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A Common Selling Mistake

Last Wednesday afternoon, I attended a typical networking event. I listened to people share their version of an ‘elevator’ pitch – their 30-second ‘commercials.’ Point of clarification – they were supposed to be 30-seconds long.  And, as I feared, many of them used this event to start selling their services.

They didn’t follow the guidelines. They stood up and spoke for a minute or longer. 

As I listened to speaker after speaker, two issues became clear:

  1. They were missing an opportunity to stand out. At 60 to 90-seconds, they were violating the rules of the exercise. This irritates others and hurts your credibility
  2. I had no idea how most of the speakers could help me. They were too busy telling us everything about themselves. They were using traditional “selling” techniques that have been proven not to work.
Why Does This Selling Approach Hurt You?

This group did not understand the purpose of a 30-second talk. Unfortunately, they are not alone. Every day, all over the world, people are committing this same mistake.  They mistakenly believe that talking about themselves is the key to creating interest. They miss an opportunity to make an impact because they are essentially saying the same things as their competitors.

Every gathering you attend is an opportunity to shine. Or be forgotten. At every event, your goal should be the same:

Let people know the benefits you can provide to THEM

This is one of the most important business lessons I’ve learned.  I discovered the hard way that when you first meet people, they do not care about you, your company or your products and service.

They will care once they know how you can help them.

This explained why my old 30-second commercials failed. No one cared that “I am an author, speech coach and professional speaker.” Or, that “Speaking CPR helps you breathe life into your lifeless presentations.”

What they wanted was to know was:

How can you make my life better?

This insight enabled me to create a better 30-second talk.  I used this brief formula to restructure it:

  • Mention a common problem that business professionals face (one that I solve)
  • Introduce yourself and your company name
  • Offer a ‘big picture’ explanation of the benefits I provide
  • Focus on the listener with the word “you” (or variation) as many times as possible

My new 30-second talk now addresses their concerns:

“Your ability to confidently stand up and speak in front of a group of any size is one of the most important business skills you can develop. My name is Michael Davis of Speaking CPR.  I provide you with a 5-step process that you can use to develop and deliver presentations that encourage people to do business with you.”

In 22 seconds I get people’s attention – if they want to attract more clients or customers. The benefit I promise triggers the question “How do you do that?”  They’ll typically seek me out to talk further about how I can help.

And that’s what I want! The purpose of these elevator-type pitches isn’t to close business or make a sale on-the-spot. It’s to create enough interest in your work that people want to sit down and talk with you further. 

When creating your next commercial remember to use the four steps listed above. Focus on the other person and the benefits you provide. You’ll increase your odds of creating interest in what you do.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE

NEW PROGRAM! 

‘Be Your Best on the TEDx Stage’

Want to speak at a TEDx event, but don’t know how?

Attend our next complimentary webinar,  ‘Be Your Best on the TEDx Stage’ and discover:

  1. Where to apply for a TED x talk
  2. How to confidently submit an application for a TED x audition
  3. How to overcome the uncertainty of what to say in your audition
  4. How to deliver your talk in the TED-style

In this informative and interactive program, you’ll pick up the insider secrets to crafting a memorable talk and how to attract the attention of TEDx organizers.

Join us for our next webinar on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, at 8:00 PM EST.

To secure your seat, click here.

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Please, Tell Me What You’re Selling! (Hint: It’s Not About YOU) appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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Have you ever listened to a story and felt an emotional connection to the speaker, but didn’t know why? It was because you experienced THE CODE. What’s THE CODE?

It is biochemical responses in your body when you hear a sensory-rich narrative. Research proves that these stories trigger the release of hormones in your body. The most prominent include:

Cortisol. Oxytocin. Dopamine. Endorphins.

The CODE.

Each has a specific physiological effect on you. By themselves, they each create a connection between a speaker and listener. Combined, they develop a deep bond that makes a speaker irresistible to listen to. They also make that person more persuasive.

How Do They Work?

Every hormone has specific functions. With regard to story, this is how each impacts you:

Cortisol

This is often called the ‘stress hormone.’ It creates tension, which is a side-effect of curiosity. Memorable stories create tension-evoking questions like:

Will she get out of this dilemma?

What’s he going to since he’s so mad?

Will they stay together after this big fight?

Cortisol generated by memorable stories creates tension which keeps people engaged.

Oxytocin

Sometimes referred to as the ‘trust hormone’. Oxytocin develops a bond between audiences members and a speaker. Emotions trigger the release of this biochemical.

One of my keynote stories highlights an experience I had with my dad. We had a chance encounter with a former student of his, Craig. He told dad, “It’s been 25 years since you’ve seen me, but I want you to know you had a major impact on my life. Because of your class, I discovered a love of science and biology. That led to me becoming a doctor. Thanks for setting on this path, Mr. Davis.”

That experience showed me the potential power of speaking and coaching.

This story always generates responses from audiences. Emotions stem from the father-son narrative or the teacher-student aspect. These trigger positive memories and feelings in audiences. As a result, they feel more connected to me.

