Thursday, July 31, 2008

Powerpoint With Punch Do You Know It When You See It Four Rules To Enhance Your Presentation

Writen by Steve Singleton

Quality is intentional not accidental

All of us want to create and present great PowerPoint shows, but how do we know if we have achieved our goal? In trying to define quality in PowerPoint we are tempted to echo the famous 1964 statement of Justice Potter Stewart regarding what constitutes obscenity: "I know it when I see it." A substantial degree of subjectivity persists in any attempt to be definitive, yet we can all agree on a few essentials: your slides must be readable, clear, and memorable for PowerPoint to be effective.

In keeping with these essential principles, here are four rules to follow to improve the quality of your PowerPoint.

1. Remember less is more

One of the most common mistakes people make in designing their own PowerPoints is trying to get too much information on a single slide. Here's a good rule of thumb: if your presentation consisted of a written-out script, consider each paragraph of that script to be a separate slide. Then, summarize that paragraph into three or four lines, omitting all of the articles ("a" or "the") and as many forms as possible of the verb "to be."

For example, let's say the summary statement of a paragraph of your script is: "Unexpected noise is a distraction—please turn off the cell phones you brought or set them on the silent mode now." Your slide might read: "Avoid distractions. Please mute your phone now." The text on your slide serves to remind you of what you are going to say; it is not your word-for-word script. If you have ever seen and heard a presenter read word for word from a PowerPoint, you know how boring it inevitably becomes.

2. Back away from the edge

PowerPoint slides are designed to contain color and graphics all the way to the edge, but because the various presentation vehicles--monitors, flatscreens, projections--contain a degree of variability around the edges, avoid allowing the text on your slide or any essential part of your graphics to get close to the edge. You may find when you are trying to present that it gets cut off. In fact, back away from all of the edges--top, bottom, right, and left--by at least an inch. This will ensure your resulting slide is less susceptible to embarrassing cut-offs.

3. Apply the rule of thirds

Photographers and artists scrupulously avoid putting their subjects into the exact center of the field because they realize how static and boring formalized symmetry can be. Instead, they draw imaginary "tic-tac-toe" lines, dividing the horizontal and vertical space into thirds. They then place the focal points on one or more of the crosshairs. This makes the composition more naturally dynamic. Take a look at the 1945 Pulitzer-Prize-winning photograph by Joe Rosenthal, "Old Glory Goes Up on Mt. Suribachi [Iwo Jima]," for example. The focal points are the flag (upper-left crosshair) and the marines raising it (lower-right crosshair), creating a diagonal that runs along the flagpole through the center of the photo. If you are consciously targeting the four strategic potential focal points (where the lines of your "tic-tac-toe" cross, you automatically ratchet up the punch-impact of your slide.

4. Point to the center

Do what you can to draw the viewer's eye toward the center of the slide. You can do this by paying attention to where the graphics point. If they are pointing away from the center, either move them to the other side of the slide or flip them so that they now point toward the center. If your graphic has motion (such as a baseball in flight or a moving automobile), allow more space in front of the motion than behind. If your graphic includes a human figure, place the graphic so that the human is looking at, turning toward, or pointing at the most important text on your slide.

Observe the difference!

If you apply these four rules carefully and consistently, you will discern a marked improvement in your PowerPoint presentations. Each slide will be simple and direct. None of what is essential will be cut off. It will be well composed in the field, with graphics that move the eye toward the center of the slide. The graphics will lead the eye toward the text, not away from it. All of these elements will support the presentation and greatly enhance the effectiveness of your communication.

* * *Copyright ©2006 Steve Singleton* * *

Steve Singleton is a communications coordinator and corporate trainer for an international printing company. He is a former editor, editor, reporter, college instructor, and public relations consultant. His has plans for building a teleprompter as well as resources for video marketing, podcasting, and vlogging. His is a "go-to" resource for Bible students at all levels.

Speak To Influence Minicourse Part 3 Of 5

Writen by Gary Horsman

In part 3 three of the program we will cover how to:

1. Speak with authority
2. Conquer speaking stress
3. Get your listeners' attention
4. State your case with care


You have control over how you look and sound. If you want to sound authoritative, then make sure you look authoritative and feel authoritative.

When you are getting ready to speak, form a mental image that relates directly to the manner in which you want to deliver your message. If you want to be authoritative, then picture someone from your experience who has delivered a speech in an authoritative manner. You might think of President John F. Kennedy, for example. Emulate this person when you speak.

Also think of a single word or phrase that embodies that person's way of delivering the speech. For an authoritative speech you may think of "strength," "power," or "authority." Repeat that word in your mind until your state of mind matches the meaning of that word.

Last of all, consider your body language. It is hard to sound or to be authoritative when you are hunched over a podium, bent over a table, or slouched in your chair. Whether you are standing or sitting, have proper posture, do not fidget, and do not let your eyes drift. If you are making a voice-narration using a script then stay focused and do not let your mind drift.


Having a bit of speech fright is very common and normal. The feeling of being uncomfortable can occur when the group you are going to address is large or small. You may even feel stress when you speak with just one person. For example you may become nervous when you are going to speak with your boss.

Symptoms of speech fright include a trembling voice, anxious feelings, and a loss of your natural speaking pace. Some people experience a pounding heart and high levels of perspiration. All of these symptoms are primarily caused by high levels of adrenaline. What can you do about them?

First, when you are getting ready to speak, make a point of taking a few deep breaths. Deep breathing helps you to focus and prepares you for breathing at a proper pace.

Early in my speaking career, an older master told me that a few minutes before a speech he often felt the surge of adrenaline. He dealt with it by pretending that he was getting up at that point in time to speak. It was his way of "burning off" some of that adrenaline. He psychologically burned off some of his anxiety by doing this. By combining this mental technique and by taking some deep breaths you may be able to burn off just enough of that extra surge in adrenaline.

I use these techniques as well and find them both helpful.

Second, before you speak, visualize yourself delivering the speech smoothly and with confidence. In the movie "My Dinner with Andre," the main character tells a story about being in a play when he was young. A fellow child-actor told him that it would be hot and stuffy on stage under the lights, and he would be sweaty. The other person was trying to convince him that he would be unsuccessful on stage. It was exactly the wrong mental preparation. Do the opposite and imagine successfully communicating with the audience before you even step in front of it.

When you do begin speaking, never apologize for being nervous. Your nervousness is often not obvious to others. No one can see your pounding heart. Your apology only draws attention to the problem and distracts from your message. Keep in mind that you are usually much more critical of yourself than anyone in the audience will be.

As you gain confidence and speak more often and apply some of these techniques your level of nervousness will diminish.


When making a presentation, consider how you could tell a story to make your point. Everyone loves a good story. By telling a story you put it in context and add a real-life human dimension to it. Imagine being able to tell great a story about your business or your product or service and the benefits of working with you or using your product. This is a very compelling thing to do with a potential customer.

Telling a good joke that relates to your topic can effectively get the listeners' attention, but do not try to be too funny. Some people have a knack with humor and others do not. If the joke is short, and relates somehow to the topic and you feel comfortable telling then I say go for it. If you are uncertain for any reason then it may be best to not use humor.

In a conversation with a small group or one-on-one, you will be perceived as interesting if you show sincere interests in others. Make a point of asking questions, not just talking about your own topics. When you ask a question make it open ended and one that people cannot answer with a simple yes or no. By engaging their participation, you naturally engage their attention.

Remember that the sound of your voice is one of your most valuable attention-grabbing tools. Be crisp in your language and tone. Take the burden off the listener by being interesting and concise.

When creating your message, give your audience incentive to listen. Think of an attention-grabbing "headline" that relates strongly to what's in it for the listener.

"Jim, I just thought of a way to reduce customer turnover by 50%. Can I have a few minutes to tell you about it?"

No matter whom you are speaking to, make your message stand out by injecting energy into it. Be alive and show enthusiasm. Adding enthusiasm engages the listener and thus adds interest to your message.


You may have been hearing lately about your emotional intelligence. Your emotional intelligence, or EQ, is your ability to understand and relate to your feelings and emotions and the feelings and emotions of others. Researchers now believe that when it comes to predicting success your EQ is far more of a factor than your IQ.

High-EQ people do three things that make them effective communicators.

First, they establish empathy that conveys respect and understanding. They ask questions and acknowledge emotions. They check their timing and only proceed if the timing is right. If we are sensitive we will know when a person does not have the time or whether you need to make your point quickly. An idea may have to be presented in small increment rather than all at once. To have empathy means that you have an understanding of the other's problems, feelings, and points of view. The effective speakers of the world do this well. Most people do it poorly.

Second, they then check for the audience's willingness to listen. If the person you want to talk with is not ready and you push ahead anyway, it will be difficult or impossible to make your case.

If the timing is right and you have their attention, make your case.

The third thing that high EQ people do is that they deal well with objections. As you do convey your message, you may come up against objections. This is normal and good. Objections shows interest – welcome and embrace them.

