Entrepreneurship

A Different Kinda World

COMMON SPEAKER PITFALLS by Craig Valentine

As the new President of Voices of Aaron Toastmaster Club, I thought it would be great to blog about speaking.

As a speaker, you may have the greatest content in the world, but if you do not connect with your audience, it can all go to waste. It’s like being on the phone and having something important to say, but there is static on the line and you can’t hear the other person. No matter what you have to say, your message won’t get through.

By understanding what stands in the way of connecting with an audience, you can make small adjustments that will lead to deeper and greater connections. Below are 20 reasons many speakers fail to connect.1 The audience does not relate to the speaker.
When the speaker talks about success after success after success, audience members may think to themselves, Well, of course these strategies work for him. He’s special. These strategies would never work for me. Whenever audience members feel the speaker is too special, they tend to cast off his or her advice.

2 Audience members are not sold on why they should listen to the speaker.
Your biography, speech description and introduction should clearly show how the audience will benefit from your presentation. They should be excited before you even take the stage.

3 Audience members are not sold on why they should take the next step the speaker suggests.
If you do not sell the results that people can gain by following your advice (e.g., happiness, joy, recognition, money, saving time, reducing effort or doing more with less), they will not act on it.

4 The audience is given too many steps to take.
“A confused mind says no” is an old saying. I’ve added to it: “A clear mind says go.” Giving one exact next step to take helps you connect with your audience during and after your speech. For example, in one of my speeches I ask people to visit my website, and I stay connected with them. Because I don’t give several next steps, I can use my entire speech to build the case for getting them to take that one step. That’s a powerful and clear message.

5 The audience does not feel involved.
I remember watching the movie Lean On Me decades ago and hearing the line “No involvement, no commitment.” Hearing that line has produced change in every aspect of my life. People buy into what they help create, so in speaking it pays to make them part of the speech creation. How? By asking questions. Engage your audience members in quick activities. Listen to them as you speak. Involve them in your stories. Jump on spontaneous moments. Find ways to get and keep audience members involved.

6 The audience does not feel this is the only time you have given your speech.
In other words, they don’t feel it’s fresh. Instead, they feel like it’s something you have rehashed time and time again. Perhaps it is, but your audience shouldn’t get that impression. As a speaker, it’s important to find ways to make the speech fresh for you so it will be fresh for your audience.

I use what I call the Fabric Softener Approach. When you include a fabric softener sheet while doing the laundry, it refreshes the entire load. In speaking, I rarely give a speech without trying out at least one new line or story. In doing so, that new piece becomes like the sheet of fabric softener—it actually makes the entire speech fresh for me, and that helps keep it fresh for my audience. I also dedicate every speech I give to someone somewhere so that it’s just as important every time I give it.

7 The speaker is not all there.
If you are not emotionally involved in your stories during your speech, you do not stand a chance in connecting with your audience.

8 The speaker has not done the pre-speech research necessary to meet audience members where they are. Too many speakers give what they want to say rather than what the audience needs to hear. That’s a recipe for trouble.

9 The speaker does not match the energy of the audience.
Have you ever seen a speaker come out way too energetic and loud for the laidback audience in front of him? Have you ever been that speaker? It’s not about bouncing off the walls. It’s about matching your energy to the energy of your audience members, and then moving them to where you want them to be.

10 The speaker does not tease audience members before sharing the message.
Get your audience to thirst for your message before you quench their thirst. Otherwise they won’t value what you’re saying as much, and they won’t have enough curiosity to stay connected.

11 The speaker favors a side of the room and does not look at everyone in the audience. I
have seen so many speakers turn slightly and face one side of the room for most of their speech. Each person must feel you are speaking to him or her, or you will not connect. Look at everyone throughout the entire speech.

12 The speaker does not respond (at least visually) to the audience’s reactions.
There will be many moments during your speech where audience members will react in certain ways. If you keep talking without at least visually acknowledging their reactions, you will not connect with them. Instead, it will seem as if you could give the same exact speech without your audience even being there. Speaking involves a back-and-forth flow of energy. Blocking that energy is like blocking the blood flow in a person’s body. The results are disastrous.

13 The speaker “tells us” instead of taking us back to her story.
Don’t tell a story from the past; let your audience experience your story in the present. You can do that with dialogue, expressions, reactions and involvement.

14 The speaker does not use relatable characters.
If your stories are about climbing Mount Everest and doing things your audience has never done and never wants to do, you might have a problem connecting, unless you use journey-related universal principles that can bridge that gap.

I remember speaking to a group in a nursing home early in my career and wondering, How will these older folks relate to me? The answer is they didn’t have to. I told stories about advice I received from my grandfather and they, being grandparents and great-grandparents, related to him. So they related to me indirectly through my characters.

