Archives for May 2014

How to Create a Great Slide Show

Slide shows are a new and increasingly popular means of sharing valuable content. Many experts predict that Slideshare.net may be one of the biggest content sharing sites to grow in 2014. However, if you’ve created slide shows in the past or viewed slide shows then you know that they’re not all created equally. Some slide shows are more interesting than others. The following tips can help ensure yours are more interesting than your competitions.

1. Plan it first. Before you sit down with PowerPoint or your slide show software decide what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. What’s the goal of your slide show? What information are you providing to your audience and why? What value does it offer and why will they care? Answer these questions on paper first.

2. Visuals are important. Many slide shows are visually dull. They’re simply a series of sentences. In general, your slide content word count should be no more than 50-60 words and that’s pushing it. You want people to be able to read and understand your text quickly. That word count leaves an abundance of room for visual interest.

You can add photographs, charts, formatting, and even embed short video into the body of a slide. As you’re planning the content in your slide show, also document how you want to add visual interest. Keep in mind that any graphics or formatting need to support your goal not distract from it.

3. Arch your content. When you read an article or blog post it has an introduction which is usually a paragraph or two. It then moves into the body of the content. The goal of the body is to provide the bulk of the information and value. You then pull it all together into a conclusion which may also be one or two paragraphs. The same is true for your slideshow. It should have an introduction where you pique interest and promise value. It should then move into the body of your content and then wrap it all up with a few conclusion slides.

4. Call to action. Be sure to include a call to action at the end of your slide show. Let people know what they can do next to get more information and extend their relationship with you and your company.

5. Embedded links. In addition to your call to action which should include a link to your site or to a sales page, also consider embedding links throughout your slide show. For example, if you reference a blog post on your site then you might link to that blog post. Make sure it opens in a new window so your visitors can continue enjoying the slide show.

Slide shows are a fun and interesting way to provide content in a new format and reach a different audience. They’re easy to create and with a little planning and preparation you can create a compelling slide show that achieves your goals.

Get Free Traffic to Your Website

Getting traffic to your website is something that takes dedication and time. The things that worked in 2013 will still work in 2014, but you’re going to have to do more of it. There is more competition than ever before, and with the improvement of search engine algorithms you’ll need to provide more value than ever before to your audience.

Publish More Relevant Content

Content has always been king, and nothing has changed. You need to blog daily, if possible, and work on providing content in other ways, too – such as relevant article directories, guest blog posts, eBooks, and more. The more relevant and unique content you can dish up to your audience, the better. Studies show over a 90 percent increase in traffic for websites that have blogs with new content at least 20 days out of the month. Another hint – when it comes to content, focus on long-tail keywords. You can use a tool like HitTail.com to help you.

Participate More on Social Media

Your audience has caught on to automation and they don’t like it. It’s important that you participate in social media by engaging your audience more. Speak directly to them via social media networks, and leave the sales pitch for your sales pages on your website. If you’ve noticed the “likes” going down, and the engagement going down on your social media networks, it’s your fault. Get involved and you’ll see it improve.

Join More Groups and Forums

Ok, don’t just join. Get involved. Your intelligent comments on groups, forums (and even blog post discussions) will get you more traffic. Don’t just say “good post” or something like that; say something that is relevant to what the discussion was about. Put your expert hat on and truly participate in groups and forums to the best of your ability.

Improve Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There are a lot of aspects of SEO that most websites don’t have. If you improve your SEO using Google Webmaster Tools and Guidelines, you’ll drastically improve the traffic to your website. Google tells you exactly what to do and if you do it (at least 80 percent of it), you’ll get more traffic than the others who aren’t doing even 30 percent of what they should. It might seem shocking, but many websites are built without any thought to SEO at all.

Become an Expert in Your Niche

You already want to do this, no doubt. But today there are many ways you can become an expert. You can get published – either via Kindle, or on one of the expert tutorial sites like eHow.com, or Geekpedia.com. You can create a course on one of the course websites like Udemy.com. You can post your presentations for free viewing on YouTube or Slideshare.net. The more places you put your content in a professional way, the more you’ll be viewed as an expert and the more traffic you’ll bring to your website.

A combination of these activities will get you more traffic in 2014. Don’t just stop at one of these ideas. Incorporating as many of them as possible will blow your current traffic out of the water.

 

 

Summer Comfort Smoothie

This smoothie has a very fresh, tropical taste. Perfect for breakfast or a hot summer day!

Ingredients:

2 cups spinach
1 cup fresh Cantaloupe, cut in chunks
1/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup orange juice
Water

How to Make It:

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Have all the Confidence You Need

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”  -William Jennings Bryan

It’s an assumption that business owners are filled to the brim with confidence. The truth is that business owners, just like everyone else, have periods of extreme self-doubt. In fact, it may be true that business owners, because they take risks, suffer periods of low self-confidence more often than the average person.

