Ethan Rotman

Posts Tagged ‘effective communication’

Seven Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Video Marketing

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Credibility, Delivery, Public Speaking, Tools and Gadgets on September 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Are you looking for a new way to boost brand awareness, drive traffic to your site and increase sales conversions? Today, the answer may be as simple as harnessing the power of video. Video marketing is on the rise and proving to be an effective way for companies to get the message out to prospects and customers.

iSpeakEASY workshops take the fear and hassle out of adding video to your website, but before you click the workshop link, read these reasons how web video can help. 

Jimm Fox, President of One Market Media and author of the Marketing with Video and Rich Media blog, says video and video marketing will play a dominant role in the next phase of the Internet’s evolution. He offers seven compelling reasons why web video should be a top marketing priority this year:   

1. Better ROI
Adding video to your online marketing campaign can significantly improve your results. In a recent study by Eyeblaster of online advertising campaigns, video increased dwell rate on ads by 20% and dwell time by %100. Another study by dynamic logic also indicated significant improvements in brand favorability, aided brand awareness and purchase intent of rich media ads with video compared to traditional static display ads.   

2. Traction
ComScore released web video consumption results in September 09, which indicated 85% of people online consumed an average of 10 hours of video a month online. That number continues to grow every month. 26 billion videos were consumed in September in the US. Video has taken root on the Internet to the point where visitors to Web sites are now looking for video content first.   

3. Engagement
Video is the best way to keep visitors to your site engaged and the best way to engage people with your brand. Time-on-page and time-on-site numbers increase when you add video. Images, podcasts, polls, charts and graphics are all great but nothing engages a Web site visitor more effectively than video. There are hundreds of blog posts and articles like this one where Patrick Moran explains how his sales team improved their close rates by 20% and online registrations by over 25% using web based video.   

4. Video Is A Top Priority for Marketers
According to a recent survey by Marketing Sherpa, for the second year in a row video marketing is the top priority for marketers surveyed, ahead of SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing and all other online marketing tactics. Turnhere has also released a study in the fall which revealed the same results – “When asked to rank various online marketing priorities for 2010, video was ranked as the top priority.”   

5. Ubiquity
In a recent post conference interview Jeremey Allaire, CEO of Brightcove summarized the outlook for web-based video this way,“Video will become as ubiquitous as text on the web.” He went on to say, “what we’ve seen happening over the last year is this incredible growth in the number of organizations and corporations, of all types, of all industries, of all sectors of societies, embracing video to enhance what they are doing on the web.”   

6. 2010 Marketing Predictions
A year-end article by Junta 42 reviewed hundreds of blogs and articles to summarize the predictions of leading marketing experts for 2010. Topping the list – the growth and dominance of video.   

7. SEO
Type in ‘Video’ and ‘SEO’ in Google and you will discover many articles explaining how video can improve your SEO results. With the launch of Universal Search from Google, you should expect to see more and more video results occupying the search engine results that are served up by Google. That means Google is prioritizing video in its search algorithm. Not only will video help promote your products and services online, it can also help those products and services get found online. 

iSpeakEASY workshops make it easy for you to receive the benefits of web video. We do everything but the talking and we will help you with that!  

You receive coaching to create a clear and concise message, tips on how to look good in front of the camera, and the opprotunity to observe other business owners practice their presentation. You are recorded by a professional videographer using state-of-the-art equipment.  Your video is enhanced and edited before the final product is delivered to you. We can even help you post it to your website (additional fee).

 

 

 

 

Reprinted with permission from Jimm Fox
Web site: http://www.onemarketmedia.com/
Marketing with Video and Rich Media Blog:
http://www.onemarketmedia.com/blog/2010/
Email: jimm.fox@onemarketmedia.com   

 

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The Power Of A Pause

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Credibility, Delivery, New Techniques on September 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Speaking Tip #20

Have you ever looked at a garden of flowers all of one color? It can be quite pretty. If  however that same garden is accented with flowers of a contrasting color – the garden becomes beautiful. While purple flowers are nice, red flowers next to them provide accent and contrast that allow purple to shine.

The same can be said for the value of silence during a presentation. Speakers often feel they need to fill the room with sound, but properly placed silence in the form of a pause adds emphasis to the words being spoken.

Too often speakers associate silence with failure on their part – after all, they are the speaker and their job is to speak. The reality is their job is not to speak, but to make a point. Including moments of quiet adds emphasis to their words and allows the audience to digest what they have heard. When we read, pauses are built in – they take the form of a period or a paragraph break.

Many speakers are afraid of silence and increase the speed of talking to avoid even a moment of quiet. When you are the one in front of a group, even a few seconds of silence may seem long and unbearable – but to the audience it feels comfortable.

