Up Your Game With Presentation Skills Training

Presenting ideas, products and solutions are a critical part of every business professional’s workday. Yet, many subject matter experts never receive formal presentation skills training. If you are long on expertise but short on confidence…discover how to up your game right here.

In the past, Presentation skills training were only available in exclusive seminars and time-consuming corporate classes. Now that’s all changed. Many organizations have cut training. Many seminars are so expensive that they are out of reach for new employees and managers. Yet, all day every day is filled with presentations. What can you do to ace the skills without spending an arm and a leg?

A few days ago I asked Sue, a Training Manager for a global organization what she recommended. “Professional development is provided by world-class companies. But if you’re not getting the presentation skills training you need from your company, go out and get it on your own.”

Let’s face it…it’s your career on the line. If your organization has cut in-house training you must find alternatives. In fact, live trainings can be costly and time-consuming. When face-to-face trainings are essential, it’s a worthwhile investment. But for core communication skills, many companies prefer the choice and convenience of top quality on demand training.

Use these 6 criteria to select an affordable and top-notch online training. The new training hub provides unparalleled options to learn-videos, blueprints, presentations, step-by-step tutorials, so you can learn how you want.
Customers get a valuable return on investment in Presentation Storyboarding through

1. Convenience.
Make sure that it’s easy to learn anytime, anywhere-from home, office or on the road. This makes learning possible for people who would never have been able to fit a program into their crazy-busy schedules.

2. Cost savings.
Meeting and travel related expenses are dramatically reduced when live face-to-face training sessions are replaced or blended with on-demand remote training.

3. Exceptional quality.
Look for exceptional quality. Make sure that skills taught remotely are grounded in field-tested practices. Then, look for quality in videos, blueprints, presentations and tutorials. If you are evaluating an online training program for yourself and your company, look for a standard of quality that will serve your entire organization.

4. Fast skill development.
When looking for online training, you want rapid skill development. According to “Training and Development Magazine” e-learning courses progress up to 50% faster than traditional courses. This is due in part to the individual ability to focus on personally relevant issues.

5. Maximum engagement.
People learn in different ways. Pick a program where learners are free to watch videos, use blueprints, and click through presentations. Choosing how and what to learn increases exploration and drives rapid learning.

6. Self-paced learning.
Select an offering that provides bite-sized learning. Look for programs that make it easy for learners to go at their own pace, learning at their own speed. The quality programs also include self-scoring quizzes so learners can challenge themselves and test their skills.

With 6 fresh new options available for online learning, there’s no excuse not to build presentation skills. Up your game. Your professional presentation skills will take you to the top of your career.

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.

Creditors Negotiation – Debt Settlement Through Negotiation With Creditors

When you are deep in debt it is often difficult to know what action to take, no matter how desperate you are to get out of it. Taking action requires some knowledge of the specific things you can do to change your situation. Many people appear to be simply ignoring their predicament, whereas they just do not understand what the options are in terms of moving forward.

Even the briefest look at any serious debt problem should tell you that one thing that will definitely not work is to hope that it will all go away. A surprising number of people simply ignore the requests from their creditors for payment. Not being able to keep up with payments is one thing, but just not paying without any explanation to your creditors is something else. Your best hope for a long term solution is for your creditors to gain some understanding of your position of hardship and to then agree to be flexible about the terms for settling what you owe.

Creditors negotiation can be done in different ways, but one way or another it needs to happen if you are to get rid of your debts once and for all. If you have a large amount of unsecured debts to a few different creditors, then trying to negotiate a reduced settlement amount is almost certainly the best approach. You can either do this directly yourself or use a specialist company to do it for you.

The process of dealing with debt through creditors negotiation is known as debt settlement and there are many companies in the US that specialise in this area of work. In the UK that specific service is not offered because debt management companies can also provide what is called an Individual Voluntary Agreement, which is a more formal way to settle debts for less than the full amount. The alternative to using one of these companies is of course to do the negotiation directly yourself.

If you use a debt settlement company to do your creditors negotiation for you, they will approach each of your creditors in turn with the aim of coming to agreements to settle your debt in full for as little as possible. A good negotiator might typically expect a settlement of this type to be for about forty to fifty percent of the full amount. With some creditors the negotiation may only take a month or so, but with others it can take two or three years. While this happens you do not make any payments to your creditors, but put money away instead in a holding account. As the amount of money in this account grows, it is used to pay for the settlements that are agreed.

If you plan to undertake creditors negotiation yourself, you will need to have some help and advice, unless you happen to be very experienced already in this field. It is not just about being tough or good at deal making. You can only hope to achieve the kind of deals that a settlement company would get if you have a thorough understanding of how your creditors operate. Knowing how these companies treat bad debt and what their policies are for loss mitigation is what enables you to time your bargaining just right to get the maximum amount written off your debt.

The incentive for dealing with creditors negotiation yourself is that you do not need to pay anything to a debt settlement company, and so can gain the most benefit from any reductions in your debts. The fees for the best settlement companies will simply be a proportion of the amount they get written off your debts, so you cannot lose out overall. However, that can still be a substantial amount when you are dealing with large debts, so if you are able to achieve the same saving yourself, you stand to gain quite a lot.

There are lots of guides available online that claim to help you negotiate with creditors, but many of them offer very little real help, being full of banal information that you could have figured out yourself. There are a few very comprehensive guides out there, from excellent e-books to interactive learning courses, so do not just opt for the first one you come across. No guide is going to really help unless it tells you exactly what to do at each stage of the process.

If you wish to go down the debt settlement company route, you should apply to at least three companies and compare the feedback you get from these. Start off by using recommended companies so that you avoid any that may not have an appropriate record of success.