6 Quick Tips For Your Business Presentations

Practices that help people design presentations and the practices that help them deliver successfully do not overlap much. A systematic approach helps busy executives discover how to win results faster.

Thomas Sechehaye has determined two distinct sets of behaviors and practices necessary for effective design and delivery.

Practices associated with successful design only were:
• Participate in audience research
• Look for new information about design
• Learn story structures
• Design for visual impact
• Plan specific calls to action
• Structure dramatic flow
• Follow brand or company guidelines
• Adapt to diverse media

Practices associated with successful delivery only were:
• Adapt to specific audience insights
• Refine vocal quality and tone
• Practice effective eye contact
• Use authentic personal strengths
• Build high impact body language skills
• Share personal experiences with anecdotes
• Get 1:1 coaching and feedback
• Rehearse for face-to-face and virtual delivery

As the two stages demand and require different practices, then executive and sales presentation training needs to guide people about key strategies for each phase. While many organizations target presentation skills training, these two phases are often merged. The skills are rarely broken out as discretely different.

Some people are extremely anxious about delivery skills. All they can think about is previous experiences of feeling anxious, losing their voice, or feeling queasy. Successful delivery skills help professionals reinvent the experience of presenting.

But many of the challenges of delivery can be solved with careful attention to design.”

Professionals who want dramatic improvement in presentation results should emphasize 6 key best practices, listed here.

Key Practice 1. Identify Design Process
Define how presentations are built from the ground up. Find out if every individual or team is doing this differently, or following a proven and systematic design process.

Key Practice 2. Share Best Practices
Once you have determined the best practices for your business, share them. Remove inter-departmental barriers by sharing best practices. This may be done informally amongst peers; or more formally in design debriefs.

Key Practice 3. Storyboard Presentations
You would never build a house by just grabbing a 2 x 4 lying on the ground. Yet many business presentations are built in such a haphazard manner. Use a storyboard to plan powerful presentations from start to finish. This is critical to increase productivity-and streamline processes across your business.

Key Practice 4. Learn Skills For Design & Delivery
Begin with the end in mind. Learn the skills for design and delivery success. Approach each area as a unique skill set. Solid design sets the foundation for high-impact delivery. Therefore, learning design skills first is a smart approach.

Key Practice 5. Provide Training Options For Individuals
Different people learn in different ways. Some people prefer the freedom of online learning. Others learn best in a classroom environment, with shoulder-to-shoulder instruction.

In an ideal environment, provide options that encourage individual freedom of choice. If travel budgets are tight, provide online training that offers freedom in instructional design. This recreates a friendly, open environment for learning new skills.

Key Practice 6. Strengthen Skills With Coaching
One on one coaching is one of the best ways to create rapid improvement. With new advances in virtual coaching, this is now much more available and affordable than in the past.

With a step-by-step approach to the unique skills of presentation design and delivery, busy professionals can make rapid progress and not leave up to chance.

Internet Authors Live In The Present

Internet Authors are living in the present? They have to. In fact, any author needs to think about what’s happening now, right now, this minute. Whether it’s thinking about how to finish a chapter, or whether their character suddenly became unbelievable, or how the dialogue sounds. When they’re hunched over their new creation, they need to be there, really be there, in the here and now.

Traditional Publishers, on the other hand, are lurking somewhere in the 1950s, most of them. Some are still back in the ’30s of course, and you can usually tell them by the way they dress and the elaborate and affected manner in which they speak. The majority, however, are there in the days before computers and Elvis Presley. They tend to like large desks, they fill them with parcels and piles of paper, and imagine themselves deciding the future of ‘culture’ in the Western world, with their exquisite taste and rare educated sensibility. Quite specifically, that places them before the advent of mass television and before electronic means of creating text. It also makes them insensible to the growth of the internet, a medium which has made the purchase and dissemination of the written word at once far easier and also less discriminating in its choice of material. The internet allows anyone with a story to reach a readership. Publishers are no longer the Gatekeepers, the people who have the luxury of deciding what the public has the opportunity to read. The readers, those most underestimated people, are now able to make such decisions for themselves.

