Information, tips and tricks you can use every day!

Presentation Skills: Your Presentation Body [Part 2]

Posted by on December 13, 2011

Presentation BodyLast time we got you started on your presentation body, discussing the need for a main point and its supporting evidence. That was a good start, but since the body is the “meat” of your presentation, we still have a lot to cover. I am so excited to share my knowledge with you because I know you can take these skills with you wherever you go!

Okay, let’s get to it. Once you have decided on your point, or message, you need to present evidence to support it. But although you may know something, how do you put together supporting information in a way that speaks to your audience? Here are some specifics for each of the 5 types of evidence:

  1. Personal Experience: A specific firsthand situation in which you participated that supports or clarifies your point.
    • The personal experience should always be communicated in the first person. For example:                  I said “                       .” He said “                       .”
    • This allows you to use actual dialogue which adds an emotional dimension to the incident, makes it more interesting to the listener and is easier for you to relate. Literally relive the experience.
    • Remember, to most listeners the personal experience is the most interesting and unique form of evidence. People remember stories long after they have forgotten the storyteller.
  2. Analogy: A similarity between things or situations otherwise unlike.
    • This can be a very creative form of evidence and when presented visually, can be quite dramatic.
    • For example, to communicate the concept that we only see part of something and do not have the whole picture, the iceberg can be an effective analogy. To communicate the fact that we do not have the proper equipment, an analogy might be “like trying to keep a football field dry with a box of tissues.”
    • A good analogy allows the speaker to graphically exaggerate a point without offending the intelligence of the listener.
  3. Judgment of Expert: A statement made by a person the group will recognize as an authority on the subject.
    • The statement should be supportive in either a positive or negative manner. If the source is not readily known to the entire group, credentials, qualifications and accomplishments should be identified prior to using a quote. Some sources for judgments of experts are newspapers, journals and trade magazines.
  4. Example: A specific situation where various key factors are similar to those that support your point.
    • Examples make a presentation more interesting and help your audience understand your point.
  5. Facts/Statistics: A fact is something that already happened or a condition that exists.
    • Statistics are a quantification of a fact and are used primarily for comparison. Statistics are used to report on a past activity or to predict the results of future activity.
    • When using statistics, ask yourself:
      • What do they represent? (Results? Predictions?)
      • What do they tell the listener? (Comparison? Conclusion?)
      • How do they support or clarify my point?

It is most important to use visual aids to display statistics. Be graphically dramatic; you will be amazed at the amount of statistical information your audience is able to retain!

Delivery Tips for the Body

Use a flip chart for each key point. This will keep you organized, emphasize points to your audience and allow you to speak from the chart without looking at your notes.

What next? Oh yes, the dreaded conclusion. Let’s leave that for next time

It is essential to get hands-on, practical training in the classroom to bring these concepts to life.

Presentation Skills

Karen Holmes is a CGWA Senior Consultant and Trainer, based in the U.S. and delivering programs such as  Coaching, Positive Power and Influence, Presentation Skills, and many more.


Strategic Planning to Implementation: What’s Your Plan?

Posted by on November 29, 2011

Strategic PlanningWhen department managers and supervisors are asked whether or not they have a plan for success, most will answer yes. A plan sounds like something they should definitely have, right? In fact, they may actually have a plan. But a plan in itself does not ensure success, and executive leadership should always dig deeper. Important questions:

  • Does the plan integrate with our overall corporate goal?
  • What is the scope of the plan?
  • What is the financial risk inherent in the plan?
  • What resources are required to implement the plan?
  • What specific problem does the plan address?
  • How is success measured?
  • Who is responsible for each action item within the plan?
  • Where, specifically, is the plan taking the department or business?

Without in-depth, customized training in strategic planning, most leaders will not be able to answer all of these questions. They may possess a profound understanding of their part of the business without recognizing how it fits into the entire enterprise. The skill set for running an efficient department does not always translate to analytic review of numbers and the creation of data-driven decisions. There is also a tendency in excellent employees toward a desire to fix everything. Good strategic planning understands that you cannot attack all problems at once.

