Presentation Skills – Setup Your Meeting Room For Success

What sabotages your speech before you even start? What causes your audience to tune you out? What creates a huge obstacle for even a great speaker? The answer is: the wrong meeting room setup.

Different room layouts create different group dynamics. Choose the right layout and have a successful speech or training session. Here are the recommended room setups for various group sizes and presentation types.

For an interactive training session with 10-30 people:

Use several small round tables with 3-5 people each. I use this room layout when I need maximum interactivity. It is great for exercises, role-plays and simulations.

It allows participants to network with each other. It builds relationships and boosts morale. When I was training managers to coach their employees, this layout built teamwork and trust in the group.

For a brainstorming session or focus group of 6- 12 people:

Use a boardroom setup with a single table surrounded by chairs. When I was Manager of Training at Telus Mobility, I used this room setup for planning sessions. This layout encourages group discussions.

It is great for short (less than 2-hour long) meetings. Keep in mind that certain seats (such as the head of the table) garner more “power” and confer a higher status. Make sure you are sitting in one of these “power seats” if you are the discussion leader.

For a keynote speech with audiences of 30+ people:

Use a “theater” style setup with a shallow “V” shape. This is a classic setup for large audiences. It focuses all the audience attention upon you as the speaker. Have the chairs arranged in a slight inverted “V” shape. You want both arms of the “V” angled toward you onstage. That makes it easier for people sitting at the side of the room to see you. Otherwise, they would have to turn their heads awkwardly to see you onstage.

This layout works well for short (45 minute) lectures. However, it limits your ability to run interactive exercises or role-plays. It is better suited to lectures rather than training sessions.

So, choose the right meeting room setup and maximize your chances of a successful speech or training session.

© 2008 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Toronto, Canada

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Small Screwdrivers – Perhaps the Best Christmas Present to Receive?

Before you travel to the neighborhood hardware store to purchase a set of precision screwdrivers for your tool present to give this year, take a bit of time to find the right present for your loved one. Let us face it, your pops has a garage full of tools and you have got no actual idea as to what is out there. Do you truly believe you might be qualified to buy the tools that he requires? Maybe you ought to leave that up to him. Nonetheless, if you are dead set in giving tools as a present, think about this first.

Keep in mind, the garage is not a place you know very well. So, ask him if you can borrow a screwdriver, and ask him where they are. As soon as he’s gone from the house, go rummage through his tools. Does he own a mini screwdriver? If not, it may be a excellent opportunity to pick him up a set of them. A good precision screwdriver is an incredibly versatile tool that every man must have in their toolbox. In reality, they should have much more than one, so think about picking up a full set of them.

Still not beneficial enough? It is safe to declare that most tool lovers do appreciate tools which might be beneficial. So, when you discover that a new gadget or a new type of tool is available and you know he doesn’t have it yet, get it. But bear in mind, quality matters. So in case you are giving a gift of tools, be sure to get the stuff that is will last and can provide top quality service to your father.

Now that you understand that he has a shop full of gear, think about offering that tool gift to someone else. Hey, it’s possible your mom needs it to do all of the jobs that dad hasn’t got to! An exceptional gift for the guy or lady that already has all of the tools they might ever want or need, is a gift card so that they will buy the replacement parts that they need, materials for the next project or an organizer for all of their vast collections of tools – thanks to you!

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Cheap Valentine Presents for Men

It is both a talent and an art when you get the perfect gift for someone you love. It is a talent because you need to know what he likes and what makes him happy. It is an art, on the other hand, because you need to make your gift appear as the best and most memorable. And if you’re looking for presents for men this Valentine’s, then you must have both aspects right. Perhaps this article can be of help.

Find your way through his stomach.

It is an old saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Your presents for men need not be material. It will be more personal and romantic if you cook a special dinner for him on the special day. You can prepare his favorite dishes or you may also cook new cuisines. Light some candles and serve him some wine so that you can have a perfect dinner for two.

Have a movie night.

When we say movie, I don’t recommend that you go out and watch a movie in the public cinema, although you may do so if you prefer to. You may spend the night at home just watching a movie on the couch with popcorn and some chips. This will be very special, especially if you’re both too busy in your jobs. An enjoyable movie night together will surpass a night in any expensive restaurant in the city.

