This episode is going to give you TEN of the things I always do to get the kind of results you want and need. A successful presentation is memorable and the people attending should leave motivated and inspired. You need to do everything you can to become a strong, likable, sympathetic, and trusted voice whenever you stand in front of a group.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 043
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[01:57] Tom's introduction to Top Ten Ways to Do Great Business Presentations [05:39] Research Your Audience [09:02] Practice [19:01] Take Care of Hecklers [22:30] Use Emotional Language [28:00] Reveal Yourself [32:58] Use Props [37:43] Use Humor [46:52] Move ‘Em to Action [48:54] Bring Solutions [50:55] Pay Attention to Logistics
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Pro Speaking Mentor Program – https://www.Antion.com/prospeaking
Amazing Public Speaking – https://www.AmazingPublicSpeaking.com
“Ain’t nobody got time for that” – https://youtu.be/waEC-8GFTP4
Tips on dealing with hecklers and more – http://www.antion.com/wakebook.htm
Make 'em Laugh – https://www.greatinternetmarketing.com/makelaugh/
Screw The Commute Resources – https://screwthecommute.com/resources/
Scroll down to “Public Speaking”
QUOTE: Facts are important, but they rarely stimulate people to action. The action comes when emotions get attached to believable facts.
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
A funny keynote speaker and female comedian.
She is the poster child for her website. She looks like she’s 12 years old!
She’s a holistic healer for people and animals.
I discovered a great new headline / subject line / subheading generator that will actually analyze which headlines and subject lines are best for your market. I negotiated a deal with the developer of this revolutionary and inexpensive software. Oh, and it's good on Mac and PC. Go here: http://jvz1.com/c/41743/183906
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043 This is my Monday weekly training The Top Ten Ways to Be Great When You do a Business Presentation. I’m talking both in the boardroom and on a big stage.
O42 Mitch Davis, was a waiter who saved up $4000.00 to start his business which wasn’t easy in the mid-80s. 35 years later he has one of the top expert platforms where you can promote yourself for media interviews.
Please, if you like this podcast Subscribe, Review and Share it like crazy. Your colleagues will thank you for it.
Hey, I have to make some money to buy throat lozenges so I can keep doing this podcast. There’s a lot of talking here. So, I’m going to be mentioning lots of public and professional speaking resources in all price ranges throughout this episode.
Let’s get to the main topic. Top Ten Ways to Make Great Business Presentations
Listen to this. “Wow, what got in to him?” or “OMG she rocked it!” or “Pete knocked it out of the park. We’re going to get that contract!” or “Jennifer was the best speaker we ever had!”
Are you hearing those kinds of comments when you stand up to give a presentation? Here’s one that I got after being invited back year after year to Mark Victor Hansen’s Mega Seminar Series, BTW he’s the “Chicken Soup for the Soul Guy”: Here’s what the meeting planner said, “We can’t help but invite Tom back over and over. People have been scratching out 10’s on the evaluation form and writing in 15’s for him.”
Not to mention Mark earned $75,000.00 bucks of the quarter of a million bucks I brought in just about every time spoke there. This episode is going to give you ten of the things I always do to get the kind of results you just heard.
You see a successful presentation is memorable and the people attending should leave motivated and inspired; You might say, “Hey, Tom. I have to do a presentation outlining the pay cuts I’m implementing in my company. How am I supposed to motivate and inspire people? I’ll be lucky to get out of the meeting alive.”
Yes, I understand that sometimes there are going to be tough audiences and tough messages. That’s an even more important reason you do everything you can to become a strong, likable, sympathetic, and trusted voice whenever you stand in front of a group.
Now, if you’re screwing the commute and you’re not in any corporate setting, YOU JUST MAY SELL A LOT OF PRODUCTS IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM like I do. I’ve sold millions of dollars and rarely do less than $100,000.00 whenever I speak and that’s not pie in the sky, that’s not high pressure or being a jerk either. It’s just using the right techniques and having the right product mix to sell. I have separate training on this at https://www.Antion.com/prospeaking In the show notes.
What I want you to do is think about all the speeches and presentations you've heard.
• How many do you remember?
• Which ones did you tell your friends about?
• Which ones motivated you?
As a speaker/presenter you should spark a desire in your audience that makes them want to change. Your presentation should be professional, informative and meet the needs of your audience. I mean it’s got to have clear goals and strategies to meet those goals. If you follow these 10 steps, you will strengthen your credibility as a speaker/presenter and greatly improve your presentations.
