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Archive for the ‘Attracting New Clients’ Category

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.

You are welcome to link to this page. If you wish to reprint or repost this article, please emailus for permission. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

Can Your PowerPoint Pass The “Coffee Test”?

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Business Presentations, PowerPoint, Public Speaking on August 18, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Guest Author Bruce Gabrielle

Want to build a presentation that will grab attention and hold it until the end? Want to make sure it goes viral?

Then don’t build slides until they pass the “coffee test”. The coffee test comes from Robert McKee, author of Story. His advice to screenwriters: don’t spend 18 months writing a screenplay until you know it’s a winner.

Here’s how. Take your friend out for coffee and tell them your story in about 5 minutes. What is their reaction? Are their eyes wide? Their mouth hanging open? Is their coffee now cold because they’re hypnotized by your words? Then you have a winner. Go home and write your screenplay.

But if they’re bored. Distracted. Their eyes are listless, drifting to see who is coming in the door next, if they’re fidgeting, then you don’t have a winner. Go home and work on it some more.

Same with your presentation. You want to captivate your audience? Make them hungry for more? Then take someone to coffee and tell them the story of your presentation. Then you’ll know if it’s time to start building slides, or keep working on your story.

About the author: Bruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the New Language of Business, showing a 12-step method for creating clearer and more persuasive PowerPoint slides for boardroom presentations.  You can read more of his writings at www.speakingppt.com.

iSpeakEASY offers workshops on how to create and deliver Effective PowerPoint Presentations. Click for information.

“How To Speak So Your Audience Will Listen” – A Mini Workshop

In Attracting New Clients, BNI or other Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business Presentations, PowerPoint, Public Speaking on July 9, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Imagine how much easier it would be to design your next talk if you knew exactly what the audience wanted to hear. Imagine how much more confident you will feel and how credible you will appear to the audience. That is exactly what you will learn in this interactive presentation on public speaking.

 “How To Speak So Your Audience Will Listen” helps speakers improve their presentation skills whether they are making a formal presentation to large group or an informal presentation to a smaller group.

The talk identifies:

  • Three highly desired attributes of a good presentation
  • Five fatal flaw most speakers make
  • The process for designing an effective talk
  • Four tools effective speakers use

We all speak every day. This presentation will help you present information in an effective manner that inspires others to take new action or change a behavior. This presentation is a MUST for those interested in improving sales, closing more deals, or simply gaining support for their ideas.

Call iSpeakEASY today at (415) 342-7106 or email ethan@ispeakeasy.net to find out how easy it is to bring this mini-workshop to your office, club, or networking group.

Ethan Rotman has been making presentations for more than 30 years and training others in how to improve their speaking for more than 25 years.

Here is what others say about this presentation:                                           

“I want to thank for an excellent presentation on public speaking. Good programs are important for the club to keep members interested and attendance up!  We all appreciated the well-prepared and informative presentation.”

John Gardner, Rotary of Walnut Creek

“I had the pleasure of seeing Ethan do a presentation on public speaking and was VERY impressed not only by his knowledge of the subject, but by the fact that he is a great public speaker. I can’t think of a faster and more efficient way to improve communications in a business than to attend Ethan’s trainings.”

Anastasia Shuster, Access Speakers

“The session was exciting, well organized, and engaging. The materials were easy to understand we were given the tools to improve our speaking skills.”

San Francisco Estuary Institute

“You have been, in effect, a years worth of Toastmasters encapsulated into a couple of sessions.”

Clyde L. Schultz, DDS

PowerPoint Success Tips

In Attracting New Clients, Delivery, New Techniques, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, Tools and Gadgets on May 13, 2011 at 9:33 AM

PowerPoint is a powerful tool allowing you to make your point in an interesting and dramatic way. Because it is frequently used poorly, we tend to hate talks with PowerPoint. Here are suggestions to help you increase your success with PowerPoint.

Design Your Show For Success

  1. Outline your presentation before you open PowerPoint.
  2. Use arrows, circles and highlighting to help key elements stand so you don’t need a laser pointer.
  3. Remember that you are the main attraction, not your slides.
  4. Develop your talk to have a clear message that can be delivered without PowerPoint.

