Learn How To Be a PowerPoint Presenting Pro!

Public speaking is not natural for most people. Keeping an audience engaged, clearly articulating your thoughts, making good use of time, displaying the right demeanor are just some of the factors that are probably on your mind when talking to a group of people.

And for many, simultaneously taking into consideration all of these points and more can get quite overwhelming. The good news: by applying the lessons learned on the Online PowerPoint Training Blog, you’ll learn the tools necessary to consistently come off as a PowerPoint presenting pro!

What makes a good presenter?

  • Manage your voice
  • Pay attention to your body language
  • Watch your language!
  • Don’t just stand there. Move!
  • Practice – a lot!

How do you manage your voice?

  • Try to sound natural, so your rhythm and tone is appropriate to the message you are delivering. You don’t realize it, but more often than not, you do this naturally. But when doing any kind of public speaking, we tend to over think it, and try to hard.
  • So, since it’s going to be impossible not to think about it initially, I’d recommend focusing on three important qualities when in the moment:
  • Volume – speak loudly enough to reach all the members audience without overpowering those closest to you
  • Intonation – Avoid speaking in monotone. Put more feeling into your voice and make it livelier by changing your intonation. I can’t explain how important this is. Sometimes all an audience needs to stay engaged and/or be persuaded is a little bit of enthusiasm
  • Pacing – for most of us, this is natural – except when we are nervous or excited. Practice, and you can figure out what sounds natural and appropriate for the points you are making. It may sound funny, but even coming up with a tune to the words you are saying can help you relax and find your natural rhythm.

How do you effectively use your body language?

I’ve heard that 90% of communication is non-verbal. I think these non-verbal cues are called paralinguistics, but please don’t quote me on that. Well, in the world of PowerPoint presenting, this fact could not be more true. Often times, the body language you display while giving a presentation can speak much more loudly than the words you are saying or presentation you have created.

It goes without being said that saying to someone who is about to present, “just act natural and be yourself,’ isn’t going to get them very far. It’s completely normal to get nervous before doing any kind of public speaking. Simply telling yourself (or being told) to stay calm, unfortunately, isn’t going to help most of us.

What I’ve found does help, though, is better understanding what makes up good and bad body language, so that I know what to focus on. It makes the idea of improving my body language much less intimidating. In this online training, I’ll pass on some tips and tricks that I’ve learned or others have told me over the years:

What to do:

  • Stand straight, but not stiff
  • Try to be relaxed and casual, but don’t come off as lazy
  • Use your hands, arms and gestures. Try to let your body react to how you feel
  • Make good eye contact – the rule of thumb for eye contact is three to five seconds per person

What not to do:

  • Do not keep your hands in your pockets
  • Do not keep your hands behind your back
  • Do not keep your arms crossed
  • Do not wring your hands nervously

A Presentation Lesson From Dr. Wayne Dyer

As a presenter, have you ever walked into a packed room with lots of energy and couldn’t wait for your chance to take the stage? It is exciting! On the flip side, have you ever walked into a room with only 25% of the seats filled and no energy? How do you feel? Does it affect your presentation? It used to hurt mine terribly.

First, do you know who Dr. Wayne Dyer is? If not, he is a very spiritually based motivational author and speaker. Some of his favorite quotes are: “You’ll see it when you believe it” and “Stay focused on what you are for rather than what you are against.” When I was first introduced to the world of motivation, I loved listening to Zig, Tony, Brian, and Dr. Dyer.

I was at a church last week watching his new film: Ambition to Meaning. The quote at the top of this article comes from that movie. It took me a while to understand what he meant by that. As we grow in life (or as a presenter) we must realize that some of the things we believed and lived by are not true anymore. We must let go. As Craig Valentine would say, “What got you here, won’t get you there.

As I was watching the film, he reminded me of a lesson I learned from him at one of his live presentations. A lesson I still need to be reminded of on occasion.

Dr. Dyer came to Worcester, MA early in my career. I had read his book, Real Magic, and could not wait to see him live. As a new speaker, as I entered the room I was getting excited. This is what I want to do for a living; here is a celebrity in the business. Cool. The seats were set for a thousand people. One of the local insurance companies had brought him in to speak to their company and decided to open it up to the public to help cover the cost of bringing him in.

Seven minutes before show time, I looked around and saw that only about twenty-five percent of the seats were filled. Oh my! What a difficult setting. How uncomfortable for the speaker. I was embarrassed for him, that there were so few people there. It was weird, I felt bad for him and I had nothing to do with the promotion of the event.

As Dr. Dyer took the stage, he had a certain calmness about him. He carefully looked around and noticed the turn out. Someone must have said something to him, or apologized to him for the low turn out. The first thing he said to the audience was “It is OK”. He said, “The people who are supposed to be here are. That’s all we need.” Wow. It took me a while to absorb what he said.

At that point in my career I would have freaked out. I would have been upset with someone. Bottom line, to him, it did not matter. He was OK with it. He did not let it affect him. In fact, he was excited to help whoever was there, even though the “setting” was not perfect. We all need to remember that, yes, we want to have a full room with lots of energy. But, sometimes it won’t be. Once we optimize the setting for our presentation, our goal as a speaker is to help the people in front of us the best we can, no matter what the setting, or how many people are there. As much fun as a full room can be, we are there to change the lives and inspire the ones that are present. Don’t let your own ego get in the way of your connection with your audience like I used to.

Dr. Dyer, thanks for helping me to “grow up” as a speaker. Thanks for helping me to see that confidence on stage is good, ego is not. How will you look at the next presentation when there is a low turn out?

The Sales Negotiation Process

Your negotiation skill is vital for the negotiation process

Regardless of what you are selling or who your customer is, your negotiation skill is what allows both you and your customer to succeed in the end.  A strategy is only as effective as the techniques used.  You should view your negotiation skill as the tools for implementing your sales strategy.  The following are some helpful tips on how to succeed at sales negotiations:

Be prepared. Effective sales negotiations begin before you come to the bargaining table.  This means doing your research and planning ahead of time.  You need to consider your customer’s situation and ask yourself what they really need from the deal as well as list what you are willing to compromise and what you cannot. Being prepared also allows you to remain relaxed throughout the negotiation. 

Set Standards. In order to reach a mutual agreement, there are rules that have to be followed.  Setting some guidelines before the negotiation will ensure that each party works under the same standards. For example, you can approach your customer with your competitor’s price and use what they have paid in the past as a standard. 

Work together.  A good negotiation allows all involved to leave the sale feeling good about their final decision as well as about each other.  By approaching the negotiation with mutual satisfaction in mind, your customer will be a lot easier to work with.  If a customer feels as though they are being taken advantage of, they will become defensive. If they know that you are playing fair then they will most likely do the same.

Finalize and follow through. The point of a sales negotiation is to come out with the best deal for everyone involved so you should ask many questions.  Be sure to address important details and listen to your customer’s concerns.  After you have arrived at a mutually beneficial solution, negotiated and signed an agreement, you need to follow through.  This involves doing what you said that you would do.  For example if you promised a certain delivery date, make sure your product or service is delivered by that date. If something unexpected arises that will affect the delivery date, make sure that you contact your customer and make other arrangements.

Your level of negotiation skill can determine whether you are able to close a sale as well as how profitable the sales transaction will be. An important element of effective negotiation is being able to ensure that everyone can leave satisfied rather than feeling as if they have been short changed. In order to prevent a situation like this, you need to have a good negotiation strategy.