The A to Z of Effective Presentations
As it Christmas, appropriately enough it is
the letter "C" for our A to Z of Effective
Presentations. Included in the "C's" are
Confidence, Conviction, Colours and
C is for Conviction
'It's not who you are that holds you back,
it's who you think you're not.'
To make people to believe in you, you have
to belief in yourself first. You need to
talk as if you mean it.
Leave out all those phrases like 'I
think....' and 'Perhaps ...' be more
Instead of saying, 'I think, if we worked
together we could probably achieve our goal'
say, 'Together, we can achieve our goal',
'In fact, we can exceed it!'
When it comes down to it, if you do not
believe it yourself, you will never get
others to believe it.
Confidence is inextricably linked with
To boost general confidence there are a
myriad of different techniques, which you
can use. One is the 'I like me because....'
method. For one minute every morning, stand
in front of the mirror and say 'I like me
because ...' and follow it by as many
different reasons why you like yourself. 'I
like me because I am blonde', 'I like me
because I am good at my job', 'I like me
because I'm a good Dad', 'I like me because
I'm not overweight', 'I like me because I
have given up smoking', 'I like me because I
am honest'. If you cannot think of anything
else just make things up but keep going,
saying as many things as you can in the
minute. If you do this every morning, you
will get better at it and it will improve
your own self-confidence.
Another technique to use before a
presentation is to say aloud the following
statements before anyone arrives in the
'I am poised, prepared, persuasive, positive
'I feel composed, confident convincing,
commanding and compelling.'
Write these two phrases on your first Cue
Confidence is all a matter of self-belief.
You need to believe in yourself and you will
be more confident, and come across as
confident. Do not over do it though. Do
not talk down to your audience they will
never forgive you!
Eleanor Roosevelt said, 'No one can
make you feel inferior unless you agree with
What looks good on the screen may not work
so well when it is projected. Even today,
most projectors lose some of their colour
density when they are projected. This makes
the screen look washed out. Pale colours
are very susceptible to this effect.
The most readable colours are yellow writing
on a dark blue background or black writing
on a yellow background. If you use a plain
background, the text will be more readable
but the slides look less interesting.
Be careful with using images as a
background, it is very difficult to choose a
text colour that will always show up. If
you want to use images as backgrounds, to
reflect for instance the different
industries your customers are in, I suggest
making them very pale, more like a watermark
so that the black text will show up against
the whole background.
In PowerPoint or similar software, it can
help to use a shadow font, which will
provide more contrast between the text and
In a product or sales presentation, I would
never mention competitors by name. Even if
asked who I thought were our main
competitors, I would strongly resist naming
them. This is because by naming them as
competitors you are giving them a very
positive endorsement that they are a company
worth considering as an alternative to your
Even if you have a couple of very well known
competitors, individual prospects may not be
aware of them or may not have considered
purchasing from them. Giving their name in
a presentation, may make your prospect
rethink that decision.
In answer to the question, 'Who are your
main competitors?' I would normally answer
slightly tongue in cheek with 'That's a very
interesting question. While there are many
companies who claim to offer competitive
products to our own, we do not actually
believe that we have any direct competitors
who can ..... restating the benefits of
your products / services. '
Have a lovely Christmas and if you know
someone who needs to improve their
demonstrations skills or give more effective
demos in the New Year, please give me a