I will illustrate how a lack of objections related to a lack of interest. I once gave a talk to IBM that was organized by our local salesperson. The audience assembled, but the "stage setting" was done by the local sales staff, and a key point was missed. The preparation failed to make sure that the audience was in a position to use the new product we were introducing. The audience was polite but not engaged and no objections were raised either during the talk or during the question-and-answer segment—not even one!

The local sales people seemed happy with the presentation and that there were no objections. I knew that little business would come from this presentation. In the end, it took much longer than expected by the local sales force to develop business at this IBM location with this new product. The point of this story is that an engaged audience does raise objections and you need to deal with them effectively.

If you do encounter an objection or two here is an effective three-step way to work through objections.

1. Repeat the objection. This gives you a moment to think and ensures that you understand the objection. I have seen many an inexperienced salesperson answer an objection that was never asked simply because they did not understand the objection.

Repeating the objection also gives the other person the opportunity to hear what they have just said. You are giving them the chance to clarify themselves or, if the words seem unreasonable, the chance to change their opinion without losing face.

2. Never match the objection with equal force. Instead, ask a question, such as, "Why do you think that way?" or "What do you think are some options that could lead to a solution to this issue?" These questions show your willingness to be open-minded, that you think the objection is important, and that you appreciate the fact that the person raised it.

3. Ensure that you have addressed all the objections by asking some additional questions, such as, "Is there anything that you would like to discuss further?" or "Have I made everything clear?"

If you set the stage properly, make your case, and then handle objections effectively you are well on your way to success.

In part 4 we will be looking at some of the dos and don'ts when using the telephone and how a script is used to create a professional message.

Gary is President of Presentations That Talk ( The core product of Presentations That Talk is the PTT Presenter. The PTT Presenter allows users to easily make voice-narrated streaming media presentations. This allows a company to present their products and services, using the Internet, with presentation marketing which adds impact and helps to influence the viewer.

Gary is also a public speaker, educator, and mentor/coach to others wishing to improve their speaking ability.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Why Do A Presentation

Writen by Andy Britnell

Most of us would admit to being anything from downright terrified to slightly apprehensive at the prospect of doing a presentation for colleagues or clients. We may try our best to avoid it, but there are some excellent reasons why the presentation may be the best format for you to put across your message:

1. It is personal – the audience gets the opportunity to see and hear the presenter and this helps them to decide their reactions to the material. 2. They can ask questions and get immediate answers. 3. The interactive nature of the presentation means the presenter gets feedback from the audience and can tell if their offering needs some adjustment. 4. By being present in front of an audience, it helps you to sell your idea or product. 5. It is much more interesting than reading literature or information on a website.

Overall it is simply the most practical and dynamic way of getting your message across as clearly as possible.

So what are the benefits of a presentation?

1. It gives you the opportunity to educate and influence – you may need the help of another part of the organisation or another company to reach your goals.

2. You can see for yourself what the reaction is to your news.

3. With luck you will gain their commitment to your project immediately, whether that is their cooperation, their resources or their financial backing.

4. You can sell your company and also yourself – there is no better way to get into the spotlight than to stand up and do a presentation.

5. You get to have some impact!

In my experience, the benefits of doing a presentation vastly outweigh the time and effort you put into it. But the biggest benefit of all is that you no longer have a fear of doing presentations and can go on to get better and better!

Andy Britnell specialises in sales and customer service training for the private and public sectors. Go to and you can sign up for my FREE short monthly newsletter and FREE e-mail coaching.

I coach corporate and SME clients who wish to fulfil more of their potential by thinking and behaving more effectively - see

Speak To Influence Minicourse Part 1 Of 5

Writen by Gary Horsman

In this session you will:

1. Record your voice
2. Make a strengths list
3. Make an improvement list
4. Define who will help you.

There are many things that you can do to improve your speaking ability. I think that a necessary area to that almost always benefits the speaker is the ability to speck and influence the audience. This mini course will help in many way and we will take it a step at a time.


It is invaluable to record yourself. It will give you a new perspective on how you speak and make a point. It will also be a reference for you. I use my computer and a microphone. A cassette recorder or a micro-cassette recorded will be fine. If you have a video recorder and a tripod this would also serve nicely.

I would like you to record yourself in two different ways. First, simply read from a book or magazine for one to two minutes. Then record yourself without a prepared script. Pick a topic and speak about it for 1 to 2 minutes.

These recordings will be enough for you to now evaluate yourself. An objective evaluation at this point is very important. I strongly suggest you to take it seriously and it can be insightful and fun at the same time.

The goal here is to gain insight on how others hear you. You should listen for specific things such as the way you take breaths, your pronunciation, your perceived pace of speaking. It is even good to note the number of words and then define your speaking pace in words per minute. These recordings are a great reference for you and the more things you observer about them the more value they will have for you.

The objective is to make you aware of your speaking pattern so that you will have specific things to work on and become less self-conscious.


Many people do not like the way they sound. They think it does not sound like them. The way we hear ourselves is not the way others hear us. No matter how you think you sound, it is important to realize that you do have some definite strengths.

After you have recorded yourself, listen to the recording a few times to evaluate certain aspects of your voice. It is important to note that the things we measure we tend to improve. I suggest that you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 for the following qualities. Have your evaluators do the same but realize that each evaluator's scale will be different.

• Warmth
• Command
• Professionalism
• Enthusiasm
• Showing Interest in your material
• Articulateness
• Pace
• Persuasiveness
• Pleasantness of tone
• Clarity
• Passion
• Authority
• Volume

Write down any other adjectives that come to mind.


The next part of the process is to determine the improvements or needs. Consider the following criteria:

• Too fast or too slow
• Too loud or too soft
• Monotone
• Tentative or uncertain
• Mumbles
• Breath too loud
• Breath not paced well
• Unpleasant tone
• Strong accent
• Tired or lacking enthusiasm
• Uses non-words, such as "ah," "uh," "um," or "you know"
• Too high-pitched
• Nasal
• Not relaxed
• Singsong
• Threatening

Again, list additional adjectives that come to mind.

Making lists of strengths and improvements will help you to define the things you don't know you do well or areas you where you didn't know you needed to improve. Identifying these is extremely valuable. Once you know your strengths, be grateful for them. Now that you have your improvements list, you are ready to advance.


As you seek to improve, enlisting the support of someone who knows you well and who you feel is easy to work with can be a big help. It may be best to have two people you can count on for comments and suggestions. Any more than two may be unnecessary.

Explain to your helpers that you would like them to listen to you or your recordings on occasion.

It is important to have a prepared script and then to speak from this script and have your supporters evaluate you. The feedback from others that are objective in evaluating your speech is an important part of the process of improvement. After evaluating your recording on your own, have two other people evaluate you as well using the same criteria. Then combine the feedback from these evaluations.

Once you have recorded yourself and with your rating and the feedback of others you will be ready to map out a plan for significant improvement.

That's it for part 1. You are now prepared to make some progress towards improving your voice in very specific areas. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you can make progress with a little focus and effort.

In part 2 we will cover the key qualities of your voice, how to eliminate "non-words" and what to do about your specific pronunciation mistakes.

Gary is President of Presentations That Talk ( The core product of Presentations That Talk is the PTT Presenter. The PTT Presenter allows users to easily make voice-narrated streaming media presentations. This allows a company to present their products and services, using the Internet, with presentation marketing which adds impact and helps to influence the viewer.

Gary is also a public speaker, educator, and mentor/coach to others wishing to improve their speaking ability.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

7 Steps To Perfect Partner Presentations

Writen by Terry Wisner

There have been many famous Partners. They have become famous because they work together seamlessly and take advantage of one another's strengths. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Brooks and Dunn, Abbott and Costello, Sonny and Cher, Martin and Lewis, and Batman and Robin are examples of perfect Partners. How many keynote speakers are Partners? How often do teachers or professors Partner to deliver a class or lecture? It's really not something we see everyday, except in the world of business. It's not unusual to see two presenters at staff meetings, conventions, conferences, and seminars. Often, the boss or a more experienced presenter is the lead person and their "Presentation Partner", is learning from their tutelage.

As anyone who has delivered a day long seminar knows, it is difficult to stay fully engaged and focused all day. That is another reason people team up with another to present a topic.

There are many reason's people provide Partner Presentations and the "Partnering Pro," Terry Wisner shares his seven key success factors for presentation Partners need to consider.

1) First and foremost, introduce yourselves and explain why the two of you are there. Tell them what each of you bring to the party and how they, the audience, will benefit. A great way to begin the presentation is to literally introduce your Partner and tell the participants what portion of the content they will cover. Then, of course, your Partner will deliver an introduction of you and the points you will discuss.

2) As always, the audience needs to know where they are going. Share an agenda and tell them what each Partner is doing. It's a good idea to post this or have a copy on the table for everyone. Here's a tip: Alternate the font (style and color) between speaking Partners on the agenda. This will serve as a visual aid to help the audience see where they are going.

3) The famous Partners mentioned earlier were, and are, successful for many reasons. They often talk about chemistry and how they know what the other Partner is going to do. Make certain you and your Partner know exactly what the other plans to do and say. Don't trip over each other and make sure you display confidence in one another. Meeting attendees will sense any confusion or frustration from the stage and your message will be lost.