15 The speech is a verbal autobiography that leaves audience members wondering what they should get out of it. Don’t make people work that hard. They need to know what they’ll get out of your speech from the beginning—not just at the end. The speech can’t be, “I did this and I did that and I did this other thing … and you can do it too.” That’s not audience-focused enough to connect. You need to be audience-focused from the very beginning.

16 The speaker does not come out with a bang.
Audience members realize in 30 seconds whether or not they want to hear more. Make those 30 seconds count.

17 The speaker sounds like someone else.
You must be yourself or you’ll never connect. I remember watching a speaker who had great content—but there was a problem with his delivery. He faked a Southern accent. It seemed as though he was trying to have a Zig Ziglar-type drawl. This completely destroyed his connection. Why? Because it wasn’t his way; it was Ziglar’s way. Only Zig Ziglar can be Zig Ziglar. The rest of us need to be ourselves on stage.

18 The content is not original enough.
As soon as someone starts talking about the starfish or the bricklayer, many people will think they have heard this before, and they will tune out.

19 The speaker’s stories don’t stir anything in the audience.
If a speaker’s stories are one-dimensional and flat, he will not provoke any emotion (tears and regret, happiness and joy, etc.) in the audience and, therefore, the speaker will not connect.

20 The speaker does not get the audience to reflect.
If the audience does not reflect, the speaker will not connect.

Perhaps you have been guilty of some of the above-mentioned mistakes. I know I have. This list is in no way exhaustive—there are many other reasons speakers fail to connect with their audiences.

Which ones can you think of?

To prevent these pitfalls and more join a Toastmaster’s club in your area: www.toastmasters.org or visit my club at:
Voices Of Aaron Club – Club #: 5748, Dist #: 14  Area: C33, Est: 3/9/2001
Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church
1879 Glenwood Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA, 30316
Contact: Terri Holley 404-402-6979
Meeting Time: 7:00 pm, every Thursday

Get Set For Change!

Positive habits are the building blocks of change. By making them part of your life, you can make real progress towards your goals and dreams.

In this newsletter, we show you how you can use good habits to make permanent and positive changes in your personal and professional life.

We also outline http://www.mindtools.com/pages/Newsletters/28May13.htm

Mind Tools -  Essential skills for an excellent career

How to Warm Up a Cold Call: 5 Easy Steps by Quality Media Consultant Group LLC

In the world of business sales is king. Being able to successfully sell your products or services as well as yourself, will definitely make you a leader in the pack. On the contrary, not being able to sell will surely cost you.  A big part of sales involves the ability to generate leads. One of the oldest ways to generate new sales leads is cold calling. Some people would argue that cold calling is ancient. And others would contend that it is essential. Either way, cold calling is one of the fastest ways to generate leads and fill your sales funnel with new prospects. Of course, cold calling is purely a numbers game. But once you master the art of the cold call, you can generate new leads in no time flat.

If you’ve been wondering how to warm up a cold call, keep reading. There are a few simple ways that you can easily warm up the coldest of cold calls. Check out my five easy steps that will show you how to warm up colds calls.

1.    Do your research about the prospect. Before you call someone you do not have a relationship with, you must find out basic information about who you’re contacting as well as the company they represent. For example, if you want to call the owner of the new office supply store that just opened up, you should find out his or her name in advance. Of course a simple Internet search as well as canvassing the business website can equip you with enough information to have a general knowledge about the prospect. Make certain to pay attention to who their clients are and what services they provide for their target audience.

2.    Grab Attention Fast.  The easiest way to grab someone’s attention is to pleasantly greet them with a direct salutation and their name. Simply saying “Good morning or good afternoon Mr. Smith,” is so simple yet gets attention right away. No matter what you say when you call someone they are going to respond.  However, people typically respond in kind. If you approach someone with an energetic and friendly tone, they will more than likely respond the same way. Try to avoid gimmicky or open-ended questions or statements. If you follow- up your greeting with a statement mentioning your name, your business name and a brief introduction about the reason for your call. You may say something like this: “The reason I’m calling you today specifically is to set an appointment.”  Keep in mind, that someone who doesn’t know you may be hesitant to give you an appointment without you qualifying why you deserve a block of their time.  With that said, remember to state what it is that you’d like to discuss and how it will benefit the prospect.  To read the entire blog go: http://qualitymediaconsultants.com/2013/04/how-to-warm-up-a-cold-call-5-easy-steps/

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HootSuite Univeristy is proud to present Facebook Brand Pages: Rules of Engagement with Jason Li.
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Hello ,Facebook users spend 40% of their time on the News Feed. As a brand, if you’re not showing up on this feed, you’re not truly connecting with your existing and potential customers.We noticed that you’ve added your Facebook profile to the HootSuite dashboard, but do you also manage a brand page, or help others optimize their Facebook presence?To help you better understand how to leverage Facebook as a business tool, we’ve brought on a strategic expert straight from the source. HootSuite University is proud to presentFacebook Brand Pages: Rules of Engagement with Jason Li, Lead Strategist with Global Creative Solutions at Facebook.

