It’s a tough and challenging market out there at the moment and no matter how persuasive, compelling or brilliant you may be, it’s can be difficult to build strong and lasting relationships.
You can either let it grind you down or you can step up and stand out by developing presentation and communication skills that build strong relationships, lead motivated and inspiring teams and offer value at all levels of the business.
Depending on how you feel that day, emotions such as stress can come through and influence how you use your voice, your body language, your energy and the ways in which you connect to others.
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Being aware of how these pressures can affect the way you present yourself and the techniques you need to turn this around will help you overcome even the most challenging situations.
1. Manage your personal state
Make sure you are always in the right state to lead, present, pitch or sell. This takes preparation.
First impressions count. Dress well and appropriately for your position.
Stay centred and grounded. This helps you stay in control and make appropriate responses to whatever arises.
Learn to take deep breaths.
A good deep breath:
Helps you to relax and be in control.
Adds warmth to the tone of your voice so you sound friendly and approachable.
Helps you think quickly and clearly.
Can completely change your body language so that you appear more relaxed and open.
2. Be energetic and enthusiastic
Enthusiasm is infectious and if you are genuinely enthusiastic about your products and services you can make others excited as well.
If you force enthusiasm, you may appear stressed or inauthentic to others. If this happens you need to develop ways to quickly ‘up’ your energy.
Do something physical, such as walk briskly, jump up and down, and at the same time actively focus your attention on feeling positive.
Laugh (if circumstances allow). A good laugh changes things immediately.
Help other members of your team – a positive team is a successful team.
Visualise or try to remember personal positive experiences.
Breathe deeply and enjoy the sense of control it gives you.
Always remember to smile.
3. Remember it’s not about you
It doesn’t matter whether you are selling a product, running a meeting, or presenting because it is not about you; it’s always about the client, the team or your colleague. Focus on their needs.
Know the features of your products and services and how they will benefit each client.
Choose language that they can connect to. Listen for key words to help them understand.
Use stories or case studies to create pictures with your words. Facts often get forgotten and may not get through to your audience.
Use gestures to describe how things operate, or give them a hands on experience.
Don’t work to convince them, get them involved and excited about the benefits of your products.
This tough market is perfect for you to rise to the challenge. Use this time to develop your presentation and communication skills so you can be the one to step up and stand out.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Agenda.