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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Delivering presentations - checklist

 

This checklist will help you to deliver a presentation, and includes advice on body language, covering the key points and dealing with questions

  • Arrive in plenty of time.
  • Prepare yourself. Remind yourself that you have a good presentation. Take deep breaths to relax if you are nervous.
  • Familiarise yourself with the room, if possible. How many will attend the presentation, where will they sit in relation to you, where is the presentation equipment positioned?
  • Check your preparations. Ensure your notes and visual aids are in order and any equipment is working.
  • Introduce yourself and explain your role.
  • Ask questions - about their particular areas of interest, for example - and adjust your presentation in light of the responses.
  • Start your presentation with an overview of its structure and the key points you intend to make.
  • Encourage questions. Explain that you will try to answer them as they arise. Postpone complex answers until the end of the presentation. If you can't answer a question there and then, say so and follow up after the presentation.
  • Cover the key points in turn. Show visual aids only when relevant.
  • Speak clearly. Concentrate on speaking slowly if you are nervous and use pauses for emphasis.
  • Project positive body language with a confident, open posture. Smile naturally - there is nothing more off-putting than a forced grin.
  • When using a screen or projector, talk to the audience, not the images behind you. Turn equipment off when not in use so the audience is not distracted.
  • Continually scan the audience, maintaining eye contact. Watch for inattention, fidgeting and other signs of boredom.
  • Use questions and names to recapture attention and involve people.
  • Respond to the audience. Be ready to change your approach to address their areas of interest, if appropriate.
  • Finish the presentation with a summary of the key points. Stress the benefits of taking action.
  • Provide any handouts after the presentation, when they can no longer distract the audience. They can reinforce your message.
  • Deal with any remaining questions and ask for feedback.
  • Establish the next step, and note any follow-up action required from you.

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