Tag: speaking

 
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10 Secrets to Selling from the Stage

I’ve had success, but definitely not luck in speaking and selling from the stage. My closing ratios usually come in between 37-and-82 percent. I think the real strategy is making it look like luck, but being strategic without ever making it appear strategic.

Be absolutely 100 percent authentic, while learning the craft of speaking, and studying that craft so you ultimately become a master of your content.

Here are the top 10 things I have found to greatly attribute to my success of selling from the stage:

  1. Be 100 percent authentic – This is an ethical requirement and an important key to successful speaking. If you are transparent, they can see it. You must be 100 percent truthful. The audience can sense lies immediately.
  2. Don’t be rehearsed but be practiced – A lot of speakers might disagree with me here, but I have done fantastic things by going off the cuff. It feels spontaneous; as if they have their own show. It comes across as if you are not selling them.
  3. Have a converting offer – I pride myself on my offer. It includes huge content and the tools to show everything I have done in my business. Some refer to it as the ‘pile on close.’ I call it good business. All of the forms I use in my business get updated every six months with who to call, and what deals are available. You are ultimately creating your business in a box – a package deal.
  4. Have amazing customer service (Your back-end is your best friend) – You traveled a long way to get new and dedicated clients/customers; treat them with respect and service. My staff calls customers within 24 hours of receiving the course to welcome them to the program. The promoters love this as it reduces refunds, and allows the promoter to stand behind you and the product, so they will recommend you whole-heartedly to their promoter friends!
  5. Everything said should have a purpose – Tangents and stories are key, but they must relate to your offer. Establish credibility right away. Know your content inside and out!
  6. Create camaraderie – Look everyone in the eye at least once. Do not avoid eye contact, it is your friend!
  7. Have passion – I believe that all of life should be lived with passion. If you are passionate about your topic and your customers/clients’ success, it will electrify the room and get everyone excited about the great business you are speaking about.
  8. Make it fun – Pick on yourself a bit; it adds humor and people really relate to it. My biggest selling strategy, and something I absolutely believe 100  percent is, ‘If I can do this business, you can, too!’
  9. Always take action and move ahead – You may make some mistakes along the way, but as long as you keep moving forward, you will learn by those mistakes and be even better at what you do. You won’t get anywhere without taking action.
  10. Find a mentor – Spend time with other successful speakers and promoters. You are whom you surround yourself with. I have found that in sports, it is better to play with someone who is better than you. Ski with a better skier, play tennis against a better tennis player. They will always push you to do your best; it is the same in the speaking business.

So take a moment and consider the keys to your speaking success. What is it that is holding you back? It is amazing how the same themes come up over and over again. Take out a pen and paper and write them down. Take action and learn from someone who is better at the business than you are, and always do what you say you are going to do. So get out and really do it.

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History of Public Speaking

There never has been in the history of the world a time when the spoken word has been equaled in value and importance by any other means of communication. If one traces the development of mankind from what he considers its earliest stage he will find that the wandering family of savages depended entirely upon what its members said to one another. A little later when a group of families made a clan or tribe the individuals still heard the commands of the leader, or in tribal council voiced their own opinions. The beginnings of poetry show us the bard who recited to his audiences. Drama, in all primitive societies a valuable spreader of knowledge, entertainment, and religion, is entirely oral. In so late and well organized communities as the city republics of Greece all matters were discussed in open assemblies of the rather small populations.

Every great epoch of the world’s progress shows the supreme importance of speech upon human action individual and collective. In the Roman Forum were made speeches that affected the entire ancient world. Renaissance Italy, imperial Spain, unwieldy Russia, freedom loving England, revolutionary France, all experienced periods when the power of certain men to speak stirred other men into tempestuous action.

The history of the United States might almost be written as the continuous record of the influence of great speakers upon others. The colonists were led to concerted action by persuasive speeches. The Colonial Congresses and Constitutional Convention were dominated by powerful orators. The history of the slavery problem is mainly the story of famous speeches and debates. Most of the active representative Americans have been leaders because of their ability to impress their fellows by their power of expressing sentiments and enthusiasms which all would voice if they could. Presidents have been nominated and candidates elected because of this equipment.

During the Great War the millions of the world were as much concerned with what some of their leaders were saying as with what their other leaders were doing.

