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matrix vision newsletter
Presentation Skills Issue
July, 2009 - Vol 2, Issue 7
In This Issue
Fear of Speaking
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
Practice Makes Perfect
Feedback - the Key to Improvement
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Story of the Month
A renowned philosopher was held in high regard by his driver, who listened in awe at every speech while his boss would easily answer questions about morality and ethics.
Then one day the driver approached the philosopher and asked if he was willing to switch roles for the evening`s lecture.
The philosopher agreed and, for a while, the driver handled himself remarkably well. When it came time for questions from the guests, a woman in the back asked, "Is the epistemological view of the universe still valid in an existentialist world?"
"That is an extremely simple question," he responded.
"So simple, in fact, that even my driver could answer that, which is exactly what he will do."
Presentation Quotes
"It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time."
Wayne Burgraff 
"There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave."
Dale Carnegie
"Talk low, talk slow, and don't talk too much."
John Wayne 

"Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them either."

Gore Vidal

"There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience"
Alexander Gregg 

Welcome to the matrix vision newsletter.  This months newsletter has the theme of presentations. We have included articles about:
  • ideas to help overcome the fear of speaking in public,
  • tips about how and what you need to know in order to be prepared to present, 
  • some clues about how get the most from the rehearsals of your presentation and
  • how  to use feedback to get better.

We have received feedback from a number of readers that they felt that the newsletter was getting too long.  In response we have shortened the newsletter and provide links for any reader who wishes to explore a topic in further detail. Enjoy your reading and as always your feedback is welcome!

Fear of Speaking
Book of ListsIn 1977 I read a book called the "Book of Lists". The book was basically  a series of "top ten" lists. 
However one list intrigued me.  It was a list of the greatest fears of mankind. Sure the big ones were there; spiders, flying, confined spaces and even death itself. However, according to the authors' research the number one fear of people was speaking in public.
A number of years ago in an episode of Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld talked about a poll that had been conducted in which Americans said that their number one fear was public speaking, and that the fear of death was number five. He said, "...that would mean that at a funeral, people are five times more likely to want to be in the casket than giving the eulogy.
This fear is called "glossophobia" and it can stop people from achieving the things they want in their career and their life.  The requirement  in all professions if you are to effectively communicate your ideas is to, at some time. have to address a group of individuals.  Fortunately the fear can be overcome.
Tips to Overcome Glossophobia
Prepare - The confidence to speak well comes from putting the time in to preparing well.  A favourite saying of mine is "Proper Preparation Prevents P--s Poor Performance" and is very true in everything we do, particularly presentation.
Practice, Practice, Practice - Part of preparation is to make sure that the presentation is perfect by rehearsing the presentation as many times as you can.

Realise that 90% of nervousness doesn't show - Most of the symptoms of nervousness, butterflies, sweaty palms, faster heart beat, etc., never show to an audience. If you set your notes down on a lectern, the audience won't be able to see even shaky hands. 

Get rid of the beliefs and behaviours that cause fear - Many of our fears about public speaking come about due to unwarranted and unjustified thoughts. It may be true that Fear is actually "False Expectations Appearing Real".

Visualise the outcome that you want - Instead visualise positive success. Picture the opening, body and the close. Picture everyone smiling, laughing at your humor, applause at appropriate times and then coming up afterwards telling you about the great job you did.
***** For the full list of tips *****  CLICK HERE
All speakers get nervous before they speak.  As Mark Twain observed "There are only two types of speakers in the world - the nervous and the liars."
It is the nervous energy that allows the speaker to present with enthusiasm and excitement. 
Recently departed newsman Walter Cronkite once remarked "It's natural to have butterflies, the secret is to get them to fly in formation?"
Following the tips outlined above will go a long way to getting the butterflies in formation.
***** For further information about how we can help you improve your presentation skills *****   CLICK HERE
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
 Be Prepared

The motto of the boy scouts organisation is "be prepared".  To be able to deliver a successful presentation, preparation is the key. 

