Slidegenius, Inc.

Psychological Biases: The Bandwagon in Sales Presentations

We’ve already discussed the psychology of decision-making and examined the use of anchoring in sales presentations. In this post, we’ll focus on another psychological bias: the bandwagon effect.

If you have high regard for group thinking and conformity, then this brain quirk can help you sell more. Let’s see what makes this technique suitable for your pitch.

Defining the ‘Bandwagon’ Effect

Coined after the political term “jump on the bandwagon”, this refers to voters’ tendencies of choosing the most successful campaign to support. The bandwagon effect implies hopping onto a trend, joining a movement, or supporting something that everyone else has been doing.

According to Hubspot’s Emma Snider, social proof can be a powerfully persuasive tool. People have this natural tendency of following another’s actions regardless of their own beliefs. The likelihood of this increases when more of them begin adopting the idea or behavior.

Why Use This in Presentations?

All marketers aim to increase a product or service’s popularity, so they create marketing efforts for higher product demand at a faster rate. Using the bandwagon effect in presentations gives you the advantage in persuading your audience. It relates to your prospects’ emotions, which in turn increases the popularity of your product and consumer demand.

The idea of popularity introduces your product into the market, which makes people jump onto the bandwagon. It appeals to the human emotions of wanting what others already have, and of fitting in with the majority. Customers will take the word of their fellow consumers for it because they’re sure they aren’t out to sell them anything. Making it appear that there are more users tuned into your product or service reassures them of your quality.

How to Make The Bandwagon Effect Your Ally

You have to adapt to your audience’s needs like how chameleons adapt to their environment. With a handful of product innovations coming, the consumer society is now yearning for transparency, info-bites, and greater customer experiences with the products they use. Cater to these needs by using the bandwagon as social proof.

[easy-tweet tweet=”You have to adapt to your audience’s needs like how chameleons adapt to their environment.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”sales” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/psychological-biases-the-bandwagon-in-sales-presentations/” template=”light”]

Introduce your product in a way that strengthens your credibility. Include testimonials from your valued clients or present a statistic that shows how many people have been using your offering.

Giving them quantifiable proof of your product standing and market value is the best way to turn them into buying customers.

Are You In or Out?

The bandwagon effect is one useful psychological bias that relates to consumer decision making.

Use the power of this phenomenon in influencing purchases and experience a breakthrough success in your business.

 

References

Kay, Magda. “How to Use Cognitive Biases for Effective Marketing.Psychology for Marketers. n.d. Accessed August 3, 2015.
Snider, Emma. “How to Use Psychological Biases to Sell Better and Faster.” Hubspot Blogs. January 31, 2015. Accessed August 3, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Dueling Bandwagons” by Eric Kilby from flickr.com

How to Engage Audiences with Your Mirror Neurons

Body language helps significantly when delivering your message.

It doesn’t matter whether you have an interesting topic to tackle, an engaging PowerPoint deck to display, or a captivating story to tell. How you communicate nonverbally affects the entire performance.

Most people don’t see how observing others influences our actions. This is where the magic of mirror neurons takes place.

What is a Mirror Neuron?

A mirror neuron is a type of neuron that allows people to empathize with others’ conditions. This happens when someone observes another person, thus mirroring his behavior. If we notice a stranger who bumps into a concrete wall, our brain is wired to empathize and experience the same feeling the stranger does.

[easy-tweet tweet=”A mirror neuron is an effective technique to use when getting your message across.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”content, strat” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/how-to-engage-audiences-with-your-mirror-neurons/” template=”light”]

When someone feels down, we tend to sympathize with the person involved, letting our brains respond with comfort.

We might be unaware of this kind of response, but for presenters, this is an effective technique to use when getting your message across.

What Makes it Effective?

Moving towards the audience doesn’t just help you physically interact with them. It also allows you to engage them using eye contact, facial expressions, movements, and gestures. In this case, you are more likely to convince your audience by reflecting some of their reactions.

This is useful when you want to connect with a large crowd. You might not be able to achieve it, but connecting with them without going near them physically is possible. Selecting a few members of your audience to engage, particularly those who are in front, will help you do this by activating their mirror neurons.