4) Abbott and Costello were great Partners on radio and later on the Silver Screen. One of their most famous radio bits was "Who's on First?" Unlike those two in the classic skit, it is extremely important that you agree on which Partner is on first. The alternation between Partners striking a balance of time and content. One of the biggest distractions, in joint presentations, is when the Partner seemingly stands around waiting for their turn, and then gets up on stage, says a few words and just as quickly exits the stage. If there isn't balance, there probably isn't a reason to have the second person on stage.

5) In order to perform #2 well, be sure to make clear transitions. When one Partner has completed their section or topic, make a physical and literal "handoff" to the other Partner. Some ideas that work here are: Handover the microphone, check off the item on the agenda that was just completed, and then introduce the Partner and their topic. Wrap-up your topic and ask your Partner what they are going to talk about. Have a different template or look on your visual aids. There are many ways to make a clear shift during a presentation while maintaining the attention of the listeners.

6) When you're not up…be there! Often, people who regularly co-present or deliver training violate this rule. Have you ever seen a co-presenter go to the back of the room, sit at the "instructors table", and read the USA Today? Partners need to stay in the game. Baseball players don't sit in the dugout reading the paper when their fellow players are up to bat. Neither should a presentation Partner. In fact, the Partner should sit off to one side and actively listen. This also allows them to watch the addresses and evaluate how well they (the audience) are getting the message. It is also important to note that Partners should never interrupt the other. The point you want to make can wait until you get up and make the transition. Besides, the audience probably won't benefit enough to outweigh the distraction.

7) Always wrap-up the presentation with both Partners on stage. Show sincere appreciation for and thank each other. My presentation Partner and I will summarize the other's points, check for acceptance of the audience, and then encourage listeners to implement their action plans.

There are many reasons why most of us don't like to hear Partner Presentations. Basically, they come off as clumsy and awkward. If you find yourself in the discomfited position of having to give one, implement these seven steps. You, your Partner and your audience will be glad you did. Your audience will walk away having enjoyed a Perfect Partner Presentation. Partnering is the hottest thing in the personal change strategy arena. Try it and become more successful.

Terry Wisner is the founder and President of "Partnering To Success." His knowledge of and experience in both organization and individual development is extensive. He holds a BBA from University of Michigan and a Masters in Organization Science from Central Michigan University. However, his true learning has come from working with hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals to improve performance. This understanding has generated the "Partnering" process. This process will help business partners, spouses, life partners and roommates become more successful. His energetic, interesting and informative style makes Terry a very popular keynote speaker. Whether before an audience of 8000 or in one of his remarkable retreats, he makes everyone comfortable, engaged, and ready for change. As a consultant, Terry works with organizations to specifically improve the training and organizational developments ROI. After working with a Fortune 500 company, Terry has developed a passion for helping others become more successful, and "Partnering" is just the ticket.

Charismatic Communication Discovering And Building A Mutual Space With Your Audience Part Two

Writen by Desmond Guilfoyle

Inclusion and consensus-building are vital in gaining attributions of charisma and developing followers. Followers in the workplace are people who subscribe to your vision; who will invest energy, patience, trust, emotion and dedication in you and your goals. Emotional attachment to your vision and supporting values is essential if you want people to work as a team towards the missions you establish.

Charisma and influence are the result of quid pro quo's. In discovering the values and needs of your stakeholders, your part of the bargain is to do unto them as they would be done unto. You do unto "them" by establishing congruence between their needs and aspirations and your mission; by finding ways to share high-order values; by respecting individual differences you encounter, and linking beliefs and interests with your activities and goals. Your stakeholders' response will be greater emotional and motivational arousal, higher self-esteem, more cohesion and greater confidence in you.


Successful dialogue meets four fundamental tenets of effective communication:

1) credibility

2) emotional affiliation

3) 'live' evidence

4) common ground and shared benefits

The first issue you can choose to reflect deeply on when seeking to get people on board is that of credibility. Your own standing with individuals, groups, and audiences marks the initial barrier to be overcome.

Credibility is paradoxically both durable and fragile. It requires constant nurturing during the dialogue phase, particularly in the workplace. Once earned and maintained it can usually withstand the occasional expression of human frailty.

Many leaders, managers, and public figures imagine they enjoy greater credibility than they actually do. They often assume that position and authority is all that's required in shifting opinion, motivating people, and getting others to do what they want.

As any reputable leadership tome will tell you, the 'Pharaoh' era of getting results or attitude change through naked power and proclamation is long dead. And yet, the corporate world and public life are teeming with latter day Tut's and Cleo's who imagine they can shape people's opinions and behaviours with a wave of their royal sceptres and threats of public executions.

Today, authority and credibility do not come with the leadership territory. The trend in most of the western world over the last three decades is that of distrust towards, and challenge of, authority. If you want people to follow your wishes in the twenty-first century, you may like to choose the leadership tools and language of today in place of the quaint relics of the past.

Credibility maintenance at close quarters, such as the workplace or within smaller groups where contact is ongoing, is in essence no different to that of public credibility. It is earned from two principal sources.

Firstly, if you have established a reputation of competency or knowledge in a particular field, your colleagues or listeners will generally endow you with an appropriate degree of credibility within that specialist field.

Looking the part and mirroring sameness are also important factors in establishing credibility. But, an essential element in both workplace and public credibility is continuous maintenance. Personal credibility is a quality that must be ceaselessly affirmed.

Secondly, if you have demonstrated over time that you can be trusted to serve mutual interests over personal interests, your personal credibility will be higher. If you're generally considered to be a person who doesn't close the door on your morality and ethics when you leave home for work, you will have a significant persuasion advantage.

Professional ability and work-based relationships are key factors in credibility in the workplace, whereas appearance and demonstrations of expertise are important to public credibility. In mapping out a workplace or public persuasion plan, the issues of professional expertise and personal relationships form a critical part of any strategy.

You would be well advised to evaluate your ratings in both categories prior to embarking on any major persuasion undertaking. The questions you need to answer as objectively as you can are as follows:

Professional Expertise:

1) What are my target audience's perceptions about my knowledge and track record in the area in which I will seek to influence them?

2) Is my expertise acknowledged and accepted?

3) What other sources of knowledge and expertise can I reference and apply to enhance the credibility of my proposal, strategy, idea, etc.?

4) Who else can I recruit to enrich the credibility of my idea, project, etc.?

Personal Relationships:

1) Does my target audience trust me? Have I shown trustworthiness over time?

2) Do those I'm seeking to persuade view me as someone who shares kudos with them?

3) Do they view me as one of them and one who listens to them?

4) Am I in political accord with the group on this issue?

5) Am I in tune with them intellectually and emotionally

Workplace persuasion often goes awry when inexperienced managers seek to use the force of their position to effect change without attending to the above elements. Public and work-based credibility can be monitored and managed, and is the end result of what you are, what you say, and what you do.

If you desire to be a person of high credibility in the eyes of others, you can choose to conform your words and deeds to templates of trustworthiness embraced by your target audience.

(c) Desmond Guilfoyle 2004 - 2006

Desmond Guilfoyle in an award winning commentator on influence, persuasion and charisma. He has written three books on those subjects and his book 'The Charisma Effect' has been published in seven languages around the globe. He can be contacted at More articles are avilable through his blog at http:/

Monday, July 28, 2008

Professional Attitude

Writen by Ed Howes

It is the attitude that since I now know all there is to know, you could not possibly add to my knowledge and who do you think you are to try? It is not only experience that creates this attitude, it can be money, a badge, a uniform, a title. The whole attitude is one of fear and resentment. As though if you could contribute to my knowledge or understanding, I would have done all this for nothing. I would be a failure. This is not acceptable.

Prayer and blessing will do more to solve the problem than reason or argument. The person with the professional attitude does not seek advice and will not accept it. You might think professional attitudes are more prevalent among members of professions. You would be correct. That is where the professional attitude originated, but it is in danger of becoming universal as unwitting people think, if I had more confidence, I would be like that. They get a little more confidence and guess what?

In truth there is no professional attitude to be found among true professionals, so the attitude is a wannabe giveaway. Whenever you see a demonstration of this attitude, you can say, there is a person who prefers pretending to be a professional to being one. I don't claim to be a professional anything, so I am less susceptible to the delusion. How about you? Have you been taught by well meaning souls that appearances are everything? The message is in the churches, on the television and trumpeted by all major media in support of corporate agendas and sales, sales, sales. You would be in professional company. Nations are run on appearances.

So the next time it seems to you it would be good to appear a little more professional, just choose to be a little more professional. The world will bless your effort.

Ed Howes sought and found, knocked and entered. Now he sees things differently. To see more of what he sees, please visit or do an author search here at Ezine Articles.

Polishing Your Sales Presentation

Writen by Dan Collins

Summer is here! It's time to bring out your summer attire, take a vacation and reflect upon your achievements thus far this year. Look back at the past few months of your sales production . . . are you on target for all your sales goals for 2005? Are you making the sales from all your sales presentations?

