5 Tips To Present with Confidence

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At cred, we wear many hats, and as part of our onboarding process for new employees, we invite them to educate us on a topic of their choosing on our blog. Here's what Gina King, cred's Associate, is teaching us about presenting with confidence this week!

Did you know that 74% of people have Glossophobia? You might not know what it is by its name, but you’ve probably suffered from its symptoms: nervous sweating, fidgeting, or speaking in a timid voice. Glossophobia is better known as the fear of public speaking, and at one time or another, we’ve all suffered from it.

The best way to combat these nervous behaviors is to present with confidence. While it may seem hard to evoke confidence when you feel nervous, relax, and try one or a combination of these five tips before your next presentation:

1. Research your topic inside and out: When giving a presentation, you are the expert. Make sure to research your subject matter thoroughly ahead of time, and be prepared to answer any questions that come your way.

2. Practice makes perfection: Don’t just practice your presentation the night before, plan to practice at least a week in advance to develop a strong comfort level.

3. Don’t memorize: Instead put your material in structured bullet points to remind you what topics or points you want to make. You also won't sound scripted.

4. Find a friend: Giving a presentation can be daunting. Ask a friend, colleague, or loved one to join your presentation. A friendly face helps you relax.

5. Don’t stress!: Stressing about your presentation creates additional, unnecessary nerves. Instead, try a technique that professional athletes use before big games — take a deep breath, and visualize your presentation going well. This combo technique will help reduce stress and build confidence.

Want more tips on how to evoke confidence during your next presentation? Check out this guide.

Open Up! 5 Tips to Getting Email Responses

Goodbye, snail mail! Emails have become a standard part of everyday life, serving as the main tool most people use to handle their business and personal communication. According to research firm Radicati Group, the total number of emails sent and received per day will reach 269 billion in 2017. Here are five tips we try and consider here at cred in order to get emails opened and readers responding.

  1. Work that subject line. Subject line can make or break the quick decision to open your email. Make it brief and compelling, limiting to 6-10 words. Refrain from including exclamation marks or buzzwords such as “free” to avoid being marked as spam.

  2. Optimize preheader text. Keep in mind the text snippet showing a preview of what the body of your email contains. Make your first sentence clear so your reader gets an immediate feel for the message.

  3. Offer something to your reader. Let readers know what they’ll be getting by responding to your email. Provide what you can offer and why it would interest them.

  4. State a call to action. Give your email a point and describe what the reader should do next. This can be in the form of text, links, bullet points, or a mix of the three.

  5. Keep mobile in mind. Most emails are being read on a mobile device. Put your best words forward and dodge the risk of having your reader scroll past your email

 

Looking for more tips on how to getting email responses? Read the full article here.

 

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A Bit Shy? 6 Public Speaking Hacks for Introverts

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Introverts can make for great public speakers, too! Self-proclaimed shy-guy Simon Sinek, one of the most watched TedTalks presenters ever, shares his tips on how to handle nerves when speaking to large audiences:

 

  1. Don’t start talking as soon as you get on the stage - draw the audience in by taking a deep breath, making eye contact, and then standing or sitting in a comfortable position. Speaking immediately conveys fear and nerves to the audience.

  2. Be a giver, not a taker - the idea is to teach and inspire the audience, who’s very intuitive at distinguishing if the speaker is trying to sell a product or idea to them vs. offering helpful insights.

  3. Personalize your eye contact - instead of scanning the room throughout your presentation, focus on making eye contact with audience members one by one.

  4. Speak slowly - as we get nervous, both our heartbeat and speech accelerates. The audience would rather wait on you than miss out on important information.

  5. Focus on your supporters - of course, there are bound to be naysayers in the audience, pay them no attention. Focus on the smiling faces and nods of approval, they’ll make you feel confident while you are speaking.

  6. Show appreciation - always say “thank you” at the end of your presentation, especially when met with applause.


Interested in learning more tips? Check out the full article here.

Do Room Layouts Affect Audience Engagement?

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Remember, the shoe has to fit! Too often venue size, furniture arrangements, and overall aesthetic is not chosen with the audience or agenda in mind. Instead of providing the crowd with an unforgettable experience, they are left to fend for themselves as they maneuver a venue full of disruptions, inconvenient fixtures, and limited seating.

 

Three things to keep in mind when you’re choosing a venue for your Event:

  • Know how many attendees you’re anticipating, larger crowds don't provide flexibility with seating arrangements.

  • Venues tend to exaggerate the number of people they can actually accommodate, so always check out the venue in person.

  • Don’t forget to take note of any permanent fixtures  that might restrict your layout options.

 

Now, let’s transition into layouts appropriate for a professional conferences’ content:

  • Theater Style: for big conferences, presentations, annual meetings, or lectures.

  • Classroom Style: for note-taking at longer events or trainings where attendees might be using laptops.

  • Cabaret Style: for meals with presentations and performances, more for luncheons.

  • Boardroom Style: for medium-sized meetings or brainstorming and breakout sessions.

  • U-shape Style: for interactive sessions or debates.

  • Pods Style: for networking sessions or team-building.

  • Semi-circle Style: for small meetings and one-person presentations.

 

Ultimately, your goal for room layouts should always be to optimize crowd participation and experience.


To learn more, check out the full article here.

How to Make Your Presentation Slides Less Boring

When giving a presentation, do your slides actually matter?