If one of your audiences look at another member, his brain tends to react the same as if you’re talking to him as well.

How Can You Apply This?

This technique can be used to create interest, focusing their attention on your performance. E-learning expert, Vicki Kunkel cites in her book Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well-known speaker and author, who is an expert at applying this technique to his performances.

Every time Dwyer presents, he’s able to make his audiences feel part of a story. He does it by describing the event itself and projecting body movements, showing people how it made him feel. Another way he manages this is by walking around in one part of the stage while tackling a subject.

When he changes or moves on to another topic, he transfers to a different area. This is to emphasize what he’s discussing and to make it easier for his audiences to follow the discussion.

Summing It Up

Master this technique to connect with your audience’s emotions, keeping them engaged and allowing them to fully understand your message. Take advantage of mirror neurons to influence your listeners’ reactions for a convincing pitch they can’t refuse.

To help you with your presentation needs, SlideGenius experts can offer you a free quote!

 

Reference

Kunkel, Vicki. Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success. New York: AMACOM, 2008.

 

Featured Image: Wikimedia

3 Ways to Make PowerPoint Presentation Notes Your Ally

Notes provide a convenient way to keep track of your speech, but depending on them hinders audience engagement. It keeps you from establishing eye contact, and communicating nonverbally through hand gestures and body movements.

So when are you allowed to use it all throughout your speech?

To Use or Not to Use?

If you’re discussing a complex topic that needs an in-depth approach, then there’s no problem with using it as a script. This is because there are certain subjects that can only be thoroughly explained with notes.

Ideally though, notes should be for recalling only main points and important data. While it’s still possible to keep audiences engaged with a script in hand, master your topic and give yourself more time to maximize your stage presence for a more effective presentation.

If you have no other choice but to use your script, here’s how you can best utilize your PowerPoint presentation notes:

1. Write in a Conversational Tone

According to presentation trainer, Gary Genard, you should write a speech with the intentions of delivering it, not reading it. Before you craft your speech, plan it with a natural delivery in mind. One way to do this is to construct each statement by using contractions. Instead of writing “will not,” you can compose it as “won’t” to sound more conversational.

Remember to use simple words as if you’re just talking to a friend. Simpler language makes it easier for your audience to follow your arguments and understand your points.

2. Know When to Pause

Learning how to pause allows you to emphasize each point, making it easier for listeners to digest what you’re discussing. When you type your script out, make sure to use double-spacing.

You can use these spaces to write notes on where you should be pausing for dramatic effect.

3. Project Your Voice

Strive for a voice that’s loud enough for the audience and venue, but still pleasant to listen to. Speech coach Lenny Laskowski advises that presenters take note of their tone, pitch, and inflection in order to stay aware of how audible they are to an audience.

Record yourself or ask a colleague to listen while you speak with your notes. Then, listen to how you deliver each statement, and pay attention closely to your voice’s inflection.

A measured, dynamic, and powerful voice projection keeps your audience at the edge of their seat and glued to your every word.

One More Thing to Note...

Practice more often to sound natural and conversational. By writing in a conversational tone, knowing when to pause, and projecting your voice, you can successfully engage your audience with your notes on.If you need to use a script, compensate with writing, delivery, and projection.

Do you need a well-designed deck to go with your speech? SlideGenius’ presentation experts can offer you a free quote!

 

References

4 Common Ways To Remember Material – Presentation Skills.” LJLSeminars. Accessed August 14, 2015
Genard, Gary. “How to Speak from Notes or a Manuscript in Public Speaking.The Genard Method. February 10, 2013. Accessed August 14, 2015

 

Featured Image: Friendship” by Nicola from flickr.com

Psychological Biases: Anchor Effects in Sales Presentations

Effective marketing makes a business achieve its salad days. Everything must be aligned accordingly—from the market research, to strategy, and objectives—to obtain favorable results.

All segments pass through the decision-making process, providing marketers better opportunities in the industry.

Here’s how decision making is discussed in the psychological context, and how it can be used to make effective sales presentations.

The Psychology of Decision Making

In psychology, decisions are shaped by individual preferences and behavioral characteristics, which can lead to significant biases. Commonly referred to as cognitive or psychological biases, these are tendencies to draw judgements in an illogical fashion, affecting the overall decision-making process.