You may be far ahead in some areas or behind in others. No matter what your sales production is today you certainly should have another look at what targets and goals you have developed in your game plan for 2005.

Are you using your strengths to their fullest potential? To improve your sales results, determine what has been working or not working. Then define where to concentrate your productive energies for the next two quarters in 2005 or the remainder of your compensation period.

The statistics say that 90% of the sale is made in the presentation. Many sales professionals need to be more innovative and prepare for every presentation. When planned and executed well, your presentation is the most effective method of winning more customers. The most important point of a presentation is that the objective of communication is not the transmission, but the reception. The whole preparation and content of presentation must therefore be geared to the customer with a clear objective that will specify actions or commitments you desire from the customer. Be creative and original to tailor the presentation to catch their attention and respect. Differentiate yourself from your competition.

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of careful preparation. Five minutes face to face with senior management could decide the acceptance or rejection of a proposal. With so much potentially at stake, the presenter must concentrate not only upon the facts being given, but also upon the style, pace, tone and tactics that should be used to best relate to the audience.

· Explain at the beginning of the presentation what will be covered and how long it will take so they know what to expect.

· Plan exactly how you wish to appear to them; dress appropriately for the audience.

· Rehearse your presentation. There is no substitute for practicing.

· Accentuate your gestures and vocal projection; always have great eye contact.

· A smooth presentation is the key for your customer to sense your sincerity and confidence.

· Don't try to answer every question. They will respect you more if you get back to them with the correct answer.

There are three primary ways people learn:

Visually – people learn through reading, seeing and mental images.

Auditorily – people learn through listening and hearing.

Kinesthetically – people learn through touching and doing.

Try to find out how your customers prefer to learn. Pay attention during conversations, if they read a lot and use phrases like, "I see it," and then they probably learn best visually, so use plenty of excellent visuals. If they use words like, "I haven't heard that, but that sounds good to me," they learn best auditorily, so keep the speaking dialog going at a pace and tone that they are comfortable with. If you see them holding your collateral and product they might learn best kinesthetically. Deliver your presentation primarily that way and create a well-rounded presentation that encompasses all the learning styles. For example, include visuals, have a good speaking voice, and bring samples of the product for every customer. But primarily tailor your presentation to their preferred learning style.

Although they will be trying very hard to concentrate on your presentation, your audience's minds will inevitably stray. Your job is to do something, anything that captures their attention and makes a lasting impression upon them. You don't necessarily have to use repeated phrases, but simply make the point again and again with different explanations and in different ways. Include the audience in the presentation; ask them questions to get them involved and keep them involved. Once your presentation is over, you should try to honestly evaluate your performance. Either alone, or with the help of someone involved, decide what were the least and most successful aspects of your presentation and concentrate on those areas for your next presentation. If there's a problem with the preparation or execution, then work on it. Practice is only productive when you make a positive effort to improve your presentations. Be committed to self-improvement to further develop your career. Be coached, or coach yourself, to constantly improve your presentations. Analyzing your strengths and building upon them is an effective method of self-coaching.

"A presentation is an interactive conversation with the customer." - Dan Collins

We believe that for any investment of sales improvement to generate a positive return, whether it is field training, classroom training, online learning, computer based, audiobooks, etc., predefined outcomes need to be articulated and then executed. So clearly define what you want to accomplish for the remainder of 2005, focusing on being more innovative and preparing for every presentation and of course, follow through and support your game plan for 2005 with sales training tools like our Sound Selling Audiobook™. Good luck goal setting, presenting and selling!

Check your Sales IQ (Free) at:

Copyright © 2005 by Collins Educational, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

About Collins Educational
Founded in 2002, Collins Educational is focused on serving the growth-oriented, "sales-driven" marketplace. Their purpose is to inspire driven people to learn in a comfortable, yet motivational environment.

About Dan Collins
Dan Collins graduated from Florida International University and began his career in sales during the pre-construction phase of the Atlantis mega resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. Twelve years later, as regional account executive for Discover Network, he has earned numerous awards, including the Sales Excellence Award (three years in a row), Diamond Ring Award, the President Plate (twice), and the Raymond A. Kennedy Award (the company's highest honor). He is currently completing an MBA in Hospitality Marketing at Southern New Hampshire University, and resides in Hooksett, New Hampshire, with his wife and three children.

Collins believes in working smarter, not just working harder -- and he believes tools such as the Sound Selling Audiobook will enable others to do just that.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Using Humor Images And Cartoons In Presentations

Writen by Dessy Oundian

Have you talked in front of many people? Have you wondered what to do in order to get your ideas across?

Any public speaker who has faced a crowd of listeners knows that humor has a great effect and brings out a point like nothing else. I have talked to many presenters and all of them say they have a number of jokes up their sleeve, as well as visual gags -- CARTOONS.

Cartoons can be of great help in the communication with the audience -- once a little humor is injected, the point is easier to make and the message is better understood, and the audience will pay closer attention to details or points you want to get across. Cartoons, as all visuals (illustrations or pictures), make a long lasting impression in a person's mind and can, without doubt, help them understand the material.

There is a lot in making a successful public speech. Some people are born orators, while the rest of us have to struggle with our own fears and the listeners' indifference. Timing is very important key to any speech, talk, presentation etc. That's why it is wise to use some outside help like inserting a cartoon at the right place -- that way you will liven the monotonous text and have more control over your presentation. The cartoon will additionally give you some extra time to gather your thoughts and go on with the speech, while the audience is having a laugh or two. BTW, it is a scientific fact that laughter releases endorphins that make people feel relaxed and overall happy. That way cartoons in your presentation will make for a more receptive audience. People will remember you and will contact you again for

As you see, cartoons are a great ice-breaker. But the way you will use them is also of the essence. Will you use a black and white cartoon, or a color cartoon? Just one cartoon, or a series of cartoons? Captionless cartoons, or cartoons with text? All these elements will have a different impact on your audience. For example, if you use some black and white cartoons followed by a full color cartoon, that will liven up, and even speed up the presentation. Or you may use a single cartoon as a way to refer to the printed manuals you might have supplied prior to the start of your presentation.

But where can you find a suitable cartoon for your presentation or speech? Thankfully, with the Internet, finding and licensing a cartoon is easier than ever! There are web sites that will provide you with a great selection of cartoons on different themes. You may try web site like:

presentation cartoons from or business cartoons from

If you have a little more money to spend and want to stand out of the crowd, you may consider hiring a cartoonist like Vlad Kolarov to create a custom cartoon
or illustration just for you. Some businesses find that method extremely helpful in communicating with clients or employees.

This article was written by Desy Oundian, marketing guru,

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Top Ten Rules For Effective Presentations

Writen by Chris Widener

I am of the belief that the majority of people can improve their presentations dramatically by focusing on eliminating bad habits and presentation skills more than seeking to add anything on. How often have you come out of a seminar and overheard someone say, "Wow, she was great! Did you see how effectively she used her hand gestures?"

That said, here are some ideas to help you become a better speaker.

1. Keep it simple
Speak naturally
Make eye contact
Don't do crazy things with your hands
Don't do much more than speak, i.e. managing props etc.

2. Be impassioned

3. Balance the format of your information

4. Build the relationships beforehand if possible

5. Get the audience to participate at varying levels if effective

6. Show, don't tell. That is, use stories, not facts and figures

7. Get rid of distracting idiosyncrasies

8. Don't misinterpret people's actions and get discouraged

9. Know your material

10. Never, ever, go overtime

About The Author:

Chris Widener is a popular speaker and writer as well as the President of Made for Success, a company helping individuals and organizations turn their potential into performance, succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams.

To see Chris "live" at the upcoming Jim Rohn Weekend Event as he speaks on the subject of Secrets of Influence go to or call 800-929-0434.

How To Begin A Lesson Plan

Writen by Andrew E. Schwartz

DEVELOPING LESSON PLANS: In developing lesson plan formats, two things are paramount: extraordinarily careful documentation and room left for possible changes. Sloppy accounting of the direction your class will be going is worse than none. And documentation that doesn't have leeway for change is almost instantly obsolete. The types of plan formats generally used are the: outline, sentence outline, narrative outline, narrative. The primary difference is in the amount of information and narrative in the body of the presentation. Your plan for a presentation should be at least a sentence outline or preferably a narrative outline.

READING LESSON PLANS: All maps have common information, called the legend, which tells you how to read them. The lesson plan should also have a legend (the cover sheet) which tells the trainer what the learning environment will be. The cover sheet includes the course title, the lesson title, the length of time for the lesson, the target audience, the performance objectives, the evaluation procedures, and the equipment and supplies needed for you and your students. Although your department may have a specific format for this information the purpose is more important than the format.

MAKING INFORMATIVE LESSON PLANS: --The course title or lesson title should accurately reflect the content of the lesson or course and be stated simply. --The length of time for the lesson should include time required for lesson presentation and suggested time, date, and hour at which lesson delivery would be most effective. --The target population entry shgould answer several questions. What skill level will the trainees have? Is the content appropriate for the audience? Will the audience be homogeneous, or a "mixed" group of people with different backgrounds, ages, and job skills?