However, the more confidence you have, in business and in life, the more action you’ll take and action is what produces results. If you’re struggling with your confidence, these tips may help you get over that hump.

#1 Get Dressed

Sounds simple, but it works. And we’re not talking about changing out of your pajamas and into sweats. Sure, you work at home and you can run around naked if you like. But if you want to boost your confidence, dress like you mean business.

#2 Do Something You Know You’re Good At

As a business owner you wear many hats. You’re the content creator, CEO, sales manager, and so on. Spend a bit of time at the beginning of every day focusing on your strengths. Do what you’re good at. You’ll start the day with more confidence.

#3 Offer Value

When you’re focused on offering value and benefit to others it takes the focus off of you. Instead of wondering what people will think about you or if you’ll succeed, you’re focused on making sure you’re helping others. Business is about providing value and benefit, so this mental shift should be a natural one and easy to adapt to.

#4 What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Sometimes the easiest way to find more confidence is to look at the worst-case scenario. We often imagine much more dire consequences than reality. For example, if you’re giving a speech then you may feel terrified to the point where you just cannot do it. However, the consequences of giving a bad speech are really quite small. When you realize the risk is lower than perceived, it’s easier to move forward.

#5 Take Small Steps or Quantum Leaps

If you’re feeling particularly tentative then take small steps to test the waters. These small steps can help boost your confidence as you go. For example, if you’re an introvert and you need to network you might start by attending a small meeting or seeing one person at a time.

The other option is to dive right in. Skip the baby steps and go big. It’s the difference between slowly wading into a cold pool and allowing your body to get used to it, or diving right in. Sometimes it makes more sense to just jump and see what happens. When you succeed your confidence will undoubtedly soar.

Speak with Confidence

The fear of public speaking is one of the top fears that people have. Statistics show that over 41% of people have some level of fear or anxiety with regards to speaking in front of an audience. This fear often manifests as excessive sweating, sweaty palms, increased heart rates, blanking out (memory loss), nausea and sometimes difficulty breathing. There are many speakers who have been in front of audiences for years and they still deal with anxiety to some degree.

Since having this fear often has no bearing on whether you have to do a presentation or not, you’ll have to find some ways to overcome your anxiety. The first step is to know that you are not alone and that you can prepare in advance so that the level of fear you feel is significantly reduced. Here are some other interesting statistics.

– Proper presentation and rehearsal of your message can reduce your fear by about 75%.

– Utilizing breathing techniques can reduce your anxiety by another 15%.

– Preparing for your mental state can reduce your fear the remaining 10%.

With these statistics in mind, here are some preparation tips to help you relax and reduce how you feel before going in front of your audience.

1. Know the environment you will speak in. Become familiar with the area by arriving early and walking around. Know how much space you have and the physical distance between you and your audience. As you acclimate yourself to your stage, you will find yourself feeling more comfortable.

2. Know your audience. You should find out who comprises your audience and do some research to find out their likes and dislikes. When they enter the room, greet them and take time to get to know some faces.

3. Know your presentation inside and out. If you don’t know what you’ll be presenting how can you expect yourself to feel fearless?

4. Implement breathing techniques to help you relax. Breathing techniques have been scientifically proven to invigorate the body and help you get rid of nervousness.

5. See yourself on stage before you actually get there. Replay images of your successful presentation in your mind. If you visual success, you’ll find it.

6. Know that your audience wants you to succeed. Your success means they get what they want and need. If they’ve paid money to attend your presentation, they have a personal stake in your success. If you’re providing training, they have a personal stake in your success. If you’re delivering a graduation speech at a local university, the graduating class has a personal stake. Get the idea? Your audience wants you to succeed.

7. Don’t draw attention to your being nervous. Many people won’t even realize that you are nervous. Most times you will find that while you have your audience’s attention, they are really thinking about themselves. They are absorbing what you say and processing that into how that relates to them.

8. Know that there is a purpose to your message. You have a message to deliver. Sometimes it’s a cause that you are passionate about. Other times, it may be training that your company needs you to give.

Preparation is the key to your success! Through preparation, you can also overcome most if not all of the feelings of fear that you might have so prepare, prepare, prepare!

 

7 Ways to Build Business Confidence

Women in business need confidence in order to succeed.  Having a strong level of confidence means living a healthier, better leadership life.  Here are 7 confidence building ideas for women in business and leadership.