A few common biases are anchoring, bandwagon, loss aversion, overconfidence, and confirmation effect. Hubspot’s Emma Snider wrote about the benefits these cognitive biases serve in sales. As a takeaway for this post, we’ll be focusing on selling with the anchoring bias.

Defining the ‘Anchoring’ Effect

You will inevitably have to weigh and compare options when making decisions. We tend to assess probabilities and take actions based on firsthand information. When presented with a new product, we create quick comparisons to something we’ve previously used. This is the anchoring effect.

The bias surfaces when one makes a judgement around the “anchor” or the basis for the decision.

How to Make Anchors Your Ally

You can never escape from hasty judgements, but you can always control them. Think of it as a “first impression” bias. There’s a big chance that your audience members might be hesitant to buy your product due to customer loyalty issues.

According to marketing psychology consultant Magda Kay, avoiding anchoring may be inevitable. These biases are often triggered unconsciously in the client’s mind. However, Kay also suggests that instead of fighting the bias, it’s better to suggest the bias to your prospects.

Highlight your product’s audience benefits at the very beginning of your presentation, followed by its special features. They may think of something to compare with you, but these positive associations will draw an equally positive image of you. This strategy directs your potential customers back to you despite the initial comparison, reinforcing your business in their minds, generating more leads, and increasing sales.

Also make your presentation more engaging by making use of convincing body language. Own the stage you’re in by occasionally moving around and interacting with your audience. A stiff and uninspired delivery may have good content, but unless it connects with your viewers in any way, then people might not listen.

Let Anchors Steer Your Audiences Right

However logical we all think we may be, we all have our biases. Psychological biases influence poor decision making and negative judgements, leading to missed opportunities.

Use the anchoring effect to your advantage to set a positive tone in the overall selling and buying process. Craft your presentation around it correctly, and you’ll steer your audiences in the right direction.

 

References

Kay, Magda. “How to Use Cognitive Biases for Effective Marketing.Psychology for Marketers. n.d. Accessed August 3, 2015.
Snider, Emma. “How to Use Psychological Biases to Sell Better and Faster.” Hubspot Blogs. January 31, 2015. Accessed August 3, 2015.

Color Psychology for Your Presentation Design

Color is more than just choosing what visual elements go with your branding. It spices up your design, unifies your elements, and gives life to your deck. It’s also a powerful psychological tool for PowerPoint pitches.

Colors have the power to subliminally influence your audience’s decisions and emotions. And if there’s one way the audience’s heart, it’s through their emotions.

This is why banking on the convincing power of color and choosing the right combination is crucial for your presentation design. Here’s how the five most popular colors affect your viewers.

Red

Red is a color that demands attention, representing energy and intensity. Scientifically, it’s said to stimulate a faster heart rate among viewers. This makes the color ideal for restaurant-related businesses.

Use red if you want to give your offering a sense of urgency in your pitches.

Green

Green represents nature, a color that gives off a relaxing vibe. It’s second only to red, as the color our eyes are most sensitive to. Some studies have even suggested that green colors help viewers retain memories, establishing it as a good all-around color.

Using green in your slides would be ideal for talking about your important points.

Yellow

Yellow is the color representing happiness. Because of its brightness, this color tends to stand out from the rest. Seeing yellow releases a chemical called serotonin in our brain, making us feel good.

Adding this to your presentation designs can make your slides shine with an optimistic mood. Lift your viewers’ moods and ease any tension in the air with an engaging color like yellow.

Blue

Blue is the color of tranquility. Being the color of the skies and the oceans, this makes it highly familiar and comfortable to view. It can also mean loyalty, making it a crucial color for business presentations.

If you want to build trust with your audience, then blue is for you.

Purple

Purple is the color of sophistication. For centuries, it’s been the preferred hue of monarchs, and has come to mean wisdom and respect. It’s also thought to increase brain activity for increased problem solving.

Using a touch of purple can add an air of elegance to your deck design for high-end brands.

