How are professional chefs coping with the changes brought about by Covid-19?

More than anything it impacted the work force in a huge way, especially those industries such as hospitality and food service.

While the pandemic and country-wide lockdowns closed down restaurants and hotels, and locked out chefs and other staff, it was a time where people reflected and wondered about what would come next. These people who were used to a busy life, with their chef whites and cook shirts on, working almost twelve to fifteen hours a day during busy times, suddenly found themselves with nothing to do.

Many people, left with nothing to keep them occupied, even went into severe depression, while others tried their best to make most of the situation, like spending more time with their families at home (which they did not get while working), or even starting their own ventures such as food delivery. Many offered their services to provide meals and service to frontline workers who were working tirelessly during the pandemic. Some restauranteurs even kept their businesses open, preparing food for delivery orders as well as helping out those in need, so that they ensured their staff would not be out of a job.

Some chefs, especially those who operated their own restaurants, took off their fancy Toques and put on their thinking caps, coming up with revolutionary ideas to implement when the country opened up again and they would be able to serve customers in their restaurants. There certainly was a general understanding that things would never be the same as they were before, hence they knew that the business of operating a restaurant or other eatery would take a 180-degree turnaround to accommodate new rules and regulations in terms of safety, cleanliness and hygiene.

Some chefs even went as far as creating inspirational videos and session for those who needed it, and worked for many other social causes as well.

However almost everyone has survived this unexpected situation in their own way, and we are sure are looking forward to days when things will go back to the days when they will have guests to greet and serve and cook for in their restaurants.

What Can Make Or Break Your PowerPoint Presentation

At a workshop recently I heard someone giving a talk which was really interesting and I took away some valuable points from it. So it got me thinking about what makes a good presentation. Now, I’ve designed a lot of PowerPoint presentations in my time but I’ve delivered very few of them. Like a lot of people, the thought of standing up in front of a group makes me nervous. However, others can stand up for an hour and speak off the cuff about their subject, and make it interesting and memorable. How do they do it? OK, there are a few people who are natural public speakers, but for most of us, it takes a lot of preparation to stand up and speak clearly and concisely about our subject.

So from my experience of both creating and listening to presentations, I’ve put together some tips of what I think can make or break a presentation.

Do

  • Rehearse your speech and ideally get someone to listen to you or record yourself.
  • Use humour and a personal story to open the presentation but be appropriate.
  • Know the message you are trying to get across and stick to the key points.
  • Keep the colour scheme simple and ensure the text is readable against the background.
  • Have the same slide design throughout the whole presentation.
  • Put your company branding and logo on the presentation to make it look professional and help build a relationship with your brand and the audience.
  • Keep animations and transitions to a minimum so they don’t confuse and distract the audience.
  • Use creative ways of presenting your information eg, pictures, charts, and animations which will grab people’s attention.

Don’t

  • Speak without any preparation or notes unless you’ve done it successfully before.
  • Start the presentation without checking that everyone can hear you.
  • Don’t wander off the subject, and if you do, ensure the audience knows why and quickly come back to it.
  • Use technical language, acronyms or jargon unless it is relevant for your audience.
  • Read from a script – it can sound stilted and prevents you from making eye contact with the audience.
  • Put everything you want to say on the PowerPoint slide and then just read it out.
  • Overload the slide with too much graphics or animation. They should be used to make the message clearer not confuse the audience.
  • Use different formatting and colour schemes on each slide.

Perhaps you have other tips to add to the list? However, it’s important to remember that a clearly delivered and well-designed presentation will promote you and your business professionally and effectively to your audience.

How to Develop Great Presentation Skills – The Persuasive Presentation

Part of developing Great Presentation Skills is to understand the type of presentations which you intend to give. Is your presentation meant to educate, train, inform or persuade and make money?

In this article, I would touch on Persuasive presentations. I think this is the most important kind of presentation because it allows us to close that deal, get that budget we want, sell products etc. In short Persuasive presentations most of the time allows us to MAKE MONEY! Let’s look at the 5 principles of Persuasive Presentations

1) “For Every Action, There is an Equal and Opposite Reaction”

A persuasive presentation always comes with a competitive option. Don’t think that if you are selling an idea or getting a budget approved, there is no “competition”. As long as you are looking to change how the audience thinks or feels, you have entered the competitive world. With every persuasive presentation there are products, ideas, which if accepted, will prevent your audience from accepting yours.

2) A Persuasive Presentation should engage your audience, not dominate and overpower them.

You should not at your first slide come across as “hear every word, see every word and believe every word I say”. If that is the case the audience will automatically shut down. Remember, each and every person in that audience has a unique make up. To change their collective heart and mind you need to constantly read them, adjust your presentation pacing, tone and content for maximum impact.

3) Put Your Audience First

This tie in with the second point above. Before even developing your persuasive presentation you must totally understand your audience. Ask yourself questions like “What can I do to change their hearts and minds”, “What can I do to help them understand, motivate them, get them excited, get their trust etc”. Put your audience first. Start thinking how you can connect with them, not what to put on your first slide.

4) Target the Audience’s Decision Making Process

A persuasive presentation seeks to change how the audience feels and think. Hence it must be strategically planned and delivered so that you are able to touch the “nerve” of the decision making brains of the audience. You must be able to appeal to them so that they can be moved into action. Without understand of your audience decision making process, your goals and objectives of your persuasive presentation will not be realized

5) Persuasive Presentations ask for an Order.

All presentation must have a goal. A persuasive presentation is no exception. If your goal is to sell something to your audience, then you must ASK for an order at the end of the presentation. After appealing to their decision making nerve, asking for an order would allow you to make that sale! Many a times, presenters tell me that they are shy or afraid to ask. No wonder they do not meet their goals.