Posts Tagged ‘BNI presentation’

Public Speaking: Tip for Networkers – “I” vs. “You”

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Here is a quick tip for those who do public speaking for networking:

After you’ve written your presentation do a search for the word “I” and a search for the word “you”.  The latter should appear far more than the former.  In reality, however, most presentations are “I”-centric. After all, it is how we grew up.  Children use the words “I” and “me” so often because they must.  Successful networkers reverse that model and continually speak about “you”.

Why? Other people are far more concerned with themselves than they are with you. Talk in terms of “them” and they will listen intently.

In addition, this tip for public speaking for networking lends itself nicely for developing marketing copy.

Give the word search a try, and you’ll find that your networking presentations capture and retain far more attention.

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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: 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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