In Summary

Different colors can impart meanings to your design, and help communicate your message clearer. Red imparts urgency, while green offers comfort. Yellow communicates optimism, while blue offers trust. Finally, purple can add a touch of sophistication to your brand.

There are many other colors out there, and several variations also exist for the ones we discussed. Hopefully, we got you started on the basics so you can deliver your speech with a winning deck.

If you want our presentation geniuses to give you a head start, contact us now for a free quote!

 

References

The Psychology of Color.” Psychology Issues. Accessed August 12, 2015.
Dzulkifli, Mariam, and Muhammad Mustafar. “The Influence of Colour on Memory Performance: A Review.” The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences: MJMS. Accessed August 12, 2015.
Color Me Happy: Use Color to Impact the Mood of Your Home.” The Art of Simple. February 17, 2010. Accessed August 12, 2015
Precision Intermedia.” Psychology of Color. Accessed August 12, 2015

 

Featured Image: Colores en la sociedad” by Constanza.CH from flickr.com

Content or Delivery: Which Matters Most in a Presentation?

Most professionals believe that delivery is more vital than the content itself. This is because they know how a certain action or behavior might be interpreted by different people. Others assert that content is most important, implying that it’s what informs listeners the most.

Sometimes, we tend to focus more on someone’s delivery when we aren’t convinced with what’s being said. Audiences don’t only perceive verbal messages, they also interpret how you project and behave on stage.

But which is more important: content or delivery?

According to public speaking coach Georgina Kirk, both are important pillars of your presentation. Should one fall, the other goes with it. Here’s how to sharpen both your content and delivery for a winning pitch:

Planning Matters

Before crafting your pitch, you must first consider your audience. Presentation trainer Garr Reynolds suggests that one of the best ways to an effective pitch is by knowing your specific audience before you present. This allows you to come up with ideas and the appropriate approach to best engage them.

Are you presenting in front of your colleagues, business partners, or clients? Do you want to inspire, encourage, or persuade them to take actions after you perform? Knowing this beforehand lets you narrow down what you need to say (content) and how you should say it (delivery).

Spicing Up Your Content

This involves gathering facts about your subject matter and including visuals emphasizing your main points. Consider what your audience needs to recall after you deliver your message. Removing all the irrelevant information improves your speech. It can also prevent you from confusing and misleading your audience.

Aside from the verbal content, your visuals can also give life to your presentation. You can hire a PowerPoint expert to design your deck, or ask a colleague to check what you’ve already come up with. This will help you craft a more interactive and stunning slide deck.

Improving Your Delivery

Connecting with your audience doesn’t just depend on your speech’s content. It also relies on how your delivery complements and emphasizes your message. Think about theater actors who use their body movements to engross the crowd with their performance.

Speech coach Craig Valentine gives a few tips on improving speech delivery. These involve eye contact, gestures, postures, and facial expressions, all of which can contribute to a successful communication more than the content itself. They add impact and emphasis to spoken words, making it more comprehensible for audiences. In a way, they are their own unspoken form of language.

Conclusion

While many presenters prioritize delivery, you shouldn’t neglect how much your audience will learn from your main content. You may have the most interesting topic of all time, but an uninteresting speech will bore your audience.

An entertaining presentation style may enthrall listeners, but will achieve nothing if your content lacks concrete and valuable information. This only proves that content and delivery are both vital to a successful performance. While the former can help you educate your audience, the latter can highlight your message and generate audience interest.

So when you plan and prepare for your next pitch, do it with outstanding content and delivery to achieve your desired outcome. To help you out with your presentation, SlideGenius’ PowerPoint professionals can offer you a free quote!

 

References

Valentine, Craig. “10 Ways to Improve Your Speech Delivery.” Craig Valentine. March 7, 2010. Accessed August 10, 2015.
Content vs Delivery.” Learn Public Speaking Skills. October 13, 2012. Accessed August 10, 2015.
10 Tips for Improving Your Presentations & Speeches.” Presentation Zen. Accessed August 10, 2015.

Sales Presentation Q&A Tips: 4 Reasons to Master Negotiation

Your sales presentation is the last hurdle before you can seal the deal, but even that has a final step: the Q&A.

