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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

How Lecterns Help or Hinder Your Marketing Presentation

Presenters have been trained to eliminate all personal anxieties in order to engage the audience. However, they rarely notice physical nonverbal speech barriers such as lecterns. These are traditionally used as stands to place your notes on. However, it can keep you from grabbing your audience’s attention and building a connection with them.

Why do most effective public speakers never use it? Can it be used effectively?

The answer is, lecterns can help or hinder your marketing presentation, depending on how and when you use it.

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Pros and Cons

Most politicians use lecterns in formal settings because it lets them project authority.

Even pastors use lecterns to hold their notes, bibles, and other sermon materials. But they don’t stay there all the time. For example, Joel Osteen, the Houston’s Lakewood Church’s famous pastor, never stays behind the lectern. He maintains eye contact and interacts with the audience, walking around the stage without looking at his notes.

For some public speakers, lecterns block them off from their viewers, preventing full engagement. This physical barrier keeps the crowd from seeing the presenter’s body language, non-verbal cues, posture and gestures.

Proper Use of Lecterns

Staying behind a lectern is different from standing behind it occasionally. Sometimes, you have to stand behind it due to its built-in mic and limited stage space. Other times, lecterns are unnecessary in venues such as conference rooms. Whether you can freely move around or are stuck in one place, involve your listeners by keeping eye contact no matter where you go.

Conclusion

Staying away from the lectern increases your chances of connecting with your audience. They’re also more likely to listen because they see you standing openly in front of them.

No matter where you deliver your marketing presentation, practice and prepare your pitch so you can deliver your message without looking at your notes back at the lectern.

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References

Donovan, J. “How To Speak Behind A Lectern.” SpeakingSherpa. 2012. Accessed July 3, 2015.
Power Your Presentations with These Body Language Tips.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed June 3, 2015.
Public Speaking.” Atlantic International University. Accessed June 3, 2015.

Email Marketing Tips: The Art of Pitching through the Inbox

It may seem old-fashioned, but email marketing is far from becoming obsolete. While social media channels are helpful for reaching out to prospects, there’s no reason to discount the power of an email. Unlike other methods, email marketing allows you to deliver content directly to a space that’s personally curated by your prospects.

As blogger and entrepreneur Jen Fitzgerald points out, “your audience is giving you permission to be in their email inbox – that’s a pretty giant leap in the sales process.”

Make sure you won’t let a great opportunity go to waste by following these 10 essential email marketing tips:

1. Give prospects a reason to subscribe to your mailing list

How can you convert a casual blog reader into someone who’s genuinely interested in what you have to say? Promise them access to things they might not find by simply browsing your website or social media profiles. Use your emails as an avenue to promote special deals like discount coupons or downloadable resource materials. You can also provide access to insider information like product updates and industry news.

2. Always come up with a compelling and descriptive subject line

Crafting a clever subject line is crucial to email marketing. According to Copyblogger, making use of “power words” can help create an immediate connection. Clever gimmicks will urge your readers to open your message, but avoid click-baiting techniques. A good subject line is able to describe what the audience will see once they click through the link.

3. Keep content brief and straight to the point

Your subscribers will come across your email while they check their inbox for something else. Most likely, they’re probably corresponding with business contacts and thought to spare a brief moment to check out your content. Because of this, it won’t do you any good if your email is too long. Like you would when writing a speech, keep your emails brief by focusing only on key points.

4. Incorporate great visuals

Email marketing is similar to presentations, except that you have to deliver content directly to a prospect’s inbox. Aside from writing brief and compelling copies, you’ll also need eye-catching visuals. Make use of high-quality images to illustrate your emails.

5. Make it personal

Email marketing allows for a direct line of communication between you and your prospects. Try approaching your readers with a more personal touch. You can make use of software like HubSpot Email to personalize your content and organize your subscribers according to lists.

6. Be mindful of how spam rules work

No one wants to be bothered by a flood of unsolicited emails. To make sure your emails don’t get marked as spam, read up on the CAN-SPAM Act and be mindful of what you send out. You should also avoid typing subject lines in capital letters or using trigger words in excess.

7. Double, triple check before hitting “send”

This might seem obvious, but it bears repeating: always re-read your emails before hitting “send.” Check for spelling or grammatical errors you might have missed while writing your content. Make necessary adjustments. Trim out repetitive sentences or add some more details. If you can, try to get another set of eyes to check your work.

8. Make sure you email is optimized for mobile

A growing majority prefer to read emails using a mobile device. And according to statistics gathered by Return Path, 63% of Americans will quickly disregard a message when it’s not optimized to be viewed on their smartphones. Email marketing tools like MailChimp can help you create messages that read well on a variety of devices.

9. Integrate social media sharing

Reach a wider audience by allowing your subscribers to share your content through various social media channels. Provide share buttons and include links to your own profiles.

10. Track your stats to improve your strategy

If you’re making use of email marketing software like the ones mentioned above, you can get reports and updates on how your campaign is faring. Take note of the different statistics provided to you use it to your advantage.

It’s important to communicate your message to prospects clearly and effectively. Email marketing is just one of the ways you can share compelling content. Other techniques include delivering a presentation using a PowerPoint deck.

References:

“37 Tips for Writing Emails That Get Opened, Read, and Clicked.” Copyblogger. 2013. Accessed September 15, 2014.
“CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business.” Federal Trade Commission. Accessed September 15, 2014.
Fitzgerald, Jennifer. “Guest Blog: How to Target Different Personality Types.” The Client Angel. Accessed September 15, 2014.
White, Chad. “Click-Baiting: Frowned upon by Facebook and in Email Subject Lines.” Salesforce Marketing Cloud Blog. 2014. Accessed September 15, 2014.