If your business is striving to make breakthroughs, performing badly in certain critical areas, has a limited budget for multiple improvement initiatives or is trying to reach long-term business goals, then you need strategic planning. Since moving through strategic planning all the way to implementation only works when employees and leaders of all levels buy in to and participate in the process, you also need training.

CGWA is proud to offer our customized Strategic Planning and Implementation workshop for your leadership team. We’ll help develop your team by providing the skills and knowledge needed to question goals, design plans that support overall business desires, and define precise metrics for success. Leaders will come away with a toolbox to propel them from ideas to action and on to success. Seize the moment and move your business toward increased efficiency and profitability!


Presentation Skills: Organizing Your Presentation

Posted by on October 31, 2011

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Last week, we talked about how to plan your presentation. Now you need to organize your material to add clarity to your presentation. It’s important to create a structure that helps your audience understand your message. If your presentation isn’t organized, your listeners will have to search for that message. But that’s hard work, and most audiences won’t do it. If you force them to search, you will lose your audience’s attention. But organizing your presentation will keep them right there with you.

There are two ways in which you can organize your key points:

  • most to least important
  • natural progression

Most to Least Important

Look through your key points. Think in terms of what is of most interest to your audience: What is their primary concern? This is your most important point and should be the one you present first. Organize the remaining points in terms of what is most important in conveying your message, which points help people take the action you want them to take. When you are finished with this process, your key points will end up in a most to least important order.

Your most important points should be stated first because people are most attentive at the beginning of a presentation. Also, if there is a time limit, you don’t want to be cut off without having made your most important points. What a tragedy that would be!

Natural Progression

If there is a natural progression to your topic, present the material in its natural order. Natural progression include chronological order (past, present, future), time sequences (an unfolding schedule), cause and effect, advantages and disadvantages, etc.

Well-organized material helps your audience get the message!

Presentation Skills

Please tune in next time to learn about Your Presentation Introduction.

Karen Holmes is a CGWA Senior Consultant and Trainer, based in the U.S. and delivering programs such as Coaching, Positive Power and Influence, Presentation Skills, and many more.


Free Consultation with No Obligation. Really?

Posted by on September 29, 2011

Contact UsDo you ever wish you could bend the ear of an expert, whether it be about influencing someone, implementing change, or simply developing tactics for your next negotiation? Unfortunately, it seems there’s no easy, affordable or no-obligation way to access those experts. Even if you know what consultant or company to call for that help, you will inevitably hear a sales pitch about services offered, or end up committing to a meeting later on.

While these sales tactics are commonplace, they don’t necessarily answer your needs in the moment. Sure, you might be interested in speaking further with the consultant/company you chose to contact, but right now you just need help!

I know it sounds too good to be true, but we at CGWA are offering just that today. You won’t hear a sales pitch or be forced to commit to anything. We just want to talk with you and help you create solutions. Why would we do this? Because our mission is to help people, plain and simple.

We’re out there every day making the business world a better place, and we want you to benefit from it. Check out our offerings to get an idea of how broad our knowledge is, and…

Contact CGWA

…then tell the world what you think! Use the buttons at the top of this blog to email this article, share it on LinkedIn, Like us on Facebook, Tweet it, or +1 it.

We can’t wait to hear from you!


Negotiating through Conflict

Posted by on September 21, 2011

Negotiating through Conflict resized 600As long as we share the planet with other human beings, negotiation—and the accompanying conflict—will exist. Let’s face it; no two people see thing exactly the same way, hence the need for negotiation.

Negotiation and conflict go hand-in-hand, but does conflict always have to be negative?

I know many folks who say they hate conflict and will avoid it at any cost. Unfortunately, the cost can be huge. Not only are needs and desires left unmet, but people are often left feeling frustrated, resentful and stressed. And in business negotiations, the financial consequences of unresolved conflict can be dire.

Once we accept the universal truth that conflict is natural, and a natural part of negotiations, we open ourselves up to see conflict in a positive light. Conflict is always an opportunity to see things from another’s point of view. Only when we take the time to really listen to others do we increase our chances of finding an agreeable resolution for all.