In speaking, silence in the room can be a positive thing as it allows the audience to catch up with the speaker (remember, the speaker already understands the point –the audience may not). Silence allows time to think or to formulate an answer to a question asked.

Incorporate silence and pauses into your talk to create emphasis and add drama. The next time you speak, state your point and let it hang over the room while you silently count to five. Ask a question and wait for the audience to answer.

Adding space between your words and your thoughts will help the audience better understand your point and will improve your effectiveness as a speaker. Remember, it often takes an opposite to emphasize something. Stars are brighter when the sky is dark, traffic is always slower after you have been driving quickly, and a fire is warmest on a cold day. Give your audience the opportunity to experience well placed silence in the midst of your talk.

 

© 2007 iSpeakEASY – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY: We Help People Profit From Their Words.

 You are welcome to link to this page. If you wish to reprint or repost this article, please email us for permission. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

Give Your Best

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Mannerisms/Habits on September 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Speaking Tip # 55

 

 “I am not really prepared for this presentation tonight” the speaker stated as she opened her talk. “I have not been feeling well so did not have time to prepare. I did not want to let you down, so I came anyway.”

 

 As a member of the audience, what is going through your head at this point in the talk?

A.           Great, I busted my butt to get here only to get a second rate presentation

B.           On top of being bored, I will probably get sick from his germs

C.           Maybe I can sneak out the back unnoticed and get something important done

D.          All of the above

The speaker has barely started his talk yet his credibility is already lower than the floor.

There are many reasons for not being prepared for your talk but no real excuses. You knew you would be expected to speak and probably procrastinated on the preparation. Your audience has sacrificed to come hear you and deserve your best. If you can not deliver, consider alternatives that may save your professional credibility.

 “I am under the weather today and will not be able to deliver the seminar I promised you. I am very disappointed and apologize for the inconvenience, but want to be at my best for you and do not want to risk sharing my illness with you. Let’s reschedule for next week.”

Which feelings do you think you will experience after reading the above email:

A.           Disappointment yet happy to have an extra 2 hours in your day

B.           Appreciative of the courtesy of the speaker

C.           Excitement for the high quality presentation you will get when she recovers

D.          All of the above

The first speaker demonstrated lack of respect for the audience – they were not important enough to him to adequately prepare. His talk should have been planned in advance so that last minute “stresses” would not have an impact.

The audience will judge your professional abilities based, in part, on how well you present. A second-rate performance indicates you are a second-rate professional. A first rate delivery indicates you take time to plan and prepare in all aspects of your life and work.

Your credibility is on the line every time you present. A single bad presentation will not destroy your career and it won’t do anything to enhance it. Presenting is one of the best ways to build your business, gain support for your project, and influence others. The audience is giving you the most important item they have, their time. Honor that by delivering your best to them.

 

© 2009 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words.

You are welcome to link to this page. Permission is required to reprint this in a newsletter or other format.

Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.  www.iSpeakEASY.net  

Preparing For The End

In Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Mannerisms/Habits, New Techniques, Public Speaking on September 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Imagine making it through the first 26 grueling miles of a marathon and tripping and falling just before the finish line. How frustrating! All the preparation, all the work, all the sweat and you never reach your goal.

Oddly enough, this is where many presenters fail – at the end. They do a fine job of preparing, creating great graphics, practicing, presenting and then lose credibility during the most useful and treacherous part of the talk – the question and answer period.

During all other parts of your presentation, the speaker controls the content but during the question and answer period, the audience has the advantage. Whether speaking to a large audience or one-on-one, preparing for questions will help you maintain your credibility.

Tips for success:

  • Brainstorm questions you may be asked and practice your responses.  Ask others what questions they think might be asked. Keep your answers short and to the point.
  • Allow your host to field questions from the audience as this will diffuse potential hostility.
  • Repeat or paraphrase questions back to the person asking. This affords you time to think, insures you answer the right question and tells the entire audience what question you are answering.
  • Listen. Many speakers cut off the question before the person asking has finished.
  • Watch the person who asked the question while you speak. This will help them feel you are speaking to them and will provide you with feedbacks on your answer.
  • When you are done with a particular answer, ask if you have addressed their question.
  • Be honest when faced with a question you do not know the answer to. Encourage the person asking to write the question down so you can research it and get back to them. Try asking if some one in the audience knows the answer.
  • Prepare a closing remark for when you have finished answering the final question. You get the last word – make it count.

Whether you are talking to an audience of 1,000 or speaking one-on-one, being prepared for the questions will increase your personal credibility and help you reach your desired end.