Featured Image: Wilson Alfonso via Flickr

Marketing Presentation Mistakes that are Costing You Clients

Marketing keeps the cogs of your business running. That’s why marketing presentations are crucial to developing and promoting your brand.

It’s one of the most effective methods to share your company story, where you have some time to make your case. Don’t waste a great opportunity to showcase the very best of your brand with presentation mistakes you can easily avoid.

Here are presentation mistakes that may cost you your clients:

1.) Lack of preparation

Presentation prep should go beyond putting together PowerPoint slides. While slide design is certainly important (as we’ll discuss later on), you should also take the time to do some research, prepare your materials, and practice your delivery.

Start preparing for your presentation as early as possible. This will give you enough leeway if you decide to change some things, or if you realize that you might need professional help. You should also iron out the most practical details of your presentation.

Give yourself an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the venue you’re speaking at. That way, you can learn the technical requirements of the equipment you’ll be using and avoid the awkward “technical difficulties” spiel.

2.) Boring and generic PowerPoint designs

You can’t make a favorable impression if you’re repeating PowerPoint designs. Don’t settle for the generic PowerPoint templates. It’s important that your slides are designed to fit the theme of your discussion.

Incorporate your brand into your PowerPoint design, and make sure that your key points are well-illustrated through interesting images and graphics.

3.) Sounding too much like a sales pitch

While you definitely want to seal the deal, your presentation should also have more than just a plea to get hired.

Don’t be tempted to go down the sales pitch route. Showcase your brand by presenting how and why it’s significant to your audience. You have to appeal to their emotions and experiences. Presenting a bunch of data that supposedly shows why your services are the best in the industry won’t do anything if you can’t say why it matters to your audience.

Consider these tips while preparing your presentation content, inspired by Certified Speaking Professional Terri Langhans:

  • Research about your audience
  • Identify three to four of your key attributes that you think are important to them
  • What could they benefit from these attributes and why is that important?

4.) Poor and uninspiring delivery

There are three components to an effective presentation: content, design, and delivery. Your content may be compelling. Your PowerPoint design may be breathtaking. But if you deliver your presentation by mumbling to yourself, all your effort becomes moot.

Luckily, poor delivery is one of the presentation mistakes you can easily remedy. The Internet is a wonderful source of inspiration. Watch Steve Jobs introduce the first iPhone here. Observe how he makes use of an energetic performance and take note of his movements and speech patterns.

5.) Tuning out the audience

If you were in the audience, would you trust a presenter talking AT you? Don’t make the mistake of tuning out your audience. The point of your presentation is to introduce your brand and create a favorable impression.

If you go through your presentation without so much as a quick glance at your audience, you won’t succeed in your mission. Make eye contact with a few individuals in the audience. Smile throughout your presentation. You can also mention that you’ll be taking inquiries at the end of the presentation.

Do whatever it takes to make sure that your presentation is inviting and inclusive.

Featured Image: Clover Autrey via Flickr

What Marketing PowerPoint Presentations Can Do For Your Business

Marketing is the bridge that connects producers with consumers. It involves the development, promotion, and distribution of products with the aim of satisfying the needs and demands of consumers. It’s a process that’s fundamental to your business, forming the lifeblood of what you do. Every step demands clear and effective communication between different parties. This is where

Every step demands clear and effective communication between different parties. This is where marketing PowerPoint presentations can come in handy.

Marketing PowerPoint presentations can help facilitate communication in the following areas:

Product Management

By definition, product management involves all decisions made in the production and sale of goods or services. It serves to determine details like improvements that can be made on the product, whom it should be marketed to, and how it should be promoted. Information that can answer these queries is gathered through research. This is best shared through marketing PowerPoint presentations.

The visual component of a PowerPoint makes information engaging and easy to follow. Translate data about customers, trends and competitors through concise slides. Focus on the most important details and offer brief explanations on how it could affect the development of your new product. Adding relevant images will also make your presentation memorable.

Marketing PowerPoint slide by SlideGenius

Pricing

Presenting financial data through a marketing PowerPoint will help your company make sound decisions about pricing. Since plenty of people are inclined towards visual learning, it might be beneficial for both presenter and audience to break down statistics and numbers in engaging visuals.

Using charts and graphs, translate all the dizzying numbers and statistics into digestible illustrations. This also leaves room for your verbal elaboration, which will let you establish a personal connection with the audience.

Promotion and Advertising

A marketing PowerPoint can also work as a great promotional tool for your product. If you find yourself presenting at industry or press events, make use of PowerPoint slides that visually translates the message of your brand.

Let your marketing PowerPoint illustrate the best thing about your product. Answer the questions your consumers will likely ask:

  • What is it?
  • Why is it important?
  • How does it work?

Marketing PowerPoint slide by SlideGenius

Conclusion

All types of presentations should be given plenty of thought. Specific presentations especially require specific types of elements on the deck. As an expert in your own field, you know the content best. However, not everyone has time to design a perfect deck, especially just days before the deadline.

If you need more insight about marketing PowerPoint presentations, don’t hesitate to contact us for a quick consultation. Our expert PowerPoint designers are ready to help you take your products to the next level.

 

Reference

What Is Product Management? Definition and Meaning.” BusinessDictionary.com. Accessed June 25, 2014.

 

Featured Image via Flickr