Saturday, October 30, 2010

Using Good Body Language

At every moment of your waking life, you are sending out nonverbal signals about your feelings and intentions. It’s possible to use this body language in a presentation to help reinforce your message. Keep an open posture at all times, avoiding crossing your arms or creating a barrier between you and the audience. Use hand gestures selectively for emphasis, but don’t gesture so much with your hands become a distraction. When relaxed, your body language will reinforce your message naturally, but using the appropriate gestures can help you disguise your nerves.
Remember the following tips:
·      Eye contact establishes positive rapport with your audience
·      Make eye contact with somebody in the audience at every available opportunity
·      Relaxed body language conveys confidence
·      An open jacket presents an image of honesty
·      Open hand gestures emphasize key points
·      Sharing a relevant anecdote will put you at ease when speaking
Presentation Do’s and Don’ts:
·      Do use simple, concise language whenever possible for clarity
·      Do use eye contact to obtain feedback from the audience. Their body language will reveal their reactions to your presentation
·      Do keep pauses specific and emphatic. Use them to show your audience to absorb what you say
·      Don’t ever apologize for your lack of speaking experience
·      Don’t mumble or hesitate. If you lose your place, stay calm until you find it
·      Don’t drop your voice at the end of each sentence. It will sound as if you are not sure of what you are saying

Finally, use the 3 Es in your presentation. Every presentation has three essential objectives. The first aim is to educate: the audience should learn something from your speech. The second is to entertain: the audience should enjoy your presentation. The final element is to explain: all parts of your speech should be clear to your audience.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Give your pitch a Facelift

What do you do? That's usually the first question a new contact will ask you at a meeting, conference or at a social gathering.
It’s a simple enough question, used often for starting a conversation. Yet the answer you provide to that question can determine whether the conversation continues or stops dead in its tracks. Everyone needs a clear, concise and engaging way to answer the question, “What do you do?”
Here are a few ideas about how to refine and refresh your quick pitch:
·      Know your target audience.  Knowing exactly who would benefit from your product or service is critical.  We all must be able to communicate ideas that others will recognize, so they will see how we can help them. You should have the ability to adjust your pitch, depending on your audience.

·      Understand what the other person cares about, his or her concerns and priorities.

·      Talk about your results, not how you achieve them.  For example, if you are a consumer financial literacy educator, just don’t talk about  all the consumer issues that exists, you might say that you help communities all over the country to take charge of their financial lives.

·      Connect with your own passion and enthusiasm.

·      Pay attention to how people respond. The goal of an elevator speech is to get people interested and have them ask more questions. If they don’t ask questions, you may want to adjust what you are talking about so people can recognize the value or benefit that you provide.

·      It’s also important to listen to what the other person is saying to you.  Quite often they will tell you exactly what they are looking for or interested in learning or hearing from you.

·      Less is more. Most people like to receive information in capsules or bite size pieces.