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Boring We’ve all been there? Listening to another overrunning self-indulgent pitch. Blah blah blah. In the audience and its running 5mins over time and the seat gets a little firm, you start to fidget. 10mins and you dream of an electrical failure to hide your escape. 15mins and you cogitate whether a harpoon or rubber handled mallet is the most appropriate tool to end the speaker's misery....and yours. Content? Well that’s long forgotten.

But there’s a genetic flaw affecting many salespeople and entrepreneurs alike. Despite having experienced ‘time warp hell’ themselves, where a slow agonizing death becomes an attractive option as at least that would be interesting, as soon as an opportunity to speak in front of an audience is won, they are compelled to create a miracle. The miracle of “Delivering 2 Hours of material in 20mins”

  • “It went really well! I only had to talk for 20mins but I was still there after an hour!”
  • “Sorry I’m going quickly, it’s a 3 hour PowerPoint & I’m trying to get it all in…”

So consider how much it costs to get the chance to present products or service to a wider audience. All that time, emails, networking, brochures, referrals and family time lost in preparing. Why go to all that trouble only to get a couple of dozen people to hate you? Wouldn’t it be better if they loved you, perhaps want to know more? Energised? Motivated?

If you care about how you are perceived and rather than have people bring in an exorcist to have you removed, consider these alternatives : - 

  • If you’ve e.g. 20 minutes to speak, create enough material for 20 earth minutes – not a traditional salesperson’s minutes which as we know are in multiples of ‘5’

  • Remember the objective of your talk? – GREAT! By coincidence that’s what the audience expects to hear too so do remember make this your point for them to take away.

  • Engage with your audience, look everyone in the eye and talk to them. No need to reenact the Nuremburg Rally of the ‘30’s, they didn’t end well.

  • Be radical! They will know your name so don’t repeat it. They know where you are from so don’t repeat that either…..or the words on your slides.....or how clever you are (Qualifications)......or how superior(Titles)......... you get the idea and so will the audience from simply the quality and credibility of your content and delivery.

  • Call a doctor and have PowerPoint surgically removed or if you have to use it, show a picture rather than a 1000 words. Flipchart? Whiteboard? Props? "Sell today and educate tomorrow" Sandler rule #21

  • Have mercy, remember, you were a member of the audience once so speak clearly, be measured, smile. Its easy if you’ve rehearsed. Oh yes, REHEARSE!

  • Take questions at the end, not during, so that you can be sure you cover all your points. After all, it’s your opportunity to sell and attract the right prospects for your business!

All anecdotes appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead from Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Hertfordshire networking circuits is purely coincidental.

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