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Paperless education is here to stay. The best opportunities for a paperless education are online. Chechnya it out

The WordPress.com Blog

Last month, we attended the Modern Language Association’s annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts, and had a great time talking to educators about how WordPress.com encourages in-class conversations to keep going and keeps students and parents up to date. Today, we’re taking a closer look at how some tech-savvy teachers are using WordPress.com to create educational experiences that seamlessly blend the traditional and virtual worlds.

The Paper-Free Class Experiment

My name is Mr. Hays and I teach 8th grade Language Arts. I am a National Board Certified teacher, and I have been reflecting on my role as a teacher this past summer. This year, I  have decided to try a radically different approach to teaching. I want to step away from the traditional classroom for a while and see just how much we can do online.

With The Paper-Free Class Experiment, Florida middle school English teacher James Hays has built…

View original post 725 more words

It’s What We Do…Right!!! Wrong…Not this year!!!

The Best Plans Temporarily Fail

It”s the 18th of January and our resolution has gotten old.  We are trying to hang on to it but life is just getting in our way.   STOP!!!!

You’ve got to hang onto it.  We really have got to be better on New Year next year than we are this year.  That needs to happen every year.  We don’t get any younger and time waits for no one.

Come On…Let’s Make It Happen

It’s our resolution and  it’s time to work (not leisurely recreation) on this year’s resolution.

Resolutions…What is it, Why is it, and How do we make it happen What is it

There are 32 variations of the definition of Resolution in the Webster dictionary.  If it’s that complex to define, it’s not easy to do.  Is this where the old saying “It’s easier said than done” DOES NOT apply?  A summary of the definition is the act of processing, analyzing, resolving, answering, and determining.  Now that we know what is it, why is it?

According to Bill Petro, New Year’s Day celebrations began in pre-Christian times, beginning with the Babylonians in March but changed to January by the Romans. January gets its name from Janus, the two-faced god who looks backwards into the old year and forwards into the new. It seems that the holiday was developed to reflect and look forward to the new year not plan for the new year.  Christians have taken this upon themselves to add the planning of a new year (people are known to adjust rituals to suit their own purposes, but that’s a topic for another speech).

As I entertain myself by watching the festivities of most holidays I don’t exactly indulge in their popular meanings.  I prefer to celebrate my own life holidays, such as my friends and families birthdays, commitments, anniversaries, and deaths.  They enjoy me bringing my well-known violescent to the occasion. Therefore, my New Year’s celebration is my birthday.  Don’t get me wrong, I would not miss seeing thousands of people gather for events to celebrate in fun and peace.  I can’t wait for the inauguration on TV, of course, lol.

My question to you is now that January 1st has come and gone, is your vow to yourself come and gone also.  I have heard, repeatedly, that the resolutions last anywhere from a week to three months.  I have also heard that anything done consistently for 90 days becomes a habit.  Ok, then why do we end up in the same place doing the same thing, year after year?  I asked the question to several associates and here’s the popular answer; there is not enough time in a day.

Every year we go about our days doing the necessary things in life…providing food, shelter, clothing, and protection for us and our families.  And yes, we do plan to eat right, exercise, and give back.

Here’s my thought on it.  There IS enough time in a day, but we waste so much of it doing the wrong things, that makes it hard to get the right things done.

Here are some examples to incorporate into your day:

Shop more in the produce aisle (less damage to yourself and your environment) Cook at home twice a week for the whole week.

Add an easy salad to each evening meal.

Take your lunch.  Say no to food that is brought into the job.

It only takes about 10 minutes to eat lunch, therefore after lunch, take a walk with or without a coworker.

Play your favorite tunes and dance while you cook or clean.

Give up soft drinks and sugary juices and drink water

Wake up in the morning 15 minutes earlier to do come cardio.

Go to bed 15 minutes later and do some stretching

On our website there is a link for workouts on the go and exercise tips

Just these simple changes may change your health , life and pecuniary circumstances.

Join me in keeping  resolutions alive.   Let me know what you are doing to keep hope alive.

Terri, urgo2gal

2013 New Year’s Resolution

logoWAIT….WAIT…..GONE!    Isn’t that what has happened to your year?  It has passed so fast.  What have you been doing?  Have you been like me?  I have been in survival mode all year.  From Zumba to Visalus, I have been so busy just staying above water.  I feel like a duck………sailing smooth on top but paddling like hell underneath.  Thank God for so many options.

I want you to take a minute and reflect on 2012.  Was it in like a lamb or lion?  Or Out like a lamb or lion?

