STEP UP WITH YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS!

Most of us have experienced dull, irrelevant, or confusing presentations.  But think back to the last really great presentation you saw – one that was informative, motivating and inspiring. Wouldn’t you love to be able to present like that? We share some insights on how you can improve;

1.All in the Preparation

Steve Jobs was an inspiring speaker. His speeches may have looked effortless, but, in reality, each one took days or weeks of preparation. Careful preparation is important. The amount of time you spend on planning depends on your situation, but it is really good to do it early as you can never be too well prepared. Proper preparation also helps you manage presentation nerves. When you know your content inside out, you are far less likely to feel nervous.

2.Check out the Equipment and Venue First

Imagine that your presentation starts in an hour. You arrive at the venue and, to your horror: the projector won’t work with your laptop! The slides you spent hours preparing are useless. This is a disaster!

You can avoid such a situation by taking time to familiarise yourself with the venue and available equipment at least the day before your presentation. Often, the sort of problems that can jeopardise your presentation will be situations beyond your control, but this does not mean that you are helpless. Conduct a risk analysis to identify potential issues, and come up with a good “plan b” for each one.

3.Your Presentation is for your Audience, not you!

Sometimes, speakers can get so wrapped up in delivering their presentations that they forget about the needs of their audience.

Start your presentation by telling your audience what to expect. Let them know what you will cover first, whether and when you will stop for a break, if you will be taking questions during the presentation and so on. Providing these ‘signposts’ up front will give your audience a clear idea of what to expect, so that they can relax and concentrate on your presentation.

4.Pitch your Content Accurately

The primary purpose of any presentation is to share information with others, so it is important to consider the level you will pitch it at.

Do some research on your audience. Why are they here? How much do they already know about your topic, and what do they most want to learn from you? It is no use giving a presentation that is so full of information that no one understands you. But you would also not want to patronise people either.You can also try to greet individuals as they arrive on the day, and ask questions to get a feel of their level of knowledge. This will also help you to personalise your presentation and make a connection with each person in your audience, so that they will be more attentive to what you say.

5.Keep it Simple

Short, concise presentations are often more powerful than wordy ones. Try to limit yourself to a few main points. If you get too long getting to your point, you risk losing your audience’s attention.

The average adult has a 15 to 20 minute attention span, so, if you want to keep your audience engaged, stick to the point!

For more on presentation skills or any other soft skill training please contact us on 0702 369224.

Servant leadership is one of this decade’s management buzz words, but what does it really mean? Take a look at some of the characteristic traits of a true servant leader:

Lead by example; Leaders who don’t walk the talk lose trust. If you want your team members to display certain behaviours, you need to display them first. You cannot ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. For example, if you expect your team to work late, do so as well. Showing your team that you are one of them and their equal in being responsible for outcomes will go a long way in building trust.

Over-communicate; Transparency builds trust. Secrets destroy it.

True leaders are direct and honest. And they communicate all the time. Lack of information creates assumptions that are usually negative or disruptive to team’s motivation and productivity. Err on the side of over-communicating, always.

People can smell you hiding something a mile away. If there is some information you can’t share with the team just yet, tell them what you can and show them you have got their backs. This is especially critical in the times of reorganisation or layoffs. Always follow the rule: “tell the truth, point to hope.”

Admit your mistakes and acknowledge your limitations; Publicly own up to your mistakes when you make them. Admitting you were wrong isn’t a sign of weakness, but strength. Acknowledge the mistakes and outline the new course.

No one knows everything. We all have our limitations. Build a team around you that complements you – and each other – in knowledge, skills-sets, and capabilities. Don’t try to do everything. Let your team members drive certain projects and outcomes. That will make them feel valued and will make you look good. But always have their back when something doesn’t go according to plan.

Keep your promises and stick to your commitments; No one trusts those who don’t keep their word. So keep your promises and, if you make a commitment, stick to it.

Every now and then, however, there are circumstances outside your control that might come into play. In those cases your team will understand, as long as you display this behaviour consistently in times when this doesn’t apply.

Trust your team;Hire the best and trust them to lead. Trust is a two-way street. If you don’t trust your team, they won’t trust you.

And always remember: take the blame, but give away the credit. Acknowledge people for their contributions. The more credit you give away, the more motivated your team will be able to move mountains for you. And when something goes wrong, acknowledge the fact that the mistake was made under your leadership and don’t throw your team under the bus.

Ask for feedback; No one is perfect. All of us learn as we go, even towards the end of our career. Ask your team for feedback: what you can be doing as a leader to help them be more productive, how you can improve their work environment, what process you can change for the whole team to be more effective, how you can better communicate with them, etc. And when the feedback is provided, accept it with grace and say “thank you.” It’s not easy to hear constructive feedback, but it helps you improve as a manager and as a professional.