Copyright AE Schwartz & Associates All rights reserved. For additional presentation materials and resources: ReadySetPresent and for a Free listing as a Trainer, Consultant, Speaker, Vendor/Organization: TrainingConsortium

CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Four Ss Of Presentations

Writen by Terry Hadaway

Have you ever been to a presentation that you thought would never end? It seems as if some people have mastered the art of saying very little in a long time. It's those people who seem to keep popping up in high-profile situations in which you and I are members of the audience. It's time to get some things straight about presentations!

Let's face it... life is one huge presentation! When you go for a job interview, you are making a presentation. When you state your opinion in a gathering of friends, you are making a presentation. For some reason, there is a lot of anxiety about standing up in front of a group of people and talking. Let's take a look at four things that can make your presentations better... the Four S's of Presentations.

1. Stand up! This isn't just a reference to your posture, though your posture does count for something. The real issue here is confidence. When you have something to present, say it as if you believe what you're saying. You wouldn't buy a car from a salesperson who doubted the quality of the vehicle, so why would anyone buy what you have to say if you say it with an underlying apology? If you can't speak with confidence about the subject, change subjects!

2. Speak up! This refers to your diction and voice inflection. Speak clearly using words that can be easily understood by the audience. Some presenters attempt to impress their audiences by using words that aren't part of everyday conversation. There's no need to complicate the simple things! Say what you have to say using the lowest common denominator. If you sprinkle your presentation with 8-syllable words that are intended to impress people, you might discover they stopped listening long before you made your main point! Also take into consideration the room size and acoustics. If the room is hollow, you will need to slow your speech so as to accommodate the echoes in the room. Finally, speak more deliberately than normal. People need time to process what you say, so slow down.

3. Shut up! When you're done, stop talking! Plan the conclusion to your presentation as carefully as you plan the opening. The last thing you say will be the last thing in the minds of the audience members. Be methodical in your presentation. It is better to make two points that are understood than five points that are confusing. If you know your material, it will be easier to ad lib details. Yet, if you begin to ad lib, you will be pushed for time at the end. A well-planned presentation is more effective than a random conversation!

4. Sit down! If you are one of many presenters, it is important that you show the same respect to the others as you expect from them. If you have been assigned five minutes for your presentation, then use five minutes! Don't ramble on infringing on the time of the presenters who come after you. If there are additional presenters after you, join the audience and listen. Not only will you learn something about the topics being discussed, but you will learn some additional strategies for making powerful presentations.

Remember, you don't have to tell everything you know in the five minutes you have been given. When your presentation is over, do you want your audience to wish you had told them more or be relieved that you finally stopped talking? Think about it!

Dr. Terry Hadaway is an author, motivational speaker, university professor, and conference leader who is recognized as a leading authority on elearning, decision-making, and adult education. For more Tools for Life, visit and enroll in the elearning course entitled Goof-proof Presentations!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How To Convert Powerpoint To Flash Manually

Writen by Susan Zheng

Converting PowerPoint to Flash would be absolutely a good choice to distribute your bulky PowerPoint Presentation. You can do the whole PowerPoint-to-Flash conversion manually or by related softwares.

First, you'll need to prepare the PowerPoint document. Make sure you are not using any complicated gradients or animations. These will be interpreted poorly when they are brought into Flash. Also, make sure there are no objects that fall outside the confines of the slide area.

This will ensure that all the slides align correctly when they are imported to Flash. Now, save a copy of your presentation without any background images. You may want to also choose a contrasting background color to easily see the content of each slide. You all import the background images into Flash at a later time.

Second, choose File > Save As... from your PowerPoint document and save the presentation as a Windows Metafile (*.wmf). This will save your entire presentation as a sequence of files. WMF files keep all text.

Next, create a new Flash Document and resize the Stage to 720 x 540. Change the background color to black. Choose File > Import > Import to Stage... and import the first WMF file. When asked to import all of the images in the sequence, choose Yes. This will place each slide from your presentation onto a sequence of frames.

Then, create a new layer under the slides layer and import the images to use for your background. You'll probably need two images, one for title slides and one for the regular slides. Now it's time for some manual labor. You'll need to go through every frame of the movie and delete the solid background shape from your slides layer. Once this is complete, you should see the content of each slide with the correct background image behind it.

Finally, add a frame to the end of your movie. Place some static text on that frame that says something like "End of slideshow, click to exit."

Alright, now it's time to move on to some ActionScript. Create a new layer for your actions. There are a few statements you'll need to include right away. First, you want this movie to play full screen so add an fscommand. fscomma("fullscreen","true");To make sure the Stage resizes correctly specify the scaleMode.

Stage.scaleMode = "exactFit";Finally, you don't want the movie to begin playing through all the slides right away before the user starts clicking, so add a stop function. stop();You'll need to include some functions that will be used frequently to navigate the presentation.

function gotoNextSlide():Void {

if (_currentframe < _totalframes) {

gotoAndStop(_currentframe + 1);

} else {


} }

function gotoPreviousSlide():Void {

gotoAndStop(_currentframe - 1); }

function gotoHome():Void {

gotoAndStop(1); }

function gotoEnd():Void {

if (_currentframe < _totalframes) {

gotoAndStop(_totalframes - 1);

} }

function quit():Void {

fscommand("quit"); }Next, we need to handle all the keyboard and mouse events so that the

user can navigate through the slides. We'll do this by creating a new listener object. var myListener:Object = new Object(); myListener.onKeyDown = myOnKeyDown; myListener.onKeyUp = myOnKeyUp; Key.addListener(myListener); myListener.onMouseUp = myOnMouseUp; Mouse.addListener(myListener);Here are the listener functions. function myOnKeyDown():Void {

if (Key.isDown(Key.DOWN) || Key.isDown(Key.PGDN)) {


} else if (Key.isDown(Key.UP) || Key.isDown(Key.PGUP)) {


} else if (Key.isDown(Key.END)) {


} else if (Key.isDown(Key.HOME)) {


} }

function myOnKeyUp():Void {

if (Key.getCode() == 27) {


} }

function myOnMouseUp():Void {

gotoNextSlide(); }

If that's too complicate to you, you can try some PPT to SWF software, like SameShow PPT to SWF Converter, MelodyPPT, Arbicate etc, all of them can help you convert PowerPoint to Flash with cool effects.

SusanZheng writes, teaches, trains and consults on business and professional presentations and eCommerce related matters. For more information PPT to SWF Converter visit

Presentation Involves Your Very Vital Career Success

Writen by Shaun Stevens

Presentation according to the management guru Riteway Strokon is everything. Your status and rise to fame in your organization depends to a great deal on the presentation of "your castle and domain" that is your office area and space.

Plan your future and work your plan. How can your office scream your power, prestige and success?

First of all no matter what get the office in the "Lucky Corner". This is the corner diagonal to the door and facing the door. This has the most energy and it is said luck associated with it. Do your very best to get this vital location for your desk.

Next have a view of water within your preview. You can put a picture of a beach or ocean scene in front of you to stimulate wealth, opportunities to grow your career and advancement. Maybe even you can have a water fountain installed in your area.

Be sure to have an open space in front of your desk. It is best to keep your desk clear to keep your desktop clear and not staked with files or papers. If you have to have these stacks onto the side of the desk not in the middle. This shows that you are a person of action and consequence who takes care of things, that you are not a laggard.

In regarding the position of your desk see in your planning if you cannot have a solid wall at your back. This will give the appearance of support and stability. On the wall you can place testaments that scream your success and position. Gather your trophies so to speak - certificates, degrees, awards, customer's letters etc. Remember if you place them on the wall behind you. Remember that at a distance no one will be able to read them. Riteway notes that at the worst you can always go to your local "Value Village "and purchase some odd plaques or trophies. Awards that are framed are best placed in a red or even gold frame. Remember less can be more so it may be wise to not overdo this trick of instant status. You can even pictures of ships. Ships in many cultures represent the arrival of new opportunities, luck and wealth. These nautical icons can be placed near the doorway to indicate that good luck is sailing in. Note though it is best not to have pictures and paintings of ships in rough seas, storms or being sunk in a naval battle. It is not a wise idea to have a picture or miniature model of the Titanic.

Lastly several point to ponder. You are what you present yourself as to others in many cases as you plan your career advancement up the corporate or organizational structure. Be concerned to wear the corporate colors – for example IBM men were known for their blue suits. Dress one up from your colleagues toward the next level. Not enough to antagonize yourself as an upstart in their eyes but closer enough to your superiors that they will notice it. Presentation is everything. Take care of the details and the details will take of you – shined shoes, neat office, pressed and neat clothes, clean and orderly office and the details will take care of you.

Lastly use the front door. Too many employees enter the building where they work through the rear door. This will give you the so called "rear treatment ". You should see yourself as a vital important person a credit and contributor to your organization. Always enter through the front door of the office. Enter and leave this way. You will double your career luck and rise to success.