Just a side note here: You’re hearing me say speaker/presenter all the time, right? Because I have a big audience of people who want to be or are already professional speakers, but many of these techniques are used just as importantly in boardroom or small group presentations in your business.
OK. Let’s get in to it:
RESEARCH YOUR AUDIENCE
It amazes me how some presenters will just show up and really not know anything about the people they are speaking to. Many presenters just get lazy and feel their message is so important that anyone would want to hear it. They couldn't be more wrong. Your core message might be about the same for everybody you speak to, but being able to relate to that exact audience will personalize the information and strengthen your message. People are gonna relate much better to the information and it’s going to really enhance your credibility.
Getting the info you need is not that hard. Your goal is to make the audience know the presentation they are witnessing was created specifically for them.
So, what do you do? You start by interviewing the program coordinator or whoever called the meeting. Before you stand up there you should know: The ratio of males to females in the audience, range of ages, cultural diversities, international customs and taboos you might run into, the history of the organization which you should already know if you’ve been there for a while, the company's career highs and lows, and backgrounds and goals of your audience and this is just to name a few. The more you know, the better.
In my training I include a pre-program questionnaire which leads you through all these questions.
One of the best methods to get the information you need …. and I’ve proven this method over many years, is by picking up the phone and calling people that will be in the audience or meeting and speaking to them personally.
If it’s a group I don’t know and the crowd is expected to be large, I call a minimum, MINIMUM of 15 people to get a cross section of who will be there and what they would like to get out of the presentation.
If it’s a smaller group, maybe in my own company, I might speak to them in person before the meeting to get their input.
YES, it's time consuming, but this allows you to engage with your audience in ways other presenters are too lazy to do. And that’s how you’ll get those great comments. That’s how your speaker fee rises. When I quit corporate speaking over 20 years ago my fee was $20,000.00 and I’m not any big celebrity.
If you’re a pro speaker, by calling and taking the time to personally interview your audience members, you will maintain HIGH FEES and great evaluations. You’ll really take your speaking business to the next level.
Here’s your first resource:
Visit http://www.amazingpublicspeaking.com/ for over 475 professional level and amazing public speaking materials, that will improve your speaking techniques and strengthen your presence. Check it out in the show notes. https://www.AmazingPublicSpeaking.com
Don’t people always say "Practice makes perfect", well they’re partially right. The new saying is “Perfect practice makes you sick of practicing and makes you want to quit” hahaha
I don’t think that’s exactly the way the new saying goes. Anyway, you have to practice.
This will be a little longer segment because I want to clearly explain some practice techniques to you.
Anyway, practicing is the only way to look polished when you’re speaking. And you can’t delegate this to anyone else. You have to practice yourself. Hey, it's you on stage with the microphone and it is you who will look either great or like a schmuck. Your choice.
An I gotta tell you. You are sadly mistaken and egotistical to the max if you think the PowerPoint slides that either you or someone else created will make you a dynamic speaker. They won’t. I want you to be so great all your computer stuff could blow up and the audience still thinks you were the best speaker they’ve ever seen. How about that?
There are specific techniques used to practice that don't take much time and make you look really, really polished. When I say, “They don’t take much time” I mean you don’t have to sit down and do them and stop everything else, in fact, that counterproductive. I’m going to show you that right now.
One of these techniques is called “bits”. You practice a short piece of material….maybe a couple minute section out loud 30 – 50 times. I know you’re saying, “Are you crazy? 30-50 times???” It’s like that lady on that funny YouTube video, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” hahaha I’ll put the link to that video in the show notes. It’s hysterical https://youtu.be/waEC-8GFTP4
Anyway, here’s he deal. If you practice something 5 or maybe 10 times, it sounds rehearsed. But once you practice it 30-50 times, something magical happens. It starts to sound conversational and that’s what you want.
Now, you don't want to practice it word-for-word. Just talk your way through it. People that try to memorize things word-for-word totally blank out on the entire segment if they mess up one word or there’s some distraction that throws them off. You definitely don’t want to go blank. . . . Talk about looking like a big doofus!
Here’s two more important things about this technique. 1. You must do it out loud. You can’t just do it in your mind. Your lips don’t always go where your mind is telling it unless your lips have practiced as much as the rest of you. And 2. You MUST practice while you’re doing something else, like taking a shower, doing your hair, exercising or whatever you can do without looking like a nut case in front of people. This way an earthquake could happen in the middle of your presentation and you will be able to spit out a great and polished segment.
