Posted: August 24th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Success | No Comments »
Do you know what people rate as the #1 trait for a successful online presentation or webinar? How about how often you should have a visual change in your presentation to maintain your audience’s attention?
Nowadays, business people and professionals are increasingly busy, and their time correspondingly valuable. With a long list of tasks to accomplish, contacts to reach out to, deals to close, even while participating in an online meeting they’re preoccupied with checking their phones, their email, and occasionally, their watches.
How can you make sure you’re getting your message across?
In a virtual presentation, you have the power to add a dynamic level of personal engagement and interaction to successfully win over clients and customers, but the trick is getting there.
Think about your own past webinars or online presentations. Ask yourself, “If I had emailed my presentations to my audience instead of presenting them, would they have still had the same value?”
If you answered yes, that’s a clear indication that your technique could use work.
Hold Viewers’ Attention
It’s not as hard as it sounds. Once you begin presenting and a viewer’s eyes are focused on you, they typically will not look away for fear of missing something. If all your slides look the same, however, they start to assume they can look away or multitask without missing anything.
To maintain their attention, studies report you should have a visual change every 2–3 seconds. While this may seem high, remember that a visual change can be something as simple as adding to what you already have, in the form of graphics, animations, and so on.
Switch from Powerpoints, demos, movies, downloads, and more to engage audiences.
Fine-Tune Your Voice
With these tips in mind for what is in your presentation, now think about how you’re presenting. Listeners rate ease of use in web conferencing platform as first in importance for successful sessions, but the presenter’s voice comes at a close second.
Some steps you can take to achieve an engaging voice:
- Rehearse your dialogue so that you achieve an optimal speed, tone, and volume
- Record yourself to weed out overused phrases, like “basically” or “um”
- Experiment with how you speak by pretending to be a radio announcer or soap opera star
Highlight Beginnings and Ends
Now, for the actual presentation itself. At the very start, you should have some way to immediately capture your audience’s attention and induce anticipation for what’s to come.
This can be accomplished by using attention-grabbing words, introducing a conflict, or posing a statement that goes against viewer’s preconceptions.
‘Finally’ and ‘save’ are great words to catch audience attention.
Viewers tend to remember beginnings and endings best, so take care to ensure your ending is succinct, memorable, and leaves them wanting more.
But wait, there’s more
For more valuable advice on creating effective, engaging presentations, such as the best way to phrase questions so that you get answers and how to determine the optimal amount of information to include in a presentation, sign up for a free module of our “How to be a Dazzling Virtual Presenter” skills training program at our website, www.youdazzle.com/home.
Have any other great tricks for making dazzling presentations or wowing audiences? Did the videos help you stand out when you presented to next client? Let us know your thoughts, leave a comment or send an email!
Posted: April 25th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Collaboration, Network Marketing, Small Business, Success, Working From Home | Tags: business, cloud, employment, home based business, home office, jobs, online file sharing, opportunity, success | No Comments »
It may be an election year so a lot of people are offering a lot of economic solutions, but the fact remains: the economy—unless you are about to become a Facebook millionaire—still stinks. Even if there is some improvement, it is unpredictable at best. The only silver lining has indeed been the tech sector, which seems to be improving rapidly, with talk of another gold rush to come.
The cloud has continued to come into its own in 2012, with more and more businesses and tools being built around the cloud. The cloud is a lynchpin for this upturn in the tech economy and all that it stands for—flexibility, power, ease of use—can also be said about working from home.
According to an employment review from eLance, the number of businesses seeking independent contractors who work remotely doubled in 2011. Plus, 83 percent of businesses surveyed planned to let half their employees work from home over the next year. In addition, the report predicted that working at home is on track to be a $500 million industry, with 650,000 new jobs created for remote workers. So, it may be a bad time to be looking for a desk job but it is a good time for working from home—and working in cloud services, which is itself a $1 billion market.
Working in cloud services not only gives you a great way to ride out the tough economy by building your own businesses with no overhead, it also gives you the kind of cutting-edge skills that you need to get into the lucrative technology marketplace. And the cloud—and YouDazzle—is flexible enough that you can work on your time from wherever you want. These days home really is where the heart is—be that working from your local coffee shop, your kids’ school or (much better yet) a remote, Wi-Fi-enabled Greek island.
