Why Writing Out the Objectives For Your Presentation Is Important

So you have a big presentation to give to impress your boss or to new prospects and you want to make a huge impact. Well, there a lot of strategies out there for delivering a great presentation but you might as well forget them all if you fail to set out your objectives clearly first.

The reason for this is simple; if you don’t have a clear idea of exactly what you want your presentation to achieve then, despite your best efforts, at the end of your presentation your audience won’t have a clear idea of your objectives either.  Without a set of clear objectives you might make a few points effectively but you are leaving a lot to chance. A presentation not created with a strong focus will often leave only a vague impression of the real message you wish to convey.

Begin with the end in mind. If you take time to set your objectives out then you have begun to build a blueprint for the content and structure of your presentation. If you have a clear set of objectives they will inform all your decisions about what to say, when to say it and what to emphasise the most.

So what should your objectives include? Start with the ultimate end in mind, whether it’s a sale, increased web traffic, a chance of promotion, getting a job or even an abstract concept like building credibility. Having this objective in mind then leads to the next level of objectives such as, the key messages that you want to convey, what direct action you want the audience to take at the end or how many new clients you want to sign up.

Once you have these goals in mind then every word, every slide and every image should be evaluated against its ability to help you achieve the goal. Does that long introduction about the company history really help? Does that animation make the message clearer or is it a distraction to your purpose?

Use these goals to inform the narrative structure for your whole presentation as well as the order and emphasis for each point that you wish to make.

Having the end in mind gives you a clear and strong focus on exactly what it is that you need to do to achieve your goals.

Are You Living In the Present?

When you saw this article title, did you relate to it? I’ll be honest; I sure did. That might seem strange considering I wrote the article, but when I reread the title a couple times, I realized it was an eye-opener for me and it made me really stop and think. Maybe it’s an eye-opener for you, too, so I’ll give you an idea of what got me out of living in the present and what I do to focus on staying in it. Maybe it’ll help you change course if you need to.

What I’ve really noticed is lately I’ve been getting way ahead of myself. In other words, I haven’t been taking time to really connect with what’s right in front of me in my life right now. I’ve inadvertently missed important things that I should be aware of, appreciating, perhaps taking action on, and definitely expressing gratitude for, including the little things, all because I was not living in the present. I also noticed that not only was I causing unnecessary stress for myself by focusing on things that haven’t even happened yet and may not happen at all, but I had also overlooked something that was very important to me that was right in front of me right now. Clearly I would’ve noticed this if I were living in the present.

I had had several intuitive nudges about something I’ve been considering for a long time, and I had set those nudges aside because I was busy ruminating about the future and what it will bring. More importantly, there were things that I had overlooked or dismissed because of being caught up in not only looking too far ahead but also questioning whether or not there is something missing and what I should (the dreaded “should” word) be doing. And with the moment of awareness this article title brought me, I realized I had missed some opportunities with family and also my business that I had been taking for granted, not to mention the intuitive nudges that led me to taking positive action once I returned my focus to living in the present.

“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days waiting for better ones ahead. ~ Marjorie Hinckley

So along with the rumination about the future and potential results came stress because I was concerning myself with things that hadn’t even happened yet or may never happen. And, I know for sure that doing this is just a colossal waste of time and energy. Putting all this together brought me back to the present and was a direct lesson for me to get back into and stay in it. Sure it’s important to plan for the future and keep an eye on the horizon. But, stay aware of living in the present so you recognize and appreciate everything that’s here for you right now– today. Life goes by way too quickly to miss any of it.

I don’t think there’s anyone who can say they haven’t gotten caught up in the future or perhaps even stuck in the past at some point or another. Even the best of the experts find themselves looking outside the present moment now and again. It’s human nature, especially in the West where society has historically been less connected to this holistic mind/body/spirit mentality. I’m happy to say that’s changing dramatically now. What a blessing this is, not only for us but for our children, grandchildren, and future generations, too.

So if you’re reading this, you’re likely already at some stage of awareness and consciousness. And if so, you understand that consciously redirecting yourself to living in the present has enormous lasting value. One of the things I like to do to keep myself more grounded in the present is to do a simple meditation for a few minutes each morning and/or evening, whichever works best for any given day. Doing both is even more beneficial but it doesn’t always fit the schedule.

Meditation is very helpful because it not only allows you to stay in the present, it also allows you to step away from the noise of life to connect or reconnect with your inner wisdom. Don’t let the term “meditation” scare you if you’ve not yet experienced it. There are very simple forms of meditation you can do. I’ll share a simple one with you here that you may want to try if you don’t have a meditative practice of your own. The important thing about any meditation or any inner or outer work you do for yourself is to be sure it feels good to you and you resonate with it.

