The Power of a Name

There’s a new dry cleaner in my neighborhood. I went there a couple of times and then I’ve been out of town for the past month or so and I just went for the third time and as I walked in the guy working said “Ty Bennett, right?” And it surprised me.  I told him I was impressed with his ability to remember names.  He played off the complement, but was very interactive and personable during my visit. It reminded me how powerful a name was and where I learned that lesson. A few years ago I had a speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I flew in late and got to the hotel.  I asked if the restaurant at the hotel was open and they said that it wasn’t. They said that there was a Panera Bread down the street that I could walk to that would still be open. So
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Investments Lead To Stories

Investments in people lead to stories. And the stories that are told invariably build the influence and reputation of the one doing the investing.   Think about it: -When you have exceptional service at a restaurant, what do you do? You tell the story. -When your boss does something extra special for you, what do you do? You tell the story. -When a friend goes out of their way to help you, what do you do? You tell the story. We love it when someone invests in us by providing exceptional attention and service, and because it is so unexpected or unusual, we almost always share.   One of my clients is Subway. I speak to their franchisees and managers quite often and when I do I always share a simple experience to illustrate this point. I was eating in a subway once in the middle of the afternoon and
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If You Use PowerPoint – Read This

Last week at one of the events I keynoted the speaker before me used 65 blank white slides with bullet point paragraphs in black font that he read word for word from screen! – Seriously painful. So to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore – here are 18 tips for anyone who uses PowerPoint to present: (I have to give credit to Ruby Newell-Legner for many of the tips below)   Finish your presentation before starting to work on your Power Point slides Remember – PowerPoint is NOT your Presentation. It is a visual support to your message Use a consistent template slide for consistency and branding Keep slide design simple and clean Limit text to 6 lines (or less) per slide and 6 words (or less) per line Cover only one idea per slide Avoid Italics and vertical lettering Minimize animation – Avoid too many transition styles or a
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3 Types of Influence

Whether it’s at home, at work, at play, or anywhere in between, our influence on those around us will fall into three categories: Situational Influence – People follow you because they have to. Position and authority most often determine this kind of influence. A political leader, for example, or a CEO, or a school teacher, or a traffic cop. This is the most common type of influence, based on position, title and authority. It is influence bequeathed, not personally earned, and exercising it can be done lazily because following is not a choice. When people are forced or compelled to follow you in a particular situation, the most you will ever get out of them is compliance. And as Dondi Scumaci likes to say, “Compliance will never take you where commitment can go.” If you are an influencer who has a position of authority, step back and ask yourself this
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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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Learn to Communicate Assertively

Correct communication is key to success in any type of leadership.  But often, we run into individuals who miss the mark.   A passive communicator doesn’t speak up!  They don’t allow their voice to be heard and are often overlooked.  They leave the conversation with the mindset “You’re ok, I’m not.”   An aggressive communicator will dominate communication, using body language, loud speech and intimidation to steer a conversation to suit their needs. They leave the conversation with the mindset “I’m ok, you’re not.”   Assertive communication is what we are aiming for.  An assertive communicator makes sure their voice is heard, but also all the other voices around them. They set the tone of open communication, creating a relaxing environment where real work can be accomplished. They leave the conversation with the mindset “You’re ok, I’m ok.” What’s your communication style? Passive communication often leaves us feeling unheard &
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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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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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Communication Lesson From Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most recognized comedians in the world. In the early 90s it was Jerry’s comedy that spearheaded the popularity of observational humor. Here are a few of his funny observations: • According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy. • I was the best man at the wedding. If I’m the best man, why is she marrying him? • It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. Jerry is a great comedian and a great communicator and he taught a great lesson on communication when he said, “I will spend an hour taking an eight word
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You Can’t Elevate Yourself By Putting Others Down

  One of the biggest problems in our society today is a false belief that you elevate yourself by putting others down. You see this in politics. It is almost comical when you watch a political debate; when a candidate is asked a question, they typically respond by bashing their opponent and they never answer the question. But it goes beyond politics. In business, I hear people who bash their competitors and somehow believes that makes them look better and create loyalty. It actually does the opposite. One example in our culture is the portrayal of men. Watch any sitcom and they portray men as lazy, stupid and helpless. This is another example of a flawed approach that stemmed from feminism. Feminism is about elevating and empowering women and we don’t do that by bashing men. In all scenarios – remember – you can’t elevate yourself by putting others down.
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