Don’t play favourites;A double standard is the fastest way to trust deterioration. Playing favourites destroys strong teams. Don’t do it! Just don’t!

Treat everyone fairly; always treat everyone fairly. Have the same set of expectations for every team member and create team rules that you expect everyone to respect and follow, such as a “don’t gossip” rule, for example. Some leaders create the team rules collectively with their teams, ensuring that everyone agrees to uphold the same set of standards.

Setting clear expectations upfront, including clear roles and responsibilities, ensures that there are no surprises. This takes extra stress out of the daily routine. Each employee knows what they are expected to deliver and are not surprised during their performance review discussion.

Don’t gossip;Gossip kills trust. Effective leaders set – and follow – a rule of not discussing one team member with another behind his/her back.

Listen; Take the time to get to know every single member of your team.

Ask questions, consistently. And then listen. You will be surprised what you can learn if you keep quiet during discussions or meetings and just let others talk.

Act with consistency;Consistency is key to great leadership. Consistency of acts, behaviours, moods, expectations. I’ve worked for managers before who would be happy one day and infuriated the other, who would set out one path one day and totally change it the next day. This creates uncertainty, frustration, and distrust. I am not saying don’t pioneer change and stay agile. I am saying that whenever possible provide your team with unwavering support that they can rely on and a set of rules and expectations that will be their guiding star through good times and bad.

Put the success of the team before your own;When your team knows that you are in it for your own success, they won’t give you their best ever. Instead show them that you put them ahead of your own ambitions (or at a minimum let them in on your ambitions and give them a seat at the table in achieving them). And again, I can’t stress it enough: take the blame, give away the credit.

At the end of the day, success of your team is your success as well. The two go hand in hand. But in your desire to climb the corporate (or start-up) ladder, don’t leave behind or forget those who made it happen.

Trust leads to loyalty. And loyalty leads to people doing their best to deliver results for you and the company. To earn trust and respect you have to give trust and respect, as well as look out for your people. And if you do, there will be no limit to what you can achieve.

Is your team building objectives ticked off just once a year? Perhaps it is a “fun session” during the end of year retreat or perhaps a “fun day out” for the whole company to thank them for all their hard work. Whilst that is all well and good, team building should be a continuous focus, ensuring that your team are working together as productively and efficiently as they can throughout the year. Have you thought of giving your managers the skills to be able to instill team spirit, little and often with very little expense,Team building training is important for any business management to understand and to get the best from their team situation and it can be achieve with as little as 10 minutes a day. Through team building training and activities, team leaders will know and recognise potential, gifts and gaps of each employee hence know what duties to assign to each one of them.

Team building can work on all levels for all business sizes. By bringing people together and putting them into a situation or relaxed fun where they might rely on each other for support gives them a new perspective on colleagues and the company. It helps to foster better and open communication between the employees themselves, as well as between the employees and the higher management. It goes a long way in improving professional relations, understanding and co-operation, and this is very much reflected in the quality of work being done. Team building in the workplace significantly contributes towards employee motivation and building trust among the employees, thereby ensuring better productivity.

Remember, team leadership and team building go hand in hand. Successful team building in the workplace often translates into success for everyone. As the popular saying goes, “Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

Call Lantern Training on 0702 369224 to learn more about up-skilling your management team to build their own teams.

Did you know: Effective communication is really hard to do!

Communication is not just a simple exchange of information. So many things can go wrong and it’s important to really understand the emotions behind what you want to communicate, the reasons why you are communicating and what you want the outcome to be. It is also two way. You have to be a good speaker as well as a good listener and that’s not easy.

Good communication can greatly enhance your working relationships, and your job satisfaction. Over the next two weeks we are going to explore some of the common mistakes people make while communicating.

  1. Not Editing Your Work

Mistakes with spelling, tone, and grammar make you look careless. That’s why it’s essential to check all your emails, texts, reports or any written work before sending them.

  1. Delivering Bad News by Email

Written communication channels don’t allow you to soften difficult messages with nonverbal cues (such as ), and they don’t allow you to deal immediately with intense emotions. If you need to deliver bad news, do this in person, and think carefully about how you can do it sensitively, so that you can convey your message and at the same time minimise chances of upsetting someone

  1. Avoiding Difficult Conversations

At some point, you will need to give negative feedback. Preparation is the key to handling difficult conversations. Learn to give clear, actionable feedback. You may also want to role-play your conversation first, so that you feel confident in both your words and your body language.