© 2007 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. You are welcome to link to this page but reposting or printing this article require prior permission. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

The TED Commandments

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Public Speaking on August 23, 2010 at 5:53 am

 

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.

The TED Commandments

These 10 tips are given to all TED Conference speakers as they prepare their TEDTalks. They will help your TEDx speakers craft talks that will have a profound impact on your audience.

1.  Dream big. Strive to create the best talk you have ever given. Reveal something never seen before. Do something the audience will remember forever. Share an idea that could change the world.

2.  Show us the real you. Share your passions, your dreams … and also your fears. Be vulnerable. Speak of failure as well as success.

3.  Make the complex plain. Don’t try to dazzle intellectually. Don’t speak in abstractions. Explain! Give examples. Tell stories. Be specific.

4.  Connect with people’s emotions. Make us laugh! Make us cry!

5.  Don’t flaunt your ego. Don’t boast. It’s the surest way to switch everyone off.

6.  No selling from the stage! Unless we have specifically asked you to, do not talk about your company or organization. And don’t even think about pitching your products or services or asking for funding from stage.

7.  Feel free to comment on other speakers’ talks, to praise or to criticize. Controversy energizes! Enthusiastic endorsement is powerful!

8.  Don’t read your talk. Notes are fine. But if the choice is between reading or rambling, then read!

9.  End your talk on time. Doing otherwise is to steal time from the people that follow you. We won’t allow it.

10.  Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend … for timing, for clarity, for impact.

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

Visit TED at www.TED.com

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

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.

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

PowerPoint Pitfalls

In New Techniques, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, Tools and Gadgets, Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 at 7:50 pm

How to Purge PowerPoint Pitfalls

From Your Presentations

Volume 1

 by Jon K. Hooper, Ph.D.

Guest author for iSpeakEASY

  

 

“Oh, no, not another PowerPoint presentation!”

 

How many really good PowerPoint presentations have you seen?  Can you count them on the fingers of one hand? While PowerPoint shows can be great, they are often dreadful!  Is the problem inherent with PowerPoint or the presenter?   

PowerPoint is a wonderful communication tool when used properly. Its colorful, professional-appearing images capture and hold audience attention.  The shows are flexible and easily adapted to different audiences and situations.  PowerPoint’s animation features can diagram relationships that would be difficult to explain with words alone. PowerPoint’s hyperlinks allow interactive presentations and its multimedia capabilities make it easy to incorporate audio and video.  

The real problem is many presenters don’t know how to use PowerPoint.  They know which button to push to create a specific effect, but they don’t know when it is appropriate. When a pianist plays the wrong note, you don’t blame the piano. The same axiom holds true when a speaker hits a bad note with PowerPoint.

Presenters often get caught up in PowerPoint’s whistles and whirls without considering the accompanying problems. We’ve all seen “text takeovers” where text dominated the show and “animation atrocities” where the special effects were memorable yet the main message remained a mystery. 

This column is the first in a series aimed at helping enhance your PowerPoint presentations.  Each edition will pinpoint one or more PowerPoint pitfalls and suggest specific ways to purge them from your presentations. 

  

Pitfall #1:  Thinking the media (i.e., PowerPoint) is the message 

It’s easy to start the presentation planning process by thinking about various PowerPoint visuals and effects you’ll use in the show.  Oops!  In so doing, you’re skipping some important steps.  You should be focused on content and your audience, not PowerPoint, at this point. PowerPoint’s whistles and whirls can’t mask poorly designed content.

To purge the pitfall:

Start by developing a communication strategy based on an audience analysis. Next, brainstorm, outline, and storyboard your key points. Finally, design and produce your visuals and visual effects.

   

Pitfall #2:  Too Much Text

When 35-millimeter slide shows ruled the roost, adding text to slides was difficult, so photographs dominated shows.  When PowerPoint became king, text-only slides became the norm because adding text was often easier than hunting down, creating, and/or incorporating digital images. 

 To purge the pitfall

Visualize ideas with photos and illustrations. Use short phrases rather than complete sentences. Limit the use of bullet charts (and limit each one to five lines with six or fewer words per line). Use PowerPoint’s “animation” feature to reveal words or lines of words one at a time.

 Final Thoughts

PowerPoint does not need to lead to “presentation purgatory.” Remember that PowerPoint images are just visual aids that help you present – and your audience understand – your message. You and your message are still the key ingredients of an effective presentation.

  
 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dr. Jon Hooper has over 30 years of experience helping professionals enhance the effectiveness of their communication. He is a professor of environmental interpretation at California State University, Chico and is the owner of Verbal Victories Communication Consulting.  Contact Jon at jonkhooper@hotmail.com or 530-342-6045.
 
© 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.