Magazine article Business Credit

How to Make Presentations during Uncertain Economic Times. (Personal Outlook)

Magazine article Business Credit

How to Make Presentations during Uncertain Economic Times. (Personal Outlook)

Article excerpt

Regardless of your profession, whether you are a sales associate, marketing guru, attorney or CEO, you give presentations in various capacities. You may speak to a small group of co-workers at a staff meeting; you may address team members during a strategy meeting; or you may attempt to persuade a corporate client to hire you. Whether formal or informal, presentations are a way of life for all professionals.

While your ability to speak effectively to groups is always a critical component of success, it takes on added significance when the economy is tight. A CEO who seeks to motivate employees may find it significantly more difficult if potential layoffs loom in the background. Less available corporate funds mean fewer sales presentations for the marketing company that easily prospered during "good" times. Finding customers for your products or services becomes more difficult as budgets are tightened and discretionary money disappears. In a phrase, tougher financial times translate into tougher audiences.

In order to thrive in a tight market, you need to make the most of each presentation opportunity. The message you present to customers, co-workers, board members and colleagues must impact them in a way that transcends their financial apprehensions and persuades them to do business with you and your organization. Below are some ways to make your next presentation one that stands out in today's marketplace.

Take advantage of every speaking opportunity

The moment you rise to speak, you assume a position of leadership; and the more you speak, the more credibility you will gain. If there's a message you want your employees to hear, don't send it in an e-mail or have a representative make the announcement for you. Even if the news is not good, use the meeting as an opportunity to stress the positive aspects of the event. Likewise, if a customer wants a bid on a project, don't fax one to your contact. Instead, present your quote verbally and in person. While your bid may not be the winning one, the presentation you give will stand out in the client's mind and make you a natural choice for future business. Those who separate themselves from the crowd and keep themselves in constant view will rise to the top and succeed.

Speak with passion to inspire others

When someone has limited funds or is in preparation for a negative event, inspiring that person to choose you or do some other action is more difficult than under normal circumstances. In fact, it is virtually impossible to inspire others if you are not personally committed to your topic. Therefore, it's imperative that every presentation you give excites you as much as you want it to excite your audience. Whatever you want them to do, there is a better chance they will do it if you show that you are passionate about your subject. Your voice, your gestures and your body language all must exude passion in order for others to feel it. When you speak with passion, you will inspire others.

Practice and practice again

During a tight economy, people must scrutinize every decision. One wrong move could cost them their business. If you want your presentation to be the most memorable and impacting, rehearse what you are going to say again and again. The more familiar you become with your material, the easier it will flow. The more comfortable you feel with your words, the more naturally you will make your presentation. That's why good presenters practice regularly. In order to practice effectively, rehearse in front of a minor and gauge your performance. …

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