5 Powerfully Simple Presentation Tips

1. Get Rid of Pleasantries – There is no need to talk about the weather, how grateful you are to be there, to apologize, or reintroduce yourself. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention so start with a question or jump into your content. 2. Make it Conversational – Act like you are speaking to one person. Make it conversational. Ask questions. If it is a small group you might create dialogue, with a large audience ask questions and give a pause for people to think about the question. Keep them engaged in the conversation. 3. Tell Stories – People love stories. Stories inspire, stories motivate—stories evoke emotion in people that causes them to respond, to take action, to adopt your ideas, and buy your products. Robert McKee put it well when he said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”
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There Is No Substitute For Hard Work

When I was 8 years old, my brother (age 10) and I started a paper route. We had to get up everyday of the year, with no exceptions, at 5 am and deliver around 100 newspapers. Rain, snow, and exhaustion didn’t matter – the papers had to be delivered. So we did it everyday for four years. Having this responsibility at a young age taught me how to work hard, be consistent and follow through even when I didn’t feel like it. My Mom recently sent me this letter she found from one of our customers and it reminded me how much learning how to work hard with a paper route has served me throughout my life. Learning how to work is an invaluable lesson to learn.  I’ve been able to take the lessons I learned from that paper route and apply them to everything I’ve endeavored to do. It
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Am I A Good Listener?

Steven Ash, “The Career Doctor” developed this listening test. It is a great way to see where you rate as a listener. Good luck! Give yourself 4 points if the answer to the following questions is Always; three points for Usually; two points for Rarely; and one point for Never.   __ Do I allow the speaker to finish without interrupting? __ Do I listen “between the lines”; that is for the subtext? __ When writing a message, do I listen for and set down the key facts and phrases? __ Do I repeat what the person just said to clarify the meaning? __ Do I avoid getting hostile and/or agitated when I disagree with the speaker? __ Do I tune out distractions when listening? __Do I make an effort to seem interested in what the other person is saying?   Scoring 26 or higher – You are an excellent
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People Do Business With People They Know, Like, Trust and Value

There’s a fundamental rule of business that states: “People do business with people they know, like and trust.” We’ve all heard that, and even repeated it, but ultimately it is wrong. Ok, maybe wrong is not the right word. But the rule is incomplete. The truth is, people do business with people they know, like, trust and VALUE. Honesty and likeability are important, but if people don’t see you as valuable, they will never do business with you. If you don’t come across as professional, knowledgeable, and credible with the right skill set to get the job done, you will never be as influential and successful as you would like. So what do we do about it? How do we make ourselves more valuable? By constantly developing our knowledge, our skills and continually striving to get better. The fundamental rule of Business should read: “People do business with people they
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Create Great Experiences & They Will Come Back

Last week I took my family to try a new pizza place by our house – Blaze Pizza. When we went to pay, the cashier told us that the man at the back of the line was covering our meal and the other family in line as well. I told him it wasn’t necessary but he insisted and so we thanked him for his kindness. Then as I waited for our pizza I talked to our generous new friend and he shared one of the best marketing ideas I have ever heard. He is friends with the franchisee who owns the restaurant and his friend often sends him gift cards to his restaurant and asks him when he comes to buy lunch or dinner for everyone in line. The owners philosophy is, ‘if you create great experiences they will talk about it to others and they will come back.” He’s
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All Excuses Are Equal

Over 10 years ago we were a couple weeks away from our first child being born. I was busy growing our business and Sarah was getting everything ready at home. I started the process of recruiting a new sales rep. We had a great discussion and he seemed like this could be a good fit. The next day Sarah went into labor early and our daughter was born. The whirlwind of our first baby took over. We were at the hospital making sure mother and baby were great. Then we brought her home and were trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. It took me more than a week to get back to the sales rep I was trying to recruit. I told him that we had a baby and I was sorry for the gap in our conversations and then he very honestly said,
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Stop Giving Sales Presentations (Have Sales Conversations)

  If you are teaching, leading, selling or speaking, your purpose is to engage your audience. Above all, you want to grab their attention and get them involved. Your prospect, client, customer, employee, team member, or student has to be engaged or they won’t buy your product, act on your idea or implement your plan. Without engagement, there is no influence. In the spirit of engagement, I believe that we should move from giving sales presentations to having sales conversations. There’s a huge difference between the two. A sales presentation, by definition, is a monologue, while a sales conversation is a dialogue—it involves both parties and the emphasis is on the buyer, not the seller. I know we have all done this before. We give a sales presentation (a monologue) and then at the end we ask, “Do you have any questions?” There is nothing about that model that makes it about the audience; nothing that makes them part
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4 Steps to Effective Networking

 Step 1. – Focus on the 1 you are talking to. Don’t look around the room or be distracted by your phone. Focus only on the 1 person in front of you. Step 2 – Follow the rule of 2. In an effort to make the conversation about them & not about you. Anytime they share something about themselves, ask 2 questions before you share anything about yourself.   Step 3 – Say their name 3 times. This will help you remember their name, so weave it into the conversation 3 times.   Step 4 – Do something 4 them. Find a way to connect them to someone, share an article or book they would enjoy – find a simple way to do something 4 them.
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The Foundation For Sales Success

What is the key to success in sales? Is it product knowledge? Is it selling benefits instead of features? Is it your ability to ask questions? To present? All of these are important skills and make an impact but I would say there is a foundational key to success for any sales person regardless of what they are selling. In my twenties I built a multi-million dollar sales organization. In my thirties I have spoken for hundreds of sales organizations. I have spoken to salespeople who sell cars, insurance, skin care, advertising, software, houses, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, tractors, beverages, pest control, home security, nutritional supplements, clothing, and much more. The commonality that all of them share and the key to sales success is recognizing that Business Is Based On Relationships.  Our ability to build relationships, to win people over and to make connections is the key to success in all
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10 Storytelling Secrets

People love stories. More importantly, stories engage emotion which prompts people to respond, take action or buy your products.  Stories engage emotionally and people take action based on emotion.  These 10 Storytelling Secrets will help you on your way to becoming an effective communicator. In storytelling your focus is on the audience. Tell it for them not for you. The goal of storytelling in business is not perfection, but rather connection with your audience. Your purpose is to engage your audience. Without engagement there is never any influence. Find your voice and strike a balance between credibility and relatability. An influential story is struggle to solution. You hook them with the struggle and you help them with the solution. Keep your stories concise and compelling. Audiences have short attention spans, so the quicker you get to the take away, the better. You don’t retell a story—you relive a story. Make
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