Any Volunteers For The Next Presentation?

Your boss calls. “Any volunteers for the next presentation?”


Right? If you’re like most of the people on this planet, volunteering to present in front of a group is not on your ‘must-do’ list. So, hiding under a rock and slinking down in your seat may be your first urge. This is the first thing that pops into your head.

But wait. This could just be force of habit.

If it is, here’s a taste of what you are not saying:

“Oh Yes! I’ll do it! This is an opportunity for me! This is an opportunity to communicate my point of view. This is my chance to shine.”

Sure, you still dream about being the leader. But you’re hiding out in a cave. You’re hiding behind habitual words.


Hiding in the cave of “NOT ME” is a really bad idea.

It’s habits like these that guarantee you won’t get noticed. And you won’t move ahead in your career.

You know what leaders do to get ahead? Presenting ideas!

You know what you need to do to get ahead? Presenting your ideas!

So, let me ask you a question.

Haven’t you had enough with spinning your wheels, working like crazy but not being recognized? Isn’t it time to kick these two words “NOT ME!” out?

Fire them. Toss them out. Hey, while you’re at it – torch them.

Why do these five letters “N-O-T-M-E” have so much power? Why is it so easy to keep wrapping yourself in the chains of these five letters?

Between you and me, it’s just plain and simple. Force of habit.

This is how you stay in the background. It’s how you guarantee no one will think of giving you a promotion. It’s a rock solid recipe for a dead-end career.

Even if you are brilliant. Even if you are the very best person for the job. If you don’t get comfortable giving presentations, no one will know you exist.

“NOT ME” is how you stay the victim.

“NOT ME” is how you stay in the sidelines and never get a promotion. “NOT ME” is how you paint yourself into a corner – and go nowhere.

So instead of risking all that pain and suffering, get ready. One of the easiest and fastest ways to get ready is to watch videos and get comfortable with the skills of presenting. You can watch free videos on You Tube.

But, as I often say, you get what you pay for. There’s only a certain amount of insight and practical tips you’ll get for free. If you want to really hardwire your skills and transform your career, get professional training.

Get the skills and tools you need so you can jump up the next time your boss calls out, “Any volunteers?”

It’s time to take your own destiny in your hands.

Charismatic Communication – How to Do Board Presentations – Part Two

You have approximately thirty seconds to four minutes (depending on which research you rely on) to establish an initial relationship with your board. These first few valuable minutes of the encounter will determine the degrees of attention members will be willing to invest on your presentation and whether they choose to actively process what you have to say. Opening statements in board presentations are crucial:

Design a powerful opening statement. If your opening statement is clumsy and inept, expect board members to label you as such and to process what they hear through that filter. People rarely separate the person from his/her behaviour in such instances. If your statement is confused, woolly, silly or uncertain, don’t be surprised when you notice that a fair number of your board have turned their cognitive lights out.

Make your content relevant. Persuasion researchers have found that one of the most important variables in triggering motivation to think about a message is personal relevance. Personal relevance can stem from a variety of factors: linkage to personal beliefs and values, desired outcomes, group expectations, plans for the future, corporate vision, issues of personal relevance to the board as a whole and shared experiences to name a few.

When the relevance quotient of a message is high it’s been found that people will be more motivated to scrutinise and think about its content. If your arguments bear scrutiny then you can expect to achieve higher degrees of persuasion.

During your groundwork phase discover ways in which to make the content relevant to your board. If you work in a specialised division avoid at all costs the gobbledygook and in-house language of your division. Translate your content into language that is relevant to board members.

Keep your presentation concise, succinct and to-the-point. Don’t present too much detail, such that the impact of your presentation gets buried under the weight of the data you present.

Think about the level of energy you will incorporate into your delivery. Often presenters are in awe of their boards and allow this self-defeating emotion to impact on the degree of energy they invest in their delivery. Think carefully about how you will need to display the ‘courage of your convictions’. This is not to say that you should fake energy or go over the top, but your board will be reading at an unconscious level the degree of belief you have in the position you are advocating. If you are flat and monotone, be prepared for your board to ‘feel’ that your heart isn’t in it.

Tell relevant and instructional stories. Passion by itself isn’t the only necessary ingredient to getting your message across. One of the major tools you can use when talking to a board is to tell stories that prove your point.

