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!

 

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 build your personal brand in 6 steps

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Personal branding has become more important than ever when trying to stand out in the workplace and on social media. We’ve narrowed down our research into 6 easy steps to remember when trying to build your own brand and identify who you are, and what you have to offer.

The benefits you’ll gain from defining your personal brand are huge, just look at the list below:

  • it will increase your confidence and self-awareness, not to mention your credibility
  • your visibility will increase and make you stand out to employers and colleagues
  • your reputation will be enhanced
  • your goals will be clarified more clearly helping you to grow
  • your career prospects will flourish

By analysing the data and breaking it down, we want to make it possible for everyone out there to recognise how beneficial and worthwhile it is to develop your presence online, and we really hope you gain a lot from it.

So first thing’s first, here are the steps from 1 to 6:

  1. Understand yourself

This couldn’t be more important and it’s made possible by asking yourself some simple questions:

  • how would others describe you?
  • what are your strengths?
  • what are your skills and abilities?
  • what are your passions?
  • what’s your leadership style / work style / thinking style (refer back to our blog on the emotional intelligence leadership styles for help with this one)
  • what accomplishment are you most proud of?

2. Find your niche 

What do you want from work and life? And what’s unique about you?

  • How do you want people to identify you?
  • What do you want to be recognised for?
  • Have you added value? In what way?
  • What can you do that no one else can? (aside from run multiple diaries and the world at the same time! 😉

3. Improve your prospects

By promoting yourself and your achievements on your CV and social media you’re giving yourself the best possible chance to engage with employers during the hiring process. This could be anything from qualifications, training, and memberships, to voluntary work: and the great news is, it all counts!

4. Who’s your audience?

  • future employers
  • work colleagues
  • social media specialists
  • online communities

5. Build your presence online

Step 1. Google yourself to see what comes up when you type your name, this will give you a great start and allow you to see where your name sits in the online sphere

Step 2. Update your social media presence and pay particular attention to Linked In and Instagram. Both offer varying opportunities to develop your brand, with one focusing on your professional abilities, and the other showing your emotional intelligence and personality; both factors make you a fully rounded and saleable person

Step 3. Communicate with other people in your industry, and get involved in online communities and forums. This can then translate into real life when you attend events with others in your online sphere, and that’s where the networking really comes into play!

6. Walk your Talk

Always reflect your brand by the way you present yourself at any event or in the workplace. Keep developing your skills in communication, emotional intelligence and always stay true to who you are. And remember to enjoy the learning, it’s fun after all!  🙂