How often are you asked to do a speech or presentation?

If it is like me, I am always asked to do speeches, but as I have gotten older and more experienced, I am a lot better at picking and choosing where I should spend my time doing presentations.

Steve Jobs used to say that he spent 100 hours preparing for a presentation. Well, I don't have 100 hours! I am a small business owner.
How to wear your brand on your sleeve with enthusiasm

So, being selective is a must.

There are some sure ways in which to ensure that each and every presentation goes off with a bang.

For instance, this morning, I did a presentation to a bunch of global logistics and supply chain solutions providers. They were all in management and sales, and the presentation went for 1 hour. Now, if you know anything about presenting, 1 hour is a very long time. When I found out how long it was, I was completely gobsmacked.

But so be it. It's an audience that we want our brand to be known in, so from that perspective it is an absolute no-brainer.

Wear your brand on your sleeve

So, I got dressed this morning in my bright blue dress that is the same as our brand colour to reinforce our brand and where we are from. This is an old trick of mine that I learnt 15 years ago from a branding expert who said that you should always wear your brand colour when you are in "selling mode".

No-one missed me in the room I can assure you!

"Be interesting, or be invisible." Andy Sernovitz

The second area is preparation. It takes days to prepare for a presentation unless it has elements in it that you are repeatedly presenting to similar audiences. It's important to know your topic and to have confidence in what you are saying. If you are unsure of your topic or what you are saying, chances are that your speech will reflect it.

Another little trick of the trade is that I always pretend I am on a big stage, regardless of the size of the room. I look like I am looking at individuals when I speak, but in reality, I am looking over them and remembering my lines. A white wall always works a treat for me, but may differ on a case by case basis.

Being on a stage is not necessarily being "you". It's being a version of you. An alter ego that is confident, charismatic, clear, and talks to the audience in a dialogue that they understand and resonate with.

At the end of the presentation, I laughed and said to the audience that "I talk too much". A lovely gentleman in the front row replied: "I disagree, you are enthusiastic and it makes us more enthusiastic about what we are doing. Thank you."

What a compliment!

How can you better prepare for your next presentation? How do you ensure that the room you are speaking to is as enthusiastic about your product or service as you? These are the things that all small business owners need to consider on a daily basis.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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