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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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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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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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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18
Feb

Free business seminars from your local Business Link

Free business seminars from your local Business Link. Still – it seems. We’re aware there are many cuts in government spending, but there are still business development opportunities and new ideas to be had for free – paid for by the government.

Certainly here in the Midlands Business Link is continuing to offer the excellent range of Transformational ICT seminars. OK, not the most catchy of titles (what do you expect from marketing in the public sector?!) But the seminars on a whole range of website building, e-mail marketing and other social networking are well worth attending.

You learn about some really interesting stuff, from some good, knowledgeable speakers and of course, you meet other business people facing the same challenges as you.

All in all thoroughly recommended.

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26
Nov

We like the work of Peter Thomson

You will find many self-appointed gurus all over the internet offering their wares and their wisdom. And we’re sure that with some time you could consider all of them. Most people who are experts in any area of self-development will probably have something that will benefit you. But how do you choose which ones to listen to? 

Personal development is the key to happiness ?!!

Personal development is the key to happiness ?!!

Many are American of course, so it is great to find some great ideas that will benefit British people and British organisations right here in Britain. The work of Peter Thomson is something we think you should check out.

His work provides ideal content for those of you running businesses or interested in personal growth and development. We’ve attended seminars and sessions run by Peter and can highly recommend him. He is down to earth and friendly and yet you can tell he’s well rehearsed. What else could be more important in a trainer or speaker?! click on www.peterthomson.com/ to find out more about Peter’s work.

His area of specialism is around helping organisations develop better selling. He refers to himself as the UK’s leading strategist on business and personal growth. But have a look, have a listen and tell us what you think.

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19
Oct

The case for training

 

The case for training. Admittedly we sell training products so we might be seen to have an opinion on this. As customers become ever more sophisticated and demanding about what they want, so customer service becomes more important.

We came across a quote recently from the highly influential management book from the 1980s “the One Minute Manager” by Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson.

“You really have three choices as a manager. First you can hire winners. They are hard to find and they cost money. Or second, if you can’t find a winner, you can hire someone with the potential to be a winner. Then you systematically train that person to become a winner. If you are not willing to do either of the first two (and I am continually amazed at the number of managers who won’t spend the money to hire a winner or take the time to train someone to become a winner), then there is only the third choice left – prayer.” This books comes highly recommended. It is easy to read, it is written almost as a children’s book and so you will get through it in no time at all. Amazon is a good source for this book.

Follow this link to find out more http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss_0_14?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=one+minute+manager&sprefix=one+minute+man

The One Minute Manager - recommended by Associated Learning Systems

The One Minute Manager - recommended by Associated Learning Systems

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17
Sep

Now is the time for you to set up your own business

Now is the time for you to set up your own business. It really is. With the economy showing signs of slow recovery, and the job market changing beyond all recognition, now is the time to take the plunge – if you’ve always harboured the desire to work for yourself and generate your own income.

It doesn’t even need to cost you anything to get started. The rise of the internet makes this possible. In fact you can cast your net (to use a fishing analogy) and see what bites. You can even do this while working in a job if necessary. You might have an outside hobby or interest that you’re wondering if you could make any money out of.

Our top tip is create yourself a business profile on a site such as HotFrog. It is completely free and you can add searchwords and build your own business listing.  Follow the link http://www.hotfroguk.co.uk/ So if you’d like to try your hand at jam making, or buying and selling cameras or floristry or palmistry, you can do all this for free. Then of course if you start to get some responses it will tell you whether you have a viable business idea.

Never has the opportunity for starting out on your own been so good. Most markets are likely to get more buoyant so if you can build an effective small scale business model that works now, your prospects should grow over time.

Everyone has skills, things they’re good at. Now is the opportunity to tap into your entrepreneurial spirit and give it a go. Best of luck !

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08
Jul

Stimulate your brain – where to find ideas for business growth

There are many ways you can gather great business growth ideas at the moment. And many of the best ones are free !

You are surrounded all day, every day by people willing to share their wisdom with you. So have a coffee with someone who has a business idea or a product or service that you could learn something from.

There are an increasing number of free seminars being run at the moment. Apart from a little time, what do you have to lose ? 

And networking meetings – a great device for meeting new people – some of whom will know of people who could benefit from your services. You may be thinking that you can’t devote regular time to a networking group, or you can’t afford it at the moment. However most groups are always interested in attracting new members so it is always easy to attend as a guest. You can even stand in for regular members often. This will merely cost you your breakfast.

So get out there and circulate and you’ll be amazed how many new ideas you can pick up easily.

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19
Mar

Some funded and free training is now available through Train to Gain

Some funded and free training is now available through Train to Gain. Our friends over at To Market who specialise in training and development work with customer service, telesales and telemarketing tell us they’ve got hold of some training funding for you. 

Partially funded customer service training - through Train to Gain

Partially funded customer service training - through Train to Gain

At the moment they are looking to offer both free and partially funded training to organisations In Leicester, Northampton, Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, Coventry and Birmingham as well as wider parts of Northamptonshire, Leicestershire plus East Midlands, West Midlands and East of England. If  this is of interest to you, follow this link to http://www.tomarket.co.uk/blog/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=51. This gives details of the East Midlands training, the West Midlands and East of England will go live we are told over the next 2 days.

But this really is a chance not to be missed so have a look at the details and sign up ! Maybe you’ll even get to hear some of the material on the audio CDs you will find on this site.

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