Ethan Rotman

Archive for the ‘Organization’ Category

Preparing Speakers

In Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Mannerisms/Habits, Organization, Public Speaking on August 16, 2010 at 5:56 am

 

 

Preparing Speakers

TED is an organization dedicated to sharing the best thinkers and presenters of our time. Their speakers demonstrate excellent speaking skills and thought provoking information.

TED’s format may be different than what many speakers are accustomed to. (Long talks, podiums and readings are discouraged by TED.) To get the best out of your speakers, prepare them for what to expect. These are excellent tips for you to use when organizing a conference. As a speaker, you can gleen many good ideas on how you should prepare each talk you deliver.

How to prepare your speakers:

  • Talk to every speaker (by phone or in person) weeks, if not months, before the event. Make sure they understand the format, and know who their audience is.
  • From the earliest conversation, reinforce key points: Their talk should be directed at a smart general audience. (Avoid industry jargon.) It should focus on one unique aspect of their story. (Don’t try to cover too much.) It should not be a sales pitch. (Absolutely no corporate plugs.)
  • Have your speakers send you their presentation two weeks before the event so you can review it and make suggestions.
  • Regroup with all of your speakers on the day of the event to refresh them. If possible, offer them rehearsal time before the actual event begins.
  • Repeatedly reinforce the fact that they will be held to a strict time limit; encourage rehearsal.
  • Make sure they sign the speaker release form. Each speaker must affirm that they are the sole author of their presentation, that they own all rights to the content in their presentation, that they will inform you about any third-party material in their presentation, and that use of their presentation won’t violate the rights of any third party.

What speakers need to know

  • At the event: They will sit in the audience and enter the stage from the audience. They are encouraged to stay for the whole event, and to mingle during breaks.
  • During the talk: The talk must not go over the allotted time. Let them know how you’ll cue them when their time has run out.
  • After the talk: They are expected to remain at the event throughout the day; at minimum, they’re expected to stay through the conversation break following their talk, so attendees can approach them and ask questions.

 

This original document can be found at http://www.ted.com/pages/view/id/360

Visit TED at www.TED.com

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Training Is A Neccessity During Tough Economic Times, Not A Luxury

In Attracting New Clients, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Fund raising, Increased sales, Organization, Public Speaking on August 7, 2010 at 11:45 am

"Gary is a promising young man"

“Gary is a promising young man. He has good looks, personality, and he is likable. Our company has a good product but his numbers just aren’t where we need them to be” The CEO told me over the phone. “He is our worst performing sales rep and if he doesn’t bring his numbers up, we are going to cut him loose. We really don’t want to do that”.  

A week later, I met Gary and the CEO over lunch. Gary was everything he was made out to be. It was hard to pinpoint why Gary was having trouble until I heard him talk about the product.  

Gary and I spent 3 sessions together determining his message, finding visual aids and improving his delivery techniques. He learned how to create a presentation that was meaningful to the audience; he learned to have a conversation that made the other person want to know more.  

Other sales reps in the company noticed the change in Gary. His confidence was stronger, he was quieter, he smiled more, but mostly, they watched his sales figures grow. Over the next several months, every other sales rep requested to work with me. The CEO was beaming as his sales were through the roof. Gary, his once bottom performer, was now his second highest performer with a sales increase of 600%. (yes, those are real numbers). He was giving a good chase to the number one performer and competition among the sales team was friendly, but very fierce. New incentives were offered and everyone was working on improving their presentations.  

This company has a good product: literally a no-brainer to qualified customers: It provides a higher level of service at a lower cost. The solution was to help sales reps speak a language the customers could understand. They knew their product, believed it was good, but needed help conveying this in a manner the clients could understand.  

Times are tough: we are all expected to do more with less. Sweat, determination, and hard work help, but new skills and tools will get you much farther. Finding new ways to present information, re-working your presentations and improving the visual aids you use will allow you to literally do more with less. Non-profits can raise more money in less time. For-profits can sell more and close more deals with less effort.  

iSpeakEASY can help your company grow. Our custom workshops help you present your story in a manner that makes the client understand why they want (or even need) what you are offering.  

Call us at 415 342-7106 or email us at ethan@iSpeakEASY.net to discuss how we can help your company grow.

© 2010 iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops. Article may be reposted, tweeted or linked. Please request permission to use it in any other fashion.

Can You Change The World In Two Minutes Or Less?

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Credibility, Delivery, Organization, Public Speaking on July 14, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Can you pique your audiences attention and get them to take new action in just 2-minutes or less? It does not matter if you are speaking to a room full of people or just one – are you able to quickly and succinctly make your point in a clear and powerful manner?

47% of speakers say they can. Audiences disagree. They say only 18% of speakers are this good.

I am writing today to share with you how you can improve the effectiveness of your speaking by attending a 3-hour workshop.

Leadership Vallejo, a community advocacy group, thinks so highly of this skill set they are providing an iSpeakEASY workshop for members and have allowed me to offer four seats to others.

Click here for workshop information.

