Read no further if you are not trying to promote your business. Read no more if you are not seeking financial backing or business contracts. Skip this article if you do not need to present your ideas, business plans, or political views to others effectively and purposefully. Do not waste another second of your time reading more if you have no need to communicate with others or make presentations of any kind.

Now that I have your attention—which is exactly what you need to do get someone to listen to you, read your words or see what you have to show them—you are probably open to some concrete tips from the workshops I present on how you can come across to others more powerfully.

When you make a presentation—whether to one person when you attend networking events or to 100 people when you make a formal presentation—project competence and authority, regardless of your position, to move ahead in your career or move your business to the next level. First impressions are crucial. Often, the first impression you make is when you shake someone’s hand in greeting. Your handshake communicates critical information. A firm, dry, warm handshake conveys power and confidence regardless of gender. Women, however, need to be especially conscious about and proficient with The Handshake as the process and technique is not taught to us at an early age.

Dad taught me to stand up straight and look ‘em in the eyes. A surprising number of professionals I meet slouch or do not maintain eye contact when we speak. The fine business suit and well-groomed body make a good initial impression. But erect posture and direct eye contact make a long-lasting impression that speaks confidence and assertiveness. Try maintaining eye contact with any one person for at least five seconds whether you are on stage or you are involved in a one-on-one presentation at a networking event.

Meetings typically involve food and drink of some sort. Arrange your food and drink so that your right hand is free for shaking hands and passing out business cards. Wear your nametag on your right, just below your shoulder and high above your breast line. When you reach out to shake hands the other person sees your name clearly and you do not feel that they are staring at anything at which they should not be staring. Carry small breath mints. Discretely place one in your mouth after you finish a formal presentation in case you have to meet with individuals immediately after your presentation. Put together and practice a 30-second “elevator speech” that explains who you are, what you do, and how to contact you. An elevator speech is a presentation you can complete in the time it takes to ride an elevator with a person with whom you want to conduct business. The words you use are important to the impression you make. Use power words like “can” and “do” and “will”. Avoid ending sentences with question marks and saying, “I’m new”, “maybe, and “I think”.

These techniques convey similar messages whether you are networking or making a formal presentation. When you think you do not have time or cannot afford to practice or improve your communication and presentation skills, ask yourself if you can afford not to grow your business or your career. While interpersonal skills seem secondary to financial and business skills, the intangible messages you communicate have very tangible effects on your bottom line if you do not convey them with confidence and proficiency.

Author's Bio: 

Sylvia Henderson runs a business called Springboard Training. She helps people show they are as great as they say they are. She facilitates workshops and conference general sessions, keynotes, develops educational tools, and authors books and program-related articles.

Sylvia integrates principles of adult learning into her programs by actively engaging audiences in the learning process, using toys and props to generate interest and emphasize points. She weaves her avocation as a motorcyclist into analogies and metaphors that tie into messages targeting your needs.

Sylvia's real-world experiences include 20+ years as a corporate trainer, team leader and manager practicing the leadership, communication and motivational skills she now presents in her programs. She serves on nonprofit Boards of Directors and is Past-President of both a national and professional non-profit associations.

Primary programs, from which Sylvia develops individual content points and learning objectives to meet your specific needs, include: - Pathways to Positioning: Success Language: Work-Life Skills for Success (On-Site Programs; Teleseminars; Presentations). - Leader of the Pack: Basic Leadership and Interpersonal Communication Skills. - V-Twin Values: Success Principles for the Ride Called "Life".

Download resources you can use immediately and bring Sylvia to your organization. Go to http://www.springboardtraining.com - contact us. Sylvia' blog is http://blog.springboardtraining.com. Follow her on Twitter @SuccessLanguage.

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