03 Numbers – The Advantage of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Over PSTN for Number Presentation

Number Translation services in association with number presentation services allow organisations to present their Non-Geographic numbers to end users in order to mask the true geographic location of their offices.

Currently, only a single number can be presented using traditional telecoms network such as BT number presentation services. With the advent of SIP trunking this situation is now vastly improved to provide multiple as opposed to single Non-Geographic numbers from a single location.

BT ISDN30e uses the Q.931 signalling system which is ratified to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T) standard. With SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunks, (a new communication signalling protocol for voice and data sessions), it is possible to replace expensive ISDN circuits and transmit multiple 03 Numbers from a single location, thereby giving rise to more flexible ways of working, especially for outbound calling operations which manage multiple campaigns at any one time e.g. for debt management and outbound telemarketing campaigns.

One of the main limitations of using 03 numbers in an outbound contact centre environment is that traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) lines such as Analogue, BT ISDN2e and BT ISDN30e services only allow a single non-geographic number to be transmitted from the building, known as the primary bearer number.

The Caller Line I.D. (CLI) presented to the end user is therefore either the local fixed geographic number or an associated single 03 number. It is known that inbound telephone calls being received to a variety of locations, either multiple Direct Dial Inwards (DDIs) number within the same building or a separate building using traditional Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) technologies such as ISDN circuits, but it is this outbound call flexibility that puts SIP apart from traditional ISDN services.

The BT number presentation service allows organisations to mask the true location of the outbound call, allowing companies to house their operations overseas or in low labour cost areas where government assistance may be available. Traditionally, the number that is provided comes from the BT local exchange and is fixed, geographically. With SIP protocol, the link with geography is broken and it now allows location independence and more flexible ways of transmitting telephone numbers from a single location.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Business Presentation Skills – The Secret to Handling Questions

One of the biggest problems business presenters can have is handling questions. Often a fantastic presentation, and the reputation of the presenter, can be ruined because they can’t handle questions properly. The solution is to make sure that answers are given in such a way that they make a point, capture attention by providing evidence, and then hammer the message home.

Last month I watched a consultant present competently, using data and analysis, to a senior management team. At the end of the presentation it was time to answer some questions. And though he knew his stuff, he fell to pieces. He lost credibility, and the management team rejected his recommendations. We talked after the event, and I explained that the good news was that his problem could be solved by using a simple structure.

Here it is:

1. Listen to the question, and if necessary repeat to make sure you, and everyone else, has heard correctly. This sounds obvious right? But often a in complex business presentations it’s easy to get the wrong end of the stick. Also some members of the audience may not have heard the question, so it’s useful to repeat it for their benefit. And a final benefit is that it gives you, the presenter, time to think.

2. Answer by making a short point that summarises your position. For example if the question was “please clarify why we shouldn’t outsource our call centre to India?” You could make your point like this: “You shouldn’t outsource to India because, contrary to popular belief, it’s more expensive.”

3. Use a transition to link to your evidence. What you say is “The reason I say that is…”

4. Provide your evidence. “The reason I say that, is because my analysis shows that 50% of your incoming demand is failure demand; outsourcing won’t solve this problem, in-fact it would make the problem worse.”

5. Restate your position. “That’s why I don’t believe that you should outsource to India.”
So the five steps are:

1. Listen to the question
2. Answer by making a short point
3. Use a transition to your evidence
4. Provide your evidence to support your point
5. Re-state your position.

Handling questions is when you show your mettle. It demonstrates that you can stand your ground, and think on your feet. Used well it can help you turn cynics into supporters.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Present Moment Living

How do we practice being present in each moment? Why would we want to? What does it really mean? Being present to me means taking what is happening at this moment at face value. Letting go of the analyzing, letting go of how I thought it should unfold, letting go of where I think it should lead. We all come from a place of experiences. We have learned to THINK our way into, out of, and around every different situation and circumstance.