To make the deal even sweeter, iSpeakEASY is offering a 20% discount to blog readers and members of the iSpeakEASY mailing list if you register in the next 4 days. Instead of $147, your investment is only $117.

Hurry though – the workshop is right around the corner on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 20th.

For information, contact me at ethan@iSpeakEASY or at (415) 342-7106

On Communication

In Delivery, Organization, Public Speaking, Social Media on July 1, 2010 at 9:33 pm

 

Do not assume that because we have phones, faxes, email, websites, social media, snail mail, FedEx, Blackberries, iPhones, voice mail and cell phones that any communication is occurring!

I Don’t Need Help With My Talk

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Organization, Public Speaking on June 24, 2010 at 8:52 pm

 Speaking Tip # 62

 I hear a lot of reasons for why people do not want help with their presentations:

  • “I don’t feel nervous in front of an audience.”
  • “I am only presenting to my peers.”
  • “It is just a staff meeting.”
  • “I know my subject.”
  • “I took public speaking in college.”
  • “I use PowerPoint.”
  • “I don’t use PowerPoint.”
  • “I did not have time to prepare so I will just wing it.”

 

After their talk, speakers often justify why they are sure they did not need help:

  • “I was not nearly as nervous as I thought I would be.”
  • “No one threw fruit “(yes, they really say this to me!).
  • “My friends said I did a good job.”
  • “They laughed and clapped, they must have liked it.”
  • “There were no questions.”
  • “It felt pretty good – I think I did okay.”

 

This is all good except nervousness is not a gauge of effectiveness, people don’t really throw fruit (at least in this country), your friends tend to say you do well, and not asking questions probably means they want the fastest way out of the room.

An effective presentation is one where you meet the objectives you set before you spoke.

  • In sales, this may mean an increase in closed sales.
  • In management, this may mean changing employee behavior.
  • As a scientist, this may mean increasing support for your project.
  • As a parent, this may mean a reduction in household tension.
  • In non-profits, this may mean more money and volunteers to accomplish your mission.

Before you plan your next talk, write down the answer to this question: “When I am done, what do I want my audience to do?”

Plan the talk with this answer as your target and you improve the chance you will reach your objective.

Knowing your target makes it much easier to hit

© 2010  iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops. (415) 342-7106. www.iSpeakEASY.net

Improve Your Presentations – Earn More Money From Your Networking Group

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, New Techniques, Organization, Public Speaking on April 21, 2010 at 8:32 am

 

It’s a fact that the amount of business you land and the number of referrals you receive in your networking group depends on how well you present your ideas to others. It depends on how you speak and what you say. In other words, it depends on your speaking skills.

iSpeakEASY has workshops that may help improve your speaking skills. Other people who’ve attended these session have found that they are now earning more money – and they credit what they learned in the workshops for the increased income. They’re making more money. You can, too.

Workshops that help improve your credibility and confidence when speaking.  At just $97, most people earn the investment back within weeks. 

Click here to see a workshop flier.

And, if you’d like more information, please call or send me an email. Thanks for reading this message.

Put the “YOU” before the “I”

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Credibility, Delivery, Organization on April 10, 2010 at 11:11 am

 Speaking Tip 26

Work, family, hobbies, vacation, religion, politics, sexuality – what is your favorite thing to talk about? While not everyone will admit it – most people’s choice is themselves. Likewise, the topic we find most interesting to listen to is again, ourselves.

Use this to your advantage when trying to capture the attention of your audience. Tell them something you know about them, a quality you admire, or an obstacle they have overcome. Cite the good work they have done or acknowledge their efforts – in a sincere and honest manner. Talk about them before you talk about yourself.

This technique helps grab the audience’s attention and encourages them to listen to you. It is amazing how engaging it is to hear a person talk about us! Many speakers begin by listing their own credentials and experiences – which most audiences find far less interesting.

Have you ever been in a crowded room full of noise when suddenly you hear one word above the roar – that word is your name? Your ears perk up and you focus on finding out who said it. It is the one topic that we are always interested in hearing about – regardless of our mood or what else is going on.

In a speech to a group of volunteers, Mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom began by talking about the importance of volunteerism, the benefits to the volunteer, and the difference in the world these people are making. He could have talked about his efforts spearheading this program or the accomplishments of his administration but instead he spoke to the audience about the audience and in doing so, gained their attention, their support, and their loyalty.

A great way to grab and hold your audience’s attention is to speak about something near and dear to them. For example, when speaking to a decision making body (such as a city council) –begin by acknowledging the work the council does in creating a better civic life, When speaking to a potential client acknowledge their successes and the challenges they face.

The next time you are getting ready to speak – put “you” into your sentence before you say “I.” It takes effort to do this, almost as if it is unnatural, but you can learn to do this effectively in a short amount of time.

© 2007 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

Like Filler in a Hot Dog for Writers

In Delivery, Organization on March 31, 2010 at 12:01 pm

By guest author Alan Leftridge   

Alan Leftridge leads writing workshops

Writers sometimes use one or more extra words or phrases that seem to modify the meaning of a noun but do not add to the meaning of the sentence. Although these words or phrases can seem meaningful in the interpretive text, they are often just “fillers” and should be eliminated.   

