26
Mar

Why stand up presentations are your golden opportunity

Stand up presentations are your golden opportunity. Probably. Yet most people don’t willingly volunteer for them. For some they are one of the most stressful things you ever have to do.

However, if you think about it, everyone of any significance does presentations : TV presenters, actors & actresses, rock stars, politicians and leading business people. They all communicate their message using the medium of presenting. So it is probably worth trying to master this skill. And of course, once you have, you stand out from the millions who never will.

3 tips to help you become a first class presenter

3 tips to help you become a first class presenter

Here are 3 tips.

Identify what your audience wants

The most important thing about your presentation is to work out what your audience’s interest is and what they want to find out about. Always aim it at them. Don’t go into too much detail, but keep it focused on them. It it’s a work presentation, use some facts and some figures by all means, but extract the conclusions – don’t go into great detail.

If it’s a social or hobby based presentation, make it light hearted where possible and entertaining. You can always ask for help from others if necessary.

Know your stuff

Once you’ve written your presentation, rehearse it, by standing and going through it at least 3 times. This will start to get you familiar with the words, and the style. The more you’ve rehearsed it, and know your stuff, the more confident you’ll feel when you finally stand up to speak.

Time your presentation

Once you’ve rehearsed it, run through it again, and time yourself while you’re delivering it in a room on your own. This way you will know how long it will take. If you’ve been given 20 minutes in a busy agenda to do your presentation, then aim for around 15 minutes of material. That will allow 5 minutes or so for comments, questions etc. After all you probably want to stimulate debate. Even if you’ve got 30 minutes of great material, cut it back radically. They won’t want to listen for 30 minutes.

I always find it is easy to get resentful of people who go on too long. They may be stealing some of your break time, or of course one person overrunning means others suddenly have less time. It’s not really fair is it?

Your audience easily gets bored and switches off.

So find out how long the host wants you to speak for and then ensure you fit the allocation. Everyone will appreciate it.

Associated Learning Systems is a business dedicated to helping individuals improve their communication skills and business performance through life learning. While we don’t currently offer products on how to do stand-up presentations, we have experience in this area, so if you need help to do stand up presentations, contact us via e-mail at info@associatedlearningsystems.co.uk 

 

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15
Mar

How clients use our training CDs

How clients use our audio CDs. If you’re browsing this site and considering whether to buy any of the audio CDs here on telephone selling, customer service, telephone team management or self-development, we guess you may be interested in knowing how other people use the products they buy from us.

Training in-house

How about using products to make your own in-house training even better?

In-house training

You already have your own in-house trainers. Alternatively the line managers of the team such as the Telesales manager, or Telemarketing team leader, or Customer Service supervisor may be tasked with providing training for the telephone based team. The obvious advantages to this are that it (theoretically) doesn’t cost anything, and secondly these company employees know the company, the range of products and services the company offers and the people they’re training. The flip side of this though is that a team manager may not be a great trainer. Secondly they don’t have quite the ownership of the material that an outside trainer has. Finally the external trainer should be an expert who can bring industry wide experience to the training programme. An independent person is also not weighed down with company politics too of course.

But how do you keep up with industry best practice? Many companies are on the look out for cheap to acquire training ideas that will keep their internal trainers fresh and equally importantly their material fresh.

And as customers frequently remind us the benefit of audio CDs is that you can stop, replay and revisit the ideas as frequently as you want. You can’t do that attending a seminar. Which makes a CD at £34.99 + VAT an economical source of ideas.

We sell a large number of our CD packages to companies and organisations who want to develop training programmes in-house.

Get your team to run training

A great way of getting the existing team involved in the process of training is to get team members to deliver small module based workshops in a meeting room to groups of less experienced or new members of the team. I’ve heard it said that ‘the best way to learn is to teach’ and it certainly helps build the skills of the team you have. It also makes them feel more valued, and it gives them more job enrichment. Having said all of that presenting is not for everyone, and if a member of your team really doesn’t want to do it - best not force them. They can always help in material research. A couple of our clients have done this recently. It also saves money on trainers too of course.

You’re in charge of managing or motivating a team

We have had a couple of examples recently where a sales manager or company owner has bought 10 CDs and they then listen to them while driving round the country. The sales manager tells us he then picks topics from the CDs which he then briefs his team on during their 2 weekly sales meetings. A great idea.

