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 Photos, videos, and infographics have more impact and are quickly making written text outdated.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.

S.H.E. Summit Week-Speak Powerfully Sell More

It's the S.H.E. Summit Week in New York City. SHE stands for She Helps Empower. This week long event was organized by Claudia Chan. From June 18-to June 24 there are women's events to inspire and empower. In addition to  yoga, networking, a press breakfast and evening cocktail party there were several workshops. My presentation, Speak Powerfully, Sell More was part of the entrepreneurial track. Carolyn Herfurth presented Art of the Ask, Bryn Johnson talked about building online communities, and Jennifer Wilkov presented Your Book is Your Hook. It's been fun and inspiring and I've met some amazing women. For the complete schedule visit  S.H.E. Summit Week



Presenting at Tradeshows: Lessons Learned at the NY XPO

Yesterday I presented at the NYXPO, one of the largest small business tradeshows in New York. It was my third time speaking and my second time having a tradeshow booth. My presentation, Speak Powerfully, Sell More gave small business owners tips on how to leverage speaking as a marketing strategy. I shared with the them that networking and speaking showcases were my two strongest marketing approaches.

At the booth, many lessons were learned from last year. My goal was to sell my book, Knockout Presentations, and to obtain leads for my Sendout Cards business. Here's what we now know works when presenting at tradeshows:

1. Be fully staffed. We had five people available although not at the same time. This allowed us to handle traffic and provide breaks for staffers.

2. Provide training. Exhibitors  need to know how to dress and must be well versed about the product or subject.

3. Recognize that a tradeshow exhibit is a presentation. Do not chew gum or eat in the booth. Stand and greet people with a smile. Listen more than you speak and ask questions.

4. Learn traffic patterns. We realized that the morning is slow. Traffic picked up right after I spoke and after lunch was the busiest time.

5. Do not pack up early. We signed up a couple of new people 10 minutes before closing time.

6. Provide  a demo. The three minute video was the best sales tool. Most people are visual and professional videos keep the message focused and consistent.

7. Bring  a wifi card or a phone that uses tether technology. The Javits Center is New York City is highly unionized and you must pay for everything including electricity.

Andrea, Erick, Diane and Kelly at the booth

8. Display samples. People were attracted to the cards and could feel the quality and see the variety. Selling my book  rather than using an order form allowed buyers to browse through the chapters. The touch and feel of a product is important.

9. Bring clipboards, envelopes for business cards, plenty of pens and anything else to help you organize your leads and materials.

10. Sell beyond the booth. Invite people to visit you after your seminar. Promote the booth to your list before the event.  Hand out flyers to other exhibitors. Follow up with leads in 24 hours.

11. Keep the booth simple, uncluttered and attractive. The floor length banner was easy to assemble and drew people into the booth. Put baggage under the table, behind the curtain.

12. Have a time limited offer. When people signed up at the booth they received a free gift. We learned from last year that most visitors are looking for freebies. Last year we offered a gift if they watched the demo. When we followed up they were no where to be found. This was our most important lesson. You must qualify your leads.

13. Wear comfortable shoes. There aren't a lot of chairs on the convention floor and you'll be busy working the crowd.

(I'm conducting business with my feet up today!)