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November 2006

Vol 1  Issue 6    


Welcome to Markets View, the newsletter from Young Markets. This month sees a revised format for Markets View, which I am sending out to all my contacts.

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 subscribe here.

Upcoming Courses

For those of you who are based in the UK, I am running Effective Presentation Skills courses as follows:

  • Reading - Wed 15th November 2006  (just one place left! )
  • Guildford - Wed 29th November 2006
  • Oxford - Wed 13th December 2006

For more information and to book click here.

Why is an Effective Business Presentation like a motorway (or a freeway or autobahn)?

Back in the fifties, when the concept of a high speed carriageway was first envisaged, the planners thought, as they were intended to enable people to get from A to B as quickly as possible, that they should make motorways as straight as possible.

This would minimise the distance travelled and would reduce the number of accidents, because people would be able to see a long way in front of them and not have to slow down to negotiate bends in the road. The section of the M1 as it goes north out of London, is a classic example of this style of design. It goes in a straight-line up hill and down dale for miles.

However, there are problems with this style of road design. Primarily, it is boring. Because you can see for miles ahead, you think you know exactly what is coming, and can easily lose concentration. You start thinking about other things rather than driving, some people may even start to fall asleep.

On a busy Friday evening, coming out of London on the M1, all you can see is mile upon mile of brake lights in front of you.  There is little so dispiriting.

Modern motorways are designed with very few straight sections, they meander across the countryside, frequently turning from side to side. Despite what you may think, this is not the effect of the influential and politically astute landowners who lobbied against the proposed routes of the new motorway.

Over the years, motorway designers have learnt that sweeping curves make the road more interesting. The bends mean that drivers need to concentrate more, which keeps them more alert. As an added bonus, if you are stuck in a traffic jam, there is always the optimistic view that it will clear just round the next bend, rather than knowing that it goes on and on for miles. So bends are actually safer than straight roads and the journey seem to pass more quickly.

The same design components apply when creating an effective presentation.

Donít just rush from the start straight to the finish, take people on a journey. Add a few twists and turns, so that your audience discovers new things along the way. Back up your assertions, with a personal story that illustrates the point that you are making. People usually talk with more enthusiasm when they are recounting a personal anecdote, which in turn makes your presentation more interesting to your audience.

So, donít give people the opportunity to fall asleep in your presentations, take then on a journey of discovery.

A to Z of Effective Presentations

In previous newsletters, which you can access here, I have covered A to E , so now it is the letter " F"

F is for Fonts

Some fonts look good on paper and some look good on screens.  Generally, san serif fonts are better for use on screens. That is fonts like Arial, Tahoma or Verdana that donít have little tails and squiggles on the letters. Unlike Times New Roman, Century Schoolbook or Perpetua, which are serif fonts, and are more suitable for printed matter.

In terms of size, the normal minimum size for text on a slide is 22pt. Anything smaller than that it is likely to be hard to read.  32pt is the preferred size for most text, with 40pt for titles.

This means you can never use standard office documents as visual aids.  The text is never large enough to read, so do not be tempted to try. 

If it is vital that people see a new form or other office document, as part of your presentation, hand out the document and ask people to look at their own copy.  Make sure there is enough for everyone.

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 (see above), or from my ebook " The A to Z of Effective Business Presentations" which you can download from my website  ( today, for only $15  or  £8.75 .

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 subscribe here.

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

Effective Business Communication 

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