Presenting with confidence

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Presenting can have all of us feeling some trepidation and we know that more than most. When it comes to presenting your work or ideas this can feel daunting and often you don’t know where to start.

We have some handy tips below to help you feel confident, professional, and sure of your work.

A great presentation is made up of the following:

Design

  • What are your objectives?
  • Do you understand your audience? In designing your presentation you must think about your audience, their demographic and how they’ll receive your argument
  • Do you need a Q+A?
  • Can you provide hard copies for those who’d like to learn more?

Preparation

  • This is where you will research the topic you’ll be talking about, and research is key. What kind of structure are you designing the presentation in?
  • A great tip is to try and include the power of three: a list of three things that make a point more memorable.
  • Focus on key points and build around them.
  • Practice reading your presentation out loud to a friend or colleague to see how they gauge it and whether you need anymore information.

Delivery

  • On the day of the presentation be sure to arrive with plenty of time to familiarise yourself with your surroundings
  • Check all technical equipment and practice with a microphone if necessary
  • When you begin your delivery remember this simple technique: think, breathe, speak. It’s that simple. Breathing is key, and allows you to slow your thoughts down and remind yourself that you are present
  • Try and maintain eye contact and focus on a few friendly faces for reassurance.
  • Don’t let any visual aids take centre stage, that’s for you to invite the audience in through your speech.
  • Before you begin take a few breaths, ground your feet, shoulder width apart and allow your body to relax a little. This will give you a stronger sense of belief in yourself and the audience will respond well to it.

Evaluation

  • It’s so important to understand how well you’ve done by asking for feedback. You can present people with a form to fill in at the end.
  • Question whether you fulfilled the brief? Did your timings work to plan? How were your interactive elements and visual aids?
  • Ask yourself whether you engaged the audience, asked the right questions, were you clear enough with your points, and overall were you clear in your delivery?

Visual Aids

Visuals are fantastic and a great way to engage your audience. Don’t be afraid of using them, but it’s best to understand how to use them effectively.

  • Make sure your text is the same throughout a powerpoint presentation
  • Your colour scheme represents your message
  • Bullet points are great to make short statements
  • Pictures are brilliant at capturing your words in a simple image
  • Charts and diagrams help people to understand your message more clearly
  • Audio and visual images in youtube can help bring a point to life

Responding to questions

We know responding to questions can feel daunting, that’s why with a little preparation you can be sure that you’ll be in a great spot to respond clearly and with confidence:

  • Whilst preparing the presentation, take into account what kind of questions you’ll be asked and prepare your answers accordingly
  • Advise your audience on how you’ll be responding to their questions, i.e at the end, during, etc. Take control of this and you’ll feel more confident
  • Remember to repeat each question so that all members of the audience can hear. This will give you time to process the question and think of an answer more clearly
  • Try not to panic if you don’t know the answer straight away, but explain that you’ll respond in person at the end

Watch the masters at work

By watching strong and successful people giving speeches you can gain a lot of insight into their specific style and secrets. We recommend watching Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, amongst many others you can find on YouTube.

Most of all, just take a breath, be yourself, and have confidence in your work. We believe in you!

 

EAs & PAs discover how to motivate yourselves

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How do you motivate yourself? Do you find it’s something which comes with ease, or is it something you have to do in a more mindful way? Do you do it daily, or do you struggle to remind yourself to?

We’ve got 5 easy reminders to inspire you to motivate yourself in either your personal or your work life. Remember, you’re worth it.

  1. It’s group effort – being part of a group can inspire you to be the best possible version of yourself as you are held accountable to your friends, colleagues, or family who can all help you to reach your desired goal. It’s one of the surest ways to reach success and we are always behind you if you ever need to reach out and ask for help. As a professional Fellow, Platinum or International Member of the Global PA Association you can take advantage of our new service, monthly Coaching Club sessions with our Founder.  These will ensure that your motivation is maintained. Contact us at enquiries@globalpa-association to find out more.
  2. It’s all in your mindset – trust us when we say we know this for sure. We know it can be difficult to reach your final goal, weight, promotion, whatever it is that you’re striving for. Therefore it makes sense to change your perception of the goal in sight. Can you change it into game perhaps, or a challenge? How do you reward yourself when you tick off some of the goals along the way? All this helps you to be the best you can be, and it’s all in your control, isn’t that fab?
  3. What inspires you? – Inspiration is key. You can find this in any number of things, be it music, Ted talks, autobiographies of your favourite person, or family, and friends. There are quotes all over social media which uplift and give you inspiration. Try spending a few minutes a day tuning into this and enjoy listening to these stories, and lett great quotes bring you inspiration. They really work!
  4. Nourish your body – We all know that eating your greens and getting your 5 day aids your health and your brain to function properly, however it’s also brilliant to note that a little chocolate and some coffee isn’t as bad as you think. Rewarding yourself with a little treat in this form is not only good for the mind, it’s good for your health as it stimulates your brain and releases much needed dopamine to give you energy and focus. Finally something we can all agree on!
  5. Find your pose of strength – it may sound different, however discovering a pose of strength and adopting it each morning and holding it for 1 minute can really make a difference. We recommend finding a pose that reflects strength to you. One we particularly recommend is standing tall and reaching your arms up and out to the sky. It helps you to embrace space and not be afraid of saying “I am here” and it releases testosterone which gives you confidence. What a great way to start your day.

