Presentation Skills – Energizing Your Presentation

Have you ever been to a boring presentation? Most of us have, and most of them are boring because there is no life or passion in what the speaker is saying. People remember more of what they see and hear as opposed to what they read. But to be really memorable, we need to add some life to what we present.

So how can we add life to our presentations and wake up the audience?

Ever nervous?

In a sense, getting nervous before speaking is a good thing, if you know how to properly channel that nervous energy and use it productively to energize your presentation. Think of yourself as a steaming, boiling pot. You have two choices. You can either try to keep the energy inside, or you can unleash it and use it to help vitalize your presentation, essentially, letting the steam out of the pot.

All too often, presenters choose to burn off that nervous energy by fidgeting, holding or grabbing on to things, and walking or rocking back and forth.

Learn how to dispense this energy in a productive way. This will make you feel more comfortable and will help you look better. You’ll also start to enjoy giving your presentation, you’ll relax, and the audience will feel it.

Working from the bottom up, let’s start with your feet and a balanced stance.

Balancing Your Stance

The first thing is to adopt a stance that both appears balanced and also allows you to keep from needing or wanting to rock or pace back and forth. Presenters often rock back and forth, lean towards one side, or pace around the room in an unconscious attempt to burn off all that extra energy that the flight-or-fight syndrome had filled the body with. Because the glutes and the quads are the largest muscle groups in the body, the brain knows that by moving these muscles, the body can burn off the most amount of excess energy per unit time. Unfortunately, none of these movements helps your cause. All they do is distract from your message and telegraph to the audience that you’re really nervous. That’s not the message that you want to convey.

You don’t have to be like Yul Brynner in “The King and I” with your feet way apart, or drag in like John Wayne. Consider instead a comfortable, balanced stance.

That means hands comfortably down to the sides (neutral position) with feet slightly apart and weight evenly distributed on the balls of the feet. Use your knees like shock absorbers supporting your upper body comfortably. This will help you to avoid favoring one side over the other, and “rocking” back and forth.

Pacin’ the Cage

Can you take a step forward or back occasionally? Yes, but don’t start dancing or rocking (We call this the hula-hoop). Try to stay in one place without appearing like a tree rooted firmly in the ground. Pacing back and forth constantly, for no apparent reason, typically drives the audience crazy. Yeah, a few overzealous motivational speakers or mid-night TV kitchen appliance hawkers may get away with it, but it generally doesn’t fly in the business world.

On the other hand, if you’d like to pause and take a few steps forward to elaborate on that special point or take a step back to reflect and consider something, that’s O.K. But constant non-purposeful movement is weak.

Using Hands Appropriately

Then, decide what you are going to do with your hands and learn to gesture from the shoulders, not the elbows. Use your hands to describe and emphasize. Drop your hands down to your side (neutral position) when you’re starting your speech or when you’re done gesturing.

When you gesture from the neutral position, your gestures become more emphatic. If everything comes from the middle magnet position it looks like you are stuck in a phone booth. Dropping your hands down to your sides is for many difficult to do without constant practice. With most people, the hands immediately come back together like magnets or start grabbing things like clothing, various body parts like your face, or they jump back into your pockets.

If you are talking about an increase in sales, show us by raising your arm up. If you mention something about reducing costs, again, show us and make sure that the gesture is different than the one you used for an increase in sales. It’s amazing how many presenters will use the exact same gesture for an increase as they will for a decrease. That’s confusing.

Keep in mind that gesturing helps you think. Have you ever noticed some-one talking on the telephone? What do they do with the other hand that’s not holding the phone? They gesture and they gesture continually. Why? Because it helps them think and it helps them find the right words. Gesturing helps you relax and find the correct dialogue. And, you have something to do with those darned arms!

Finally, you certainly don’t want to appear robotic, but most of us need to think about how we will gesture for whatever concept we’re presenting, and how we will bring our emphasis to life with appropriate hand movement. It takes time and practice, and it needs to be well thought out.

