Posts Tagged ‘elevator pitch’

Public Speaking: Verbal Branding

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

First, watch the video above: an eight-minute distillation of Stephen Melanson’s vast knowledge of verbal branding.  Stephen is the author of the seminal book:  Jaw BrandingTM

The main points to remember:

1) You have five seconds to pique interest

2) Two methods to do so: a) ambiguity b) differentiation

3) Pause after your five-second intro, and wait for a question

4) Avoid selling on category

5) Less is better – people only remember one or two things you said

6) When asked about your category, respond: “Of course we do that, but what makes us different and better is . . .”

Some of Stephen’s questions to help you discover your point of differentiation:

What negative assumptions exist in the marketplace about what you do?

You are the only one who . . . 

What happens to clients who use your services/goods?

If you started the business over, you would . . . 

What’s the one thing people should remember about you?

What would be a risky message?

What problems do you solve?

What are you most passionate about?

How are you recreating the market?

Where is there a gap in the market?

I commit to “X”; nobody else will.

What’s the personality of your organization?

What is working well now?

Want more?  

FREE 48-page section of Stephen Melanson’s book Jaw BrandingTM.

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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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