  1. Not Being Assertive

Assertiveness  is about stating what you need, while considering the wants and needs of others. You may not always get your way when you’re assertive, but you stand a better chance of getting it, or of reaching a compromise, because you’ve been clear about your needs.

5.   Reacting, Not Responding

Have you ever shouted at a colleague in frustration, or sent a terse reply to an email, without thinking your point through? If so, you’re likely to have reacted emotionally, instead of responding calmly. This kind of emotional reaction can really affect how others think about you and potentially damage relationships. Always take a moment to reflect before you re

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Are you doing the right things at work? Are you prioritising the right things in life? Take a look at this favourite story about rocks, pebbles and sand or call us at Lantern Training (0706 596162) to learn more about time management training.

 

 

Feeling stressed at work? Watch this quick reminder to help lower levels of stress and feel better about things.

 

To kick start 2018, we have compiled some of our favourite inspirational personal development videos to help you “become a better you” at work this year!

We’ll start with “Leadership starts with Why” from Simon Sinek.

Call us on 0702 369224 to learn more about developing your leadership skills.

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Many leaders have a problem with proper delegation. Many leaders fear the employee may not complete the task the right way, so the leader develops the old attitude that “if you want something done right, you have got to do it yourself”. This type of thinking could be harmful to both the leader and the employee. A leader must learn how to delegate. This will not only ensure that they are not doing all the work themselves, but delegating also instills a sense of trust among the employees when they know that their leader can trust them to do something right.

Tips for delegating:

  • Assign the right tasks to the right person
  • Give clear instructions
  • Ensure understanding before releasing
  • Follow up
  • Work on your persuasive powers

This is a much discussed topic of debate; what is the right mix or balance of introversion and extroversion to make a truly effective team?

As a society, many often think of extroverts as doers, go-getters, superior team-players. Though the tide towards valuing individual strengths regardless of extroversion or introversion may be changing, extroverts are still often perceived as being more competent team members as they seem to get along with others more easily.

But as it turns out, studies have shown that extroverts sometimes do worse than they’re expected, and so lose status as they disappoint others, while introverts gain status as they exceed expectations for their group participation. In other words, extroverts can create great expectations because of the way they communicate, while introverts tend to undersell the expectations of their work. Neither is better or worse than the other, but a mix of different personality types on a team can help to balance out the effect.By mixing up introverts and extroverts, you are preventing setbacks caused by dips in your team’s morale as the contribution of each team member emerges.

Call us at Lantern Training on 0706596162 to understand how to use psychometrics to balance your team well.

 


 

We know we need a strong, cohesive, motivated team, but what does that really look like? How about this for starters?

– Colleagues that work effectively with each other, ensuring that service levels are excellent, communication is transparent and that everyone is motivated and committed to “do their best”.
– Client facing staff that can build positive, trusting rapport with customers who, in turn, feel confident in the service provided.
– Staff that have healthy respect for the talents and diversity of their team members and can work well together under pressure and in stressful situations.
– Staff that have a healthy attitude towards self development and are clear about how they need to improve and their own personal developmental goals moving forward.

There are a number of ways that we can look to achieve this, but today let’s take a look at Lumina Learning …

The Lumina Learning suite of psychometrics is the next generation of personal and professional development tools supporting individuals and teams to work more effectively, to drive performance and improve the bottom line.

Lumina Spark is the first step on this journey and provides an accurate, personalised Portrait focusing on increased self-awareness and practical development points to assess and improve communication, teamwork and leadership.

By taking a humanistic approach and viewing people as “human beings” rather than “human doings” Lumina Spark sets out to help organisations transform their performance by transforming their people.

Lantern Training is the only certified practitioner of Lumina Learning in East Africa and we are passionate about improving personal effectiveness at all levels within organisations.
Team development programmes are visual, dynamic and can be life-changing. By introducing Lumina into your organisation, we can guarantee that your teams will never look back!

It’s personal: All of our scientifically validated psychometrics, systems and resources are highly individualised so everybody touched by our programmes receives a meaningful, personal experience!

It’s customisable: Whilst we always recommend starting with the Lumina Spark assessment, every single programme we run is highly tailored to each organisation’s and each individual’s need. In the future you may like to build on the programme through Lumina Leadership, Lumina Sales and Lumina Emotion.

It sticks: We use colourful and practical imagery that people remember easily and apply in every aspect of their lives even years after a Lumina Learning experience.

It works: Our approach is flexible, measurable and results-orientated. We ensure everybody is held accountable, making sure that you receive the best possible benefits to ensure that your goals are met.

Call us on 0702 369224  and invest in a strong, motivated team!