The company owner told us that she uses them to increase her knowledge on how and what her telesales team should be doing.

However you want to use them, have a look at the products on offer at www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk. Payment is easy online using a credit card or direct from your PayPal account.

Associated Learning Systems offers a range of audio training CDs on subjects including telephone sales, telemarketing, telephone techniques, verbal communication skills, customer service, telephone team management and self-development.

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11
Mar

The Secret – have you seen this iconic film?

The Secret was originally a book written by Rhonda Byrne. It is based around the same principles as the Law Of Attraction. Have you seen this iconic film? If you haven’t we’d recommend it. It is long, around an hour and a half but it is a seminal work – the book has already sold more than 19 million copies worldwide. And for good reason. You can find out more at http://thesecret.tv.

The Secret - a seminal film for self-development

Why is the Secret an important work? 

Let’s start by explaining it’s slight drawbacks. It is a very American style film, by which I mean that the contributors are pretty much all North American and the film expounds the theory that “you can be what you want to be” by just believing it. While this slightly gushing style of self-belief doesn’t always sit well with British viewers at all times, the core message nevertheless is very powerful.

The Secret explains that if you focus on something you want and keep thinking about it, you will attract it to you. Opportunities will find you, and you will identify and see things because you’re sub-consciously looking out for it.

Your unique car

One of the examples of this sort of thing I particularly love is the one about the model of car you buy. You buy it because you like that unusual colour or specification. Only when you’ve bought the car, do you realise how many others there are on the road. Obviously they were there all the time, but you’ve opened your mind to let the stimulus in.

For more of our audio CDs on self-development follow this link http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_list.asp?Section=SELF%20DEVELOPMENT

Associated Learning Systems provides a range of training material on audio CD : on telephone selling, customer service, team management and self-development. Plus there is a range of tips booklets too on associated topics.

 

 

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01
Mar

Low cost training ideas

Low cost training ideas. This is something Associated Learning Systems specialises in – aimed at telephone based teams : customer service, telemarketing, telesales plus managers, supervisors and team leaders.

Investing to increase business value

Just a handful of these will buy you many of our training CDs!

We believe the UK economy is showing signs of growth at the moment, but nevertheless many companies are keeping a strict eye on budgets. Training is all too often one of the areas that gets squeezed.

Nevertheless the need is clearly there to make sure your team is the best it can be at sniffing out business opportunities and at building better relationships with more people over the phone more often.

Buying some low cost – high value audio CDs which gives you the training material in digital format is a great way of investing in training, and buying some ideas of best practice for a limited outlay. You can view all our products covering

  • Communication skills
  • Telesales skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Telephone team management
  • Self-development

by clicking here

The products are just £34.99 + VAT including delivery. Just one idea that works for 1 of your team will repay your investment almost certainly. There are product bundles available too – saving you even more money.

In-house training 

You may have your own training resources in-house, your own trainers and material. Many companies and organisations buy our audio CDs to add to their own material – which they then use to base training sessions around. Sounds fair enough to us.

Whatever your reason, certainly investing in your front line personnel is of major importance as most companies have to compete more actively for a smaller customer pot.

Associated Learning Systems provides a range of audio CDs and tips booklets developed for people and companies involved in communication with customers on the phone in the fields of telesales, telemarketing, customer service and telephone team management.  We help you BE BETTER AT WHAT YOU DO!

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21
Sep

The psychology of perception

This tale is all about PERCEPTION

In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.

During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while.
About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.

He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.
Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theatre in Boston where the seats averaged $200 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

  • This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

  • In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
  • If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
  • Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
     

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Joshua Bell at  Metro station

How do you perceive the things around you?

We understand that a lot of what we do in life is about presenting ourselves and what we can do in ways that make others perceive us positively.  

Associated Learning Systems offers a range of training CDs on telephone and communication skills for telesales, customer service and telemarketing personnel – aware that people prefer to trade with people they like. Make sure that’s you!

Find out more about our range of audio training products www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk

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19
Oct

Sales and customer service training on a budget

Sales and customer service training on a budget. Many companies are facing challenges at the moment as economic conditions across the world worsen.

There is still the need to develop your staff and teams of course. But there is little money available to pay for it. Sound familiar?

Lack of budget

Is this your training budget?

