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Maurice De Castro

7 Presentation Strategies to Skyrocket Your Career

If you are a professional working in business today then regardless of your industry, age or position you will be called on regularly to present your ideas to others. If it hasn’t begun yet then be patient, it will soon.

Whether it’s a team meeting, monthly update, a new initiative or project briefing there will be moments when everything you say and the way you say it matters. It is precisely that significance which leaves many professionals dreading the thought of presenting to colleagues and clients.

Instead of letting the prospect of sharing your thoughts and ideas with others invoke such anxiety consider the opportunity and value it offers you.

Many people would agree that far too many business presentations are too long and extremely tedious. With such a perspective being so prevalent in organisations today there is a huge opportunity to challenge the status quo and to stand out from the crowd.

The ability to connect emotionally as well as intellectually with others at work is arguably the most important skill in the world today. Imagine how quickly and how far you could climb the corporate ladder if you presented your ideas with confidence, creativity and impact. Set aside any personal angst you may have about presenting and public speaking and follow these 7 strategies to take your career to the next level.

1. Lose the ‘crystal ball’

As former executive of some of the UK’s most successful brands I was called on to present to colleagues and clients a great deal. After many years of sleepless nights trying to second guess what my audience actually wanted from me and how much they already knew I had an epiphany.

I started to ask them.

I realised that I could craft and deliver what I considered to be the most relevant, powerful and even entertaining presentation but if it wasn’t what my audience wanted or needed I was wasting my time and theirs.

2. Build it like a Tipi

One of the many reasons that so many business presentations aren’t as engaging as they should be is because they lack focus and structure.

The aboriginal tipi is an amazing feat of indigenous engineering. It is constructed using a number of poles but its core strength emanates from the 3 largest poles which provide the support structure.

I often consider a great presentation akin to a well-constructed tipi which has been built using many poles. The 3 largest and most important poles of presenting will determine the impact and memorability of your presentation.

  • What do you want your audience to think?
  • How do you want your audience to feel?
  • What do you want your audience to do?

3. Think like a tweet

Have you ever had someone strongly recommend a book for you to read and when you ask them what it’s about they can’t really explain it. Business presentations can be a little like that as the speaker talks you through 30 slides without clarity of their message.

We live in a world of social media and a great practice to get into is clarifying and writing your key message down in less than 140 characters. That won’t be the way you present it of course but it will ensure that everything you say focuses around that core message.

4. Craft a conversation

Another reason many business presentations are considered tedious is because they are crafted and delivered as lectures. In other words the audience is spoken at for the full 20 minutes.

Craft a conversation instead.

Ask them questions, get them involved and seek their opinion don’t just talk at them.

5. Be different

If the information, insights or ideas you have can be communicated easily in an email then respect your audience’s time and send them one. If however, presenting to them face to face will help you to bring your message to life and really connect with them then make it different.

  • Don’t use bullet points – Use powerful images
  • Make it personal to them
  • Tell them something they don’t know
  • Tell them stories
  • Use video’s, props or get them doing something
  • Ask thought provoking questions

6. Practice

By practicing I don’t mean memorise a script. There are 3 central elements to work on when practising:

  • Content – Get to know your message, supporting points and content inside out.
  • Verbal – Stretch and challenge your voice as much as you possibly can. Try out a few vocal exercises on the internet. Read a few passages from your favourite book in as many different ways as you can. Read with, passion, excitement, as though you were angry, etc. Change your pace, volume, intonation and practice pausing.
  • Move – Practice the way you move. Get some feedback on your eye contact, facial expressions, hand gestures and the way you use the space you have.

7. Have some fun

Unless you are reading a eulogy or making people redundant business presentations don’t have to be deadly serious all of the time. You can deliver a really important and serious message whilst still lightening up a little, adding a touch of humour and making sure that both you and your audience enjoy it.


About the Author

Maurice De CastroMaurice De Castro is a former corporate executive of some of the UK’s most successful brands. Maurice believes that the route to success in any organisation lies squarely in its ability to really connect with people. That’s why he left the boardroom to create a business helping leaders to do exactly that. Learn more at https://mindfulpresenter.com/

Doug Kisgen

Strategize Your Way to Success

Strategy and execution are essential to be successful long-term. They require thinking and action. Most people know Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Few people know what Aristotle said later, “The unplanned life is not worth examining.” It’s important to set aside think-time to take a bird’s eye view of where you are at and where you want to go. But if you fail to plan how to get there, all that thinking will be a waste of time. Here are three critical components to proper examining and planning for a business and life of authentic joy.

Think-time and Proper Delegation

Do you have a set time either daily or weekly where you simply think? This is an essential practice in order to prevent getting caught up in the day-to-day projects and tasks. Properly delegating all the tasks and projects that can be completed well by someone else lets you focus on what you do best.

I work with one executive who gauges how successful his day is by how long it takes before someone interrupts him with a question after he begins his workday. If he is interrupted, he analyzes why and strategizes how to prevent it from happening again. His primary talent is innovation. The better he delegates, the more time he has to think. The more time he thinks, the more he innovates.

Willpower

When many people think of willpower, the first thing that comes to mind is food. According to a recent study we make well over 200 food-related decisions each day! But these are not the only willpower battles we wage. We need willpower or we simply won’t execute. Here are three tips to increase your daily willpower reserves:

1. The first battle of the will is your alarm clock. It seems silly, but it’s true. We know from research that willpower is like a muscle. It can become fatigued with heavy use. Many successful people (Jobs, Einstein) wore the same thing every day because it was one less decision to make.
2. Plan your day the day before. Do so preferably by the hour. If you decide on the spur of the moment or let the day push you where it will, you will likely end up far from where you wanted to be.
3. Calendar it. If it’s not on your calendar, it’s not going to get done. Period. Whether it’s time to meditate, time to think or time to make positive strides in a project, get it in ink on your calendar. Treat that appointment like you would any other that can’t be missed. No willpower required. Simply do what’s on your calendar.

