Understanding the Importance of Your 60 Second Presentation

I am often asked the question; “How important is a good 60 second presentation?” People sometimes gasp at my answer. They look at me as if I am a little crazy because my answer is simple and very straightforward. The value of a good 60-second presentation is only as high as the importance you place on it. However this does not show you’re the importance of this marketing tool.

I go on to say that, if people place little value on creating a good introduction for themselves, they will usually wing their 60-second presentations. By always winging their presentations, they lose their perspective. They will never know the value of a good 60-second presentation, and they will not reap the rewards associated with delivering them. The way I see it, three things create value in your 60-second presentations. Your efforts, (time spent on it), the feedback you receive from your trusted peers and the measured results.

To start with, good presentations are created, (i.e. thought out and written down), practiced and then refined. It does not matter if you are great at winging it, you will always present better if you have a focused clear message that is tested and practiced. A little hard work on your part will add value to your message by clarifying and focusing it.

Another way is to ask for feedback. Ask someone you trust to summarize what you said. This person should be skilled at doing 60 second commercials, (at least better than you do). Ask them for constructive criticism. If they can’t tell you what you said in two or three sentences you know message is not clear and it’s defiantly not focused.

The best way to see the value of a good 60-second presentation is to track the results. What should you track you ask? Well here is what I track; I always track the name of 60-second presentations, (yes you should give your 60 second commercials names), I always track the venue I attend, the venues date, the people I talk to, whether a person showed interest in my product/service and who I closed business with. Tracking your results is the only objective way of knowing whether your efforts are bearing fruit. What’s amazing about this is that most people never track their results.

Take the time to write out and practice your 60-second presentations. Ask trusted associates for feedback and finally track your results. Doing these three things will get you more referrals and make you more money. The value of a good 60-second presentation will become clear as fine crystal once you see the money coming in.

That’s my opinion, whats yours.

How Lawyers Can Win More Business With Their Client And Conference Presentations

Presentations are one of the most common avenues for lawyers to communicate their expertise and convince potential clients to hire them for legal work. These presentations may be in conference settings or in a client office. After a recent review of ten presentations (with a total of over 450 slides) posted on the web sites of top law firms such as McMillan Binch Mendelsohn, Gowlings, Cassels Brock and Aird & Berlis, some areas for improvement are apparent. By improving the communication of their message to clients and potential clients, lawyers can increase their billings.

The common issues found in the presentations can be separated into two categories. The first are design issues such as templates and use of slide layouts, which can be solved by marketing and administrative staff. The more critical issues are with the content and can only be solved by the lawyers who specify the content and what format it should take. Here are solutions to five problems that were seen over and over in the presentations.

Use less text
Lawyers are so familiar with text on printed documents, that it seems they think that slides should be filled with text as well. There were some instances where points were made using graphics or visuals, but generally few and far between. Prof. Richard Mayer in his book “Multimedia Learning” found that visuals combined with explanatory text increased the understanding of the audience. To have better impact, lawyers should look for more visual ways to present some of the information they have. It will break up the long periods of text that the audience sits through and help the audience remember the topic better.

Make the message clear
In many cases the text on the slides is a statement of relevant law or statute, which is important to support what is being said. But relatively few times did the slide also include text stating the key point, leaving the audience wondering what the message really was. It is necessary to include references to the law, but lawyers must also give the audience an explanation of what that law means to the audience and their business if the audience is expected to act upon the presentation. Meaningful text should also be short and concise, instead of the full sentences and paragraphs observed far too often in legal presentations.

Use diagrams to increase visual impact
One of the easiest ways for lawyers to start replacing text with visual formats is to use simple diagrams. Many times a table could replace a text list. On one slide the lawyer listed examples of two types of documents by creating a long sentence. It would have been more effective to create a simple table listing the two types of documents in columns, which would have better visually differentiated the examples. One good use of tables was shown in a chart that contrasted how a particular law is applied in different jurisdictions. Diagrams are also a better way to show relationships than simply paragraphs of text. A Venn diagram is a good way to show where items overlap and where they are distinct.

Group ideas instead of continuing ideas over multiple slides
When there are a number of items to be discussed in a section of the presentation, it was good to see that lawyers no longer use the annoying former practice of reducing the font size to squish all the text on a single slide. But what has now happened is that the points are split across multiple slides with each subsequent slide title saying “(continued)”. By the last slide in this group, the audience cannot remember how all the points fit together. A better approach would be to consider how the ideas can be grouped into sub-groups and present each sub-group with its appropriate slide title.

