The Evolution of Speech #6 – Prelude

I am working on a speech, #6 Vocal Variety in the Toastmasters Competent Communicator book, and to enter it in an International Speech contest. I will put in the rough version, then add it after it is fine tuned and delivered. I will password-protect both versions until the speech has been delivered and tuned as much as it can be.

Presentation: Did Woody Allen Get it Right?

Did Woody Allen get it right with his saying “80% of success is showing up?” Is that accurate for BNI? According to the BNI official podcast from last October, answer is: Not really, not enough, it is only the beginning.

Sure you get some referrals for showing up, but if you truly want to attract more business, part of attraction is Action. Here are 6 things to do, and why:

  1. Create a 60-second introduction that changes each time.
  2. Schedule a one-to-one meeting with someone from your group every week.
  3. Take on a leadership role in your group.
  4. Bring legitimate referrals for other members.
  5. Immerse yourself in referral education.
  6. Use the services of other members.

Here they are in detail:

  1. Create an introduction that changes every single time and that’s focused on a small element of your business. It is important to train a sales force, not try to make sales. Don’t say the same thing over and over again. Memory hooks don’t really teach anybody anything.
  2. Schedule one to one meetings (BBIs) with a different person from your group each week to build deeper connections and learn more about your fellow members- as well as them learning about you. I have my assistant trying… very little result. Is lucky to get an email reply back.
  3. Take a leadership role of some kind within the group. This helps people stand out in the crowd. When they see someone take on a leadership role and do a good job. It rubs off on their credibility. When people see you as a leader of other people, they think of you as a successful business person and from VCP:  visibility, credibility, profitability – it raises you above visibility and helps you get to credibility through some kind of leadership role. That is one of the best reasons to be on the leadership team, in the membership committee or a visitor host. It gives you much more exposure and that leads to credibility’.
  4. Bring referrals, legitimate ones, for other members. If you want to get referrals, you have to be able to give referrals.
  5. Immerse yourself in referral education. Read books, blogs such as businessnetworking.com, BNI newsletter, BNI Success Net.  Anything to help learn how to engage the networking process more effectively.
  6. Use the services of the other members of the group so that you can experience what they have to offer because that helps you in being able to refer them. If they do a good job, and you are enthusiastic about it, then it is so easy to refer somebody when you have experienced what they have to offer.

Do these 6 things to get more out of your BNI experience:

  1. Create a 60-second introduction that changes each time.
  2. Schedule a one-to-one meeting with someone from your group every week.
  3. Take on a leadership role in your group.
  4. Bring legitimate referrals for other members.
  5. Immerse yourself in referral education.
  6. Use the services of other members.

Source: http://www.bnipodcast.com/2013/10/23/did-woody-allen-get-it-right/

Junior Toastmasters

An eight-week Toastmasters program has been running near my neighborhood, and yesterday I attended a session. I brought my Golden Gavel trophy and was one of the Mystery Masters with that trophy. The program is put on by the Goldstream Toastmasters club and open to youth aged 12 to 17. It was great! I really enjoyed it, and can see real potential in communication skills, presentation skills, and public speaking, from many of the participants.

During the session on Voice Projection I spoke about channeling nervousness into a body part, and about using shouting, early in a speech, to grab the audience’s attention.

Podcast: Better Pitching Principles

Listened to a good podcast from Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation: SPOS #376 – Better Pitching Principles With Peter Coughter. Ignore all the ‘ums’ from Peter when he starts off, it gets better. There are references to the Takahashi Style of visual presentations, without naming it. Mitch and Peter agree that one of the best skills to have is presentation skills. So true. I have seen some poor presentations, and I wonder why the deliverers get paid for such crap.

One piece of advice I’ll carry is that in team presentations, do not introduce each speaker. “And that concludes how to manufacture product X. Now Pat will talk about how to sell product X. Pat, come on up…” Boooooring. Pat should just start talking at the appropriate time. Good advice. Look at regular conversation, or movies. We don’t introduce each character, each action, like that. It is a dialogue.

Good podcast to listen to if you want to improve your presentations and public speaking skills. If you want help, some coaching on your presentation skills or public speaking, contact me.

Presentation: Social Media part two: Statistics

Remember last time, I said how useful social media is for referral marketing, and for business today? Do you recall two of my pointers?

  • Identify your Demographic, your ideal clients. Where do they hang out?
  • Find what social media has the same demographics.

Today: we look at the stats, the statistics of the most well-known social media. This is a quick overview, and if it looks like a match, you can investigate further. The numbers were gathered by my office from a variety of sources.

Presentation: Social Media part one: How Do You Keep Up?

