As this is the first Markets View newsletter for 2008,
let me wish you a slightly belated Happy New Year. May 2008 be the year
when your dreams and reality meet.
Remember, it is not who you are that holds you back,
it is who you think your are not!
For those of you who think you are not a fluent and
captivating orator why not come on one of my Effective Presentation
Appropriately, for the start of a New Year, the A to Z
of Effective Presentations article is "O for Openings".
+44 1276 502257
First, a quick plug for the public courses I am
- Effective Business Presentations Wed 13th Feb in
- Effective Business Presentations Wed 20th Feb in
- Effective Business Presentations Fri 7th March in
- Effective Business Presentations Wed 19th March
- Effective Business Presentations Fri 11th April
By attending one of these courses you can discover how
to structure and deliver an effective business presentation. This is not
just training on how to speak in public. It is concise, fact laden
training on how to give a presentation that will make your voice heard
and your objectives fulfilled.
For more information or to book click
New Course Calendar for 2008
The new 2008 Course Calendar and
Conspectus is now available with details of our public and in-house
training, including dates for the first half of 2008.
You can down load it from
here or send me an email and I
would be happy to mail it back to you.
You can also now download a file to
automatically populate the course dates, for your favourite locations,
into MS-Outlook from the same place.
The A to Z of Effective Presentations
In previous newsletters, which you can access
here, I have covered A to
N , so
now it is the letter "
is for Openings
First impressions are very important. People often
make instant judgements when a speaker stands up to talk. Starting by
giving off a poor impression will take a long time to recover from, if
you ever do. But, what if this is not the first time the audience have
met you? Is the opening of your presentation still quite so important?
In my view the answer has to be an emphatic "yes". Indeed, the better
people know you the more important it is to start with a good opening.
Whether your presentation is a stand-alone event or
just one in a whole series of different presentations, it is absolutely
vital that you start by grabbing the audience's attention. Otherwise
they are likely to be still thinking about the last presentation, or a
phone call they had just before they arrived at the meeting. They may
even be thinking "I hope this doesn't go on too long, I have things to
do." You need to capture people's attention and confirm their hope that
you will be an interesting person to listen to. You need to get them
involved right from the outset.
There is an age old saying about how to present: "Tell
them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what
you told them". When I first heard this I thought that seems a bit
repetitive, surely people will get bored if I say everything three
times. But I have since learnt that this single rule adds more to most
presentations than any other, as long as you tell it right.
The "Tell them what you are going to tell them" is
your opportunity to grab the audience's attention. Put the core subject
of your presentation across in a way that challenges the listener and
makes the listener think. There are many ways of capturing your
Ask a rhetorical question Make a confrontational
remark Give a thought provoking quotation for an acknowledged source
Tell a good personal anecdote Do, show or say something unexpected The
key to a good opening is to make people think; to wake them up and make
them pay attention.
For example, if you are an accountant and have to give
a presentation on new tax laws, you could start by listing the main
areas of taxation you will be covering. But most of your audience will
probably be asleep before you have finished the introduction. An
alternative, more attention grabbing, opening might be to ask "Who has
too much money?", quickly followed by "So, why did most of you give too
much to the tax man last year? During my presentation you will discover
how to reduce the amount of tax you will pay this year."
While grabbing their attention is important, it is
also important that the opening is in line with the rest of the
presentation. I saw a video once, of a headmistress trying to introduce
a police officer to the children at an American junior school's
assembly. The children were all noisily chatting away to each other and
the headmistress's repeated requests for silence were being ignored. The
lady police officer then tried to quieten them down with no success. So,
she took out her revolver and fired a shot into the air. There was
instant silence. She had their attention, but when she then asked in her
most child friendly voice "How are you all doing today?" There was an
equally stony silence.
You only have one chance to make a first impression so
it is worth thinking it through properly and working out the type of
reaction it will generate.
Once you have grabbed your audience's attention, keep
them listening by telling them what they want to hear, rather than what
you want to say.
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,
- Attending a Young Markets Effective
Presentations Skills training course
- Reading my ebook "The A to Z of
Effective Business Presentations" which you can download from my
- Taking my on-line course which is
just one of the many sales related training modules at
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