Presentation Skills: More Traps For Inexperienced Presenters To Avoid

There are a number of traps that inexperienced presenters can fall into when they first begin presenting. Any one of these traps can make your presentation look less professional than it otherwise would. This article shares 6 of those traps with you and shows you some neat ways to overcome them.

Trap 1: The lapel microphone

Lapel microphones are wonderful as they allow you to move away from the podium and even through the audience. This makes for a much more relaxed and interesting presentation. The lapel microphone does, however, come with a few traps to look out for:

  • You have to have somewhere to clip the microphone. If you are a man wearing a suit, you normally clip it onto the lapel of the jacket and everything is fine. If you are a woman wearing a round neckline you need to check that the microphone is able to be positioned close enough to your mouth to pick up your voice. Be careful of wearing a scarf or jewellery that may rub against the microphone as this will cause interference with the sound quality.
  • Lapel microphones come with battery packs. These battery packs need to be put somewhere. If you are wearing something with a pocket that won’t sag with a little weight, then you have an obvious spot. If the battery pack has a Velcro attachment and you don’t have a pocket, you better hope that you have a belt. I have been in the situation where I have had to borrow a belt from one of the conference organisers so that I had somewhere to hook the battery pack. If the battery pack has a clip, you can attach it to the waist band of your skirt or trousers. If you are wearing something without a pocket, a belt or a waist band… you are going to have to carry the battery pack in your hand (not the preferred option). So… before you present with a lapel microphone, ensure you wear clothing that will be suitable.

Trap 2: Water and tissues

Your comfort while you are presenting is paramount. If you are speaking for more than 30 minutes or you are nervous, you will want to have a glass of water close by. If you stand up to speak and you find that you are really nervous, your mouth and vocal chords dry up. To help you lubricate things again, just take a few sips of water. Tepid water is better at lubricating than ice cold water, so pour your drink a little while before you present.

If you suffer from a runny nose, take tissues to the podium with you and very discreetly look after your problem. Sniffling during your presentation will look very unprofessional.

Trap 3: Fiddling with audio visual equipment

The time to check that all your audio visual equipment is working is before the presentation, not once it has started. The audience does not appreciate sitting there watching you fix audio visual equipment during the time they were expecting to hear your presentation.

If audio visual equipment breaks part way through your presentation, keep going without it. If you give the audience an activity to do, you can attempt to fix your audio visual equipment at that point. If there is a conference organiser, you can let them know of the problem and they will get someone to fix it for you. In the meantime, soldier on… the audience will thank you for it.

In the same vein, check that your microphone is working before you walk onto the stage. If the chairman has used a hand help microphone to introduce you and then hands that same microphone over to you for your presentation, there is no need to hold it up and say ‘Is this working?’ or something similar. Just start talking as if it were working and take action only if it isn’t.

If I am going to be using a lapel or hand held microphone I always check with the people in charge of the audio visual equipment how long it has been since the battery was replaced. There is nothing worse than having the microphone fade and fail half way through your presentation. If they are good at their job, the sound support staff will usually put a new battery in before each session.

Trap 4: Stepping out of sight

It increases audience participation when you get closer to them and get them involved. You can get some great atmosphere happening in a room by moving into the audience every now and then. The trick, however, is to make sure that you still keep including people in the front rows and tables. As a rule of thumb, don’t go out of sight of the front rows of the audience for more than 10 or 15 seconds.

Trap 5: Reading your speech

The audience go to hear you speak, not to read. Reading takes away the natural voice inflections that happen when you speak. It is much more interesting to listen to someone speak than it is to listen to them read. If you are worried that you will forget what you are going to speak about, then use the notes pages for your PowerPoint presentation and put bullet points of the major points beneath each picture. This will allow you to speak about the idea on your slide and it will be much easier to find where you are up to than if you are looking through a written copy of your paper.

Trap 6: Pacing and other repetitive movements

Nervous movements can be very distracting to the audience. These include things such as:

  • Pacing back and forth on the stage.
  • Hand wringing.
  • A repetitive arm movement.
  • Jiggling one foot on the heel of a shoe (usually done by women wearing high heels).
  • You can find out whether you have one of these distracting movements by:
  • Presenting to a friend and getting some honest feedback.
  • Presenting in front of a mirror.
  • Videoing your presentation and watching it at double speed.

I hope that sharing these traps for the inexperienced presenter will help you to avoid some of the mistakes I have made over my many years of presenting.

Best wishes with your future presentations.