Virtue

In order to be happy in business and in life it’s not simply a matter of making more money or beating the competition. It’s not only the “what” of strategy and execution and the “why” of purpose and mission. The “how” is just as critical. Aristotle said happiness is excellence in virtue.

Most of us have read about executives who have cheated to win by misrepresenting revenues. Sure, the returns were there on paper, but the lack of integrity eventually caught up with them. The most important virtue is love. Contrary to what most people say, love is not an emotion. Love can be influenced by emotion but it is primarily an act of the will. A decision. It’s about willing the good of another person.

At work, this translates into strategizing on how to help those around you to excel. What further education or skill development do they need? What are their goals? How can you best mentor them to reach their potential? What objective surveys have you administered to determine what their innate talents are? Are you playing to their strengths? Ultimately, to succeed, the first step is to truly love the people around you by putting their needs and goals above your own. You succeed when others succeed.

The key to living an authentically joyful life is to set aside time to think, use your willpower to execute and don’t forget that the “how” is every bit as important as the “what” or the “why.”


About the Author

Doug KisgenDoug Kisgen is a serial entrepreneur, organizational consultant, and author of Rethink Happy. Doug’s current company, Kisgen Group, works with entrepreneurs and executives to help them get what they want through the use of a short survey that validly measures seven work-related traits. His former company, Daydream Senior Care, dba Home Instead Senior Care, was a two-time Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company. Follow Doug on Twitter @dougkisgen.

StrategyDriven Podcast Series

StrategyDriven Professional Podcast Episode 2 – Standing Out Among Professional Peers, part 2 of 3

StrategyDriven Professional PodcastStrategyDriven Professional Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques business professionals can use to accelerate their careers and personal goals achievement. These podcasts elaborate on the principle, best practice, and warning flag articles found on the StrategyDriven Professional website.

Episode 2 – Standing Out Among Professional Peers, part 2 of 3 focuses on the need to stand out among professional peers and challengers both within your organization and when applying for external positions. During our discussion, Wendy Powell, author of Management Experience Acquired: Necessary Skills for Successfully Managing Any Employee, shares with us her insights and illustrative examples regarding:

  • six of twelve steps to standing out among professional peers
  • what professionals should do to ‘get to know themselves again’
  • importance of performing a personal SWOT analysis for each position being applied for
  • why professionals should submit letters of reference with their resume for both internal and external positions being applied for

Management Experience Acquired by Wendy PowellAdditional Information

In addition to the incredible insights Wendy shares in Management Experience Acquired and this podcast are the resources accessible from her website, www.ManagementExperienceAcquired.com.   Wendy’s book, Management Experience Acquired, can be purchased by clicking here.


About the Author

Wendy PowellWendy Powell is the author of Management Experience Acquired. With more than twenty-five years of human resource and management consulting experience, Wendy has spent most of her career at the University of Michigan. She is currently on the business faculty at both Palm Beach State College and the University of Phoenix. A member of the Society of Human Resource Management, she received a leadership award in 2002 from the Midwest College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. She is routinely featured on The Huffington Post and has appeared on Fox Business’s The Strategy Room. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and a Master of Arts degree in organizational management.

Nathan Ives, StrategyDriven Principal is a StrategyDriven Principal, and Host of the StrategyDriven Podcast. For over twenty years, he has served as trusted advisor to executives and managers at dozens of Fortune 500 and smaller companies in the areas of management effectiveness, organizational development, and process improvement. To read Nathan’s complete biography, click here.

StrategyDriven Podcast Series

StrategyDriven Professional Podcast Episode 1 – Standing Out Among Professional Peers, part 1 of 3

StrategyDriven Professional PodcastStrategyDriven Professional Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques business professionals can use to accelerate their careers and personal goals achievement. These podcasts elaborate on the principle, best practice, and warning flag articles found on the StrategyDriven Professional website.

Episode 1 – Standing Out Among Professional Peers, part 1 of 3 focuses on the need to stand out among professional peers and challengers both within your organization and when applying for external positions. During our discussion, Wendy Powell, author of Management Experience Acquired: Necessary Skills for Successfully Managing Any Employee, shares with us her insights and illustrative examples regarding:

  • the differentiation promoting and hiring executives and managers are looking for in potential candidates
  • how to communicate a desire to be considered for an open position to the hiring manager
  • when to communicate to one’s superior that you are seeking another position outside of the superior’s workgroup and within the organization
  • methods of effectively engaging with other professionals, including recruiters, through social media

Additional Information

In addition to the incredible insights Wendy shares in Management Experience Acquired and this podcast are the resources accessible from her website, www.ManagementExperienceAcquired.com.   Wendy’s book, Management Experience Acquired, can be purchased by clicking here.


About the Author

Wendy Powell is the author of Management Experience Acquired. With more than twenty-five years of human resource and management consulting experience, Wendy has spent most of her career at the University of Michigan. She is currently on the business faculty at both Palm Beach State College and the University of Phoenix. A member of the Society of Human Resource Management, she received a leadership award in 2002 from the Midwest College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. She is routinely featured on The Huffington Post and has appeared on Fox Business’s The Strategy Room. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and a Master of Arts degree in organizational management.

Nathan Ives is a StrategyDriven Principal, and Host of the StrategyDriven Podcast. For over twenty years, he has served as trusted advisor to executives and managers at dozens of Fortune 500 and smaller companies in the areas of management effectiveness, organizational development, and process improvement. To read Nathan’s complete biography, click here.