Should You Eat Before Giving a Presentation?

The question of whether you should eat before speaking is very individual. Some people want to eat – others don’t. By the way, you are not alone in this dilemma. Most professional athletes, stage actors, and musicians do not eat a large meal before performing.

There have certainly been times in the past when I’ve been teaching a private session on an empty stomach and my stomach started to growl. In a situation like this, it is a good idea to have some type of snack food available like a granola bar or some fruit that you can nibble on; however, when it comes to the speech or presentation, chomping on an apple is not in the picture.

The real question is the big presentation in front of the microphone or standing at the head of the boardroom table. Good microphones today can pick up a lot of sound, especially in close range. On the other hand, if you are at the head of the boardroom table, those sitting to your immediate left and right will hear every sound your body makes.

You should definitely have something in your stomach so that it doesn’t growl during your performance; however, the last thing you want is too much in there. Feeling full is not good when your nervousness is at its height. If you feel like you could unbutton the top button of your trousers, pants or skirt or need to unloosen your belt, you definitely overdid it.

Remember, too much food in the stomach can produce undesired audio results as well as too little!

Eating a few hours before you speak is ideal. But what happens when you are the after-dinner speaker and they have the place of honor for you in the center of the dais?

Eat lightly.
Forego dessert.
And
Do Not Drink Alcohol.

While you may think that you can handle a drink before speaking or that it may help to relax you, I beg to differ. When you drink, you lose your edge. The last thing you want in public speaking is feeling too relaxed. You need to be sharp, clear, crystallized. Alcohol allows for none of that. It dulls the senses. So stay away from liquor. Instead, drink water, coffee, tea or juice. Avoid milk products as well because they create extra phlegm. Excessive clearing of the throat while speaking is annoying and hard on your vocal folds (cords) as well.

The best advice I can give is to use common sense in your choice of foods; have something in your stomach so that you are not starving; and save your dessert for afterwards.

Christmas Presents For Men

Trying to find just the right gift can be a challenge when you aren’t shopping for yourself. One group that often stumps women is how to shop for the men in their life whether it be a boyfriend, husband, brother or even dad. This is perfectly understandable as we all know that men and women are different making it sometimes difficult to know what the other gender likes. So to help give you some ideas on what may be just the right gift for the men in your life, we have picked out several good ideas that may be just the right gift idea you are looking for.

Kindle

First up is the Kindle. The Kindle is a wireless reading device that can upload hundreds of books, magazines, and newspapers. This one works great for those who like to read and is perfect for those who travel. This lightweight device is much more practical and comfortable to take with you rather than carrying around a stack of books. In addition, it has a service in it that allows you to get books immediately uploaded to the device regardless of the location. This service is a nice little feature than can help people save extra time.

Rubik’s Touchcube

The Rubik’s Touchcube is another choice will be popular with people of ages. Just about everyone is familiar with the original version, so there will already be a healthy amount of curiosity concerning this one. They will be impressed to see it has been upgraded with a touch screen that allows you to make moves simply by swiping your finger across it. This one also has some other features the original doesn’t like sound effects, an option to show you the next move you should make, and even an option that will complete the Rubik’s touchcube for you. Not to mention, this one also looks really cool even while charging. We bet this one will be a popular choice this fall.

Tickets to Sporting Events

As most women may already know, many guys are addicted to sports. This is one reason why getting tickets to sporting events can make a great gift idea. Since the gift giving will be done around Christmas, popular choices could include College Football bowl tickets, Pro Bowl tickets, NBA floor seat tickets, Hockey Tickets, etc. Ideally, you should pick the sport that he most enjoys. Even if it is a little out of season like for soccer or baseball, you still should get the tickets he would enjoy watching and seeing the game. His enjoyment of the tickets may be delayed slightly, but he will certainly appreciate the gesture and be looking forward to that date.

Tools and Hobbies

Some stereotypes are there for a reason. One is that a lot of guys really enjoy certain hobbies and tools. This is very true especially for the older generation. A great new drill or tool set can be a perfect gift for dad or those who are handy. In addition, giving them gifts in their hobby can also be great because it shows that you are aware of what they like. Therefore, if they are into biking, a new bicycle or other equipment can work great. The key is to find something that they will like and try to avoid getting too micro in the buying decision to ensure they are more likely use it and enjoy it. One easy way of finding out what they like is to ask them about their current equipment and what they would like to have and why. This is a fairly innocuous way for finding out what are on their wish list. 

Using these choices above, you would have a solid group of Christmas presents for men. However, don’t’ think for a minute that these are the only good ones.

