Give Presentations Without Losing Your Sanity

Have you ever had to speak in front of a crowd? Whether it’s 10 people around a conference table or a large group at a symposium, speaking in front of people may be your least favorite thing to do. Successful people do not have to be natural-born speakers in order to “make it”, but it is smart to know how to deal with your nerves and speak well in case you have to do so for your career or for the benefit of your small business. By removing the mystery from giving presentations, it will be easier to approach these situations with more clarity of thought and less anxiety.

Many people think they must use a podium or stand behind something in order to look professional when giving presentations, but that is not necessarily the case. If you are more comfortable being closer to your audience and moving around a bit while you are talking, go for it. Chances are that your audience will appreciate your less formal and more personal approach. For many, one of the most significant mysteries is how to open a presentation — should you tell a joke or a heart-warming story, or should you get straight to the point? In reality, the best way to start depends on your comfort level, your audience and your intentions. Telling a bad or potentially offensive joke is not good, so if you are not sure, it may be best to find another way to start.

Another myth about public speaking is that you should refrain from audience participation until the very end. In reality, it can be quite helpful for you to engage with your audience as much as possible. Allowing for questions throughout your talk may help you feel at ease and connect with the other people in the room. This can also be a practical way to spice up a subject matter some may consider boring.

When it comes to giving presentations, practice makes perfect. It is smart to practice any talk you may have to give, write notes and learn what works best for you. With time and effort, you can become quite effective as a speaker, even if you do not think you are naturally inclined to address people in this type of setting.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Control Your Money, Don’t Let It Control You

Money — everyone wants more of it and few people know what to do with it once they get it. The subject of money is often taboo, and there are many misconceptions about how to manage it well. No matter what, you should be the one to control your money, not the other way around. If you are not sure where it all goes each month or consistently find yourself unsure of how you will pay certain bills, it’s time to take back the financial reins and start telling your money what to do.

The first step in taking back financial control is to do a complete analysis of your situation. Make a list of monthly bills, expenses and expected costs. Make a list of all of your sources of income. Sit down and see exactly where you are spending money — you may be surprised where your income is going. Online subscriptions, expensive coffee drinks each day and too many meals out can quickly drain your bank account, leaving you short when it’s time to pay for things that matter.

Next, you will need to take your lists and create a budget that does not leave you short of money each month. This may mean you will have to cut back on some things, and that’s okay. Have the discipline to say no to things in order to find a better financial standing and save for the future. A budget is worthless unless you stick to it, so you will have to make the commitment to yourself that you will stay on track.

Once you are operating on a reasonable budget, you will need to start setting aside money to pay off debt and save for the future. Your financial goals should extend beyond your immediate wants — think about what you will need for the future and how beneficial it can be to have an emergency savings fund. Your long-term financial interests are worth protecting, and now is a good time to take back control of your money.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Delegation: Get More Done And Save Your Sanity

Any person who has succeeded in a leadership position knows the benefits of delegation. Delegating tasks does not mean that you can’t or won’t do certain things, it simply means that you are smart enough to know that it can help you get more done — and help you save your sanity. Delegating tasks involves much more than just assigning certain tasks to people who work for you or with you. It takes thought and intention to do this in a way that will boost overall productivity, allow your team to shine and provide you with a way to focus on other pressing matters.

One of the hardest things for many entrepreneurs to do is to let go of control. If you started your company from the ground up, there was a time when you were probably taking care of every single thing required to succeed. As your company grows, however, and you hire more people, this is no longer necessary. If you hire good, capable employees, it’s okay to hand over the reins in certain areas. This will ultimately result in less stress for you and employees who have ownership in their jobs.

Delegating tasks may mean there will be times that you need to hear your employees out and take their suggestions. Once you let go of control of certain areas of your business, you may find yourself unfamiliar with certain things that your employees typically handle — that’s okay. Listen to the people who work with you and care about your company. This doesn’t diminish your role as the owner; it simply means you are smart enough to give your employees the tools they need to succeed and the opportunity to do so.

Delegation is tricky, and you may not initially be comfortable with relinquishing control. You can’t always do it all, especially as your business is growing and changing. By trying to do it all, you could be sacrificing your sanity simply to maintain control, and this typically is not worth it. Learn to let go, and you might be quite surprised at just how beneficial it can be for both you and your company.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Mental Challenges That Come With Business Ownership

If you are an entrepreneur, you understand how difficult it can be to juggle all of the responsibilities you have. Keeping profits up, taking care of your employees, helping customers and trying to maintain a personal life can be quite overwhelming. This can all add up to stress and strain that can take a significant toll on your overall well-being. It is important to acknowledge the following mental challenges entrepreneurs face and take steps to deal with them in meaningful, effective ways:

Uncertainty is something that comes with owning your own business. You may not always feel confident that you are making the right choices or taking the right steps. This is especially true if perhaps you are recovering from a mistake or a setback. You can, however, make the choice to embrace this feeling and use it as a challenge.

Stress is part of adult life, but it can be especially prevalent for those who own their own business. It’s hard to keep employees paid, money coming in and things running smoothy. As the owner-operator, you will probably have to work odd hours, make tough choices and handle other things related to your business when you would rather be doing something else. To help ease some of the stress this can create, try to discover ways you can take care of yourself, such as exercising, taking 30 minutes to read at lunch, or decompressing. Stress is normal, but making a consistent effort to practice self-care can ensure that stress does not overwhelm your life.

Loneliness is something that many entrepreneurs struggle with. If you are struggling with feelings of loneliness, know that you are not alone. You can keep this feeling at bay by trying diligently to stay connected, as well as making it a point to keep family time a priority. If your feelings are more serious, seek help and support from a professional.

Entrepreneurship is not an easy road. However, when you are aware of the mental challenges and are ready to deal with them head-on, you can avoid a lot of heartache and hardship in your pursuit of success.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC