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Summer 2005

Vol 1  Issue 1    


This is the first, in what is intended to be a regular series of, newsletters from Young Markets.

Markets View will feature articles, features and tips and tricks, on a general theme of Effective Presentations. There will be a regular feature on the A to Z of Presentations, with specific tips and tricks on how to make your presentations more effective.

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Effective Presentations

All over the world thousands of business presentations are being given every minute of the day. Up and down the country, in offices, conference rooms and hotels,  companies spend vast sums of money hiring rooms, hiring projection equipment, employing staff, paying their expenses and the delegates spend their time and money attending these events. But how many of these presentations are effective? How many have delivered the desired result? How many have changed the way people think?

While it is an absolute truth that you can’t influence all the people all the time, the sad fact is that for many presentations the result is a complete waste of time or even worse they have a negative affect on the delegates.

So how do you give an Effective Presentation, what makes the difference between an average presentation and an Effective Presentation.

The Main Components
There are five main components of a presentation:

  • The Objective
  • The Speaker
  • The Room
  • The Audience
  • The Material

You should consider each in turn to maximise the effectiveness of your presentation.

The Objective
What do you want the audience to do as a result of your presentation? This should be quantifiable and measurable. Remember to use a call to action at the end of you presentation to reinforce your objective.

The Speaker
Like it or not you will be judged on your performance, so overcome any fear/nervousness or turn it to your advantage by using the energy generated by the adrenaline to add more power to your presentation.

The Room
Ensure you make the most of the physical environment, keep it tidy and make sure everyone can see you and the screen (assuming you are using one) and can hear you clearly. Make sure you know how to operate any equipment. Don't forget to turn off your mobile and the screensaver on your laptop.

The Audience
Probably the most important part of any presentation, without them you would be talking to yourself. You should know as much about them as possible: Who are they, how many of them are expected, what are they interested in, what do they want to hear, what is in it for them?

The Material
It is surprising where the time goes to when you get up and start talking. In a 30 to 45 minute presentation you will only have the time to convey between three and five main points. So keep it simple! If you can't state your central message in one or two sentences, you probably haven't narrowed your topic enough, or clarified your thoughts enough.

  1. Decide on three to five key points.

  2. Develop supporting evidence for each key point. Include statistics, stories or examples.

  3. Develop a strong introduction and powerful conclusion.

  4. Use visual aids which help to communicate your message.

  5. Perform the presentation with enthusiasm, variety and passion.

Put them together correctly and you will turn on a light in people heads.   Brighten up their lives.  Get your audience to see and understand things, about which they were previously in the dark.

Future issues of Markets View will expand further on this topic, but for now please see my top tips in the A-Z of Presentations, or download my Top Tips on Effective Presentations.


A-Z of  Presentations
Each issue of Markets View will focus on different aspect of presenting, today we start at the beginning with "A"

A is for Anecdotes

Anecdotes are great but they should be personal and relevant. People sub-consciously get more lively and enthusiastic when they are talking about themselves. By introducing anecdotes from your personal history not only does it help to get your point across you will do it in a more interesting manner.

Of course they have to be relevant anecdotes. There is little point in telling an interesting and amusing anecdote, which everyone remembers, if it doesn’t help them to remember the message you were trying to get across.

A is for Analogies

Using analogies to clarify a point is a great idea as long as your audience will understand the analogy.  There is little point of using an analogy about driving a car if your audience are all under 17 or live in the Sahara Desert. Ensure your anecdote doesn't have any unfortunate side effects.

A is for Apologies

An important rule of presenting is NEVER APOLOGISE.  In particular don’t start with an apology. It is a very natural think to do, because by apologising upfront you are diverting any potential criticism. You are in effect saying sorry in case you don’t give a great presentation. If you apologise in advance for your material you are saying you didn’t give the preparation time the audience deserve.

An apology at the start sets you off in a negative frame of mind, it has the reverse affect from what you wanted, it saps your confidence and it saps the audiences confidence in you.

The other reason never to apologise is that most of the audience will probably not have noticed.  Only you know what you were intending to say, if you miss a bit out or repeat stuff the audience will never know that you didn’t mean to.

I remember one presentation I gave, It was the first time I had given a company’s new corporate presentation in front of all the staff. My reputation as a Presentation Developer and Giver was on the line. About half way through I lost my way, missed out a fairly crucial benefit that they provided, and ended up stating another benefit twice. I was able to recover and carried on with the rest of the presentation. Afterwards I apologised to the MD for becoming confused in the middle, but he didn’t know what I was talking about, he thought it had all gone perfectly.


Measuring Your Sales Masala

I recently attended a very entertaining presentation by The Guru Asif entitled "Food for Thought". I can highly recommend attending one of his presentations if you have the opportunity. The main thrust of his presentation was that the skills, disciplines and personality traits which combine to make a good salesperson are like the herbs and spices of a good chicken tikka masala. However unlike the chef who can dip his finger in and sample the masala as it cooks, it is far more difficult to gain a quantitative assessment of the skills, disciplines and traits of a good salesperson.

That is where comes to the fore. SOCAscore provides a quantitative assessment of an individual's sales  ability and experience. Whether you are selling yourself or employing, promoting or hiring sales people, the SOCAscore provides an invaluable assessment of  an individual's sales skills. Give it a try and find out your strengths and development needs or more importantly, if you are thinking of hiring a salesperson, check their SOCAscore!  At only 25 per person it will pay for itself time and time again.


My Sales Bit

If you or a colleague would like some coaching or help in preparation for an important presentation, our fee rates during July and August are only 100 per session plus travel expenses. Call today on 01276 502257 to book your time.

I hope you have found this issue of Markets View interesting and informative.

Software Marketing

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