My objective with this article after filming my first video for My You Tube channel is to lay down a listing of areas that need to be thought about, to be developed, and to ultimately work in sync with one another to produce a resource that can help others starting out in this arena. These online business ideas and other business resources are designed to stimulate your mind and to build on your previous skill sets for maximum production.
It is interesting to me as a therapist that the number one fear of Americans is Public Speaking. This fear is higher than even the fear of flying. All of our fears are founded in our life experience. The only two fears a baby is born with are the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. Everything else we are afraid of in life is built on numerous experiences, more than likely early on in our life, as we develop into the ages of three to four years of age.
We all landed here exactly the same way, naked to the world and with a clean slate to draw on and our unique life experience continues to lay down pathways in the brain that ultimately make up who we are in every respect. Public speaking whether it is to a small group of ten or a huge group of two thousand still demands the same work on the front end to ensure that your message meets the expectations of your audience. From experience, I can tell you that it is a lot easier to speak to thousands versus a smaller group. This is because in the case of the larger group, you seldom see the audience because of the lighting necessary for the larger audience, where as with the smaller group; you literally looking at eyeballs staring right back at you.
I want this article to give you a comfort zone for the things that will impact your final outcome. If you are new to delivering presentations, these criteria will prepare you in advance and give you a roadmap to follow throughout the process.
The first and most basic of these criteria is to Be Yourself. You are a unique human specimen, having your own world that is uniquely different than anyone else. I am married to an identical twin and let me say the two women are very different in the way they think and react to life circumstances. That is because even though the two grew up together under the same roof, their friends in school, their treatment by their family and peers, their schooling and education, all added up to different scores and today even though they have similar DNA, they look slightly different and certainly exhibit completely different behaviors.
There is no secret to success, but there is one to failure – that’s trying to be all things to all people. You cannot be all things to all people and once this basic premise is understood, you will find your own audience, one that listens to what you have to say and respects you for what you have to share with the group. I even think that imperfect presentations by the speaker can be as dramatic as ones that are conducted by slick corporate types. You will learn over time what parts of your unique being appeal to others, which you will use to your advantage and also gradually start working on what didn’t come across as well as you thought. Look at delivering presentations as a growth process and build on the positive as well as the negative feedback that will change your next presentation.
For any speaker, whether they are an aspiring neophyte or a seasoned pro, these criteria are critical and will eliminate issues while you are speaking or filming. Preparation is critical if you are going to come away pleased with your work. This not only covers the actual words to be spoken, which are the reason people show up, but everything necessary to have a good venue, from location, parking, lighting, sound, and room layout. Do your homework diligently and never forget that Murphy is always around. I cannot tell you how many times even after careful review on everything mentioned above and more, did problems show up. It could be the bulb in your projector goes out, the cords for your laptop don’t match up to their sound system, and the lights in the room go out as a result of a fuse blowing. There are so many variables that have to be in sync for a great presentation. Just make sure that the ball is not dropped on the basic ones.
It is fearful enough to be unprepared, so why go through the pain? Make the time to thoroughly go through all the variables before you physically show up and find out that the one thing that you did not plan for actually happened.
Your audience is expecting certain information from your delivery. This is usually gathered from the title of the presentation and its summary. The next criteria, What is the Objective?, has to be specific and answer questions such as: Why are you there? Why were you enlisted for this meeting? The objective has to generate a specific path that can be helpful to the audience and fills in information they already have on the subject. The objective defines the message. If you are positioning how to sell affiliate programs to seniors, your objective has to be that direct, focusing specifically on the demographics for that specific group. If your objective does not meet its audience and its needs, the participants will be left confused and wondering if they even attended the right presentation. Make sure you state the objective up front so that the audience knows exactly where they stand on the subject to be presented and confirms at the end of the delivery if it met their expectations.
The next criteria for great results with all of your presentations is to Conduct Research on the audience attending. What demographics and psychographics make up this group? If it is a general audience, is your information going to be accepted equally by all? This is an extension of the previous criteria as preparation is the key to all successful presentations. The closer you can come to truly understanding your audience members, the more impact and success you will see. If it is group from a specific company, use the company’s resources to help you define what needs they have, so that your objective lays down the path you will use to get them from point A to point G. I always say you can never be too prepared. If you have done your homework up front, your audience will reward you by asking questions, adding comments and being interactive. Remember that sales is a game and once you know the rules of the game, your chances of being successful will sky rocket. The basic premise of sales is that buyers have “Problems” and sellers have “Solutions.” If the delivery was successful, the two will come together in agreement at the end and sale takes place. This is not to say that every presentation has to be sales driven, but never forget that we are all in sales, like it or not. If they don’t buy you, you are already out. People buy from people they like and they will like you if you have taken the time and effort to come across as one of them in your delivery.
The next criteria, Prepare All Visual Aids and Support Materials, is another key component of our criteria listing. You have to keep in mind that the attention span of most humans is relatively short and what they can and will remember from your presentation is limited by the length of the delivery. In presentations lasting under two hours, it is stated that you will only remember approximately fifteen to eighteen percent of the material covered. It drops even further on longer presentations, sometimes to where they walk away with around ten percent of what they heard and saw.
That is where POP, point of purchase materials, such as flyers, brochures, videos, and consumer information pieces make a huge difference. You can think that they will remember everything presented, but it is a fact that they will not, thus the need to send them home with additional information supporting the actual presentation’s message. If you are using Power Point as part of your delivery, make sure that you have not used too many slides. In making many presentations to venture groups, I will tell you that over seven slides and you actually bore them. Remember the KISS principle. Keep it Simple!
Support materials are designed to take the message home, where they can sift through the information at their leisure and make decisions on the subject matter. Be as organized as possible whenever the need is for support materials and any other element that supports the message. With the advent and current success of videos for marketing purposes online, and the great channel, You Tube, it is almost impossible to not be involved in this area. Step out of your Comfort Zone and become actively involved in using all technology to support your sales and marketing efforts online.
The last criteria on my list is to Review Your Benefit Statements and Customer Testimonials that will be used verbally or positioned throughout your presentation. Benefits sell what you are presenting as it transfers the product directly to the buyer. A key point of sales training is that we are working hard through our delivery to get the buyer to sell themselves. If we have positioned our benefits properly, gotten them involved both physically and emotionally, the end result will be just what we planned on.
Customer testimonials are great tool to reinforce key parts of your sales presentation, as these are actual people that have already joined the group, purchased products and love them, and in general support your message. They also align with certain members of the audience, leaving a strong imprint about the message and more than likely will have impact on their decision. It should be one of your business building skills to pull customer testimonials and to publicize them on your website, blog and even ads. Nothing will compete with a strong testimonial coming from a satisfied customer. Take advantage of this premise and use them whenever you can. You are removing yourself from the process and letting someone else help close for you.
Marketing changes constantly, evidenced by the popularity of video marketing which aligns well with the current trend Attraction Marketing, as people like seeing and hearing from others that have similar tastes, personalities, etc. We are in a business that demands that we are as up to date with technology as possible. Today with a Smart phone, we literally carry a computer around with us and from what the trends indicate, this practice will become heavier as time moves forward. This does not mean that we all will have to become “teckies”, but that the world is moving forward at a very fast pace and at the end of the day, we have to be on the same plane. Follow these simple criteria to ensure that your presentations are crisp, focused, and on target with your audiences.
James Hobart, an industry leader in the Professional Beauty Industry for more than 40 years at every level, has certification in hypnotherapy. His insight and experience have helped many companies and individuals with their growth and development over the years. His book, Happiness Is Your Birthright, supports his philosophy on life and is a practical handbook to create positive change throughout one’s life.