There is no aspect of modern life in which the spoken work is not supreme in importance. Representatives of the nations of the world deciding upon a peace treaty and deliberating upon a League of Nations sway and are swayed by speech. National assemblies from the strangely named new ones of infant nations to the century old organizations speak, and listen to speeches. In state legislatures, municipal councils, law courts, religious organizations, theaters, lodges, societies, boards of directors, stockholders’ meetings, business discussions, classrooms, dinner parties, social functions, friendly calls in every human relationship where two people meet there is communication by means of speech.

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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History of Public Speaking

There never has been in the history of the world a time when the spoken word has been equaled in value and importance by any other means of communication. If one traces the development of mankind from what he considers its earliest stage he will find that the wandering family of savages depended entirely upon what its members said to one another. A little later when a group of families made a clan or tribe the individuals still heard the commands of the leader, or in tribal council voiced their own opinions. The beginnings of poetry show us the bard who recited to his audiences. Drama, in all primitive societies a valuable spreader of knowledge, entertainment, and religion, is entirely oral. In so late and well organized communities as the city republics of Greece all matters were discussed in open assemblies of the rather small populations.

Every great epoch of the world’s progress shows the supreme importance of speech upon human action individual and collective. In the Roman Forum were made speeches that affected the entire ancient world. Renaissance Italy, imperial Spain, unwieldy Russia, freedom loving England, revolutionary France, all experienced periods when the power of certain men to speak stirred other men into tempestuous action.

The history of the United States might almost be written as the continuous record of the influence of great speakers upon others. The colonists were led to concerted action by persuasive speeches. The Colonial Congresses and Constitutional Convention were dominated by powerful orators. The history of the slavery problem is mainly the story of famous speeches and debates. Most of the active representative Americans have been leaders because of their ability to impress their fellows by their power of expressing sentiments and enthusiasms which all would voice if they could. Presidents have been nominated and candidates elected because of this equipment.

During the Great War the millions of the world were as much concerned with what some of their leaders were saying as with what their other leaders were doing.

There is no aspect of modern life in which the spoken work is not supreme in importance. Representatives of the nations of the world deciding upon a peace treaty and deliberating upon a League of Nations sway and are swayed by speech. National assemblies from the strangely named new ones of infant nations to the century old organizations speak, and listen to speeches. In state legislatures, municipal councils, law courts, religious organizations, theaters, lodges, societies, boards of directors, stockholders’ meetings, business discussions, classrooms, dinner parties, social functions, friendly calls in every human relationship where two people meet there is communication by means of speech.

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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Improve Comedy for Speakers

Learn how to use fundamental ideas from Improvisational Comedy to be a better, more engaging, more confident, and more dymanic speaker.

Public speaking. For some, the mere thought of getting up in front of a group of people and presenting a speech is more terrifying than heights, snakes, or even death. Imagine how terrified those people would be if they were asked to get in front of an audience and speak with nothing prepared in advance ñ no script, no speech, no nothing.

Sound crazy? Well that is what Improvisational Comedians do every day. Improvisational (or ìImprovî) Comedy is a form of theater where a group of actors take the stage with nothing prepared in advance and use audience suggestions to create instant comedy. If you have ever seen the popular television show, ìWhose Line Is It Anyway?î then you have seen Improv Comedy.

The skills that allow an improviser to create instant comedy can immensely help any speaker to be more comfortable and powerful from the platform. Here are three reasons why, if you want to be a more effective speaker, you must learn how to be a great improviser:

1) Improv Comedy, at its core, is about self-expression. An Improviser has only himself on an empty stage. Every idea he puts forth comes from inside of him. The best improvisers realize this and trust their instincts and let their ideas flow out. Similarly, the best speakers realize that the audience is there to see them. Rather than hide behind other people’s ideas or style, they are 100% themselves as they speak. Many speakers make the mistake of taking acting classes to be more ìdramaticî as they speak. The result is a speaker that looks fake and wooden. Audiences don’t want ìdramatic;î they want natural. Practicing improv comedy techniques can help you be much more natural.

