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Let’s face it—most PowerPoint presentations stink! How can you make your point faster, better, and more convincingly with just a few simple tweaks to your PowerPoint presentation?
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- Why are the first 5 slides the most important?
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- Practice makes perfect! Specific points for when you rehearse and prepare
- How to manage your stage fright before and during your presentation
Ditch these overused business clichés in favor of more straightforward language:
- “At the end of the day.” It’s just filler. Forget the phrase and get to the point.
- “Think outside the box.” A “Be creative” will suffice.
- “Push the envelope.” That’s just another way to say “Take risks.”
- “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” The phrase is vague. Offer more specific guidance about which aspects should stay the same and which ones should change.
- “The ball is in your court.” Enough with the sports analogies. Just say “The decision is yours to make.”
- “Work smarter, not harder.” Tell people how to be more efficient.
- “Low-hanging fruit.” It undermines the importance of your customers or goals by suggesting that some don’t require much effort. Treat all business objectives the same way.
- “Failure is not an option.” Failure is always a possibility, and that phrase does nothing more than cause employees fear and anxiety.
- “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” An actual time estimation to launch a new initiative or make a change is much more useful.
I know I am one to use “out-side the box thinking” when I write and speak, so I’m setting a goal to eliminate it.
Do you use any of the phrases above? If so which ones?
[Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cutiemoo.
This is a guest post from Arnold Sanow.
Dale Carnegie, who wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People, shared how he won a major sale by making himself memorable in a positive way. While sitting at dinner he started talking with a gentleman at his table. The man spoke for four hours while allowing Dale Carnegie the opportunity to speak for only about two minutes. After four hours the man stated to everyone, “Dale Carnegie is the best conversationalist I’ve ever met.”
By actively listening, Dale Carnegie not only came off as a great conversationalist, but also made the man instantly take a liking to him. Because he showed genuine interest in the man, Carnegie earned a great sales opportunity.
By following the tips below, you too will stand out in the crowd and make yourself more memorable to everyone you meet:
- Introduce yourself to others. No matter where you are, act like you’re the host. Be the first to say hello.
- Make an extra effort to remember people’s names. As Dale Carnegie says, “the sweetest sound to a person is their name.”
- Use eye contact and smile upon meeting someone. The best way to build rapport is through eye contact.
- Make everyone feel important by paying full attention to him or her. Former President Clinton is a master of this. When you talk to him, he makes you feel like you are the only person in the room.
- Show others that you are enjoying your conversation with them. Don’t yawn, look bored or have a case of roving eyes.
- Show curiosity and interest in others.
- Listen, listen, listen. You not only become more likeable, but you really start to understand the person’s wants, needs and desires.
- Be enthusiastic about things and life to others. People will gravitate to those upbeat, positive and cheerful people.
- Display your sense of humor. People remember humor six times longer than regular conversation.
- Be able to speak on a variety of subjects. Keep abreast of current events.
- Speak concisely. Be able to tell people what you do in a few short sentences.
- Speak their language. Talk in their preferred communication style. For example, if someone just wants the facts, don’t go into a lot of stories and anecdotes.
- Be tolerant of people’s beliefs if they are different from yours.
- Invite people to join you for lunch, dinner and other social events.
- Ask them for their opinions.
- Don’t interrupt.
- Have positive body language. Use the SOFTEN technique: Smile, Open posture, Forward lean, stay out of their Territory, Eye contact, Nod to show understanding.
- Be yourself. Enjoy the conversation.
- Give them more than they expect. In other words, underpromise and overdeliver.
- Compliment others about what they are wearing, doing or saying, but be sincere.
About the Author: Arnold Sanow, MBA, CSP is a speaker, trainer, coach and facilitator. He is the author of six books, including Get Along with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: 8 Keys to Creating Enduring Connections with Customers, Co-workers … Even Kids. He can be reached at email@example.com and www.arnoldsanow.com.
[Image Source: Wikipedia]
I found the item I needed at a store recently, but I left without it.
I had wandered the aisles of a large discount store for several minutes before finally finding the plastic mesh sheets that I needed. The instruction sheet for a purse I was making called for one sheet to reinforce the bottom, but I had found a package of six sheets lying out of place on a shelf. In the next row I found the place where the six packs were displayed, and across the aisle a clerk was placing other items on a shelf.
“Excuse me,” I said. “Do you have these in single sheets?”
With barely a glance at me, she replied “I don’t even know what that is. I’m shelving these.” And she turned her back to me. I set the package down and walked out of the store.
I don’t expect a clerk to know everything about the tens of thousands of items on the shelves, and it’s OK if you don’t know something at work. But when a customer asks you a question, say more than “I don’t know.”
Whether your customer is someone buying your products or services or someone in another department that your team supports, show care and initiative. Say something like this:
- “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”
- “I don’t know, but I’ll find someone who can help us.”
- “I don’t know, but I’ll be happy to work with you to figure it out.”
When you are talking with a customer, “I don’t know” is never enough.
Be sure your customer service reps read “5 things you shouldn’t say to customers” and “5 (more) things you shouldn’t say to customers.” Develop your reps’ skills with the First-Rate Customer Service Training Kit.
[Image Source: Betsssssy]
Although it’s next to impossible to never offend anyone, I do try to avoid potentially offensive words and phrases, whether they bother me personally or not. Most offensive language is easy to identify, such as racial slurs and curse words, but occasionally I uncover an offensive phrase that truly surprises me.
Here are three examples of phrases that I used to say frequently, before I discovered that they offended some people:
- “That sucks.” I never thought much about the word “sucks” and often used it when commiserating with friends, “Oh, I’m sorry! That sucks!” Imagine my mortification, then, when a former colleague explained that for people in her generation, the word “sucks” still had strong sexual connotations. Now I usually stick with the safer “That’s too bad” or “That stinks.”
- “No problem” in the place of “You’re welcome.” I had no idea that this was such a bothersome phrase to so many people, but apparently it’s a common pet peeve. Linguistically, I actually think “No problem” makes more sense—like “de nada” in Spanish (literally “it is nothing”)—but once I realized that it bothered people, I decided to stop using the phrase. “You’re welcome” is always appropriate and “Happy to!” or “My pleasure!” are both acceptable alternatives.
- “Does that make sense?” when explaining something uncomplicated. I knew that qualifying my ideas with this empty question was a bad habit, but I was thinking only in terms of how the question subtly undermined my authority. I’ve learned, however, that asking that question unnecessarily also risks offending listeners. It implies that I don’t think they’re savvy enough to grasp whatever simple thing I’m saying. When you are explaining a complex idea or set of instructions, check understanding by asking “What questions do you have?”
What other potentially offensive phrases have you discovered?
[Image Source: Stockicide]