Dopamine

This hormone triggers feelings like desire, and it also stimulates curiosity. This is a key component of a memorable story.

Dopamine combines with cortisol to create the urge to know more. It causes audiences to ‘lean in’ so they can hear more. This will continue until your story reaches a satisfying conclusion.

If your audience isn’t curious, your story is over. They won’t remember it, or your point.

In my story Success Lessons From an Indy Car, I create moments of curiosity:

Why was he so scared?

Will he realize his dream and pass other cars?

Will he crash?

By the time the story concludes, the audience has a new perspective. They have a different view of success. They may even take away a positive feeling about auto racing.

Endorphins

These biochemicals trigger feelings of euphoria and reduce pain. They’re released when you laugh. Research has proven that laughter has a positive physiological effect.

Laughter can be a critical component in storytelling. It makes audiences more likely to hear important points. An old speaker’s saying supports this idea:

“Get ‘em laughing, then hit ‘em with your best material.”

When audiences laugh, they feel better. They trust you more and are more likely to hear your serious message.

At one point in my Success Lessons From an Indy Car talk, I discuss my new career of speaking, coaching, and writing. I say, “I wrote my first book, and I don’t want to brag, but as of today, that book has sold tens of……

“Copies.”

Audiences always laugh at this, because they’re expecting a much bigger number. My follow-up point is that “instead of talking about writing the book, as I had done for about 10 years, I finally wrote it. There’s power in taking action and completing a big goal that you didn’t think you could achieve.”

The laughter about the number of books sold prepares them to hear that final message about accomplishing a big goal.

Storytelling can be your most powerful persuasion tool.  Structure your narrative with emotion and sensory experiences. Use the CODE. Your audiences will respond to you in new and deeper ways. You’ll leave an impact that lasts far beyond the platform.

Recommended Resource FREE Report – Are You Committing the 7 Deadly Storytelling Sins?

The ability to tell business stories that inspire action can be your most valuable business asset. World class presenters use storytelling ‘tools’ that make a huge difference in how you experience their narratives.

On the other hand, it only takes a few minor mistakes to deliver a forgettable story. There are seven common storytelling ‘sins’ that are difficult to spot but easily overcome.

To discover these common mistakes, download your complimentary copy of the report:

‘Are You Committing the 7 Deadly Storytelling Sins?’

To receive your copy, click here.

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Use THE CODE to Increase Your Influence as a Speaker appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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“If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will” ~ Mother Teresa
Would your next speech appeal to people like Mother Teresa?
Not because she was a Saint, but because she understood the power of individual stories. 
 
The book ‘Made to Stick’ highlights a 2004 project at Carnegie Mellon University. Researchers wanted to understand the power of individual stories versus abstract causes.
 
Participants took a survey. Upon completion, they received five one dollar bills. Along with the money, they received a letter. The letter asked them to contribute to a (hypothetical) cause called ’Save the Children.’
 
Some participants received a letter filled with statistics. They read about 3 million people in Angola who face ongoing food shortage. How a 42% reduction in maize production in Malawi means 3 million face hunger this year. Why 11 million people in Ethiopia face starvation on an ongoing basis.
 
Other participants received a letter with a story focused on one child, Roqia. This little Malawian girl faced the ongoing threat of hunger and starvation.
Unexpected reader behavior
The behavior of the participants was surprising. Those that received the ‘stat-filled’ letter contributed an average of $1.14. Those that received the ‘Roqia’ letter contributed more than twice a much — $2.38.
 
Other studies by the researchers yielded similar results. Individual stories consistently yield more contributions, usually twice as much.
The impact of stories over large numbers
A sales adage states that “People buy with emotion, and justify with logic.” These studies confirm that saying. Carnegie Mellon researchers theorized that statistics turn off our emotions. They reduce the likelihood that we’ll buy into an idea, product or service, or contribute to a cause.
 
This research also gives insight into Mother Teresa’s quote above. She understood a concept called the “drop-in-the-bucket effect.” Large concepts like ‘3 million people starving’ create feelings like “What’s the use? My small contribution can’t make a difference.” But, individual stories make you feel that you can have a significant impact on that one person.
When I was a Certified Financial Planner, our team loved sharing numbers. For example, “95% of Americans will retire without long-term financial security.” Before I saw the light, we bombarded our clients with these facts.
 
What we should’ve done is share successful client stories. For example, the couple which was feeling stressed because of their retirement plan. They felt terrified that they’d outlive their money. Then they went through a proper planning process. They made changes. They put themselves on a proper path.
 
Their mood improved. Their marriage improved. Their feelings about the future improved.
This story is more appealing to prospective clients. It’s more impactful than the “95% of Americans” statistic.
What to do in your next speech
For your next presentation, drop the large numbers. Transform statistics or data into individual stories. Turn off the logic. Turn on the emotions.
 
Mother Teresa understood what Carnegie Mellon researchers confirmed. Focus on the one, and you get buy-in to your ideas than when we talk about the masses.
 
Before you present your next talk, ask yourself:
 
“Would this appeal to Mother Teresa?”
Recommended Resource

’52 Storytelling Tips’

How much would your business improve if you could become at least three times better at storytelling than you are today?

