Effective Presentation – All You Need is a Good Story

I believe that with practically every communication, oral or written, our goal is to try to convince the other side of our ideas and/or to convince the other to do something that we want him to do or not to do. No wonder, your oral and written communication skills is the means to sell your products, services as well as ideas to others.

In 1989, I had an interesting experience in the company I worked in United States. It was a tremendous learning experience as it made me realize what the most vital element of our written and oral communication is. Today, I am going to share it with you.

After finishing my MBA at the University of Illinois, I joined an electronic company in Peoria. The chairman of the company, Peter Van Kampen, asked me to prepare a presentation. In order to impress Peter, I worked hard to prepare the presentation. I thought I had made a good presentation. However, when Peter saw the presentation, he didn’t say anything. Then he led me to the conference room which had a huge conference table. He then asked me to lay down the hard copies of my presentation on the conference table in the sequence that I wanted to present them. Once I had finished doing this, he asked me to make my presentation. As I made my presentation, Peter asked me probing questions at various points in my presentation. I could answer some questions while others I didn’t have an appropriate answer. This question and answer session made me realize that my presentation did not have a smooth flow. At places the sequence was not right while at others I was jumping from one thought to another without connecting the two together. The link was missing. Also, at some places, there were gaps, that is, I was reaching at conclusions without providing supporting material. In addition, I realized that I was presenting information in my presentation that was irrelevant to the topic of my presentation. Last but not the least, there was redundant information in my presentation, that is, information which was relevant to the topic but not necessary to prove my point. I did not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the above factors were not only making my presentation confusing, difficult to understand and unusually long but also eroded the credibility of my argument. Net result – my presentation was not convincing.

Peter made a few valid suggestions. First, he told me that I should ensure that my presentation was sequential, that is, the various points of my presentation should be presented in a proper sequence for a smooth flow. It is essential to figure out what should come before and what should come after. Usually, we all have the necessary information about the topic of our presentation but we do not take care to arrange them in a proper sequence. Peter assisted me in rearranging the sequence of some of the slides. I was amazed to see the difference it made in my presentation.

Second, Peter told me that I should make my presentation logical. He suggested to me that I need to present supporting material before I arrive at certain conclusions. He made me fill in some of the gaps with slides that provided the reasoning behind my conclusions.

Third, he said that I should ensure that my presentation flows smoothly. One cannot jump from one point to another without providing a smooth transition or link or without connecting the two. As such, I change a few words and added a couple of extra slides to ensure a smooth flow from one point to another as well as from one slide to another.

Fourth, Peter advised me to make my presentation more focused. He told me that my presentation was confusing and unnecessarily long because I had included irrelevant and redundant material in my presentation. Practically all of us invariably end up adding more and more information into our presentation so as to impress the audience. Usually, most of the excessive information is either redundant or irrelevant. I implemented Peter’s suggestions. I first removed the slides which contained irrelevant and redundant material.

Most of us have a habit of including as many points or arguments that we can think of in out presentation. First, this is done to impress the audience. Second, with this shotgun approach, you are hoping that at least some of the points will convince the other side of your ideas. Even though, you may have 50 points to support your idea but the important thing is to identify few vital ones that will sell your idea to the audience.

Even though, Peter did not use the word “Story” while discussing my presentation, I realized that his comments were indirectly suggesting to me that the story of my presentation was not convincing. After I implemented the changes suggested by Peter, my presentation improved dramatically. The presentation not only became focused, clear, easily understandable and convincing but it also became short.

I realized what was wrong with my original presentation. I did not have my “story” right. This happened in 1985 but the experience taught me an important lesson which I doubt I will ever forget. Now in all my communication, written or oral, I make sure that my story is right. It not only flows smoothly but is also logical, sequential and focused. I can honestly say that this experience has been instrumental in making me a better writer. Today, I run an advertising agency and take care of all copywriting. I have also written five books, a number of articles and management case studies.

I am convinced beyond any doubt that while communicating our ideas, whether orally or in writing, the key to convincing others is to tell a logical and convincing story. Every written piece, whether it is an advertisement, brochure, letter, research paper, book, essay, article, business proposal or a report should have a logical and convincing story to tell. Needless to say, you also need a logical and convincing story while making a presentation or giving a speech or conducting a seminar / training programme.

It does not matter where you start your story. Wherever you start, make sure that from that point onwards your story is logical, sequential, focused and does not contain any irrelevant and redundant material.

