Category Archives: Active Knowledge Bites™

How to give a great presentation

The idea of giving a presentation can be daunting but it’s something many professionals will have to do at some time or another, whether it be for a job interview or in the weekly Monday morning briefing.

Anyone who’s stood up and delivered a speech of some kind in front of total strangers, or indeed people you know relatively well, knows it is not an easy task and that it takes practice to get it right.

Delivering a good presentation also requires preparation and if you put in the time and research certain key areas then your chances of blowing away your audience increase immeasurably.

Think about who your audience will be

How many people will be there?

What will their attitude be? 

How much do they already know?

Are they there by choice?

What language will be most appropriate?

Prepare you material 

Brainstorm all your ideas

Aim for no more than eight main points

Open with an inspiring, positive, attention-grabbing statement of intent

Make sure each part of the material has a purpose

A simple, effective plan for any presentation is to keep in mind the following:

  1. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Then they know what to expect and there will be no surprises and tell them what they will get from it.
  2. Tell them. Deliver the presentation as you have told them you will and invite questions throughout.
  3. Tell them what you have told them. Succinctly recap and review what you have delivered in the presentation and invite questions.

If used in the right way, visual aids are a fantastic addition to any presentation because if something is written down in a clear format it is often easier to understand. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for using visual aids:

  • Do keep each visual as simple as you can
  • Do maintain eye contact with the audience. Resist the temptation to stare at your work.
  • Do check the equipment for your presentation and have spares of everything.
  • Don’t write everything down on the visual, leave yourself some things to say – it’s not a script
  • Don’t use just one colour – vary between light and dark and texts and backgrounds.
  • Don’t leave a visual up if you’ve finished talking about it.

For more information on the courses Catalyst offer or to find about our FREE Leadership & Management seminars, click HERE 


Tags: , , , ,

Assertiveness at work: Have you found the right balance?

What is assertiveness?

  • Respecting yourself and others
  • Taking responsibility for your actions
  • Being honest with yourself and others
  • Sharing understanding other’s situations
  • Dealing with conflict

As human beings, we have two natural responses to perceived threats – fight or flight. This means we either behave aggressively or submissively.

If we behave aggressively, essentially we are looking to satisfy our own needs at any cost even if that is at the expense of somebody else. 

For the individual, the short-term benefits might be that we achieve a sense of authority but in the long-term we might feel a sense of guilt and a feeling of isolation.

Unsurprisingly, behaving submissively is not without its pitfalls either. It’s basically accepting defeat right from the off. We should never feel apologetic just for wanting something different.

Sure, we might gain a certain amount of popularity from colleagues for accepting an unpopular task, or we might get praise from the boss for the same thing. But long-term, problems can arise such as feeling a lack of self-worth, low self-esteem and fatigue from an unmanageable workload.

So, what is it that affects our ability to be assertive?

Self expectation: You must have a positive mental attitude and believe you will achieve what you are setting out to do because if you do, then this will come across in your communication.

Attitude: They influence behaviour and your attitude toward someone will come across in how you talk to them and behave around them. Things like prejudice and certainty prevent effective communication while flexibility and openness facilitates it.

Benefits of communicating assertively:

  • You can influence others by stating your preferences clearly and appropriately
  • You will quickly find out what others think and what they prefer
  • You will feel more confident about making decisions that work and are right for you and others

Finally, being assertive is NOT:

  • Getting your own way at all costs
  • A series of tricks or techniques
  • A way of manipulating others

Being Assertive is one of a number of issues covered in Catalyst’s Active Knowledge Bites™ which we deliver as part of our portfolio of training solutions. More information on these and other courses are available on our website.


Tags: , , , , ,