Over time, you will develop more and more of these “bits” and you can string them together to talk for a long time without using notes. ….and guess what. When you don’t use notes, people THINK you know what you’re talking about.
Here’s another thing that I consider a dumb idea. Many speakers and speaker trainers tell you to practice in front of a mirror. This is a terrible idea. The only time this is OK is if you are working on funny facial expressions for humor or you want to make sure you’re clothing isn’t doing weird things as you move. Other than that, forget the mirror. Using it will make you less likely to move your eyes around the room because you're so focused on your own face. I want you to practice in a room of pillows or stuffed animals using a broom or hair brush as a pretend microphone. This is not to say you have to do the stuffed animal thing every time you practice. You’re still going to practice your bits anywhere and anytime you can.
I want you to practice making eye contact with each stuffed animal or pillow. In the early days I struggled with this myself. I would fixate on one part of the room instead of making eye contact with as many people as possible in the audience. Now, keep in mind if one of those stuffed animals raises their paw, ….. either you’ve had too much to drink or you may not be explaining your subject well enough hahaha. I have a good time amusing myself while doing these podcasts folks in case you’re wondering. hahaha
Practice engaging with your audience by moving around the room. If possible practice in the room where you will be speaking, and try to visualize the event.
Here’s a great rule of thumb: If you’re gonna move around, move at least three steps in a direction for a purpose. If you want to address the right side of the audience, walk over there. Walk all the way back to address the other side. Walk back to the middle. Don’t be just sway around like you’re a buoy in the ocean. It’s very distracting and reduces your power considerably.
I highly suggest you record your first 100 presentations. Hahaha. Don’t give me that “Ain’t got no time for that” thing again. hahaha You wanna be good at this? You wanna be great? You wanna get those big paydays? Well put in the work? Audio recording is good. Video is even better. If you listen and watch closely to yourself after you’re out of the heat of the battle, you’ll notice that the slightest differences in the way you say things may sound better and get a better response from the audience. This is the best way to gauge how your audience reacted to your message. This continual testing enables a story or a piece of material to evolve over time. You can also have your speech transcribed and mark where you hear positive or negative responses from the audience. I’ll have a supercheap and superfast transcription service in the show notes. Because this really helps your speeches get way, way better when you can look at what you “actually” said as opposed to what you “think” you said in the heat of the battle. You can check it out afterwards.
https://youtu.be/VmPtVuke0OE Here’s a short video about it and you can get 30 FREE minutes to try it out by using this link: https://sonix.ai/invite/qgzogvk
Here’s some more things you should practice. Chang your pitch, tone and loudness. Avoid a dull monotone delivery.
Here’s a super tip hardly anyone knows about.
If you want to be instantly more interesting, in general emphasize the adjectives and the verbs when you talk. Let me repeat that. If you want to be instantly more interesting, in general emphasize the adjectives and the verbs when you talk.
Here’s an example where I’ll describe something normally and then I’ll emphasize the adjectives and the verbs:
“My living room has a gorgeous, button tufted couch, that screams quality.”
“My living room has a gorgeous, button tufted couch, that screams quality.”
Let’s go over this. “Gorgeous” and “Button Tufted” are the adjectives and “Screams” was the verb.
“My living room has a gorgeous, button tufted couch, that screams quality.”
If you start paying attention to this one tip, it will be much more interesting to listen to you and you didn’t even have to change any of the words. Just emphasize them and you’ll be dynamic instead of boring.
Alright, once you're ready to take your speeches to the next level¸ get professional coaching. A reputable coach will be able to objectively evaluate your current abilities and formulate a plan for you that will take you to the next level.
And guess who would be a good candidate to help you out. Your truly has trained more professional speakers I think than anyone living.
So, check out my speaker mentor program at https://www.Antion.com/prospeaking In Show Notes. Screwthecommute.com/43
Alright, Tip number 3
Take Care of Hecklers
Hecklers are attention starved people and their sole purpose in life is to interrupt speakers. No matter how great a speaker you are, you will eventually be heckled. Just because you’re in a business presentation and the person isn’t drunk yelling “Your mother wears combat boots” or “you suck.“ Nowadays she could be wearing combat boots…..but now I undress….. I mean digress. You’re still technically getting heckled.
