Keeping it Structured – 3 Steps to a Better Presentation Structure

How many times have you asked yourself during a presentation “wait a minute, how did we get here”? That question is the result of feeling lost in the presentation and not necessarily because you were dozing off. A well thought-out presentation structure will help you keep your listeners on track and make your presentation that much stronger.

One of the inherent problems with a slide-based presentation program like MS PowerPoint is that takes you visually from one picture to another, breaking up the various pieces of content. It’s easy therefore for inexperienced users (and even some old pros) to concentrate too much on the content of the individual slides and to give less thought to slide order and transition.

A good presentation is a logical progression of ideas that should build up to an ultimate statement, question or call to action. If you are not building good arguments step-by-step you will lose the listener and you will be less effective in your presentation.

So, how do we give our presentation a good structure, you would be correct in asking. Here are three things that I have learned and used successfully over the past few years in my consulting career. I hope that you consider them and that they will be equally successful in your presentations:

1) Ensure that you are using a uniform slide design template for your presentation. Most companies have proprietary PowerPoint template designs, a so-called CI (Corporate Identity), but if your company does not or if you are a student, it is fairly simple to make one (I have tutorial about this coming soon). In either case, company CI or self-created template, you should use it! This will, surprisingly, help to keep your listeners on track.

2) Always include a “goals” or “target” slide at the beginning of your presentation. This will tell you listeners immediately what your are hoping to achieve with the presentation (not dissimilar to writing a good paper) and helps keep you honest and on-track when doing the final checks of your presentation.

3) Separate main points with an agenda point slide. If your presentation is longer than 10 slides, I would encourage you to separate your main sections or chapters with a slide that introduces the fact that you are moving onto another section. It can be simply a blank slide with the name or purpose of the next section on it.

If you use these three tips in your presentation you are bound to have made an improvement. Remember, providing a good structure to your presentations will help you better make your point.

The Two-Hour Sales Presentation Vs. A Seven-Minute Attention Span

The average decision-maker has an attention span of just a little over seven minutes. I’m convinced that adult attention spans have been carefully programmed by network television, by the seven to eight minute time segments of entertainment, wedged between commercial breaks. On the other hand, the average sales presentation in the United States runs from one and a half to two hours in length. As a sales manager, you should easily figure out what’s wrong with this picture.

Those of you with complex products or services, or with large product lines may be saying to yourself, that it takes at least an hour to demonstrate all of the features and benefits of what it is you sell and another 20 to 30 minutes for questions and answers, right? Well, if you want more sales, help your staff to cut the length of their presentations down appreciably.

The $elling Edge┬«, Inc.’s Sales Success Strategies workshop, teaches a six-step selling process that can be completed, no matter how complex the product or service, in 30 minutes or less. We speed up the selling process, not only because of a decision-maker’s lack of attention , but more important, so that a sales professional can make more presentations in a given time period. And, the more presentations made over time, the more sales that are consummated.

You do the math. If a sales representative averages one and a half to two hours for each presentation as compared to an average of 30 to 40 minutes, how many more presentations can your staff make each year? How many more sales?

The six-step selling process, taught in the Sales Success Strategies workshops, is outlined in detail in a self-directed learning manual of the same name. You can learn more about it at: http://www.TheSellingEdge.com/manual1.htm

Social Anxiety Disorder Cure – Public Presentations and Speeches

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a problem that many people suffer. It can vary a lot, some people have only minor symptoms, but for many people it is a huge problem, that makes many things difficult for them. For these people it is very hard to work around people or even going to mall, because they constantly feel like people are watching and judging them. This will make them feel very uncomfortable – they feel that they’re going to do something wrong, say something wrong or start blushing. Because of that sufferers choose to stay at home where they feel safe and comfortable, but inside they feel sad and depressed because actually they would like to be able to relax around people, find friends and live like people who don’t suffer it.

If you suffer SAD you know what it feels like to do public presentations in school or at work. No matter how hard you practice, before going in front of public it feels like you’re going to do or say something wrong, but actually you shouldn’t think like that, negative thoughts are one of the main symptoms that trigger SAD. It is hard not to think about negative thoughts when you’re about to perform but just try to analyze your thoughts, think why do you think that you are going to say something wrong.

Another symptom that SAD sufferers have in front of people is shaky voice and fear of it, being afraid of getting shaky voice before going in front of people can actually trigger it and make it worse. There is really not a perfect solution, what you need to try to do is to calm down, which is very hard for social anxious people. You can actually try to use same method that you I wrote about negative thoughts, because shaky voice is often a result of negative thoughts.

Third major problem for SAD sufferers who are doing a live speech or presentation is blushing. It may happen while talking when you notice having a shaky voice or when you notice you said something wrong, but main situation that triggers it is when someone comments your speech or behavior. This can make SAD sufferer very nervous and he or she tries to hold blushing back, but usually it just gets worse, only cure for that is to try relax and forget about that comment.

Sometimes while being in front public and it seems everything goes wrong, you’re blushing, feeling very nervous, you don’t know what do to with your hands and you have a urge to escape – but try to hold on, don’t ever leave situations like this, this will make your SAD just worse.