1. Recognize Your Unique Talents. Having unique talents can mean being and feeling different from other people.  For instance, you might have an unusually strong sense of intuition. You might be able to see a problem before others by putting loose ends together in your mind. Instead of seeing this as a detriment because no one else seems to be able to do the same thing, learn to recognize where you are different as a unique talent. Embrace your unique talents and use them to move your business to new heights and to be a stronger leader.

2. Use Personal Potential. Recognize that you have unusual personal potential.  In reality, almost every person has the potential for brilliance in life.  But few people really move outside of their small box that they grow accustomed too.  Being a confident woman means trying new tings.  Take risks, go to new places, and make a new contact.  Exercise your personal potential to build your levels of confidence.

3. Try New Things. This leads to the next point for building a stronger sense of confidence which is to try new things.  One reason people don’t have a lot of confidence is because of the lack of trying something that takes them out of their comfort zone.  Try something new and unusual everyday.  Once you give something a try it breaks the feelings of anxiety or fear from that thing.  The power of that situation, thing, place, or person to control or limit you in some way evaporates once you give it a try.

4. Create Your Wealth. Everyday someone tells you to create your wealth. While that’s a statement with truth attached, you also need to know what that really means. You can only create your wealth when you know how. Knowing how requires knowing your real strengths. Women can function for years without ever really knowing their real strengths. Your confidence will soar when you know that you are working from your strengths. That is how you can confidently go about the activities necessary to create your wealth.

5. Embrace Your Power. Power is a good thing to have when you’re in business.  Power gives you the ability to get things done. A confident woman in business must understand and embrace her power.  Understanding power means knowing how to influence others to get things done.  It also means knowing what to say, when to say it, and whom to say it too.  There are obvious and not so obvious ways to deal with power and a confident business woman learns how these nuances work to increase her effectiveness.

6.  Answer the Urge to Create. Confident business women have creative minds and a creative mind is always finding ways to create new things.  Creativity means being able to take things that might seem common place in everyday life and combine them in new ways.  You come up with solutions by looking at situations from a different angle.  It takes confidence to speak out when you have a new idea that runs contrary to normal thinking of the group you’re involved with on a daily basis.

7. Learn to Unblock. It takes confidence to face obstacles and go through them anyway.  Every business professional will face obstacles; this is a normal part of business operations. But not everyone can look at those obstacles and decide to do what it takes to move through them to reach their intended goals. The confidence to do this comes in knowing that the best possible solution can be found. Seeking solutions in spite of the obstacles unblocks the barriers to success. Doing so is a true sign of confidence in business and leadership.

Being a confident woman in business and leadership is available to you when you take the steps to maximize your confidence in business and leadership. You can practice being a powerful problem solver who excels with confidence in your profession. When needed, you can find the mentoring and assistance that will support your business and leadership efforts.

 

 

 

Get Rid of Belly Fat

It is a proven fact that belly fat is the most dangerous kind of fat on the human body. We have all seen people who are overweight in just their stomach region and appear fit in every other place. It is a strange thing, isn’t it? It seems like we are all overweight somewhere or another, and while we all need to keep track of our weight and be proactive about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, those who carry extra belly fat need to be aware even more.

If you think about it, your belly is the area that holds most of your most important organs. Having extra weight in your legs or your hips doesn’t affect the functioning of any major organ, while carrying belly fat can really hinder the work of some of your body’s most important parts. Because it important that our organs work well, we want to do everything we can to protect them and not hinder their work.

I’ll often have clients come into my fitness club and tell me that their most annoying problem is the extra belly fat that they just cannot get rid of. I agree that their belly fat not only is annoying, but it is also dangerous. I am surprised by how few people know the dangers of belly fat, so I am always quick to share with them the facts. It only further increases their motivation to get rid of their extra belly fat.

Another large group of clients will come in with the firm belief that there is nothing they can do with their belly fat. They think that it is impossible to trim down, especially the older they get. As a personal fitness trainer, I am convinced that getting rid of belly fat not only is possible, but that it is important enough to be tackled regardless of how hard it is to accomplish.

Losing belly fat happens by a combination of consistent and directed exercise and a specific diet. It is amazing how certain exercises are aimed specifically at reducing fat in certain areas of the body. Certain types of nutrition plans will also help to trigger excess fat in particular areas of the body.

If you have extra belly fat, you should be intentional about dealing with it. Make an appointment with a fitness trainer, a dietician or a physician. Let someone help you get on the right track in dealing with your belly fat and making it history.

 

 

 

Confidence to Be the Local Go-To Expert

A great way to promote your business is to become an expert locally. Becoming a local expert in your field of expertise will boost your business in ways that you cannot imagine. It doesn’t matter whether you have an online business or a bricks and mortar business; being seen as a local go-to expert will increase your share of business.