There are a few techniques for dealing with hecklers. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just crush them into oblivion like a standup comic would do?…..unfortunately that doesn’t go over very well in business environments. It will probably get you sued.
Remember I mentioned this in the first tip about researching your audience? Another great benefit of speaking to people before a presentation is it reduces the chance of hecklers and negative Nellies hurting your results. In fact, if I’m going to a new group, I’ll ask, “Who are the people always giving the presenter a hard time?” I make it a point to interview that person and ask them for their opinion. They just want attention. Mentioning something they said in your presentation makes them my little star and can shut them up and keep them from hassling you. This virtually eliminates the chance they will give me a hard time because I am praising one of their opinions which gives them the attention they are craving.
This works great. Just don’t do it too much because everyone else knows that person is a jerk and may think you are like him/her if you refer to them too much. Don’t do that. Mention a wide variety of people in the audience. Just make sure the bad ones are included which normally keeps them at bay.
For more tips on dealing with hecklers visit, http://www.antion.com/wakebook.htm This is my classic book about being great on stage. Wake ‘em Up Business Presentations
Before we go to number 4, I want to do a couple brief shoutouts for some people who helped me launch this podcast:
Name: Jan McInnis, a funny keynote speaker and female comedian
Lynn Pierce is the poster child for her website
http://AgelessLifestyleAfter50.com She looks like she’s 12 years old.
She’s a holistic healer for people and animals.
OK Let’s get on with number 4
USE EMOTIONAL LANGUAGE
So, what really moves you to action, facts or emotion? When those animal abuse commercials come on, are you only listening to the facts, or are you emotionally drawn in by the images? Most people are drawn in by the emotional images. Boring old facts rarely move people to action. The exception to this is if you have a totally analytical audience . . . .like maybe engineers. And I’m not disparaging engineers. They just have a different kind of mindset and that might not even be true depending on your topic. So again, you must talk to them before your engagement to find out.
Anyway, learning to use words that evoke emotions in people will make a much greater impact when you speak. There are many emotions you can trigger in the audience just by your choice of words; happiness, anger, and nostalgia things like that.
You’ve got to know your purpose for being in front of the group. This is gonna help you choose which emotions you want to evoke. When your purpose is known, choosing words to get the desired emotional response is much easier.
And again, you’ve got to know your audience. For example, if you ask an audience; "Do you remember when you were a child, and you could barely get to sleep Christmas Eve because you just knew that Santa was going to bring you that special something?" Well, if your audience isn't entirely Christian, some of your audience members will not relate and your message might get lost. You gotta choose words and experiences your audience can relate to.
I want to give you an example from my Wake ‘em Up Business Presentations book. I’m going to read a passage with a set of facts ….remember we’re on Emotional Language here ….and then I’m going to read the revised version of the same passage with emotional language inserted. You tell me which one of these passages would be more effective in getting the money and action that they’re looking for here.
Here's the factual one:
There have been eleven accidents in the past year at the sharp
curve which is two miles north of Cherokee Lake on Route 857.
Installation of guard rails, warning signs, and a flashing light will
cost approximately $34,000. Even though we have not balanced
the budget this year, I feel that we should appropriate money for
this project. Thank you.
OK. That’s the basic set of facts:
Here is a little different version that uses emotional language to get the message across.
Ready? Here we go: On July 18th of this year John Cochran was found dead. The
radio of his car was still playing when the paramedics got to his
overturned vehicle. John's neck was broken. It was snapped when
his car flipped over an embankment. No one here knows John
Cochran because he did not live here, but he died in our
neighborhood. Most of you do know of the hairpin turn on Route
857 that has been the scene of eleven accidents this year alone
and has injured many friends as well as strangers. We need money
to put up guardrails, signs, and a flashing light. I know money is
tight, but I hope you see fit to find the funds to remedy this
situation before the unknown John Cochran becomes one of your
I still get goose pimples every time I read this.
I hope you can you see the difference in these two appeals? The first was simply a set of facts. Facts are important, but they rarely stimulate people to action. The action comes when emotions get attached to believable facts. You can bet the second version of the above story would have the best chance of securing that $34,000 bucks.
Let’s break down the second version. Here are some of the emotionally charged phrases that were inserted. John Cochran was found dead. The radio of his car was still playing . . . John's neck was broken. It was snapped . . . His car flipped . . . . . . hairpin turn . . . He died in our neighborhood. All these phrases were woven into the original set of facts to create the emotional response of horror about this terribly dangerous turn.