2) Improv Comedy is an interactive format. Improvisation may be the only art form where the audience is present at the time of creation. As a result, the audience’s needs, wants, and mood can be taken into account to direct the content. Great improvisers feed off of a crowd’s energy and build content the audience appreciates. The performer pays attention to the audience and makes subtle adjustments as she goes. Speakers would do well to adopt this approach. Most speakers prepare their speech in a vacuum and deliver it exactly as practiced. However, every audience is different. If a speaker pays attention to the audience as she is speaking, she can also make subtle adjustments to increase her effectiveness (adjusting pacing, energy, volume, etc) If you do this, not only will your speech be more powerful, but you will also develop that coveted ìrapport and connectionî with the audience.

3) Things will go wrong. A speaker who relies solely on what they’ve memorized will be easily thrown by the distractions that invariably happen. If time gets cut, or a cell phone rings, or a heckler demands attention, the speaker will have no response. To an improviser, distractions are just one more tool to use to make their point. A key improv attitude is to ìgo with the flow.î As a speaker, this attitude will allow you to be unflappable from the stage. You will be deemed a true professional, and audiences will admire your ability to handle interruptions.

These are just three simple ideas that are a powerful way in which improv comedy can make anyone a more powerful speaker. There are many more ways related to all aspects of speaking: content, delivery, storytelling, style, humor, etc, but these three are the perfect starting point.

If you have never done or used improv, then consider taking a class. Not only will you learn useful skills for speaking (and life), but it will be the most fun class you’ve ever taken!

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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5 Ways to Liven Your Audience

Has a boring speaker ever put you to sleep? Your head begins to nod as you fight off the urge to slip mercifully into the Land of the Z’s. Or has your mind ever wandered during someone’s dull presentation? Although you appear to listen intently, what you are really thinking about are the million tasks waiting for you at home.

Sure, this has happened to all of us, more than we would like to admit. However, don’t let it happen to you when you are the speaker. The key to keeping your audience from taking a mental exit is to involve them in your talk. Yes! Studies show that the more you involve your audience, the more they retain. Why? Because they are listening!

You can involve your audience in several ways, and I have listed 5 of my favorites below. Select those that will work well with your presentation and that feel genuine to you. If it feels uncomfortable, it will look uncomfortableóso don’t use it.

1. Ask questions.
Questions will cause your audience members to try to think of an answer. They can’t help it ñ it is simply how our brains are wired. If the energy in the room starts to drop, ask a question and select a member of your audience to respond. Then, thank him or her for participating and move on to the next person. Don’t worry about loosing control of your audience. Sales guru Brian Tracy emphasizes, ìHe (she) who asks questions is in control.î I personally prefer questions like ìHow many of you . . .,î and then I ask for a show of hands. These closed-ended questions get your audience involved both mentally and physically.

2. Finish your sentence.
For example, if you said to your audience, ìLions and tigers and bears . . .î and did not finish the sentence, what do you think they would say? As long as they are familiar with the movie The Wizard of Oz, they would respond with ìOh my!î This is a fun way to get your audience to participate. If they know the answer, they will blurt it out. If they don’t, you answer it. Choose something that should be so obvious they will absolutely get it.

3. High-five.
This is one of my personal favorites, and if you have attended one of my talks you have experienced it firsthand. If you ever feel like the energy in the room is heavy, you can change it by using this technique. Simply ask a question (remember the power of asking questions). Ask, ìIs this good stuff?î When your audience responds with ìYes,î say ìThen, turn to the people on either side of you and give them a high-five and say ëThis is good stuff!’î Most people get a kick out of it. However, if you have an individual in your audience who does not want to participate, don’t worry about it. Some people simply just don’t want to have fun.

4. Do exercises.
I learned this trick from the famous millionaire T. Harv Ecker when I took his ìTrain the Trainer course. He says, ìGet your audience to do the work.î To accomplish this, ask them to break into groups of two or three (with people that they don’t know) and give them an exercise that is congruent with your presentation. Afterward, ask them to share openly with the rest of the group and thank them for doing so.

5. Give them candy.
Reward your audience for participating, and they will participate even more. Simply ask a question and when someone answers it, gently throw a small piece of candy to that person. I find that chocolate works best. You will find that it becomes a game and people will compete for the chocolate. I don’t use this throughout my entire speech, only for a few minutes in the middle of my talk.

There are many other ways and techniques to get your audience involved. What is important as a speaker is for you to come up with as many different ways as you can think of that are appropriate for your audience and for you as a speaker. Believe me, your audience will thank you.

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