It is said that Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address took seven minutes to deliver, yet it took seven days to write.  This gives us an indication of the proportion of time spent in preparation compared to presentation.
Things to Know Before You Start Writing
The more you know about your AUDIENCE, the more you will be in tune with them.  These are just some of the questions you will need to answer about the audience:
  • How large will your audience be?
  • What are the age and educational ranges of your audience?
  • What are the chief social and financial concerns of your audience?
  • Will your listeners be predominately men or women?
  • What types of employment do your listeners have?
  • What types of hobbies or other interests do your listeners have?
  • What does this group meet?
  • What common interests bring the members together?
  • What other characteristics typify this audience?
The more you know about the REASON and PURPOSE for your presentation before you prepare, the more it will help determine the material to use and the direction to take.  Once you know your audience, these are just some of the questions you will need to answer about the reason and purpose:
  • Whom do you wish to influence?
  • What do you want them to do?
  • When do you want them to do it?
  • Where do you want them to do it?
  • Why do you want them to do it?
  • How do you want them to do it?
  • What are your primary and secondary goals?
The more you know about your TIME limits, the less the chance of embarrassing moments. These are just some of the questions you will need to answer about the time of your presentation:
  • Will a meal be served, and, if so, will you speak before or after the meal?
  • Is there a guest of honour?
  • Will there be other speakers, and, if so, in what order will you speak?
  • How important is your role? Are you the keynote speaker?
  • How long a speech does the organiser expect?
The more you know about the VENUE, the better the chance of eliminating unpleasant surprises. 
These are just some of the questions you will need to answer about the location of your presentation:
  • How large a room will you be in?
  • Will the audience be sitting in rows of chairs, at tables, or will they be standing?
  • Will you be on a stage or podium, or at a head table?
  • Will you have a lectern?
  • Will you have a microphone, and, if so, will it be portable or fixed?
  • Exactly where will you be, where will the audience be, and where will the guest of honour, the person who introduces you, and other important guests be?
So far we have just touched on the questions you should have answered to start your preparation, writing your presentation is another topic altogether. 
***** If you would like some help with your preparation CONTACT US *****
Practice Makes Perfect
Violin Practice
Practice is the key to building any skill.  If you ask anyone who has become an accomplished musician or has excelled in any sport, they will tell you of all the time they spent practising their skills which enabled them to be successful.  The same applies to building presentation skill.
How to Practice Your Presentation
The following represents some ideas about how to practice to help you give a more relaxed, confident and enthusiastic presentation.
  • Make sure your notes are "key words" only, printed in large letters on index cards.  They will provide you with recall cues without having you "read" to your audience.
  • Mentally run through the presentation to review each idea in sequence.
  • Repeat the above procedure until you become familiar with the flow of ideas and where you plan to use visual aids to support them.
  • Begin stand-up rehearsals of your presentation. Try to arrange a practice room similar to the one in which you will actually give your presentation.
  • Read more tips to help you practice your presentation............. HERE
Feedback - the Key to Improvement
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Matrix Vision is a value added reseller and a user of the most powerful and versatile feedback software tool available today.
You have many options when choosing a feedback provider to use for gathering information about your individual, team or organisational performance.  There are three important reasons why matrix vision using 20/20 Insight GOLD technology is your best choice:

Our software contains everything you might need - for everyone involved in the feedback process:

  • More than 1,200 items in a massive library - easily customised - or we can incorporate your competencies.
  • Approximately 300 survey items in leadership categories.  Each one has an associated document for the learner that contains:
    • What a low rating in this item might mean
    • Specific recomenadtions for improving in this area
    • Recommended resources
  • Ability to not only collect open-ended responses at the end of the survey but also get optional explanatory comments for each item rated, providing extraordinary coaching and personal growth material.
  • Dozens of powerful reports can be generated.  Compare previous to current results to measure improvements.  Produce consolidated reports with summary data for the entire organisation.
  • A 31 page booklet and online performance analysis tool for each feedback recipient to help them create and implement a personal development plan.

We can tailor almost any aspect of a feedback project - add your competencies, use or modify ours - or any combination.  With this unprecedented flexibility, we can provide many different types of surveys for your organisation.  A few examples:

  • All "soft-skills" training to provide a baseline of behaviours, feedback to participants and measureable results to management
  • Leadership and individual skill development
  • Needs anaysis
  • Team and organisational effectiveness
  • Climate surveys and customer feedback

Feedback is one of our specialities.  We have the experience and expertise to handle all your feedback and survey administration needs.  We take time to find out exactly what you need, and we create the survey according to your specifications.

  • Save valuable internal staff time for other priorities
  • Get efficient and very cost effective services
  • Relax, knowing that all feedback is kept confidential and stored securely off-site
  • Make it easy and fast for participants with an internet connection to access their assessments from anywhere in the world.
To learn more about the power of 20/20 Insight Gold click on the image.

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Next month the theme of the newsletter will be "Selling Skills".
All the Best,
Barry Signature
Barry McMaster
Matrix Vision Pty Limited