Guidelines for Slides

  1. Multiple slides should be used to explain a complex topic.
  2. Animations and special effects should be used sparingly.
  3. Use different backgrounds to keep your show interesting, but make sure they are not distracting.
  4. Put a black slide at the beginning and end of your show – this eliminates that embarrassing slide that says “end of show -click to exit.”
  5. Include text sparingly: A picture is worth 1000 words.
  6. Use bullet points instead of paragraphs with a limit of 5 words per line.
  7. Graphs should show trends, not complete data sets.
  8. On complex slides, use the animation feature to allow information to display one at a time.

Deliver Your Presentation Like A Professional

  1. Start your talk with the projector off (or the black slide projected) and room lights on to give the audience time to know and like you.
  2. Stand in front of the room facing your audience the entire time.
  3. Turn your laptop so it faces you, not the audience. This allows you to see what is projected while looking at the audience.
  4. Allow your audience time to understand your slide (or read the text) before you begin speaking
  5. End your talk with the lights on. Project the final slide, turn on the lights and conclude your talk. This reestablishes you with your audience.

Prepare for success

  1. Have a backup plan in case you have technical problems.
  2. Ask some one to handle the lights for you.
  3. Scope out the room early and set it up so it works for you..
  4. Arrive early to set up and test your equipment.
  5. Set your show up before you are introduced
  6. Practice using the remote control (and always use a remote control).
  7. Sit in the last row of seats and look at your slides. If you can’t see them clearly, your audience won’t either.

You can build a sturdy house with a hammer or you can build something that will fall apart quickly. It is not the hammer that makes the difference, but how it is used.

iSpeakEASY offers workshops and individualized coaching to help you design and deliver effective PowerPoint presentations. CLICK HERE for information.

© 2011- All rights reserved.  -This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words.

Reasons You May NOT Need Help With Your Presentation

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, New Techniques, Organization, PowerPoint, Public Speaking on May 9, 2011 at 6:26 AM

Speaking Tip # 62

I hear a lot of reasons for why people do not want help with their presentations:

  • “I don’t feel nervous in front of an audience.”
  • “I am only presenting to my peers.”
  • “It is just a staff meeting.”
  • “I know my subject.”
  • “I took public speaking in college.”
  • “I use PowerPoint.”
  • “I don’t use PowerPoint.”
  • “I did not have time to prepare so I will just wing it.”

After their talk, speakers often justify why they are sure they did not need help:

  • “I was not nearly as nervous as I thought I would be.”
  • “No one threw fruit “(yes, they really say this to me!).
  • “My friends said I did a good job.”
  • “They laughed and clapped, they must have liked it.”
  • “There were no questions.”
  • “It felt pretty good – I think I did okay.”

This is all good except nervousness is not a gauge of effectiveness, people don’t really throw fruit (at least in this country), your friends tend to say you do well, and not asking questions probably means they want the fastest way out of the room.

An effective presentation is one where you meet the objectives you set before you spoke.

In sales, this may mean an increase in closed sales.

In management, this may mean changing employee behavior.

As a scientist, this may mean increasing support for your project.

As a parent, this may mean a reduction in household tension.

In non-profits, this may mean more money and volunteers to accomplish your mission.

Before you plan your next talk, write down the answer to this question:

“When I am done, what do I want my audience to do?”

Plan the talk with this answer as your target and you improve the chance you will reach your objective.

The Speakers Academy is designed for professionals serious about improving their presentation skills. This five-part workshop focuses on the key elements of effective presentations: Organization, content, delivery, and visual aids. Graduates leave with increased confidence, are viewed as more credible, have noticeably improved skill, and enjoy greater success with their speaking. Click here for more information.

© 2010  iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

What Audiences Want From A Speaker: A Free Presentation

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Delivery, Increased sales, PowerPoint, Public Speaking on May 2, 2011 at 9:06 PM

If you knew what your audience wanted and expected from you, would that help you deliver a more effectgive presentation? Of course it would!

We make presentations every day – usually in the form of small, informal talks at staff meetings or conversations with co-workers, clients or family members. Developing a clear objective and organizing our thoughts enhances your credibility and increases your effectiveness.