Shaun Stevens Senior Marketing Consultant Ace Employment Services Winnipeg Experience in Marketing in the Employment , Human Resources and Training Fields. Experience in Self Help , Training and Assessment as well as Government Corrections Areas.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Is A Trainer What Is A Facilitator

Writen by Guila Muir

Recently, I've noticed that some corporations call their trainers "facilitators." I can only assume this is meant to be shorthand for "facilitator of learning." However, is "facilitator" really an appropriate term when the "facilitator" uses only lecture and Power Point? Are facilitating a strategic planning session and teaching someone how to do that really the same thing?

Even the roots of the two words interplay. "Educe," the root of "educate," literally means "to bring out." That is what the best trainers do…but isn't it also what facilitators do? The root of "facilitate," of course, is "facile," or to make a process "easy." The best trainers seem to make learning easy, don't they?

It's no wonder confusion exists. The greatest trainers and facilitators do share many characteristics and behaviors. However, I believe the role of trainer and facilitator are ineluctably different and that it's important to distinguish between them. This will not only help reduce confusion about the terms, but (more importantly, to me-) ensure they retain real meaning.

Let's Talk Terms

Even though the term "training" is broadly accepted for the field of adult education, some in our field argue that "training" itself is an unacceptable word. They argue that the word conjures up "dog training" or other potentially de-humanizing acts.

Others in the field of adult education differentiate between terms training, instruction and education, but conclude that all are necessary to help people learn. (Stolovitch and Keeps, 2002.) Most adult educators use "train" as an umbrella term for what they do.

4 Major Differences Between Facilitator and Trainer Roles

Great Facilitator -Is not necessarily a content expert.

-Is an expert in many forms of group process (including inter-and-intra-group conflict resolution, strategic planning, team building, etc.)

-Often helps the group to define and verbalize its own outcomes (e.g. to solve a specific problem or develop a new procedure.) When outcomes are externally prescribed, helps the group develop, implement and "own" action steps to achieve the outcomes.

-Sees facilitation as a process to help achieve specific "bits" of broad organizational goals.

Great Adult Educator (Trainer) -Is a content expert.

-Is not necessarily expert in many forms of group process. Instead, continually develops new methods to help participants achieve specific learning outcomes.

-Most often in corporate, organizational or higher education settings, the trainer does not help each learner group establish its own learning outcomes. (That's a whole other approach, called Popular Education.)

-Often focuses on training's impact on actual, discrete job performance or tasks. Trainer may evaluate training's effectiveness long after the training event takes place.

Elements the Two Roles Share

Both great facilitators and the best trainers...

* Help the group achieve specific outcomes through the use of active, participatory, participant-centered methods.

* Regularly evaluate the process in real time, and can measure how well the participants achieved the stated outcomes at the end of the process.

* Have made themselves familiar with the organizational culture and context in which they are working, and ensure the processes "fit" that culture.

* Stimulate dialogue and interaction between participants, not just between themselves and the participants.

In this article, I've tried to scratch the surface of similarities and differences between facilitation and training. I believe passionately in the value of each. Both can help us understand ourselves, each other, our work, and the world better. Beyond that, they play different roles in the workplace and community.

Do you think it's important to make distinctions between facilitation and training? As usual, I look forward to your input and comments about these issues. Please contact me at with your arguments and insights.

Guila Muir pumps up your training skills! Helping people to design and present effective training sessions since 1989, Guila provides tools, tips, and techniques to transmit your expertise effectively. Sign up for her free, quarterly e-newsletter, at

Presentations Lessons Learned At School

Writen by Hans Bool

In fact this article is a preparation for a next article on the same topic; one that is actually still due.

We are to absorb so much knowledge that we tend to forget what we have learned when we where still at school. Maybe you remember the time when you where asked to read out loud in front of the class.


This period is key. Not only when reading a text, but also when presenting the kind of material in front of a group of people. The technique is the same. You stop because the action has ended end you are stepping into a new area. The period is there to signal this for you as a reader, but in the presentation you are to use this as a pause to check whether your public (readers) is still with you. It serves as a turning point (or a hinge) to turn the past in to the future. The period shows what is done. Up to the next phrase or picture, unless...

Unless there is a problem. That is what you hope for giving a presentation (not always probably), but you would like to interact with the audience, because without feedback you cannot tell whether the story has landed safely.

If nobody argues, then you can continue. The pause should also give you confidence knowing that what you are presenting is relevant and valuable and maybe passed to your audience.

Before we knew how to read properly, we forgot to wait for the traffic lights; we skipped the full stop and headed to the next sentence. But once we were confident in reading out loud we stopped, waiting for the next action.

We tend to forget these simple things from the past. Or maybe, when we forget to use a pause in the presentation, we are not confident enough.

Perhaps that is the first step before presenting the material – to gain faith in what we will offer.

© 2006 Hans Bool

PS: The article that is still due is part two of – Models that color your presentation. This has been quite a while. This brings me "lessons learnt" – do not pause too long.

Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days.

You can apply for a free demo account.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Selling Online Are You Quotiquot Or Quotwequot

Writen by Martin Coleman

Successfully selling online is a continual challenge that is forever in need of a solid answer. You have your product or service (which, hopefully, you fully believe in, trust and use yourself, otherwise good luck instilling confidence into your customers), your delivery platform, your presentation platform, you're all set up and ready to go, now to market yourself.

But what about all those ads from big companies selling similar products, how can you compete with them? Well, are you so sure they are as big as you think? In the case of "I" versus "We" in advertising, people can feel a little uncomfortable, what they think is, lying to their customers about their real status and size as a business.

Customers want to feel confident about their purchases. They want to know that when they make a purchase, the process itself will be as simple, painless and hassle free as possible, their payment will go through, it will be shipped same day or within 1-2 business days, it will arrive timely and will be exactly the way they imagined it and how it was advertised. Customers also think that the bigger, richer and more established a business is, the more likely this will happen. Not always. Many companies can think too big of themselves and their customer service goes downhill and their reputation can very very easily get shattered. Customers also have "comfort zones", which, I think we can all relate to.

Now, about the "I" versus "We". If you are ethical in your business ideals and just want to be a great entrepreneur and offer great products and services and make a comfortable profit from them, you will obvious need to instil that same apparent confidence into your company for your (potential) customers. However, you don't need to feel pressured if it's a one man show. Think of it this way, do you have strong partnerships with your suppliers? That is a "We". Did your spouse or significant other help you decide on a business name? That is technically a "We", they helped you get to the establishing state of your business. Has your spouse or significant other offered to help look after things that you don't always need 100% attention on? That is a "We".

Yet another way to look at it is, do you contact consultants, contractors or other gurus to assist you when you need it? That is a "We". Many computer business owners, for example, have regular contact with a world wide network of fellow consultants, technicians and the like, so that is a "We" of collaboration and sharing of knowledge with each other.

So yes, when given some careful thought, you can say your one man show is a "We" if you like, and not have to feel guilty about "lying" to your customers about the true size of your operation. I think if you conduct and run your business ethically and just want to run a great business offering terrific products and services, your customers will have absolutely no problem with that. When your business grows, you will be able to afford to hire additional help for casual, part-time or full-time work taking over one of your duties such as accounts, purchase orders, invoicing or whatever you need.

Then, no matter how you look at it, you are definitely a "We". So don't worry too much about it, just run your business well, offer quality products, make good money, market yourself well and everything else should just fall into place. After all, you and your customers want the same thing. Reliable business that is there when you need them. That is, after all, what it will be. Good luck with your business!

Martin is the author of several books on web site development tweaks and computer service repair. He is available for writing projects of any size and can be contacted via his website at

Humorous Resources

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

I would say that your number one resource for funny material is yourself. When searching for comedic stories, think back on your own life experiences. Often those embarrassing moments and awkward scenarios provide excellent, true-to-life humor that people can appreciate, relate to and enjoy. Such personal stories are doubly effective when they underscore a key point you're trying to make to your audience or when they offer a lesson to be learned from the experience.

Other definite perks of using your own stories include the fact that the material is truly authentic and original. Even if it's a common experience in the human family, your personal account will never be "worn out." As you go about your daily tasks, always be aware that the situation you find yourself in at any given moment may have some humor in it. You should always carry around a little pocket notepad and pen with you to capture ideas and insights when they occur.

The next best source for humorous material is friends and family. Again, their stories are the kind you know are genuine and that people are likely to respond to. The beauty of firsthand and secondhand accounts is that people can readily put themselves in the situation or imagine someone else close to them in the situation. If it's real, it's not ever going to come across as dry, manufactured or "trying too hard." Take the time to ask parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, friends, etc. about funny stories and experiences, and literally start building a "humor database." Sometimes gathering others' stories is easier to do with a handheld recorder than trying to write everything down. Whatever the method you opt for, get started today. The more stories you have up your sleeve, the more prepared you will be.

