TO THE NEXT LEVEL!


If You Like It Then You Should Have Put A Ring On It!!!

“Oh, oh, oh, oh ohhh!” Wait! Before you wad up this piece of paper to throw at my head, I promise not to sing.

put a ring on itNow that I've got you humming Beyonce's famous song, you're likely thinking, “Yep. Karen has finally gone off the deep end! After all, how on earth could this song and my business have anything in common?” It's actually quite simple:

You Should Be Married To Your Business! That's right, so all the single ladies (and not so single ladies), put your hands up!

Ok, before you squint your eyes to get a better shot at my melon, hear me out. I don't mean married in terms of working on your business 24/7, nor do I mean some sort of weird new-age internet kind of thing either.

What I mean is you need to be committed to your business. Walk the walk and talk the talk. One of the simplest ways to profess your dedication and passion is to ensure you have a solid presentation. As a marketing coach and networking facilitator, I have seen hundreds of business presentations. I fondly categorize them into: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Let's look at each group.

The Bad: This is usually where a good person in a good business has a really bad day. She is frazzled and it shows. Her face goes red, she forgets what she was going to say, and, from that point on, it's all pretty much going to hell in a hand basket. On a different day they would have likely had a ‘good' presentation.

The Ugly: I recently had the opportunity to witness one of the ‘ugliest' presentations I have ever see!! Just to be clear I can ensure you it was NOT a member of BusiWomen. Like prom or my children's births, it too will forever be etched in my mind. Characteristics of an ugly presentation include it being condescending, lop-sided with poor content and preparation. There is no commitment or mutual respect, and in terms of ownership, they most definitely did not put a ring on it. I often use a four letter word to describe it and that word is: Y-U-C-K (please note my word starts with an ‘Y'….. although I have heard disgruntled audience members uttering another word that rhymes)!!

You know you've experienced a bad presentation because once its done, you're annoyed, you have even more questions than when it started and you're thinking, “I need a stiff drink and a cleansing shower.” Presenters like this rarely generate leads from their presentations, nor are they called back to do it again.

The Good: These are presentations where the person is prepared. It's not the fancy technology, big words or a really cool slide show that makes it work. It's the simple fact that they know their business, they respect their audience and they use simple tools to explain the merits of their business. The presenter is approachable and the presentation has validity and pertinent content. If you spoke to the presenter after, they would appear humble and sincere, willing to answer any questions you have and truly seem to be happy that your paths crossed. At the end of the day, if you do business together, that's great. But if not, you still feel at the very least, your time and intelligence were not taken for granted. You would be comfortable giving a referral.

Each and every one of us needs to have the good presentation. It's as simple as that. So have a Plan B to convert a bad presentation day into a good one. Take that ugly presentation, run it over with a tank and then start fresh. Then, once you've finished the creative process, enlist a peer to review it for accuracy and professionalism. And finally, when you present, ensure you treat others the way you want to be treated. Follow these simple steps and you'll be able to reap the rewards from being married to what you believe in.

Karen Baring


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