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A Quick Guide to Presenting

Whether you are a first-time speaker or someone who does this regularly, presenting can be nerve-wracking and stress inducing. The old advice of “picture them in their underwear” does little to allay fears and nothing to improve your speaking skills. Instead, we offer a quick review of things to do before and during your next big presentation. Don’t worry, you’ve got this!

Be Prepared

No matter what the topic of your presentation is, be prepared. Have your presentation deck organized, technology all set, and handouts ready to go. Know your content inside and out to the point that you don’t even need to look at your slides. Go deep into your research so if questions are asked you will have the answers.

That takes us to the next way that you should be prepared – know your audience. Take a serious look at who your audience is and why they are coming to your presentation. What are their needs and what do they hope to get out of it? Obviously, a presentation to a group of CEOs will be dramatically different than one to first-time clients.

 

Start Strong

There is nothing worse for an audience member than hearing a speaker drone on from the start to the end of a presentation without showing passion or a love for what they are discussing. For this reason, start your presentation off strong. We live in a world of immediate gratification and constant entertainment. Start your presentation off with a bang and get their attention from the very start. Start by connecting with the audience through a story, an engaging slide, or information that they may not have heard before.

Keep It Simple and Straightforward

Most people in the business world have limited time as it is, so stick to a core message. It may help to tell the audience what the three main things are that you want them to take away from your presentation. Tell them upfront what you plan on talking about and then get to it. Try not to take a detour and chat about irrelevant information.

Be Personable

Smile, make eye contact, and speak naturally. These are three things you can do to relate to the audience and be personable. This can build rapport and actually make you less nervous.

A Word About Slides

Many great orators use slides, while others just talk. If you are going to use slides to complement your presentation, Guy Kawasaki of Apple suggests that slideshows should:

  • Contain no more than 10 slides;
  • Last no more than 20 minutes; and
  • Use a font size of no smaller than 30-point.

Giving a presentation doesn’t need to be unnerving. Following these simple steps can get you on the path to giving professional presentations. Need more information on being confident when presenting? Check out our seminar on “Presenting with Confidence” with Jim Ognibene on May 28 from 6-9pm.

 

Drones for Business Use

Over the past several years businesses have cultivated new and interesting ways to add drone technology to their critical tasks. Amazon Prime Air Service is planning to offer fast delivery turnarounds with a drone prototype. Shell Oil Refinery uses drones to complete safety and compliance inspections. Walmart applied for a patented drone system to carry items around the store. And the British Broadcast Company (BBC) uses drones in order to broadcast events happening in real-time.

These companies are just examples of how business leaders have utilized unmanned aerial vehicles to bolster sales, get a jump on the competition, and be an innovator in the area of drone technology. Is your company considering using drones for transport, surveillance, safety, imaging, or any other reason?

The idea of using unmanned aerial vehicles is not a new one. In fact, the earliest unmanned aerial vehicle in the history of drones was seen in 1839, when Austrian soldiers attacked the city of Venice with unmanned balloons filled with explosives. As you can imagine, some of the balloons hit their targets, while others did not. Even then, drones had dangers associated with them.

Today’s businesses are looking for any means necessary to get ahead, cut costs, and make a name for themselves. Drones may fit the bill in many of those instances. However, there are some caveats to drone flying. Drone flying must meet the requirements put forth by the FAA – Federal Aviation Authority. Some of these requirements include an age requirement of 16, a remote pilot’s certificate, passing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) vetting process, meeting a weight limit, conducting a pre-flight check, obtaining an operating license depending on the class of drone, and a myriad of flying rules once in the air.

In more recent news, commercial airline pilots have complained about having near misses with drones upon landing or having drones flying in restricted space. Know Before You Fly is a great place to start if you are looking for more requirements and regulations when it comes to drone use for your business. It is a great resource to connect with before you begin your business drone planning.

Are you considering integrating drone use into your business? We suggest checking out our seminar on May 13 entitled “Drones for Municipalities: What You Need to Know in Order to Fly (Hands-on Workshop).” Check out all of Enterprise Center’s seminars on our events page.

 

Assembling a Great Management Team

If you have seen the Marvel Avengers franchise’s latest installment, End Game, (and, let’s face it, millions of you have seen it) then you know what a powerful, efficient, and productive team looks like. Your business team may not have Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk or any of the other members of the Avengers, but you probably have just as diverse a group that you are trying to mold into a great management team. Let’s take a look at some of the methods and qualities you will want to encourage in your management team.

