Present Your Message with Power and Pizzazz

If you’re ready to kick your career or business up to the next level, then make it a goal to become a powerful presenter. People view savvy communicators as being more capable, intelligent, and knowledgeable than those individuals who have difficulty in communicating their ideas. You can quickly gain the status of an expert in your field when you are able to present your ideas effectively.

Although many things go into giving a successful talk, I’d like to focus on one area that is very easy to apply – using body movements and gestures. When you use body movements and gestures appropriately, your presentation takes on a certain sense of aliveness that is often hard to accomplish when you use words alone.

Harness the Power of Gestures

Gestures include your posture, the movement of your eyes, hands, face, arms and head, as well as your entire body. They help to support or reinforce a particular thought or emotion. If our gestures support our statements, we are communicating with a second sense. People tend to understand and remember messages better when more than one sense is reached.

Winston Churchill was a master at using gestures to powerfully bring home his point. During World War II, Churchill rallied the citizens of Great Britain to continue their fight against overwhelming odds. He often visited the neighborhoods of London, which had been devastated by bombs and walked through them with his fingers held up in the sign of a “V”. This victory sign accompanied his famous message, “Never give in. Never, never, never give in.” This gesture so powerfully communicated Churchill’s message that soon people gained greater resolve to continue fighting whenever they saw the victory sign.

Another reason that using appropriate gestures is so critical to your presentation is that communication does not just consist of words. Less than 10% of the words we use in speaking gets through to others. On the other hand, over 55% of our body language is communicated to others very clearly. Whether you are trying to sell your product or service to a client or you are trying to persuade a group of people to change their behavior, it is critical that your words and gestures match. Many people have sabotaged their messages because their words were saying one thing, while their bodies were saying the exact opposite.

Can you think of a time when someone told you that he would be able to do something while his head was shaking no? Which did you believe, the words or the gesture? When your body movements are congruent with your words, your message will have a very powerful impact on your audience.

Make the Most Out of Movements

People will begin to make judgments about you as soon as you stand up. The time to begin using effective body movements is when you walk to your position in front of a group. Stand up tall and walk with a strong posture. Let your body communicate that you have something important to say and the audience needs to hear it. If your posture is slouched, they will feel that you aren’t convinced about your message and they will begin doubting you before you have uttered a single word.

When you get to the front, take a deep breath, calmly look at your entire audience and smile. One of the biggest mistakes presenters make is to begin talking as soon as they get up to the front, or even worse, as they are walking there. When you take time to look at your audience before you speak, you begin to establish that critical connection with them. You also give the audience sufficient time to focus on you and what you are about to say.

Look directly at the faces of your audience members, not over their heads. Eye contact is one of the most important aspects of speaking. An easy way to get over stage fright is to look at the faces of individual audience members and just talk to that one person instead of the entire audience. Rotate the people you talk to – someone on the left, someone towards the middle, a person on the right, someone in the front, etc. This will help you maintain rapport with the entire group, while allowing you to feel at ease.

A further advantage of maintaining good eye contact is that it will help you gauge how your message is coming across to the group. If you are trying to explain something and members of the audience give you blank stares, then you need to adjust your words so they can better understand you.

Use Conversational Gestures

Like Winston Churchill, you should strive to incorporate gestures into your talk. People naturally use gestures in conversations. They are not on the spot, so they easily move their arms and hands and make facial expressions to illustrate the points they are trying to make. However, an amazing thing happens when people stand up in front of a group to speak. They suddenly think, “Oh no! What am I going to do with these things attached to my shoulders?” and they either don’t move them at all or they move them awkwardly. Gestures should be a natural extension of who we are. Presenters should strive to be themselves. They should be as spontaneous with their movements as if they were talking to their family or friends.

Practice Makes Natural

A good way to be comfortable with gestures is to know your speech well. Several of the most outstanding speakers offer the same piece of advice: “The key to effectively using gestures is to know your material so well, to be so well prepared, that your gestures will flow naturally.” Practice your speech and know it well so that you can enjoy sharing your message with others.

Become a master at using your body to support your words. Have fun with gestures, be yourself, and you will certainly present your message with power and pizzazz.

How Promotional Products Can Help Boost Sales

Promotional products are an ingenious way to promote a brand, boost business, and increase market share, customer trust and employee satisfaction. The best and rightly selected promotional product has a greater impact on the customers when compared to other modes of advertisements through television and print media.
Promotional products have various crucial roles in boosting sales of your business.

