Who would you trust to sharpen your presentation skills?

Is presentation skills training a waste of time and money? Sadly, most of the time it is. Presentation Skills courses have attracted some opprobrium because they can be ‘same old, same old’ – routine trudges through PowerPoint slides and cliché-ridden accounts of platform skills. And soon afterwards people return to what they were doing before.   →

Making good contact with your audience

It was the Final of the annual Anglo-Irish public speaking contest. A long-standing Toastmaster with a good record in these contests took to the stage, and the largely Irish audience pulsed expectantly. It was a brilliant text, full of clever linguistic jokes, puns and even verbal pictures. But one minute into the speech, the audience’s   →

The 5th Level of Competence

I was talking to a Sales consultant recently, and he was asking me about my special skills. It’s a conversation I have had before, when I was exploring the skills of a friend or colleague. Now the boot was on the other foot. At some point I said, “I don’t know what I know.” I   →

What’s the story?

Make a point, tell a story; tell a story, make a point. That’s an easy enough mantra to follow in speeches and presentations, but what kind of story should you tell? The three factors that work in story telling are: 1. They illustrate the point and are easy to understand and remember 2. We are all conditioned,   →

What exactly is Database Marketing?

Small businesses don’t always have a Marketing Plan. And when someone suggests Database Marketing, they often ask:”What the heck is Database Marketing?” or, if they know what it is, “Isn’t Database Marketing only for the big boys?” The answer is No. You do not need an expensive system to set up a Database. You can   →

The 5th level of competence

I was talking to a Sales consultant recently, and he was asking me about my special skills. It’s a conversation I have had before, when I was exploring the skills of a friend or colleague. Now the boot was on the other foot. At some point I said, “I don’t know what I know.” I   →

How to avoid some common mistakes in email

As you know, these days much of our business correspondence is conducted by email rather than the conventional ‘snail mail’. Unhappily, certain conventions have been lost or overlooked in the process, and can get in the way of doing business, especially when there are cultural differences involved. TYPICAL PROBLEMS: • Sloppy layout • Poor spelling   →

The secret to getting attention

There was a small crowd filling the pavement of the Calcutta street, surrounding two men who squatted face to face at the centre. The bearded one was reading the palm of the other and gabbling in a musical baritone. The audience were enthralled. I listened for a while and realised what was so compelling about   →

Connecting with your audience

If you believe that a Presentation’s purpose is to communicate information, you need to change your thinking. If you want to pass on facts, email or snail mail will do the job better. When you make a live presentation, pass the facts through your personal filter, so that your listeners can understand your take on the   →

One answer to the long or short copy debate

Should your sales letter be long or short? Is it true that the more you tell the more you sell? Or are people too busy to bother with long letters? The answer may surprise you. It arises out of a significant shift in our reading habits, a shift that makes the appearance of a letter   →