Social media has become very important for business today. It is a strong component of referral networking, being a great way to learn about a referral. It is also one of the main pillars of good search engine optimization because Google goes through social media sites. There is Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Plaxo, FourSquare, YouTube, Myspace and Buzznet for musicians; AsianAvenue and BlackPlanet and others for ethnic communities; DailyStrength for the health industry; HR.com for Human Resources; Jiepang and Renren for China; Yelp for reviews. There are over 200 social media sites. How do you keep up? It is a flood. What if a customer goes on any of them and says something about your business? What are you going to do about it?

If you are being overwhelmed, or worried that you will be, it doesn’t have to be this way. Social media is so important that it would be worse to do nothing, but for your own sanity, you have to be selective about what you join. What can you do?

  1. Set up a service like Google Alerts to monitor your company name or industry. Who is talking about you or your company?
  2. Look at your Google Analytics, your traffic stats for your website, to see who is getting to your website through social media.
  3. Look at the big players in your industry. What social media are they using? Is it effective? Different social media works for different types of business, which is another huge topic. Read up what specialists in social media are saying.
  4. Determine who your ideal clients are, what are their demographics: gender, age, income, profession, education, location?
  5. Check the stats for each social media and see how they compare to your demographics. Where will you find your ideal clients?
  6. Find out how often people expect responses on social media. For example, Twitter is pretty immediate. On Facebook, people expect a response in a few hours, but you can add fresh content twice a week and no more than once a day. For LinkedIn, you can take days to respond.
  7. Then take all that information and determine how that fits in with your business and your available time. Can you do it yourself, or should you hire out? For example if you choose Twitter and you are on a computer all day, that will work because you can do a fast response. But if you spend all day at the top of a ladder? Kind of hard to tweet, or you’ll often be using the #HelpImFalling.

Presentation: Contagious

Contagious: Jonah Berger is a marketing professor who studies why things go viral, why they catch on, how they spread by word of mouth. Anything can go viral: a song, video, figure of speech, article of clothing, game, food item, toy, dance, an idea. Anything. Wouldn’t it be ideal if your business, your product or service became so popular that you could pick and choose exactly who you wanted to work with? Jonah has identified the six principles that drive things to become popular, using the acronym STEPPS:

  • Social Currency – People care how they look to others, so find the inner remarkability.
  • Triggers – Top of mind means tip of tongue, so consider the context so people are frequently triggered to think about your product or idea.
  • Emotion – When we care, we share. Focus on feelings rather than function, and kindle the fire using high arousal emotions.
  • Public – The more public something is, the more likely people will imitate it. Design products that advertise themselves and create visible behavioral residue.
  • Practical Value – News you can use. Useful things get shared. Highlight value, and package knowledge that people can pass on.
  • Stories – Information travels under what seems like idle chatter. Stories are vessels. Have a story or narrative that people want to tell, which carries your idea along for the ride.

Download his workbook and see more detail on the STEPPS chart on his website.

Presentation: Article: The 80/20 Rule of Time Management: Stop Wasting Your Time

This article from Entrepreneur.com is by Perry Marshall. If you are familiar with the 80/20 Principle, loosely stated that 80 % of your revenue will come from 20% of your clients, so to be more productive, and therefore more profitable, you want to target and increase that 20%. Another interpretation is that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your products/services, so you want to concentrate on those 20%, cut down the effort put into those 80%. For this article, the concept is to put the bulk of our time into those most productive activities, what Perry calls the $1000/hour activities, instead of us as business owners doing the $10/hour work. Some of his advice:

Small-business owners waste their time on $10 an hour work, like running to get office supplies, and forgo or delay the activities that earn $1,000 an hour, such as sending the right email to the right person, or negotiating a lucrative contract, or convincing a client to do more business with you. We rationalize, I can do it myself. Then we spend six hours trying to fix a leaky faucet. Many a promising business has been killed by those little jobs. When someone says “time management,” you probably think of time logs, goal lists, and “Getting Things Done.” But getting busy is not what makes you rich. We’re tempted to hire out the toughest jobs, like sales and marketing and public relations, but these are extremely high-skill and almost impossible to delegate to someone else.

Five things you should do to stop wasting time and start earning real money:

Hire a maid. If you have a significant other, he or she will thank you. It is easy to find someone who knows how to cook. Easy to find people who know how to clean.

Get rid of your $10 an hour stuff. You are still hurting yourself if you are obsessed with being efficient. Ask: What else am I doing that is so menial, it could be cheaply outsourced? What am I doing that I should stop doing altogether?

Hire a personal assistant. With some effort you can hire a perfectly competent person at $8 to $15 per hour. Virtual or real is fine. His assistant now manages his email box, doing triage so he only reads what really matters. The time she saves him is worth its weight in gold.