Many companies are in this situation and therefore many managers and company owners want to motivate their teams and help them develop new skills in both customer service and sales, but on limited or non-existent budgets. Many companies are forced to do some form of training, but using in-house staff and materials. However if the training is to be effective it is important to gather new ideas from other sources. Gleaned from the experts. The type of people who’ve been there, bought the t-shirt etc.

We can help, honestly. We provide a range of easily affordable audio CDs packed with top tips, years of experience and plain old good common sense. Our CDs and tips booklets are based around a number of key growth areas ;

  • Customer Service
  • Telephone sales
  • Self-development

With prices starting from £34.99 for one audio CD, and packages of 3 for less than £70, you wouldn’t need many good ideas to make it self-financing would you?

All our products are supplied with a full money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the product. If you’re in the UK, simply return the  product for a refund of your purchase price. http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/products.asp is the link that will take you straight to our products page. You can buy all our products online, with payment by credit card or directly through PayPal.

Associated Learning Systems is a UK, Midlands based company specialising in products for the development of customer service, telesales and telemarketing skills.

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04
Oct

Polari – you probably speak it already but don’t know it

Polari – you probably speak it already but don’t know it. Admittedly this site is all about verbal communication skills and self-development, so writing about a little known form of slang from London in the 1950s and 60s may seem a little tenuous. However I think this form of language has passed into modern English with most of us never being aware of it.

How many times have you used the word balonie for something which is rubbish ? Or bijou in place of the word small? Or even slap for make-up ladies, or ogle for admire boys? All of these terms are Polari.

polari on the radio

Polari - humorous dialect fading from use

Polari was a language which grew in theatrical and homosexual circles in London in the 50s and 60s. It is a mix of Romany, itlaian, Yiddish, heatre-speak, naval slang and back slang. It first entered the British consciousness through the BBC’s radio programme ‘Round the Horne’ which starred Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick.

Other well known bits of Polari include ;

  • bona nochi = goodnight
  • cackle = talk or gossip
  • clobber = clothes
  • fantabulosa = excellent
  • mince = to walk effeminately
  • scarper = to run off

I would bet that you’ve used many bits of Polari in your life and yet you may not have heard of it. Well know you know.

For lots more examples of Polari in everyday use follow this link to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polari

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16
Sep

X Factor shows us persistence – a tale for modern times

Incredible as it may seem on this website, we’re writing about the X Factor. Yes the show on TV. Recently you may have read the piece on this blog about Abraham Lincoln, but this time it’s the same story, but from TV’s show the X Factor.

It shows us persistence and is a tale for modern times. I read recently that the contestant Jade Richards who performed Adele’s Someone like you had auditioned for the show on five separate  occasions. But she’d never quite managed to get through to the next stage. Can’t believe how, but that’s what happened apparently. However 6th time lucky – talent will out more like. She wowed the  judges with her rendition of this song, and the rest, as this old cliche goes is history….

You can catch it here Jade Richards – keep at your dream – don’t quit. Simply click on the link to the left here.

If you saw the show it’s hard to believe that this is true as Jade reduced Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child and Louis Walsh to tears and Gary Barlow said he thought her performance would “change” her life.  It really was an amazing audition.

It just goes to show that even the most brilliantly shining stars sometimes have a tough time making it through challenging times and this is not unlike the struggle that many talented individuals and businesses are goung through at the moment in what are challenging times. 

Work on your talent, hone it, develop it, polish it, refine it. Be the best you can be. Take pride in that and then make sure the world knows about it. Be a master of something, the world pays more for that than a jack of all trades.

http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_list.asp?Section=SELF DEVELOPMENT is where you’ll find our range of audio products CDs to help you grow that most valuable resource – you.

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06
Sep

9 top tips for stand up presentations

Some top tips for stand up presentations. Well 9 in fact.

The day has come. You’re due to be making a presentation at work soon, and you’re looking round the internet for some inspiration – yes ?! There are many sources of information, and it time well spent to have a look around and prepare yourself for what you are about to do. Up to a point the more time you spend at the planning stage the better.  

Success icon

You WILL be successful - good planning is key

Let’s consider 9 top tips for presenting at work.  

Focus on your audience. In other words, think about what they want to hear. Not so much on what you want to say, but on what they want from your presentation. For instance you might have 122 ideas on how you could improve the effectiveness of the work process you’re presenting. However they almost certainly will have lost the will to live before you get to number 47, so decide on 19 innovative or refreshing or key ideas. And just go with that.

