Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Public Speaking : THIS WILL SURPRISE YOU Part II

Last issue I told you that it was OK to stink up the stage by being a lousy presenter. Again, I must remind you that I am not encouraging this. I want you to get better technically, so that your message has a better chance of getting through.

The big picture is that you must build rapport with an audience for them to get the message. My definition of rapport is that the audience members trust you and that they feel you care about them. Here are some ways to build that trust and caring atmosphere:

=> Know what you are talking about and admit it when you dont. BS will not cut it with the sophisticated audiences of today.

=> Have some credentials. Do something, write something, record something, help someone. i.e., do something more than talk.

=> Do everything you say you are going to do before the program and do it in a helpful and timely manner. The meeting organizer in most cases will tell the group, or let it be known that you walk your talk. Even if he or she does not you will feel great about the way you handle things and it will show.

=> Phone interview a cross section of audience members prior to your speaking engagement. I can not tell you how wonderfully this has worked for me over the years. People cannot wait to meet you and they tell others about the call. This really screams, "I care about you!"

=> Make yourself accessible. As long as you are good on the platform, meeting planners love it when you come early and stay late. . . .NOTE: If you bomb get out quick hahahaha

=> Offer free follow up for the audience members via email or fax. If you are too busy to actually answer personally, have an assistant follow up. Do not brush this suggestion off too lightly. This is one of the main methods to deeply penetrate an organization. The people that do follow up for you are "angels"in the company. They will tell you of other events or problems where you might be able to help.

So, you can be "lousy" if you want to, but make sure the audience trusts you and build rapport and you will have a much better chance that your message gets through.

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