In every presentation, clients always have questions or concerns. These can be about how your company does business or the package options you have to offer.

Listening to and clarifying their questions will help them understand your position, making them more likely to trust you and close the sale. Experienced sales executives will always plan for these scenarios for 4 main reasons:

1. Clients Always Want Options

People will always look for a better deal to get their money’s worth.

You could be the best supplier of electronic gadgets in the industry, but if you don’t have any favorable options to offer your clients, like a bundle purchase deal with lower price points, or gadgets that they need, chances are they’ll give their money to the competition.

This is why having a fixed set of options rarely works: If you say you can’t give something to a client, you will have a harder time convincing them to invest in you. According to business consultant Larry Myler, giving alternatives is one of the negotiation techniques that salespeople use as a common ground for both their desired outcome and the clients’ desires.

2. Listening Lets You Learn Their Expectations

Our last article talked about knowing your audience’s expectations to help you give a more understandable pitch. While it’s good to know these beforehand, nothing beats getting these firsthand when you need to address their questions on the spot.

This lets you come up with better responses, whether it’s clarifying your previous statements in the pitch, or suggesting alternatives to the options you offered them. Listening also helps you get a better handle on what your clients expect from business partners.

For example, they may have objections to the pricing of your mobile service provider package, but if you let them explain why, you might have the advantage of using that information for either justifying the package or offering them something that fits their budget.

3. You Control the Argument

Learning to say no is another important skill in the Q&A. As the presenter, you need to be clear on what you can and cannot offer to remain in control of the deal. Let’s go back to that example of the mobile service provider: Your package may only be offered at a certain range, but a client might want to lower it further.

If your company knows that the proposed discount is unacceptable due to cost reasons, it might be better for you to refuse and suggest another package. While it’s true that you need to think about your client’s expectations, your company will most likely have their own standards to uphold, making an ultimatum necessary.

By dictating the terms of the offer, you make the deal profitable for both sides. It also boosts their perception of you as a reliable seller.

4. You Project Yourself as a Partner

In every presentation, the objective is all about offering solutions to a problem. This is why every seasoned sales executive takes time to know their clients as much as they can in order to solve their difficulties.

Getting clients to talk about what they need is always a good starting point. Keynote speaker Sherrie Campbell lists presenting yourself as a partner who’s willing to listen among her strategies for mastering sales negotiations. .

If your client can’t agree with your offer, you can always ask why, or replace your offer with a better one. This leaves a better impression than using a “take it, or leave it” approach because you involve clients in coming up with a solution.

The Lesson: Listening Always Helps

Handling the presentation’s Q&A is just as important as giving it. This lets you know your target market and what will convince them to invest in you. Listening to their concerns lets you adjust your offers as needed.

Instead of simply handing out a limited set of options, you give them more possibilities that can sweeten the deal for both sides. At the same time, you have to make it clear that there are things that you can’t compromise on, like a lower price for quality goods.

At your presentation’s last stage, you can impress your clients with your delivery. If you can give them that last nudge to bite into your offer by hearing them out, jumping that final hurdle will be easier for you. Handling this step needs every advantage you can get.

To sharpen your selling edge, take a few minutes to get in touch with a professional presentation designer and spice up your PowerPoint.

 

References

Campbell, Sherrie. “7 Psychological Strategies for Mastering Sales Negotiations.” Entrepreneur. November 6, 2014. Accessed August 7, 2015.
Myler, Larry. “Four Ways To Win Any Negotiation.Forbes. June 1, 2015. Accessed August 7, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Signed Contract” by Mads T.F. on flickr.com

Death to Comic Sans: The Worst Font for PowerPoint

If you don’t know what Comic Sans is, maybe you’re too ashamed to admit you do. It continues to grace countless homemade greeting cards, signs, banners, and sometimes, even PowerPoint presentations.

Despite many alternatives, Comic Sans retains a degree of prevalence, banking on its perception as a warm and fun typeface.

This perception, along with its overuse by amateur designers, contributes to its reputation as the worst font choice in any designed output. Before we dive deeper, let’s take a short look at its history.