How to Create a Default Presentation

Normally when you start PowerPoint, you can choose between creating a new blank presentation or a presentation based on one of the included templates. But suppose the default blank presentation is simply too boring for words (suppose? SUPPOSE? It IS too boring for words!). And further suppose that you want to base all new presentations on a template of your own design automatically. You can. Magic? No, just a matter of knowing a simple little trick: PowerPoint’s “blank” presentation is actually a template file; if you create a replacement for it–one that uses your own custom formatting–it will use your template in place of the default blank presentation.

Here’s how: Start PowerPoint and open a new presentation. It’ll save some work if you base it on an existing template that’s fairly close to what you want to end up with for your custom template. Set the defaults you want to include with each new presentation. You can set defaults for Slide Size and Orientation (File, Page Setup); color scheme; colors for fill, line, shadow, and text; text styles; the formatting for Title and Text placeholders on the Slide Master; and so on. And of course, you can include any background graphics you want on the Slide and Title Masters.

Once you’ve got everything just the way you want it, choose File, Save As. Select Design Template (*.pot) in the Save As Type list box. Name the presentation

Blank Presentation.pot

and click Save. PowerPoint will automatically choose the correct folder for this file, so let it; if you change the folder, it may not be able to locate and use it later.

Now close the file and choose File, New. One of the available templates in the General tab of the New Presentation dialog box will be Blank Presentation.pot. That’s YOUR new Blank Presentation.pot. Choose it and enjoy your new default template.

How to Choose Presents for Fathers of the Bride?

For almost all of the parents, the wedding of their daughter or son is one of the most important things in their lives. More often, sending special or thoughtful presents to them is traditional custom. Unlike the presents for other members of the bridal party like the groomsmen, bridesmaids, the gifts for the parents should be creative and special and the parents will often keep the presents for quite a long time. This article will share with you some suggestions on buying proper gifts for the fathers of the bride.

Most of the time, a valuable pocket watch will be a good choice for the fathers. You may choose the one that can be collected for better value or you may select one the one that has a classic timepiece for them to keep for a long time. You may also add the initials of the father or a good poem for the father. This will make this gift be more valuable and creative.

Preparing a pair of special cuff links or a creative photo for the father of the bride can also be a good choice. If you choose to make some special cuff links as the present, you should add some creativity to them. For example, you may monogram some words like the father of the bride or the abbreviations of the name of the father into the cuff links. If you choose to make a photo the gift, you should try to find a photo which can highlights the wonderful time of the daughter and her father and make an elegant frame for the photo to make it look more beautiful.

If you know the interests of the father very well, you may choose a present according to his interests or hobbies. For example, you may give a VIP card of a golf club if the father likes playing golf. If you do not sure about the hobbies of the father, you may select a handkerchief which has the same color as the wedding colors. Or you may also choose to make some beautiful pictures like the photo of the bride and her father.

Designing Your Custom Presentation Folder

If you have decided to incorporate the use of a professional presentation folder for your business, you have made a great choice in the way you choose to use your advertising dollars to help promote your business image. Designing your folder in a manner that incorporates your business philosophy while highlighting your products and services is imperative – you can make a statement using presentation folders that makes your business stand out to potential clients and customers.

Before you begin to customize the design of your presentation folder, you should make careful consideration of the following.

o The material that you wish to include in the presentation, including brochures, documents, applications, and more. Be sure to include the best representation of what you are offering. This is your one chance to get across to the customer. Choose those pieces which best reflect your company.

o Decide whether you wish to include a video DVD or audio CD that represents the products or services being offered. If you have a standard disc that you normally use to promote your company, now is the time to get it into the hands of those who might be your clients in the future. You can customize your presentation folder with slits to hold DVDs or CDs, on one or both flaps inside.

o Including your business card for ease of contact. Again, custom slits can be created in your presentation folder that allows you to place your business card in a prominent area where the recipient of the folder can quickly contact you or your company.

o If your company has a specific color that they identify with items such as letterhead and other mailings, choose a color or colors that compliment that. This gives continuity to any correspondence between you and the client in the future, and becomes something that identifies you from the crowd of competition. Choose a color that goes well with the design of your company logo.

o Determine whether your current company logo will be printed on the front or the front and back of your presentation folder, or if you also want to incorporate your logo on the inside flaps. Be certain to not overdo the presentation folder by adding too many logos or graphics. You may want to go with your logo on the front, your motto on the back or flaps. Your motto should clearly state your business philosophy or goal. You can also place mottos on your inside flaps.

o You may want a glossy finish to your presentation folder. This makes your presentation folder look more distinguished, stylish, and classy. It also makes it stand out from duller counterparts that might have been submitted by your competitors.

o Take into account the size of presentation folder that you need to fully accommodate what you are planning to place inside. Allow room for all items; using a presentation folder that is too small for your materials represents your company as looking cheap.

o Order as many presentation folders as you will need for the current campaign or project that you are working on. It is less expensive to order in bulk, and upfront. If you have to reorder, you may be paying for services that you paid for on your original order again.