If you want to know more take a look at our 7 Key Skills page where we have motivational and inspiring courses which promote self confidence.

“As always Global PA ensured it was a very motivational get together of like-minded PA’s to share experiences, solutions and lift morale. I was worried about the social media session as my skills are a very limited in that area due to time constraints and – guess what? – discovered we all face the same situation! A really enjoyable and thought provoking session.”  Sue, Chartered Institute of Builders 

We look forward to welcoming you at any one of our courses which run in London during April.

Until then, enjoy discovering new ways to motivate and champion you!

Are You Happy at Work?

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Happiness at work. Do you feel happy at work? Do you think about your happiness levels regularly enough? Awareness of your happiness in the workplace has become increasingly important and you might be surprised to find that businesses are investing more and more in their employees happiness on a day to day basis, as it affects not just the individual, but the business, and most importantly whether you’re happy or not goes on to impact your home and personal life. Sounds logical that that might be the case right? In fact we’ve been living in a society which doesn’t put enough emphasis on the individual’s happiness levels for far too long, but it’s all looking set to change

Jessica Pryce-Jones has written a fantastic book called “Happiness at Work: Maximising your Psychological Capital for Success”. In an interview with Jessica, she details what it means to be happy at work and how you can maximise your own happiness levels. What we found interesting was the discovery that it’s about your mindset and that you have a choice in all situations at work and you must decide what you want and how you want to get it – giving you more power than you think. Sounds great doesn’t it?

By giving you back your power and learning that you have control of your thoughts and your environment we want to help you find your own happiness at work. We all know that thinking positively changes your attitude and energy, yet it can be tricky at times, especially when you’re in a state of conflict. Positive thoughts come from hope, courage, and optimism. By connecting with these thoughts you will more likely be engaged and satisfied.

And we know, it’s all very well thinking positively, but what if your surroundings and work colleagues aren’t positive and happy? Shouldn’t your employer make efforts to practically help you find this happiness? The answer is categorically yes. Perhaps your boss already asks your what makes you happy, or what do you really enjoy doing, or what has helped you build your confidence in your role? Or perhaps you’re waiting for this to happen. Communication is key, in every office and in every relationship, so if you want to action your own happiness why not talk to your boss and come up with a plan on how to build your happiness levels? No-one would ever say no to helping their employees, and you, as the PA/EA are so integral to your boss’s working (and dare we say it, personal) life, that your happiness should be at the top of their list. 

Jessica talks about the 5 C’s in finding happiness at work. By identifying with these you can see where you have strengths and weaknesses, and then in turn you can address what needs the most focus, therefore increasing your chance of greater happiness. The five C’s consist of “contribution, conviction, culture, commitment and confidence. These are underpinned by pride, trust and recognition and at the heart of the model is achieving potential.” Can you identify with these and which you want to work on?

The most important learnings from the book are that listening is the key component to happiness. Feeling heard and listened to are absolutely key, as are listening to others. It’s not as easy as you’d think, however next time you’re in a meeting, or in a conversation with a colleague, really try and listen and connect to that person and see if you gain anything in return. Connecting with one another helps to develop and deepen relationships, which in turn contributes to happiness levels and the feeling of being recognised for your worth.

Confidence is also key to your happiness. Try and sit down and think about what you have to offer, and what you already offer. You might surprise yourself with your capabilities. We know all of you are key to your company’s ability to run smoothly, but have you ever looked at yourself and realised all you have to offer? By tuning in and recognising your abilities you will naturally grow your own confidence and therefore happiness. Sound pretty great doesn’t it? We know you’ve got the capability, so enjoy rediscovering your confidence and really let yourself be your own champion, we believe in you!

 

Making the most of LinkedIn

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LinkedIn. Did you just do what we did and slightly grimaced when you remembered the last time you logged in and really made some new connections that might help you? How many of you use LinkedIn? And how many of you really utilise the networking and personal branding opportunities it has to offer? Do you have a profile which you don’t update enough? It’s ok, we’re all the same. Every day is off the charts busy, and trying to remember to consistently add to your LinkedIn profile on top of everything else, well it just seems to fall to the bottom of the to do list.

Here at the Global PA Association we know what busy lives EAs and PAs lead, and prioritising yourself and your goals can often go awry, but that’s where we want to help. By summarising what LinkedIn can do for you we want to maximise your potential, help you access a strong online network, and build your brand so that you are best represented as an individual in the workplace. Sound good? Read on…

Why should you use LinkedIn?