Yes, this was a dramatic example. I get that. But if you get good at this in all kinds of situations that aren’t quite as dramatic, your results when you speak will go through the roof.
I have lots of training on this kind of stuff
My Wake ‘em Up book
The Wake ‘em Up Video Professional Speaking System and my pro speaker mentor program. Everything will be in the show notes screwthecommute.com/43 All this stuff will be in the show notes.
Okie Doke Let’s hit tip 5 and that is:
I didn’t say “expose” yourself. That’s a whole different kind of presentation. Hahaha Don't be afraid to be human. Remaining aloof and mysterious might be sexy, but it will damage your chances of making a dynamic connection with your audience.
You certainly don't have to reveal your deepest darkest secrets, but you can reveal your favorite hobbies, what you do to relax, your family dynamics and your educational background.
And hey. Make fun of yourself. Nothing makes people like you more than when they can laugh at you and with you. Allow them to connect with you emotionally by revealing a low point in your life and how you climbed out of it to get where they want to be.
Your audience should know why you’re speaking, your commitment to your topic and/or product and why you're committed to them. Reveal enough about yourself, so your audience will want to know what you know; show them the real you. You will have a better chance of connecting with your audience and getting them to listen to you if you open up a little bit. Like we saw a minute ago. You might be great at facts, but facts alone rarely cut it.
I’ve made many millions of dollars speaking. Giving facts and information is maybe half of what I do when I’m in front of people. The other half is from entertaining them with humor that applies to what I’m talking about which you’ll learn about in a couple minutes and from revealing myself. Things like: I’m always for the underdog and I stand up for them. I love animals. I contribute large amounts to animal rescue. I’ve done other really big charities for children, I’ve had trouble with my weight, I’ve said the wrong thing in situation that made me look really stupid or embarrassed, I’m terrible at cooking and actually shot stuff on the ceiling when trying to make a recipe one time. People love this stuff when they see you screw up combined with all the great things they are learning from you. It really humanizes you.
OMG – I have to tell you a story. When I first started speaking my topic was humor in the workplace and how it increases morale and productivity and stuff like that. I was talking about keeping pictures of your pets, and your kids and grandkids at your cubicle to make you feel good during the day. I walked over to a lady and I said right to her, “Wouldn’t it be nice if you had pictures of your grandkids at your cubicle?” OMG, I mean she looked at me with pretty much daggers in her eyes. Actually, they were more like swords coming out of her eyes. The entire room went silent. …..not good for a humor seminar I don’t need to tell you that….” I’m thinking, “OMG her grandchildren must have died in a car accident or were run over by a stampeding herd of elephants on a safari. I had no idea. I just knew something was terribly wrong. I didn’t have any choice. I had to keep going. So, I switched topics and finished the seminar. Afterwards I was talking to the meeting planner and I asked her what went wrong when I was talking to the lady about grandkids? She motioned for me to come closer and she whispered in my ear, “She’s only 35.” Could I have done anything worse? I could have murdered someone in front of the group and I don’t think it could have been worse than telling someone how old she looks in front of all her peers.”
This section is on revealing yourself, right? So there, I just revealed to you what a Dumbo I was.
Number 6 is the use of Props
This is really good skill to have. To practice this, I make people just look around them wherever they are and see what they could use to help make one of their points in their presentation.
You have to be willing to step outside the box on this one. Wait, lemme change that to stomp on the box and crush it into oblivion alright and try something new each time you present. Props can enhance your playfulness on one hand and they can really intensify your presentation on the other. It doesn’t have to be funny. People can really anchor a thought in to their minds when it's connected to a physical visual that relates to the point you are making. I’m not talking about your visuals on the screen. I’m talking about some physical thing you can pick up or point to when you’re in front of a group.
Always relate the prop to the point you are trying to make and make sure the audience can see the prop. You can use large, small, funny or serious props. But if it’s small and you’re in a big group you may have to tell the video guy ahead of time to zoom in on it while you hold it still so people can see it on the big screen. Another thing I do in midsize groups is walk quickly around the room holding it out so people can see. In a boardroom or small group, you could pass it around so people can actually touch it.
