Posts Tagged ‘BNI commercial’

Public Speaking: Connect With Your Audience

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Undoubtedly, you’ve attended networking events at which a sponsor was afforded five minutes to speak publicly about his company.  How often do you remember what the sponsor says?  In most cases it’s not that you don’t remember, it’s that you were not listening in the first place.  Not your fault.

I recently attended a Chamber event honoring high-achieving high school students.  The sponsor stood behind the podium and disseminated his information about his company.  That’s all he did.  He transmitted, but few received.  He did not connect with and communicate to his target audience.  How do I know?  I observed the audience members’ roaming eyes.  What this meant for him was that he squandered a paid opportunity to be memorable.  Lack of public speaking skills = waste of time and money.

He did, however, have a nice idea for giveaways.  They were matchbox cars sporting his logo, and inside one of the boxes was a $20 bill.  At the end of the presentation, you can bet everyone was looking inside their boxes.

Here are two simple things he could have done to have greatly enhanced memorability through public speaking:

1) Step out from behind the podium and into the audience.  This would have recaptured the attention of the audience. They would have LOOKED at him.

2) Announce at the open that one of the the audience members would be randomly selected at the end of his presentation.  All the person would have to do to win a crisp $20 bill would be to answer a SIMPLE question about his company.  Now they would have LISTENED to him; not really for the $20, but more because they wouldn’t want to be publicly embarrassed by not being able to answer a SIMPLE question.

When public speaking at a networking event, little things mean a lot.  Most people simply transmit information to very few tuned-in receivers.  But, by mastering public speaking skills, you can connect with and communicate to an audience that will REMEMBER you and your company.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Share your comments and questions here . . .

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Public Speaking: Tip for Networkers – Story Telling

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

When you engage in public speaking at a networking event, there are certain techniques that can set you apart.  One is to tell an interesting story about how your product/service helped save someone (similar to your audience members) from losing money, time, peace of mind, etc.

Here is an insider tip one of the pros shared with me.  He pointed out that at networking events, the better public speakers tend to tell stories about how they helped their clients, and how great their clients felt about the experience.

My friend pointed out that this technique was stellar when the speaker was trying to sell directly to his audience members.  However, in many cases, the speaker is not shooting for a direct sale to audience members but rather a referral to someone the audience member knows.

In this case, he argued, it is better to tell as story about how “Bob” referred you to his client.  Talk about how you solved the problem for Bob’s client and how you saved him money.  Then talk about how Bob looked like the hero to his client, which solidified HIS relationship of trust with HIS client.

For those who present at networking events, this is a compelling argument.  Now, instead of an audience member thinking “yeah, but I don’t need a home inspector”, you have her thinking “I think my client John mentioned he is moving back to MA, I wonder whether he’d need a home inspector?”

The difference between the good and great is found in nuances such as these.

Next time you have the opportunity to speak publicly at a networking event, keep this subtlety in mind.

I’m sure you’ve heard some fatal and fantastic public speaking at networking events.  Share your experiences here!

Watch my video on public speaking and story telling.

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Public Speaking: Tip for Networkers – Forgettable vs. Memorable

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Here is a quick tip for those who network and engage in public speaking:

In many networking situations you have the opportunity to stand up, introduce yourself and communicate what you do.  Let’s take a typical group of 30 networkers in the room and assume that they do not know one another.  Here is the likely scenario:  About five members of the audience will diligently take notes, another ten will listen pretty intently, and the rest will be thinking about what they are going to say when it’s their turn.

This means that you have an opportunity to be memorable to an audience of fifteen.  Since these people will likely leave with your card in hand, it is vital that they can match up the name on the card with your face.

Here is the biggest mistake even excellent public speakers make when networking:

AS they are standing up, they begin one long sentence that sounds something like this: Goodmorning I’mFrankDameliofromTargetIntellect and I help people . . . 

The problem: even the notetakers have a hard time picking up your name and company.  I see it happen all the time – people whisper “what did he say his name was?”

The solution: stand up, pause a moment, say “good morning” and pause.  Sometimes nobody will answer, in which case you say it again with a smile and pause.  The pause will cause everyone to look at your face. 

Now that they are looking at your face, say your name and company a bit more slowly and more articulately than you normally would. “My name is FRANK DAMELIO and my company is TARGET INTELLECT.

Implementing these subtle changes will instantly move you from forgettable to memorable.

Next time you have the opportunity to watch people public speaking in a networking scenario, take note of how many squander the opportunity to have others hear and internalize their name and company.

Share your examples of either strong or weak openers right here . . .

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Public Speaking: Join a Networking Group

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Networking-PhotoDid you know that the most challenging part of your presentation is the first minute?  Research shows that nerves spike the highest in the first minute followed by a steady calming until the wrap-up, at which point nerves spike again.

Even if you are not an entrepreneur or networker, if you want to truly improve your comfort level with public speaking, join a networking group.  Why?  In a typical BNI (Business Network International) you will have to do a sixty-second presentation about your business every meeting.

While it sounds easy, keep in mind that the first minute is really the most challenging part of any presentation.  By doing a formal one-minute presentation at every meeting, you are continually honing your skills in that one most challenging area.

If you’re not sold on this idea yet . . . wait!  Perhaps of equal value, you will learn by watching.  It is amazing how many people are not really listening to the presenter.  Only the great presenters capture the attention of the majority.  How do you know who these “great presenters” are?  Watch the eyes of the audience while each speaker presents.  On the rare occasion that you see everyone in rapt attention, take note of what qualities that presenter exhibits.  You’ll likely see: 1) strong voice projection 2) enthusiasm 3) purposeful movement 4) powerful pauses 5) moving and relevant stories 6) relevant humor 7) eye contact with one person at a time rather than scanning . . . and much more.

There you have it, networking not only helps you make valuable connections, it also sharpens your skill in facing that first minute in any presentation.

We’d love to hear any tips you have on public speaking for networkers.

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Public Speaking: Networking + Business Cards = More ROI

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Here is a tip for networkers to maximize their time investment in public speaking.

After presenting to a group about your expertise, each member of your audience should have your business card and you should have theirs.  How do you accomplish this?

1. Provide a hand out that bullets the main points of your presentation.  Use a paperclip or a dab of re-stickable glue to attach your business card.

2. Do a drawing that requires collection of their business card.  The prize should relate to your topic: best to give away your own product; or if you don’t sell your own, buy a book about your topic.  This will ensure that you’re not collecting junk contacts for your database.  Most of the people who enter the drawing will have an interest in your topic.  Tip: have blank business-card size pieces of paper for the people who “forgot” their business cards.

Upon arrival to the office, immediately enter the cards into your database and email each person a thank you for attending PLUS at least one of the following: 1) join me on Linked in; 2) sign up for my blog updates; 3) sign up for our newsletter; 4) you are invited to our next presentation.  The important point is to have a call to action.

Networkers understand that public speaking opportunities are an inexpensive way to reach out to many people in one shot.  What many do not realize is that if you don’t walk away with a stack of contacts that have an interest in your area of expertise, and if you don’t immediately take action, then much of your time investment is squandered.

There you have it, one tip that will more than double your ROI when using public speaking to network.

What other tricks of the trade have you seen successfully employed?  Please share.

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Public Speaking: Get the Most Out of Networking

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

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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