Master The Uncertainty Of Presentations

Why try to fool ourselves? Presenting to a group is fraught with uncertainty. If you want to know exactly what will happen at every moment, you’d be better off hiding in the closet. Here’s the secret for feeling confident in every situation…

In spite of extreme risks and rampant uncertainty, giving presentations and speaking in public are a part of every professional’s life. Certainly as you progress in your career, you can expect to give more presentations. And each public speaking event is likely to present more challenges and more uncertainties than the last one.

What’s the best way to cope with the unknowns?

Hmmm… does pushing the variables under the rug work?

Nope.

Let’s see. How about sneaking out the side door and letting someone else deal with butterflies and nervous jitters?

Not if you want to rise to the top.

Face the facts. The best coping strategy is not ignorance. Or avoidance. Yet, many professionals use these strategies when it comes to presenting and speaking to groups.

There is an alternative.

Learn and use a systematic approach to build remarkable presentations. Follow a simple plan to produce exciting and engaging talks. The big mistake that many subject matter experts make is: heading into a presentation without a systematic process.

No wonder the alternatives of hiding or avoiding look so attractive.

Just about everything that works well in business is a system. You have a system for strategic planning, project management, and sales efforts. Why wouldn’t you have an equally thought through system for presenting?

The only reason that consistently pops up for NOT having a presentation system is: assigning ‘presentations’ into a category of ‘unimportant.’

If one believes that presenting is not a valuable use of time, then it would make sense to not have a system for doing it.

But that’s just foolish. One 5-minute presentation in front of the right people could do a whole lot more for your career than 5 years behind a desk. You could get a promotion, seal a deal, or get funding for your dream project. One presentation could unlock doors that would never be touched if you remain hidden deep in research.

Just last week I coached a woman who was struggling with this very issue. She had so many ideas for her 1-hour talk, that she could have easily written a 700-page book. Without a proven process, she spent hours dissecting ideas, jumping from one topic to the next.

In a short time together, we whittled down the massive volume to a few key concepts and a single theme. Instead of tearing her hair out, she was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

“This process was incredibly helpful! I never could have done it without you.”

Presenting in public can be scary and daunting. There are unknowns and risks. People may sit in stony silence. Participants may ask uncomfortable questions. Problems may emerge that you aren’t sure how to answer.

But with a solid system to plan your story, share your ideas, and guide interaction…you will feel ready to take on the unknown. Interested in building your confidence and growing your presentation skills?

Three Steps To Chill Out and Be Present

There are so many things we have to… and need to do… and want to do… that it is easy to jam pack our to-do list, our schedule and our life with busy-work. BUT it is necessary to do so? You may be saying “Yes, of course it is. How else am I going to get things done?” Well, that depends on what you have to get done.

If you are a do-er and an action-taker-and dare I say ‘perfectionist’-it is very easy to get caught up in the doing of it all. But where does living your life like you want it fit in? It really doesn’t because you are so busy being in the future about what you have to get done and feel you should be doing that you forget to live in the here and now.

My dad had a saying, well he actually had two that are relevant to share with you: “One day at a time” and “One thing at a time“. He was good at saying “I’ll be with you in a moment, right now I’m finishing this.” Meanwhile my mother and I are racing around doing (and not finishing) ten things to his finished one. I know for sure, by my own experience and those of my friends and clients, that when your attention is not in one place, neither are you. You simply cannot give whatever you are doing justice if you are not fully present.

Have you ever spilled a beverage, dropped something, banged into the corner of your desk, or stubbed your toe while you were trying to do something else? That’s being in the future (or the past). And oh yes, the spilled beverage on your carpet, the shattered screen on your dropped smart phone or the stubbed toe absolutely brings you into the present in a very fast way! It’s a rude reminder that you need to slow down, take a breath and maybe take a break.

I had a client who woke up one morning, got out her cereal bowl and her juice glass, and before she realized what she was doing the bowl was full of cider. She was upset and beating herself up over this. It actually threw off her entire day and when I asked her what was going on the moment before she poured the cider, she said she was thinking about her day and all that she had to do and what she wasn’t going to finish. And so there you have it: when we are not present, we can’t fully be mindful of what we are doing.

Would you like to experience fewer mishaps and mistakes throughout your day? Do you want to accomplish things and have them done right the first time? Be with yourself and not 10 steps ahead.

Here are three quick and easy ways for you to check in with how you feel and be more mindful and present in the moment:

  • Take a breath. Do you feel frazzled? Simply stop moving. Sit or stand still and breathe in to the count of 5 (slowly), then hold for a count of 2 and let your breath out for a count of 5, pausing for another count of 2. Try it right now – don’t you feel better?
  • Look around you. Are you jumpy and anxious? Look at where you are and what’s near you. Name what comes into your vision and give it a moment’s thought. The dog, “Oh, he’s actually snoring in his sleep”; the knickknack you picked up on vacation and what a fun time you had; the clouds in the sky and the shape they appear to you. Small distractions will settle your thoughts.
  • Change your view. Do you need to get out of your office? Do you need to go outside? Sometimes stopping what you are doing and taking a break is essential to help you be more mindful. Whatever it is, do it. Just five minutes can do wonders for your focus.

Follow the above tips and you’ll be mindful and in the present moment in no time (without stubbing your toe). You’ll be happier, more productive and relaxed too

How to Boost Your Business With Online Presentation Skills Training

In tough economic times, everyone is looking for new ways to boost business. You aren’t alone in renewing your efforts to find a new tip or technique to give your business a boost.

As an entrepreneur, small business owner or professional, you may have pulled in the reins on spending during the recession. However,without new skills and specific training, you will not have the right tools to succeed in today’s marketplace.

Training spending is a lot like an accordion. Contracting and expanding is a natural part of how it works. This process is going on in small companies and gigantic global organizations. The outcome: more and more people are turning to online training solutions to get the business and presentation skills they need. Specialized training in presentation skills is picking up.

Think about this for a moment.

A lot of companies want to beef up business. To do this, they need to develop a consistent high quality of presentation skills. This is true for global companies who need to attract and serve clients around the world.

And it’s equally true for tiny businesses that need to make a positive impression on local and regional clients.

Whether you are in sales, services or software, your business day is chock full of business presentations. Typically, professionals spend more time in meetings and presentations than at their desks. As your career progresses, exceptional presentation skills are essential to achieve your career goals.

In the past, a lot of small businesses and global corporations relied on public seminars or customized in-house training. Today, the landscape of training has shifted.

No one wants to spend the time or money for costly workshops. Instead, most companies want flexible and lower cost alternatives – that provide opportunity for self-paced training.

If you’ve been waiting for your organization to host a presentation skills class, stop waiting. If you’ve been thinking that your only choice is bringing in a high-priced consultant to review your sales presentations, you have an alternative.

Now is a time to get online instruction at a fraction of the cost. By choosing this option, you get instant access to exceptional training for yourself and your entire staff. Plus, there are added benefits. Virtual training is all green. You aren’t contributing to waste, there is no carbon footprint, and it’s good for the environment.

In addition, online training is instantly accessible from anywhere. This makes it an ideal solution for professionals who are on the road or working from remote locations.

Many of my clients rely on online courses to manage the diverse and changing needs of their staff. For instance, if you have boosts in hiring and promoting, virtual training is an ideal way to get everyone up to speed. You don’t have to wait until you have a full training class to get everyone the skills and support they need.

If you are looking for a flexible and low cost alternative to prepare your staff to succeed, this could be the best solution.

Boost your business results with online presentation skills training. Get a fresh start by building the right skills for you and your staff.