My year started out like a lion.  I shook off 40 lbs in 13 Zumba classes a week.  Of course, I had to learn a lot about eating along the way but it was all worth it.  In the middle of the year I got married.  I am now ending the year with a bang.  Going out like a lion!  I guess I don’t know how to do the “lamb” thing.  I know I love getting into shape and being back to fabulous.   I felt 20 years younger and my body was “HOT” until I went back to Corporate America and gained 10 lbs in 1 month.

Now my new year’s resolution is pretty much the same as 2012.  Share my new found love with all those who want “Fabulous.”

Diva is Doin It!  Paying It Forward To You.  Challenge yourself to be more in 2013.  There are also a lot of testimonials on  YouTube.  You gotta see it to believe it, cause it’s magic.  I don’t want to make it complicated, so I am going to let a five year old explain it.  Then come back and join me. Enjoy: http://youtu.be/QTyPPoXQARM.

Join me here: http://terriholley.myvi.net/

I am posting short updates of my weight progress here: http://youtu.be/VaLN03tESqY

And yes, Zumba is still being taught.  Get class information here (no membershp required): www.absatl.com

How Do You Choose????

OMG, if I get another email about how to make my business successful in this economy, I am going to scream.  I know that’s what  you are saying and its true.  We are all trying to make it work and with all the new options to choose from, how do you choose?  I bartered for an iPad.  Until I had the opportunity to barter for it I kept thinking, “And why do I NEED an iPad.”  I had tried it out on several occasions, right down to a stranger in the store who was waving it around like it was golden.  I love the shiny new toy but I learned years ago “all that glitters is not gold.”  I refrained.  It seemed like no one had money but everyone had a $500 new shiny toy, but why?  I choose to use what was working for me, my netbook.  They were the rage for a moment and I could definitely understand that.  It was small, portable, and housed all the programs I needed for home, office and mobile, but deep inside I wanted to understand the rage of an iPad.  Why did you choose what you use?  Is it:

  • Functionality
  • Keep up with the Jones
  • New and Shiny
  • Got a good deal
Now I have an iPad but I am using my netbook as we speak (blog).  I guess I AM practical, but I am glad I bartered for it.  Not only did I get a great new shiny toy but I also got to help someone with an important task.  Now that makes it all worth it.  I will blog about any great apps or functions I really enjoy but please, go to my blog and teach me about some really cool stuff.  You never know I may give up my netbook.  I am always open to improvement.
Different day, different time, and bright and shiny new stuff…

Why are We Waiting for Elections to Move Forward?

I keep having this conversation about who will be president.  As I am like most, I have my views, opinions, and parties.  Everyday is a different day for an Entrepreneur and that will not change, even the election doesn’t affect that.  As small business owners we have had to think on our feet, do hand stands, and face the restraints of everyday business.  Will that really change much once we have elected our president.  Will there really be any big policies that don’t take decades of implementation to affect our overall business success?  Really, will there?  Let’s list some what ifs:
  • What happens if we elect a republican president? or a democratic president? or a neutral party president?
  • What happens the day after the elections?  the week after? the month after? or even the year after?
  • What if we get more tax credits? more health insurance provisions? more small business loans?
  • What if you think of your own what ifs? your own when ifs?  your own how ifs?
So again, tell me why are we waiting for the elections to be over to move forward?  Time is ticking and we need to stay focused.  We need to focus on our goals! our customer’s benefits! our sphere! our marketing! our strategies!
Don’t sit and wait for something better to happen……….YOU HAVE to make it happen….yes You!
It’s your business, your family, your friends, your customers, your associates.  It’s all about you and yours.  Let’s not wait for the government to decide if we are going to be successful.  You decide to be successful…YOU decide!  Of course your success is defined by you and you only, but make the decision and take the action accordingly.
I would love to share in your success, therefore let me know if you need any assistance.  That’s what I was born to do, assist.  I am an Entrepreneur’s Administrative Assistant.
For information on me and my assistance go to my website: www.terriholley.com.
The election is going to happen but so can you……….Make it happen!
Much success to you,
Terri,

It Will Change …

It Will Change Your Life

August 3, 2012 

It’s eight months into the year.  Where has the time gone?  I was speaking with one of my Zumba students today and we agree.  Time is flying so fast, we cannot remember what we did six months ago.  With the awesome challenges of time management, we so seldom slow down enough to remember our moments.  I have began to write them down.  I decided to go back to a manual organizer and keep track of time, events, appointments, people, and places.  While it helps me not miss appointments, it also helps me keep track of moments.  I remember when I did the gratitude journal workshop with Oprah.  It was a tremendous experience to realize how wonderful my life really is.  In just those few eye-opening weeks, my life attitude changed.  I often share my experience with my clients.  It gives them more appreciation for the triumphs of today’s challenges.  I challenge you to keep a gratitude journal for a month. It will change your life.  Come back and share you story with me. I’d love to hear from you.

Sincerely,
Your Entrepreneur Concierge 

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