Businessmas Giving a Presentation

Blog, Tweet, Write Or Speak?

For me it’s speaking! Are you, like myself, a small or growing business? Are you either a little overwhelmed (or even a lot) at the increasing number of ways you can communicate your business message to your customers? So how can you do it effectively, without losing either hair or sleep?

At the moment I find myself overwhelmed by choices, but communicate I must. However, when I tried to break down how I could best “speak” to my customers, it seemed to me that regardless of how I communicate, there are some key themes that I need to follow to get my message across. Maybe these will help you too.

With a view to workshops that I’m delivering I’ve managed to come up with some hints that I feel can work with both spoken and written communication. As a speaker and coach, its important to make sure that my message is coming across loud and clear and that its reflects me, my brand, my business. Phew!! Tall order, right?

Or not…

I try to remember to KISS (keep it simple silly) and so I hope some of these tips will resonate with you when you next plan to write, speak or tweet.

People rarely remember words you speak, but they DO remember how you made them feel. So how do you want your customers to feel? Relief? Joy? Anticipation? Confidence? To achieve that emotional response, it’s important to ensure your communication is well structured and holds the right tone.

So what’s tone and why is it important? Your use of words need to convey the tone of your message. Is it educational/fun/informative/inspirational or a mixture of all of these. The tone you use needs to be consistent throughout all your communication types and feed in to the emotion you want your customer to feel.

Using “I” or “you” in your presentations comes across as more friendly and accessible which can work well for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). People buy people, not products, so if your communication comes across as impersonal, why would your customer interact or even buy from you? Oh, and try to eliminate business jargon - it may make sense to you but unless you’re speaking to customers who are really savvy in your industry, it can be a real turn off.

Once you’ve worked out the emotion you want your customers to feel and the words you’ll use to create that, it’s time to think about structure. No matter how short or long your presentation is, there is comfort in good structure for both the speaker and the listener. You’ll have heard this before but just like with a good piece of writing, a presentation needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end. I think of it a bit a like a sandwich, the filling needs to be surrounded by fresh bread.

How deep your filling needs to be depends on how long you’re speaking for. A rule of thumb is to develop 3 points in support of your core message for a short talk (15 -20 minutes); 6 points for a medium length talk (up to 45 minutes) and 9 points for anything longer. The important thing is that everything you say supports that core message whether it’s giving information, educating your customer or even a call to action.

Final note to self! Once you’ve created your well structured presentation which focuses on your customers needs, wants and emotions, then you need to give it a shot. No, not in front of your customer, but in front of a mirror, a friend a family member, your iphone or android. This allows you to practice, see what works, what doesn’t and that in turn helps you to feel confident when presenting your message, reflecting yourself, your business and your brand in a positive light.

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