Dear Carol

In this month's issue of Scribbles I'm writing about Presentations. I'm going to stick my neck on the line with the first article and would be very interested to know your view on the issue. There are also plenty of practical tips in this issue for improving presentations you make to promote your business, along with information about one I've got coming up.

I hope you find this issue useful reading.

Best wishes,


How Important are Words in Your Presentations?

If youíve read about pubic speaking, youíve probably heard of the so-called 55%, 38%, 7% Rule. It states that 55% of the meaning of communication is body language, 38% is in tonality and 7% rests in the words themselves.

Do you know where the numbers came from? Do you believe them? I donít, so I was very interested to come across some research that shows the 55%, 38% 7% Rule is a myth.

I donít disagree that non-verbal expression and tone are important for giving an effective presentation, but it doesnít make sense to give words a meagre 7% of the message. As Dr. C.E. "Buzz" Johnson, a Certified NLP Trainer, wrote in 1994, "If these percentages were really valid it would mean that the learning of foreign languages could be greatly abbreviated. After all, if the words only account for 7% of the meaning of communication, we should all be able to go to any country in the world and simply by listening to the tone and carefully observing body language, be able to accurately interpret 93% of their communications!"

When a baby cries you know itís unhappy, but is it because itís hungry, lonely or sleepy? When a dog barks, you know itís drawing our attention to something, but is it a visitor, an intruder, or simply a strange noise? Without the words, we still miss much of the meaning.

When you learn to give presentations about your area of expertise and your business, learn to work with words, because a few well-chosen words can make the difference between a mediocre presentation and one that enthrals, entertains and captures your audience. The right words can evoke your emotions, touch your values and stir you to action.

Would words really be so important if they carried only 7% of the message?

Imagine Franklin D Roosevelt saying "Donít be afraid," instead of "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

It is words that make the difference in the intensity of your message, even after youíve given your presentation and your audience can no longer hear the tone or see the body language with which you spoke to them. Don't you agree?! Click here to let me know what you think.

My thanks go to Judith Pearson for inspiring me on this topic. Visit her website by clicking here to read about the research that debunked the 55%, 38%, 7% rule.

Words at Work - Why, What, How and What If?

Your audience will always be made up of people who take in information differently.

Think about these four types and the words you need to use when you're planning your next presentation to make sure you create a great impression and get your message across.

Why? These people want to know why they should listen to you. Grab their attention by giving them reasons to listen to you at the beginning of your presentation. Questions like "Would this be useful to you?" are helpful.

What? Some of your audience want information so they can make up their own minds. Use facts and figures and ask "What more do you need to know?"

How? These people want practical experiences and exercises to help them learn and understand how to do something. Tell them stories or give them practical exercises to do.

What If? Some people want to consider future applications of what you tell them. Take the consultative approach and look at what might happen.

Plan your presentation carefully to make sure you include everyone in your presentation and you'll keep the attention of the whole audience!


How Not to Do Newsletters

At Apple Tree we help small businesses promote their services. We also specialise in helping them keep in touch with important clients and contacts through email newsletters. This is one of the most cost effective ways of keeping in contact - it's also an environmentally friendly way of doing it.

Many people still think writing and sending an email newsletter will be hard work and take up a lot of time. Done the right way, this isn't the case, so I've been asked to run a practical workshop that will show you why you should use a newsletter, what you should write about, how you can send it and what happens if you do it properly!

The half day workshop will be on Thursday 6 December in Grove, in Oxfordshire and costs just £40 (+VAT). Stay for a networking lunch for an extra £10; join the clinic after lunch if you need some more practical help; and book a 1-2-1 session for the personal touch to help you really make an impact with your newsletter. Click here to request a booking form and more details.


Perfect Presentations

If you'd like more help with putting together a presentation for promoting your business, visit the Apple Tree website, where you'll find a free work sheet that you can download. It'll take you through a simple process to help you think about what you can talk about and to whom. It also encourages you to think about 'what next' so that your efforts don't go to waste.

Click here to find the PDF and select Presentations from the list.


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