Public Speaking: Get the Most Out of Networking

March 30th, 2008 by Frank Damelio

calculatorDo the math.  When you belong to a networking org, you might spend two or three hours to get one or two minutes of air time to educate your group about what you do.  In this sense, air time is an expensive investment; yet it is often squandered.  Why?  Most people speak at a D+/C- level. 

Starting an elevator pitch with “Yeah, hi, I’m Bob and uh, um, we do insurance for anyone who owns a home . . .” and ending with ” . . . that’s about it, thanks” is simply squandering opportunity.

Why does this happen so often?  1) Most people do it; so  poor presentation appears normal and acceptable. 2) Cultivating the skills to be a dynamic presenter who commands attention and calls people to action requires effort and creativity. The payoff, though, is huge.

Let’s start here.  Your greatest loss when you present your value proposition to a group of networkers is that many are not listening.  Even a brilliant value is worthless if your audience is thinking or whispering about something else.

Before you launch into your value prop, how can you be sure that they are paying attention?

Here are some tips:

1) Avoid sitting when you speak; even if everyone before you has not stood up.

2) Stand up and PAUSE before you launch into your presentation.  Scan your audience. This may feel awkward; so what?

3) Ask, for a show of hands . . . (example: “show of hands, how many people here dislike cold calling?”) Make sure your question will apply to most; so many hands go up.  Anyone not listening will immediately snap back into the presentation to avoid looking foolishly oblivious.

The Pause, Scan, and Question = attentive audience.  You’re paying a great deal in time and money for them to hear you.  Now that they’re listening . . . 

/Tune in soon for the continuation of this topic discussion; and feel free to add your comments/

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4 Responses to “Public Speaking: Get the Most Out of Networking”

  1. Tom Cox Says:

    I just presented to an incredibly senior audience – government acquisition executives that routinely brief and eat breakfast with senators and the Vice President. To put not too fine a point on it, I was incredibly nervous and did not give one of my better presentations. I have a feeling your advice will help me to grow beyond my fear of presenting to such a senior audience. Thanks for the blog…

    -tom
    “Content is commodity. Delivery is everything.”

  2. Lynn Says:

    Great tip!
    This why I applauded Frank on his 30 second commerical at the BBB Referral Network Monday. I had to log on to find out what happened with “Bob” the monopolizer!!

    Thank you
    ~ Lynn

  3. Heidi Says:

    I went to a Senior Services Networking meeting yesterday and at the end of
    the meeting my business card was picked (out of a hat) to give a 5 min
    presentation about my business at the next meeting.
    You would have thought that I won the lottery!!! My hand shot up and I said “Yeah!”
    I’m very excited to put Franks teachings into practice.
    I also think it will give me the confidence to present to other groups
    that I’m not familiar with.
    Everything happens for a reason..right?

  4. Target Intellect Blog » Blog Archive » Public Speaking for Entrepreneurs - top 5 tips Says:

    [...] spend hours of time to earn a few minutes to stand before a group.  We have already discussed some tips for maximizing those [...]

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