Hints and Tips: Public Speaking

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Fear of public speaking is one of the highest ranking phobias.

Standing up in front of a group of people, whether they are known to you or not, can be incredibly daunting. However, as a business owner, public speaking can be a powerful way of getting across your expertise and an understanding of how your business can help others. Whether it is at a networking event, conference or presenting to a prospective client, how you come across can influence whether people use or recommend your services.

Presenting doesn’t need to be scary. Here are some tips to help you prepare for that big presentation:

 

Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Poor Performance…

Try to make time to prepare for your presentation. You may well be a ‘seat of the pants’ kind of person, but even those who ‘wing it’ often take time to prepare. Think about the key points you want to get across and the best order to present them.

 

Less is More: content

Your audience is only likely to remember two or three of your key points. If you pack your presentation full of information, your key messages are likely to be lost. Why are you doing this particular presentation? Once you have that clear in your mind, decide what are the three key things you want people to remember and focus on those in your preparation.

 

Less is More: visual aids

If you decide to use visual aids in the form of electronic slides, whiteboard or flipchart keep the information you display to a minimum. As with your content, keep each slide (page) to two or three points. Keep these points short and succinct. Check your spelling and grammar – if that’s not your strong point, ask someone else to check it. There’s nothing more distracting than a typo on a presentation. Don’t be tempted to sneak in all the information you couldn’t cover in your content!

 

Practice Makes Perfect

Whether it’s in front of the mirror, a friendly colleague or family member, try to run through your full presentation ahead of the real thing. Check your timings. Practice with props or visual aids so that you don’t end up fumbling with them on the day.

 

On the Day

Remember that nobody, except for you, knows exactly what you plan to cover. If you miss something out, it is not the end of the world and you definitely don’t need to tell the audience you missed it! And finally, try to relax and enjoy the experience.

Making the most of the Summer months

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Summer holidays can mean two things for businesses depending on the product or service they provide. It can be one of the busiest times of the year for the hospitality or tourist industry, but for those providing business to business (B2B) services, it can be an incredibly quiet time. Often clients will take time off over the summer or reduce their required services. Some may even review the services over these quiet months and decide to stop using them altogether. Continue reading “Making the most of the Summer months”

Networking, Blogging, Social Media – what’s the point?

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Why bother with networking, blogging and social media for business?

If you run a business there are so many things to do, all the time, and there is so much information out there about how often you should be networking, blogging and updating social media. We have written before about our networking experiences, our Virtual Angels social media is active and updated often and we regularly blog for our business. All of this takes time and when you’re on your own the sheer volume of work can seem overwhelming. Continue reading “Networking, Blogging, Social Media – what’s the point?”

Networking Adventures – part four…..

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In one of my earlier blogs I mentioned my previous fear of networking and how I didn’t think I would like it much at all, which is partly why I began this series.  To convince myself and encourage others who felt the same way to take the plunge!  While I am still a relative newcomer to networking, I am beginning to enjoy it more and more.  I have been to several new events solo, as well as my regular groups.  Networking groups come in different shapes and sizes: local area; woman only; men only; specific business; breakfast meetings, you can take your pick. While I am not a member of men only, obviously, or the breakfast meetings, much too early, the groups I do belong to are helping me to build a network of colleagues to call on for joint working or expert advice when needed. Continue reading “Networking Adventures – part four…..”

Networking adventures, part two

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It’s been a little while since I wrote my first networking adventures blog, here comes part two……………

In December 2015, I met the wonderful Heather Waring, founder of Waring Well.  Heather is a coach who combines walking with her coaching practice to inspire women, helping them to find the space they need.  Initially I met Heather to discuss public speaking, however our conversation took an unexpected turn when she told me she was looking for a VA.  The meeting quickly turned into a getting to know each other session for both of us and I am pleased to say we are now working together. Continue reading “Networking adventures, part two”

Perspective!

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Perspective is a funny thing.  I recently went on holiday with my husband and whilst we were away, he decided he wanted to go for a run. He had forgotten to bring his sports armband which allows him to run listening to music from his phone, so he borrowed mine. A fairly unremarkable event in itself! Until he returned to our apartment and I noticed he was wearing it upside down.  He’d done this because it meant the headphone cable came out of the top of the case directly up to his ears rather coming out the bottom and curving up as it does when I wear it. It had just never occurred to me to wear it the other way around. It was a mini revelation! Continue reading “Perspective!”

Networking adventures, part one

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Networking, a phrase that usually fills me with dread!  Last week, the Guardian Small Business Network posted an article that included ‘Naked Networking’, which I know would be two of my worst nightmares rolled into one!  However, one of the key things I have found since we established Virtual Angels, is that networking can be very helpful and supportive.  I have tried a few networking groups with very different results.  Over the next couple of weeks, I thought I would treat you to some of the reactions I have experienced whilst attending the different groups, as I am trialling two or three more over the coming weeks.  Then in my final blog on networking, I will list some of the ones that I have found most encouraging, signed up for and will be recommending to you. Continue reading “Networking adventures, part one”