,

Graham Young
+44 1276 502257

Upcoming Courses  

Upcoming Effective Business Presentations courses include:

            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. The last two public courses I ran both resulted in a clean sweep of 5 out 5's on participant feed back.

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

New Dates & Locations 

In addition to the dates above, I have now published course dates for the rest of the year.

These include new dates at a Central London location, next to The Monument, which may be more convenient for some people.

To check them out click here or to download the updated Course Calendar click here.

Being Social 

Back in the 90's there came a time when it became de rigeur to have a website. No company, however large or small, could be taken seriously if it did not have a website.

The next wave of technology is now on top of us, that of social computing. As with many new things it started with "the youngsters" but has rapidly advanced into the business arena.

So now an old stalwart like me, who has always had a healthy disregard for anything new and who prefers face to face communication, has decided that if you can't beat them join them.

I have been on LinkedIn and Plaxo for a few years but have now decided to be more pro-active in the use of such technology. I welcome anyone who would like to link up with me on either of these two services.

I have also started writing a blog. My aim is to write an article, related to presenting, every week. Follow me and see how I do!

Finally, I am also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/youngmarkets

So come on be social, I'll join yours if you join with me.

Hard Times 

You have probably had enough of people talking about the recession in newsletters, ezines and blogs. But on the off chance that you haven't, I would just like to say my sixpence worth.

There are two ways to get through a recession:

  1. Reduce all costs, stop spending any money on training, lay off half the workforce, move to smaller premises in anticipation of lower sales and hope that the few sales you do make are enough to weather the storm.

  2. Realise that there are going to be fewer buyers out there, so you need to work harder on every sale. Realise that you need to up your game, meet more people, network harder and close a higher percentage of the deals that do come in.

If you opt for doing the same as you have always done, you are opting for A.

People will tell you that the companies who invest in training, when times are tough, are the companies who will survive and be better placed to take advantage as the economy improves.

For those of you who are not in front line sales, I know officially it is always the role that is redundant not the person, but how many rising stars do you know who have been made redundant? Being comfortable on your feet and giving good presentations is a very good way to stand out from the others around you and it may just help you keep your job in these difficult times.

Do you host meetings? 

Do you host networking meetings or similar events? Would you like a speaker? Liven up your meeting with a talk about talking. There's no charge.

Drop me an email and I'll be in touch.

The A to Z of Effective Presentations

In previous newsletters, which you can access here, I have covered A to U , so now it is the letter "V".  In this issue "V" stands for Variety, Visual aids and Volunteering

V is for Variety

Variety is the spice of life and the key to a good presentation.

For anyone who has used the first section of the M1 as it heads out of London will know, this long straight road is probably the most boring road in England.  When this first major motorway was created, the designers thought that as there was no speed limit it would be safest if there were no bends.  So the motorway is dead straight and you can see for miles ahead.

On a busy Friday evening, coming out of London, all you can see is mile upon mile of brake lights in front of you.  There is little so dispiriting.

Over the years, motorway designers have learnt that sweeping curves make the road more interesting, you cannot see that the traffic jam you are in goes on and on for miles, and it keeps drivers more awake.  So bends are actually safer than straight roads and the journey seem to pass more quickly.

The same is true in a presentation. 

Take people on a journey, have the odd diversion and bend, speed up and slow down, you can even stop for a picnic if you like.  All this adds interest to your presentation.

V is for Visual Aids   

Visual aids should be exactly that.  Something the audience can look at, something that engages an additional one of their senses. 

They may be slides, computer generated graphics, they may be objects you can hold and touch.  Anything that adds more to your presentation and that helps to get your message across. What you should look for are pictures that create a strong mental image.

Visual aids should not be a constant stream of bullet points, which people can read instead of listening to what you are saying.

If you are prone to creating presentations full of bullet points then after you have finished creating all this bullet point slides, go back through them one by one and ask yourself 'How could I convey that information using pictures?' 

Some people will find this much easier than others will.  Luckily, with the Internet you are now no longer constrained to using clip art.  Search the net for photographs and images, which can help you to convey your message.  You may end up with more slides but you will also have a far more interesting presentation.

You need to be careful that you do not infringe any one's copyright,  but there are thousands of copyright free images and libraries of images that you can purchase the rights to use.

Once you have replaced the bullet points with images, do not throw away the bullets put them on to your cue cards so that they remind you what you are going to say while the image is being displayed. Remember, you cue cards should remind you what to say, not your PowerPoint slides.

V is for Volunteering

To become better at presenting, you need to do more of it.  Although I would like to think that reading my book will help, there is no substitute for doing it.

As such, if you are a novice presenter, I would recommend that you volunteer to give presentations at every opportunity.  The more presentations you give the better you will become.  As some one who is recognised as an accomplished speaker, your status within your company and among your peers will be raised.  It will do your career progression no harm what so ever.  In general, people are successful at 95% of the tasks the attempt.  The biggest cause of failure is not trying.

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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