Write your thoughts. This is a basic and primitive way but a very effective and inexpensive one to give meaningful presents for men. If your husband or hubby is way too busy and you hardly have time to have a conversation, you may want to write a short note for him on Valentine’s Day. You can slip it inside his coat or briefcase. An unexpected note of endearment from you is very touching and might just lead him to surprise you too after office hours. Never underestimate the power of sweet words.

Give him simple gifts to make him remember how much he means to you.

This need not be expensive. You can give him a customized mug that he can use in the office. Or you can have your pictures framed. Just add a special dedication to make it more special.

You don’t have to bother yourself too much just thinking of perfect presents for men. What is important is the thought behind the gift you’re giving him.

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Short Presentation Tip – TTT

One of the most common mistakes people make when using a screen to project their presentations is speaking to the screen rather than the audience. It’s a habit that can cause your words to be lost, and turn a good presentation into a fiasco. But it’s also something you can easily avoid. A simple mnemonic will help:

TTT, or Touch, Turn, Talk

You spend a lot of time going over your presentations and getting them just right. In fact, most of the time, you know the content of each slide without even glancing at it. And you probably have the slides in front of you on your computer while you are speaking as well. If you think about it, it’s almost never necessary for you to look at the screen during a presentation.

The screen is a visual aid for your audience. The only time you need to engage with it is when you want to point out something on a slide. So, each time you put up a new slide, read aloud or elaborate on its headline and content while maintaining eye contact with your audience. If you want to refer to something on the slide, remember to use the TTT rule: Touch the part of the slide you wish to speak about (or point to it with your laser pointer); Turn back toward your audience; and then Talk about the part of the slide you referenced.

With a well-designed presentation and TTT, your message will come across loud and clear.

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Tips to Improve Interactive Whiteboard Presentations

What’s important is the end result, were you able to capture the audience attention? Or did they consider listening to you was just a waste of time. When you were done, did they want to hear more? Or in their mind they were shouting “Finally! It’s over!”? Here are some tips in assuring full attention from your audience.

First thing is to make sure that your pointer is accurate. Do make adjustments before starting to avoid control malfunctions, if you have time to do dry runs of your presentation to prevent glitches from happening. Maximize also the use of keyboard shortcuts these would help in the flow of your presentation. Instead of erasing stuff on the board like a regular eraser going back and forth, draw around the area with the eraser and click in the center. This will look professional and would make erasing faster. The touch screen really helps in his case.

Another thing you can do is to hide some parts with one of the tools available called screen shade. This could create a little mystery and the audience can participate in finding out what is hidden. For fun, create a picture puzzle with pictures related to your topic, this is another chance for the crowd to interact.

There are many more techniques you can use and make your interactive whiteboard presentation unique. Research on such techniques and ask around. Different styles, games and other ways to make your discussion more interesting helps in having a fun and successful presentation always.

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Present: The Ominous Time?

How many times have you said to yourself that you will do something tomorrow instead of today? Yes, I know, you are busy, but the problem is that our days don’t get any longer, and we don’t get any younger.

You have 25.500, only 25.500! These are the days a human has by the age of 70. Make the present count, for you have been in a race against time since the first day you were born. Time doesn’t wait for you, so then, why would you wait for it and postpone it for tomorrow?

After all, what’s wrong with today? Why do we have to delay that confrontation for tomorrow or just our writing, or reading, going to the gym, falling in love or filling for divorce, or just giving up sweets?

I love New Year’s resolution! Nobody remembers it in February, and even if he /she will, deferment for tomorrow is the cure for remembrance. The answer is not in tomorrow but in today, in the present time.

Psychologically speaking the human mind is constantly wondering in the past or in the future. Through meditation, we actually stabilize ourselves at the time of living, and that’s Present. The only moment we are in control in is the present. I can plan for tomorrow, and I can go down the memory lane, but the only feasible time is now. Whatever will change, it will be done at this present moment. The more you will wait, the more you will have the probability of not accomplishing it.

If you want something to be done, give it to a busy person! Of course it is so true and of course it is so right. That person knows that all the money in the world cannot buy back time, so organization is the key word. If you are not going to do it today, you might not do it at all!

