If You’d Rather Die Than Give a Speech…

…Here are 3 tips for giving a good presentation in your job.

1. Keep it Simple. All of your information should be placed into the simplest points so your audience will be able to retain it. Think the rule of 3’s and aim for 3 main points, not 30.

2. Start Strong – End Strong. Remember the primacy-recency theory that shows people are more apt to remember what they hear first and what they hear last. Use an “attention-getter” in your introduction (ask a question, share a relevant statistic, quote someone, talk about an experience, use relevant humor). Use a powerful conclusion: make a prediction, ask your listeners to do something, give them a challenge).

3. Tell a Story. It’s the quickest way for a listener make the connection between your information and their point of reference. If you want to give a good presentation, remember that it must be a little entertaining too. Focus on stories that you would be interested in hearing. And when you’re telling a story, use props.

One more thing. Watch yourself. It’s the only way for you to know if you’re interesting enough to hold your own attention.

What’s in a Name? Everything.

I went to my bank to make a deposit  today. They’ve changed their name 4 times in the 20 years I’ve had my company account with them.

For the first time ever, the teller asked me about my company. “The Professional Edge…that’s an interesting name. What does your company do”, she asked. I responded with my usual“We teach people how to behave in business”. I got my usual  response, accompanied with the usual  laugh, “Well, that is certainly something many people could use!” She was intrigued. Later that afternoon, her manager called my office to ask about training for his staff.

Many professionals call this an ‘elevator pitch’, because you have only a short time to convince the other person of the value of your product or service, or build their intrigue…about the time it would take to ride the elevator several floors. (Hence, the name.)

How do you respond when someone asks, “What you do?”, or “What does your company do?”? Most of us don’t have a prepared answer. We ramble, babble, and hope that our answer sounds interesting to the other person. It usually doesn’t…unless we have prepared an answer or we are really good on our feet.

Here are several options for your elevator pitch, and how to respond back to the question, ‘What does your company do?”:

  • Ask a question: “Do you know how rude behaviors can have a negative impact on an organization? Our organization gives training programs on business behavior.”
  • Identify a problem: “Many people become less productive because they feel they have been treated rudely by coworkers. I help organizations solve that problem with our programs on business behavior.”
  • Be creative: “I teach people how to behave in business.”

Do you want people to remember your name (or your organization’s)? Plan ahead to introduce yourself in a way that makes you memorable.