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Entries Tagged as 'Business Owner/Leader Stuff'

5 tips for getting over stage fright

August 14th, 2014 · Business Owner/Leader Stuff, Content Marketing, Sales

tips for getting over stage frightHave stage fright?  You’re not alone.

They say that our greatest fear, once you’ve eliminated death as a choice, is public speaking.

And yet many of us are called to take that plunge on a regular basis. Whether you are speaking to group of two in a sales presentation or you’re standing at a podium, with hundreds of eyes on you – the intent is the same.

We want to impart knowledge, persuade, entertain and be remembered. And above all else, we want to get through the presentation without looking like a fool or being paralyzed by our stage fright.

I’m one of those rare individuals who isn’t freaked out at the idea of speaking to a group. I like it. But I think I enjoy it because I have a very set routine of prepping for each speech. By the time I step up to the podium or approach the next sales call, I’m confident that I won’t embarrass myself or be nervous to step up on that stage.

Here are my secrets to prepping and delivering a presentation that gets them to ask you back.

Know your audience: One of the easiest ways to get off track with a presentation is to either talk over the audience’s head or at a level that is insulting because your audience is way ahead of you. Not only do you need to understand where they’re coming from, in terms of knowledge, but also in terms of personality. Are they an audience who asks a lot of questions? Are they open to small group activities or sharing information about their work?

Grab them right up front: You need to quickly take charge of your audience. In a large group setting, you might tell them a powerful story. In a sales presentation, you might lead with a stat or fact that is guaranteed to grab their attention. Too many speakers limp into their presentation – either by telling a lame joke or by getting too technical too fast. You want an emotional reaction of some kind to kick you off.

Assume the worst: I’ve watched many speakers melt into a puddle of goo right in front of an audience because their PowerPoint didn’t load right or their video worked but there was no sound or the internet connection was faulty so they couldn’t demo something. When it comes to speaking and technology – assume it will fail. Always have a back up (your presentation on multiple jump drives, the YouTube video on-line but also on a DVD, etc.) You need to be ready to deliver your presentation in the pitch black with no power, if need be. If you’re that prepared, you’ll worry a whole lot less.

Think sound bytes and repeats: In today’s “tweet while you are talking” world, you want to give your audience plenty of tidbits to share. Give them key facts, stats and catch phrases. Imagine someone from your audience going back to the office and re-telling a story you told during your presentation. Which one would get retold? If you answered “none of them” then you’d better come up with a story that is so funny, compelling, astounding or illuminating that people won’t be able to help but repeat it.

Be ready to improvise: You can do all the prep in the world, but sometimes that nagging stage fright had it right — something could still go wrong. At the end of the day, there are many elements of giving a presentation that are out of your control. So even though I am advocating ample prep time, you also have to realize that sometimes you just have to go with the flow. It might be a tough question during the Q&A or a technology malfunction. If you can keep your sense of humor and your balance – your audience will reward you for it.

Odds are you were invited to make the presentation. So remember that your audience is anxious for you to be successful as well. Do the prep work, have faith that you know what you’re talking about and try to enjoy the conversation.

Even if something does go wrong — remember at the end of the day — your audience doesn’t expect you to be perfect.  They just want you to be real and share something of value.

 

 

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I want you to get extreme!

January 28th, 2014 · Books, Business Owner/Leader Stuff

2014-Summit Web-Banner_full-leg

I like to pass along people, ideas and events I think you’ll find valuable.

My friend, Steve Farber, is a world-renowned leadership expert. He consults with global 100 brands. His book The Radical LEAP has been named one of the 100 best business books of all time and if you’ve been reading this blog for a while — you know that in my opinion, it’s one of the three most brilliant business books I’ve ever read.

To announce the Extreme Leadership Summit, coming April 11-13 in Chicago, Steve is offering an MP3 audio download of his popular program, Extreme Leadership: How to Put More Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof into Your Work. The DVD of this 2-hour speech sells for $90, but Steve is offering this audio to my friends for free.

