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The key to success in our lives and careers is effective communication. We all communicate, but we don’t often think about how to do it better, especially in the workplace where we’re often called upon to share complicated information. This slideshow reveals 20 proven steps that will make your presentations sparkle. Good presenters are more liked, get promotions faster, and are sought to be members of management teams. It’s a great skill to develop; this show can help. Contents drawn from the new eBook Think Well & Prosper: A Critical Thinking Guide, by Steve Bareham, business communication instructor at Selkirk College.
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Make your point: POWERFULLY! By Steve Bareham Business Communication Selkirk College Photos licensed from shutterstock.com and freedigitalphotos.com
Even people with good brains & good ideas fail to knit things together to compel others to not only listen, but to also support their positions.
We marvel at people who communicate well. These people climb promotional ladders fast! What’s going on; is it in their genes?
Fortunately, NO! Good presentation skills are learned, not genetic. We can supercharge our abilities. Even great communicators can improve if they sharpen all the equipment in their “how to make a point” arsenal.
This 20-piece toolkit includes 10 points for planning and 10 more to give your points maximum impact. It’s a comprehensive system that pays enormous dividends.
1. Is your topic BIIQ! Benefits, interest, and impact quotient. If your listeners don’t see a potential benefit, if they aren’t interested, or if they fail to see how your topic can impact them, they have no reason to pay attention.
2. Establish a clear goal. What, exactly, do you want to achieve? If you don’t know where you want to go, it’s pretty unlikely anyone will follow you there.
3. Show your research: everyone respects those who come prepared and who have a complete grasp of issues via conscientious and comprehensive analysis.
4. Use a proven 3-part structure used by orators since Socrates: state your premise, provide convincing supporting evidence, and end with a powerful, concise conclusion.
5. The human mind seeks familiar patterns. By arranging points in logical categories and sequences, you improve the chance that people will follow you from beginning to end.
6. Pre-educate participants: many presenters fail because listeners can’t keep up. Without advance material, your audience can quickly get sidetracked and frustrated.
7. Develop a novel angle to grip people’s imaginations. With thought and creativity, it’s possible to put a unique spin on anything— lateral thinking is admired & more interesting.
Be your own devil’s advocate. 8. Anticipate probable responses of participants: What questions are people likely to ask? Might there be opposition to your position? Think proactively and be prepared.
9. Timing: is this the teachable moment? Even though you’re ready to reveal ideas for something new, are other participants in equally receptive frames of mind?
10. Be clear about actions you propose and about a timetable for planning & implementation.
1. Use anticipation of gain: one of the most powerful attention grabbers and motivators. Study your material thoroughly; never miss an opportunity to impress upon listeners how they stand to gain.
2. Fear of loss: if the anticipation of gain is important, the fear of loss (money, status, etc.) is a close number 2 in terms of ensuring you have a rapt audience. Of course, it doesn’t pay to highlight potential loss unless you integrate the next tool on the list.
3. Pose the right questions and offer solutions supported by experts. The power of your positions can be greatly enhanced if you can demonstrate that respected “gurus” agree with you.
4. Quotations from well known personas: people love appropriately clever quotations; they can focus minds precisely where you want them.
5. Statistics: the business world revolves around numbers and most decisions regarding change or new directions can be either aided or not by using them strategically.
6. Contrast and compare: This tactic holds people’s interest, and especially when the contrast and comparisons are dramatic.
7. Problem and solution: a very powerful presentation strategy for riveting attention. Every organization has problems; someone with convincing solutions is guaranteed an attentive audience.
8. Anecdotes or metaphors: People identify with stories that help them put information into context. Metaphors, too, are a powerful way to help people make logical connections.
9. Use dramatic visuals: presentations depend largely on auditory stimuli (talking) to get points across, yet most people prefer visual information.
10. Use dramatic vocals: even good information presented in a boring monotone can leave listeners asleep. Vary tempo, pitch, volume, etc. Watch how the pro’s do it -- emulate them.
More proven success tips in the e-Book available at all online e-Book sellers