Posts

Jeffrey Gitomer

Are you the ‘Toast’ of your meetings?

I’m giving a 10-minute talk at Toastmasters in NYC tomorrow night. Subject? Humor – what it is, how to create it, and how to use it.

I am challenged to help the club members (who all have humor as the basis of their speaking) find new ways and new ideas to make their audience laugh and engage.

MAJOR CLUE: At the end of humor is the height of listening. If you’re at a comedy club, and the comedian tells a joke, and you’re laughing so hard that your drink is coming out your nose, as soon as the comedian starts to talk again, you immediately stop laughing and start listening. You don’t want to miss what’s next. At the end of humor is the height of listening. Got it?

Presentation skills are one fifth of the sales process. The other four being your selling skills, your product knowledge, knowledge of the customer, and your attitude.

Most salespeople study presentation skills and positive attitude skills THE LEAST. When in fact, if you weigh the five elements, those two are at the top of the list. Why then are you not studying presentation skills?

If I ask everyone reading this column to put your hand in the air if you are a member of Toastmasters, not many hands would go up. (Yours included.)

Finding your voice, and combining it with your courage equals speaking in public. Speaking in public is arguably your best networking, notoriety, brand building, and confidence building opportunity in existence. And a great place to learn is Toastmasters.

Got speech?
Got courage?
Got (meaningful) subject matter?

If you’re in sales, speaking in public is critical to your success.

  • Learn the science of speaking and presenting.
  • Join and practice at Toastmasters.
  • Graduate to speaking at civic organizations.
  • THEN look for opportunities within your market.

Topics? Speak about something the audience will value and respect you for.

  • After ownership, how do I use…
  • Maximum productivity
  • Memorable service
  • New ideas
  • Morale in the workplace
  • Profit

BEWARE and be aware. The experts are not experts. Most “expert” advice about public speaking is weak and generalized. Here are a few examples (IN BOLD) of what NOT to do:

  • It’s ok to be nervous. If you go into a presentation and you’re nervous, in my book that’s NOT okay. You have to go into a presentation or sales presentation wreaking of confidence. The reason you’re nervous is because you’re unprepared. And being unprepared is one of the best ways to lose a sale or an audience.
  • You don’t need to be perfect. Really? When I see a rule like “don’t try to be perfect,” I always think to myself “exactly where would you like me to screw up?” When I am building rapport, when I am presenting my product, when I am trying to understand customer’s needs, when I am talking about my value proposition? Or maybe when I am trying to complete the transaction? (AKA: close the sale)
     
    NOTE WELL: Heck, if there is someone I want not to be perfect—it’s my competition. Let them screw up. Let them blow the sale.
  • Know your subject. DUH! When you’re giving a presentation ‘knowing your subject’ is a given. The rule should be “know what your audience doesn’t know, and talk about that.” What you need to know is how your customer uses, benefits from, and profits by owning your product.
  • Practice, practice, practice. When an expert tells me to ‘practice, practice, practice,’ the first question I want to know is, ‘practice what?’ What it should say is build your presentation skills daily by giving presentations and recording them. When you’ve done the recording, play it back immediately. If you’ve ever wanted a dose of reality, I promise you that playing back your presentation will be the funniest, most pathetic thing you have ever seen or heard. For most people, it’s the grimmest dose of reality.

THE VALUE OF RECORDING YOUR PRESENTATION: When you record yourself, it’s the exact evidence of what you said and how you said it. How impactful it was. How transferable it was. How persuasive it was. How convincing it was. And ultimately, how successful it was. Recording your presentation will reveal every blemish, every error, every weakness, and give you a report card on your effectiveness.

The average salesperson (not you of course) is presentation-weak. This is predominantly caused by lack of study, lack of creativity, lack of belief, lack of preparation, and lack of recording.

Wouldn’t you think with all this at stake, that presentation skills would be one of the highest priorities in a salesperson’s life? Well, luckily for you, the average sales person doesn’t feel that way. The average salesperson is home right after work hunting around for the TV remote instead of hunting up new facts for their presentation tomorrow. They’re hunting for a can of beer instead of hunting for a Toastmasters meeting.

Hunt for a speech. When you find it, there’s money attached.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Recommended Resources – Winning Strategies for Power Presentations

StrategyDriven Recommended ResourcesWinning Strategies for Power Presentations
by Jerry Weissman

About the Book

Winning Strategies for Power Presentations by Jerry Weissman is a vast collection of presentation best practices focused on gaining and retaining the audience’s attention and effectively conveying the message desired. Jerry takes his presentation lessons from history’s many great orators and presenters. These collections are grouped by topical area including:

  • The Art of Telling Your Story – 30 best practices
  • Graphics: How to Design PowerPoint Slides Effectively – 15 best practices
  • Delivery Skills: Actions Speak Louder Than Words – 12 best practices
  • How to Handle Tough Questions – 8 best practices
  • Special Presentations – 10 best practices

Benefits of Reading this Book

All professionals at every organizational level must effectively communicate in order to be successful for it is only through a well conveyed, received, and understood message that we influence others and shape the behaviors around us.

StrategyDriven Contributors like Winning Strategies for Power Presentations because for its thoroughness in addressing each aspect of public presentations. Jerry’s book is well researched and truly gathers the best presentation practices from renowned influencers throughout history. Within his book, we found numerous gems of wisdom, particularly regarding the language and syntax used by successful presenters, that will help us to take our presentation skills to the next level.