Props can be used to help you remember what to say. It’s similar to bits. It’s just a different way to help you remember what to say. I used to use three funny hats as props. One hat was one of those ballcaps that had long hair attached to the back that made me look like a hippie. Inside the ballcap I hid piece of paper reminding me to talk about when the business was young. As I’m putting it on I glance at the paper and nobody knows I have a cheat sheet. I have lots of ways to show you how to hide notes all over the place and nobody will ever know about it. Then I had a top hat kinda like an Abe Lincoln thing. Then I would talk about as the company matured. And then I had a safari hat and I talked about now we had to search for new business. If from my research of the group told me the leaders were lots of fun, I let them where each hat as I talked about it. Make sure to clear it with them first. It’s a lot of fun when the leaders are going along with things. If you explain that to them ahead of time how much the people will love it if they can go along and be playful, it can really work out great for you.
I've brought mannequins on stage, dressed up as a gorilla; I had the CEO dress up as Elvis one time I even learned a few magic tricks http://www.magic4speakers.com . I'll do whatever is necessary to get my point across in a more memorable and interesting fashion.
Props don’t always have to be funny or crazy. You could have a mockup model of your new building. You could hold up a new tool that makes you more efficient and pass it around so people can look at it. Any physical thing can be a prop. And here’s a tip for using props.
Remember, you are talking to your audience and not talking to the prop; your prop should not steal your attention away from your audience.
In many cases you would want to hide your props from the audience until you’re ready to use them. Your prop may lose its affect and your message may be lost if the audience is focused on it the entire presentation when you’re not talking about it. You gain their interest by surprising them. There’s all kinds of fun things you can do with props. Get yourself a cheap membership to http://www.amazingpublicspeaking.com/ for extensive information on incorporating props into your presentation, plus over 475 professional level and amazing public speaking materials.
Hey, I told you I needed to buy throat lozenges so you gotta support me here hahaha
My “Wake ‘em Up Speaking System incorporates many attention gaining devices. I’m giving you a little background info here. Here’s some examples. Stage movement, visuals, voice inflection, gestures, facial expressions, we just talked about props and a lot more. One of the most important is the appropriate use of humor. Today’s audiences and business people expect the best presenters to have some kind of entertainment value. And don’t worry. You don’t have to be a stand-up comic to be a great presenter, but there are tremendous advantages of using humor appropriately to help reinforce your points, keep attention and gain rapport.
Let me talk about rapport. Do you listen to people you like more than people that are neutral to you or that you don’t like? Of course, you listen more to people you like. Humor can help establish and maintain rapport with your audience. It also makes you more likable and fun to listen to. Humor allows the audience to relax …the is another benefit…. when faced with heavy material. Even Shakespeare had what they called “comic relief” in the middle of these heavy tragedies. Your humor should relate to your audience and the point you are trying to make. This will make your presentation way more effective and I have a section in my training called “Bombproofing” or how you can make sure you pick and deliver appropriate humor that won’t get you in trouble. And humor is much more likely to make your information way more memorable. So, keep that in mind.
Like I said, you don't have to be a standup comedian to use humor in speeches and presentations, and you don't have to tell jokes either. There are many ways to add humor that don't require any skill at all. If you’re smart, even if you don’t think you’re funny, you’ll use them.
Here’s just a couple examples that don’t require any skill:
I’m going to give you I think three examples here:
- You could show funny visuals. You don’t have to be funny. The visual is funny. Just make sure it makes the point you’re trying to make.
- You could read something funny. Here’s an example from when I was speaking on humor in the workplace to reduce stress years ago. Here’s what I read to them that I got out of “Time” magazine which I gave credit to, “There’s so many stress reduction programs out there people are getting stressed out trying to pick one.” I didn’t make up that thought. I just picked it because it was appropriate to my topic, I gave credit and I just read it. People laughed like crazy.
Here’s another one and again I’m back to my audience research. You could just tell or read something someone in the audience told you during your phone call with them prior to the presentation. I’ll never forget this one. I think audience members got hernias they were laughing so hard. I was speaking to a bunch of government employees. One of the people I was talking to was telling me about their pay scales weren’t adequate and we were discussing other things that were going on in that States government. She told me and I quote, “The reason the Governor is building so many prisons is because when the State employees start committing armed robbery to make ends meet, he’ll have someplace to put us.” When I read that and gave her credit I swear I thought the building was going to explode.
I made her the star, but who got the credit for doing the best presentation they ever had? ….Yours truly.
You can do this.