Absolutely! We live in a design-centric world, and visuals go a long way.

According to developmental molecular biologist and best-selling author John Medina, vision trumps all senses. It’s no wonder then that people following directions with illustrations do 323% better than those who follow directions with only text. For presenters, this means that visuals can be especially important in helping people retain information and remember your speech.

Here, we’ve rounded up a handful of tips to make your presentation go from boring to engaging and memorable:

  • Avoid overloading your slides with too much text. Try to keep it to one idea per slide. Really, you should think of every slide as an individual advertisement.

  • Use high quality photos instead of clip art. No pixelated images - there are better ones out there, we promise!

  • Choose your fonts and font colors wisely. Keep your typography clean, simple, and professional, and spare your audience from those hot pink or highlighter yellow tones.

  • Avoid standard templates. If you want to impress your audience, don’t use a generic preset. It's boring!

  • Use infographics to present information. Again, this goes back to people processing information more effectively through images.

  • Go easy on the effects and transitions. The transitions you use shouldn’t distract from your presentation, or make you appear less professional.

Need more tips on designing the best presentation? Check out this guide.

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Not there yet, and looking to lock down your first speaking engagement? Give us a shout!

How to Handle a Heckler

Dealing with hecklers is never fun. Fortunately for us, they rarely show themselves during presentations (most people are afraid of looking bad in front of large groups).

That said, it’s good to be prepared. As a presenter, hecklers can really throw you off and distract your audience. So what’s the best way to handle one?

We’ve rounded up five tips to help you get started:

  1. Never reward interrupting. When someone starts talking over you or chatting with their neighbor, keep going. Make them look rude.

  2. Respond if you need to. Sometimes you just have to respond to the comments. When this happens, make sure you’re addressing the whole audience and not just the heckler. If you only address the heckler, it may invite them to continue.

    • That said, at a certain point, it is okay to make a firm, direct request to the heckler to stop. Revert to Tip #3 and #4 for this.

  3. Don’t try to be funny. Unless you have experience doing stand-up, avoid trying to come up with a witty response - it may fall flat. You can still be pleasant, but deal with the heckler head-on.

  4. Stay calm and gracious. Shake off whatever the heckler has to say, and don’t let them ruin the rest of your presentation. Remember that you want to be the most mature and positive person in the room. Lose your cool and you might lose your momentum - as well as the rest of your audience.

  5. Don’t let it get personal. Focus on the subject matter, instead of attacking the individual. Avoid trying to get even.

Finally, remember that you’re serving the group’s needs - not the individual’s. Don’t let one naysayer drive a wedge between you and your audience!

Need more advice?

Check out these posts on dealing with hecklers and restoring order.

Welcome to the Experience Economy

Experiential marketing has been all the rage this year, partially fueled by the growing challenge of engaging hard-to-reach millennials. That said, are branded Ferris wheels really what's necessary to stay relevant? (We’re talking about Snap’s latest ad at Cannes.)

According to recent Eventbrite research, experiences trump things, with 3 in 4 millennials choosing to spend money on an experience rather than a material item. For instance, Americans attend more live events than ever before, looking for that unique authenticity found through in-person engagements.

The millennial generation has effectively changed the game for brands, who have to think more creatively (and authentically) in order to reach consumers and survive. Here are three of the top approaches utilized by brands to make a lasting impression:

  1. Host an event. Putting on your own event is a great way to engage your network. Make sure you know who your audience is in order to communicate with them in a way that’s meaningful - and fun.

  2. Experiential marketing. While social media engagement and the “fun” factor are great, forgo the Ferris wheel and instead, focus on creating an interactive connection with your audience. Experiential marketing is a two-way conversation and can offer an invaluable space to engage consumers.

  3. Guerrilla marketing. Guerrilla tactics are an unconventional, out-of-the-box way to achieve higher impact and visibility at a lower cost. By introducing an element of surprise, guerrilla marketing has high potential for virality, helping to amplify brand engagement both online and offline.

Interested in learning more? Here are 7 guerrilla marketing examples to inspire your next campaign.

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NEED help hosting an event?  

give us a shout!

Branding vs. Marketing - What Comes First?

When it comes to startups, entrepreneurs tend to focus on developing a minimum viable product. Once early adopters' minimal needs are satisfied, the focus shifts to marketing the product in order to grow users.

But what about branding?  

A common misconception is that branding is only about the logo and design. While branding does consist of what the public sees, it’s more about how they perceive. Marketing and branding are not interchangeable, and below is a closer look at what distinguishes the two from each other:

  1. Branding is strategic; marketing is tactical. To put it plainly, branding is who you are and marketing is how you build awareness. While marketing focuses on positioning your product or service, branding is the process of building your personality, voice and message into your company’s DNA.

  2. Marketing activates buyers; branding creates loyalists. Marketing’s focus is driving user action (e.g. clicking on a link). Branding goes beyond customer acquisition and focuses on turning customers into advocates.

  3. You drive your marketing, but customers determine your branding. You hold the power over your tone and content; however, the customer ultimately defines your brand - and their perception of your company influences what they share with their network.

Thus, while marketing and branding go hand-in-hand, branding is what ultimately drives your marketing campaigns and shapes how you do business. Before you make the shift from product to marketing, be sure to consider how you want your company to be perceived, what your vision is and why your product or company exists.

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Interested in learning more about the difference between marketing and branding?

Check out this article.