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April 2008

Vol 3  Issue 2    


I have now been running the public Effective Business Presentation Skills courses for just over 2 years. So Happy Birthday to the course.

Over the two years, hundreds of people have participated and I have listened to many fascinating presentations. I would like to thank all the delegates, who have made running the course so interesting. I couldn't have done it without you, as they say.

For those of you who have not attended a course I thought I would share some feedback that I have received, see Feedback below.

The A to Z of Effective Presentations article is "P for Preparation, Practise and Performing". There seem to be a lot of "P"s relevant to Presenting so I have saved Pace, Pauses, Powerful Phrases and Pointers for the next issue.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Young
+44 1276 502257

Upcoming Courses

First, a quick plug for the public courses I am running:

  • Effective Business Presentations Fri 11th April in Basingstoke
  • Effective Business Presentations Wed 30th April in Oxford
  • Effective Business Presentations Fri 9th May in Heathrow
  • Effective Business Presentations Wed 21st May in Reading
  • Effective Business Presentations Wed 4th June in Guildford

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.

If you have already attended one of my courses and you found it educational, enjoyable and effective why not forward this by email to a colleague or encourage them to book on one of these courses.

For more information or to book click here.


As I have now been running the Presentation Skills training in it's current form for two years now, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the feedback I have received.

Overall almost 2/3 rds of the delegates have rated the course as "5 out of 5", with the other 1/3 rating it "4 out of 5". However, it is getting even better. Across all the courses I ran in the first quarter of this year, 79% of participants rated it as "5 out of 5" overall.

I won't bore you with any more statistics but if you would like to see some of the comments people have made take a look at my website here.

The A to Z of Effective Presentations

In previous newsletters, which you can access here, I have covered A to O , so now it is the letter " P" .  In this issue "P" stands for Preparation / Practise / Performance.

P is for Preparation

Preparation is the key to success. Knowing what you are going to talk about, knowing whom you are talking to, knowing what they are interested in, and knowing how you will perform. All this knowing comes from preparation.

If there is one single golden rule of presenting, it is:

Preparation Preparation Preparation

The more preparation you do, the more you think about your presentation, invariably, the better it will be. You cannot rehearse too much, or know too much about you audience or the subject.

Being well prepared is one of the best ways to conquer nerves.

Preparation beats trepidation every time.

Knowing what the slides are and having seen someone else give a presentation, is not the same as giving it yourself. If you have a corporate presentation to give, where you did not write the slides, one of the biggest pit falls is to think you can give the presentation, just because you know the subject and have seen someone else do it.

You need to make the presentation your own. Think up your own introduction, your own anecdotes and your own humorous asides. The slides after all are not the presentation; they are just the visual aids. Even using a 'standard' set of company presentation slides, you still need to create the presentation in you own head.

While you are preparing, think what the three worst questions you could be asked would be. Then work out convincing answers to these three questions. Having prepared answers for the three worst questions will bolster your confidence and if they are asked, you will know what to say.


Poor Preparation Produces Perfectly Pathetic Presentations

I believe it was Mark Twain who said "My best impromptu speeches always take 3 weeks to prepare."

P is for Practise

One of the key aspects of preparation is practising your presentation. When you practise your presentation, you should say it aloud not just in your head. One trick I have used many times in the past is to give the presentation while I am driving to the location. You are alone in the car and these days with hands free mobiles nobody even worries when they see someone talking to themselves in a car. So switch off the radio or the CD and give your presentation aloud. This is a great way to make sure you know what you are going to say and how you are going to say it, before the event. Do not just go over it in your head, it does not have nearly the same effect.

When you practise, make a note of the timings. It is a good idea to mark every third or forth cue card with the time you expect to start that part of your presentation. That way you have a guide as to how you are going time wise.

With the widespread availability of home video cameras, an ideal way to practise is to film yourself giving the presentation. You will learn a lot about what your audience will see and hear by watching the video. Do not cheat when you practise! There is often a temptation to skip over sections of a presentation, because you think you already know that part of the talk. Maybe you are re-using a section from a previous presentation. Maybe it is a bit where you are hoping to gain some audience interaction. My advice is to rehearse the presentation in its entirety rather than make assumptions.

P is for Performance
When you are giving a presentation, think of it as giving a performance, after all that is exactly what you are doing. Giving a business presentation is like giving a soliloquy from a great play. Actors do not just say their words, they put feeling into it, they act out their part and that is what you should be doing when you are giving your presentation. Great presenters convey their message with emotion not just words.

I will carry on the P's in the next issue of Markets View with Pace, Pauses, Powerful Phrases and Pointers

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 ebook "The A to Z of Effective Business Presentations" which you can download from my website today.
  • 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 click to register..

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

Effective Business Communication 

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