Five Surefire Ways to Sabotage Your Next Sales Presentation – Simple Steps to Crashing and Burning

Preparing for that big sales presentation next week? If you’re looking for a can’t-miss way to really screw up, follow these five surefire steps to failure. One or two of them should work fine, but if you’re shooting for an unforgettable crash-and-burn experience, try all five.

General Unpreparedness

One big mistake many people make when approaching a sales call or a presentation is lack of preparation. They think, “Oh, I can just wing it; no one will ever know the difference.” Well, think again. If you’re unprepared, people will know.

Improper Grammar

Nothing turns off a potential customer like a dreadful command of the English language. Of course, you could get lucky and your prospective client’s grasp of the language could be worse than yours.

If you really want to mess up your chances at success, practice these lines: “Me and my colleague are going to tell you why you need our product.” “Myself and my partners have been in this business for years.” “Him and me can answer all your questions in a moment.”

Spelling Gaffes

If you’ve just printed five dozen handouts for a presentation or – worse – spent half of the company’s marketing budget on ten thousand copies of a brand-new brochure, only to notice they’re loaded with spelling errors, you’ve got problems. If you think, “Oh, I’m sure no one will notice that teensy error,” you’re wrong. People do notice. Maybe not all of them… but many of them will. And that reflects badly on you – and your company.

Distracting Vocalized Pauses

When listening to someone speak, few things are as annoying as vocalized pauses. I mean, they’re like, you know, really annoying. They make you like wonder if, um, the speaker like really knows what he’s like talking about… ya know? Trying to Be Someone You’re Not

Attempting to sound “down with da homies” is fine if you’re hanging out on street corners with your posse or spending your time in hip-hop clubs and after-hours venues – not when you’re trying to woo a new client.

To avoid these pitfalls, follow these five suggestions – and get ready to knock the ball out of the park at your next sales presentation!

Be Prepared

There’s something to that Boy Scout motto. If you waltz in to that boardroom cold, you’re going to leave in disgrace, with your tail between your legs… and without a signed contract. Take the time to know with whom you’re meeting; that includes having the correct spelling of the company name – and, for goodness’ sake, know the names of the people you’ll be presenting to. How embarrassing is it to call the Director of New Business Acquisition Bob or Henry because you didn’t take the time to double check that tiny detail that his name is actually John? How much more mortifying is it for your PowerPoint presentation (which otherwise looks great, by the way) to consistently show the name of the target company spelled incorrectly?

Speak Well – And Correctly

If you want your verbal presentation to shine, consider taking a business English course through a local adult-education program. Or check online for someone who can offer language-skills training. Often, you can arrange a corporate rate for these sessions, so your entire outside-sales team can participate in the training experience.

Check Your Work

Don’t gloss over even the most minor spelling errors. One of the biggest mistakes business people make is failing to proofread their marketing collateral before they forge ahead in a dizzy rush to get them printed and distributed. Take the time to ensure everything is correct – and that includes your company name, phone number and web address.

Make Every Word Count

Well in advance, make a video recording of your presentation – and then review it. Listen to your speech patterns; recognize when you tend to insert vocalized pauses, and realize they’re nothing more than crutches. You don’t need to rely on these vocal crutches. If you’ve hit a mental wall or lost your train of though, don’t fill the space with an “um” or an “uh” or a “ya know.” Practice your verbal presentation until you’re comfortable with its content. Know what you’re going to say – but don’t sound robotic and over rehearsed. As you begin to feel more comfortable with your words, they’ll flow more easily and you can eliminate the vocalized pauses from your speech altogether.

Look & Act the Part

If you’re trying to present a professional image to grownups with real jobs and real money to spend, lose the street lingo and ditch the ‘tude. It may not bode well for your “street cred,” but projecting a polished personal image will take you much further in the boardroom.

If you follow these five recommendations, your next presentation will take you further than you could have expected or envisioned.

Presentation Printing – The Benefits of Online Printing

When printing and binding a presentation, have you ever wondered if there was a better way? A printing company different from every local copy shop, somewhere that could provide you with a high-end service? For high quality presentation printing an online printer may be exactly what you are looking for.

