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A video conversation on how to be a great speaker

Aristo, from a Greek name, means “to be the best”.

Here is Andrew Keogh of Aristo talking to Don Harris of Talkback about how Aristo helps people to be the best in communicating, presenting and telling their business story.

Are you nervous of presenting? Perhaps you feel you could do better?

Watch this 8 minute video to pick up some great tips and to learn more about how Aristo can help you.

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.

Why be Fearful of Speaking in Public

Why be Fearful of Speaking in Public?

When I’m out socially, whether it be playing golf or with friends over dinner and it comes up in conversation that I coach people to speak in public, I am continually surprised by the number of successful and confident people who still express a fear of speaking in public, be it to an audience of five or five hundred.

Why is this?

Let me tell you what I believe is the cause.

The education system in Ireland and Europe generally puts emphasis on academic qualifications and not enough emphasis on emotional intelligence skills, of which good communications is a critical component.  Whereas in America from an early age students are engaged in ‘show and tell’.

Also, I believe MBA programs in the States put more emphasis on presenting and pitching as part of the program.

I am not going to change the educational system single-handedly, but I am now coaching students and lecturers in all of the leading Universities in Ireland in my style of communication and presenting.

This I believe will lead to more confident and successful leaders in whatever career path they choose.

What I can change for the individuals and organisations who  engage me to work with their people, is how they are coached and prepared for important conversations with audiences.

You will note that I use the word conversation and not presentation!

I believe we should always regard the opportunity to speak to an audience as a conversation, not a presentation or pitch. This immediately reduces the pressure on the speaker as it’s not as intimidating to have a conversation as it is to deliver a presentation.

My way is to ban all of the following words when preparing people for important meetings:

Presentation: usually dull and boring.

(think of the last conference you attended)

Pitch: nobody wants to be sold to.

Sermon: one of the reasons churches are empty.

Lecture: who wants to be lectured to?

When speaking to an audience it should always be a conversation. This is how all the great stand-up comedians engage their audiences. You go home not remembering the words (jokes) but knowing that you feel uplifted and energised.

Is this not the purpose of most business conversations?

My guarantee to all my clients is that I will never criticise them or tell them what they have done wrong, yet every person will be better as a result of our working together.

The degree as to how much they will improve is greatly dependent on the amount of preparation and work they put into implementing the advice and coaching I give them.

When I explain my methodology to clients, they regularly tell me that they need constructive criticism in order to improve.

My response is that constructive criticism is criticism with the word constructive placed in front of it to soften the blow, it’s still CRITICISM.

As one of my clients commented recently you never feel

RECONSTRUCTED AS A RESULT OF CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.

My coaching philosophy is as follows:

Never: criticise

Always: praise (sincerely)

Leading to an atmosphere where people want to engage and improve.

Note: if you wish to become an effective LEADER the above principles also apply.

To compliment this article I’m linking to a 30 minute humorous video to the Sales Institute of Ireland which expands on and explains my philosophy in more detail.