4 Effective Strategies to Harness the Power of Enthusiasm in Any Presentation!

These four tips are centered on one word. Enthusiasm!

You can spice up any presentation by being enthusiastic. Regardless of your background, topic, audience or your personality, you can be enthusiastic. How, you may ask?

By paying attention to the next four strategies…

o Speaking with feeling
o Think About your Audience
o Animated Delivery
o Enthusiasm that fits the Topic

1st Strategy – Speak With Feeling – Be emotionally involved in your subject. When preparing your presentation you will want to place yourself in the shoes of your listener. Maybe at one point you were exactly where they were.

Feel the material!

2nd Strategy – Think about Your Audience – You must have the conviction that your audience needs to hear the message you have prepared for them. Analyze why your listeners needs to hear your message.

Ask these two questions to yourself.

1. How will my listeners benefit from the information I am presenting?
2. How can I present it in a way that they will appreciate it?

Work and re-work the material until you have something to be excited about.

3rd Strategy – Animated Delivery – You can do this by use of facial expressions that fit the idea you are developing. You must sound convinced that you are sharing useful information.

Do not become too emotional though, you will detract from your message and make the focus on you. The will lessen your message, never do this.

4th Strategy – Enthusiasm That Fits the Topic – Your main points should always be presented enthusiastically. Build those peaks and climaxes in your presentation. These “peaks” and “climaxes” should be a call to action, or motivating components of your speech. Having persuaded your audience, now move them to do something.

Last point, enthusiasm is catchy. Stimulate your audience to feel something, do something, or both. Reach your listeners deeply by creating enthusiasm by you being enthusiastic.

Use Perception to Negotiate Successfully

When you negotiate, to what degree do you think the words you use and your body language impact the perception that occurs during the negotiation?

Recently a pastor made what some people perceived to be very incendiary comments about the United States. Some considered his words to be ludicrous; it sent them reeling, while others embraced them with praise. Some assailed his words, while others thought his words were reflective of the reality they had lived. Some people made comments about his body language being threatening, while others felt uplifted by those same non verbal gestures.

Whose perception was accurate? To the degree that it’s the perception, opinions, and views of those that hold them, all of them are right.

When you negotiate with people, you have to consider their background, ethnicity, gender, and the way in which they view the world. That’s to say, you have to understand how they perceive that which is pat of their environment, their life, along with the customs and life experiences from which their opinions stem.

You can’t use the exact same tactics and strategies in every situation, with everyone in the same manner. In essence, you have to tailor your negotiations to fit the environment in which you are negotiating. Remember, people really do live in their own little worlds.

When you negotiate, always take into account the manner in which people view you and perceive their environment as a reflection of and through you. (e.g. What is she/he thinking about me? What perception I’m I projecting?) People will prejudge you, label you, and cast their perception of you, upon you, when negotiating.

As you go deeper into the negotiation, keep in mind the outlook and opinions the other person possesses of the world. Paint your expression about the items of discussion in the similar words, gestures, and circumstances that they use. In essence, speak their language. If you fail to do so, you will be sending a subtle, unspoken and hidden signal that indicates you’re not ‘like them’. If they feel, “you’re not like them”, they’ll be less likely to be like you and thus, they will like you less.

You can propose positions and/or demands in a searing manner, or have your positions perceived as such, depending upon the stance you project or take. If you comprehend, appreciate, and negotiate to the level of understanding and perception that appeases the person you’re negotiating with, you may be allowed to maintain your position. In essence, you’ll be given a pass.

It really depends upon the level of understanding you have of the person you’re negotiating with and the way you implement your level of understanding. You don’t want to appear to be ‘shaking the cup’ with dark glasses on, or pandering. You should project your point with convection and truth without being threatening, always considering how you’re being perceived. 

If you negotiate from a position of understanding and respect for the other person’s background, fears and apprehensions, you’ll move closer to achieving the goals of the negotiation. By taking into account how the other person’s perception is based on their ‘life experiences’, and implementing your negotiation strategy around that perception, your negotiation outcomes will become more successful … and everything will be right with the world.

The negotiation lessons are …

·       When negotiating, always understand the mental makeup of the person you’re negotiating with. If you match their mode of thinking and the manner by which they process information, you can negotiate with them from the same outlook they possess. By doing so, the negotiation session should go smother than might have otherwise occurred.

·       To the degree you understand your negotiation partner, you’ll have better insight into ‘what makes them tick’. If you understand that aspect of their makeup, you’ll be less likely to tick them off.

·       In a lot of cases, the more you appear to be like the person you’re negotiating with and understand the values they hold dear, the more they will like you. All things being equal, in liking you they will be more apt and willing to strive for the same conclusion to the outcome you seek.

