Posts Tagged ‘BNI ten-minute’

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: Life Goes On

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

At a networking meeting, a young woman was getting ready to do her 10-minute BNI presentation on her business. She had done her homework, and was well prepared.  Previously, she had confided in me that she dreaded public speaking, but knew it was a “necessary evil” if she wanted to grow her business through networking.

She had heard me doing a persuasion speech on sales, and she said she was going to apply that strategy to public speaking. This was the crux of the strategy:

Before the sales appointment, you must CARE enough to research your prospect, and prepare for questions and roadblocks. However, during your presentation, you must not feel you NEED this particular piece of business. You must know that life goes on either way. You must feel that you would like the business, but you will be fine either way. Sales guru Carl Harvey shared this philosophy with me, and it works. It frees you to simply relax, establish a relationship, and enjoy the process.  It makes you feel and appear more confident, and subtly communicate that you offer something they need. You also avoid looking like the desperate salesperson.

This woman applied that philosophy to her speech. She had, in essence, over prepared, but moments before she was on, she adopted an attitude that this presentation would neither make or break her; so she might as well have fun.

Her presentation exceeded even her own expectations. She was natural, funny, and on target.

What happened? The problem is that presenters get nervous because they care TOO MUCH about how they appear before their audiences. By “too much” I mean that the pressure actually hurts their natural ability to communicate.  It makes them shaky, stiff and monotone. Most presenters’ main roadblock is their own psychology. By adopting the attitude “this presentation will not really change my life in any significant way,” you mitigate the exaggerated pressure you have fabricated.

What a great application of a sales strategy to public speaking!

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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: Entrepreneurs – Top 5 Tips

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

It’s cheap and delivers results!  Many entrepreneurs don’t have budget for radio, TV and print advertising; so they invest in networking.  There are tons of great networking organizations that are affordable and effective.  Everything comes at a price, though, and in this case – networking consumes a great deal of time.

How do you ensure you get a good ROI?  Take every opportunity to present before networking and civic organizations such as Chamber of Commerce, BNI (Business Network International), Lyons Clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.

Public speaking alone, however, is not enough to ensure results.  Entrepreneurs need to have strong presentation skills.  Here’s why: When an entrepreneur speaks publicly, the audience assumes a relationship between the speaker’s ability to deliver a great product/service and his ability to deliver a presentation with confidence.  Many in the audience assume that if the presenter does not speak with confidence, he may not be competent in his core expertise. Conversely, if an entrepreneur speaks to the audience’s challenges and aspirations, and he does so with confidence and enthusiasm, many will assume that he delivers not just great presentations, but also great products/services.  While this is an unfair assumption, we all know the power of perception.  

Getting back to ROI, in many networking situations, you will spend hours of time to earn a few minutes to stand before a group.  We have already discussed some tips for maximizing those minutes.

Here are your Top Five Public Speaking for Entrepreneurs Tips

1) Build confidence by memorizing your opener and closer.

2) Power openers:

a) Pause for seven seconds.  They’ll pay attention.

b) Give them a starling fact.  You may then ask for a show of hands “how many believe that?”

c) Avoid rhetorical questions: “How many people here would like to save money?”

3) Relate what you do with a relevant story.  Show them how you helped someone like them to overcome a challenge or achieve her goals. For better or worse, most people are more moved by stories that stats.  

4) In your power closer, have a call-to-action.  “Show of hands: how many people here would benefit from 10 more tips on . . . ?  Great, those of you with your hands up, please take out your business card and pass it along to me.”

5) When other entrepreneurs are speaking, look at the audience.  How many people are really listening?  If the speaker is “average” it is probable that very few are really paying attention.  If the speaker is stellar, then many will be engaged.  When you see an audience engaged with the presenter, note what she is doing that others fail to do.  Every time you network you will be learning more secrets to being that stellar speaker and earning a great return on the hours you invest to speak for a few minutes.

There you have it.  Five simple tips for entrepreneurs to maximize public speaking opportunities.

For the networkers reading this entry, we’d love to hear your stories of great or abysmal entrepreneurial performances you’ve witnessed.

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