5 Steps Towards Better Negotiating

The current American President, perhaps, was previously, best known, for his book, The Art of the Deal. He ran for office, based largely, on his purported ability, to negotiate deals, and get the best, possible results! Every individual, who ascends to, and/ or assumes, any position of leadership, must realize and recognize, one of the most essential skills and abilities, is possessing a quality, meaningful, effective, ability to negotiate. Some of the basic reasons, this is so essential, is to be able to achieve, generating a consensus, and a meeting – of – the – minds, in terms of legislation, event planning, and motivating and inspiring others, to share his views, so a quality, relevant, sustainable system, becomes viable, etc. This article will, therefore, briefly discuss and evaluate, 5 steps, towards becoming a better negotiator, and quality negotiating.

1. Consider what you seek, and why?: Before one negotiates, he must possess a clear – cut idea, of what he hopes to achieve, what he believes it might achieve, and why! It’s essential to go, beyond the norm, but strive to consider alternatives, as well as potential ramifications. Far too often, individuals believe they have been victorious in their negotiations, only to realize, in the future, proof of the adage, Beware of what you hope for!

2. How well will you know your negotiating adversary?: If you hope to be successful in this pursuit, it’s essential, to do thorough research, and best understand, what the other side, wants and needs/ considers a priority! Will you consider, your adversary’s priorities, and basic needs, because until/ unless you do, there will be little chance, of achieving a meeting – of – the – minds, or any form of consensus/ agreement? When a negotiator begins the process, with a keen understanding of what others want and need, he becomes capable on focusing on the best way to proceed, which is nearly always, win – win negotiating!

3. Best choices/ options: There’s a major difference, between making a decision, and making the best possible one! The strongest negotiating process and procedure, is achieved, when both sides, become more capable and willing, to seek viable solutions, and proceed to negotiate, based on doing so!

4. Prioritize for specific needs: Every group has its own, specific heritage, needs, goals and priorities, and, therefore, a true leader, must focus on listening and learning, effectively, proceeding with genuine empathy, and negotiating every relevant deal, accordingly!

5. Seek win – win solutions: Some believe negotiating is about, merely, winning, but the best negotiators, realize, until/ unless, a negotiation is based on win/ win solutions, it rarely generates the best possible results!

If hope to be an effective leader, you have to become a quality negotiator. Will you be ready, willing and able, to use the best approaches and techniques?

The Present Five Basic Needs of Man

When we look around us, we see a lot of amazing things and that include other human beings. Would these things exist without man’s need for these things? Sometimes, we see them as unnecessary, not a basic requirement for existence, or as something that we can actually do without. The days that we are living for measure the importance of these things surrounding us. Maybe these items or people are really needed for us to survive or to support life. Or maybe, they are there to give us comfort and relaxation.

Basically, man has five basic needs which these amazing things we see around us provide for. These five basic needs are the ones that make man live, the ones that enable him to relate confidently with others. These needs enumerated below would be a modern interpretation of Maslow’s hierarchy. Each one, however, may include in its purpose some aspects found in other needs labeled by Maslow. The following are the five basic needs of man:

1. Food – This is what makes humans live and grow so he can function and fulfill his purpose here on earth. Food enables humans to move and think for his own benefit and for the benefit of others.

2. Shelter – Man needs something where he can abode not only for rest but more on for his protection and security. He needs to protect himself from the wild, the elements, and even from his co-human beings.

3. Clothing – Society has evolved from the prehistoric humans until the present, yet even prehistoric man needed something to cover his body for protection against the environment. These would be the harmful factors like the cold, the burning heat, insect bites, thorns and splinters, etc. Nowadays, a prime reason for clothing is to conform to the social cause of dressing to avoid sexual immorality. The second reason would be to uplift his self-esteem in a world dictated by fashion.

4. Spiritual – With the catastrophes and an unpredictable economic status around the world, man needs a strength to hope on. He needs someone bigger than what he sees who can help him, hopefully, in the midst of problems arising in these times.

5. Friends – Friends provide the boost a man needs in order to face reality. Friends give man the strength, love, and “cushion” he needs in good times and bad times. Friends stabilize the emotional turmoil man may encounter in his life.

All these needs answer to the necessities of man in order for him to live on a leveled status, contentment and a healthy body. But, aside from these five factors one aspect a person should have in his lifetime in order to stay fit and healthy is a good chiropractor as an alternative medicine. Taking medications often may not be good for your kidney and liver; and using chiropractic to heal your ailments is a good idea.

Finding a good St Louis chiropractor is not easy if you live in St Louis, but I found a Maryland heights chiropractor who does wonders with her hands.