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Websites That Successful Entrepreneurs Should Always Visit

Websites That Successful Entrepreneurs Should Always Visit

There’s a lot to learn when you’re an entrepreneur who is getting your business off the ground. Fortunately, there’s a breadth of websites available to provide useful insights on the various aspects of starting, running, and growing a business. Here are a few in particular that all entrepreneurs should bookmark:

Quora

Quora

    As you run your business, you’re bound to have a host of questions that Google just can’t answer. That’s where Quora comes in. Here you can ask your questions to a community of experts and engage in a dialogue. You’ll see the full names and backgrounds of respondents, so you aren’t left guessing about the credibility of those providing answers. If you’re still in the research phase, Quora has an extensive archive you could peruse. You may discover your potential client-base is asking about the problem you’re about to solve with your business, so you’ll gain customer insights by reading their comments.

    Lynda

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    Lynda

      As you get your business up and running, you’ll probably be taking on a lot of different roles, from putting together pitches for potential clients to writing web content. You likely aren’t well versed in every avenue of running a business, and until you are more established and can build out your team, you can rely on Lynda to help. For a small monthly fee, you can take short courses on an array of business topics, like Understanding Copyright and Excel for Beginners.

      Reddit: Startups

      reddit startups

        For entrepreneurs used to the well-meaning encouragement of friends and family, the bluntness Redditors are known for can be a breath of fresh air. The Startups subreddit is a great place to communicate informally with fellow entrepreneurs, sharing advice and ideas. Use this as a research tool for what people are saying about the industry you’re looking to break into and, once you’re up and running, a place to get insight on possible new products or services. Just make sure you aren’t oversharing your ideas so they get picked up by someone else.

        Internet Speed Assessment Tool

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        HSI speed tool

          It’s rare to have a business now that doesn’t have an online presence. To maintain your site, as well as do any work online, you need to make sure your business has the right amount of Internet speed. HighSpeedInternet provides a valuable interactive tool for finding out exactly how much speed you need with a few short questions about your team’s Internet usage habits. This is a great tool to come back to every few months. By using it, you may find your sluggish connection could use an upgrade or that you’re paying too much for a premium service you don’t really need.

          Startup Lawyer

          startup lawyer

            Unless you went to law school, the legalities of running a business may be something you aren’t too familiar with. Startup Lawyer, written by attorney Ryan Roberts, can help. Posts here focus mainly on legal issues, but occasionally cover other areas of interest to startups, like keeping controlling investors at bay and the importance of buying a good scanner.

            For Entrepreneurs

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            for ent

              You’ve come up with the great idea for your business, but now what? Turn to For Entrepreneurs. You’ll find information on every step of the process, from getting funding to turning your startup into a successful enterprise. David Skok, the author of the blog, calls himself a “five time serial entrepreneur” so who better to learn from than someone who has already done what you’re doing–five times, no less.

              ProBlogger

              problogger

                Publishing blog articles is an effective way to engage with your digital customers and drum up interest in your business. ProBlogger offers advice on how to maintain your company blog without wasting valuable time. Founder Darren Rowse offers insight on how to come up with topics for your blog, draw in readers, keep them engaged, and, ultimately, monetize the work that you do.

                Bplans

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                bplans

                  If you’re just starting out with your business idea, you’ve probably heard about how important developing a well-researched business plan is. Putting something like this together can be daunting, but Bplans can help. This site offers a range of resources to help you conceptualize, write, and format your business plan. You can look at examples from various industries for inspiration and find advice on business planning and strategy from Tim Berry, the founder of Bplan.

                  No matter what stage you’re in with your business, the web is a great resource for helping your business flourish. By using the tools and tips you’ll find on the websites above, you’ll be well on your way down your path to success.

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                  Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                  10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

                  10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

                  Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

                  You have to work hard to develop the right skills

                  If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

                  1. Make your presentation short and sweet

                  With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

                  JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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                  2. Open up with a good ice breaker

                  At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

                  • Joking
                  • Tugging on their heart strings
                  • Dropping a bombastic statement
                  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
                  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

                  You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

                  3. Keep things simple and to the point

                  Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

                  4. Use a healthy dose of humor

                  Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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                  It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

                  5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

                  Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

                  6. Practice your delivery

                  Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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                  7. Move around and use your hands

                  Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

                  8. Engage the audience by making them relate

                  Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

                  9. Use funny images in your slides

                  Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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                  10. End on a more serious note

                  When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

                  As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

                  Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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