This is the time of the year we bundle up and keep warm. However, that is no excuse to not look good.
This is also a time to look forward to a successful 2023.
No matter what your goals are, or your profession is, one guaranteed way you can get ahead is to become an even more powerful, persuasive, speaker. My FRIPPMAS gift to you is from December 1 to the end of the day December 12 your first month of my highly interactive, learn-at-your-own-pace speaking and presenting online training FrippVT Powerful,Persuasive Presentations is…wait for it $12 instead of $297.
“Patricia, you saved the day! I was summoned on rather short notice to speak as a keynote speaker for our corporate annual sales conference. My task was to relate technical details to a non-technical audience.
Lucky for me, a week in advance I found FrippVT. I worked tirelessly devouring the FrippVT content most evenings until 2 a.m. to perform at the highest level possible.
Can you imagine my excitement to walk off stage and hear, ‘You stole the show,’ ‘Are you a professional speaker?’ and ‘The audience was hanging onto your every word.’ I cannot thank you enough for creating FrippVT. Having your wisdom, advice, and guidance 24/7 throughout my preparation for this speaking engagement. Consider me your biggest fan.”
Scott Lelii, Head of Digital & IT, Volvo Construction Equipment Sales Regions North & Latin America, Sean Youngberg
Stories and examples are best when they come from your experience. Your audience has a chance to relive them from their perspective. Here is an important point to make your stories credible.
Point one, make your story part of your own experience. If you tell a story that belongs to the world—in other words, it is well known from a best-selling book, or they’ve been teaching it for years in the Dale Carnegie course—you lose your credibility. If your stories are in the public domain, your audience is familiar with it and knows it does not come from your experience. Your entire presentation then is flavored that it’s not original, fresh, or leading edge.
In this message, we’re going to clarify what you may believe are two conflicting ideas. The point of retelling stories you heard, and the idea of only telling stories from your own experience. If you are retelling stories you heard in conversation, and you make heroes of the people who shared their experience, then great. The assumption is, they are not speakers, don’t work at your company, or will ever address audiences you will speak to. In our world of YouTube, if others are talking publicly about their experiences, and others may have heard them, you need to acknowledge that.
Once you become aware and keep your eyes and ears open, stories that will make great examples are everywhere.
“The Rule of Three” is a writing principle suggesting that a trio of events or characters is more humorous, satisfying, or effective than other numbers.
Audiences are more likely to remember information conveyed using “The Rule of Three.” This is because the three elements provide brevity and rhythm with the smallest amount of information needed to create a pattern. It makes an author or speaker appear knowledgeable while remaining both accessible and catchy.
There are no boring subjects. There are only boring speakers.
It doesn’t matter what your content or topic is, when presented well, it can be interesting and educational and make an emotional connection to the audience.
There are some who claim that public speaking is merely knowing your subject.
They take the attitude that having something to say is all that is necessary. That is not at all true.
You, perhaps, have listened to many speakers who knew their subjects thoroughly, but who, when they attempted to speak, actually bored their audiences. Merely knowing your subject is as far from public speaking as knowing the words of a song is from singing. Knowledge of your subject is vitally essential, yet that alone does not give you the ability to speak interestingly and hold your audience.
A few years ago, I was speaking at a conference for the construction industry.
After my keynote speech, I was delivering a breakout session where I was coaching the participants on their presentations. I made that statement: “There are no boring subjects, only boring speakers.” A gentleman in the third row put his hand up and said, ‘Ms. Fripp, my subject’s boring.’
Well, I will admit that there could be exceptions, however, you know me, I was going to go down fighting for my opinion. I asked him, “What is your subject?”
He said, ‘I teach OSHA rules and regulations for six hours.’
I brought him to the front of the room and said, “Tell me one rule.”
‘You have to wear your safety goggles.’
I asked him, “Please tell me about a time when one person did not wear his safety goggles. Then let’s look at it from the point of view of his wife.”
This was my suggestion on how he could open his presentation in a way to engage his audience.