How to Create a Killer PowerPoint Presentation – 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Your presentation is your most powerful closing tool. You know that. You also know that every sales person confronted with a big sales pitch wants a presentation so compelling, so persuasive, so amazingly unforgettable that by the end of it the audience is sold. Why not?

I’ll tell you why not. I look at sales presentations every day, and I can give you at least 10 reasons why a presentation falls flat. And it is not a failure of PowerPoint. The bloopers I see are made by the “writers” of the presentation, either because they have no idea how adults hear, see, and process information, or because they don’t have the time or the creativity to do it right, or because they just don’t care.

PowerPoint is a foolproof software. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a fool of yourself when you use it; you can. It does mean that anyone can use it–and use it well–if you know what constitutes a good PowerPoint presentation. Whether you are in sales, education or service, whether you are a professional or a once-in-a-while presenter, it isn’t smart to annoy your audience or put them to sleep. You want them to sit up and take notice.

Here are 10 presentation mistakes I see most commonly. Avoid them and create a killer presentation.

1. There is no clear message.

The presentation is full of content but the message is unclear. There is lots of information, but what does it mean? If the audience was asked to state the message in one sentence, they wouldn’t have a clue.

FYI, your message is a strong statement of fact. It is the one most important thing you want your audience to remember if they forget everything else. It’s true that your message should never be written in full on the screen because the presenter will say it at the opening and again at the close–as well as several times throughout the presentation.  Nevertheless your audience should be able to discern your message from the slides they see.

For example, your message might be something like: we build the best cars in the universe. Or, our software protects your privacy. Or you can count on us to grow your money. Whatever it is, your slides should reinforce your message and your message should be clear from your slides.

2. There are too many slides.

A listening audience has a finite attention span. When you expose them to too much information, they lose track of where you are and what you are saying. Very quickly, they tune out and turn off because they have lost interest. It’s awfully hard to be a great presenter when nobody is listening.

3. The script is written on the screen.

An audience stops paying attention to a speaker when they begin to read. Plus, they are annoyed because if you simply wanted them to read, why did you ask them to come? You could have mailed it in. Moreover, a presenter reads more slowly aloud than an audience who is reading to themselves–and that creates a cognitive dissonance. So in addition to being bored silly, the audience becomes unhappy with the presenter.

4. There are too many words on each slide.

Never mind that PowerPoint has a “handout” version. Let your kids use that function for their classwork if they wish. But what goes on the screen is not for your handouts. Ever. Your handouts should be reader-friendly documents that reinforce the presenter’s message–not short-cuts to proper preparation. A good rule of thumb is: 3 to 6 words on a slide. Period.

5. The presentation amounts to an information dump.

Too much information makes all of it instantly forgettable. An audience needs two or three–no more than four– important ideas to remember. Give them more, and you may as well stay home and present in the shower.

6. There is no obvious organization.

These are the presentations where the presenter is likely to say: so the first thing is. And the next thing is. And another thing is. And so on. When organization of the presentation is not instantly obvious, the listeners don’t trust themselves to follow along, so they don’t even try. Of course, that means they lose trust in the presenter too.

If you want your audience to sit up and listen, you’ll need to organize your pitch simply and logically–ideally into 3 clear topics your audience will easily remember.

7. There is no graphic appeal and no originality.

Either the presentation is on a white background (to save color printing for handouts–which a presentation is not meant to be) or there is no visual impact to the slides. The problem could be overlooked if there were only a couple of slides. But when there are dozens, visual appeal is essential.

Of course, if there is no originality on the slides, the audience is left to conclude that you are just like all your competitors–and they have seen and heard all this before. They might as well write up their shopping list for next weekend.

8. There are grammatical or spelling mistakes.

Unforgivable and completely avoidable if you use no phrases or sentences on screen.

9. There are too many fancy transitions.

Yes, PowerPoint offers an array of swirling, twirling and eye-popping “transitions” the kids all love. But in a professional presentation, use none of them. That means zilch, nil, nada, zero. Just because you can do it technically doesn’t mean you should. In fact, those transitions physically nauseate most adults and practically guarantee your audience will be looking elsewhere.

10. There is little continuity or cohesiveness.

You know the old joke that says a horse assembled by committee looks like a camel. Sadly, there are too many camels on screen. Perhaps somebody puts in a slide they like from another presentation. Somebody else makes a slide at home and adds it. The marketing department sends you a slide you must use. Then you see a picture you think will fit in and you scan it to use on a slide. Backgrounds are different. Fonts are different. Visuals are different. Presto! A camel!

If you want to engage your audience from the very first word, take note of the 10 most common mistakes I see and avoid them. Make your organization logical, your message clear, and your presentation energetic. Then take pride in delivering presentations that knock ‘em dead.