Friday, 6 January 2017

Presentation skills are important for a startup business

My regular readers will know that I have joined a local chapter of the BNI and that we are breaking all records for the size and speed that the group is growing to. The latest estimates are that we will launch at the end of January with over 50 members and will pass between £5 and £8 million in business every year. These are phenomenal figures and I am so happy to be a part of it.

One of the added benefits of being a BNI member is the fact that we get training courses thrown in to help us be part of the group, and these will obviously also help in business. This morning (we meet at 6.30am in Sedgefield - contact me if you want more info) we had a training session on presentation skills. I will share with you all the points I took from this.

Dealing with nerves
This is something that I struggle with a little, especially when presenting to people I have never met before. As time goes on with the chapter I am in and I get to know people better I'm sure this will improve but there were tips this morning that will help anyone that has to present for their startup business at any stage-

  • Concentrate on your breathing to keep oxygen flowing
  • Have a backup plan in case something doesn't work (technology, people, etc)
  • Don't read from a script, but have bullet point notes that keep you on track but allow you to speak freely
  • Practice as much as you can to get better with this
Sometimes you have to take yourself out of your comfort zone to get better at something. When I first started with the BNI I was petrified to stand up and speak in front of 50 people but now I feel much better about it.

The 3 elements of presenting
When you break it down there are only 3 elements to what you present-
  1. The voice you present in
  2. The words you use
  3. The body language you use
So you need to think about the way that all three come across so that they all fall into place and allow you to deliver a great presentation. If you have an element of all three then you will be able to capture the attention of the audience with more than just the words you have prepared. Presenting can be anything from a one-on-one conversation to a pitch for more business so think about the styles you currently use.

Think about specifics
As a referral organisation, the BNI is all about connecting people. The quote that was used this morning was-

"Build strong relationships to motivate other people to find more referral business for you."

This is how the BNI works. They take a business and put it in front of the contacts of the people in the room. There may be 50 businesses in the room (this is a big number on its own) but each of those businesses has around a thousand contacts. This means that if you can state a specific local company or person that you are looking to work with them you have a good chance that someone in the room will know them. BNI opens doors.

There are many benefits to being a member of the BNI, and with the chapter growing so quickly there are fantastic opportunities to join now and see your business grow. As I said earlier, if you are close to Sedgefield and looking to grow your business then get in touch.

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