3 tips to handle a Q+A session effectively

Do you or your sales team give great presentations but fall at the Q+A session?
Many years ago, when I was consulting for a major telecoms company, I was asked to sit in on a sales pitch being delivered by a global vendor of computer software.  It was a household name back then and still is now.  I mean, this was a BIG multinational.  The 2 sales people arrived late, yes late!
However, they delivered a very professional company presentation.  They had beautiful slides and it was obvious that they were well rehearsed and well prepared.
Well prepared … until it came to the questions and answers session.
Within less than 1 minute it became embarrassingly apparent to everyone in the room that they only knew the content on the slides!  It was embarrassing for them and to be honest, for all of us in that room.  They left shortly afterwards with their beautiful slides and their tails between their legs.
Nobody wants that to happen to them or their sales teams.  It is not surprising t...

Truth hurts… but not in the long run

We are delighted to have our founder’s brother, Sean McMahon, doing a guest post about how honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to presenting and public speaking…
We are now living in the era of “fake news” and “new truth” where just by saying something makes it so.  I much preferred the good old days (i.e. pre-2016) when honesty and truth meant that a fact was real and could be relied upon as being true and correct.  Having worked in Financial Services for over 26 years the truth is something that I rely upon every day especially in my interaction with customers and colleagues.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that trying to bluff your way around a subject with a customer when dealing with their money would only end in tears, be this in a presentation or even in a conversation.
Customers found it perfectly acceptable for me to say that I didn’t have the answer to a question and appreciated the fact that I wasn’t trying to pull the woo...

5 tips for creating a fantastic first impression

“How long does it take to create a first impression?”
Two minutes? Twenty seconds? Two seconds?  Some psychologists* would suggest that the length is as short as one tenth of a second.  Therefore, before you have opened your mouth the audience are beginning to form an impression.
So whether you are delivering a high impact business presentation, delivering a presentation at a conference or even a sales presentation, here are a few simple tips to ensure that when you are presenting, you create a fantastic first impression. 
1.  Dress for the occasion
Bearing in mind that the first impression has already begun before you even open your mouth, what you wear really does count.
Two words can address the whole issue of dress code – dress appropriately.  By researching your audience you should have a good idea of what “appropriate” is for the occasion.  Business casual will usually suffice for those in the IT industry, while in the legal world a full suit and tie...

Tips on delivering presentations from a 9 year old

This is Kaitlin, she is 9 years old.  Recently, she did her first ever presentation.  The topic was “The Lifecycle of a Butterfly”.
She told me that she was very nervous but that she got some good advice from her mother (my niece Kacy) and her school teacher.  She said that her presentation went very well and that her teacher was very pleased with it.
I asked her what tips she would give to anyone who had to do a one minute presentation.  Below is an exact transcript of her tips which she typed without any help.  She is one bright 9 year old, in more ways than one!
These are my tips for a one minute speech by Kaitlin Downes age 9
 1. Always have someone with you to help with (e.g.) Timing to start and stop your stopwatch. Telling you whether or not you have enough detail.
2. Don’t have too many facts, depending on your subject have about 7 main facts.
3. Keep trying until you get to a minute if that means you have to take one or two facts out well then that’s what...

Tips for networking

Tonight I have the pleasure of facilitating a speed networking session in the Coca Cola facility, in Drogheda, Co Louth.  The event is being hosted jointly by Drogheda and District Chamber of Commerce and Network Louth Meath Women in Business Networking group.
Just before we get into the networking I will be sharing a few tips on networking but with a specific focus on tips for speed networking.  Each person at the event will have 2 minutes to pitch their business to the person on the opposite side of the table, the roles will be reversed and after 4 minutes they move along and repeat the process with the next person.  It is a great way to meet a lot of people in a short space of time.
Here are the tips I will be sharing to help them all get the most from this invigorating way of networking.  Enjoy!
Networking is not selling!  The likelihood of you meeting someone at a speed networking event, or any networking event, needing your offering at that specific mo...