It is an interesting exercise to simply spend some time being acutely mindful of your thoughts. A situation arises and we go into THINKING mode. “What made them say that?” we wonder, “Where did they come from?” What will they think, who will they tell, I wish I was more like them…thank goodness I’m not like them…Eckhart Tolle encourages us to “be the observer” and to give up defining ourselves to ourselves or to others. All examination or attempts to define you stem from one unconscious thought “I am not enough”. Most of our stories, what we tell ourselves and others as a result of what we THINK could all be put in a big box labeled “Why I cannot be at peace NOW”.

We imagine that we cannot be at peace because of circumstances of our past – either recent or remote – or we hope we will be able to be at peace in the future if ‘this changes or that happens or if I get something else. But we CAN be at peace by making peace with the present moment. Being one with now. Tolle says “To create suffering without recognizing it – this is the essence of unconscious living; this is being totally in the grip of the ego.” I can suggest an exercise: Set a timer for 10 minutes. Soften your eyes, meaning either close your eyes or relax the eyelids to a point that you are not focusing on anything.

Pay attention to every sound you hear – do not judge them as good or bad just be aware. There will likely be a combination of natural sounds, man-made or mechanical sounds, sounds that in the past you may have labeled as pleasant or unpleasant, but for this exercise you will just notice if you have a reaction and tell your mind to simple release the reaction. Let go of what you think it means and any judgment. In so doing you may notice as sense of calm, your are aware of the moment, you are in that space that time- past and present are not, it is from that place that one can glimpse inner peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Is It A Speech or A Presentation? – Part 2

In Part 1, I discussed the differences between a speech and a presentation. And, while they have their differences, the format for the speech and the presentation are exactly the same whether you dealing with an informative or a persuasive piece. In all good speechwriting, you will find that both speeches and presentations consist of an opening, a development, and a closing.

Whereas your development will be the lengthiest and most comprehensive part of your work, the opening and the closing are your clinchers. They are also the most difficult to create. A strong opening will grab your listeners’ attention immediately. “Today, I’m going to talk to you about…” is not a grabber.

As long as it is pertinent to your topic, that which opens your presentation could be a question, a joke, an anecdote, a current event, or even a brief story. These types of openers will draw your audience in. Questions are wonderful because they make your speech or presentation more interactive; and, humor always works (as long as it is truly funny) because an audience’s laughter builds your confidence and makes them wanting more. So by sparking their interest, you then have a receptive audience.

In the development, decide on your major points and limit them. “The 22 reasons you should believe what I say, do what I tell you, or buy what I’m selling…” are 22 reasons they won’t. That is far too many. Every book on public speaking will tell you that 5 main points are the maximum. (Tell that one to Stephen Covey!) The more points you have, the more difficult for the audience to follow you. By and large, anywhere between 2 and 5 major points is ideal. If, for example, you were to give an informative presentation on how to make great chocolate chip cookies, you might wonder how you would list each of the steps if each step were a major point. Depending on the recipe, you could be looking at 10 -12 steps or 10 – 12 major points. Instead, group the process differently.

Main Point: Cream butter & sugar with electric mixer.

Subpoint: Add eggs.

Subpoint: Continue beating.

Main Point: Add dry ingredients.

Subpoint: Description of dry ingredients.

Subpoint: Add grated chocolate and vanilla.

Subpoint: Mix in chips.

Main Point: Drop onto greased cookie sheets.

Subpoint: Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Subpoint: Cool.

Subpoint: Remove.

So in creating your development, list the major points that you want to cover and then expound on those points by means of subpoints and even sub-subpoints.

In the majority of situations, your closing is a call to action for your audience. They came to hear you; they came to learn from you. So it is your job, at this point, to move them to action. Generally, the presentations we attend or the speeches we hear are asking something from the audience. If you have just toasted the groom, then your closing statement should elicit applause. If you have just given a 40-minute presentation on starting a home-based business, then your closing statements need to move them to buy your CDs in the back of the room.

Therefore, in formulating your closing remarks, think about what you want from your audience and build your statements around those ideas. You can briefly summarize your major points (not a good idea with the chocolate chip cookie recipe), you can end with a question, you can refer to your opening, or you can say something dramatic.

” Let your audience know that you are closing, and then do it. A 10-minute closing is not a closer!