Just yesterday before I recorded this I was helping a speaker jazz up her presentations in a field not really known for humor. I told her to go to Google and type in “Chemical engineering humor”. You would think that’s going to be pretty sparse right? Then I told her to click on “Images” where she would find all kinds of cartoons on the topic, tee-shirt sayings and stuff like that. She was laughing like crazy on the phone with me on things I couldn’t even see the humor in. That’s the point. Chemical engineers could see the humor. That one tip alone made her a much better presenter.
Now there’s a caution here: Don’t reprint a cartoon or show it from stage without permission. The simpler way is to just tell about the cartoon and what it said. It can be just as funny and you have no copyright infringement problems. For instance, I saw a cartoon one time where Superman was in bed with a woman and the woman was crying and all sad. The caption was, “I can’t help it I’m faster than a speeding bullet” hahaha.
Using humor appropriately can change the course of your business and your life. Let me tell you about an informal study I did when I lived outside of Washington, D.C. There was a magazine called the “Washingtonian” I don’t know if it even exists anymore since I moved out of there a long time ago. In the back there was a personal ad section. For a year, every month I would count the total number of ads and then I would count the total number of ads in some fashion they were saying they wanted a person with a sense of humor. 70% of the ads wanted someone with a sense of humor. I suspect the other 30% did too but just didn’t put it in the ad. So, when I say, “Humor can change your life,” I mean it.
You do have to use common sense. I was teaching a group of professional speakers in a humor class how to do a singing opening. A year later a guy that was in the audience came up to me a little bit mad and told that singing opening was the worst Idea he had ever heard and bombed terribly. When I got him to tell me what happened, he had tried to do it in front of a 99 percent male crowd of attorneys and CPA’s all vying for a big piece of business. The idea wasn’t stupid. He was.
At the training session he apparently missed me saying this works better for all female audiences on lighthearted occasions and not to try it on all male audiences at serious business meetings.
OK. Here’s the deal. I’ve got a three-hour webinar on how to use humor in business presentations that could literally take you from where you are to 5 levels higher when you do a speech or business presentation. It’s for all levels of presenters and guaranteed there’s something for everyone. You can add a little bit of levity or you can have them rolling in the aisles from what you learn in this webinar. It’s not about standup comedy either. That’s an entirely different skill. It’s about carefully using appropriate amounts and levels of humor to smash home your business points, be more likable and increase your leadership skills by leaps and bounds.
One last warning….Like drinking, you must use humor responsibly, because one tasteless joke can destroy your credibility and your career.
So, check out this 3+ hour training. This skill has been worth millions of dollars to me over many years. It’s really worth you learning this stuff. Check it out at https://www.greatinternetmarketing.com/makelaugh/ and we’ll have it in the show notes screwthecommute.com/43
Now let’s move on to tip 8 which is
MOVE 'EM TO ACTION
If you are going to bother taking up people's time to speak to them, challenge them to do something positive because of your presentation. For example: challenge your audience to follow your 10 steps to success for 30 days (Or a specified period of time). I.e. give them something to do. You don’t want them thinking, “That was nice, now what’s for lunch?” Not giving them a call to action is pretty much the quickest way for you to be forgotten.
An effective speaker or presenter has the ability to move their audience to some kind of action. If you’ve been diligent in knowing your audience’s needs, …I keep coming back to that over and over again folks and I don’t do it just to hear myself talk. This is really, really important to know your audience… If you know your audience, you can focus your presentation on teaching your audience how to overcome their adversities and to reach their goals.
You can even evoke emotions in your audience, by telling a story of a low point in your career. And you reveal the strategy that lead to your success and the techniques that you use to maintain it now.
And even if they fail, …just like that guy I just told you about…. it's still better than doing nothing because they will at least get a chance to learn something from their mistake.
Regardless of the size of your ego, the reality is that you are there for them, not the other way around. If you concentrate on their needs, you will establish a lasting connection and great rapport with your audience. In addition, you will come across as a powerful speaker which will increase your popularity and strengthen your reputation. So, make absolutely sure you give them a call to action at the end of your presentation.
OK. We’re on the home stretch. Number 9 is
One of the best ways to increase your credibility and the rapport with the audience is to bring solutions to their problems. If you have done a thorough job of researching your audience, (which you might notice I come back to that over and over and over again) you should be knowledgeable of their problems, and prepared with solutions. Nobody wants you to stand up there and go over all the problems without giving them some hope there is a way out of the problems. I’ll go back to “Ain’t nobody got no time for that.” Sure, you have to acknowledge the issue or problem, but you better have some ideas on how to fix it. Plus, you can get buy in from them by taking suggestions on how to fix the problems.
