Presentation Skills

Most of us hate any form of public speaking. We’d much rather sit in the background and not having any attention focused on us.

Unfortunately, at some stage in our working careers each one of us will be required to either sell an idea; make a recommendation; market our work or ourselves or market a product. In such an instance you would have no other choice but to bite the bullet and stand before an audience to present your case.

Do not stress it is not that difficult. It only requires a few skills which are easy to master. When you are required to do a presentation, do it well and use it as an opportunity to get noticed – it could well be the key to a successful career!

Start at the very beginning and plan well ahead for the big moment. The starting point is your expected audience. What will my audience know about the topic; what are their needs and what do they want to hear. Your approach would be different when you have to do a presentation on a new medical invention to a conference of medical practitioners compared to addressing a group of housewives on the same topic. Always try to put yourself in your audience’s shoes before starting to prepare your address.

With any presentation, there must be an envisaged outcome. Why are you doing the presentation? Is it to inform, persuade, motivate or teach? When you clarify your purpose, you will more easily hit your target.

Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start with the preparation:

Prepare the opening: Make a statement or ask a question that grabs the audience’s attention. State the purpose of your presentation and remember the opening should make up 5 to 10% of your entire presentation.

Prepare the structure: The presentation should have a logical flow:

  • Opening
  • Background information
  • Body of the presentation
  • Action steps – what next or what is required
  • Close

Choosing Key points: Your audience can only remember 4 to 6 key points, so choose them carefully. Back your message up with interesting evidence – statistics, testimonials, analogies and demonstrations. The key points should make up 80 to 85% of the entire presentation.

Prepare the Duration: Don’t make the presentation to long. Rehearse the duration of your presentation to make sure it falls within your time limits. Always allow time for questions – it is appropriate.

Prepare your closing: Prepare a close that supports your purpose and creates a lasting impression. Only briefly summarize or restate your key points and throw a challenge to your audience. Leave your audience with something to think about. The closing should make up 5 to 10 % of the entire presentation.

Prepare effective visual support:

  • When using slides, it must be visually appealing
  • Use colors and fonts that make an impact
  • Select graphics carefully – they must support the subject matter
  • Use effective but not irritating animation
  • When using a whiteboard or flip-chart, write quickly and neatly.

Speaker notes: Never read your slides – this is very boring. Only have the bare outline on the slides and fill the rest of the detail verbally. You can make use of speaker notes on the slides to ensure that you know what you want to say and not forgetting anything.

Rehearse: First practice your presentation on your own in front of a mirror then follow it up in front of a friend or colleague. They must give you feedback on the content and style of your presentation.

Lastly, after everything is said and done, it is time to put your money where your mouth is:

  • Be well prepared
  • Know your subject
  • Be exited
  • Act confidently
  • Dress smartly
  • Speak clearly
  • Make eye contact
  • Focus on the main points
  • Be yourself

Remember, when you are marketing your product, system, idea, or whatever, you are marketing yourself in the process!

Sales Negotiation – How Do You “Do”?

Sales negotiation is a perennial weakness for many sales organizations. A primary reason for this weakness is that many salespeople, by nature and/or necessity, are action oriented. You know, the “just give me my goals and get out of my way” type. They crave instant action, particularly when action equals gratification.

Yet, to paraphrase Louis Pasteur, “Opportunity favors the prepared mind.” To be effective negotiators, salespeople need to invest significant time in preparation.

This is just like remodeling a kitchen: the prep work takes the most time. It is painfully tedious. It can feel like you’re not making progress. But, if you skip steps, it can cost time, aggravation, and money in the long run.

It’s not that salespeople don’t conceptually understand this. They do. The most successful sales managers close this “knowing / doing gap” by broadening the definition of what “doing” means in salespeople’s own minds. They redefine progress. For example, if you asked salespeople to define negotiation, most would say that it’s the act of negotiating the price, terms, and conditions of sales with current and new customers-and winning! But what if the definition of negotiation also included the actions of pre-defining their opening strategy and concession strategy?

Well, what happens is that challenging issues (for example, price and the role of purchasing) are deliberately woven into initial conversations. This sort of “negotiation selling” requires customer insight, preparation, and a degree of flexible choreography or “process negotiation”-thinking about how, where, and when to introduce possible points of negotiation into the conversation. The stress of intense end-stage negotiations (in which the customer has the leverage) is greatly reduced, and successful negotiations result.

How about you? When negotiating, how do you “do”?

Smart Job Scheduling Software for Tradies

A tradies job is hard enough as it is, so why not make things a little easier by using a Job Scheduling Software Solution designed for tradies? This software can help you manage the scheduling and dispatching process and send jobs directly to tradies on the ground. Tradies can then receive the assigned jobs on their mobile phones through the app and make any adjustments and amendments from the job site.

What is Job Scheduling Software?

Job Scheduling Software assists businesses to schedule their team across different job sites and tasks. Some scheduling software is built particularly for field service firms, where teams operate in the field and must travel to several appointments or task locations.

Benefits of Job Scheduling Software:

Multiple calendar views allow you to see all of your upcoming jobs at a glance

The user-friendly calendar view makes it simple to see a comprehensive list of all jobs assigned to your technicians. Switch between day, week, and month views in an instant, and drag and drop planned appointments to rearrange the day or time. With all your jobs tracked in the calendar, you get an instant snapshot of all your resources– field technicians, contractors and even equipment. You also have the option to filter for users, assets etc to see what has been scheduled.

Map View

To make scheduling your workforce easier, view all of your jobs on a map. Every time, send the right person to the right location. All of your favourite Google Maps features, including street view, are available to you. Real-time location processing allows your admin staff to schedule jobs to the closest available tradie.

Less travel time and more billable hours

With a geo-fence management solution, you can prevent your field workers from wasting time travelling long distances between jobs. You can define regions in the Job Scheduling Software and assign them to each technician. After that, you can easily assign a tradie to a job within that region.

Send Notifications Instantly

When you change an employee’s current workday schedule, they’ll receive a notification on their phone with all the details. Your field workers will be notified of their upcoming appointments via the Job Scheduling App. Your technicians can use the Mobile App to view all job details, leave comments as needed, get customer sign-off on completed work, and schedule any follow-up work orders.

Collect customer signatures when work is completed

You can easily collect customer signatures on your mobile device with Job Scheduling Software. The customer’s signature is then added to the completed job and stored in the system as proof of completion. Completed work orders can be sent to the client with their invoice for payment directly after a job is completed.

Analyse and share reports

Examine each report in detail to determine which tasks were completed on-site and by whom, how much time was spent travelling versus working, and whether you need to schedule a follow-up appointment for additional work. You can even use a live web view to share the report with your customers, complete with your company logo and contact information.