The Secret Of Giving A Good Presentation

One thing I realised at the very start of my career as the CEO of a social enterprise, was the importance of giving a good presentation. When I came up with the idea of BODO, to create a product that was ethically sourced which I aimed to promote via the transaction-based giving business model, I knew that when promoting my idea to potential investors, buyers, sellers and the like, I would have to make sure my presentations were absolutely top-notch. There is a lot of competition in the market, so I knew that it was of paramount importance that my idea stood out!Bodo Logo2
So for those of you who think you have a brilliant idea and dream of becoming entrepreneurs and CEOs, I thought I’d share my experiences of how to do a great presentation.
One of the most important things is to make sure it’s interesting! It sounds pretty obvious, but it’s so significant! Don’t bore people with intricate details that are likely to lose the interest of those who aren’t already on your payroll. Keep it lively, encapsulating and enthralling, or you will lose your audience, you want to keep them focussed on your talk and not daydreaming about what they are going to have for dinner! Save the dull slides for when your friends come to visit!
The other thing that I can’t stress enough, is the importance of storytelling. Storytelling is something that has engaged humanity since our very beginnings, we use it as a means of entertainment, to bond with our peers and to establish our moral codes. With regards to BODO, one aspect that I have found that has always captured audiences’ attention, was the fact that some of my inspiration for the BODO sandal came from my uncle in Trinidad, who cut abandoned tyres and attached them to soles of shoes to sell them to oil field workers, giving them a better grip. Telling people about my family history, helps to personalise them with my idea and familiarise them with its origins.
If you can include the facts you want to get across in an entertaining story, then you have a much better chance of making a lasting impact on your audience! This leads on to my next point – emotion. You want your audience to care about your product, to believe in your ideals and so you have to draw them into your world and make them see things from your point of view!
My last point would be to make sure you are well prepared and it is properly rehearsed! It’s another obvious one, I know, but you’d be surprised how many people become obsessed with editing and re-editing their presentations right up until the last minute and then don’t leave themselves enough time to work on its deliverance. If you don’t seem confident and appear like you know what you are talking about, then you won’t inspire confidence in your idea – it’s as simple as that!

Connecting With Your Community

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important things in my opinion is connecting with a community. When I first started the ethical fashion startup BODO UK, I knew that forging a good relationship with my community would be integral to the company’s growth and success. That’s why one of my primary focuses was getting our social media presence right. We’ve all heard it before, but I really can’t stress to you enough how important it is to have a strong social media presence. You can reach people in all corners of the globe and keep them informed with what your company is up to, in ways that was never possible before. The other great thing about social media, is that it gives you the opportunity to interact with your customer-base. It’s easier now for people to let you know how they feel about your product or projects!

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 18.57.35Connecting with other charities and businesses with similar ethics and ideals is another thing that I feel is incredibly important. I have always strived to forge partnerships with other organisations as through these relationships, you gain important experience, advice and audience exposure.
Volunteering with similar organisations can be a great way to show that you practise what you preach. With BODO, I wanted to create a company that aims to do real good and bring about positive social change, so I have made the time to help out with other organisations that want to do the same. I have been mentoring with an organisation that aims to promote fulfilling employment by offering CV development, interview technique improvement and confidence building. By doing this, I feel I have improved my own knowledge of the people I am hoping to reach as well as helping some others along the way.
It is my aim that by showing BODO’s audience and customer-base that I am serious enough about my ideals to do this, I am, in effect, proving just how passionate I am about making this world a better place.
I’ve also found that it is incredibly important to attend and host networking events, as far as I’m concerned, you can’t have too many positive working relationships and the lessons you can learn from others who have been in similar positions are simply invaluable.

Becoming A Dad!

So last week my world changed completely when my wonderful wife gave birth to our beautiful baby daughter. I knew things would Becoming dad picnever be the same again and my world would be turned upside down – in the best possible way of course, but nothing quite prepares you for it until it actually happens.
Because my wife had to have a scheduled caesarean, things have been even more hectic as I’ve had two fragile beings to worry about!
Because, as many of you know, I run my own business, I’ve also been doing an incredible juggling act. When you’re the CEO of a company that represents your dreams and visions – I obviously couldn’t just book some annual leave and forget about work for awhile, like many others expecting their first child could. If I don’t keep my eye on the ball, the ball drops – it’s that simple, deadlines get missed, people don’t get paid and so on and so forth.
So I’ve been doing my best to be the doting father, whilst making sure that all the essential stuff for BODO still gets done. To say it’s been hectic would be an understatement – but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m so proud to be a father and am looking forward to all the adventures it brings.

The Importance Of Building Good Working Relationships

Since the launching my own ethical fashion startup in January of 2013, I’ve learnt a lot of important lessons and one of those has Teamworkbeen the huge importance of striking up good working relationships.  This works on many levels, some rather obviously, whereas others not so much.  It’s pretty obvious to all, that having a good working relationship with your employees will help to improve efficiency, productivity and success rates as to me, it’s obvious that if people feel respected and valued they will always put more effort into what they do, but you’d be surprised how many business owners and CEO’s don’t adopt that policy.   Another thing I’ve learnt is the significance of building strong relations with external contractors and business partners.  I think (with some people – obviously not all) the ego dictates a lot of decisions and there’s that feeling of ‘I can do this all on my own’.  But what you work out soon enough, is that you can’t.  It does depend on what kind of business you are running, but I think for the majority of them, it’s more than likely that you’ll need to establish good links with outsiders at some point or another.  Whether it be with the media for reviews, or with governing bodies that evaluate products for consumers, the list is endless and the sooner CEOs realise this, the better for their business.  

Sometimes it is just about finding the right kind of eternal business to forge links and partnerships with.  Like for example BODO’s relationship with Smart Cookie Design, who designed many of our websites is one I am particularly pleased with.   I feel we’ve established a solid working relationship and part of that is because the company’s were right for each other.  For example, when I was deciding on who to get to create some of BODO’s websites, I was particularly impressed with the availability of Smart Cookie Design, as I am someone who works all hours of the day and night, getting a reply to my middle-of-the-night emails was a welcome change. 
From the beginning, I’ve been adamant that our flagship product, the BODO Sandal, should be of exceptional quality and therefore forging a good relationship with a company like SATRA (independent research and testing organisation) was very important to me.  SATRA are considered to be a leading technical authority for footwear and leather companies, so establishing contact and getting BODO’s Sandal rated by them was a definite achievement in my eyes.