Five Ways to Make Video Presenting Easier

Every time someone presents on camera, the experience is unique. But you may notice recurring obstacles that prevent you from concentrating, or enjoying the process.

Presenting on camera is something that you can learn to do with confidence and ease. You can learn the skills from books, audio courses, online courses, classes and boot camps.

Here are some challenges people have shared from me, as well as some practical ways to overcome them.

1. Getting Started
Making the commitment to practice video presenting is often the biggest hurdle for busy professionals.

“I’ll do it someday,” becomes the ever-present item on your To-Do List.

Solution: Start experimenting today. The next time you have a flip cam in your hand, don’t shy away. Eventually, try to get on camera for a few minutes every week…if not every day.

2. Getting Over It
Chasing after the perfect image is hard work for every presenter.

“I hate my hair…I hate my wrinkles…I should lose 10 pounds.” These are the kinds of comments that keep you from standing in front of a camera and making an impact.

Solution: It’s a common problem–but once you start providing valuable content, your focus shifts. Your viewers are much more concerned about what you are offering than judging your appearance. They will value your ideas, tips and learning points. If you start sharing now, you’ll find the rewards of video presenting will out number the concerns about how you look.

3. Finding Time To Improve
Your crazy-busy day and urgent demands of your business make it challenging to find time to improve your video presentation skills.

“My day is already overbooked and I’m running as fast as I can!”

Solution: Schedule time with an expert coach. If I don’t work with an expert, I tend not to do it at all. Remember, presenting on video is a critical skill for professional success. Remind yourself why you want to gain confidence in this medium. Make the call.

4. Moving On Purpose
Fidgeting, shifting weight, and pacing distract from your professional presence on camera.

“I don’t know what to do with my hands, feet; how to stand, when to move and when to stand still.”

Solution: Stand tall and deliver your key point. Move on purpose. Then stop. Deliver your next point. Focus on purposeful gestures, emphasizing key ideas. If you aren’t sure how to move or are concerned about body language, take a video presentation class. You’ll get the attention and personal feedback to take your skills to the next level.

5. Presenting For Today
Your body, speech, and delivery are unlikely to be radically different from one day to the next. Avoid starting off with unrealistic expectations.

“I need to be like a talk-show host or professional television star.”

Solution: Accept that the most important thing about video presenting is this: starting! Realize that your skills will develop gradually, with training, coaching and practice.

With steady steps, you can realistically expect improvement. With a steady commitment, you will be able to reap the benefits of video presenting. It’s the fastest way to reach more clients and grow your business.

What Are the Best Xmas Presents

Is Christmas coming soon? Well when the festive period is near, people are often caught in a bind as they are all scratching their heads wondering what Xmas presents to buy for their loved ones and friends. Well selecting a good Xmas gift is really about understanding the person well. Some people like the guys are practical. They want gifts that are of utilitarian value, i.e. the gift must be something that they need and can be used. When it comes to the ladies, this rule may not apply. If this rule applies, then ladies won’t be happy to see flowers or cards. On the other hand however, it is pretty easy to get something for the ladies basically because there are so many things meant for women in the market. Cosmetics, shoes, bags, clothes are some of the things you can get, and as times change and women become dominant in the work place, you see more ladies who love gadgets too, so stuff like laptops, tablets, briefcases and document bags also become great gifts.

It is important to know what the person you are buying the gift for really loves. For example one issue is the brand of the product. Does he or she prefer a certain brand or rather that it be brandless so that the item is not so flashy and attention catching. You have to be observant too. Some girls may not have their ears pierced so buying earrings for them is a definite no no. What about people who absolutely detest certain brands? Be sure not to buy them the wrong product or else they may get very upset.

So you see buying a present, be it for a special someone or even a family member, is not easy. It takes time to know a person and hence it takes time to know what a person likes as well. Some people are more practical, others trust their heart and buying something which can create sentimental value is the best. I would recommend that you also speak to the friends or those who are close to the person you are buying the present for. You often see girls shopping together and one of the best things is enlisting the help of a close female friend if the person you are buying the gift for is a female. If it is a he, then perhaps you should get a more practical gift to be on the safe side.

How to Ensure Your Presentation is Perfectly Balanced

Balancing Your Presentations

I’m going to show my age here but do any of you remember the singer Val Doonican? He would always wear big cuddly jumpers and sit on a three legged stool with his guitar on his leg.

Now if I were sitting on his stool right now about to present, I would hope that the three legs are firm, secure and of the same length.

Otherwise the stool will collapse and I’ll bomb.

Now when you’re presenting, imagine that you have to sit on this stool for the entire session. I bet you hope that your stool is robust enough to carry you through. So let’s get this stool robust enough.

You see the three legs of the stool must be perfectly balanced otherwise the presentation will fail. Full stop.

Leg one is the objectives of your presentation, leg two is the time and leg three, your audience. Are they in balance is the question to ask yourself before every presentation.

Objectives
Onto leg number one – the objectives should be clear. You’ve probably heard of SMART objectives, which is a very useful acronym on how to structure any business objective but what I want you to do is to switch the focus. Away from you and to your audience, who are actually more important than you. It’s not what you want to achieve…it’s what the audience want to get out of listening to you talk.

My experience has shown that business presentation audiences want to do one of three things. As a result of listening to you, they want to:

  • Be able to do something, or
  • Understand something, or
  • Agree to do something.

Naturally your talk might want to help them do a few of these objectives but you do have to be very careful in not trying to achieve too much. The last objective, agree to do something, might only happen if an earlier understanding objective is achieved and it’s highly unlikely you’ll get the whole audience to commit to do something.

Audience
Leg number two is the audience. The audience is king, and should be put up there on the throne. How much time to you spend researching your audience:

  • Who they are?
  • Why are they attending?
  • What time of day is it going to be?
  • What knowledge do they already have?
  • What attitudes and beliefs do they have?
  • How many of them are there?
  • What’s their background

And so on. Really focus on your audience.

Time
And finally leg number three, time. How long do you have to talk? Seems quite simple really but this one can jeopardise the other legs quite quickly. One of the biggest mistakes presenters make (and myself included here) is to try and achieve more objectives than can be achieved in the time available. We end up rushing, trying to get our audience to take on more than the magic three points, lose our real purpose and often overrun, which is unforgivable.

Let me give you an example. If some one fixes the audience, the time and the objective, you’re usually on a hiding for nothing. Some years ago I was asked by a sales director to address his entire sales team on how to negotiate client fees effectively. The venue was a smart hotel and the event was their annual sales conference.

The audience numbered over 100 and the time I was allowed was 30 minutes, and that was assuming the person before me didn’t over-run (and they always do). Now this was impossible to achieve in 30 minutes and if I went ahead as requested I would have bombed. Instead, thankfully, we negotiated the objective and dumbed it right down. We also arranged for further workshops to address the remaining objectives with less than 12 people per workshop.

Next time you’re planning a business presentation, before you jump head first into PowerPoint, stop and think of your stool. Are the legs strong enough and in balance to support your presentation?

Think back to the singer Val Doonican, if any of his legs were shorter or a bit wobbly, poor old Val would have come a cropper right in the middle of his song. Now that would have been a great shame wouldn’t it?