How you practice is often more important than how much. Last month’s ‘Communicate Confidently’ eLetter article on practicing presentations generated several reader questions. Here’s a summary of some of the comments I offered in my email responses:
- Practicing out loud, standing up, working with the slides is the most productive method. Pretend you’re talking to the audience.
Some masterful Listening Tips from ‘Communicate or Die’:
- ‘Listen without a point of view. Avoid immediate free-association to your own experience put your tendency to evaluate on hold.
‘Communication is the biggest bang for the buck, the highest-leverage return on investment in any organization for the simple reason that it is also one of the most under-researched and under-utilized levers for breakthrough results.’
‘The more effective you are as a communicator, the more powerful you are at producing the results you want – a hallmark of effective leadership.’
‘Communication should never be an end in itself. It is a means to an end. If people can produce the result without communicating, buy all means, let them.’
‘Communicate or Die – Getting Results Through Speaking and Listening’, Thomas D. Zweifel, Ph.D, SelectBooks, Inc., 2003.
‘Escape from Cubicle Nation – from Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur, Pamela Slim, 2009, Brilliance Audio.
A wide-ranging discussion of facts and concepts of interest to entrepreneur wannabes or early stage start-ups . Interesting and useful content.
‘Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking and the Big Business of Entertainment’, Anita Elberse, Brilliance Audio, 2013.
A most interesting study of the Blockbuster strategy found in the worlds of professional sports, music, TV, movies and books. Written by Harvard Business School’s expert on the entertainment industry. Well worth the time to read or listen.
Last month’s ‘Communicate Confidently’ eLetter article on practicing presentations generated several reader questions. Here’s a summary of some of the comments I offered in my email responses:
‘Simplicity is the greatest sophistication.’ Leonardo Da Vinci
‘If you think presentations cannot enchant people, then you have never seen a really good one.’ Guy Kawasaki, Silicon Valley author, speaker and business advisor.
‘People don’t remember what we think is important. They remember what they think is important.’ John Maxwell, pastor, speaker and author of over 60 books on leadership.
My good friend and COSE (Cleveland’s Council of Smaller Enterprises) colleague Diane Helbig helps sales people perfect their pitches. She advises this structure:
- Begin with a recap of the prospect’s goals and needs (as you heard them)
- Introduction of the product or service you are presenting
- Bulleted list of the benefits of that product or service to the prospect (based on the goals and needs you heard)
- Implementation schedule, if appropriate
- Request for confirmation from the prospect – as how it sounds to them; does it meet their needs as stated.
Sales is all about the prospect – not about you or your product/service.’
‘Lemonade Stand Selling’, Diane Helbig, Sales Gravy Press, 2009.
More from my good friend and COSE (Cleveland’s Council of Smaller Enterprises) colleague Diane Helbig, from her popular book, ‘Lemonade Stand Selling’. Here are some of her thoughts on sales:
‘The Tips – the 7 catalysts for sales & leadership that drive high-end sales, create engaged customers and make the competition evaporate’, Kordell Norton, eScholars Publishing, 2013.
Here’s another quick read on sales from a long-time colleague, Kordell Norton, a noted author, speaker and business growth consultant. He creates a clever narrative story using dominos as a teaching metaphor. The long sub-title describes the learning involved.