CGWA’s Negotiation Skills: Reaching High Quality Agreements and combination Negotiation/Conflict Resolution/Cross-Functional Collaboration workshops teach how to navigate through all types of negotiations, including the best ways to work through conflict and create win-win agreements. Our focus on interest-based conflict resolution eliminates the power struggles inherent in negotiation by allowing the parties to create durable solutions at the basic needs/interests level.

We explore the 3 levels of conflict resolution:

Interests Rights Power

Conflicts often escalate when disputes begin at level 2 or 3, or move indiscriminately up and down, ignoring level 1: the Interests level. Interests are at the heart of all positions in a conflict as they represent the tangible items that each party needs, desires, or has concern over.

Effective conflict resolution must take the Interests level into account. Failure to do so often results in devastating financial costs and relationship damage through legal battles, union strikes, or the firing of employees.

But you don’t have to worry about any of this. You have CGWA on your side! If you’re dealing with conflict or need help with a current negotiation, you’re in luck! For a limited time, we are offering you a free consultation with our in-house expert, Rick Eber. Click now!


Did you know? CGWA has a global reach!

Posted by on August 1, 2011

What You Already Know…

By now, there’s plenty you do know about CGWA, such as:

  • We are dedicated to providing outstanding solutions to organizational performance issues through both consulting and education
  • We have a 30+ year uninterrupted track record of success with some of the best companies in the world
  • Our founder, Greg Wright, is widely regarded as one of the best consultants in our areas of focus
  • Our trainers and consultants are consistently asked back by our customers because they are several cuts above the “norm”
  • Our Operations Team is referred to frequently as “The Ultimate Office Team”

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What You May Not Know…

We train and consult for clients all over the world. As a business, it’s easy to get boxed into a specific category. People often think that since our corporate headquarters is located in the United States, we can/will only work with U.S. clients. Fortunately, that’s not true at all!

We’re proud to work with a global network of multilingual trainers and consultants hailing from Australia, China, France, Germany, Sinagpore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Venezuela…and the list goes on. This allows us to weave a worldly perspective into the fabric of our work, creating high-quality, customized solutions for all of our clients–no matter where they are.

Let CGWA help your organization turn problems into solutions… 


Remain calm and listen! Influencing to overcome objections.

Posted by on July 5, 2011

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When you have that all-important influence conversation, trying to get someone’s help or cooperation, you may run into some difficult objections from the other person. This often seems like an impossible challenge, since you were really hoping to lay out your request and get immediate agreement. When you meet resistance, panic sometimes sets in–causing you to sabotage yourself during the influence encounter, destroying your chances of a successful outcome.
But instead of giving in to panic, remain calm! All will be well. Remember that listening is key. Of course, really listening to the other person involves understanding, responding to, and overvcoming any objections they have to your request. And believe me, you will almost always hear an objection or two!

So, how do you handle objections in the proper way—without getting upset and shutting down the conversation? Well, here are 4 proven ways to keep that positive influence dialogue going:

  1. Things to Avoid:
    • Do not get defensive! I can justify that… But…
    • Do not avoid the objection.Oh, that’s no big deal… (or change the subject)
    • Do not “knee-jerk” to quick fix. I can take care of that!
    • Do not make assumptions about their real need.
    • Disengage—do not avoid. Calmly bring the conversation to an end for now, and come back to it later when cooler heads prevail.
  2. Make sure you understand the objection:
    • Involve to clarify: Could you expand on that for me? Tell me more… What are your concerns?
    • Active Listening — Restate: So your concern is… You’re saying that…
    • Disclose to connect and build trust: I was unaware that X was causing… My intention was to…
  3. Ask appropriate questions to get to the real need:
    • What are the consequences of this concern?
    • What would you like to see happen ideally?
  4. Respond appropriately:
    • Persuading: Here is what I suggest and why it makes sense…
    • Asserting: If I did X to meet your need on Y would you be willing to go forward… In my opinion it would…

This process shouldn’t take long. If you are really listening, your influence conversation will have a positive outcome for both of you. Not only that, the other person will be much more willing to deal with you in the future. But the real bonus is that you are actually improving your relationship with that person!

Positive Power and Influence

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