Presentation Skills – Be Prepared for Diverse Audiences

Why were arrows painted on the ceiling? I was speaking at a conference in Malaysia and every meeting room in the hotel had an arrow painted on the ceiling. I could not figure out why. To add to the mystery, every arrow pointed in the same direction.

I asked one of the hotel staff. He said the arrows pointed towards Mecca so Muslims could face in the proper direction during prayers held several times a day. Since Malaysia was a predominately Muslim country every hotel meeting room had these arrows painted on the ceilings.

Before my training session one of my participants asked to take breaks at specific times of the day so she could pray. I said, “Yes, of course” and had the breaks timed appropriately.

The point of these stories is: cultural awareness is crucial when training diverse audiences.

Now, you don’t have to go to another country to recognize diversity. For example, another speaker told me about a seminar held for some visiting executives from Japan. He said the Japanese visitors were sitting with their eyes closed, bodies motionless and their heads down. It looked like they were sleeping. Such body language is a sign of deep concentration and respect in Japan. It’s as if the Japanese are meditating upon the wisdom of what is being said.

Some speakers would not know that. Instead, they would try to “wake them up” by talking louder or jumping around the stage. But this speaker knew his audience. He appreciated the respect shown by these visiting Japanese executives. In return, he paid them the respect of continuing his presentation without any loud antics.

You need to prepare for a diverse audience. We work in a multi-cultural society where speakers need to respect the diversity of their co-workers and clients. So before you give your next presentation, ask yourself, “How can I the diversity in my audience?” Do your research and prepare accordingly.

Keys to a Successful Sales Presentation

Everyone has to make a sales presentation at one point in their life. Whether it’s for a class presentation, a job interview, or trying to sell a product or service almost everyone will have to present to a live audience. Obviously, it is very important to be a good public speaker. Whether you are trying to get a good grade in a class, get a new job, or make a sale; you only get one shot to impress your audience. In this article we are going to discuss some of the key characteristics of a successful sales presentation.

One of the first things we will discuss is to make sure you know your audience. It is very important to know who you are presenting in front of. You can tailor your message accordingly depending on your audience. Are you presenting in front of a class of students or a panel of directors to try and get a job? The content of your presentation should be altered accordingly.

Once you know who you are presenting in front of you should decide if you need to create a PowerPoint presentation to go along with your presentation. In most situations a PowerPoint can help you gain the attention of your audience and keep them focused on your slides. They are very professional tools and used in most sales presentations. Of course, you probably would not create a PowerPoint when applying for a new job.

Now, let’s talk about the actual presentation itself. First, make sure you are dressed professionally and come prepared. Make sure you have your index cards in hand and your PowerPoint presentation ready. You want to speak slowly and clearly so everyone can hear you. If you have anything to pass out to your audience do it at the end so they aren’t focused on it while you are presenting. Your content should be well structured including a beginning, middle, and end. If you are selling a product or service make sure to ask for the sale. Always allow time at the end of the presentation for the audience to ask questions.

As you can see there are many factors to consider when giving a sales presentation. Be professional, know your audience, and use a PowerPoint in most circumstances. Make sure your content is relevant to your topic and your audience. Keep in mind how long your presentation is and try to stay within a 15 minute timeframe. Most importantly, ask for the sale and make sure to leave enough time at the end for a question and answer session.

Presentation Essentials

In the competitive world, corporations crave agility, efficiency and continuous improvements in work processes. A business organization competes with another to project a positive image before the world. The contention between private or government organizations is in terms of profit, business deals and corporate image. A company interacts with shareholders, customers, government and media. In this whole process, its professionals have to give various presentations. These can be oral or multimedia presentations. Multimedia presentation is highly preferred in today’s world of high technology. A Power Point presentation displays information in the form of slide show. It has three major functions: The text can be inserted and formatted. It has a slide-show system to display the content. Graphic images can be inserted and manipulated. Various sounds too can be manipulated.

In order to make effective presentation, one needs to consider few points:

Conduct extensive research on the topic. All aspects of the topic should be covered. Try to cover related topics too. This is time consuming. However, it it really prepares you answer all sorts of questions of your audiences. It does not matter if you cannot answer few of the questions. You must learn to say ‘no’ and say that you will find out rather than giving false answers. An image has a story to convey. Therefore, use visual aids where the subject requires. Pictures, graphs, tables, props can be used. You should never mismatch an image and the text. Write mainly in bullet points. A viewer can grasp more and better when the information presented is short in length. Each slide should not be crammed with information and graphics or any other type of visual. Sound can also be added as effects. However, the sound should also match the theme or subject matter of the text. After preparing the presentation, you must rehearse as much as you can. This activity boosts up your confidence as you know what to speak next and how to do that.

These are few factors that should be kept in mind. In order to make your task easier, a slide show designer is also available. The tool prepares attractive slide shows with a flash. It is economical too. There are many good companies that manufacture and offer such program. You only need to ensure about its usability and cost factor. The company should have twenty-four hour technical and customer support. It should be having its physical address. It should be a certified one. If you invest some time in presentation points and certain tools you will be able to make effective presentations in future.