Use callouts to highlight scanned documents
Lawyers use scanned documents as examples in their presentations, but too often the scanned image was put on the slide and was virtually unreadable due to the small size of the text on the image. The lawyer is then forced to use a laser pointer or try to explain something the audience can’t really see, leaving the audience frustrated. A better approach is to use callouts that take the salient point of a scanned document and superimpose it on top of the scan in larger readable text, highlighting the key point the lawyer wants to make.

By integrating more visual representations of ideas into their presentations, lawyers can stand out from the barrage of text that usually represents a presentation and clients will be more compelled to act upon the presentation, resulting in higher billings.

Best 3 Techniques for Improving Presentation Skills

Almost anything that is worth doing will be worth doing right. That is certainly true for succeeding at improving your presentation skills. Planning carefully beforehand, getting advice and following it, might make a major difference in your chances for achievement or failure. If you don’t do it right, the end results tend to be very disastrous. You could wind up embarrassing yourself, and in many cases cutting short your career advancement.

Allow me to share three great tips to avert that kind of failure, and succeed.

First of all, you need to understand presentation structure.

You will need to create a strong introduction, body paragraphs and powerful conclusion because it aids in preventing confusion on the part of the audience. Neglecting to get this done may make your presentation impossible to follow. You want to give the audience a road map of where you are in the presentation. Please avoid the error of disregarding or slighting this important step!

Secondly, you want to limit public speaking fear and nervousness.

Almost as essential as needing to understand presentation structure while you’re attempting to succeed at presentation skills will likely be you want to limit public speaking fear and nervousness. I’m letting you know, this is not something to overlook. It can help to make your presentation go from being mediocre and slightly boring to powerful and exciting, and everyone involved in presentation skills wants that.

Lastly, you want to concentrate on improving your body language. By some estimates, 65% of a message is transmitted by body language

And ultimately, when you’re dealing with presentation skills, just be sure to breath and learn to manage your own anxieties. This would assist with having a confident delivery, that’s an essential part of any effective presentation. Should you not, you could possibly come across as someone who is not an expert on the presentation topic — and I think we will agree that would not be a good thing!

As stated earlier, should you aspire to succeed at presentation skills, then you definitely will need to steer clear of the kinds of mistakes that might mean you wind up embarrassing yourself, or perhaps cutting short your career advancement. What you really want is to focus on your weakest area of the three areas mentioned above. You can easily attain presentation mastery by carefully pursuing the three steps outlined above.

Improved Presentation Delivery – How You Can Organize Your Presentation For Better Delivery

How you choose to organize your presentation directly affects its delivery. For you, a well-organized presentation will be easier to deliver. And for your audience, a well-organized presentation is easier to follow, easier to listen to and easier to understand. And that’s all because good organization helps with the flow of ideas for a listening audience. Our choice of organizing techniques is potentially limitless. But five methods are used the most. These are:

  1. Mind maps. Pictures that are uniquely linked together to tell a graphic story are most people’s idea of a mind map. And that’s essentially right. Pictures carry more ideas, meaning and nuance than words when you are under stress during a presentation. With a picture-based mind map your presentation structure is organized with a linked network of pictures and idea flows. A logical flow of ideas can be shown. Causes and effects can be illustrated. Or, perhaps, you can depict stories and vignettes that relate to your main points.
  2. Prompt cards. A set of small cards (postcard sized) can support all your main presentation points. Their sequential order provides the flow to your presentation. Points can be written or typed in large type — probably using one point for each card. Their order is important. So you don’t have a disaster should they be dropped it’s a good idea to tie them together.
  3. Slides and overheads. Undoubtedly the organizing technique of choice for the harried executive. But ensure your reliance on the PowerPoint slide deck is only an organizing dependency; using the screen view you can be prompted at each step of your PowerPoint presentation. But take care of the basics. Don’t be tempted to use too many slides. And don’t be persuaded into reading out your slides — either from the main or the view screen. Should you fall into the trap, then ‘Death by PowerPoint’ is a fitting description of the experience.
  4. Outlines. A one or two page outline of your presentation should include each of your main points. You should also include your sub-points, cue points, places for audience interaction, stories and anecdotes. Readily accessible and easily read, the presentation outline is a serious choice for a well-rehearsed presenter.
  5. Large words. You should not forget the written speech or presentation. Many serious presenters use scripts. And they are very successful. The script technique involves typing your entire presentation word by word. Each sentence should start on a new line. Your choice of typeface and font should be readable at a distance when using a lectern.