Humble Roots

We can thank former Microsoft Employee Vincent Connare for the existence of this typographic blight. He claims that Comic Sans wasn’t initially designed as a usable typeface for Microsoft Office, but just for use in an application featuring a virtual canine assistant, Microsoft Bob.

In his own words:

“Comic Sans was NOT designed as a typeface but as a solution to a problem with the often overlooked part of a computer program’s interface, the typeface used to communicate the message.

There was no intention to include the font in other applications other than those designed for children when I designed Comic Sans. The inspiration came at the shock of seeing Times New Roman used in an inappropriate way.”

To be fair, the British Dyslexia Association considers the font easier to read than other fonts. Its legibility makes it easier for viewers to distinguish different glyphs and characters from each other. In addition, its handwritten design and curvy features lend it an air of friendliness and accessibility.

So why do people, especially designers, hate it?

An Ignoble Font

It’s the abundant misuse in inappropriate situations that’s handed Comic Sans its legacy as the worst font of all time. The friendliness mentioned is unfortunately not suited for how it’s been used. You’ve probably seen this a dizzying amount of times in office pantry signs, self-published greeting cards, and even some unwitting business signages.

Most likely, an unaware presenter may have even used it in his slides. It’s easy to reason that its bad rep is solely due to this abuse. Experts would beg to differ, noting its inconsistent kerning (spacing between characters) which make Comic Sans technically “ugly.”

No matter what, it can’t shake its image as cheap and unprofessional, given its common use by untrained designers.

So When Should I Use Comic Sans?

Never.

Save yourself from embarrassment. The people over at Ban Comic Sans Manifesto, expanding on its misuse, put it so:

“Comic Sans as a voice conveys silliness, childish naivete, irreverence, and is far too casual for such a purpose. It is analogous to showing up for a black tie event in a clown costume.”

In other words, Comic Sans is only good for communicating one thing: that you’re not a professional. There’s also no longer any excuse for resorting to this silly font. Even if you’re going for a more fun or aloof feel font for PowerPoint, there are so many other alternatives.

If you’re presenting to a professional audience, you’re better off sticking to the classics like Arial, Century Gothic, or Helvetica. Some may argue that they’re equally overused, but at least their look is clear, classy, and timeless. Still insist on injecting some fun into your slides? Ban Comic Sans can give you other alternatives.

In Summary

Comic Sans is a font that stumbled into its role as designers’ public enemy number one. Its overexposure and misuse has made it a target of much derision. The fact is, there are so many other free choices that come built into Microsoft Office.

We have serious serifs like Times New Roman, Garamond and the like for long bodies of text. There are more commanding sans serifs such as Impact, and you can count on Arial when you need to grab attention. In a perfect world, everyone would know the proper font choice for every situation.

Not everyone can be a PowerPoint professional, but anyone can easily learn to follow the general rule: avoid Comic Sans.

 

References

Ban Comic Sans Manifesto.Ban Comic Sans. n.d.
Connare, Vincent. “Why Comic Sans?” Connare: Art, Design & Typography. n. d.
Typefaces for Dyslexia. BDA Technology. March 20, 2011.
What’s so Wrong with Comic Sans?BBC News. October 20, 2010.

 

Featured Image: Ban Comic Sans” by Emanuele on flickr.com

Ace Corporate Presentations with These 3 Memorization Tips

Don’t read your presentation aloud onstage. It’s the surest way to tune out your audience. People look up to a speaker who can present without a deck or note cards. These kinds of speakers exude confidence and credibility, catching listeners’ attention and keeping them focused on the topic.

Memorizing your pitch is unavoidable, especially for corporate presentations where you can’t rely on a teleprompter. The key to commanding your audience’s full attention, in this case, is to get the most out of memorization.

1. Rehearse Your Speech Out Loud

It’s not enough to read your script in silence. Even running it past your eyes over and over again won’t help much. The trick is to read your lines aloud.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Studies have shown that speaking and repeating information out loud improves your memory.” user=”SlideGenius” hashtags=”strategy” url=”https://www.slidegenius.com/blog/ace-corporate-presentations-with-these-3-memorization-tips/” template=”light”]

Studies have shown that speaking and repeating information out loud improves your memory. Hearing your lines, even in your own voice, subconsciously reinforces what you’re trying to memorize. This helps your head internalize the thoughts you want to express. To get the best results, repeat your lines five or six times. Do this enough and you might even make your performance more authentic and natural.