In Part 3 of The Speech Versus The Presentation, I will be looking at the delivery style of both formats.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Birthday Presents for Boyfriends – Helpful Ideas for Girlfriends

Annoyingly, most males/boyfriends are almost impossible to shop for. They have absolutely no idea what they want for their birthday. Just imagine if gift shopping for men was as simple as shopping for women! So here at Birthday Presents for Boyfriends, we have compiled a list of the perfect birthday gift ideas for your special loved one.

Of coarse, he already has the best present a male could ever have, in having his girlfriend. Yet, we still need to get him something for that one special day of the year.

There are so many ideas out there to get you started including:

  • Sports Memorabilia

Does your beloved boyfriend follow sports? If so, how about getting him some sports memorabilia of his favorite team? Including Football, soccer, basketball jerseys. A replica ball or bat of a particular sport. Or even collectible team framed trading cards.

  • Gift Cards

A very easy idea where you can let him do the deciding in his present in buying him a gift card at your local supermarket, clothes store, iTunes cards, electrical, hardware and many other places.

  • Homemade food

Is there a guy on Earth that doesn’t love a good home cooked meal? Even if you can’t cook a romantic dinner meal, he’ll even appreciate the thought of home baked cookies! There are so many simple recipes out there in books or that you can Google.

  • Sport event ticket

How about a ticket to the next baseball, soccer, cricket, tennis or basketball game?

  • Car gifts

Loves his car? Easy, get him a bunch of cheap gifts for his car including sponges, a car wash and wax kit or cleaning wipes.

  • Clothes

Bad taste in fashion? Wants to stay on top of fashion? Buying new clothes or taking him clothes shopping is a great present for your boyfriend, that’s makes him look and feel better about himself.

  • Teeshirt of his favorite band

Loves his music? Has a favorite band? This is a cheap, easy and meaningful one. eBay has plenty of band merchandise on sale including his favorite bands tee shirt.

  • Gadgets

Guys love gadgets, simple. There are so many gadgets out there that he will love and keep him occupied for hours on end. Including: DVD/Blue-ray Player, DVDs, a new home theatre, new phone, an iPod/iPhone/iPad, a mini fridge, popcorn maker, milkshake maker, digital cameras, a new Xbox or PS3, a new Xbox or PS3 game or even a new digital watch with night vision.

  • A holiday

Take him to a relaxing beach side resort for the weekend and create some romantic memories together.

  • Surprise birthday party

This will take a lot of time, organization and secrecy. But invite all his friends over and arrange food and drinks. He will love you for it!

  • Domain names

Now here’s an interesting and unique idea. That’s cheap!

As we all know, guys just love to talk about themselves. So what’s better than him making a website all about himself?

All you have to do is register the domain as his name and let him take care of the rest in writing about himself and uploading photos/videos.

Other gift ideas Includes chocolate, sun glasses, deodorants, wallets, shoes, necklaces, personalized poker chips with photos on them, a calendar of photos of you two together or a romantic or fun dinner reservation.

There are plenty of presents you can get your special boyfriend, but just let him remember, you yourself, as his girlfriend, is the best present he could ever wish for.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Six Ways to Make Your Presentation Shine With Support Materials

When planning a big presentation, you may be tempted to spend all your time preparing your talking points and a PowerPoint to the exclusion of all else. But to make a good impression and make sure the knowledge you deliver sticks with your audience, solid support materials are essential.

After all, you’ve taken the time to put together a presentation that is interesting and informative, don’t let that go to waste by allowing your audience to leave the room without something to reference when they tell others about you. Here are six suggestions that can help you make a good impression, provide extra customer service, and keep your presentation fresh in the minds of your audience.

1. Don’t print out your slides – You want your audience to listen to you while you give your presentation, not read about it. Studies show that writing helps you learn quicker; if you want them to take notes, provide notepads and pens. Providing slides gives your audience an excuse to not take notes, even if you leave space for it on the side.

2. Brand your collateral material – Give your pamphlets, folders, notepads, etc. a professional look by carrying the same theme throughout. Among other things, this can be done by adding your logo, mission statement, or pictures that make your materials instantly recognizable as your own. Even something as simple as color-coordinating can mean the difference between being professional and being overlooked. An experienced printer can help you choose a style that fits your company needs.

