Friday, August 22, 2008

Make an effective presentation

To make an effective presentation you need the '"E's" as Dale Carnegie announced all that time ago.
If you're not enthusiastic about presenting why should your audience be interested in what you have to say?
Are you eager to get your message across and educate or entertain? If not your audience will turn off immediately
Earned the right
When you have had enough experience or the story belongs to you, then you've earned the right to stand up and use your audience's time.
It's only when the 3 E's are present will you make an effective presentation.
At my breakfast club this morning John ( not his real name) stood up amled to the front and said
" I don't know why I'm doing this. I really don't want to and I haven't really prepared and i'm not feeling too good and ...and.... and."
WOW, what a start to him trying to promote his business. if you didn't know this man you would never have bought his services.
Ironically enough after he got going he told some great stories but that start...oh dear, oh dear oh dear!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When people like you...

...they'll do anything they can to help you.They even overlook your faults most of the time and find most things about you attractive.
When the opposite is true whatever someone does or says we can so easily find fault in someone we don't like.
Work hard at being a 'nice' person; it makes life so much easier!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not working the room; a fresh perspective

I read this by Dennie from her blog Similar Circles...takes the pressure off sometimes

I found myself at a music festival this weekend. Literally. On Friday night, I stood on the edge of the grass behind the sea of lawn chairs and felt myself arrive – piece by piece. The sky had miraculously cleared and there were at least 4 constellations (of which I knew the names). The sun had blazed over Lake Huron an hour before and now here we all were, many hundreds of people, all sitting / standing /swaying and all strangers.

It was a relief to not be “on” - to be anonymous – to be part of a crowd with no agenda but to be there.

Which completely freed me to do what I love best.

Meet people.

What? you might think, Isn't that the opposite of the anonymity and the purpose of getting away from it all?

I think that's the biggest mistake we make when we talk about “Networking”. It is not a task to be undertaken or a challenge to be overcome. It doesn't have to involve your game face or your most polished presentation.

Here we all were at a large gathering for a common purpose. No one asked me what I do for a living. No one was seeking anything. Heck, folks didn't even ask my name unless the conversation was going really well.

We all wandered about this lovely park (could've easily been a big hotel ballroom) and nodded to each other, made comments about a book tucked under an arm, the source of a sandwich, a compliment... a commentary on the musicians... found an old acquaintance. Some conversations evolved. Some will stretch on and off through the event. Some were simply polite.

It is ok to say 'hi' to folks. It is ok that some conversations go nowhere. It is ok to just be in the room and not 'work it'. Often the room works itself :-)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reflections from a US Conference

I recently returned from a big big Convention in New York.
New york, for me , is the most exciting and busiest place in the world. If you don't like noise, people, traffic,big buildings and a fast pace of life...don't go.
The convention itself was okay, good but not in my view great. I had been wanting to go for 8 years so the anticipation was high. Like everything in life if your expectations aren't met it becomes a little of a disappointment. I found too much sizzle and not enough substance. Funnily enough the books I bought at the exhibition taught me lots of new stuff!
I consider myself a good networker meaning I spend more time asking questions about others, listening carefully and being genuinely interested.i nticed a trnd which showed after I had asked them questions not many seemed interested in me and what I did. When I asked my fellow 'Brits' about this they told me the same.
Perhaps the US business community need some help with my netwrking skills?!

Friday, August 01, 2008

I met Jeremy Thorn just surfing the net

I found Jeremy Thorn writng on an online magazine called Fresh Business Thinking

He wrote a great article entitled Ten Top Tips For Persuading Others

here they are

We all need to be persuasive to get our points of view across effectively. But are there any ‘golden rules’? Here are ten, well proven. We probably knew them already – but do we always apply them?

We all have to influence and persuade others, whether at work or at home, and most of us find that coercion and manipulation rarely works well for long. There are indeed very many, better ways…

1. Build Trust

Even some 2,300 years ago, the philosopher Aristotle recognized that logic alone may not be sufficient to persuade others. To be truly influential, he suggested it may be essential to demonstrate first a common ethos, or a shared set of values. We don’t have to like each other, but we do have to trust each other! (Try being persuaded by someone you don’t trust?)
2. Build Empathy

Aristotle went further: he also suggested that after building on shared values, it is far easier to persuade others by employing pathos, or an understanding of ‘what it is like to be them’. That is why it can be so smart to hear the other side’s story first, before we give them ours. (This is also why it can be invaluable to ‘walk a thousand paces in another’s moccasins’ - we do need to understand each other!)

3. No lies – no exaggeration

It is often tempting to gild arguments with a little ‘poetic license’, but note that exaggeration, let alone falsehoods, build neither trust nor empathy. Once even one lie is spotted by others, the rest of our arguments may be discounted and even rejected, however valid they may be overall.

4. Build your case from the bottom

Especially when time is short, it may seem attractive to give others our conclusions first, before providing the reasons. Wrong! If those we seek to persuade do not like our conclusions, they won’t be listening to our justification. They will be spending all their energy in finding reasons why our conclusions must be wrong. So build your case up from the bottom, so that your eventual conclusions may well then appear to be the only logical outcome possible.

5. Keep it short

While some people hate arguments of any kind, far fewer welcome long explanations. So keep yours short, sharp and crisp. You can always amplify them later if you need to.

6. Keep it relevant

Many arguments fail to persuade because they didn’t seem relevant to those being persuaded. You need to know what may be relevant to the other side. Refer back to Golden Rule 2!

7. Use only a few good arguments at a time

Some feel it helpful to support a case by giving all the arguments. Not so! In most debates, a strong case needs only two or three really good supporting reasons, at least to start with. By adding more, apart from increasing the chance of confusion, we not only dilute the impact of those really good reasons we could have focused on, we also offer more hostages to fortune for incidental, nit-picking debate. You can always declare your subsidiary reasons at a later stage, as additional reinforcement if you need to.

8. Be positive and confident

If you don’t really believe in your case, why should anyone else? Unwarranted, blind confidence is clearly crass; overwhelming confidence may suggest that the issues have not really been properly thought through. But a lack of confidence may suggest that the case being presented really is rather flimsy.

9. Watch and listen for reactions

As they say: ‘Those persuaded ’gainst their will, are of the same opinion still’! So don’t take minimal reaction to your proposals as silent acceptance – they may be no more than ‘dumb insolence’! Although some may express their reactions to your proposals quite verbally, some will indicate their silent reaction quite clearly by even unintended body-language, while others will need time to digest what you have proposed before you can expect any useful response. Don’t miss these cues, and give people time to ponder on any difficult propositions.

10. Different folks – different strokes!

However you may like best to be persuaded, do not fall into the trap in thinking that all others will. Psychological research (by Dr Susan Brock, based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®) shows that some people need ‘the facts’ to be persuaded, without which any proposition may seem unsupported. But others may far rather have ‘the logic’, a very different appeal. (For them, ‘facts’ may be two-a-penny, but the overall rationale may be far more convincing.) Equally, others may focus much more on the emotional content and consequences to be persuaded, whether on the impact of any conclusions on ‘service’ to themselves or others, or on their inherent ‘vision and values’ of how people should be treated, which by the way are rarely open to logical debate alone. So be ready to appeal to all possibilities?

I wish you really productive persuading!

Jeremy Thorn is the prize-winning author of ‘How To Negotiate Better Deals’, ‘The First-Time Sales Manager’, and ‘Developing Your Career in Management’. The past founding-Chairman of QED Consulting, he is an experienced Non-Exec Director and executive coach, and a regular key-note speaker on many practical business topics. -