So remember, while presenting your ideas orally or in writing, always focus on building an effective and convincing story.

Debt Negotiations Programs – Why Creditors Are Making More Debt Settlement Deals? Part 2

There is no doubt that the debt negotiation programs are can be considered as blessings for credit card debtors because they are enabling them to come out form the deep pools of unsecured debts. Debt negotiation programs are giving new hopes to the debtors and now they can not only get rid of their massive unsecured debts but they can also bring stability in their disturbed life in a very short span of time. Debtors must understand and comprehend some favorable factors due to which not only the federal government is ready to help debtors but also credit card companies i.e. creditors are ready to make more debt settlement deals. It is very important to understand because once you grab such weaknesses of creditors, you can better negotiate your massive debts as their weaknesses become your strengths.

Through the debt negotiation programs you can not only exploit the debt relief programs but also the weaknesses of your creditors. You must know that your creditors are passing through the most difficult time as they are facing fierce threats of foreclosures due to debtors’ inabilities of debt repayments. They are experiencing the bitterest days of their existence and they don’t want to become default. They are ready to negotiate massive debts with their consumers because through this they can at least recover some amount of their money. Debt negotiation programs are making an environment of negotiation in which both debtors and creditors can negotiate massive unsecured liabilities and can reach at mutually agreed conclusions which will surely be in favor of credit card debtors.

You must force your creditors for maximum debt elimination and if they refuse to do so then you must use your bankruptcy threats as they don’t want to lose their money that’s why they certainly agree with you for massive reduction in your liabilities. If you face difficultly in negotiating with your creditors effectively then you may seek assistance of the debt settlement companies. These companies are expert in dealing the negotiation matters and they always bring positive results for their clients that’s why their reputation in escalating by each passing day.

Men’s Presents and the Bathurst 1000

Fans of V8 super cars rank the Bathurst 1000 as the utmost of races in Australian motorsports. The Bathurst 1000 draws crowds from fields afar for this spectacular racing event. There are many more knowledgeable people on the actual cars of the Bathurst 1000 than I, but when looking at some mens presents the other day with names such as Hardie Ferodo 500 emblazoned on them, I decided it was time to explore further the history behind such names and the heros behind them.

Significance and History of the Name:
Beginning at Phillip Island as the 1960 Armstrong 500, the 500 mile race, while comparing which makes had the best combinations of speed, ability, and dependability, also held an opportunity for Armstrong to advertise its products, particularly its shock absorbers.

After only three years of use, the track at Phillip Island was worn down and not suitable for racing, so in 1963 the race was moved to the Mount Panorama track in Bathurst, NSW. (for those who may be interested, the Mount Panorama track is aptly named due to the incredible view overlooking the fields around it!) Over the years the race has changed names due to sponsorships, most recently being termed the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, but the legendary merchandise of mens presents still has names such as Hardie Ferodo 500 and Armstrong 500 emblazoned on it.

Cars of the Bathurst 1000:
In the beginnings, the 1960 Armstrong 500 was specifically for only Australian made cars, whereas now it has branched out and included cars such as Nissan, Ford, and the BMW. Holden and Ford still hold the significant titles, and the Big Bangers have gone down in history.

Famous Names of the Bathurst 1000:
While Holden ranks for the highest number of wins for the car make, there are some drivers’ names that have gone down in history as legends of the Bathurst race. Names such as Peter Brock, Bob Jane, and Jim Richards have become household names amongst car racing fans. Why is this so? Peter Brock rightfully earned the title King of the Mountain due to his nine victories, and winners of the Bathurst 1000 now receive the Peter Brock Trophy in honour of this legend. Bob Jane, most commonly known to the general people for his national tyre company, won four successive races, giving him an excellent foundation for his entrepreneurial endeavours in starting his automotive businesses. And Jim Richards? Well, since his beginnings in 1978 until the present day, he still holds the record for the most starts in the race – 35. He has also won the race 7 on seven occasions. Though not as highly ranking as the first three drivers named, Allan Moffat deserves a mention. A Canadian-born man, Moffat is Ford’s most successful driver in the race and in 1977 won his fourth Bathurst 1000.

While this only barely touches on the significance of the Bathurst 1000 in the world of motor sports, I have attempted to give an overview of one of the greatest races in Australian motorsports and explore the significance of some of those legendary titles I saw on various mens presents – the titles that will be remembered down through the years of motor racing.