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How To Make The Best of a Business Opportunity

How To Make The Best of a Business Opportunity

Eminem says you only get one shot, and you have to lose yourself in the moment. This would be true if life were a comic book. Unfortunately those moments are never-ending, and there’s no such thing as overnight success. The truth is you’ll take a minimum of ten thousand shots to truly master your craft.

When you have a business opportunity, you have to make the most of it in order to get the next one. Each step counts, and maximizing each individual opportunity is the only path to winning. Don’t half-ass your future – instead follow these tried and true steps to turn a business opportunity into a successful business.

1. Turn Losses into Wins

Every winner loses, but not every loser wins. Although Michael Jordan is widely hailed as the greatest basketball player in history, he got there by focusing on his failures instead of riding the wave of his own successes. The quest to overcome losses drives all champions, both on and off the court.

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If you lose a business partner, use that extra time to find a better one. Your energy levels rise as the fear of financial problems hang over you. Pour that energy into something productive – it’ll keep your mind occupied as you better your business instead of lamenting the loss.

2. Weigh the Risks and Rewards

A few months ago, I received an invite to hang out backstage with Snoop Dogg on 4/20. Initially this seemed like a great opportunity. As the date approached, I realized the risk wasn’t worth what it was going to take to get there. While it could’ve been a great experience for a fan, it wasn’t as beneficial to my bottom line as it was to stay at an event I was due to cover.

I ended up choosing business over pleasure. I made enough money by staying to afford a VIP pass to any concert I wanted, and the content I produced got my name in a variety of publications I wouldn’t have appeared in otherwise. My inner child was disappointed, but the adult me got ahead in my business.

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When you are presented with an opportunity, weigh the risks versus the rewards. If you’re risking more than you stand to gain, you’re giving yourself worse odds than a roulette wheel in Vegas. Never gamble what you’re not willing to risk, and never bet the whole farm to save one crop.

3. Play to Your Strengths

Anyone is capable of doing anything, but we all have certain skills and talents that are more dominant than others. I’m a writer because I love to research and talk. I’m a successful writer because I understand marketing and SEO. I write online because I’m tech-savvy.

Whatever you’re good at or enjoy doing, learn to incorporate these skills and talents into your work. If you’re out and about around town, keep an eye and ear open for opportunities you can help out with. You never know when one of these opportunities will evolve into something bigger.

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4. Turn Down Opportunities that Don’t Fit

I receive business solicitations all the time. There’s no shortage of people looking for a review, plug, or assistance. As a mortgage and insurance whistleblower, it gets difficult because many people assume I’m capable of helping them keep their homes. Although I understand how your house was fraudulently taken from you, I’m not an attorney, and my hands are tied to stop your foreclosure proceedings. As much as I hate doing it, I have to turn down these opportunities.

It’s normal to want to jump on every opportunity you’re presented with. It’s even more tempting when you’re just starting out or your business is struggling. Doing anything you’re asked will lead to you taking on tasks you’re underqualified for and aren’t capable of providing the level of quality required. You may want that business connection or income, but if you’re not giving your best, it won’t last very long. Hold out for your true passion.

5. Get on Your Grind

Business opportunities don’t just show up at your door. Opportunity doesn’t knock at all – you have to look up where opportunity lives, hit the streets, stalk, and bang on opportunity’s door until it lets you in. If it doesn’t, you go around the building looking for open windows. Climb the roof and slide in through the chimney if you have to.

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Whatever you do, don’t just sit around waiting for a business opportunity. Just because you wrote a song doesn’t mean a stadium full of people will show up. Jay-Z isn’t an Illuminati – you’re just an entitled, lazy human being who hasn’t put in more than a day or two of the blood, sweat, and tears Hova put into his career. Sean Carter is a legend because he earned it, so get on your grind or get left behind.

6. Put Your Eggs in Multiple Baskets

The most powerful lesson yoga teaches is to detach yourself from the results. If you define yourself as an executive and end up in an entry-level job, you’re nothing but a phony. Just because someone you admire hit it big off a certain event or contest doesn’t mean that’s your only entry point to your dream career, and no one opportunity defines you.

If you gain a meeting with a company or entrepreneur you admire, use that as leverage to gain a meeting with even more. If Walgreens wants to carry your product, sell it to CVS and Walmart. Instead of being the person who got into one store, you’ll be the person who got into every store. It’s easier to negotiate when you don’t reek of desperation.

The business world is a wild one; you never know how things will turn out, but as long as you swing for every fence, you’re bound to hit a home run sooner or later.

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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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