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Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Show The Audience You Don’t Care

In BNI or other Networking Groups, Business Presentations, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, sales on February 21, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Speaking Tip #80

There was a man speaking on the stage. I could see his lips move, but I could not hear his voice.  When several audience members shouted for him to use the microphone, he laughed replying “You can hear me just fine” and continued talking. The problem was that few really could hear.

This speaker had made two simple yet common mistakes, and in doing so, lost the attention of the audience:

1)      He put his comfort and desires ahead of those of the audience.

2)      He ASSUMED that because he was speaking, everyone wanted to hear what he had to say.

Esessentially, he let us know he did not care about us or what we needed, even though all we really needed was to hear.

I think most of us wanted to hear what he had to say. When faced with the problem of not being able to hear, the audience had to choose what to do. Most of the audience gave up, relaxed back into their seats and continued doing what they were doing before he took the stage: conversing with their neighbors.

This speaker had lost the audience.

A speaker is there to serve the audience. It is the responsibility of the speaker to insure the audience is comfortable, can see, and hear.

Look at the better speakers of our modern day: do you notice the President (any president) standing on a stage shouting rather than wearing a microphone?  When you watch the late Bill Gates or a TED talk, do you notice how large a screen is used? Even concerts and sporting events make it easier for spectators to see and hear the action.

Before an audience will listen to your ideas and consider your point, you have to grab their attention and demonstrate your credibility. If they cannot hear you or if you demonstrate you do not care about your audience, you will lose before you have started.

Do not lose the battle over the small things. Take time to plan your presentation so it works, take care of your audience, and make sure they are comfortable and can see and hear you. This won’t bring them to your side, but it does put them in a position where your good words can do their magic.

© 2012 iSpeakEASY – All Rights Reserved This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

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Are you an experienced speaker interested in improving your skills and increase the effectiveness of your presentations? The Speakers Academy is a fast, intense, four-part workshop for professionals that want to increase their confidence, become more credible, and accomplish more with their words.

We will build on your existing skills and bring you to a new level with your speaking.

Click here to learn more.

Adding Value To Your Words

In BNI or other Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business Presentations, marketing, Public Speaking, speaking on February 16, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Speaking Tip 33

A bar of iron is worth about $5. Take that iron and turn it into horseshoes and it increases in value to $10 even though the raw materials are still the same. Take that same bar of iron and make it into screwdrivers and the value goes up to about $250. If you make needles with the iron, the value rises to $3,000 and if you turn it into balance springs for watches the value soars to $250,000.

The material is still the same limited quantity of metal but the way it is used, the end product, is quite different. The information and knowledge you possess is similar to iron. Its value is based on what you do with it, not the face value of the raw material itself.

What are you going to do with the information you have to increase its value? What can you say or do that will take the information you have come to life for you listener? How can you present it so that it morphs from raw data into something useful and inspiring to your audience? It is the audience’s perception of your words that makes them valuable, not the value you place on them.

In this “age of information” we live in, information is cheap while knowledge remains invaluable. The goal is to take information and present it in a manner that makes your audience say “Wow!”

Use your passion to make your data come to life for your listener. Plan your presentation, determine your singular main message, outline your 3-5 key points, create visual aids that help make your point and you are on the way to turning your bar of iron into watch springs.

The knowledge and experience you possess, that you try to convey to your audience, is worth little until you learn to present it in a fashion that is of interest to others. If you can make what you know relevant to others, the value of your information skyrockets.

 © 2008 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY.  We help you profit from your words. Call for information on individual coaching or workshops for your business.

 

Does This Word Mean The Same To You As It Does To Me?

In BNI or other Networking Groups, Business Presentations, Education, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, Social Media, speaking on February 6, 2012 at 5:37 PM

The man on the other end of the phone was offering to send me fishing lures. Not a single lure, but hundreds or even thousands to use with the learn-to-fish program I manage. I thanked him and explained I was not interested, as we do not use lures in our programs. His offer was good but even for free, it was not anything I could use. He pushed his cause a bit but I would not budge – I simply do not use lures. There was an awkward silence and he suggested I visit his website. Out of boredom or politeness, I typed the URL and was surprised at what I saw.

The “lure” he was offering was not a “lure” as I think of it –it is “bait”. I asked him about his choice of words and he replied it was how he referred to his product.

Instantly my interest in him, his offer, and his product went from zero to one hundred. I have no use for lures, or what I call a lure. I have a high interest and constant need for bait. I like it even better as he is offering me thousands of free samples as of his marketing campaign. Now we have a win-win situation.

I was struck though, at how close to failure we had come simply because we had not agreed on the definition of a term. It was as if we were speaking different languages.

How often are you trying to sell something – a product, service, or an idea – and run into a wall because the language you are speaking, the words you are using, are different from the words understood by your prospect?

Do you use lingo, buzzwords, or acronyms that make sense to you but push your clients away? They make perfect sense to you because you are in the business, so to speak. You use the terms everyday and know what they mean

Take time to practice your presentations – even your phone calls – with some one outside your field. Have them listen to you and then listen to them to see what they heard. It will be a valuable (and profitable) use of your time.

Speaking well is all about addressing the needs of your audience. To address their needs it is important to speak a language they understand.

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_____________________________________________________________________

Are you an experienced speaker interested in improving your skills and increase the effectiveness of your presentations? The Speakers Academy is a fast, intense, four-part workshop for professionals that want to increase their confidence, become more credible, and accomplish more with their words.

We will build on your existing skills and bring you to a new level with your speaking.

Click here to learn more.

© 2009 by iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links from your blog or webpage are encouraged.

 

Related articles

The Single Most Important Speaking Tip

In Attracting New Clients, BNI or other Networking Groups, Business Presentations, marketing, speaking on February 1, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Speaking Tip #1

This speaking tip is so basic, that people sometimes laugh when I say it:

Be clear on what you are trying to say and what you want your audience to know when you are done.

It sounds so basic, but a common mistake is not being clear on what we are really trying to say. Think about it – if the speaker does not have a clear idea of what they are trying to say, how is the audience supposed to figure it out?

We feel rushed or, worse yet, we believe that since we are just “speaking for a few minutes at a staff meeting” or “having a quick word with the boss (or spouse, kids etc)” that we don’t need to prepare.

The next time you are going to speak, whether it is in front of a group or one-on-one, ask yourself this question:

“What is the one thing I want them to know when I am done speaking?”

When you can answer this question – organize your thoughts and then you are ready to begin.

Being clear in your own mind on your objective will go a long ways in helping you present your thoughts in a clear and concise manner that will be effective.

Treat every conversation with care and respect. Before you speak, put yourself in the driver’s seat and say, “where do I want this to go”?

 _________________________________________________________________

Are you an experienced speaker interested in improving your skills and increase the effectiveness of your presentations? The Speakers Academy is a fast, intense, four-part workshop for professionals that want to increase their confidence, become more credible, and accomplish more with their words.

We will build on your existing skills and bring you to a new level with your speaking.

Click here to learn more about the Speakers Academy.

 

© 2010 iSpeakEASY – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY: We Help People Profit From Their Words.

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