Which is odd. A canvas of local creative people that I know came back with the assumption that writers live ‘in the future’. The paradox is caused by an assumption that authors are always thinking ahead, whether it’s planning the finale of a novel, or trying to decide which of their many ideas should they bring to life next. Also, once the work is finished, there’s the hard work of selecting a suitable agent or publisher to parcel off the paper and send it to. Then there’s the imagining of what the reaction might be, anticipating the best outcome, and planning how to spend the new-found wealth (really). That’s all fine, and true to a certain extent, but I’d argue that such planning (and predicting) is still based on a keen appreciation of what’s happening now. If the novel is finished, then sure, it starts to hunt for an audience. But that means living in the ‘now’, seeing the book ready and willing to go. If the creator was really addicted to the world to come, then they’d be living there, happy and contented with their dream of success, fame and riches. The book, on the other hand, would never get as far as the Post Office.

There’s another reason that authors to live in the present, and that is that the past is usually a painful and disappointing place to be. That’s certainly true at one level, judging by the vast output of recent books in the ‘Troubled Childhood’ category. There’s plenty of people out there, it seems, who have had traumatic and harrowing younger years. But I was thinking of the more recent past. For most authors, (and that means the 99% who aren’t basking in the affluence of a six figure publishing deal), that consists of trial and effort. Mostly, in fact, failing. Because, strange as it seems considering the humiliation and degradation involved, most would-be writers still feel compelled to go down the route of seeking publication by the ‘tried and trusted’ method of dispatching their hard-wrought efforts out to a publisher’s office. Inevitably, given the immense odds stacked against them, the likelihood is that the parcel is returned, (sometimes unopened, usually unread). That means disappointment, sorrow, dejection. Who’d want to wallow in such bad feelings? Far better, as any self-help guru will advise you, to ‘pick yourself up’, forget the bad experience, and move on. And that journey – moving on from the past – brings you not to the future, but to the present.

In other words, if you want to survive in the creative industries, get used to the idea that yesterday is where you failed and felt bad. Today is where you have to get on with it, finish the next story and post off the last one (maybe for the second, third or fourth time), and tomorrow is where you start a new work and – maybe, if you’re very, incredibly lucky – you will get recognition for all the good stuff you’re doing now. Maybe. That’s one way. One method. There’s another. And that is – forget ‘tradition’ and explore the internet. There you will find companies that will publish your work on a ‘print on demand’ basis and won’t charge you upfront fees. You’ll get published. You’ll see your work in book form and be able to distribute it to your friends. And there’s no grinding, humiliating put-downs involved. It’s here. It’s now. It’s technically hard to believe, but it’s come about and it’s happened. It’s what those of us in the know call ‘the present’.

Christmas Gift Ideas: Interior Decor Presents

Choosing a gift for someone to display in their home can be frustrating. On the other hand, if you’re shopping for a friend or family member, you can give a present that will be appreciated.

When to Not Give Home Décor Presents

If you’ve never been to your friend’s home, I would definitely not give a household item unless it’s for a recent bride with a gift registry. Even if you’re gift shopping with your friend and she points out a darling framed picture or frilly pillow, that doesn’t mean the item will fit in her personal interior décor.

Perhaps you know your friend collects figurines like I do. Because of my last name, I started collecting fish years ago. However, I collect tiny glass antique fish, about one inch tall. The large wooden fish my mother gave me just doesn’t fit my interior décor.

How to Give Home Décor Presents

If you have been to your friend’s home and know she needs to complete her home decorating with accessories, here are some gift ideas:

1. Double check your friend’s color scheme. Your gift doesn’t have to match perfectly to blend in.

2. Make sure her home isn’t too crowded with many small decorating items. Many small accessories make a home feel cluttered.

3. Make something yourself that has meaning to you both. For instance, make a stained glass icon to reflect light in her bathroom window.

4. Find an old snapshot of you two from the past. Get the picture touched up professionally and frame it in a frame that blends in with her home decorations.

5. Give your friend a huge candle dressed up with pearls, sequins, or seashells with a base that matches her style. For instance, if she loves silver, crystal, ceramics, or brass, choose that material.

If you give thought to your gift with these interior decorating tips, you will make your friend happy.