What makes people laugh? What can you use to create humor during a presentation? There are a variety of ways in which you can spice up a presentation with a few laughs and smiles. You can use a joke, a story, an embarrassing moment, an exaggeration, a pun, irony, self-depreciation, a metaphor, a put-down, silliness, surprise, an anecdote, satire, the one-liner, innuendo, an embellished story, a witticism or even an outrageous statement. Humor really works well when you catch someone off guard, especially with exaggeration. For example, "It was so cold in NY that the Statue of Liberty was holding the torch under her skirt." Even a little embellishment can go a long way. Notice in the local newspaper: "Missing dog, right ear missing; broken left leg; half of tail gone; recently neutered. Answers to the name of Lucky." What about the shocking statement: "If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments."

TV comedians do the put-down very well, but if you follow their strategy, you have to be cautious you do not offend your audience. David Letterman once said, "Fall is my favorite season in LA, watching the birds change color and die." Keep watch and you will find plenty of material to spice up your presentations. Another example of effective humor lies in the way you say things. That is, the way you package your words. Don't just call someone dumb, stupid or less than intelligent. Instead, you might use the following:

  • Got a full six-pack, but lacks the plastic to hold it all together.
  • Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming.
  • Most drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled.
  • Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn't watching.
  • The wheel is spinning, but the hamster's dead.
  • If brains were taxed, he'd get a rebate.
  • Studied for a blood test and failed.
  • Dumber than a box of hair.
  • Sharp as a marble.

Inspiration may also come from cartoons, comics, humor websites, books, comedy sketches/audios and movies. Immerse yourself in anything where you think you might find humor you can adapt to your needs. Take advantage of what's there. If you check your local university, you may be surprised by some of the public-speaking arena offerings. The National Speakers Association also offers classes, some dealing exclusively with humor. Often, cartoons can be an effective presentation medium if you can use PowerPoint or an overhead projector. There are many websites that allow you to search for cartoons by keyword or topic and then immediately download them for your own personal use. Sometimes you have to get permission or pay a small fee, but if you know a cartoon will elicit laughs, it's definitely worth it.

Everyone persuades for a living. There's no way around it. Whether you're a sales professional, an entrepreneur, or even a stay at home parent, if you are unable to convince others to your way of thinking, you will be constantly left behind. Get your free reports at Magnetic Persuasion to make sure that you are not left watching others pass you on the road to success. Donald Trump said it best, "Study the art of persuasion. Practice it. Develop an understanding of its profound value across all aspects of life."


Persuasion is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you've seen some success, but think of the times you couldn't get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others.

Kurt Mortensen's trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available! His message and program has helped thousands and will help you achieve unprecedented success in both your business and personal life.

If you are ready to claim your success and learn what only the ultra-prosperous know, begin by going to and getting my free report "10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands." After reading my free report, go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Your Work Vehicles And Your Business Presentation

Writen by Lance Winslow

Investing in your company image makes sense and you must consider this part of your business presentation. It is as important as the signage on your location and your brochures or website. Neglecting your company vehicles is not smart marketing or presentation. What can you do to dress up your company vehicles?

Well it would seem that it is good advice to never have your vehicles looking dirty. Did you know that Fred Smith of Federal Express use to wash every vehicle every day and then eventually went to twice per week washing? He knew the value of his vehicles on the street and the image it presented to his customers and future clientele.

Today there are so many excellent options for vehicle signage to consider once you commit to keeping your company vehicles clean. Lets face it if you plan on putting cool graphics on your vehicle no sense in advertising the fact that your vehicle looks dirty? Sure God made dirt on the first day, but why advertise it, when you are trying to propel your image in the market place.

Contact a local graphic signage business and ask them about shrink raps and custom graphics and dress up your vehicle business presentation and then watch more customers calling in and saying; I saw your vehicle and I am interested in.

Lance Winslow - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance;

Democamp7 Review

Writen by Colin Smillie

DemoCamp7 was last night at a quite crowed No Regret restaurant in West King West. It's a fairly small venue so space was at a premium and the demos were a little harder to understand without the lights, sounds and magic that is Mars. The presentations broke down as follows:

1/ Portal Prophet Platform by Kristan Uccello from Domainer

My initial expectation from this demo was to see a DNS management system. Instead they presented a fairly visual CMS type application to create web pages for multiple domains. The interface was pretty neat and involved creating blocks based on code snippets and connections to other services ( RSS feeds etc.. ). The blocks could then be visually position on the webpage to create the final webpage. The resulting webpage could then be style with multiple CSS skins. Overall it was fairly simple but looked easy to use. I did not see any sort of staging or pre-production system so I'm not sure how well it scale for larger deployments.

2/ by Josh Blinick

I was pretty impressed with the interface around FeelingBullish but I'm not clear on their business model. From what I understand of their product its a system for analysts to recommend stocks and for anyone to review those recommendations. The definition of an analyst was a little unclear but they could recommend stocks, leave comments on stocks or other analysts and use many of the now standard Web 2.0 feature set. As a consumer you can then view all the analyst rankings and see how they compared to historical stock performance. All recommendations are tracked and analysts are not allowed to delete their historical recommendations. By having a fairly large group of analysts and more tracking on their recommendations the goal is to have an accurate algorithm to track analyst performance. I'm not analysts will be too excited about this level of tracking and may make it difficult for the site to reach a critical mass.

3/ by Teehan+Lax evolved out of Teehan's holiday card last year. They sent out cards to all their customers with links to their website of holiday gift ideas. The site has evolved a lot and now allows anyone to create a 'wish list' of items from a variety of e-commerce sites. The interface is very clean and easy to use. I was impressed with the process to tagging third-party ecommerce items which are often in variety of different formats. The site allows you to quickly sort through all images on a target URL and quickly select the items picture. Users can then create sub-lists for special occasions and even form a basic wedding registry ( without the ability to track duplicate purchases ). Overall a very neat and clear site.

4/ The Glove by Cameron Browning

Cameron has developed a system to represent visual a file structure and its associated relationship, oh and he also uses a glove to control the interface. In reality the glove was fairly basic, it consisted a re-purposed skate boarding glove with a large yellow square and a modified wireless keyboard inside. The yellow square allows a small camera to track the gloves position and control the visual interface. In my opinion the visual interface was most interesting part, I would have been happy controlling it with a mouse. I would be a little worried about the visual interface scaling as it would become very cluttered with a large number of objects to represent. Cameron also mention that he could tweak in real-time some of the display constants like spacing and object sizes. He felt this would allow the interface to scale to large number of objects.

5/ Perl 6 by Damian Conway

Wow, someone is still using Perl. In reality it's still a great scripting language and Damian did a great job trying to demo a programming language. Anyone that has ever tried to demo a programming language knows the challenges here. Perl 6 has some interesting features but many of them have been eclipsed by new languages like PHP or Ruby. I thought the most interesting part was using the VIM interface to act as a presentation tool.

The after part at No Regrets was great and most of the presents stuck around to interact with the crowd. Its remarkable how far the reach of the event has grown. I ended up talking to a variety of people including a developer still working on Lotus Notes Domino, just when I thought Perl was old...

Colin Smillie has extensive technical experience gained at several leading Internet, wireless and security providers in Canada and Asia-Pacific. He studied Electrical/Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ottawa and Computer Electronics in Ontario, and has been able to translate this technical expertise into the classified media industry for Trader Media Corporation. His current role as Product Manager of Automotive Products involves product development, competitor analysis and advertising performance tracking and search engine optimization, as well as alliance-building with third parties. He speaks fluent French, good Japanese and enjoys designing computer games in his spare time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brain Storming With Mindmapper

Writen by Paul Urban

What is Brainstorming?

Brainstorming has in the past been viewed negatively. All that paper stuck over walls, PC's Fridges and any where else we can think of to "jog our memories" or when plan those simple or complex tasks from grocery shopping to increasing sales by 10% all with illegible notes with no structure or direction to them.

You spend many hours of planning something individually or in those dreaded business meeting of which most never gets achieved no matter how good the suggestions or ideas they get lost in translation with no real document process in place.

To some degree we all know brainstorming and what it is but nearly 95% of people or businesses do not know how to document it or the best way to use and place those ideas into there plans or business.

However effective brainstorming can increase productivity by making valuable breakthroughs from all involved.

When you have people bouncing ideas around that can be captured and filtered in an easy visual format you will guarantee higher productivity and ultimately profits with simple techniques that will create a feeling the whole team is involved and see in plain visual format exactly what needs doing to achieve those results.

The Usual approach to Brainstorming:

We have all used them! those darn post it notes, flip charts and huge white boards that look like road kill once we have poured our ideas out all over them. Very cumbersome that requires hours afterward to be properly understood and concluded thats why many brainstorming sessions fail!!. Despite all those "power ideas" being discussed there is rarely the follow up done and the key actions never jumped on resulting with ideas forgotten.

With MindMapper Brainstorming has been completely resolved and you will never lose another idea or thought that could be the next breakthrough to leapfrogging your competitors.