Wordy Example  For all intents and purposes, American industrial productivity in the 20th Century generally depended on certain factors that are really more psychological in kind than of any given technological aspect.  

Concise rewrite  Twentieth Century American industrial productivity depended more on psychological than on technological factors. Here is a list of common words and phrases to eliminate to be concise:   

  • kind of
  • particular 
  • the field of
  • sort of
  • definitely
  • the sum of 
  • type of
  • actually
  • the study of
  • specific
  • generally
  • the fact is that 
  • really
  • individual 
  • it is 
  • basically

   

Replace vague prepositional phrases with simpler words:  

  • in order to                                 to
  • a lot of                                      many 
  • in regard to                               about
  • at this time                               now
  • in the interest of                       for

   

Many pairs of words imply each other. Finish implies complete, so the phrase completely finish is redundant, in most cases. Here are some more redundant pairs:   

  • past memories 
  • terrible tragedy
  • various differences 
  • end result
  • each individual
  • final outcome 
  • basic fundamentals
  • free gift
  • true facts 
  • past history
  • important essentials 
  • unexpected surprise 
  • future plans
  • sudden crisis
  • advance planning
  • join together 
  • general overview
  • mutual cooperation 
  • other alternative
  • two different kinds 

  

Specific words imply their general categories, so we do not have to state both, like:  

  • large in size in a confused state
  • often times
  • unusual in nature
  • of a bright color
  • extreme in degree
  • heavy in weight
  • of an uncertain condition
  • period of time
  • honest in character 

  

This is a guest post by Alan Leftridge of Swan Valley, Montana. Alan teaches writing skills, has authored more than 100 articles on writing and has published 4 books. He can be contacted  at leftridge@blackfoot.net or www.leftridge.com.  

All rights reserved. Reprinted with permssion.

All Speaking Is Public Speaking

In Attracting New Clients, BNI or other Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, New Techniques, Organization, Public Speaking on February 25, 2010 at 6:49 am

The most important talks tend to be to small audiences

Speaking Tip 46

 Imagine these three scenarios:

  • 1. In 2 weeks, you will make a presentation to 250 strangers in another town
  • 2.  Tomorrow, you will give an update on your project at a staff meeting
  • 3.  Today, you need to have a conversation with your spouse, child, potential client, subordinate, or supervisor

Which talk would you spend the most time preparing for? Which one would you be most likely to have with little or no preparation?  

The answers will vary from person to person but in most cases, people will spend the most amount of time preparing for the first scenario – speaking to a group of strangers. This makes sense as for most people, it puts us out of our comfort zone to speak to a large group. Smaller groups of people that we know are less threatening.  

If you consider which situation may have the most dramatic impact on your life and business, you may find you should be spending time preparing for the smaller talks. 

You may feel comfortable speaking in a one-to-one situation, but that is not a reason to not prepare. You are trying to bring about a change: elicit support for a project or idea, change a behavior, or shift an attitude. Being familiar with the topic and audience leads people into a false sense of comfort and security. In the first scenario, where most people feel the least comfortable, the stakes are generally very low: personal credibility and momentary embarrassment. In the second and third scenario, the stakes are much higher. 

In general, the smaller the audience, the more important it is for the speaker to be sharp and on task. 

The next time you have to speak to a small group or one-to-one – prepare as if it were an important presentation. Take time to determine your desired outcome. Write out how you plan on achieving that outcome. What are the 3-5 supporting points you are going to include? What visual aids can you use to help make your point? Practice. 

View every situation with the planning and foresight needed to accomplish your goals. Your credibility, success, and reputation are at stake. Do not be lured into delivering a poor performance because you feel comfortable – rather use the opportunity to excel. 

You will find your credibility and success increase. 

© 2009 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY.  We help you profit from your words. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

A Good Presentation Is All About…

In Credibility, Delivery, New Techniques, Organization, Public Speaking on January 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm

In a conversation on the effective communication, Trevor Hults of Northeastern Sales & Marketing Representative at Applied Systems Technology states:

A good presentation is all about landing the plane. I’m sure we’ve all sat through presentations that started well and seemed to be going somewhere only to leave us without an answer to that critical question: “So What?” Why get on a plane if the pilot doesn’t know how to land? You just end up circling until he runs out of fuel.

Whenever preparing a presentation I always make sure to clearly outline my 1) Subject 2) Theme and 3) Proposition. The proposition is always critical and I find a way to return to it often to keep reinforcing the one point that I want everyone to walk out with and remember so when they’re at Starbucks or Stumptown Coffee Roasters three hours later they’ll remember that point and pass it on. Also, I avoid using extrinsic motivation and instead use intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation can come across as an accusation or make the speaker sound judgmental, which tends to demotivate listeners. With intrinsic motivation one taps into the innate desire most people have to succeed. For example…

Intrinsic = Be a Champion

Extrinsic = You Should Be a Champion

Finally, read Made To Stick by Dan & Chip Heath. If you are a communicator of any kind, e.g. sales, education, trainer, etc. you need to read this book.