People need to smell the roses everyday, do something for their souls on a daily basis, and that is how the whole life will be lived while they are still breathing.

“Cogito ergo sum,” I think therefore I exist/am. We exist now, we are thinking now, and we are acting now. Present is the only time we get, so we need to use it wisely!

Use today like it is your last day to live! Use it to maximum; squeeze it until nothing is left!

So, why are you still reading this and not doing something?

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Wrapping Christmas Presents For Their International Journey

There are now many families that are spread throughout the world, with groups or individuals moving for a variety of reasons staying in touch with these can be difficult and to make sure that you are able to show you are still thinking of them and wish to celebrate events such as birthdays and Christmas then many families will look to send parcels to one another.

Sending parcels internationally is well known to be a lengthy process and with your parcels being loaded and off-loaded on to various vehicles including aircraft. This could mean that your fragile item gets its fair share of bumps and knocks along the way and the last thing you’ll want is for your parcel to turn up broken or in pieces if it was something delicate such as glassware or pottery.

Whilst we can’t control how well our parcels are sent with regards to care and handling you will obviously want to make sure that your parcel is best prepared for its potentially long journey. One of the most important things to remember is packing your parcel securely but many people will forego this as they want to send a present in gift wrap and bows, this is still possible but if you wrap your present with this decorative wrapping you should also aim to place this inside a slightly larger and more heavy duty cardboard box.

This is because your parcel will possibly be knocked and having that extra barrier can protect your present and arrive in one piece. To make sure the gift wrapped present isn’t bumping around loose in the cardboard box you should aim to insulate and secure your parcel with various packing materials that aren’t very expensive to buy. Polystyrene, bubble wrap, even scrunched up newspaper can hold your parcel securely and take the brunt of any damage that your parcel encounters.

It is also advisable to use a reliable and secure shipping service from a courier or parcel delivery firm when sending parcels overseas, especially when dealing with Christmas presents, birthday presents and other deliveries with set in stone deadlines. These companies are able to send parcels quickly and with the greatest levels of security to ensure it is only the intended recipient who ever opens the parcel.

So make sure you use the right service and packaging when you have a parcel to send this Christmas and it should arrive quickly and safely.

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Top 5 Benefits of Using Steaming Video to Broadcasting Live Presentations

Not too many years ago, it was commonplace for companies to fly important employees and key personnel to attend meetings, trade shows, conventions, and give presentations on behalf of the company. Those days are gone due to the tremendous expense inherent with travel, including hotels, car rentals, airfare, and of course the day-to-day expenses for food, drink, and entertainment associated with the trip.

Companies looking to trim those expenses while increasing their own bottom line profits are now turning to the internet and doing live streaming video presentations because of its many benefits. Here are 5 of the most significant benefits of streaming your own presentations:

  1. Your audience is global. From the comfort of your own computer, you can literally broadcast to potential customers in Europe, Australia, Russia, etc. without dealing with any travel expenses whatsoever.
  2. You can push your powerpoint slides to your audience just as easily as if you were right in front of them in person. While you’re speaking on video in real time, you’re also showing the powerpoint presentation you spent countless hours on right on your prospect’s computer screen.
  3. You can interact with your viewers as well while you give your presentation to take questions, get comments, and generally judge the interest level with your audience. It’s just like being there in person.
  4. Unlike meetings you have to travel to, streaming video presentations can be archived for future viewing, so if an important client for some reason misses the presentation, they can see the video in full without missing a beat.
  5. Some live streaming video broadcasting platforms allow you to resell the service while you’re doing the presentation.For example, if someone is watching and wants to do the same type of impactful presentation for their company, they can click a button on the screen and immediately sign up for an account and you would get paid as an affiliate.

When considering companies that can provide live presentation and video streaming products, I would strongly suggest going with one that has an affiliate program as this is very powerful technology that really sells itself once you see for yourself how powerful a live streaming broadcast can be.

Remember: The traditional advertising model is shifting from conventional avenues towards the internet. Large corporations are capitalizing on this fact by spending millions of dollars developing internet marketing software where technology is at the point where streaming video is now a reality.

