Being a great speaker doesn’t come naturally to most people. Even the experts speaking at conferences at the Madinat Arena, Dubai or the Trade Centre, only achieved their smooth patter by following the basic tenants of presenting. These are essential whether you are presenting to a small group or a large auditorium.
Make it interesting
A great presentation can win new clients and wow audiences. Yet many people fail to consider how to make their presentation interesting – ending up with a bored and distracted audience. Not sure what makes a boring presentation? Well the shy trickle of people leaving by the side exit is a clue, or people surreptitiously texting while you’re talking.
So do your research and make your presentation compelling.
Know your facts, but don’t read them off in a list, find something engaging about each one. Another interest killer is hearing old facts rehashed. If you are presenting old ideas justify and explain why they’re still relevant, show your audience why they should re-evaluate their pre-conceptions.
The same goes for new ideas, don’t just spout off what the latest guru says about a theory, or manufacturer says about a product. Put some time into finding out why the new is necessary and give your own opinion on its relevancy to your audience.
The first time you run through your presentation should not be in front of your intended audience – because this is the time when you notice what’s wrong with your presentation.
You get a feel for whether you are using the right language, whether what you written actually makes any sense, and whether it sticks to the intended timescale – if you’ve been given ten minutes your audience wont appreciate you keeping them for twenty.
Practice is crucial for helping you develop your own style. Some people find they are innately brash and loud, some have conversational tone, and others are more scholarly in their approach. All these elements can be helpful but if you keep to one style only you are limiting how effective your presentation can be. Learn how to modulate your voice to emphasise certain points, take pauses to allow particular points sink into the minds of your audience, raise your voice to wake the crowd up, and learn how to use a smile to engage people.
If you’re having trouble visualising yourself talking in front of an audience, check out the TED talks online. Here you’ll find some of the very best speakers in the world.
It’s pointless presenting anything, whether or not it’s well researched and exhaustively practiced, if the tone and style don’t fit your target audience. Consider the type of people who are coming to watch you. Are they hoping to find out the details of new product prototype? Or are you giving an in depth analysis of current customer trends? Is the intended audience more likely to respond to high visuals and low text, or vice versa?
Knowing what will elicit the best response from your audience lies at the heart of great presentations. If your audience are mainly experts in their field, they’ll expect you to talk to their level, and will switch off if they feel you’ve dumbed it down for them. The same is true for a group of new-comers. If you fill your presentation with lots of industry jargon and ideas, they will walk away from the presentation feel no wiser, and probably dispirited.
It’s your job as a presenter to pitch your presentation perfectly to educate and excite your audience.
It’s really off-putting watching someone visibly squirming with nerves while presenting. An audience may be so involved in watching the presenter stutter and bumble, that they don’t hear a word, or watch any of the presentation itself.
If you do struggle with nerves practice taking deep breathes and slow down your presentation. Both techniques help calm to the nerves. Have a bottle of water handy as well; nerves make your mouth dry.
Presenting like a pro is something that is only accomplished through practice. To learn more about this essential sales skill, visit / and sign up for our presentation skills course.
It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day aspects of business and ignore whether people are actually enjoying their work. But when you remember that a happy employee will give their all for your company, it makes sense to take time out to build positive employee morale. Here are ten tried and trusted ways to achieve a happier workplace.
Get a coach in
Career coaching, team coaching, leadership coaching: these are all great ways to boost morale and improve your business at the same time. A business coach is often seen as someone who helps the big boss, but leadership teams can reap huge benefits from coaching as well.
A coach can help you find solutions to long standing problems and give your employees the chance to look at their roles from different angles. It also gives them space to discuss issues they may have felt unable to talk about before. It can be a difficult process, but the results can transform your business as well as individual employees.
Team Building Days
A natural extension of coaching is the team-building day out. This is a staple of building employee morale because it the effects can be long lasting. Taking people out of their normal working routine and putting them in unusual and fun situations can help them bond more closely with their work mates. It also shakes them out of old patterns of thinking.
However, planning is the key. Don’t just arrange a wadi bashing day out without first considering what problems your team is facing in the office. Create a team building day that will reflect the challenges at work. You’ll all reap the benefits of more focused planning at the outset.
Nobody likes to feel that they’re falling behind in their skills, so make sure you employees have the opportunity to keep their qualifications and soft skills up to date. Some of the bigger international companies take this a step further and encourage their staff to take language courses, and more esoteric courses like quilting and wood carving.
Training helps people grow as individuals and the benefits to your business is a happier person who feels the company is really interested in them as a person, not just a cog in the wheels of business.
Share your business goals
Knowing where the company is going, and what part they play in that helps employees have a greater understanding of their role in the company. It gives them a real sense of ownership that their work matters and contributes to the overall direction the company is heading in.
Identify an individual’s goals
Understanding what is driving your employees can help them be happier and make your business more successful. You may discover that someone wants to advance to a management role, or they are simply using the job to pay for a hobby they’re really passionate about. This knowledge can help you design better training, courses, and motivational targets to retain them as happy employees.
Don’t ignore problems
If you see there is a problem brewing between individuals or departments, don’t let it slide. As soon as you become aware of any discord or issues, get the people involved into a meeting and find a way to resolve it. If a problem isn’t dealt with quickly it will fester, impacting on morale and the overall performance of your business.
For many the pension, free gym membership and healthcare plan are real motivators for staying with a particular company. It’s worth taking some time out to find out what other benefits your employees would like such as vouchers for local restaurants.
Improving employee morale means creating an Employee Morale code for your business. It will take time, but the rewards will make it worthwhile.