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Your Boss asks YOU to Present – Opportunity or Threat?

Recently I have met several people who have been given the opportunity to present on behalf of their boss, who was not available for some reason.

This opportunity can be viewed in several ways –

  • They are genuinely not available and need you to stand in for them.
  • They wish to provide you with an opportunity to grow and develop skills in this area.
  • They wish to test you in a pressurised situation.

You should view this situation as an opportunity to stretch, practice new skills and put yourself in the shop window for future opportunities and promotion.

“Good speakers impress, great speakers influence behaviour”
Mark Sandbourne, NSA President, 2004

What do you need to do to prepare?

Here are the basic pieces of information you need to know in order to prepare well:

  • Who is the audience and who in particular do you need to impress/influence?
  • What is the purpose of the presentation?

To inform the mind:

Impart some technical information regarding new software, company finances, health and safety issues etc. which will inform your audience leading to greater understanding.

Touch the heart:

Help your audience to emotionally attach to your suggestion/proposal.  Facts inform the mind, emotional attachment gets them to act.

Change the will:

Most presentations in some way or another are about getting people to change to your way of thinking. The businesses that change, evolve, innovate are the one that survive and thrive.

“Change is the law of life.
And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”

John F Kennedy

If your wish is to be a successful leader you need to develop presentation skills!

An ability to communicate well is critical if people are to understand and buy into your message.

Do you need some advice, or do you know people who need to develop this skill?

Please share my article with them.

An Elevator Pitch that Rocks! (The 5 Steps + Video)

Recently, I was contacted by a previous client who is now working for an American multinational company; he had an interesting and exciting request.

His company wanted each of the sales team to produce a one-minute video which they will include in emails etc. that they send to prospects and customers.

Using the word video in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%.

So far straightforward you might say …

Why I was contacted was very evident when he sent me some sample videos they had produced internally with the help of one of their videography partners.

I have no doubt you are very familiar with this type of video, where the speaker talks not to the camera (you) but to some imagined prospect in the far distance.  All the participants looked stiff and uncomfortable and you would not be inclined to give them a call.

Here’s how I went about creating interesting and engaging videos for my new client.

Step 1:

I explained the three requirements a speaker should demonstrate if he or she is to be engaging.

1: Have EARNED right to speak on the subject

2: Be EAGER to speak on the subject

3: Be EXCITED to speak on the subject

All the team met the requirements, so we were over the first hurdle.

Step 2:

Decide on structure/template for the CONVERSATION.

I very deliberately use the word conversation here; prospects do not want to be pitched to, preached to or lectured to.

Elevator Pitch is the usual title given to a meeting where you get very little time to introduce someone to your business.

The story goes, you are at a conference and the person you were trying to meet all day gets into the same elevator as you on their way to the 47th floor.  What an opportunity to give them your pitch! (usually the whole 9 yards).

Based on my previous experience of elevator pitches, this person is very likely to press the emergency button and run from the elevator on the third floor.

Here is the outline of the conversation (pitch) I suggested my clients use:

1: Get attention

A headline that gets attention in the first 20 words or 7 seconds (this is what newspapers do):

’HEADLESS BODY FOUND IN TOPLESS BAR’ – headline from New York Times.

2: Tell the prospect about the problem you can solve for them

(If you do not know what problems you solve, don’t bother them).

3: Introduce yourself

If you have got this person’s attention, they will now be more likely to listen and remember your name.

4: Tell them very briefly what you do!

(it’s an app, patented device, etc.)

5: Paint a word picture about how they or their organisation are BETTER

(e.g. reduced absenteeism, increased output, more environmentally friendly, win more proposals)

6: Agree next action

(date for next meeting, send a sample, demo product)

See one of my many Elevator Pitches here

Step 3:

I then worked with the team to create conversations that engage and excited them, a pre-requisite to doing the same for the prospects and customers.

Note:

These conversations should not turn into a script that has to be followed word for word, but rather a conversation outline that would keep the speaker on track.

Step 4:

I then provided some space and time for the speakers to get comfortable with the conversation he/she has created before we started filming.

Step 5:

The scary bit for the participant.

My input here was to help make a room full of bright lights & cameras as unintimidating as possible. I engaged with each speaker giving them an opportunity to rehearse their talk in this space and only then did we roll the camera and capture a talk that demonstrated the 3E’s: Excited, Eager, Earned the right.

I recently spoke on the same platform as senior people from LinkedIn and Facebook, and they say if you are not including video in your Social Media Marketing you are missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your business.

When marketers include a video in an email, the click-through rate increases by 200-300%

Do not keep putting off doing something about this, call today and let’s explore how I can help you and your team.

What has James Bond and Business Pitches got in Common?

You have arrived in the cinema with your bucket of popcorn and can of coke and you anticipate watching the new James Bond trailer.  Before you have taken your first mouthful of popcorn or sip of Coke, he’s got into an aeroplane without the pilot, out of an aeroplane without a parachute, rolled the car four times and you are thinking, I must go see the movie.  That’s what a movie trailer is supposed to do. They show you all the exciting, interesting and engaging bits that encourages you to go and buy a ticket to see the movie.