Using MindMapper to Brainstorm:

You have a simple yet powerful software in place like MindMapper you have a process that captures those ideas and information. MindMapper does so in a simple visual format that ensures you will succeed in your objectives

Any one who can turn on a PC can use MindMapper!

MindMapper is the ultimate Brainstorming tool, it allows you to progress your Brainstorming into crystal clear information that is easy to see and read making it child proof to understand.

Your ideas and information is gathered and structured automatically in a visual map. This visual map is easy to collect and collate information.

Try this! In your next Brainstorming session (business meeting, project planning session or even your shopping list) use MindMapper. Encourage all involved to contribute ideas no matter how small, irrelevant or grand. Encourage feedback applaud ideas from all involved and place into your map.

When you have MindMapper open create the objective of your Brainstorming session in the centre heading. Then bounce ideas and add new branches with each aspect needed to achieve this (Tip- use Keywords for your main headings in branches). Then create sub branches to break down each idea further. Creating branches and sub branches is a snitch just click on a branch type and hit enter and so on with each sub branch.

Add notes to each idea! Click on the branch or Sub Branch and add your not in the text box at the bottom of your map. (TIP- only use bullet points of the idea in your notes to keep the flow of the idea and information coming)

You will notice before long that there are many branches and sections with sub sections making your map look larger than needed.

Break these down, collapse branches of the map so only the "key objectives" are showing. You can always go back to each individual section to "storm" more. The key factor is that you will have all your ideas and information within a couple of clicks.

This makes it simple for you to go back to an idea with no more scrolling through notes and interrupting the brainstorming process.

During your "Brainstorming" if you decide a certain idea would be better in another section or you want to use that idea in all areas simply "drag and drop" your idea into that branch.

Enhancing your Brainstorming session:

Typically this is where other Brainstorming methods and software begins to fall short of MindMapper.

Information overload with traditional MindMapping methods your map gets messy the information is all over the place and cannot be accessed easily creating a bottle neck in the brainstorming process.

Not with MindMapper. With MindMapper you analyse break down ideas and information into branches and click on the branch (objectives) to decide which are critical or most significant and which is the background information required. By doing this you already have saved hours in time and probably money (staff time, resources). Without hardly any effort on your part to gain there input.

The Nearly finished Map!

When you have completed your brainstorming session your map can be broken down to a crystal clear set of blue prints, you then begin to allocate tasks and information to people who will be working to achieve the main objective.

All the ideas and information discussed can be sent to those involved allowing them to remember each specific task or piece of the map they need to complete. Each person can then access the map with MindMapper on workstations and begin the process of achieving the main objective. (here is where sub maps are encouraged to them to keep the brainstorming process going)

Wow! you have just saved countless hours and increased your productivity! can you remember doing all this without MindMapper! Gathering all information and allocating the "branches" to be completed for your success in the key objective. None of this is possible with out MindMapper. Well it is but why waste a few weeks and half a rain forest in printing.

Once the map is complete comes the action and communication planning: To ensure Maximum results from MindMapper and ensure those ideas and information gathered in the brainstorming session are not just shop talk, you need to decide on a plan of action.

You can achieve this using the legend in MindMapper. On the right hand side of MindMapper there are symbols (legends) and color codes that can be used to break the map down to Action each part of the brainstorming session.

You can allocate people to each objective (or task) by color or priority. (1-10) Add resources that may be needed to achieve this. Add documents for reference or hyperlinks to information sources.

Acting on the brainstorming session

MindMapper allows you to act on your brainstorming session in a number of ways. You can export or save your map on the network so it can be accessed and action taken and update the map after each component has been completed.

You can ensure that each specific task is sent to the owner by MS outlook simply export part of the map that they will be working on to MS Outlook and they will soon see there Task list in MS outlook flashing.

The key point is that everyone know's exactly what they need to do and is expected of them to achieve the main objective.

Other bonuses you can do from your brainstorming session:

Once you have completed your Brainstorming session you can create this in a presentation or report. With MindMapper you have a variety of options including exporting to MS word (report writing) MS PowerPoint (full project process presentation) or MS Project and go further implementing the brainstorming session into a full fledged project.

With just a couple of click's on the mouse you have a completed format ready for reporting, presenting or project initiatives.

So MindMapper can not only take your brainstorming sessions to real life goals it can make those things happen today!

So why waste more time and money on planning non starting ideas use MindMapper today and get ahead and Explode your productivity and ultimately your profits!

Visit our website to learn more:

Presentation Pitfalls Series Top 10 Content Mangement Mistakes

Writen by Melissa Mayers Lewis

Here, David Letterman style, are what I consider to be the Top 10 most common mistakes presenters make when organizing and preparing their content:

10) Not setting the stage.

An introduction should be more than just "Hello. Today we'll be discussing _____." If you just jump into the content without setting up the presentation, it can get you off to a jumpy, disjointed start. An introduction should give the audience a sense of who you are, what you're there to do, and what's in it for them to listen.

9) Using ineffective notes.

It's almost always wise to have some notes handy to make sure you don't forget anything important, but if your notes are hard to follow or are distracting for the audience, they defeat the purpose. Trying to read from a crowded page of word-for-word narrative is a killer because you look down and have trouble looking up for fear that you'll never find your place again. Disorganized papers or cards can be cumbersome and messy. Keep clear, concise, key-word-or-key-phrase-only notes handy to simply jog your memory, not serve as an unnecessary crutch.

8) Using jargon or acronyms that leave the audience bewildered.

When a listener hears a word or phrase he/she is not familiar with it causes what I call a "cerebral derailment". The listener's mind is chugging along happily with you until he/she hears an unfamiliar term and suddenly the mind jumps the tracks to wonder, "What does that mean?" Always define acronyms (even if you're sure they know what the letters stand for) and, when in doubt, define any terms that could possibly be unfamiliar.

7) Planning backwards.

Many people begin to prepare a presentation by thinking, "What do I have that's cool?" (meaning visual aids, support points, stories, examples, etc.) Then they ask themselves, "How can I work it in?" This is backwards. Decide on what you want to accomplish and then ask "What do I have in the way of support that would help me meet that objective?" If you plan backwards you may very well end up with a bunch of interesting information that is of no value to the listeners.

6) Not knowing your objective and/or not sharing it.

In addition to being clear on the point you want to make, you should also be clear on the objective you wish to achieve. Do you want the audience to make a decision? Show them the options and ask for a decision. If you need their cooperation, make sure you explain why you need them and how they can help you. If your goal is to familiarize them with a topic, make that clear so you don't get bogged down in excess detail. Both you and your audience should be clear on what you're there to accomplish.

5) Not providing "signposts".

Imagine that you can get a new set of information two ways: 1) you can read it in a report or 2) you can listen to it in a presentation. What advantages do you have when you're reading that you don't have when you're listening?

  • You can go at your own pace

  • You can re-read things that you found confusing

  • You can skip sections that don't interest you

  • You can see when a new topic begins (because of section titles or white space)

  • You can make notes

  • You can file it away for future reference.

None of these options are available to your listeners. To the audience, your ideas are just sounds in the ether, so to make up for the lack of these advantages, you need to provide signposts to let us know where you are. Visual aids can help, but remember to include phrases like "Now, let's move on to point #2", "That's all for the background, now let's move on to the current status," or "Let me just wrap up." These little phrases take very little time but do wonders for helping your audience stay with you.

4) Having complex, hard-to-read visual aids.

Your visual aids should be just that--aids. They should HELP you get your message across. Complicated, crowded, hard-to-read visual aids compete with you for your audience's attention. Keep them simple enough that listeners have a reason to stick around and listen to YOU.

3) Not having an obvious, logical structure.

Meandering from point to point can be very frustrating to a listener. Have your information laid out in a logical structure and share that structure with the listeners up front so they know where you're headed.

2) Not making the POINT clear up front.

There's nothing more frustrating to a listener than to sit there thinking, "OK, so what's your point?!" Remember, you know your material cold. The listeners don't. Sometimes you have to smack them between the eyes with the point, as in, "If you only remember one thing from my presentation, I want it to be __________________." Don't wait until the end to present your point with a dramatic flourish. Make your point right up front and spend the rest of the time supporting that point.

And the #1 content management mistake. . .

1) Including too much information.

It's tempting to want to cram all the information possible into the heads of your listeners, but ironically, it's possible that the more information you include, the less they learn. Think of a rainstorm. When rain is pouring down, much of it runs off before it can soak into the soil. The water is wasted because there was simply too much of it to take in. Whereas, a slow, steady rain has a chance to soak in thoroughly. It's far better to include half as much information and have them retain most of it, than to squeeze in every imaginable tidbit and have 90% of the information wind up as runoff.

All of these problems are common. Luckily, with awareness and a few simple adjustments, they are easily overcome.

About The Author

Melissa Lewis turns traditional thinking about public speaking upside down to give people more comfort, confidence, and charisma in front of groups. She is a former actress, a certified facilitator of SPEAKING CIRCLES, president-elect of the National Speakers Association Kansas City Chapter, and author of the soon-to-be-released book, Upside Down Speaking. For more information call (913) 341-1241 or visit,