“What Audiences Want From A Speaker” helps speaker’s improve their presentation skills whether they are making formal presentations to large groups or informal presentations to small groups.

The talk covers:

  • The three highly desired attributes of good presentations
  • The five fatal mistakes many speakers make
  • Steps speakers can take to improve their presentations
  • The value of good visual aids

 

This presentation will be offered as a part of the Marin Masterminds Networking Group monthy meeting on Wednesday, May 4th

This is a brown bag lunch networking group

Noon to 1:30 in the Community Room on the second floor of the AAA Insurance Building at 99 Smith Ranch Road in San Rafael, CA 

Here is what others say about this presentation:

 “On behalf of the Walnut Creek Rotary Club, I want to thank for an excellent presentation on public speaking. Good programs are important for the club to keep our members interested and attendance up! We all appreciated the well-prepared and informative presentation.”

John Gardner, Rotary of Walnut Creek

“You have been, in effect, a years worth of Toastmasters encapsulated into a couple of sessions.” 

Clyde L. Schultz, DDS.

“I believe in Ethan’s ability to help people reach their highest level of delivery and competence.” 

Brian Allen, Rotary of San Jose Downtown

 “The session was exciting, well organized, and engaging. The materials were easy to understand we were given the tools to improve our speaking skills.”

 San Francisco Estuary Institute

 

The Rights Of A Speaker

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Delivery, Increased sales, Public Speaking on April 19, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Speaking Tip 30

 The audience expects (and is entitled to) the best performance you can offer. Your credibility and that of your organization is at stake every time you make a presentation.

As a speaker, you have rights to insure you are positioned to properly provide the top-rate service your audience expects. Do not be afraid to politely turn down a request to speak if the reasons justify it.

A speaker is entitled to:

  • Adequate lead-time to prepare for your talk
  • Clearly defined expectations – What is it they want from your talk and why were you asked to speak?
  • The parameters of your talk – e.g. time allotted, size of audience
  • A clear description of audience member’s backgrounds and needs related to the topic
  • A list of other speakers preceding and following your talk
  • Access to proper equipment: stage or podium, lectern, microphone, properly functioning audio-visual equipment
  • Ability to set up the room in advance so that it works for you
  • The full amount of time they have allotted you
  • A host who sets clear ground rules so the audience treats the speaker with respect
  • A place to speak that is quiet with out distractions

 To deliver your best you need the right tools, time and information. These will increase your self the confidence and credibility allowing you to offer excellent presentation the audience deserves.

 

 

 

© 2008 – 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.

Unlocking The Minds Of Your Audience

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Public Speaking on April 2, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Speaking Tip # 66

 

Chances are, we’ve all tried to use a key that is rusted, dirty, and nicked. Yes, the key might open the lock, but it takes more effort and frustration.

Content is the key to a good presentation, but if key is not well polished, the presentation won’t measure up to expectations.

A good presentation is easy to follow and fun to hear. The audience is intrigued and inspired, and the room is filled with energy. This happens when the speaker’s goal is to allow the audience to focus on the meaning of the words, rather than exert effort trying to figure out what they mean. The more distractions (rust, dirt, nicks) the speaker can remove, the easier it is for the key to unlock the minds of the audience.

Common types of speaker rust, dirt, and nicks include:

·     Irrelevant information or relevant information delivered at the wrong time. As a speaker, it’s easier to determine what to say than to know what not to say. Some speakers assume they are the center of attention and believe the audience wants to hear everything they have to say. Effective speakers understand the audience is the center of attention, so everything said must benefit the audience, not satisfy the ego of the speaker.

·     Poor presentation style. Distracting mannerisms, verbal fidgeting (ums, ahs), and pacing back and forth all detract from speaker credibility. Rather than being able to relax and absorb what’s being said, the audience only shares the speaker’s discomfort.

·     Poorly designed talk. The audience expends energy trying to piece together bits of information, rather than being able to expand on the ideas being presented.

·     Poorly designed graphics. The audience is forced to guess what an image means, rather than just listen to the speaker and understand the points being made.

·     Lack of attention to audience needs. An audience member who is thirsty, hungry, deprived of caffeine, or in need of a break has a difficult time listening, let alone focusing and appreciating.

