Presentation

Like most people, I hate public speaking. I get nervous, stumble my words, and even blush when I have to give a presentation in front of an audience. However, despite my fear of public speaking, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that makes the task a little more barable.

The key to public speaking is knowing what your going to talk about, preferably a specific topic, and know your audience. Also, keep the speech short, no longer than 2o minutes. Anything shorter than 20 mintues seems like not enough information and anything over 20 mintues will lose the viewers attention.

Another good presentation tip that is crucial to keep in mind is to be careful incorporating humor into your presentation. Humor can be tricky because not everyone finds the same things funny. Never begin your presentation with a joke. If the joke falls flat, there is not a good chance that you can recover.

A presenter shouldn’t depend on a powerpoint to make his speech successful. God forbid that the powerpoint is covered in bullet point with sentences that never end. Your powerpoint should enhance your presentation, not distract from it. Another distraction during presentations is when the presenter hands out his information sheet before the presentation has begun. This distracts the viewers throughout the entire presentation. If you hand them everything they need to know, why would they listen to your presentation?

 

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Cover Letter

Before taking this class, I had no idea how to write a professional cover letter. My older friends told me that cover letters were insignificant, or that an email to your potential employer carried more weight. But, while applying to various internships, I kept on being asked to write a cover letter. I was clueless. But, once I learned how to properly write a cover letter, I learned how important they are. A cover letter can determine whether or not an employer even looks at your resume.

An important note to make about cover letters is that they should be personal and directed to a specific company and specific job/internship. No one want to seem like you don’t care enough about the position to send the same cover letter to 5 different employers. So, address your cover letter to the specific individual receiving your cover letter. If you don’t know who that person is, call and find out. Double check and make sure that you have the correct spelling. Nothing is worse than mispelling someone’s name.

Also, do research on the company. Knowing what the company values and what they want in an employee or intern will help you decided which assets you want to include in your cover letter. You should highlight some of your abilities in your cover letter, but not all of them. Most importantly, don’t forget to thank the reader for taking time out of their schedule to read your cover letter. Thank you’s are very important and reflect your character.

Newsletter

A newsletter is a type of publication that is distributed regularly. Newsletters are not only printed- newspapers and leaflets- but are also delivered electronically – e newsletters. Newsletters can be a very helpful marketing tool. They deliver a clear, consistent message that an organization has complete control over. An important benefit of electronic newsletters is that you not only have control over content, but you are also able to view what readers are clicking on. Having this kind of access allows an organization to tailor the information they present to certain people. Also, you can include links in an electronic newsletter. You still want to gain some sort of action from your newsletter, so links are one way to initiate an action. However, you want to make sure that if you post a link,  it works. Including a link to a landing page could result in an immediate donation.

When writing a newsletter, make sure that the information you include is pertinent to the reader, beneficial and timely. More importantly, keep your audience in mind. Your newsletter should make the reader feel better about being involved with your organization. There two main types of  newsletters : internal and external.

Internal newsletters are distributed to individuals within the company. The newsletter should be printed about 4-6 times a year and includes information such as birthdays, births employee profiles, and any comapny changes.

External newsletters are distributed to individuals outside of the company. An external newsletter helps improve the company image, builds credibility, and keeps your name in front of your audience.

Press Kit

A press kit is a concise set of useful information that can help promote a business or product. There are essential components of a press kit: press release, fact sheet, bio, backgrounder, pictures, and pass press coverage. The press release should state why you are sending out a press kit. The fact sheet should contain important statistics, information regarding the area surrounding the business, and information about the business that wouldn’t normally be open to the public. For example, for a luxury hotel, this could include how many luxury suites they have, or the complimentary features they for special guess. Photos should also be included in a press release; however, they should be factored in appropriately. Only the necessary amount of pictures should be included.

One particular type of press kit could be for a band. Within this press kit you would include the band biography, discography, color photos, albums, contact information and an equipment list. An equipment list is crucial because the company putting on the production will need to know what equipment they need to provide you with.

Feature Articles

Feature articles are detailed pieces of writing that explore a wide variety of experiences, ideas, issues, and opinion. However, you must remember that you still want some kind of positive action to result from your feature article. The purpose of your feature article will depend on the media that you’re writing it for. Also, keep your audience in mind. Feature articles should appeal to the particular audience that the article is targeting. The targeted audience can be readers who already read the magazine, new readers, old readers, or even stake holders. There are four types of feature articles

  1. Case story
  2. News
  3. How- To
  4. Issue

Op-Ed

The Op-Ed- a vision of John Oakes and Harrison Salisbury- was meant to open the Times to outside voices. It was to be a venue for writers with no institutional affiliation with the paper to outside voices. An Op-Ed gives people from all walks of life an opportunity to express their views and perspectives that would often be at odds with the opinions expressed on the editorial page.

Although Op-Eds often give writers a creative outlet to voice their opinions, they do require some structure.

Timing is essential to writing Op-Eds. If the subject of the Op-Ed isn’t relevant to the news at the time, editors will not publish it. Stories dominating the news-the war, political races, current controversies- would be ideal subjects.

Since you don’t have much space to work with, an Op-Ed should be no longer than 750 words. With this in mind, pick a point and expand on it. This is also an appropriate time to  give your own opinion. Be creative and engage your audience. However, avoid jargon and the passive voice.

Ad Words

Ever wonder what those ads on the side of the screen are when you google something? I did. I always thought that the links on the sides were some sort of scam, or a link to some unknown website promoting some unknown product. Little did I know, those foreign things on the sides of my screen are called ad words. As it turns out, ad words are actually very helpful. Ad words have become the alternative to the banner online, which so many people look to with skeptical eyes.

The world of ad words is like a world of its own. Companies promote their services, or products in a limited amount of space by using fragments instead of whole sentences. This is one of those rare moments when writing in fragments isn’t seen as committing a sin. Copywriters can also use hyphens ; these space conserving tactics allow for the copywriter to spend as little money as possible. Of course, all the while still getting the necessary message across.

Ad words are relatively economical, a company doesn’t have to pay for the advertisement unless someone clicks on their link. The company doesn’t loose money; however, the ad is unsuccessful if it doesn’t grab the viewers attention to take action. But, at least the company knows that they problem involves their landing page, not their ad word. There are numerous strengths in using an ad words. Ad words are measurable and tell you a great deal about your audience: their gender, their hobbies, and other products they buy. Also, there are some weaknesses: not everyone knows what they are, and not everyone takes acting after clicking on the ad.

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