If not, you’ll not experience the full benefit. Here are the steps to this simple meditation. Step 5 allows you a couple variations, and you can choose either or come up with your own. Both variations work well for me, but it’s all about what works for you-what you resonate with. Just relax and do what feels right. You may wish to start with this meditation and as you gain more experience and are more comfortable, create your own. Here we go:

1) Choose the time of day that works best for you to meditate and allow about 15 to 20 minutes for your meditation. If you wish, you can surely go longer, but sometimes when learning to meditate you may find yourself being bored or unable to focus, so shorter sessions are a good way to get started.

2) Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Be sure to wear clothing that is loose and very comfortable so your body and mind can relax and let go. This also better allows energy to flow through your system.

3) Choose a place where it’s quiet, you can get comfortable, and you won’t be interrupted. It’s very important to choose a location that’s very quiet and where you can sit or lie down comfortably. It’s also very important that you not be interrupted. Meditation is a time for quieting the mind and releasing life’s noise.

4) Once sitting or lying down comfortably, close your eyes and take 3 or 4 good, deep, slow breaths. With each breath, inhale fully through your nose, hold it for a second, and then exhale from your mouth with a quick “pahhhhh” sound until all the air is exhaled. I’ve experimented with the brief hold of the breath and a couple different ways to exhale, and the method above really relaxes me more than any other. I invite you to try different methods and see what feels best to you, too, but this is a good one and it’s easy.

5) Two simple variations to Step #5:

a) How to enter your meditative session and ask for general guidance: After you complete the few deep breaths, keeping your eyes closed simply greet your inner wisdom with a hello and speak your intention to connect with it. Then, simply ask, “What do I need to know today?” With eyes still closed, be quiet, be still, and listen and observe the stillness for that guidance.

b) How to enter your meditative session and ask for guidance on something specific: You may also ask for guidance on something more specific. In this case, after you complete the few deep breaths, keeping your eyes closed simply greet your inner wisdom with a hello and speak your intention to connect with it. Then simply say, “I ask for your guidance on __________,” (fill this in with a short description of what you need guidance on). Then with eyes still closed, be quiet, be still, and listen and observe the stillness for that more specific guidance.

That’s it for this simple meditation. Simple is always better because it doesn’t cause confusion. Keep your question simple and to the point for best results. There is no way of knowing when the guidance you request will come. It could be almost immediately or within hours or even days. Just know it will come. Do your best to be patient and pay attention to ideas, visuals, auditory messages, circumstances, people, opportunities, and anything else that comes to you that seems to have “come out of the blue.” That’s your inner wisdom, intuition, or higher self responding with the guidance you requested.

The beauty of meditation in terms of staying present and not getting stuck in the past or reaching too far into the future is that while in your meditative state, you are in the now-you are present. And, when performed daily or consistently at some level, you easily stay in touch with the present and connected to your higher self. This brings calm, clarity, and confidence, and keeps you open to your highest (soul) perspective.

“Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.” ~ Sonia Ricotti

Business Presentation Folders

Presentation folders are one of the most popular means of transferring documents among the world’s business communities.

Whether promoting a product, a company or an individual, the presentation folder is the foremost visual connector at the beginning of the transaction, and the opportunities to impress are countless.

The introduction of ‘oversize’ digital presses has further enhanced the benefit and impact of the presentation folder by allowing personalisation of information as well as catering for multiple page presentations when including a gusset in the product.

As well as personalisation, digital presses also offer the option of a unique design for every folder produced – and it costs no more at the print stage.

Digital of course also implies, quite correctly, print runs as required – one copy and upwards. This is a far cry from as little as three or four years ago when the only method of producing a folder was using offset technologies which frequently necessitated larger than necessary print runs to obtain a perceived scale of economy.

Presentation folders are traditionally manufactured to accommodate A4-sized documents in countries using international paper standards. These folders are generally within the limits of what is achievable on a digital press, but smaller folders such as A5, or square shapes (cd case size for example) can have equal or even greater impact on their intended markets.

The well-designed folder may also cater for additional materials such as a business card inserted in a pre-cut location. If you think your unique folder may have subsequent applications, it is worth taking this option into consideration before designing the product, as the cost of manufacturing a die for cutting the folder’s shape following printing is substantial.

Folders manufactured using recycled paper stocks are extremely popular and help to promote and reinforce good green practices. The range of recycled materials available to digital printers is substantial and growing rapidly, while contemporary digital printing itself is the most environmentally friendly method of ink/toner transfer yet devised.

A further benefit of the presentation folder may well be its re-use by the client to whom it was originally given. Folders are handy items for storing any amount of printed matter that is of interest to that person. Hence its shelf life (along with your name, message or idea) may be extended indefinitely.

Presentation folders are offered by a variety of print firms, many of them on line. The better companies offer a template for downloading so that you or your graphic designer may generate the personalised item you require. The completed design is simply uploaded back to the printing firm where the file will be proofed and printed to your specifications.

Be bold in your folder designs for they remain your invisible handshake when you are no longer in the presence of the person to whom the folder was given. Primary colours can make an outstanding statement, so remember, bold is beautiful and colour has never been more affordable.