Think about who they are and what they want. Are you out to persuade, entertain or inform? Fit your preparation around this.

  1. Don’t overrun. Time yourself & add a bit of time on for questions, interruptions etc. Nothing kills a good speech faster than going over your alloted time. And heaven forbid if you start to encroach on their coffee break or toilet break time. Or worse still their time for a ciggy! Practising your presentation a few times in advance and timing it should take care of this.
  2. Practice. You do this to make it look as natural and fluent on the day as possible. It will also calm you, knowing and feeling confident with the structure of your presentation. It means you’ve only got the audience to concentrate on, on the day.
  3. Use the minimum of notes you feel comfortable with. You want to engage with your audience as much as possible, so by all means take text with you, but you really want to just be prompted by key words or phrases in your presentation. And whatever you do, don’t look down and read passages to your audience. It will make them feel embarrassed for you. This is not good. 
  4. Dress to impress but feel comfortable. Your choice of clothing lets the audience know you are taking this seriously. Consider what you are going to wear to project the image you want them to have of you.
  5. Think about what you admire or like in a presenter. This is a great guide. I would hope that it includes such chararcteristics as someone who seems natural, smiles a fair bit, and makes strong eye contact with the audience. In addition, someone who uses a bit of humour gets more from the audience. 
  6. It is often said that there are 3 stages to a presentation. First tell them what you’re gonna tell them, then tell them, and then finally as you finish tell them what you told them. Even the BBC news is structured like this. First they give you the headlines, then they tell you the stories. Finally they finish with that phrase “now for the main stories again……” If it works for them, it is good enough for you and me!
  7. Aim for a powerful start. You want to grab their attention quickly and get them fully engaged. “Ok, in the next session, I’m going to demonstrate how you can tell 40+ things about someone in the first 6 words. Oh and by the way, that is someone you’ve never spoken to before and you can’t even see! 40+ things.” This is the start to one of our training modules.
  8. If you’re there as a guest speaker do not sell your business. However do show them what an expert you are and that will do all the selling for you anyway.
  9. Use anecdotes or worked examples where you can. It lifts your presentation and makes it easier for your audience to relate to. “So for the average person this would mean an increase of £15 per month” Don’t just talk percentages. Make it real.

There are of course many more top tips than this, but again thinking of you the reader we’re conscious of the fact that you’re busy and don’t want loads of information – just some key things you can use. I wish you well with your forthcoming presentation!

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19
Aug

Success is about dogged perseverance – icon tells all

Success may be about dogged perseverance. It certainly worked for this icon. It is easy to give up when it seems things are stacked against you, or that “it’s just not meant to be.” However this famous icon of the 19th century endured, and kept on enduring. ………… This is Abraham Lincoln’s story. Personal development is about endurance Consider this alternative CV of the great man ;

  • 1816 – His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them (aged 7).
  • 1818 – His mother died
  • 1831 – His business failed
  • 1832 – Defeated in Legislature. Also lost his job. Unsuccessfully tried to get into law school.
  • 1833 – Second business failure. He was bankrupted. He’d borrowed the money to set it up from a friend. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
  • 1835 – Was engaged to be married, his fiancée died. It was said his heart was broken.
  • 1836 – Suffered nervous breakdown (hardly surprising) and was in bed for 6 months.
  • 1838 – Defeated for speaker in state legislature
  • 1840 – Defeated for Elector
  • 1843 – Defeated for Congress
  • 1848 – Defeated running for re-election to Congress (having got in, in 1846)
  • 1849 – Rejected for job of land officer in his home state
  • 1855 – Defeated for Senate
  • 1856 – Defeated for Vice President nomination. Got less than 100 votes at party’s national convention.
  • 1858 – Defeated for Senate (again)
  • 1860 – Elected President of the United States

One of the famous quotes attributed to Abe was “having chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear and with manly hearts.”

Slightly strange language by modern standards maybe, but given all the set backs he met in his life, you have to admire his resolve and determination to see his ambition through. A shining example to us all.

If you want to start this journey and develop your own life plan and personal goals, have a look at our self-development CDs.  http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_list.asp?Section=SELF DEVELOPMENT.    At just £34.99 each they could just get you going on the path to achieving your goals. And we hope you don’t have to face anything like the challenges that ol’ Abe had to face!

Good luck!

 

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