If possible, you might even reveal a time in your life where you were in their current position so they can relate to you better. Then they might be more willing to accept your solution or plan of action because you’ve “been there and done that”. If you can bring the solutions and effectively solve their problems, you will increase their motivation to get behind you and buy in to your solutions or if you sell products, ACTUALLY buy your solution.
People come to you for ideas and strategies that will improve their current situation, and it's your job to lead them in the direction of success.
In modern day thinking this is what motivational speaking is all about. No longer is it good enough to get folks all fired up where they are bouncing off the walls, still having no plan to what they will do with this new-found excitement and motivation. Modern professional motivational speakers bring solutions and a strategic winning plan of action which is in itself motivating.
So, Bring Solutions
OK Here we are at Big Number 10
PAY ATTENTION TO LOGISTICS
All the best preparation, practice and audience research could be ruined if you forget to pay attention to all the details surrounding a presentation. The atmosphere should complement your speech, but you’re not always able to present in an ideal location. In fact, most of the time you can’t.
Before you speak you should be aware of the venues lighting, seating, what’s behind you in the
background, the ceiling height, the door locations and where the emergency exits are. You should know where the important people are sitting, who they are and whether or not part of your audience may be seated with their backs to you like with round tables at a luncheon.
You should know every aspect of the meeting and any other speakers before or after you. Once you are knowledgeable of the logistics you can tailor your presentation to fit your surroundings.
Here are a few questions to ask before speaking at any engagement:
• What are the seating arrangements?
• Are there round tables, classroom tables, chairs only or will people be forced to stand? I’ve done that in barns before.
• How big is the screen in the room?
• Will alcohol be offered?
• What is the lighting like? Can it be dimmed? Are there spotlights? What’s the ceiling height?
This is just a fraction of what I know before I walk on stage.
I’ll give you an example of something I saw from another presenter who didn’t do this. He had this big beautiful thing with balloons. But you needed a ballroom with 30-foot-high ceilings. So, he tried to do it in an 8-foot ceiling room. It was just stupid looking. I would have just not done it and found some other exciting thing to do that suited the room.
You gotta know what you need. If there are any presentation tools that are essential to your speech, you should ask the coordinator if these tools will be available to you. If not, you might have to bring them yourself. …A portable sound system, your own recorder, etc. …
All these items and many more can impact the overall effectiveness of a presentation. I mean literally the same exact words delivered with significantly different logistics could be received in entirely different ways. You can go from a fantastic evaluation to a bomb solely on seating arrangements. And I’m not kidding. It's up to you to know the logistics of the room, and how they will impact your presentation.
Knowing these things will make or break your career. People want to get excited about what you’re bringing to them. Your presentation can’t be just ok; it has to be GREAT . . . Your career in back of the room sales (if applicable) DEPENDS ON IT!
Indoors presentations, outdoor presentations, screen size, sound systems, what’s on the program before you and after you, how critical is it that you end on a certain time, what will you do if your time gets cut, will they be recording on audio and/or video, how many people, are you providing handouts, how will they be passed out, who will be introducing you I could go on for another ten minutes about things you need to know and what to do about them so you hit a grand slam every time.
If I bomb at a presentation, people could get fired. There enormous amounts of money on the line every time I stand up in front of a group. The techniques I teach you are the exact ones I’ve taught literally thousand of presenters over many years. And they work.
I challenge you to follow these 10 steps that led to my professional success and many others. These techniques along with hard work and the desire to succeed will bring you professional success, financial wealth and big amounts of respect among your peers.
Here’s what I want you to do. Go to https://screwthecommute.com/resources/ scroll down to the public speaking section. And dig in. I have made millions doing what are in those trainings I have for you and everything I have is reasonably priced. There’s plenty of rip-offs out there overhyping things and charging tens of thousands of dollars for things they’ve never even done themselves. Invest in yourself and it will pay off a thousand-fold.
OK. That’s it for this episode. If you like what you heard here, please subscribe, review and share
Upcoming O44 Patricia Drain National Association of Women Business Owners named her Business Woman of the Year. She built many businesses for the sole purposes of selling them off so she can enjoy her lifestyle business. Don’t miss her episode.
I’ll catch ya on that episode See ya later.
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