How You Gonna Keep 'Em Thinking of You After They Go Back Home?

public-speakingThere's a line from a World War I song: "How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm After they've seen Paris?"

When you finish your presentation and your audience goes back to work, do they carry your message with them? Do they still hear your voice?

Recently I received a call from a woman who heard me speak 10 years ago and wanted to hire me to coach her. Neither of us could recall where we met.  She forgot the name of the association. It could have been anywhere. What she did remember was me. She said my message was "...memorable, powerful, and convincing for female leaders."

What made her contact me now and not then? She wasn’t ready. People buy on their own timeline, not ours. What kept my message in her mind was my monthly newsletter, The Science of Speaking. The goal is continual communication. Do you stay in touch with the people who hear you speak? I keep in touch with my audience through email messages, newsletters, phone calls, video messages and greeting cards (<< click the link and send a card for free). You can do the same for your network.

Be memorable, convincing, and powerful in your presentation. And then stay in continual communication. Like the lyric from the 1984 Rockwell song, “Somebody’s watching me,” you never know who’s watching, listening, and reading you.


How One Presentation Turned Into $7,500

walking away from moneyHow much is your presentation worth? If you're not speaking with power and confidence, you're losing money. There is an ROI to your presentation. A few months ago, I met with a coaching prospect and presented myself and my services. He recently confided that he had interviewed a number of coaches before selecting me. He said that I was the most professional, I had a game plan, and I told him the truth about his coaching needs. Some coaches were dressed too casually. Some said they would do whatever he wanted when he asked them about their approach. He didn't feel confident about their services. I closed the sale with one meeting - with one presentation.

People think of public speaking as having intangible benefits - you make people feel good, you get a message across, maybe someone feels inspired. But if you're not selling a product or service, you may think there is no tangible value.

In beauty pageants, the interview is weighted at 40% of the score. The contestant's ability to present herself well yields thousands of dollars in scholarship money. That's tangible.

When you're interviewing for a job, your resume gets you in the door. Your presentation is what gets you the job. The ROI on that presentation is equal to the salary you're offered.

Your ability to sell yourself and your value gives you an extra edge when you get a raise and get promoted. Figure out how much of an increase you'll get, and that is the ROI of your presentation.

Speaking is not a soft skill. It's a powerful leadership skill and can no longer be avoided. You don't have to be a professional speaker to gain financially from your presentation.

How much is your speaking worth?

Words Will Die. 2013 Communication Trends

Words are dying.

According to 2013 communication trends research by Davis & Company, words will die. What does that mean for speakers and their presentations? And what will replace words?

Obviously, we won't stop speaking. But visuals will rule. And I don't mean PowerPoint. Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform.It's usage has increased 1000%.

Engagement on facebook increases 100% when posts are visual. Photos, videos, and infographics have more impact and are quickly making written text outdated.

When coaching transitioning executives on their elevator pitch, I often go to the white board to draw visuals. Instead of scripting words, I use graphic facilitation to create visual cues (graphics, symbols) to  build a storyline and help them remember their core messages.

The transformation is amazing! Suddenly, their presentation flows as they stop struggling to remember the written words. Their presentations become conversational as the visuals serve as concept cues. The job applicant or presenter sounds natural instead of scripted. Graphic facilitation is also effective in leading groups toward a common goal and is becoming more popular for strategy sessions. The facilitator organizes information spatially and visually.

Presenters who use graphic facilitation will increase audience engagement, big-picture thinking, and group memory.

Change the way you communicate or get left behind. Improve your presentation, remember more, and stop reading your notes. Leave a message in the comment box  to learn how to use graphic communication to be a better presenter and to engage your audience.

Is Confusion Bringing You To A Standstill?

Situation: Marjorie, an owner of a coaching practice, was feeling stuck. Her dilemma: she needed to bring in money by developing her own coaching clients. At the same time she was a facilitator for a small business think tank and was expected to recruit a certain number of members to coach. She also had recruiting responsibilities for a woman's organization for which she was paid an honorarium. If she didn't meet her quota for the think tank she wouldn't be able to continue. But if she devoted her primary efforts to it, she would continue to have cash flow problems.

Solution: It was clear that Marjorie was putting herself last. We talked about setting priorities and the importance of putting herself first. Marjorie came to realize that her first priority had to be her own business, the small business think tank would be second, and the women's group would come last because it didn't bring in much money. We developed a strategy for Marjorie to sell her coaching services as a priority and then up-sell the think tank membership as a means of ongoing group support. We then worked on an elevator speech to help her position that message.

Result: Marjorie is no longer confused and has a strategy that supports her best interests and will increase her cash flow from now on. She said, "This is the best coaching I've ever experienced."

Make Your Training Fun and Memorable

Are you still stuck in lecture mode? Don’t get me wrong. We all have to convey information. But after seven minutes or so, the brain starts to drift. Lecturing, along with reading, are the most passive and least effective forms of learning.

Make learning active! By involving your audience and getting them moving they'll understand and retain the information better and longer.

If your audience is falling asleep, side-talking, or can’t remember what you just said it’s time to turbo-charge your training seminars.

Here are some alternatives to lecturing and tips to accelerate learning:

Understand how people learn. Learning styles may be either visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or cognitive. People may be global, needing the big picture, or linear, needing a logical, detailed approach. Make your learning active and varied and you will capture all the styles.

Tell stories. Create a skit or story to explain a concept. Try setting it in a fairy tale or in King Arthur’s Court and substitute your business concepts. Once upon a time there was a knight who wanted to get to King Arthur’s castle. So he asked the wizard of communication “What is the secret of leadership?