3. Proofread – Don’t just type something up and print it out. How can you expect to be taken seriously when you don’t take the time to do the job correctly? Hand your materials over to someone qualified to proof your work before it goes to the printer.

4. Use quality products – Faded, blurred, or streaky copies on flimsy paper will do you no favors. You don’t want your materials to look or feel cheap, and above all, they must be legible; the care you take with them can make a lasting impression. Make sure are your materials are sharp and easy to read on stock that will last.

5. Keep your materials tidy – Consider binding all loose handouts into something your audience will want to keep as a reference tool. If you are providing a few differently-sized collateral items like magazines, flyers, postcards, etc. you may want to design a custom pocket-folder to keep everything in one place. Ask your printer for the best option to keep everything organized and easy to access.

6. Don’t interrupt your presentation with handouts – If you have reference materials that will be utilized during the presentation, make sure you give them out in advance, or place them at everyone’s seats. Don’t distract your audience with papers shuffling around the room in the middle of the presentation. Save any lengthy written materials or fun extras until the end of your program. Again, you want your audience to pay attention to you – they can and should read your collateral materials afterward to support your presentation and keep your information at the front of their minds.

Giving a presentation can be a stressful activity; experts report that more people are afraid of public speaking than they are of dying. Taking the time to make sure your support materials are legible, professional, orderly and informative in advance can take a lot of the weight off your shoulders as you prepare and present.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when preparing your collateral material. A good print shop can help you with the selection

of the types of materials you need, the branding, organization and cohesive style that will make your presentation – and you – stand out from the rest.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Powerpoint Presentations – Tips On Making Your Business Presentation A Success!

Business professionals spend a reasonable amount of time giving presentations communicating new and existing ideas, proposals for investors, clients, etc. PowerPoint presentations has become a ubiquitous tool for these varying types of business presentations. At times though, I find that the technical aspect of the tool gets overused, misused, and the audience tends to walk away with an unclear message of the presentation. Here are some solutions to assist with getting your message to land with your audience when using PowerPoint:

Just like a speech, you must have an opening, body and conclusion. First, determine how much time you have for your presentation. Next, create the outline of your discussion. After you create your outline, you create the content within your presentation. This is a sample of how a 30-minute presentation would be structured:

Slide 1: Title (1 minute)

Slide 2: Agenda (2 minutes)

Slide 3 – 9: Body (Keep it focused on your audience) (14 minutes)

Slide 10: Summary (Recap Presentation) (3 minutes)

Q&A (black screen): 10 minutes

**20 minutes for you presentation which gives you on average 2-minutes per slide and 10 minutes for Q&A.

Here are some key takeaways when using PowerPoint for your business presentation:

Do:

o Rehearse your content

o Use it to support your topic/ discussion

o Summarize the slide or the main point

o Take time to introduce the material

o Keep your bullet points to 5 per slide

o Keep eye contact with your audience

o Use graphics and illustrations that support your topic

o Avoid jargon

o Allow enough time to set up and check your equipment. (make handouts as a back-up if equipment does not work)

Don’t:

o Use animation (it takes away from your talk and tends to distract your audience)

o Read from the slides

o Forget what’s in it for the audience (WIIFM)

o Place your back to the audience.

o Cruise through slides. If information is not relevant, then don’t display it. (unless giving handouts)

o Panic if the equipment fails

Black or White

Another way to add value to your presentation is the “B” or “W” key. When you need to elaborate on a point during your presentation and would like to take the focus off of the screen and back to you, the “B” key makes your screen black and the “W” that’s right it makes the screen white. Not shift or control key needs to be used in combination with the “B” or “W” key.

After the summary slide, this is great time for Q&A. Use the “B” or “W” key to make your screen blank, so that people know you have completed your presentation and to focus their attention on you.