Start a Locally-Inspired Blog

Create a blog that is focused on your local area within your niche. Use a lot of locally-focused keywords and talk directly to your local audience about your subject. You can use your blog as a repository for interviewing local people, writing information about your niche, educating the public about your niche and more.

Offer to Speak at Events

Contact local organizations that might like to hear about your niche. Local organizations often need speakers; offer your services for a couple of different topics relating to your niche. You can contact college organizations, local associations, and groups by sending them information that you can talk about as an expert.

Write for Your Local Paper

Many local newspapers have community columns where local experts write about their niche. Contact the newspaper and offer your services. Sometimes you can even get paid, but even if you don’t get paid, having your byline in the local paper can make others look to you as the local expert even more.

Publish a Book

Today, with the advent of Kindle Publishing you can quickly become a published author. You can do a completely electronic version, or you can even use print on demand services (POD) to have a print copy of your book available for sale at events that you speak at. Being a published author immediately implies “expert.”

Get Quoted

If you make it a practice to contact media to correct or add to stories that appear in your local paper or on local news related to your niche, eventually they’ll start calling you themselves for help with their stories. Don’t turn down an offer and soon you’ll be the only one they call for help with stories relating to your area of expertise.

Study Your Niche

To establish yourself as a local expert it’s important that you study your subject in depth so that you can become a real expert. It’s also important to believe in yourself so that the confidence shines through. You must also be able to explain your subject matter in general enough terms that non-experts can understand. After all, an expert’s job is to impart knowledge to others that they’ve worked hard to acquire.

Finally, call yourself an expert. Add your expertise to your name and signature line, to your website, to your blog, to your business cards and every bit of marketing collateral that you have. The more you demonstrate yourself as an expert, the more other people will perceive you as an expert.

 

 

 

Launch Your Product or Service with Confidence

The best way to keep a business fresh and to continue to attract customers is to provide the occasional new product or service. This can be a tricky process because in addition to an abundance of logistics and management, there’s also the need to create something that will be well received. A successful launch then is dependent on many different characteristics.

#1 Your List is the Key

Your email list is the first place to turn to when deciding what type of product or service to launch. Ask yourself how you can add more value to that key list of individuals. Additionally, if you’re uncertain about what to create and offer then consider polling your list. Let them answer the question for you. Give them a list of potential products and ask them what would provide the most value. Ask them what their biggest concerns or problems are and how you can help. This information will help you create a top selling product and lead into a successful launch.

#2 Stay Connected

Because creating and launching a product or service can be such a time consuming, and energy draining, adventure it’s easy to let your email marketing slide. Yet this is exactly the time that you want to strengthen your relationship with your email audience. In fact, it’s the ideal time to also work on a list building campaign. The more excited and interested your email list is, the more successful your launch will be.

#3 Build Buzz

In the weeks leading up to your launch, use your vast resources to build buzz. Write more blog posts and publish more articles. Send an extra email message from time to time. Embrace the power of social media and use it to get the word out about your pending launch. Also look to advertising and joint venture partnerships or affiliates to help you build buzz.

#4 KISS

Make sure your offer is clear and simple. There should be no ambiguity or confusion for your prospects. Spend time on your offer message, sales page, and related marketing materials. They should all convey the same message and offer.

#5 You’re Not Done Yet

Okay, so launch day is over and you can now sit down and relax, right? Nope. Now is when you may want to step it up. Pay attention to your analytics and your reports. What calls to action are working? Who is linking to your site? Who is buying and where are your prospects coming from? The follow up can be just as important, if not more so, than the initial launch.

Launching a product or service requires a great deal of planning and organization. The key to a successful launch often depends on the processes and systems put in place to help you stay on track to achieve each step of the launch.

 

Identify Your Value Systems

Values are those life characteristics that really matter to you. They are the deep seated ideas and beliefs that cause you to act as you do and to pursue the goals that you pursue, consciously or unconsciously. The secret to working consciously is to be able to identify your true values.

The core values of your life will direct how you respond to what life brings. Your mind is at ease when you function within your value system. Say for example one of your values if being with family, but your job requires that you are away from family most of the time. Instead of being peaceful in your mind that what you’re doing is valuable and worth it, you will constantly be questioning yourself and your work. You might not even know why you’re not happy and satisfied.

Knowing your value systems lets you get your life in order so you your mind is at ease. You break the barriers to what keeps you from becoming more productive, happy and successful.

Take time to identify your values on a personal and professional basis.  Then you will be able to use this knowledge to put several area of your life in order.  For instance, you can even manage your time and increase your productivity by working within your values systems. These are incredibly important strategic success secrets that will help you break heavy burdens that impede your rise to success.  Learn to identify you value systems and you will break loads of ceilings at once.