Focus on Roles

One of the first things a small or medium-sized business owner may want to do is to define which positions are needed for a business to thrive. Make it a goal to hire with those specific needs in mind. Each person should have a particular specialty instead of just a general business resume. Look for someone who will fill a particular need and add a little something extra to your team, like fitting the pieces of the jigsaw together. Just like each member of the Avengers has special gifts or powers, your management team should be stacked with people who have something unique or specialized about them as well.

Excellent Communication

For a team to work well together, there should be multiple channels of communication, depending upon the project or work being done. For example, team members should be able to communicate on an informal level on channels such as Slack, or in more formal ways such as during presentations, client meetings, or emails. Look for team members who possess excellent communication skills and, if you are lucky, you may find people who communicate so well that they can intrinsically coordinate with other team members and anticipate needs.

Goal Seekers

Management teams should always be striving toward a goal, whether it is long-term or short-term. Arrange regular check-ins and meetings to determine whether goals are being met or if they need to be adjusted in any way. This will go hand-in-hand with communication between your team members.

 

Build Rapport

Teams don’t just come together and work seamlessly in unison. It takes time and nurturing for teams to hit their stride – even Captain America and Iron Man haven’t always seen eye-to-eye! Create a culture in your office where team members can get to know one another on different levels. Help them celebrate successes and milestones together, either business or personal. And when there is a failure, talk about it as a team without laying blame on any one person’s feet. The culture you create can help your team grow and learn together. If you are lucky, they will support each other to take calculated risks or get creative when the need arises.

Want to know more about building a great management team one that will rival the Avengers (ok not really)? Consider attending some of our seminars such as, “What Do You Need for a Management Team to Be Successful?”

Top 5 Ways to Gauge Search Engine Results

Understanding the Google Search Results Page (SERP) is like trying to navigate the Atlantic Ocean without a map; there are so many new updates and algorithm changes you must stay on top of in order to surpass your competitors. Here are 5 tips on bettering your Search Engine Marketing:

  • Bounce Rate – Get an understanding of what it means to have a high and low bounce rate, and which one you should strive to attain. For example, single-page websites, like blogs, typically have a higher bounce rate than those with many pages within the site. If you’re looking to lower the bounce rate of your site, you should first look at your bounce rate from different angles. A healthy bounce rate for search ads is between 30-40%, and between 70-80% for display ads. Find out which one your website is and how you can attain those recommended bounce rates.

 

  • The Importance of SEO Page rank – To start, attaining a first-page ranking status is important because it makes your site more visible to people who search for your product or service. This usually means that your website will get more traffic than other sites with a lower ranking. The higher your website ranks in a search engine, like Google, the more traffic your website will receive, so you should aim to be #1 in Google search results. This, however, is easier said than done. Another key factor is how relevant your keywords are. Some keywords perform better than others, so take the time to carefully consider which keywords you want to use.

 

  • Is your Google My Business Listing Up-To-Date? – Google My Business is where you can create and manage your business listing(s) in the [Google] search engine. When users search for your business, a box will show up on the right side of the screen which displays the most relevant search result. The box features the name of the business, the location, telephone number(s), hours of operation, and even Google reviews from customers and clients who have had experience with that business. It is essential to keep this information up-to-date and accurate so that your business can be featured as the most relevant search result.

 

  • Audience & Traffic in your Target Market – The ability to reach your target market is essential to keeping up with the current marketing strategies. A good practice to ensure you’re appealing to the right audience is to do some research and understand who in the community can benefit from your product or service. It is wise to create appealing content, content that gets people interested in what you have to offer. Another modern idea is to include multimedia – graphics, visuals, and videos – with your content. Research has shown that users are able to retain more information with the help of visual aids.

 

  • Enhance User Experience (UX) – User experience will be a determining factor in your website’s bounce rate. If your website is too flashy or too complicated to use, users will be ultimately turned off, increasing your bounce rate. Your website should be intuitive enough so that visitors can navigate easily, yet have some personality, flair, and pizzazz so that people enjoy the time they spend on your website.

You should also strive to make your content mobile-friendly. This ties together the above-mentioned strategies to give your website a competitive edge in the fight to rank highest in search engine results.

Multicultural Marketing Strategies

With a constant influx of people from varying socioeconomic backgrounds residing in our communities, businesses should really begin the practice of marketing their products and services to these people for a variety of reasons. Multicultural marketing is an excellent strategy because you can communicate to your consumer base on their level, through their language, culture, traditions, religion, and many other factors. The benefits of connecting with your audience in this way is two-fold. First, you, as a business leader or owner, can expand your target audience to include people from many different walks of life. And second, the multicultural audience you attract will feel included and you can even give them a voice in the community as they make suggestions and recommendations on how your business can better serve the community or how to make a product better.

So, how can you market your business to reach these people? Maybe you should consider translating your website into another big language in the U.S., like Spanish. You should also take into consideration where in the U.S. your marketing ads reach and research the demographics of those areas. Is what you market, or rather the way you market it, offensive to other countries? For example, an issue of Sports Illustrated Magazine might feature a fit, young woman sporting a revealing bikini on the front cover. This standard of beauty, however ubiquitous and widely-accepted across the U.S. is not consistent throughout the entire world. So think of someway to redesign your ads to positively reach the maximum number of people. You should also keep in mind that ads which are successful here in the states may not work so well overseas. One of the most important things to remember is all the cultural differences that are actively present not only around the world, but also here in the U.S.

Marketing Strategies Using Podcasts & Videos

In this day and age of ever-changing technology, incorporating podcasts and videos into your business marketing strategy is one of the best ways to expand your target audience.

The idea of podcasts has been around for over a decade now. What may have started out as a group of friends gathered in a room geeking out about their favorite sci-fi TV shows or movies to an unseen audience, has since morphed into the booming entertainment platform many of us use today. Over the years, both the sound quality and the quality of the content discussed have improved such that listeners regularly tune in to their favorite podcast series to get the latest scoop on what’s going on in the world. And what’s really good for businesses that attract new listeners to their podcast series is that if these new listeners enjoy the content you cover on one podcast, they will usually go back to the first podcast episode and binge from there. This helps you as a business build a long-standing fan base.

Similar to incorporating podcasts into your marketing strategy, videos are also a newer trend among smaller businesses looking to attract new viewers and reach their target audience. Now, while the concept of video is nothing new, using video as a marketing strategy is a fairly recent idea to promote your business and the products and/or services you offer. Video is a smart strategy, as many people tend to learn better with visual aids.

There are many benefits to incorporating videos and podcasts into your marketing strategy, including:

  • Boost your Brand Awareness – Taking the time to record a podcast or film a video about your specific products or services will attract consumers to your company. Research shows that many consumers are more inclined to buy a product when they see it in action, see how to use it or interact with it, rather than deciding whether or not to buy it based on still images and product reviews from other consumers.

 

  • Build your Online Presence – The use of podcasts and videos will facilitate in making a name for yourself and for your business on the Internet.

 

  • Show your Face and Personality – With videos, you can show consumers that you are a real person who cares about your company and the products/services provided.

 

  • Enhance Social Media Engagement – Uploading these podcasts and videos to your many social media accounts will garner more listeners and viewers, further expanding your audience.

Using podcasts and videos as your marketing strategy may very well be the way to go to expand and reach your target audience. Take advantage of the technology that exists, get your foot in the door early and let people know who you are and what you do.

Common Mistakes of Start Ups

According to Forbes Magazine, 9 out of 10 start ups fails! Other studies, such as the Harvard Business Study, are more optimistic in stating that only 50 percent fail in the first year. They all agree, however, that making it past five years is a milestones that may mean you are solid enough to survive the horrible stats about start up survival. What are the stumbling blocks that make new businesses so risky? Well, honestly the list could go on forever, but here are a few of the more common mistakes of starting your own business:

 

  • Cash Problems – One of the largest mistakes new owners have in launching a successful small business is the cash issue. Running out of cash can have many causes including not understanding the market, losing investors, pricing problems, or financing issues.
  • Motivation – Starting a new company is possibly one of the most time-consuming and stressful events for any human being. Keeping the motivation going can be difficult, especially if key leadership dwindles or is also not motivated.
  • Product Problems – Many new companies rely on one or two services or products. If one of those fails, so does the company. New businesses need to broaden their offerings and target larger audiences to stay afloat.
  • Lack of Support – New businesses need employees and leadership personnel that are versatile and can handle many roles at once. Young companies many times do not have the cash flow to hire such individuals.
  • Failure to Handle Feedback – In our society and social media-crazed land, feedback on poor job performance is almost instantaneous. With numerous review sites, your company can be ruined with negative reviews or the inability to react swiftly to feedback from clients and employees.