Speaker Notes

There are a few ways to make notes on what you would like to say on each of your slides. The easy way is to print your entire presentation and write notes on each page. You can also click the View menu, click Notes Page. The notes section will appear under your slide. You can type notes in this section. To view your printed notes, click on the File menu, click Print. Under Print what, select notes pages and click okay. You now have a clean presentation with notes to do your practice run.

Note: When you display your presentation, the audience will not see you notes section.

Keep It Simple

While all the bells and whistles may look nice, keep in mind the message you’re looking to convey to your audience. Outline the message you want the audience to walk away with at the end of your presentation. The bells and whistles will not sell an idea that has not been thoroughly researched and thought out. Keep the presentation simple and focused directly to your topic.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

How to Deliver a Good Academic Presentation

Many people are extremely accomplished at researching and writing academic papers. However, when it comes to presenting this research or findings to an audience, a lot of people struggle. They find the whole experience very daunting and this can have a negative impact on their confidence and ultimately on their grades. Delivering a presentation of your research findings is one of the best ways to get your message across. So what can you do to assist you to deliver a good academic presentation?

Do not assume that if the papers findings are good the presentation will automatically be good – this is not the case! Just transferring your paper to slides does not make for a good academic presentation.

There are some things that you can do to make the presentation better including;

• Dress the part
• Never start by apologising for your work – this portrays you in a bad light to the audience
• Never underestimate your audience! People who have turned up to hear your presentation do not want to be patronised and made to feel stupid
• Don’t try to cram the whole paper or thesis into one presentation. You have to assume some level of background knowledge and present points that can be delivered in a reasonable amount of time
• Stick to the time allocated! Plan your presentation to the time given to ensure that you cover all points and are not stopped just as you are about to make the most important point
• Each slide should take one to two minutes depending on your speaking style
• Remember the presentation is not about you, it is about the topic or ideas that you are presenting. These are what are under scrutiny – not you.
• Do not include the whole literature review – this can make a presentation very dull
• Do not use numerous quotes as this can bore the audience and feel like you are presenting someone else’s work
• Present the information in a visually stimulating way to convey your main points
• Use bullet points rather than paragraphs
• Speak loudly enough so that people at the back can hear
• Make eye contact with more than one person
• Do not include too many jokes
• Do not have too many slides – again this will bore the audience and opens up the potential to drown the main point – generally about fifteen slides is sufficient
• Be prepared for difficult questions – at least this shows the audience were listening!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Spectacular Content Presentation Tips – Top Three Downfalls of Presenters

What do presenters focus on? What are the mistakes that they most commonly make? There are so many areas that could be addressed as presenters’ downfalls, but we will look at the top three.

#1 Wrong Focus

Those that present very rarely target the expectations and needs of the audience. No attention is usually given to what audience members give their attention to or how they handle, retain, or retrieve data. This seems to make little sense considering a presentation is usually prepared and delivered with the intent of obtaining something from the audience. It may be a sale, cooperation, or approval that is needed, but a presentation would not be given unless there was a purpose to get something from the audience.

The Executive Approach to Presentations

Most executives rely strictly on their written communication skills. Using these skills to build a presentation often causes them to attempt to condense a large amount of information down to a package that can be conveyed in a specific time frame.

Written reports are designed to provide information to its readers, but that is not the purpose of a presentation. The purpose of the presentation tool is to get the attention of an audience and convince them on a particular point. It is ideally to make an emotional connection and engage the audience members. The summarized written reports will not accomplish the goals of a presentation.

Can Written Report Skills be transformed to Persuasive Presentation Skills?

Existing writing skills can be transformed to produce persuasive presentations. You must incorporate whole brain thinking. This means that you must integrate characteristics of the detailed analytical concepts of the left brain with the big picture intuitiveness of the right brain.

#2 Presentation Support Tools

Business presentation tools are designed to be left brain intensive. Visual business presentations tend to be overly complex and lean heavily on bullet points. The fact is that 88% of executives create their own visuals for their presentations. The rest of them leave it up to an internal administrative assistant. Less than 1 % use professional help educated in the art of presentation from external sources.