So, don’t let the economy get you down: take advantage of this endless downturn to make an upturn in not just your skill set but your quality of life. Because another study from Home Office Computing Magazine found that 98% of people are happier working from home, 96% would recommend working from home and 88% would never return to the office…How’s that for poll numbers that would make any politician deliriously happy! And, just think, that could be you. Take that, Facebook millionaires!
Posted: March 28th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Collaboration, File sharing, Small Business, Success, Web meetings, Working From Home | Tags: business, consumers, entrepreneurship, good impression, passion, passionate, plan, prosper, small business, start ups, success, technology | No Comments »
No one could argue that our world isn’t changing fast—and I don’t mean just technology-wise. Consumers aren’t spending like they once did, manufacturing and shipping costs are fluctuating wildly, and the age of the environment is slowly (finally) being ushered in. On top of that technology has really changed the way people shop, interact and buy – not to mention the way entrepreneurs market their businesses.
Here are ten rules to make sure your business grows and prospers:
1. Find a Niche. For small businesses, it is best to find a niche. A small company with limited resources can efficiently serve niche markets. Concentrate your efforts on a fairly narrow market offering. This entails sticking to what you do best, and becoming an expert in that field. Don’t try to be everything to everyone.
2. Be small, yet think big. The most common question of small business start-ups is “How can I compete with my big competitors?“ Small businesses have inherent advantages over big businesses, including flexibility, ability to respond quickly, able to provide a more personalized service. As a small business owner you have the ability to provide that personal touch to your customers that the big guys don’t. Often, that personal connection sets you apart and goes a long way to building trust and credibility with your customers.
3. Differentiate your products. Present the benefits of your products and services to your customers, highlighting the unique solutions they offer to their problems. Avoid being a copycat; rarely do imitators succeed in the market. Sometime you won’t be able to look a potential customer in the face given distance, so you can leverage technology to share your product via your screen and really walk a customer through your offering one-on-one.
4. First impressions counts. You often do not have a second chance to make a good first impression. Everyone you come in touch with is potentially a client or a referral to another client because they are either impressed with you as a person or impressed with your skill at providing a certain service or product. Make sure that you are always presentable, professional in your ways and knowledgeable about your business.
5. Good reputation. Your business hinges on its reputation. It is imperative that you build a good reputation for the quality of your products and support services. Remember that two things guarantee success: high quality goods and superior service. Always aim for quality.
6. Constant improvement. Entrepreneurs know that they should not be rigid in their ways of thinking in their quest to improve their best products and services. You risk being left behind by the fast-paced competition if you cling to the “this is how we’ve always done it” kind of thinking.
7. Listen to your customers. Be market driven: listen and react to your customer’s needs. Customers need to feel that they are important to you because they are! When you focus on your customers and gain their trust, they will not only recommend you but they will also remain loyal to you. Remember, personal recommendation and word-of-mouth are the least costly yet most effective marketing strategy for your business.
8. Plan for success. An entrepreneur should understand the power of planning. A good plan helps you increase your chances of succeeding and can help you define your business concepts, estimate costs, predict sales and control your risks. It tells you where you are going and how to get there. Going into business without a plan is like driving into a foreign land without a road map.
9. Be innovative. Innovate your offerings constantly, keeping pace with technological changes. Challenge the status quo and try new, innovative way to collaborate with your prospects, customers and peers. Keep your eyes open for new ways of doing things, and apply those that can improve the quality of your products and efficiency of your operations.
10. Work smart. As an entrepreneur, you need to possess self-confidence, plus a never-ending sense of urgency to develop your ideas. Studies have shown that the individuals who succeed in entrepreneurship are far-sighted and can accept things as they are and deal with them accordingly. They know how to manage their time, balancing work and play. These people are oftentimes quick to change directions when they see their plans are not working. More importantly, they recognize their weak points and move on to nurture alliances and acquire the skills they need to put their business on the right track. They realize the importance of working smart, knowing that it is not the quantity of work you do, but what you do and how well you do it.
At the end of the day, remember, life is short. Be passionate about what you do!