 

There are numerous reasons why good companies go under. Continue to read our blog as we follow these reasons over the next few months.

Facebook Advertising

The numbers are in and, believe it or not, Facebook is closing-in on 2 billion users! Due to this, Facebook’s unparalleled audience gives it an “insurmountable competitive advantage,” according to Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush. This competitive advantage means Facebook advertising is an excellent investment that will get your business, services, and products viewed by thousands daily, if not more!

Wondering how to get started on Facebook advertising? Here are a few things to consider:

What is the goal of your advertising campaign? Do you hope to meet new customers or hope to retarget the customers you already have? Do you plan to increase brand awareness or have consumers download your app or possibly click on an ad that brings them directly to your landing page? This decision will give your advertising campaign a goal that will be measurable.
Who do you hope to attract in the advertising? More specifically, who is the audience? With Facebook advertising you can choose: location, age, gender, or any number of demographics to target a certain group according to your campaign goals.
Decide on the location of your ads. Facebook offers different types and locations of ads that can increase traffic and bring brand awareness to your services and products.
What is your budget? Decide on a budget that is in keeping with your marketing strategy. With Facebook, your company can set a budget for daily clicks, pay-per-click, or other options. But first, decide on what you want your amount to be so that you can strictly adhere to it.
How do you want your ad to appear? Do you want one image, multiple images, or even a video that can highlight your business? Images can beautifully display your services and products, and can increase traffic to your website.

Once you have made some of these decisions log into your business page and get started on reaching your share of those 2 billion users!

The Business Logo

American society is filled with logos that shape our buying and encourage consumers to return to the same products time and again. I bet if I asked you to envision the logo for Nike, Lego, or FedEx that you would have no problem. Therefore the logo that your company uses is extremely important because it is the first thing a consumer sees when considering your business, service or product. The logo is the face of your brand. It should be easily recognized and tell the consumer something about your business and personality. Take for example, Apple. Most people recognize the one bite out of the apple regardless of color or size. It stands for innovation and the evolution of technology. Is your company’s logo easily recognized like Apple Corporation or do you still have work to do?

 

Here are a few tips for creating or choosing a logo that will fit your company.

  • Keep it Simple – The more detail the harder it will be to recognize. A simple concept will allow consumers to identify your brand quickly whether it is on digital media or print media.
  • Be Different – Obviously some big name brand companies are doing it right if they bring brand awareness with a logo. Do not copy them. Instead be unique and true to your brand, locale, and personality.
  • Be Relevant – If your business is a courier service certainly don’t pick a turtle as your logo but rather something that will tell the consumer about your speediness and accuracy.
  • Avoid Trendy – You want your logo to last a long time and be recognizable over many years. Avoid font types and colors that are popular now but many look dated in a few years.
  • Use Color – Many businesses are identifiable just by the color they show. For example, Coca-Cola is known for its red and white cans. Make your choice in keeping with your business.

 

Professional Presentations

Whether you use Powerpoint, Google Slides or another presentation software, having captivating and informative presentations for your clients can mean the difference between making the sale and losing a client. Add some creativity that will captivate your viewers with a clever presentation, images and content that will keep them listening from beginning to end.

  •  Be Well Versed – One thing that completely turns off an audience is having the presenter read directly from the slides. Know your topic well enough that you do not need to read every word but rather can talk freely and interact with the audience.
  • Use Quality Photography – Sharp and custom photography can really make your presentation pop. Use images of your business when possible instead of stock photography. Make the images unique and interesting to look at.
  • Choosing Slide Backgrounds – Many presenters go for flashy or eye catching backgrounds but others rely on solid backgrounds that make the content stand out. Either way you choose, make sure your colors are eye pleasing and that bullet points are easily readable in a font that matches the tone of the presentation.
  • Be Clear – Make each slide clear and to the point. Use bullets but do not overwhelm your audience with too many points to consider on each slide. Instead break up major topics into smaller ones so that your audience can follow your train of thought.
  • Use Humor – Your presentation has an ultimate goal for your company. Using humor to maintain the attention of the audience can help you get to that goal. If your audience is bored they may stop listening. Keep them laughing with personal anecdotes or common situations that your listeners can relate to will keep them on task.