  • It’s a great way to showcase yourself and your skills online through a visible and professional platform
  • You can build a network with other professionals in your industry and see what the job market is like
  • It allows you to keep in touch with contacts, and these contacts might be able to open doors for you in the future
  • You can research future employers and companies and give yourself a heads up before any meetings which might benefit your career

Your LinkedIn Profile

  • Your profile should be descriptive, detailed, and always up-to-date
  • A clear photograph of yourself should always be included, so make the most of this opportunity to present yourself as a warm, open and professional person. A smile goes a long way!
  • Your job history should be detailed and informative. The more information, the more likely you are to appear in more searches, and the more an employer will understand you before they meet you, giving you a vital head start!
  • This is your chance to shine! Really sell yourself and your skills and don’t hold back. You’re the only one who is going to paint yourself in the best light and we know you’re more than capable. Show everyone what you really have to offer, we want to see the real you 🙂

Making connections and building your network 

  • The 3 tiered connection system is great news as it really opens up a whole host of people you wouldn’t otherwise connect with. Remember that networking happens on and off-line, and you should always maximise your networking opportunities everywhere you go. Once you’ve made a connection in real life, take it to LinkedIn, you never know where it might lead to next!
  • Group connections are even better as you can see what kind of people are in your industry, where they work, and what kind of connections they have, therefore you’re always expanding your network, even when you don’t realise it.
  • Invite people to connect, and respond to connection requests, just be aware of people you know and those you don’t.

Recommendations and keeping in touch with your connections

  • Recommendations really help strengthen your reputation and online presence. And being asked to recommend others is a great way to link to more people as you’ll be featured in their profile, thereby increasing your visibility even more
  • Keep yourself visible by posting short updates about your current work, what you might be reading, or thinking about. Keep these brief but informative and professional
  • Sending private messages helps to keep your credibility high and adds a degree of formality

Above all remember that networking on and off-line exists to help you broaden your possibilities, and keep you at the top of your game. It’s up to you how you brand yourself, and we know you have all the skills, so keep up the good work, you’re doing just fine  🙂

If you want to meet other PAs offline, the Global PA Association is showcasing at The Office Show. We have 4 speakers in Global PA Executive Education Theatre and Rosemary, our founder, is presenting a keynote on “Are PAs the Forgotten Workers”. It will be a fantastic networking event and we’re looking forward to welcoming old and new faces alike. It runs from Wednesday 28th February to Thursday 1st March.

Simply sign up here: https://www.officeshow.co.uk/Register for Office* 

If you visit our stand at the Office Show – Stand C100 – enter our prize draw and you could be in with a chance of winning £150 John Lewis Vouchers! You have to be in it to win it! See you there!

How To Market Yourself

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HOW TO MARKET YOURSELF

We’ve all been there: “How do I get that promotion?” and “How do I make myself stand out from the crowd?” These time-honoured questions are key to your career progression, yet most of us don’t know how to maximise our potential and make ourselves visible in all the right ways. That’s where understanding how to market yourself really comes into play, especially in this digital and throwaway culture, you have to really know how to make the best of all your attributes and capabilities in order to be seen for all the right reasons.

You possess a wealth of functional and social abilities, and tuning into what these are will help you to really understand and play to your strengths, so that you can get that job you’ve always wanted, work for a dream company, and climb the ladder to reach your fullest potential. Sound good? Read on..

Social abilities are your social and communication skills, understanding, listening, empathy and so on.

Functional abilities are the skills you’ve acquired through the workplace and education.

Combining the two effectively make you incredibly attractive to your current, and prospective, employers. You will naturally have all of these, yet you may also be stronger in: communication, teamwork, self-confidence, organisation.

Professional Image

Your professional image is absolutely vital if you want to market yourself successfully in the workplace. And we know you know the drill, always be well presented, always be on time, make a good impression etc. but we can’t emphasise enough how important these pointers are. Did you know that humans judge one another on appearance in under 7 seconds? That just proves how much your personal appearance and attitude count in any given work situation. Give yourself the best start by doing all you can to be the best possible version of yourself. The following pointers are great in guiding you in what’re the most effective ways to stand out:

  • Be well informed in all aspects of your job, and your boss’s!
  • Be prepared
  • Build your reputation
  • Be well presented, well groomed and well dressed
  • Keep your emotions in check
  • Be friendly and open to others
  • Be confident
  • Be consistent

Visibility

Have you ever wondered why you get passed off when it comes to a promotion or being recognised for your work? The opportunities always go to the same person? Being visible is an absolute must if you want to progress and market yourself. Being vocal about your capabilities and achievements is super important, as no one else is going to shout about you, other than you! Believing in yourself and your work is all part of your personal branding, and employers want to see a vocal and confident employee who loves what they do and who doesn’t mind telling the world!

  • Get involved with company events, activities and training
  • Always look to build your network, both in, and out of, the workplace
  • Keep up a dialogue with your manager on how you can develop and grow
  • Do your bit for charity on behalf of your work
  • Always keep hold of positive feedback in case you need it for the future
  • Stay positive when it comes to leaving your job – you never know when you might need them again, and vice versa!

You have the skills and personality, it’s up to you to really harness your qualities and be confident in all you can achieve going forward. We believe in you, so go get ’em!