Take advantage of the amazing benefits of live broadcasting. Your advertising budget will thank you for it.

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Five Steps to a Successful Sales Presentation

Knowing how to give an effective presentation is a powerful skill and can be indispensable in helping you achieve both your professional and personal goals. Whether you’re pitching your business concept to a venture capitalist, hoping to land your next blue chip client or convincing the over the counter customer that your product is what she needs – a successful presentation is key to closing the sale.

Before you walk into any meeting room or shake any hands, is your presentation up to scratch? Keep in mind these five important tips to deliver an effective pitch:

  1. Think about structure – as the presenter, your critical role is to guide your audience through your main points. One of the most important components of good presentation skills is being able to effectively organise your delivery. The structure of how you present your argument as you lead your listeners through your presentation is vital to effectively communicate your core message.
  2. Know your audience - your presentation should be tailored to your audience. By knowing about different styles of people and their personalities, you’ll be able to better determine the type of audience you’re addressing.
  3. Consider your gestures and body language - your words make up just a small portion of your presentation. Gestures and body language communicate so much more to your audience; you can give emphasis and assurance where needed. Be aware of that body language and posture need to show that you’re confident about your product, so make sure your body communicates the same messages your words do.
  4. Use effective visual aids – PowerPoint slides, charts, graphs – use visual aids to help you communicate your message and illustrate your point. It’s important that your visuals enhance your presentation and don’t distract the audience – you don’t want viewers spending their time trying to read a large paragraph of text or comprehend a graph on the screen while you’re delivering your key messages.
  5. Be prepared for tough situations – it starts with knowing your product and identifying potential problems beforehand. Learn how to effectively prepare for and handle a tough room.

The key to an effective presentation is to communicate effectively and gain some perspective on who your listeners are and how they will respond. Sales training programs can help sharpen and hone your skills so your delivery is powerful and poignant. By keeping in mind a few key elements, you can boost your comfort and confidence levels when standing before an audience.

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Detailed Commercial Property Presentation Tips for Brokers

When you work in commercial real estate brokerage, you will be pitching your services on a regular basis to property owners and business proprietors. For this reason your presentation strategy should be well crafted and considered.

Certain standard marketing elements can be applied across all property presentations, but unique property information should be overlayed to match the property to the market and the opportunities available. Specific presentations win the attention of the client and convert the listings more effectively.

Consider these questions:

  • What makes your property presentations different and engaging?
  • Why should the client choose you to solve their property challenge?
  • What can you do with the particular property listing that will attract more enquiries and shorten the time on market?
  • How can you get the best price or rent for the client in an efficient and direct way?

These four questions are at the heart of pitching and winning new listings in office, industrial, and retail property. If you do not have specific answers to each question then your presentation will be difficult to convert and win.

It is now easy to see why you should have a very specific approach to presenting your services in sales, leasing, and or property management. Here are some elements to consider and to help you devise your property presentation approach:

  1. What is your ‘claim to fame’ when it comes to the local property market? Your brokerage will have some profile (hopefully it is substantial and positive), and you will have a personal profile as a property specialist. Review the sale and leasing results that will help you win the attention and confidence of the client. Have some testimonials that support your claim for success in the industry segment.
  2. What is your market share today in the segments that are relevant to the listing? Have provable numbers that will help the client see that you have the ‘lions share’ of the enquiry relevant to their property type. It is hard for a client to ignore dominant market share and deal results over time.
  3. Hopefully you really are a specialist in the location and the property type. That will allow you to ‘drill down’ into property and marketing specifics. Tell the client exactly how you will reach into the target market and convert more enquiries for their property. Help them see the process by telling a few relevant success stories from the local area. Stories help engagement in any property presentation.
  4. Pert and Gantt charts will help you display the sales and leasing process for any property. The more complex the property, the greater the need to show the client the stages of marketing, inspections, and negotiation. Selling or leasing a property can be a stressful process for many clients; make it easy for them to make a decision by using charts and graphs that apply to moving ahead with you and your brokerage.

These simple strategies allow you to move into a property presentation with focus and information. That will make it easier to engage the client to see and accept your recommendations as a property specialist.

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