5 Investor Presentation Tips to Decrease Your Anxiety

When presenting to investors, the most important thing influencing your audience is visual (i.e., your body language), then vocal (your voice and speaking rhythm) and then verbal (the story you tell).

Also, when you present in front of a group, your natural “fight or flight” instincts kick in. Your adrenaline starts pumping and you often get anxious and fidgety. The way that you act as a result of this poorly impacts your audience’s perception of you.

To decrease your anxiety, use the following techniques:

1. Practice, practice and practice some more. The more you practice your presentation, the more comfortable you will be when you give it.

2. Concentrate. Just like an elite athlete, you need to clear your mind before the presentation so you can fully concentrate on the task at hand.

3. Shift Your Focus from You to Them. If you give a presentation and your best friend happens to be in the room, chances are that after the presentation the first question you will ask your friend is “How did I do?”

It is this mentality of thinking about yourself that makes people nervous. Rather, focus on the audience. Look at them and think “how are they doing?” This will allow you to present more effectively.

4. Focus on specific people in the audience. Whether there are three prospective investors or business partners in the room, or you are speaking to a room of 50 or 500, you need to visually focus on one person at a time. That is, pick one person to start and complete your first main point. Then you should shift to different people for each key point you make during the presentation. This helps you concentrate better and make sure you are focusing on the audience rather than on yourself.

5. Practice your hand gestures. Hand gestures often positively engage an audience. But, making hand gestures in front of an audience often feels awkward and uncomfortable. You must practice using them with “warmer” audiences (e.g., your friends, co-workers and/or employees) until they become second nature.

Like it or not, your public speaking ability and presentation skills are more important than the content of your presentations. As such, successful entrepreneurs need to master these skills. Use these tips to improve your skills, and remember to really practice all your presentations before the actual event. As you know, in most cases, you only get one shot at key presentations.

Christmas Presents: How To Buy Gifts That Will Be Treasured

Buying Christmas presents can be a very daunting task. After all, no one wants to come across as thoughtless or unappreciative of their relationships with people.

Here are some tips to help you come up with more thoughtful Christmas gift ideas, so that your presents will be cherished and treasured.

First off, you should definitely plan early. As Christmas gets closer and closer, stores sell out of merchandise and last-minute shoppers are stuck with leftovers. You don’t want to come across as thoughtless or unappreciative of your relationships with people, so planning your Christmas gift ideas ahead of time is an absolute essential.

Another one of your primary thoughts to consider should be your relationship towards the gift recipient, and what your budget is going to be. It might sound simple, but it really will help you focus on your Christmas gift ideas.

Think about your recipients’ interests. If you’re not sure, then pay attention when you talk with them. Put effort into listening to the little things that they casually say, and you might come up with some amazing Christmas gift ideas.

For example, if they offhandedly mention that they are going to a basketball game, take note of it. Basketball-related merchandise might be a great present choice that you would have otherwise not thought of.

If possible, go shopping with the recipient. Even if they are shopping for somebody else, this can be very beneficial. Take stock of the things that they look at and mentally mark them in your head. This is one of the easiest ways possible to come up with Christmas gift ideas.

Ask people. To begin with, you can ask the recipients’ friends or family. They might be able to tip you off to some great Christmas gift ideas, or possibly even want to pool their time or money together with yours and upgrade the present.

You can also ask salespeople. These are the people that deal with the public on a daily basis, and likely know the Christmas gift ideas that are popular with certain demographics. Even if you want to get a personalized present, this can be a great way to get some Christmas gift ideas.

There’s also the option of asking your recipient. Have you ever heard the saying, “A good surprise lasts for five seconds, but a good gift lasts forever”? A lot of people will appreciate being asked; not only does it make things easier for you, but they know that they are getting something that they actually want.

When you put some of these ideas into action, it will become a lot easier to come up with more thoughtful Christmas gift ideas. After all, you do want your gifts to be cherished and treasured by the ones you love.

The Practices of the Heart Part III – The Practice of Being Present

When I enter a room, when I commit to a project, I am present. I show up fully. I let things matter. I realize that I make a difference in this world. I am present with my undivided attention. I don’t let my attention wander to where I am not currently-the past or the future. Do you have a hard time being present? Do you notice your mind wandering to regrets of the past or dreams for the future? The practice of being present is about being mindful-focusing your attention on the here and now? For the truth is that there is only the present.

The past and future are thoughts we are having in the present moment! When you are not focused on the task at hand, whether you are engaged in a personal activity, or on the phone with a client-you are not giving 100% to the endeavor. So how do you practice being present when your mind wanders all over the place? Start simply by tuning in to your five senses, a quick way to bring you into the moment. Then ask yourself what you are feeling. Close your eyes and identify what’s going on with you in the present moment.

When you are tuned into your environment through your senses, you know you are present. When you are focused on your feelings, you are in the present. Another practice of being present is to take time out of your “doing” and spend time “being.” We are often so caught up with what we could be doing now, and in the next moment, and the next. Give yourself the gift of quality time to focus and be aware in the present. It’s a great time for renewing your energy. Take slow, deep breaths. Allow your mind to quiet down and be at peace. You can’t be anywhere but in the present when you are breathing slowly and ‘being” in the moment. Use this practice when you’re on overload. You don’t want to show up for a meeting physically while your mind is thinking about last night or where you need to be in an hour. You want to give your full attention to those around you.

Be present for your business associates, your clients, and your prospects. You know what it’s like when you want the attention of someone who is clearly not tuned in with you. How does that make you feel? Disrespected, unimportant? You don’t want to do this to others. Let them know you value and respect them enough to give them the full and present you. Take the peace from your practice of “being” into your “doing.” Live in the present for the sake of yourself, your sanity, and those around you.