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3 Exercises for Staying Calm During Investment Presentations

A professional setting calls for a professional approach. During vital investment presentations, you don’t want to seem nervous and fidgety, nor do you want to appear hyper and overbearing. Anxiety ruins your integrity as a presenter, as an uncontrolled wave of emotion could end up expressing the wrong message. What you need is a cool and calm approach that doesn’t get in the way of what you’re trying to say.

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Here are three tips to get you up to the task:

1. Empty Your Mind

You don’t want to be overtaken by your fears and anxieties. You also don’t want to be distracted by your overenthusiasm and excitement. To find a calm middle ground, empty your mind of present thoughts. Imagine an image from nature. Think of the quietly rushing water of a babbling brook or the wind blowing through a field. Imagine a loved one voicing encouragement.

It doesn’t matter which image you use to relax yourself, whether it’s specific or general. What’s important is that you do this well before your presentation. Practice clearing your mind and imagining relaxing thoughts repeatedly so that you’re ready to use these techniques when you need them.

2. Inhale, Exhale

Don’t forget to breathe. Sounds easy, right? Without even thinking about it, our body already does the breathing for us. However, steady breathing is harder to do when your body is stressing out.

Fortunately, some oxygen can help calm you down, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions or by a bout of the presentation jitters. Similar to when you’re in life-threatening danger, your body releases stress chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline, which increase your heart rate and blood pressure.

They may have helped our more primitive ancestors in outrunning predators, but they inadvertently make modern public speaking harder, increasing your chances of committing mistakes. Controlled breathing, among many things, optimizes your oxygen intake, making it easier for you to focus and think clearly. When you’re feeling nervous or anxious, just take one long breath, stomach out, and you’ll be fine.

3. Move Around

Motion changes your emotion. It’s not just some rhyme – it actually works. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities as a speaker, shift your stance or take a few steps in any direction. Making movements changes your perspective, helping you transition to a different state of mind.

If you’re frequently stiffening up due to nervousness, loosen your body up with some stretching exercises before a pitch, and move around during your pitch. Being mobile also allows you to better convey your message. In addition, effective use of body language communicates to your audience and to your subconscious self that you’re in control.

Conclusion

There are opportunities for you to let your emotions loose and be yourself. However, going overboard will make you look unprofessional and put a dent in your credibility. It can also confuse your audience into remembering your emotion instead of your core message. Freezing with nervousness will make you look even worse.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you find it difficult to present in front of an audience. Some nervousness is normal for important business presentations, but don’t be completely overcome with anxiety.

Instead of panicking even more, relax. Clear your mind of any present thoughts. The less you focus on worrisome possibilities, the more you can focus on actually getting your message across. Don’t forget to take deep breaths to optimize your oxygen intake and calm yourself down.

Lastly, move around, but don’t overdo it. Getting yourself in motion gives you a different perspective on things. Be cool, calm, and collected to ace your pitch and wow your listeners.

 

References

http://www.marionspeaks.com/_blog/Marions_Communication_Tips/post/3_Tips_to_Control_Emotions_When_Presenting/
http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/3-surprising-ways-a-deep-breath-can-reduce-your-anxiety/
http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2010/04/21/motions-influence-emotions/

 

Featured Image: Relaxing in Maldives” by Nattu on flickr.com

3 Ways Simplicity Gives Better PowerPoint Presentation Ideas

We’ve mentioned before that giving a presentation is similar to marketing and advertising. This is why you need a simplistic deck for better PowerPoint presentation ideas.

But what exactly makes what Cutting Edge Advertising author Jim Aitchison calls the “less is more” principle effective enough to make ad agency gurus and professional presenters rely on them? Why do professional presenters like those who give the TED Talks make better impressions?

There are three reasons why simplicity gives better presentations.

According to ad veteran Luke Sullivan, all of them rely on a principle made by one of the founders of the ad agency behind the famous Volkswagen ads: “…they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”

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1. Simplicity Gets Your Point Across

Aside from being able to sell effectively, Aitchison suggests that an ad needs to be understandable. This is the same requirement that every professional PowerPoint presentation needs in order to sell.

With simplicity, your sales pitch becomes more understandable, accurate and concise, letting you state your main point and tell your clients what they get out of your proposed product from the start.

2. Simplicity Cuts Through The Competition

Everyday, people are being bombarded with a clutter of advertisements. Clients face a similar situation with presenters. With all the other pitches to sit through, they need to sort through every potential partner’s gimmicks and extra bells and whistles.

With simplicity, you get to state what you can do, what clients get out of your offer and what advantages you have to outsell the competition.

3. Simplicity Gives More Creativity

With a simplistic strategy, you have more room to be creative and interesting. Once you know your product and your position in the market (be it an industry leader, an upstart underdog or a company playing second fiddle), start crafting your PowerPoint slide designs and your speech around highlighting your current strengths.

For example, do you want to highlight your achievements as the best company in the industry? Do you want to feature your advantages over the top companies? Do you want to introduce a new product’s advantages and benefits to the client?

It all depends on how you want to present your company to your client. One effective way to do this is to keep it simple enough to be interesting.

The Main Ingredient: Look To Your Product

Those questions are simple strategies that give room to let your presentation visual design ideas do the talking, a specialty of PowerPoint design professionals. The answer to doing all this lies in finding that one thing that makes your product interesting.

To know more about how to highlight your best ideas, take a few minutes to get in touch with us, all for free!

 

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References

Ad Agency Tricks: Outsell Competitors in Sales Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed August 21, 2015.
Aitchison, Jim. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. 2nd ed. Singapore: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004.
Great Volkswagen AdsAccessed August 21, 2015.
Sullivan, Luke. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads. 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.