A good presentation demonstrates respect for the audience. It says the speaker values the audience enough to make the experience completely enjoyable. Most people will forgive poor presentation style if the content is valuable or interesting; however, they have every right to expect a presentation with good content and excellent delivery.

_______________________________________________________

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.

 

 

© 2011  iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved -. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops. . 

Moving From Here To There

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Delivery, Public Speaking on March 7, 2011 at 9:12 PM

The goal of a presentation is to motivate the listener to do something different. You want them to change a belief, buy your product, behave differently, or support a cause.

The challenge is how to move the listener from where they are now to where we want them to be? Instead of delivering information, a good presenter interprets the meaning of the topic to the listener.  

The following six principles can help you achieve this goal.

Provoke your audience

The purpose of your talk is to educate your audience with the intent of changing behavior, not just to give them information. Don’t assume that if you tell them the features, they will see the benefit. Tell them the benefits and skim over the features.

Reveal new meaning

The speaker should help listener gain new meaning. You want to give them the “ah ha” moment. This step is needed to motivate the audience. You are building on what they already know and showing the “value added”.

Relate the information to your audience

The audience must be mentally engaged in the presentation to move from where they are to where you want them to be. Show how your topic relates to their life or work. This will tell them why they want listen to you.

Speaking is an art form

A good speaker utilizes techniques of making good presentations. but adorns this with his own style. Use your own personality, interests, and passions to let your talk reflect you.

Address your specific audience

Each presentation should be crafted to fit the particular needs and desires of your audience. There is a vast difference in how Gen X’ers communicate and how Baby Boomers take in information. The expectations of technology, length of talk, even the pacing, are quite different from audience to audience.

Present the whole

Your topic is a piece of the life of your audience. Demonstrate how it fits in with other aspects of their life. Help them to see the “big picture” while emphasizing this as a part of that. When possible, show how they will benefit today as well as in the future. 

A good presenter is an interpreter – taking information and putting into a form that is of interest to the listener. A good presentation creates a bridge between the topic and the audience.

Incorporate these six principles into every presentation to help your audience understand why your words are of value to them.

With appreciation for the wisdom of Freeman Tilden in his book Interpreting Our Heritage. (available  from Acorn Naturalist for $15.95)

© 2010 All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links from your blog or webpage are encouraged.

15 Seconds

In Attracting New Clients, BNI or other Networking Groups, Credibility, Public Speaking on February 28, 2011 at 9:29 PM

15 seconds. That is how much time you have to grab the attention of your audience. 15 seconds to prove what you are about to say is important to them! Use this time efficiently and they are yours. Waste it and you can watch your audience fidget, turn away, and mentally leave the room.  In   one-on-one conversations, you will be able to watch their eyes dart about before they divert the conversation to a new topic.      

We know the value of being clear on what we are trying to say. Now we shift the focus from us and look at why it is important to them, our audience.      

Start your talk with a provocative statement that will capture your audience right off the bat. Think of a rhetorical question, a joke, a story, a statistic or a dramatic statement that will peak interest and make them want to hear the rest of what you have to say. Find something that demonstrates why what you want to say is of value to them.      

Think about this: when you buy a book – is it wrapped in a jacket (or cover) that is designed to intrigue you or is it in plain brown wrapping? The purpose of the cover is to make you want to pick the book up and look deeper. Think of your opening statement as the cover of the book – what are you going to put there to make others want to know what is inside?      

An all-too-common mistake is to starting the talk with the verbal equivalent of brown paper wrapping – uninteresting background, the usual thank yous, or other irrelevant information. The audience is lost before you have begun.      

When you stand up to speak (or walk into someone’s office) – be ready with a good opening line that is to-the-point and captivating. It should be clearly thought out, well rehearsed and directly tied to your main message, even if you are speaking one-on-one.      

Try this experiment – watch other people speak. Do they start with something of interest to you or do they begin by telling you things you don’t really care about? How do you react to this situation and what is it that makes you stay tuned?      

The first 15 seconds of your talk are critical to your success. Take time to plan it well so that you grab their attention and make your audience want to listen.      

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