When you organize your presentation you present more efficiently. Your delivery will be better. Your pacing and timing will be well-tuned. And, best of all, your audience will appreciate your investment with a better response to your spoken words. It’s worth the effort.

How to Design an English Presentation

How to Design Your English Presentation

Part of any Business English Course that deals with presentations will look at how to design or develop your presentation. How do you start? What do you put into it? In a Business English course this is the method or process that I would advise my students to use when developing their presentation. The method that I suggest using is to start at the result that you want at the end of your presentation and work your way backwards to the introduction. This should help you to develop a concise and effective presentation that does not contain unnecessary information. This is not a new idea, but it is one that I taught my students before actually finding it in an English presentations text.

What result do you want from your Presentation?

At the same time as you decide on the result you want you should also decide on who your audience will be and what to write for them. As well, decide what you want them to know or do after participating in your presentation. After this start with what is the end result you want from your presentation. Is it just an information presentation where you want to impart data or knowledge, do you want them to make a particular decision, or do you want them to make a purchase from you. There are other results you may want, so start with the end result that you want from your presentation. As I mentioned and as you probably noticed we will be working backwards in designing the English presentation.

Key Points for Your Presentation Result

When you have determined the result that you want you then need to think about what are the 3 or 4 key things you want them to know or think about in order to get the result. The key points should come easily after you know what you want to happen after the end of the presentation. These will be the points you bring up in your summary so that they are fresh in the minds of your audience. By doing this you will limit the amount of information that you will need to add into the presentation. You don’t want to use the shotgun approach when designing an English presentation.

Information needed to Support Your Presentation’s Key Points?

After you have decided on the key point that you need it will be easy to decide or determine what information or data you need to support these key points. Because you know the data that you need to include, you will not need to include excess information, thereby shortening your presentation and making it more concise.

The Finish of Your Freshly Designed Presentation

You have designed most of your English presentation by deciding on your conclusion or result, determining your key points, and adding information to support your key points. Now you only need to work on the introduction to your presentation. You know the end result or conclusion, you have your key points, and your presentation now contains the data or information needed to support the key points. So you can use these to write your Outline and Introduction, which should now be a ‘piece of cake’ (easy).

I would advocate using the process outlined above because it should make designing your presentation easier. It may seem to be against common sense by starting at the end and working your way to the beginning, but the end result will be a more focused English presentation which gets to the point without all the fluffy padding. It will be less boring, and it will contain less useless information. I hope you enjoyed this brief look at how to design an English presentation.

Debt Negotiation Firms – What Consumers Need to Know About Debt Settlement

Many US citizens are facing debts these days. People are looking to find the best way to get rid of their debts. The best way is the one by which you can overcome the debt without any burden on your finance, legally and ethically. The person already so much stressed out by debt burden would certainly don’t like to involve himself in complicated solutions.

The most advised way to get rid of your debt is to take help from the debt negotiations firms. These firms comprises of highly skilled individuals who are loaded with all the tools needed for successful debt negotiations. They are very well aware of how the relief programs work, what are limitations of lenders on most issues and what will be the best way to convince your creditor to benefit you as much as possible. Debt negotiation is a legal way of getting your debt reduced to an amount you can afford to pay. It is a technical procedure where, apart from convincing the creditor, you have to follow certain rules and regulation and avoid any violation of terms. The negotiation firms are experienced and take care of all such formalities.

After acquiring all the information about your current financial standing they start the process of debt negotiation. Negotiations are actually about convincing the creditor to grant you debt reduction. The reduction in debt is completely dependent on how your financial condition is portrayed before the creditor. The lender will grant you reduction only when he is completely sure of your poor financial condition. The debt negotiation firms know the techniques to make the creditor agree on terms advantageous to you. Better negotiations can reduce your debt up to 60%.

The remaining debt is easily payable with the help of a debt settlement company. You are just required to make a monthly deposit of your choice in a separate debt settlement account. As soon as enough money is deposited the negotiation firm starts negotiating with the creditor. When an agreement is finalized, the money is transferred to the creditor’s account. This makes you free of debt very easy and very fast.

Before Negotiation

I was recently the fly on the wall at a negotiation. The negotiation itself is a result of longterm planning in most cases. This article details what to do before entering a business negotiation.

Step One:

Do your homework. That means research anything that may come up in advance of the business negotiation. Absolutely, have a few notes there to back up your viewpoint. If you don’t have that research, you are at a disadvantage.

Step Two:

Consider jotting down notes of what you intend to get out of the negotiation. Include things like points that are absolute deal breakers. Include points that you are likely to compromise on.