Posted: March 21st, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Collaboration, Data room, File sharing, Small Business, Success | Tags: 2012, analytics, branded data rooms, clients, cloud, collaboration, collaborative, connect, connections, data rooms, New York Times, Productivity, success, virtual office | No Comments »
“[O]ur attraction to a world of infinite possibility, information and complexity is here to stay. The challenge is how to participate productively in this new and turbulent world, and not be paralyzed by it.” –David Allen, “When Office Technology Overwhelms, Get Organized,” The New York Times, 3/18/12
Well-known business consultant David Allen contributed a fascinating column this past weekend to The New York Times, which addresses the conundrum he describes in the quote above. Basically, Allen is writing about what we all feel: technology has made our lives easier but in doing so has also piled a lot more management headaches on us and added job responsibilities onto our shoulders. So, the challenge is, how do we make technology really work for us?
Allen has a lot of great organizational tips, including a simple one that many people ignore at their peril: if something will only take 2 minutes, do it right away. Also, he notes that we need to make lists not just for the sake of list making but to actually get something accomplished.
There’s where we really think secure online data rooms can help. If we are able to organize our files online in an actual system, then we can achieve a few goals straight away:
- We can send people after information found in a clear, centralized place rather than having to create endless email chains trying to get data to people.
- We can track what data is actually being used via analytics and then we can avoid wasting time on data that no one is even bothering to look at.
- We can invite others to contribute to our data rooms, cutting down on work cycles and making work collaborative again.
As Allen says, “To be successful in the new world of work, we need to create a structure for capturing, clarifying and organizing all the forces that assail us; and to ensure time and space for thinking, reflecting and decision making.”
Now, data rooms are just one small step towards this overall goal, but wouldn’t it be nice to clear your desk and clear your mind by putting everything in one organized place and then seeing what gets used when? Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment when things get done—a sense we rarely get in this modern work world—but you can avoid doing work that no one even uses. Now, isn’t that a novel concept.
So, go and get your list started. As Allen says, organize by priority and don’t let the most recent thing become tops just because it is top of mind. And remember to add a bit of free time to that list because once you get your data room up and running, you might even have time to do something for yourself for a change. (Just don’t tell your boss…or your spouse!)
Posted: March 7th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Co-browsing, File sharing, Success, Web meetings | Tags: 2012, blog, brand, branded data rooms, clients, cloud technology, co-browsing, collaboration, connect, data room, insight, web meetings | No Comments »
Well, OK, You do have to try, but today’s virtual workplace gives us endless opportunities to create not just our own businesses but our own business “lifestyles”. We can work from a desk, from a patio, from a local Starbucks. However, no matter what lifestyle we might choose, there are still some constants in what makes a “virtual” business person successful in mind, spirit and pocketbook.
- Put on some polish: Although you may be working in your sweatpants, nothing about your business needs to be rough and tumble. Create branded data rooms for your files and make sure you have a consistent look and feel across all that you do.
- Connect with people in meaningful work ways: Even if you are operating from your mobile phone in your neighbor’s backyard, you can hold web meetings that can be interactive and insightful. Opt for solutions that require no downloads, work on all platforms and feature co-browsing, which is the new feature that everyone is going to expect of your meetings in the future. Don’t just show people something, guide them to solutions.
- Connect with people in meaningful non-work ways: Feel like Facebook is your only outlet for human interaction? That is not good, my friend. Give yourself time every day to escape from your work cave, no matter how glamorous it might be, and see friends. Heck, even make some new ones. Let’s face it, no one likes to be alone all the time.
- Start a blog: People love to learn from other’s experiences (including their mistakes). Let your customers and prospects hear your real voice, despite the miles between you. It will do wonders for your personal brand equity and allegiance. And it will get the word out on your business too.
- Do everything in moderation: Rome was not built (or even destroyed) in one day. The biggest peril of working virtually is that your office goes with you everywhere. Your best work in not the work you are going to do at 2 a.m. Even though you have the ability to work around the clock, try to establish regular work hours and stick with them. The most successful people aren’t the ones that work the hardest; they are the ones that work the smartest.
So, you can see how these tips will help your mind and spirit, but what about the pocketbook, you say? Well, if you use these tips to create balance in your life and power in your business, the money will follow…and thanks to GPS it can find you no matter where you are!