Living Through the Timeshare Presentation

If you go on a vacation to someplace exotic there is a good possibility that you will be lured into a timeshare presentation. They will give you a lot of good reasons to sit through their speech and often they will offer you something that sounds good enough for you to bite. I know that for my wife and I we have sat through our fair share of timeshare presentations and we have even ended up buying a few, but what can you do to make sure that you don’t buy, especially if you aren’t in a position to buy?

Sometimes when we go on vacation we are able to get a great rate on our room or vacation package because we are willing to sit through the timeshare presentation. This is completely understandable. They are in a position to make a lot of money with your timeshare purchase and you are able to save a lot of money on your vacation by being willing to sit through the presentation. The danger comes in because they are in a position to win the struggle of averages. A considerable number of people that are willing to sit through the presentation and do not want to buy will end up buying because they are very good at presenting their side of the argument. That is how they make their money, so you need to be prepared not to purchase from the start. Make sure that you even tell them (although they have heard it before) that you are just there to get the discount, and when they get to the sales part you will be ready to tell them no right away.

Of course once you get beyond that hurdle you are not really done. Another sales person, usually in a higher position will come out to give you an offer that you can’t refuse. This is a dangerous place for you to be in because they will give you a good offer and you will recognize it. But add it up in your head and realize that you will be making those monthly payments for years, perhaps even after your circumstances change and you aren’t able to take advantage of the timeshare vacation.

So before you take them up on the vacation discount make sure you have resolved in your mind exactly what the outcome will be and stick to it. Even if the pressure gets heavy you need to stick to your word and let it be no. If, of course, you find that it is something that you really want then you should go for it, but make sure to think about it first.

Boring to Bravo – Presentations That Sing!

Today I want to share a new book that came my way from my friend, Kristin Arnold. Kristin is the president of the National Speakers Association and an all around fabulous woman. I had the opportunity to spend time with her at the recent NSA convention and was wowed by her not-so-traditional thoughts on the art of speaking and her just-plain practical approach to business.

Whether you’re giving a presentation to your peers, or are thinking about becoming a professional speaker or are already on that path – Kristin’s new book, Boring to Bravo, is a must read. It’s an innovative guide to ditching the gravity wrapped around the way we’ve always done presentations – helping you to take your presentation from ho hum to high-velocity!

The whole concept of speaking is changing so dramatically these days. Think about it. Twenty years ago we were using flat slides and lecturing to folks in a didactic (and often boring) way. That was what we all expected.

Today’s audiences – from our peers to a platform audience – expect so much more than PowerPoint slides and a lecture. The advent of interactive media, conversational discussions on social media and a just plain less formal society have dramatically changed the way we engage audiences. And engage we must if we want to be effective!

Boring to Bravo is the guide we all need to make our presentations sing! The book isn’t the traditional ‘how-to’ book with a step by step (and repetitive) approach. It’s a thinkers guide – stuffed with tips that can be mixed and matched so you can apply just the right ideas to make your presentation come alive.

Kristin offers 90+ practical, proven tips to improve your speaking in a format that lets you look for just the tips that are best for you and your needs. From chapters including “You are your number one visual” to “Let your natural humor shine through,” Boring to Bravo offers practical ideas that will help any speaker get out of that traditional box and take their presentation -and their audiences – to the next level. Kristin also includes inputs and advice from a wide range of professional speakers and coaches, adding even more value for her readers.

She also includes a chapter on how to “Use PowerPoint with Purpose” -which shares great ideas on how to re-energize those PowerPoint slides that have grown a bit stale. If you read nothing else in the book – this chapter will change the way you build presentations, helping you to create interactive slides and visuals that power your message and engage your audience!

This book is now my one-stop-guide for improving my own platform skills and thinking. if you’re planning on speaking – to your PTA, your peers or to a paying audience – this book should be your guide as well!

As a high stakes meeting facilitator, trainer and keynote speaker, Kristin has worked with thousands of senior executives, project managers and team leaders in Canada and the USA, challenging their traditional notions about teamwork. She is known for her concrete approach to teamwork and a treasure trove of practical concepts, tools and techniques her clients can apply immediately to see positive, substantive results.

How to Present a Business Proposal to a Client: Try Thinking Like a Theater Producer

The good news is that your business proposal has been short listed. Even better, at a client presentation, you could win the whole thing outright. Every bidder wants the opportunity to present to the client, even if it’s scary. You must demonstrate, in your own words, assisted perhaps by video, website and props, why the client should choose you over the competition. Look at it as theater. Your cast of characters has to convince the audience that, thanks to rave reviews, you deserve the job.

Like a producer, you have to figure out the best way to present to the client. Is it how you intend to execute the project, and the role you expect client staff to play? Or, if the client’s convinced you can do the job, is it about the relationship between your people and their people? Will it work? Can you be counted on to complete the project on time, or go the extra mile? If you can show how other clients have valued working with you, the project could be yours.

Many presentations I’ve been involved with, like sales meetings and product introductions, contain theatrical elements. How will this new vehicle be revealed? How will you acknowledge a great sales team and encourage even greater success next year? The client must be confident that you can deliver. After all, they’re paying for it. Before you rehearse, you identify the role each team member must play. Your job is to describe the overall picture, the flow of the presentation, and draw together the final threads. In between, your team, such as your stage director, speech writer, video producer and web designer, discuss their roles and answer any questions.

How long do you have for this presentation, and where will it be presented? Can the client provide any needed equipment, or should you bring your own? Where anything is likely to cause a problem, keep it simple. Don’t complicate things, and test that everything is working before you begin. You do not want embarrassing moments where the video fails to cut in at a critical moment. And stick to that time limit!

This is your presentation, not the client’s, so you direct it. You tell the client, at the start, what will happen and who does what; they may be shown a sales video, a website, even a live performance. But keep this in mind. This is not a read through. The client expects you to bring your business proposal alive. I’ve watched read-through presentations and they are deadly dull. It’s tough to watch client faces glaze over.

If you’ve been asked to present your proposal, try thinking of it as a theater production. Team members must know their roles and be well rehearsed. And finally you, the lead actor, must from the beginning, hook your audience and command the stage.