Additionally, draw or sketch out what the final deal will look like. Include financial numbers to give you an idea of what ballpark you want to end up in as a result of this business negotiation. Ie. People who are successful at business can see into the future for longterm rewards as much as they can see into the future for shortterm rewards. But clearly, having a map drawn of where your headed is valid before entering negotiation. It will also help you to be firm in your negotiation, knowing what you may be foregoing.

Step Three:

Do some market research. I know that companies can charge you millions of dollars for a simple study of getting people’s opinion on something. If this business negotiation affects people, find out from people what they think. Don’t limit yourself to two or three of your closest managers or friends. Extend that. Show up at a mall. Ask if you can have a minute with people. Dress appropriately to break down the barriers. People are flattered when you are seeking their opinion so to be fair, treat them appropriately and explain how their opinion will have some affect.

I have a friend in the natural concoction business. Before working on a new product, she phones up a list of customers who are agreeable and asks them about the future product. It may be well into the future but she gets the goods on the interest long before she undertakes it. Such is the case with a negotiation.

Absolutely, do your market research. Some things look good on paper but never go anywhere in the real world. For example, if you’re the marketing guru behind The Clapper you would have researched this product in advance and how agreeable people would be to buying it. But say, you invented something similar like The Sneezer, then tried to market it without asking people how hard it would be, how useful it would be to them. You would undoubtedly lose your shirt.

Step Four:

Set down in advance what you as a company stand for and who you’re willing to negotiate with well in advance. For example, if you believe in only dealing with union shops, then make sure you write that down and stick to it before any negotiation. There’s a phrase that if you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything. By having principles, you are already on your way.

Step Five:

Enter the negotiation with a window of time that you will allow before making any final decisions. This prevents an emotional response to the negotiation.

Use Time Constraints Cautiously to Negotiate Successfully

When you negotiate, to what degree do you allow time to influence you? Do you even give consideration to the constraints time has in and during a negotiation? All of us have the exact same amount of time. Some of us become more successful than others based on what we do with our time. The same holds true when negotiating.

When you plan a negotiation session(s), give careful consideration to the implication of time. Be astutely aware of how time will bound your session.

One of the key ingredients to negotiating successfully is to gain awareness of the time constraints placed on the other party. To the degree you have information about their time constraints, you have a powerful tool in your arsenal of strategies and tactics you can employ. If you know they are under a very tight time constraint and you’re the only source from which they can get what they need, you’re position becomes even more powerful  (note: if at all possible, try never to place yourself in a position of only having one source from which to obtain what you seek).

As you negotiate, use the strategy of time constraint wisely. By that I mean, if you give the other person a deadline by which to address a situation, first, tie some form of penalty to that deadline. Then, if he does not meet the request tied to the deadline, be ready to apply the penalties.

If you allow a deadline to expire without applying penalties, or exacting some toll for its expiration, you will weaken your negotiation position, if you try to use time in the same fashion as before. In addition, your overall negotiation position will be weakened, because things you say after that point will be brought into question, as far as your ability to follow through.

When it comes to using time as a constraint, a tool, or a strategy, always consider the implication of it not being adhered to. Use time wisely and you’ll come out ahead every time … and everything will be right with the world.

The negotiation lessons are …

  • Always understand the value of time when negotiating. The greater your knowledge about the other person’s time, the greater your negotiation position.
  • Apply time constraints only when you’re prepared to back them up with some form of penalty. If you fail to apply a penalty to a time constraint, you reduce the effectiveness of the constraint.
  • Remember, time as a strategy is a double edged sword. You can enhance your negotiation position by using it at the appropriate time, but without some form of enforcement, your position will be weakened and you run the risk of not being able to strengthen your position past that point should you try to use time again in that manner.

The Best and Basic Negotiation Skills Needed in Business

Everything is negotiable as long as people have the charm and persuasion to make things happen their way. In business, there is a pressure to get the most out of relationships and get the most value possible out of deals. Understanding the art of negotiation will increase the chance of a favorable outcome for the company.

Being prepared is the most important part of negotiating well. Going in without a plan and thinking it will be like the movies where characters simply wing it will only backfire. It is important to know the audience, what they want, and what questions they could ask. Understand what is driving the party the company is negotiating against where their priorities lie.

Having a response custom tailored for the audience is very helpful in negotiation. Like the previous point, figure out what type of people the company is dealing with and speak in a language the recognize. This is how to push their buttons. There are four kind of basic people to deal with when negotiating.