“Imagine yourself as a 22-year-old wife and mother of two. One morning you kissed your 24-year-old husband, the sole support of your family, goodbye as he went to work on the construction site on the corner of 39th and Main, next to the Kroger store. His job was to drill through concrete to put in a new pipe. Just as he was doing that, a big chunk of concrete flew out and hit him in the eye. He was not wearing his safety goggles. They took him to the hospital and finally brought him home a few days later. You nursed him back to health, but now he has only one good eye. How do you feel when he goes back to work to do the same job, at the same construction site, and you’re fairly confident that once again he’s not going to wear his safety goggles?”
My suggestion was after he had his audience’s attention to transition into the body of his presentation.
‘Welcome to OSHA. For the next 5 ½ hours, we will look at 136 rules and regulations. You know them. You’ve heard them. However, this is to reinforce the importance of staying vigilant and making sure that your crews are aware of and follow all recommended guidelines.’
What you might want to do to spice up a potentially boring subject is to find stories about some of the rules and regulations. Stories can make even the most indisputably dull topic come alive. Find the stories; present them well. You will make an emotional connection, and the audience will remember the stories.
Remember, stories are the currency of human contact.
If you need help, why not open your Amazon account and order my new book Deliver Unforgettable Presentations written with Darren LaCroix and Mark Brown. Shep Hyken, Hall of Fame Speaker and best-selling author, is practicing some of the Fripp opening lines.
In honor of the just released documentary about my brother Robert Fripp and his band, we will revisit an earlier post.
Variety says, “In the Court of the Crimson King is really about as good as any rock documentaries get, in capturing the essence of a group of musicians and how they relate to each other.”
The Next Time You Sit Down to Dinner Reflect
Early in his career, my brother Robert Fripp enjoyed international acclaim with his band King Crimson. He later felt a great need to leave that world and spend time on spiritual self-reflection. Brother went into a retreat with philosopher J.G. Bennett. That experience made a significant impact on Robert and is still reflected in the way he lives his life and influences others, including me.
At the retreat before meals, which they prepared themselves, they said grace. Many decades later, we both enjoy sharing it with friends and gatherings of all faiths.
“All life is one, and everything that lives is holy.
Plants, animals, and people all must eat to live and nourish one another.
We bless the life that has died to give us food.
Let us eat consciously, resolving by our labors to pay the debt of our existence.
Yes, it makes me want to scream! Because “super” is not really super.
It appears that a huge amount of the population has come to believe that everything even slightly pleasant, wonderful, important, revolutionary, impressive, or valuable is now super. How about super-exciting, super-good, or super-great?
Our language is full of hundreds of descriptive words.
We have an abundance or plethora of choices. Please, put yourself on a non-super diet. Be more creative.
One of my clients held a four-day sales meeting. My role was to hold interactive sessions to improve the sales presentations with the relatively young sales teams.
As my client, Greg explained, “They are mostly in their 20s and early 30s. For most, it is their first or second sales job.”
Naturally, I sat in on all the General Sessions where we heard from their middle-aged executives. For four days, I heard no other adjective except “super” from the stage. Everybody was super excited. The new programs were super. The sessions were super.
It felt as if the middle-aged executives were trying to sound young and hip to their young audience.
Shouldn’t they have been role models of the best way to communicate? In my opinion, every leader at every level has a responsibility to demonstrate how to look, act, and speak if you want to advance in your career. This is how you are more likely to build rapport and drive the sale forward with customers of all ages.
A great way to build your business is to collaborate with other speakers and consultants.
Yes, you can combine your communities and mailing lists; however, what you learn from smart partners is invaluable. Here is advice you can benefit from that comes from the consultant’s consultant. Alan Weiss, Ph.D., CPAE, CMC is the author of Million Dollar Consulting and for many years my collaborator in The Odd Couple seminars. Alan has now written more than 60 books.
At the opening of one of our seminars, Alan Weiss gave these pieces of advice in an evening Q & A…
Q: How do I build my business?
Alan: “There has to be a market need for what you do; you have to have the competency to meet the need, and you have to have the passion to want to fulfill it. When those three things converge, you have a brilliant career.
It doesn’t matter what the economy is like; it doesn’t matter what the competition is like; it doesn’t matter what government regulation is like. The great thing about what we do is we control our own destiny.
So, look where those three things are and you have a brilliant career.”
Q: How do I stand out in the crowd of other consultants and professional speakers?
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