Peggy Noonan is fond of saying, speaking of the audience, “They won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Appropriate gesturing, getting your whole body involved in the delivery process, is the easiest and most emphatic way of showing your passion for your topic.

Your First Home Business Presentation – How To Get People To Show Up

You are excited about your new Network Marketing business and it’s time to schedule your first home presentation. Like many others, you tried this before and your friends and family didn’t show up. Believe it or not, there is a way to pack out your first presentation and start a trend of profit generating BPs. Here’s how it works…

Your new rep Bob has made his list of resources (names) and you tell him this, “Bob, I want you to get on the phone and find some people we can practice on. Can you invite some local people over by Wednesday? Great, we’re going to do a practice run to show you the ropes, teach you how the presentation works, see what kind of questions people ask so that you become familiar with the process.”

“I want you to call about 50 people and invite them over on Wednesday. You don’t want to tell them anything about your business. Just say, ‘I need somebody to practice on. My training manager is coming over and I need some experience before we begin a national advertising campaign. So please come over and help me out.’”

“I don’t want you to tell them anything about the product or the business because you will only blow them out of the water just like the examples on the Script Book CDs, remember?”

This simple “practice” script continues to produce thousands of dollars of sales volume for new associates, no matter what the company, product or service. You will be blown away at how many of your friends and family will be willing to help you by letting you practice on them.

While the rest of the amateur home business builders are chasing people away by spewing everything they love about their wonderful new business, you are using the professional approach demonstrated in this article and your business is thriving!

Dani Johnson is recognized worldwide as the preeminent authority on Relationship Marketing. She went from living out of her car with $2.03 to her name to earning her first million in two short years by the age of 23. Dani regularly consults, mentors, and coaches business owners, entrepreneurs, and career professionals on business, leadership development, personal achievement, marketing solutions, profit strategies, relationship marketing, and team development.

Christmas Gifts for Toddlers – Make the Presents Last More Than a Day

When I go through the toy store or a Wal-Mart with my three year old, I know exactly what he will say. “Oh,” he’ll exclaim with a mix of excitement and surprise. “I want THAT for Christmas!” What toddler boy doesn’t want a new train, truck, racecar or fighter jet? It’s a safe guess your toddler has a long list too. The question is, how can parents make the Christmas gifts last? How can you help your toddler enjoy and appreciate his new things for many days instead of five minutes of glory? Here are a few ideas that have worked for us and our friends:

1. Enjoy 12 days of Christmas. Do you have presents stacking up from grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles? Or perhaps you’ve purchased 5 or 6 presents for junior yourself. Try starting Christmas on December 13th and allow your toddler to open one present per day until Christmas. This will spread out the excitement and allow your toddler to enjoy each gift. Why just have one day of Christmas when you can have twelve?

Now many of us don’t have enough gifts piled up to begin opening on December 13. Try opening a gift a day starting on December 20, or just open one on Christmas Eve, most gifts on Christmas day, and save one gift for New Year’s. The idea is to spread out the Christmas cheer.

2. If you’re traveling, open some gifts before your trip and after. If you’re headed to grandma’s house, the last thing you want to do is load your already packed suitcase with your toddler’s new bike. You can open your gifts at home before or afterwards. It’s always fun to save a gift at home so when you need some incentive for your toddler to behave well during that plane ride, you’ve got something to offer.

3. Do something special for someone else. Teach your toddler to give gifts to the less fortunate so he can be more grateful for the avalanche of things he will receive. This year, our family packed a shoebox full of toys for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. That shoebox will be delivered to a boy who may live in a slum in Calcutta, or an orphanage in Johannesburg. Your toddler will remember the shoebox and begin to understand that there are many children in the world who have very little.

4. Re-gift! Search for a forgotten toy around the house, something your toddler used to love playing with six months ago. Wrap it up and give it to him again. You’ll be amazed at how much fun he’ll have with his long lost friend or toy.

Your toddler will have a Christmas to remember as you try these gift giving ideas!