Yeah, he’s a pretty cool guy. I’m confident you’ll resonate with Steve’s call to take a LEAP in your life at work and at home – this is, to practice Extreme Leadership through Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Cultivate more love in, and for, your business
  • Generate energy for a more productive career
  • Develop more courage to change your world
  • Prove your value and credibility to others – and yourself
  • Lead in an extreme manner that gets big results

Not only is Steve’s program packed with great content, his delivery is entertaining, provocative, and funny.

Click here and opt-in to receive the MP3 file. You’ll find Steve great company on your commute, your next flight, or during your treadmill tribulations.

Steve delivers high value in everything he does, so I’m confident this is a relationship you’ll appreciate and cultivate.

Consider it a holiday gift from Steve and me to you. To your success in 2014!

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Are you ready to get extreme?

July 3rd, 2013 · Business Owner/Leader Stuff · No Comments

When I hear the word extreme my mind immediately goes to extreme sports — where people take extraordinary risks and do some crazy things. While I’m a risk taker by nature (I’m not sure you can own a business without being one) the word extreme gives me pause. An extreme sports athlete takes incredible risks [Read more...]

Your marketing includes way too much you

March 14th, 2013 · Business Owner/Leader Stuff, Customers/Clients · 17 Comments

One of the most common mistakes marketers make is that they think their customers and prospects care about them, what they sell and how it works. The human truth is consumers really do think, feel and ask “what’s in it for me?” They have something they want to accomplish – from getting a cereal that [Read more...]

Are you ready for the attention?

January 8th, 2013 · Business Owner/Leader Stuff, Marketing, Strategy · 14 Comments

Let me paint you a picture. You have a new product that you’re bringing to market in the next 60 days. You have the opportunity to showcase this new product at the world’s largest and best attended trade show for your industry. You showcase the product and within hours — you have over 45,000 stories [Read more...]

One Page Business Plan Template

December 3rd, 2012 · Business Owner/Leader Stuff, Strategy · 3 Comments

Most businesses don’t create a plan for the upcoming year because it’s too daunting a task.  Which is why I’m a big advocate of the one page business plan and why I am sharing our one page business plan template with all of you. It’s based on a couple of assumptions.  First — no business [Read more...]

5 Marketing To Dos to get done before 2013

November 28th, 2012 · Business Owner/Leader Stuff, Marketing, Strategy · 13 Comments

This is the time of year where work grinds to a halt. We have another two weeks or so before the holiday frenzy, parties, hangovers and the general professional apathy creeps in and productivity becomes a dirty word. But don’t give up hope yet.  I think there’s still a few things we can get done [Read more...]

Persuasive storytelling is centuries old

November 7th, 2012 · Books, Business Owner/Leader Stuff, Storytelling · 2 Comments

Let me tell you a little story.  I promise — we’ll close the circle with some marketing insights but I need to set the stage. Back when I launched my blog in ’06, I met Todd Andrlik about the time he was creating what would eventually become the AdAge Power 150 index of marketing blogs. [Read more...]

Desperate makes us both feel cheap (pricing strategy)

October 5th, 2012 · Business Owner/Leader Stuff, Psychology · 6 Comments

Your pricing strategy should never be accidental.  It’s a vital element in your marketing mix. Let me give you an example:  We use an outside vendor to provide extranet services for our clients.  We’d been with them for over five years. We recently discovered a better solution.  Not only is it better, but it’s also [Read more...]

They’ll buy when they trust

September 27th, 2012 · Business Owner/Leader Stuff, Content Marketing, Psychology, Sales, Social Media · 6 Comments

Here’s an equation that every business owner needs to understand. Know + Like + Trust = Buy. Whether you sell toothbrushes or multi-million dollar medical equipment and everything in between — until a customer: Knows who you are Likes who you are Trusts you there is no purchase.  The depth of the trust required varies [Read more...]