All entrepreneurs and company executives need to be able to talk about the products they are manufacturing and selling. They must be able to engage an audience and convince them that the product they are offering is not only the best on the market but the one thing their company cannot do without. No matter how experienced you are the following tips will help you to provide the best presentation of your life.

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Describe an issue, and aim at fixing it

Before you can begin any presentation you need to know that your target audience needs your product. It is essential to understand what issue they are facing. Start your presentation with a description of this issue; show the other party that you understand their problem. Then proceed to unveil the solution. You will have identified with your customer, made a connection and provided a solution. They can’t help but want your product!

You are not important!

This may sound like a confusing concept but it is an excellent approach. Do not attempt to sell yourself or your company. Engage your audience and connect with them. You will need to mention who you are and make sure they know where they can obtain literature with your contact details. A presentation can be short as long as you leave an impression – their curiosity will do the rest. It is important to remember that the audience is there because they have an interest in the subject. Keep your speech to the point and informative.

Visual aids can help, but don’t depend on them

As the title says, these are aids. No slide should have more than ten words and there should be no more slides that absolutely necessary. Too many slides or too much writing will simply distract the audience from your message.

Relate to your audience

You must make them effort to be one of them, to understand and even be frustrated by the problems facing them. Your empathy and a few personal stories will ensure that they relate to you and the business parts will take care of themselves.

Practice

No matter how good you think you are at presentations you should practice. If you know your material inside out you will be comfortable and confident in any presentation. This will prevent you from getting nervous or freezing up on stage.

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The follow up

The presentation is only the first stage. Having connected to some or all of the people on a general level you need to move in for the kill. Talking to people face to face or electronically after the presentation will allow a real connection to be made. This relationship will sell your product or service for you.

Know when and if humor is appropriate

If you are naturally funny then you may be able to get away with dropping a few jokes in. However, humor can come across differently on stage to how you envision it. A better approach is to give a simple, to the point presentation that informs and engages.

Let your personality shine

People connect to people, not to machines or handwritten notes. You were probably asked to do the speech as you care about the subject. Let your enthusiasm and your own personality show. People will understand and respect this. They will also find it easy to connect to someone they could actually envision having a drink in the pub with.

Never read from a script

This is one of the biggest no’s and the easiest ways to switch an audience off. Reading from a script or a set of slides makes it look as though you do not know your facts. Your voice will almost certainly sound monotonous and you will have no vital eye contact with your audience.

Prepare for questions

The questions and answers section is almost always at the end of a presentation and can be the lasting impression that many people take away with them. This makes it imperative that you prepare for this section. Work out what questions are likely to be asked and have your answers ready.

Are you ready to give a killer business presentation? Whether you’re a small business owner or renowned CEO, the key here is to know your stuff. Enter business meeting armed with information, and use your charisma to make the speech seem natural and engaging.

By Jason Phillips and LondonSpeakerBureau.com!

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Not all managers and CEOs have solid public speaking abilities; some are quite terrible at it. Believe it or not, sometimes the smartest people end up having the most boring presentations. They can’t see that public speaking is based on acquired skills that can only be improved through honest feedback and practice. Holding a presentation in front of 50 people is easier said than done. Most managers ignore some of the main rules of public speaking, and they usually fail to grab the attention of their audiences. Here are 10 mistakes that people often make when speaking in public.

1) Failure to convey authenticity

Skilled public speakers convey authenticity. They can gauge attention and keep an audience hooked for as long as their speech lasts. Lack of authenticity makes an audience assume that you have a shallow, superficial personality. To engage your listeners, why not start the presentation with a meaningful story? Share something personal, something that can make people relate to what you’re saying.

2) Bad opening sentence

Nothing sounds shallower than an opening sentence that says – “thank you all for being here”. Of course you’re thankful for them being there, but you don’t have to say it out loud. Rather than bore them with a disagreeable statement, say something interesting, motivational or even funny like – “Mark Twain once said that there are two main types of speakers in this world: the nervous ones and the liars. Guess what? I’m in the first category!”

3) Imitating other speakers

This is one of the worst things speakers can do when starting a presentation. Why would want to imitate someone else? When you’re not being yourself in front of an audience, it’s impossible to appear authentic. You just can’t seem believable no matter how hard you tried.

4) Sharing unoriginal stories

Sharing stories that are not yours is such a rookie move. What will you do if someone from the audience recognizes it from somewhere else? You can’t afford to make a fool of yourself in front of 50-100 people, so you are advised to stories from your own life.

5) Using fillers and too many repetitions

Fillers words are ever-present in our daily speeches. Managers however, should avoid them in the professional environment. Repeating the same thing over and over again is annoying; in addition, adding fillers such as “um”, “ahh” will make things worse. Keep sentences short if you’re nervous and when you don’t know what to say, ask questions to engage the audience.

6) Talking too fast

Speaking too fast in front of an audience indicates clear signs of anxiety and nervousness. Take a deep breath before starting your speech and learn to control your volume of words; find a pace and stick to it.

7) Vocal unawareness

A monotonous vocal tone is unappealing. It doesn’t excite an audience and it doesn’t make people want to hear more. Rather than appear dull and uninteresting in front of your staff, speak with relaxed enthusiasm; let your voice soothe the audience and they’ll certainly want to hear what you have to say.

1909_Tyee_-_Debate_and_Oratory_illustration8) Not answering questions

Managers and company owners who don’t like to answer questions when holding speeches are often seen as the most superficial individuals. Not wanting to respond to someone’s concern highlights disrespect; in time, this can affect the bottom line of your company.

9) Not feeling comfortable

Not all managers feel comfortable when having to hold a presentation in front of staff members, customers or investors. Sadly, if you can’t find a way to forget about your discomfort, your audience will sense something’s wrong. Your tone of voice will probably change, your body language, even your face expressions. Answer yourself the following question – what makes you feel comfortable? Some people feel safer when during a public speech if they hold a pen in their hands; sounds trivial, but it’s true.

10) Not making eye contact

In the business environment, eye contact is fundamental. As a manager, you’re not just compelled to hold speeches to keep an audience engaged; you deal with people every single day, and it’s your job to make them trust you. How do you do that if you can’t look them in the eye?

By Jason Phillips and LondonSpeakerBureau.com!

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