Design support material to be released after the presentation. Board members are usually fairly busy individuals. Design your handouts to include dot point summaries of the key points you have introduced in your presentation. Give your handouts at the end of the presentation. Avoid overwhelming the board with written information unless it is part of your strategy for the board to sink in a sea of paperwork. Avoid passing documents around before your presentation, as some members will direct their attention to what is written instead of focussing on you.

Work the room as much as you can. Boards usually sit around tables and this can make it difficult to work a room:

  • Always stand when you are making a board presentation
  • Be careful to make sure all members have sight of multi-media presentations or overhead transparencies
  • Always face the board when you are talking to points projected on to a screen, only briefly looking at the screen to keep your thoughts in order
  • Avoid using a lectern
  • Choreograph your movement by visiting the boardroom prior to a presentation. If possible do a complete dress rehearsal in the boardroom so you can comfortably work the space you have

Inform the board how you are going to do your presentation. If you decide that questions and answers would better be left until the end of your presentation make sure that you say something along the lines of “In this presentation can we explore the proposal first and open up for discussion at the end?” Ensure your presentation is not all about you. Novice speakers often imagine that if they ejaculate a stream of information at a board it will soak it up like a sponge and become instantly informed, persuaded or convinced.It may pay you to remember that board members are people too, and that boards, like most executives in the top companies, make decisions based on gut feel before logic is applied. The usual laws of vivid evidence, inclusive language, appropriate emotional appeals and communication in ‘shared space’ apply to board presentations as much as they do to any other presentation. Boards also like the word ‘You’

Dare to be different at times. Conduct actual “show and tell” demonstrations. Rather than simply presenting reports or making presentations, take board members on a tour and explain how your new proposal will work and how it may enhance quality, safety, service and costs.

Design a memorable conclusion to your presentation. Your closing statement represents your last word on the subject matter. It’s your final opportunity to make a difference. Your last minutes and seconds in front of your board should represent a determining moment for them, a turning point, a point where your message should culminate in a fusion of impressions that leads to the suggestion of action, thus reflecting the ultimate purpose of your message.

Summarize your previous spoken content, then leave the board with a few words that are memorable or make a significant impact. Using a quotation, asking a powerful question or presenting a challenging future scenario can also create the right conditions for approval or a positive impression.

(c) Desmond Guilfoyle 2006

The Importance of Good Negotiation Skills to Your Business Success

Having good negotiation skills can be the difference between success and failure in the business world. Those that know how to negotiate tend to rise to the top of whatever industry they are in. At the same time, those that do not know how to negotiate tend to stay where they are or fall backwards.

If you want to be successful in the industry, a study of developing negotiation skills should be at the forefront of your mind. Here are a few things to consider about the importance of good negotiation skills to your business success.

One of the primary benefits of having good negotiation skills is that you will be able to save money. If you represent your business or if you are negotiating for yourself, you will be able to negotiate a cheaper price when buying something. When making large purchases, you need to be able to negotiate with the sales representative and get a better price. If you simply take the price that is being offered to you, it is very possible that will get taken advantage of. Learning how to negotiate will allow you to save substantial amounts of money over a period of time.

Another important reason for developing good negotiation skills is that you will be able to make more money for your business as well. If you are trying to sell a product or secure a contract, you need to be able to negotiate in order to make it happen. By doing this, you will be able to secure a larger selling price and increase your profit margins. Increasing profit margins is one of the biggest objectives for most businesses. If you can learn how to do this, you will be invaluable to your employer and this will be directly related to your business success.

In addition to being a better negotiator, you will also develop several other traits that are essential in business. Many of the same skills that you use in negotiation will translate over to other areas of the business.

For example, when learning good negotiation skills, you will learn how to be an effective listener. In order to be successful in negotiation, you have to be able to listen to the other person to see what they want. This skill will be very valuable to you in other areas of the business. If you are a manager, you will need to be able to listen to your employees to see what motivates them. If you are dealing with customers, you need to be able to listen to what they are telling you so that you can find a product or service that matches their needs.

When you are aiming to achieve business success, developing good negotiation skills should be at the top of your priority list. This is by far one of the most important skills that you can develop as a businessperson. It can easily take you from where you currently are to where you eventually want to be.