Most people, when creating a presentation, want to keep editing for as long as possible. The need to travel to the local print shop, wait in line, talk to the printer behind the counter, leave your print files, come back to the print shop, check the presentations for errors, and bring the presentations back to your office forced you to be done with the presentation well before the last minute. However with online printing you can remove almost all of those steps. Now simply go online and upload your print files. Most online printers will bring up a document builder where you can design your document, choose paper stock and even binding type. Then hit print and the documents will be delivered to you. The time it takes for the online printer to print and deliver the document varies printer to printer, but some can deliver as fast as 2 day or even next day.

Online printing is not just a fast alternative to the local print shop. Very often an online printer will actually have a higher quality selection and produce higher quality documents. Arguably more important, local print shops rely on poorly trained employees to create your documents. This often causes mistakes in the print jobs. Online printers have employees who do nothing but print, which causes much higher error-free rates.

Interested? Go online and examine these online printers for yourself. If you find a company that interests you, ask for a test job. This will allow you to see the quality first hand and let you decide if online printing is for you.

Aristotle and Presentation Skills in 21st Century

Ok, what does a Greek philosopher born in 384 BC have to do with corporate presentation skills in the 21st century?

Well, I didn’t know until someone asked me a perplexing question during one of my presentation skills workshop.

“Raj, why do some people with pathetic presentation skills still manage to hold the crowds in whereas we are supposed to hone our skills using techniques and methods?”

Good question!

I looked back at some speakers that I really admired and thought that this gentleman was right in asking this question, there are a lot of presenters whom I admire and yet they have horrendous presentation skills. So, if these people are still effective, what’s the point in teaching people these skills?

The other question that pops out of this is far more important: What makes these people such great presenters that they can hold me riveted without even the essential skills.

The answer to this question came from highly unlikely quarters.

Aristotle the Greek philosopher in his rhetoric says that there are three ways in which you can persuade people to your way of thinking.

The first one is Logos, which signifies logic.
This means that you can persuade people if you appeal to them logically. Which means that if you add enough factual data to appeal to the logical side of people in your presentation you can make a really strong point.

The second way is Pathos, which signifies emotion.
This means that you can persuade people if you appeal to them emotionally. As a presenter, how do you appear? The basic question is are you emotionally likable as a presenter?

The third way is Ethos, which signifies credibility.
This talks about your credibility as a presenter. How much does your audience believe in you as a person? Do they feel that you walk the talk?
Aristotle considered this the highest form of persuasion.

And there I found my answer to the question asked by my participant.

There are some people who are so high on ethos that they don’t need to depend on presentation skills. The people I listened to without caring about their presentation skills were the ones who held the highest credibility in my eyes.

So there may come a time when you move beyond the realm of presentation skills and garner attention and respect irrespective. Till then, lets hone our skills.

Video Presentation: 7 Biggest Traps And How To Avoid Them

Summary

Do you use video presentation in your business? Are your prospects and customers satisfied with it? Is it really successful for you? If you already use or intend to use video there are some traps you need to know about.

1. The “Talking Head”

Please understand this. You may be thrilled by talking to a camera. It bores viewers. If what you’re saying really interests viewers, you’ll retain their interest for about 2-3 minutes. If you don’t grab viewers’ attention very quickly, they’ll loose interest within 90 seconds.

2. The “Off The Cuffer”

This is an extreme version of the talking heads. This person speaks without notes or script. They “ad lib” as a musician might say. They rely on their memory. They tend to waffle or hesitate when they speak. They give the impression of uncertainty about what they have to say.

3. The “PowerPointer”

These people love PowerPoint. They believe that it’s the answer to all their presentation prayers. PowerPoint is a valuable aid. But presenters need to know how to use it. The most common mistake is to put sentences or phrases on the screen then repeat them as spoken words. But viewers can read much faster than speakers can talk. They lose interest very quickly.

4. The “Pretty Picturist”

This person confuses presentation with prettiness. They use lots of colours, typefaces and design elements. They confuse viewers. Their presentation may be good to look at. But they impair learning.

5. The “Confuser”

Confusers simply don’t state the purpose of their presentation or what viewers can expect to learn from it. Viewers want to know the purpose of the video. To fail to tell them in advance is a fundamental error.

6. The “Distractor”

Distractors are related to confusers. They fill their screen with so much detail that the viewer simply doesn’t know where to look. And they usually talk at the same time. The viewer doesn’t know what to look at or listen to. Video is face to face communication but without the capacity for feedback. Your words must be precise and your meaning crystal clear.