Don’t feel guilty about relaxing. The most productive people are a little lazy. If there are really only a few hours a day in which you do $1,000/hour work, does it really matter if you screw around for the rest of the day? Downtime gives you the mental space you need to think.

Focus on your most productive time slot. Everybody has a timeslot in their day when they do their finest work: morning, night time, whenever. Determone that time and keep that space open. That’s the part of the day when you are most productive.

Make these changes and you’ll hit consistent stretches of $1,000 an hour many days of your week. Then and only then will you reap the true rewards of being an entrepreneur.

Read the original article: The 80/20 Rule of Time Management: Stop Wasting Your Time.

Presentation: Article: What Not to Do When Taking Clients Out to Lunch

This article from Entrepreneur.com is by Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette coach and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach.

A business lunch is one of the best ways to connect with your clients and earn more business. Technology won’t replace face time. Here is what to avoid:

  1. Don’t hassle over the check. If you’ve asked a client out to lunch, always pay.
  2. Don’t try out the latest, greatest restaurant. A client lunch isn’t the time to try out a new establishment and risk bad service or bad food. Choose a restaurant familiar to you. Ideally, a place where the servers know you and give you outstanding service. Nothing is more impressive than being greeted by name when you enter a restaurant.
  3. Try not to cancel or reschedule. Changing your plans at the last minute because you accidentally overbooked or accepted a better offer will make you look careless and disorganized. Do not give them any reason to question your ability to stay on schedule.
  4. Don’t order first. Allow your client to order first, then follow the lead. Be aware of dietary restrictions. Mirror your client’s preferences and lunch will go more smoothly. If your client orders just a salad and a glass of iced tea, follow suit.
  5. Avoid poor table manners. Don’t eat like a barbarian. Basic manners are a must. Don’t chew with your mouth open. Use your napkin. Never overindulge in alcohol.
  6. Be a good listener. Get to know your client through dynamic conversation. Ask open-ended questions. Be interested and interesting and the conversation will flow organically.
  7. Don’t check your phone. Turn your phone on silent and leave it in your pocket or handbag. Your attentiveness and undivided attention will show your dedication to your guest and their business.
  8. Be mindful about the time. You don’t want your guest to be working late because you wasted too much time at lunch.  At that point all the funny stories you told have become an anchor against you.

Overall, remember: The point is not to eat, but to move you up in your guest’s mind. A business meal should be more about the business and less about the meal.

Read the original article: What Not to Do When Taking Clients Out to Lunch

Presentation: How Can You Generate Unlimited Referrals?

This presentation of How Can You Generate Unlimited Referrals? is taken from the Successnet website How Can You Generate Unlimited Referrals?

You know the usual: Wow your clients. Demonstrate a high level of service to everyone who comes in contact with your business, because everyone who comes in contact with your business is a potential customer or referral source. Exceed their expectations. Once you have wowed your clients, collect testimonials. One way is to survey your clients at the beginning, middle, and end of the sales process. Maybe send a gift (flowers, cookies, etc.) along with your testimonial requests. You will be at the top of their minds, and they will be more likely to respond. Collect your surveys in writing by using short, quick-answer questionnaires of ten questions or less. Here are sample questions:

  1. Why did you choose to do business with us?
  2. Was your transaction completed on time? YES / NO
  3. How would you rate our courtesy? EXCELLENT / GOOD / FAIR / POOR
  4. How would you rate our efficiency and speed? EXCELLENT / GOOD / FAIR / POOR
  5. How would you evaluate the competitiveness of the price you received on your product? EXCELLENT / GOOD / FAIR / POOR
  6. Overall, how would you rate the service you received during this transaction? EXCELLENT / GOOD / FAIR / POOR
  7. Have you ever purchased a similar product / used a similar service, from another company other? YES / NO
  8. Did we meet or exceed your expectations?
  9. How could we have done better?
  10. Would you recommend us to a friend or relative? YES / NO

Ask for permission to share these experiences for your marketing material. This will be for the next step, which is…

Generate case studies: Combine the data from these questionnaires with specific measurable results your client experienced, and write that up into a case study which has a clear explanation of your service, and how you helped your client.

Put these case studies on your website. Pass them on:

  • Use them to educate your centers of influence and referral sources. Give them copies of several case studies so they can see the financial incentives that their friends, and business contacts could achieve by working with you.
  • Do a presentation at your BNI meeting!
  • Give a copy to the client. And point out how they are better off as a result of working with you. Encourage them to share with their network, so word gets out about how you may be able to help them achieve similar results!

In conclusion: When you deliver a high level of service, and then

  • Collect testimonials,
  • Build case studies,
  • And share them,

Your clients and colleagues will jump at the chance to tell their family, friends, and co-workers about your service, and you will generate many more referrals.