If you’re like most business people, technology has become an integral part of your presentations. While your audio and visual aids undoubtedly add value for your audience and make it easier for them to quickly understand your message, there’s a downside to relying on technology.
When your company has the opportunity to pitch for a really big piece of new business, the stakes are as high as they get for your sales team. Yet many organizations squander those opportunities by failing to properly prepare for the pitch “team” presentation. Each speaker tends to develop his or her own part in a silo. Members of the sales team might not even have the chance to hear one another before the big day. As a result, you lack a cohesive message, you repeat yourselves, and you might even contradict one another. The prospect can’t help but think you don’t have your act together.
Author and business innovation expert Melissa Kennedy recently completed a feat that would make many shudder: she gave 29 business presentations in a period of 30 days. Whew! That’s a monumental challenge, but as you might guess, one that yielded phenomenal results.
“You can’t change other people; you can only change yourself” is one of those lessons I’ve had to learn over and over again. Just when I think I’ve mastered it, I forget it and must learn it again.
If you are looking to become a recognized expert and influencer in your field, your goal is to make your ideas stand out. But how do you make that happen? Dorie Clark’s book Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It is one of the best resources I’ve come across on this topic. It reads like a how-to guide for developing and promoting thought leadership.
When you’re facing an important business presentation, do you often feel like you’re at the mercy of your anxiety? As you probably know, fear of public speaking is rooted in human biology. However, that doesn’t mean speech anxiety is an inevitable fact of life that you can’t overcome. It certainly does not need to derail your goals. Using the right techniques, you can manage your anxiety so that you achieve results when you step up to speak.
As a business professional, do you frequently face situations where you need to “say a few words” without time to prepare? It might be a meeting, conference call or request to fill in for another speaker, to name just a few scenarios. For many, these situations can induce more anxiety than making a prepared presentation. As a result, you may find yourself rambling, filling your sentences with “ums” or, in the worst case, completely drawing a blank. When that happens, both your point and your credibility are in jeopardy.
Whether you’re facing your first presentation opportunity or your fiftieth, chances are you will experience some level of apprehension. Even seasoned professionals who have been presenting for many years (your truly included!) have to manage their nerves leading up to the event.
Have you ever received a pivotal piece of advice that changed your thinking, influenced your actions and helped you succeed? “Aha” moments like these frequently come from tuning into the wisdom of our colleagues. If you’re looking to improve your business presentation skills, today you’ll learn the secrets of how some top executives did just that.