2. Use the 20-20-20 Rule

While internalizing is effective, it can only get you so far before your brain needs to rest. This is especially true when you read from your computer screen or tablet.

To keep your memorization attempts productive, stick with the 20-20-20 Rule. It recommends taking a break for 20 seconds every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away. Doing so acts as a safeguard against eye strain, giving your brain room to rest. This improves your memorization stamina, and allows for more time to digest your information.

Use the 20-20-20 Rule to maximize the time you spend learning your speech by heart.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Most of us will fall into the trap of over-preparing for that big pitch. Tempted to spend the whole night awake with only coffee to keep you up? It’s not worth it. Lack of sleep negatively affects memory by hampering your brain’s ability to make logical connections.

Cutting sleep makes you feel like you’ve prepared enough for the big presentation opportunity, but you should always get adequate sleep to keep your mind healthy and alert. Getting enough rest can save you from staring into space when asked a difficult question.

One Last Thing

Losing your train of thought can spell disaster, especially in important corporate presentations. Don’t take any chances. Prepare well in advance so you don’t rely on cues for your pitch.

Read your script out loud to maximize your retention and internalize your script. Using the 20-20-20 Rule helps you stay productive with your memorization, and getting enough sleep helps you stay alert during your pitch. These three simple tips can help bring the best out of you during those pitches of a lifetime.

Now bring out your final ace and make that presentation count!

 

References

How Sleep Helps Memory.” Psychology Today. Accessed September 18, 2015.
Memory Improved By Saying Words Aloud.” PsyBlog. 2010. Accessed September 18, 2015.
Rivera, Erin. “The 20-20-20 Rule: Preventing Digital Eye Strain.” Visian ICL. Accessed September 18, 2015.

3 Small Talk Habits That Delay Professional Presentations

Don’t boring scenes make you want to press fast-forward?

If you’re bad at entertaining your audience, then they’ll want to fast-forward your professional presentations, too.

But what makes a scene boring?

There are many reasons for a dull presentation, but one of the most notorious is because the presenter is trying to cover up a lack of preparation.

Here are 3 delaying tactics you should avoid:

1. Overdoing Background Information

Introductions are where you engage audiences so that they’ll listen to you from start to finish.

However, taking too long to get to your main point will bore them to death.

Avoid including too much background information in your script.

Anecdotes are a great way to start a pitch, but make sure it’s directly related to your core idea, or else you’ll just go off-track.

Instead, go straight to your main points point and work on particular details that best inform and educate the crowd.

2. Stating the Obvious

Everybody knows that the Earth is round and the sky is blue.

Why tell your audiences information that they probably already know?

If you’ll be mentioning well-known facts, make sure that you have follow-up questions or points for discussion.

For instance, look for the reasons behind the fact, concrete examples that demonstrate that data, or ways how you could take advantage of it.

Otherwise, skip that piece of information altogether.

3. Delaying the Solution

Your audience is there for a reason: they’re looking for something beneficial that you can give them.

If you fail to deliver, then you’ve failed your audience.

Build-up is important, but spending too much time hyping up your offering could cause your audience to doze off from boredom.

Worse, they may get annoyed and think that your pitch was a waste of time.

Caring about your audience involves giving them what they expect from you. Offer something that makes them think that they’re your priority. Don’t give them the opposite of what they’re looking for.

Get Straight to the Point

Why would you end up delaying your presentation in the first place?

Often, this is a result of not preparing for the big day.

Careful planning allows you to craft and organize your script. It helps you recognize what is valuable to your audience.

When you plan for your next presentation, instead of talking about how significant your topic is, make sure to go straight to delivering your main point.

Remember: avoid including too much background information, stating the obvious, and delaying the solution.

Avoiding these delaying tactics is your ticket to the fast-lane of engaging, convincing, and sales-worthy presentations.

References

Burns, Tony. “Does Your Audience Want to Fast-Forward You?Speaking About Presenting, August 6, 2014. Accessed July 1, 2015.