Presentations that Pack a Punch – Final Chapter

Thank you for sticking around to read this series. Here is the piece you’ve been waiting for!

Let’s recap, unless you want to read Part 1 and Part 2 again!

You followed the right steps to:

  • Identify your audience
  • Define your objective
  • Calculate the time for your presentation
  • Create your outline
  • Organize your content

In the third and final step, you will focus on design:

  1. It has to be visually appealing
  2. Use elements alternative to text, such as diagrams, charts and photos
  3. Ban the bullets!  There are many other options
  4. Use great quality stock photos. There are many free options or low-price subscription services

Overall, use your slide shows as a visual tool to engage your audience. Read your notes and practice your speech.  Mainly, relax and have fun!

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Come Bearing Gifts

Giving a gift

I have a friend who started a business helping people find a job. She helps her clients write their resumes and cover letters and then conducts a thorough job search to match their skills. Recruiters are partnering with her to help find the best matches for available openings. We’ve had many good chats over lattes. We brainstorm about possible strategies for her clients and I share what I’ve learned about effective job searching through a lot of research and some good interviews.

A while ago, I read an excellent blog post describing a few strategies to help job seekers stand out from the crowd. One of them really caught my attention: “come bearing gifts.” What this means is that job seekers should do thorough research about the company interviewing them, identify potential areas for making a positive impact and outline a strategy for bringing in new clients. I’m convinced that a high percentage of job applicants will NOT do any of these. And that is what can make YOU stand out.

Here are five strategies that will help you to “come bearing gifts”:

  1. Spend a great deal of time researching the company or business. Read their annual reports, mission, vision and values on their website. Since this is public knowledge and anyone can do it, go the extra mile. Follow them on social media, learn to speak their language. Read news articles on them and reviews from their customers on other web sites. Talk to their employees by requesting an informational interview.
  2. Identify one opportunity where you can contribute immediately. For example, if you read that they’re opening a new store close to your area, provide information about the demographics that could be valuable to them.
  3. Be a connector. Offer to contact them with a reputable supplier that you trust and create a new opportunity for relationship.
  4. Present your skills in a unique way. Create a portfolio, even if you are not in a creative profession. Include your most recent performance review, a little about your personality style and how that fits well into their business and even a list of your STARs (Situation, Task, Action, Results) in which you describe problems you have faced and how you have solved them.
  5. Once you come in with a stack of good stuff, leave them wanting more. Invite them to your blog or website and include some good articles or podcasts in your follow-up thank you e-mail.

This is material for the next post, but just remember to close the sale and ask for the job.  Do you want to know how? Stay tuned!

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