Best £350 you’ll ever spend on marketing

Imagine this. . .
You’ve done a bit of marketing – maybe networking, maybe followed up a couple of referrals, maybe a couple of leads have come in from your web site …

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5th July 2007 at 8:02 pm

Imagine this. . .

You’ve done a bit of marketing – maybe networking, maybe followed up a couple of referrals, maybe a couple of leads have come in from your web site or blogging.

You’ve followed them up. The prospect was warm. You’ve got a meeting. More to the point, they’ve been interested enough to round up a handful of key decision makers to hear you present.

The marketing goose appears to have laid you a golden egg.

How do you feel?

If your immediate response is ‘bring it on!’, presenting is what you do best, then good for you.

If, however, the idea of standing in front of a room full of VIPs (they are very important, if they have the authority to sign off a purchase of whatever you’re selling, regardless of their job titles), gives you a churning feeling in the pit of your stomach, then it’s time to put your hand in your pocket.

Being able to deliver a compelling presentation is a rare gift. But learning these skills is a present you can give to yourself and it needn’t cost the earth.

I have always been a shrinking violet when asked to get on my feet and impress a room full of people. My excuse? I’m a writer. Give me a keyboard and I’m happy as the old pig in you-know-what.

On my feet has been a different story. Knotted tummy, crimson blush and depending on the prevailing wind sometimes I’ve got away with it, sometimes not. But each and every time I’ve found the experience truly harrowing.

So, today I paid for a remedy. A day of presentation skills training. Video camera, tough subject matter. The lot.

And guess what I learned. 1. I’m a lot better than I thought. Seeing yourself on camera explodes the myth that your audience can magically see what you’re feeling. That pause that feels like eternity when you lost your thread can actually come across as composed refection (given the right lighting. . ) 2. Pretty much everyone who has to stand up goes through the same thing. 3. Every audience likes to be told a story – we’re all still kids at heart. Bin the bullet points and tell a tale, it’s easier and it gets a better response if it comes from experience. 4. It’s ok to be yourself. When I try to be someone else my earthy northern accent is stronger than when I relax. (Go figure??!!)

I learned all of this for the princely sum of £350. The training provider was Blue Sky. But I have no doubt that there are hundreds of similar companies out there who can help you more with your marketing than a million well written words ever will.

If you could be better at presenting, build a bridge. GET OVER IT!

Sara Scott

Sara is a marketing specialist with a wealth of on-line and traditional experience. With award winning credentials as an advertising writer, her career also spans the disciplines of planning and strategy for both B2B and consumer clients. Having worked for one of the the UK's biggest non-London agencies, Sara now works on a consultancy basis for clients large and small. http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk/blog

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