A pitch is like the trailer to the movie.

I often use this analogy to explain to people what a pitch is.

You should tell your listener(s) all the interesting bits, exciting bits, engaging bits.  A pitch is not a business plan. If you are at an early stage, there are lots of things in the plan that are still quite vague and that you have not got absolute confidence in. Do not try and shoehorn an uninteresting business plan into your pitch (trailer).

If you would like to know more, please view my short (3 min video) below:

Poetry and Pitching: The Similarities!

rogermcgough

 

 

 

 

 

Regularly when I work with presenters, be they start-ups or established business people, I hear the same plea, how can I explain my business or my business idea in five minutes?

You have a choice: you can bore your prospect for 30 to 45 minutes, or you can engage and excite in 3 to 5 minutes. They may then give you permission to continue.

This is the real challenge for presenters – how to grab your audience’s attention?

I suggest you tell an interesting story in a short space of time.

If you need help please get in touch.

 

Let me give you some examples from my favourite poet Roger McGough.

In these poems Roger tells somebody’s life story in four lines.

Poems from his Book: Sky in the Pie

(if you have children, buy them this book for Christmas)

Humorous Children’s Friendship Poems

Two’s company
One’s lonely

———————

I’m a fish out of water
I’m two left feet
on my own and lonely
I’m incomplete

Adult Poems: from ‘Collected Poems’

Cake

I wanted one life
you wanted another
we couldn’t have our cake
so we ate each other

Vinegar

I feel like a priest
in a fish and chip queue
quietly thinking
as the vinegar that runs through
how nice it would be
to buy supper for two

If you need to make a good impression in 5 or 50 minutes why not talk to me, I can provide coaching on line or 1-2-1?

 

Testimonial:

There is no better speaker’s coach than Andrew – his very obvious skill as a keynote speaker, coupled with his coaching skills make him the perfect choice for the senior executive looking to polish their personal presentation skills – whether for a one-off event or as part of an ongoing personal development project.
Besides working with Andrew directly I have also recommended him as a keynote to several valued clients – and all of their feedback has been equally excellent.

Deiric McCann – Author & Keynote speaker

Presentation Tips from 3 American Presidents

presidents-pic

 

What is the biggest mistake speakers make when preparing/delivering presentations?

Answer:  They say too much!

I will use three former US Presidents; Obama, Clinton and Reagan as examples of really engaging speakers.

In all their election campaigns they had one clear message.
(Enough said about this year’s candidates).

In the case of Clinton every talk was about the economy, no side issues or distractions; the economy was his key focus.
(It’s about the economy – stupid! – James Carville’s advice to Clinton).

In the case of Obama, it was about change. ‘Yes we can!’
(Do you look back with fond memories on the hope this campaign generated?)

My final example is President Reagan, also regarded as an engaging speaker.
Ronald Reagan’s message in all his campaign talks was: “Before you vote, ask yourself have you more or less money in your pocket now than you had four years ago”?

These examples demonstrate the importance of a single powerful message.

Tip:

My advice is to simplify your story and allow all the audience to easily understand the core of your message.

If you need help doing this, please get in contact; opportunities to get in front of the right audiences are hard and expensive to come by, do not waste any more opportunities.

Be the person with the Gift of the GAB!

oscar-wilde-700-400

“The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.” Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist & poet (1854-1900)

Irish people are generally regarded as good storytellers; we often tell ourselves that we have the gift of the gab.

I believe we publish and sell more short stories in Ireland than anywhere else in the world; lots of our famous novelists are also great short story writers.

This natural ability to tell stories doesn’t often lead to us being good confident public speakers however.

I believe that the reason we are lacking in confidence in this area is the fact that generally during our school days the teachers focused on what was wrong, rather than what was right. Perhaps our parents were guilty of the same trait, because that’s the way they were educated.

E.g. if you did ten sums and 8 were right and 2 were wrong, were you praised for having 8 right or chastised for the 2 that were wrong?

If you stop and think back to your school days, the best teacher you had and the one that stands out in your memory is the teacher who encouraged you and found the good in you. Am I right?

I often use the analogy that the difference between good coaching and bad coaching is similar to Eastern Medicine and Western Medicine.

In Western Medicine we deal with symptoms; tell your doctor you have a headache and he will give you a tablet, if we have a lump somewhere they will cut it out. Whereas I believe Chinese Doctors look at your lifestyle and diet, to find out why are you feeling unwell?

In parts of China I believe that you pay your doctor when you’re well and you stop paying him when you’re unwell.  The complete reversal to how we do it in the Western world.

Referring back to my analogy, bad coaching is the same as western doctors, they deal with symptoms. Regularly I hear presentation coaches say; stand up straight, put your shoulders back, take your hands out of your pockets, make eye contact, speak up – all symptoms that the speaker isn’t comfortable or confident.

I believe a good coach should focus on giving presenters confidence, filling them full of courage – and when they do, the symptoms listed above will generally disappear and what we will see is an engaging, energetic and enthusiastic speaker.

If it is important in your business life or your social life to be the person who can be relied on to present well on big occasions, please continue to read my blogs, or enquire about Aristo’s upcoming training programmes if you wish, for more immediate results.

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