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Tackling presentations and negotiations

Public Speaking Woman

Presentations and negotiations: for many of us, just hearing those words is enough to turn us to a bundle of nerves! Yet, the reality is, it’s practically impossible to avoid engaging in presentations and negotiations as an entrepreneur. Whether online or in person, learning to grab this proverbial bull by the horns can be instrumental in achieving amazing business success!

It might be easier than you think…

Maryanne Johnston is a communications skills expert and entrepreneur. We’ve gathered some of her best advice, to give you a quick troubleshooting guide for your public speaking conundrums!

Maryanne believes we must all aim to achieve 2 goals in every presentation:

  • Get your message across
  • Get your personality across

This helps your listeners to not only take on board and remember what you say, but also to understand what qualifies you to be there and build trust and rapport with your audience.

The Science of Presentations

Start with the narrative

I am a firm believer that you need to tell a story with your presentation. Memorising a script can be very difficult.

Use notes as prompts for each chapter. You will have a more relaxed approach and also not feel the pressure if you miss a word.

Using Slides

You and your knowledge are the most crucial element of your presentation. Visual aids can create a huge distraction for your listener. Be selective when using slides, they must be visual and be easy to grasp in a couple of seconds. They are there to reinforce the main points of your message.

The final ingredient

Your delivery is crucial to the listeners remembering you and your message. If you race through the presentation, you will appear nervous and the audience will not be able to keep up and may even switch off.

Use pauses across your presentation – they will help you appear confident, in control, composed and relaxed. They will also ensure the audience has a couple of seconds to digest and remember your points.

Online Presentations

When presenting online you need to be aware of your background, lighting and make sure you make eye contact with your webcam at appropriate times so your audience sees you engage with them.


Don’t believe you can take on the challenge yet?

Maryanne says: ‘I believe anyone can be a great presenter. It’s a science rather than an art. Once you understand what makes you good when you’re relaxed there is nothing to stop you from being really great with some techniques, practice and coaching.’

And, now that you’ve heard learned some of her top-tips, you’re already on your way to making the most of presentations and negotiations for your business. If you need any more advice, check out Maryanne’s website. You’ll find workshops, articles and podcasts to help you with all your public speaking needs.

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