First is the formal, precise individual who is analytical and needs mass data before a decision can be made. Second is the purposeful, demanding person who is more competitive and intuitive. Third are the caring, relaxed, and patient people who do not rush things. Fourth are the persuasive people who are warm, expressive, and sociable.

Adapting the approach is easier when the businessman understands the different categories of people. The first person needs lots of information. The second just want a summary. The third and fourth types need stories or diagrams. The person negotiating needs to understand themselves as well so they do not butt heads with people of their own kind.

Believe it or not, listening is an important negotiation factor. Conduct an initial face-to-face meeting before going into specifics. At this meeting, ask the other party what they want out of the negotiation. The more the negotiator says, the more they will give away. This gives the other negotiating party leverage.

Confidence and being mentally prepared before initial meetings is key. 55% of how people communicate is through body language. If the negotiator feels subordinate, the other party will pick up on it and use it against them in negotiation.

Understand that everyone negotiating needs each other. Know the value of the offer and how it helps the other party. This will give enough confidence to clear the head and be in control, taking the lead in questioning.

Avoid being a salesperson. Discussion is key to negotiation as it is how parties reach a mutually agreeable outcome. Instead of saying how much the company can do for the other party, discuss what the company does and offers and ask how it can help the party. Identifying things that are low cost to the company is important to have prepared in case of a trade-off.

Do not be afraid to take a break during negotiations. This time is often needed to collect thoughts and get the negotiator’s head back in the game. This time is also used to reconsider the offers on the table. The only time this is not okay is if the negotiator is on an absolute fixed deadline.

Lastly, it is good to understand the company’s position and the negotiating party’s position as well. Know what the company can get away with (usually the opening bid), what the company expects to get based on market knowledge, and what the deal breakers are.

If the relationship with the other party continues after the negotiation, everyone needs to win. Since future meetings are sure to happen with company relationships, being rude or undercutting the other negotiating party will only lead to bad deals and feelings in future business.

How To Gain and Use Leverage in Every Negotiation

Gaining leverage in a negotiation is one aspect that leads to winning a negotiation. The questions some negotiators ask are, how do I gain leverage in a negotiation, what’s the value of it, and how do I use it once I have it?

The following are ways to gain and use leverage in a negotiation.

  • Gaining leverage is the advantage you acquire in a negotiation as the result of an act you commit and/or position the other negotiator is in as the result of such action.
  • Understand what you did to obtain leverage (e.g. caught the opposing negotiator in an untruthful statement, which caused other positions of his to be called into question), when you have it, what you’ll do with it (e.g. as a strategy, cause him to defend a position that doesn’t serve him), and what you’ll do to regain it once you lose it (i.e. in a negotiation, leverage ebbs and flows based on the positional power of the negotiators).
  • Consider the person with whom you’re negotiating and what stimuli will influence him (e.g. will he move from pain to pleasure, or fight you harder if you back him into a corner).
  • Consider how you can impress and/or intimidate the other negotiator (i.e. in some cases opposing negotiators can share a common interest, which may serve one more than the other. The one to which more of a gain occurs is the one with more leverage).
  • To gain leverage, feed the ego when such is sought and/or required (i.e. feeding vanity can be a great source of motivation for the other negotiator to grant concessions at times. The reason being, she may want to appear to be magnanimous).
  • Be long term in thoughts and outcome
  • Shift the perspective to fit your reality and don’t worry if others don’t buy into it. If you’re strong and persistent enough, over time you’ll benefit from not backing down because even a lie can become the truth if it’s told enough and enough people begin to believe it (i.e. when seeking leverage, a statement said with assuredness can be more believable even if it’s false than a truthful sentiment stated with doubt).
  • Learn to be a good ‘spin master’ (i.e. cast your position/perspective from a point that best serves your purposes).
  • Go after things you engage in with the expectation that you’re doing whatever it will take to win (i.e. when positioning your perspective to gain leverage, remember to synchronize your body language (nonverbal gestures, etc.) with your verbiage.
  • Summarize people in negotiations with one word and/or in ways that position them in the way you wish them to be viewed by others (i.e. the light in which you display people to others can be the way they’re viewed. In a negotiation, to gain leverage, attempt to position the opposing negotiator in a light that’s less flattering per his position).
  • Control (anger, environment, other negotiator & yourself)
  • Think about where you come into a situation. That will determine your perspective of it. (In a negotiation, your perspective determines the actions you engage in. When seeking to gain leverage, consider how both you and the opposing negotiator views the perspective of why you’re negotiating and what you seek from it).

One of the most efficient ways to win more negotiations is to discover ways to gain and use leverage. Adopt the insights above and your negotiate win rate will increase… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!