7. The “Time Waster”

This person simply waffles. They take far more time than necessary. They display no concern about time pressures facing viewers. They disrespect viewers.

What To Do About It

  • Know exactly what you want to say before you start
  • Always use a prepared script, even for a two minute video
  • Always tell viewers what they can expect and how long it’ll take
  • Use aids such as PowerPoint with great care. PowerPoint is an aid. It’s not a crutch for poor presenters
  • If you want viewers to read a screen, do not read the same words aloud. And treat the screen as a page. Keep it clean and uncluttered
  • Keep presentations brief: the accepted wisdom is that a video longer than 15-20 minutes will cause viewer fatigue and disinterest
  • Keep your hands out of the picture unless you’re a very experienced presenter: it’s simply unprofessional to wave your hands about: and it distracts viewers from your words
  • Keep your hands away from your mouth
  • Look at the camera: “eyeball” the viewer. Only look away to something you want viewers to look at
  • Take care of your diction: it’s all very well to “be yourself”: if you can’t be clearly understood you’ll irritate viewers and they’ll “switch off”
  • Be aware of your background. Have nothing in the background that’s likely to distract the viewer. Beware of shimmery surfaces, familiar landmarks and telegraph poles that seem to be poking out of your head
  • If you’re using pictures merely to seem “trendy”; use audio instead
  • If you use or intend to use video, take some lessons from an expert.

Conclusion

It’s the YouTube era. So many people recommend that you use it for all sorts of purposes. But using video isn’t as easy as it seems. Sound video presentation skills are necessary if it is to be a feature of your business. And remember, as video becomes more widely used, clients and prospects will expect higher standards. Take no notice of the so called gurus who tell you how easy it is. It is easy to use. It isn’t easy to use well.

Business Presentation Training For Success

Business presentations are a vital part of the business process. They occur internally, to share knowledge and keep teams informed on the status of projects. They occur at the B2B level where new business in the form of wholesale supplies, products, and services are bought and sold, arguably lifeblood of local and global economies.

And of course, they occur at the B 2 consumer level – every TV commercial, online ad, even many “editorial” articles you read, have business development as their core agenda.

No matter what your profession, business, or line of work is – the better at giving business presentations you are, the more successful you will be, hands down. And I don’t care if you are a building maintenance worker, a computer programmer, or a plumber, i.e. you’re in an occupation that seemingly has no place for business presentations – because they do have their place, whether it’s obvious or not.

Every time you need to explain or even “justify” a decision, strategy, or approach to your boss, team members, or clients, you are engaged in a business presentation. The better you are at doing this, the more success you will have, even if you are a coder sitting behind a monitor all day long. In that case, and you get this skill right, it will be the difference between being “just” another coder, and that of a team leader, manager, director, or business owner, along with commensurate increases in salary and bonuses.

What I am saying here is nothing new or original, and I am not proposing a “theory”. Mastering business presentations ( and some would just call it simply selling ) is a fundamental success principal. It plays a role in personal relationships as well as business. It ties directly in with concepts like charisma and persuasiveness. In case you have any doubts about this, read some of the classics in personal development and success, such as “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill, or “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Joseph Schwartz, and “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (as corny as the titles sound to many, there is powerful information in these books.)

So, why do so many of us get this wrong? Why do we not learn the importance of presentation skills for business and life, starting at the grade school level? The complete answer is beyond the scope of this article, but I would suggest that at the core of the issue is the near-universal fear of presenting, including and maybe even especially business presentations, that most people have. And this is no joke; fear of public speaking is higher on the list of common phobias than fear of death…So what is the solution then?

Business Presentation Training – The Antidote for Fear

The solution to this, or any other fear we may have, is simple (while not always “easy”.) All fears must be conquered, or else they will hold you back – in business and in life. In this case, our fears are generally based on lack of confidence in ourselves to be good at business presentations; it’s really a fear of looking bad in front of our employers, peers, colleagues, friends, etc. So, it stands to reason that getting specific training for business presentation skills can be massive weapon in our arsenal as we face our fears of public speaking and business presentations. When it comes to any skill, and especially those relating to professional and personal development, one the surest ways to make strides and grow is to get coaching – whether that be an actual business presentation coach or a business training program.

There are many options out there for business presentation training, from books, to CDs, online training, seminars, workshops, to one-on-one business presentation coaching. There is a ton of free information that will at least get you started, including my other articles at this directory. Regardless of which route you choose to take, do yourself a favor, and do take action. Business presentation training is vital to your professional growth and personal success, and this skill is just too valuable to avoid, procrastinate, or ignore.