• Increases ROI
• Sales Promotion
• Customer acquisition
• Customer retention
• Customer Satisfaction
• Gains customer Loyalty
• Increasing Brand Awareness

Increases Return on Investment

The cost of advertisements in TV and newspapers are much large compared to promotional product marketing. Moreover, promotional items bring about higher CPI (Cost per Impression) when compared to other media advertisements. Promotional products are the only inexpensive yet effective means that generates better ROI. Higher ROI is achieved through less money, repeated exposure, new customers, and repeated purchase.

Customer Acquisition and retention

In a competitive scenario, to stay ahead of all other competitors, it is important to build up a brand opinion, trust, and persuade customers to choose our products over others. While using such items, the customers see or use them repeatedly and refer others to use the brand for the sake of mere usability. As per PPAI 2009, 60% of customers used the promotional items several times. 7.6% of them made others to use the product and 4.4% of them gave the products to others. This process brings in new customers. This way of repeated impression eventually increases sales.

Customer satisfaction

The main advantages of products over advertisements through newspapers and magazines are that they are only one way. The customer is not benefited materialistically in other media advertisements. This satisfies the customers in terms of materialistic possession.

Customer Loyalty

A high quality promotional product with a great visibility, usage, and durability reminds the brand or the product well ahead of all other medium. These type of products also help recall the message sent through them. The usefulness of the product grows to become a long-term remainder of the product. Promotional products increase:

• Advertisement’s honesty
• Concept towards the product or brand
• Attitude towards the sales product or brand
• Objective to purchase
• Recommendation to try or purchase the brand or product

Brand Awareness

According to the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), out of the customers who received promotional products, about 76% of them could recollect the name of the brand or the product even after several years. This higher recognition of the brand is achieved only in case of these products. This statistic clearly states that promotional items are the best cost effective means of increasing sales and brand awareness.

Sales Promotion

Brand recognition, loyalty and trust, attraction, repeat purchase, new customers, and ultimately, increased traffic in business boosts the sales of your products. To make a customer purchase a item and then make repeat purchases is more achievable using promotional items. About 20.9% of people purchase a product after using the promotional items, whereas only 13.4%, 7.1%, and 4.6% of people purchased the product after viewing advertisements in print media, TV and online advertisements respectively. In fact, according to the PPAI, about 84% of the people believe that promotional items are very effective in boosting sales.

7 Steps For a Successful Presentation

Public speaking is fun, and can be very rewarding with the proper preparation. The following steps will help you breeze through your next presentation.

1. Prepare well. Do your research, and develop a checklist of your needs. You’ll include the usual items (laptop and projector, for example), but don’t forget a marker and/or pointer, your reading glasses, and other details. Don’t rely on memory. It’s too easy to forget those things.

2. Anticipate questions from the audience. You can’t plan for all, but answers to a half dozen or so of the most likely questions should be committed to memory.

3. Develop notes or a script, especially if you’re not using PowerPoint. Don’t try to wing it. Notes keep you on message and help keep you on time. An outline format works best.

4. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. I can’t emphasize this enough. Try to get your material down cold. This will maximize your eye contact and create a more natural, conversational tone. Practice responding to the questions you listed in Step 2, especially if you’ll be nervous during the presentation. By practicing, your answers will sound more natural and confident.

Record yourself, if possible. Listen for any glitches (um’s, ah’s, you know’s), as well as any other speech patterns that should be corrected.

5. Arrive early. This gives you a chance to get accustomed to the room and test your equipment a final time. You can set up the presentation area to your liking, and acclimate yourself to any distractions, such as outside noise, poor lighting and odd acoustics. Mingle with the audience for a bit. That will help settle any jitters.

6. Don’t let a mistake bother you. Everyone slips up on occasion. Plow on. If you forget something, try to come back to the point, or skip it. Your audience will never know what they didn’t hear. If it’s a more obvious glitch – say, you bump into something – mutter an “oops” and move on. Don’t dwell on it, as that will just draw attention to the error and make you feel more uncomfortable.

7. Speak frequently. To maintain your edge, get out and speak whenever possible. Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions clubs, among other groups, need speakers on a regular basis. They enjoy a variety of subject matter, so don’t feel you’re confined to business-related topics. I’ve spoken about amateur radio; what hobbies can you talk about for 20 minutes or so?

Seminars and other presentations help you refine your communication skills and enhance your professional development. Take advantage of any opportunity to speak before an audience. You’ll enjoy the experience.