We had two criticisms of Jerry’s book. First, while the best practices are contained within well-structured collections there is no overarching process for ‘pulling it all together,’ to create and deliver a powerful presentation. Second, we would have liked to see more and more detailed illustrations of the points Jerry made in the Graphics section of the book; providing a visual example for the points being made.

Winning Strategies for Power Presentations provides readers with a thorough body of best practices needed to elevate their presentation development and delivery skills. Each recommendation is clear and concisely conveyed enabling the reader to quickly select and extract the specific insight needed. For its deep insight and actionable conveyance of how readers can improve a vital business skill, Winning Strategies for Power Presentations is a StrategyDriven recommended read.

For a Powerful Presentation, Begin with a Bang, Finish with a Flourish

Planning a presentation? Once you’ve analyzed your audience and determined what you want to say, give lots of attention to the presentation’s two most critical parts: the opening and the close. They’re the parts the audience will remember best – and each of them serves a vital purpose.

Begin with a Bang

Begin the presentation by seizing everyone’s attention with what we at Communispond call ‘the grabber’. Wake them up. Shake them up. Involve them. Create an opening that makes the audience members put away their hand-held gizmos and focus on what you’re saying.

Among the most compelling of grabbers is a dramatic story. That’s because everyone loves a story. We’ve loved them from early childhood, since mankind’s early beginnings and they’re loved across all cultures. Telling a story does much more than command the audience’s attention, though. It helps you make an emotional connection with everyone.


Hi there! This article is available for free. Login or register as a StrategyDriven Personal Business Advisor Self-Guided Client by:

Subscribing to the Self Guided Program - It's Free!


 


About the Author

Bill Rosenthal is the Chief Executive Officer of Communispond Inc., an organization that has taught business communications skills to more than 600,000 persons. Bill is responsible all aspects of the business including sales, marketing, content development, and the delivery of Communispond courses by certified faculty. Prior to joining Communispond, Bill was CEO of Digi-Block Inc., a K-12 education publisher focusing on mathematics. He also served as President of Kaplan College, a division of Kaplan Inc., the well-known test preparation company, where he developed and launched the online college that offers Associates and Bachelors degrees and certificates in Business, Information Technology, Nursing, and Law. In a previous role as President of Ziff-Davis Education (now called Element K), Bill oversaw the leading supplier of computer training products worldwide and supervised the operations of ZD University, the leading web-based computer skills site.

How to Give a Briefing that Impresses the Boss

Let’s say you have to brief the boss on the status of a project. How can you do it best? Here’s a five-step process you can use for a meeting, an email message or a stopped-in-the-hallway request for an update. This process will help you make it obvious to the boss that you’re on top of the project. You’ll also show you’re a clear and crisp communicator who values the boss’s time.


Hi there! This article is available for free. Login or register as a StrategyDriven Personal Business Advisor Self-Guided Client by:

Subscribing to the Self Guided Program - It's Free!


 


About the Author

Bill Rosenthal is the Chief Executive Officer of Communispond Inc., an organization that has taught business communications skills to more than 600,000 persons. Bill is responsible all aspects of the business including sales, marketing, content development, and the delivery of Communispond courses by certified faculty. Prior to joining Communispond, Bill was CEO of Digi-Block Inc., a K-12 education publisher focusing on mathematics. He also served as President of Kaplan College, a division of Kaplan Inc., the well-known test preparation company, where he developed and launched the online college that offers Associates and Bachelors degrees and certificates in Business, Information Technology, Nursing, and Law. In a previous role as President of Ziff-Davis Education (now called Element K), Bill oversaw the leading supplier of computer training products worldwide and supervised the operations of ZD University, the leading web-based computer skills site.

Conquer Your Nerves with Eye-Brain Control To Make a Strong, Fearless Presentation

Do you get sweaty palms, a dry mouth, and butterflies in your stomach when you have to get up and make a presentation? Well, you’re not alone. It’s well known that public speaking or presenting is one of the scariest activities for businesspeople. In fact, surveys over the years have regularly put fear of public speaking right up there with fear of heights, fear of insects, and even fear of death.

We’re going to share a technique that will help you control your nerves, connect better with your listeners, and even gauge your audience’s reactions to what you’re saying. The technique is called Eye-Brain-Control.


Hi there! This article is available for free. Login or register as a StrategyDriven Personal Business Advisor Self-Guided Client by:

Subscribing to the Self Guided Program - It's Free!


 


About the Author

Bill Rosenthal is the Chief Executive Officer of Communispond Inc., an organization that has taught business communications skills to more than 600,000 persons. Bill is responsible all aspects of the business including sales, marketing, content development, and the delivery of Communispond courses by certified faculty. Prior to joining Communispond, Bill was CEO of Digi-Block Inc., a K-12 education publisher focusing on mathematics. He also served as President of Kaplan College, a division of Kaplan Inc., the well-known test preparation company, where he developed and launched the online college that offers Associates and Bachelors degrees and certificates in Business, Information Technology, Nursing, and Law. In a previous role as President of Ziff-Davis Education (now called Element K), Bill oversaw the leading supplier of computer training products worldwide and supervised the operations of ZD University, the leading web-based computer skills site.