#3 Last Second Rush

Many people put off preparing for their presentation as long as they possibly can. This only increases the problems associated with presentation preparation. It is very common for changes to be made to a presentation hours, or even minutes, before the presentation is to start. This adds to the already present fear and pressure of speaking before a group. Preparation procrastination and the last minute changes allow inadequate time for rehearsal. This again adds to the pressure.

Presenters must change their mindset and have a motivation to alter the way they present. Without properly focusing on what the audience needs and expects, modifying the way visual presentations are prepared and delivered, and preparing in advance and allowing rehearsal time, presenters will continue to fall prey to these pitfalls.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made by Most Presenters in Business Today

Presenting to an audience no matter how small or how large is an important part of the way we do business today. It may be to motivate and influence our team to perform at their best, it may be to pitch for new business, it may be to present proposals to the board, to persuade the customer to buy, it may be simply to convey to others information about a new process or a new idea.

In my work see many presentations and I am so often disappointed by what I see. Almost daily, I see these mistake and it saddens me because I know these people could do so much better.

As a presentation skills coach and trainer, I’ve worked with many people to improve the impact of their presentations. Often there are some simple changes which people – yes, people like you – can make which significantly increase the impact of the presentations.

But let’s look at the biggest mistakes made by people in business when they are presenting.

1. Not being concise

This is what I call the ‘Waffle and Fluff’ syndrome. How often have you been watching a presentation and the presenter takes so much time to get to the point of is topic and or when they do, they add unnecessary and irrelevant material. It is important that you make it clear up front what you are going to talk about then keep to topic, Sure, there are various tools you can use as a presenter to engage your audience but make sure you are clear on what your message is – and stay on topic. So cut the ‘waffle’ and ‘de-fluff’* the presentation. (*Fluff ? We could also call this ‘filler’- filling out the presentation but not adding any real value.)

2. Not understanding their audiences’ needs. If you’re going to be presenting to an audience, it’s important that you understand who they are, what is their level of understanding of what you’re talking about, and what do they need from you. Do your research before you present. It’s often a very simple thing to do and will make your task easier and make your presentation a ‘fit’ for the audience.

3. Relying on PowerPoint

We’ve all seen it – the presenter who not only has a lot of material on the PowerPoint presentation (Far too much detail to be read on the screen!) but he or she reads the PowerPoint material as each slide comes up. It’s as if they’ve written their all presentation on PowerPoint and then simply read it to the audience. PowerPoint is an aid to the presentation, it should be used to enhance what you are saying and, by following a few simple rules, can be a very effective enhancement to help convey the message. But when the person reads everything on the slide – or has too much on each slide – they lose the audience’s attention. Nothing will kill your presentation quicker – that’s why it’s called ‘Death by PowerPoint’.

4. Not engaging their audience

Engaging the audience is of important if we want to have any sort of impact. How can you sell, persuade, influence or motivate if you don’t have the audience engaged? Engaging means they will want to listen to you, they will want to take on what you are saying, they will be motivated. If they’re not engaged, they are just sitting there waiting for you to finish. So how do we engage our audience? Well, there are a number of ways – and they’re easy to do.

Three of the ways are 1. Being concise (See above) 2. Understanding your audience (see above again) and 3. Effective use of PowerPoint.

Even by simply looking at each person, you will increase the level of engagement. But there are other ways – and they’re not hard to incorporate in your presentations.

5. No call to action

The purpose of any business presentation, indeed any presentation at all, even if it’s to the Mother’s Group or the PTA, has a purpose. You have an objective in making that presentation. You may want them to buy your product, accept your proposal, take on and act on the new information or be inspired and motivated to change their behavior. Many presentations end with what can only be called a ‘whimper’. It’s as if the person making the presentation is so glad it’s nearly over that they just want to finish and sit down. They are missing the all-important ‘call to action’. If you’re not incorporating a call to action at the end of your presentation, you should take time to learn how to do this – or your presentations will not be effective and get the outcome you are seeking.

You can avoid these big mistakes and set yourself apart from other colleagues and other presenters. Speaking effectively is such an important skill for anyone in business or in the corporate world today and those who take time to sharpen their skills in this area will stand out from the pack, will be more confident and will be more successful in achieving business outcomes.

Graham Moore

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off