In one year, you can do just that. Every week, you’ll receive a free 5-minute audio tip and downloadable PDF transcription of that lesson. For 12 months, you’ll automatically receive these tips that build one upon another.  Develop these skills and you can:

– Become better known

– Increase your confidence

– Create more opportunities for your business

– Make more money

– Save time

– Reduce the stress and anxiety often involved with crafting and delivering memorable stories that get results

To register for these free tips, visit: http://speakingcpr.com/52-storytelling-tips/

 

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Would Your Speech Appeal to Mother Teresa? appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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Speaking Lessons From a Success Expert
I’m a big fan of Darren Hardy.
 
Who’s he?
 
He’s the former editor of SUCCESS magazine. He is a modern-day expert on success. He’s interviewed and studied many of the world’s most successful people.
 
With such a background, you’d expect that Darren has a unique perspective on the topic of success.
 
He does.
THESE People Can Help Me With Speaking?
In a recent video he introduced these quotes that surprised me because they don’t talk about success:
 
A man who said:
 
“When I’m scheduled to speak to any size audience – I wake up twice a month in a cold sweat, panicked they’ll find him out I’m a fraud.”
 
A woman who said:
 
“I have varying degrees of confidence and self-loathing. I often doubt my talent and fear they’re going to find out that I don’t know what I’m doing”
 
Another man who said:
 
“I still doubt myself EVERY SINGLE DAY. What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear.”
 
One other woman who said:
 
“They’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody. And they’re going to find me out”
 
These individuals must be failures! People you’ve never heard of. Darren must be sharing these as examples of how NOT to think, right?
How Can a Negative Mindset Help Your Speaking?
Well, actually, you haven’t heard of the first one because he asked to remain anonymous. His reasons make good business sense. But, he is the CEO of a $4 billion multinational corporation. He started in the mailroom and rose to the top position. His company weathered the Great Recession of 2008. It thrived while most of his competitors were wiped out.
 
Quite a success. But, when he has to give speeches, he doesn’t feel that way. As he says, “When I have to speak to any size audience — whether 3 or 30,000 — I wake up twice a month in a cold sweat, panicked they’ll find him out I’m a fraud.”
 
You do know the other three people:
 
Meryl Streep, the most honored actor of all time with 3 Academy Awards and 20 total nominations. She has said:
 
“I have varying degrees of confidence and self-loathing. I often doubt my talent and fear they’re going to find out that I don’t know what I’m doing”
 
Will Smith, the accomplished actor, musician, and producer, said:
 
“I still doubt myself EVERY SINGLE DAY. What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear.”
 
Maya Angelou, famed poet and civil rights activist, said:
 
“They’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody. And they’re going to find me out”
The Syndrome That We All Experience
Successful people in their chosen fields and they feel this way?
 
How can this be?
 
The reality is, they’re no different than you or me. They experience the ‘Imposter Syndrome.’
 
You may not be familiar with this. It’s defined as a psychological pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments. They have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud.”
 
Here’s an interesting discovery made by Darren Hardy:
 
The higher your level of accomplishment, the more vulnerable you are to the Imposter Syndrome.

 As Darren says, “The higher you go, the more human you become.”

What does this have to do with speaking and business storytelling?
 
Everything.
How Speaking Makes You Vulnerable to This Syndrome
Speaking is one of the most intimidating and scary experiences many people face. In fact, some research shows that it’s normal — it’s human — to experience these fears. Accomplished individuals feel it, sometimes every day.
Many people I’ve worked with have had the thought, “Why did they choose me? I’m sure there are more accomplished people who could be speaking.” Or, some variation of those thoughts.
These thoughts may pop into your head, and that’s OK. It’s common.
 
What’s not OK is allowing these feelings to debilitate you, or keep you from taking action. What the super-achievers do is use those feelings to push them.
 
To quote Darren Hardy, “Humans are designed to THRIVE on pressure. Use that internal pressure to push you to action.”
 
So, the next time you’re preparing to speak, and you feel anxiety rising in your chest or your throat, and your heart is beating faster, and your breathing quickens, remind yourself:
 
“I’m normal. It’s OK to feel this way.”
 
Remind yourself that many successful people feel the same way.
 
Then, remember why you’re there to speak. For the audience, who needs the message you came to share.
 
Do this, and you won’t feel like an imposter, because you’re not one.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCE
If you’re interested in picking up secrets of the super successful, I highly recommend Darren’s video series, Darren Daily, To get your daily dose of his wisdom, visit:
 
http://dd.darrenhardy.com/

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post These Frauds Can Help Your Speaking appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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A Unique Speaking Opportunity

I got the email on April 11 – ‘We’d like to officially invite you to give a DisruptHR Talk on May 2.’

Cool! I get to do the talk!

But then, reality hit. I thought, ‘I get to do the talk that I’ve never done before. With those PowerPoint slides changing every 15 seconds!

‘Well, I wanted to get outside of my speaking comfort zone! I’m definitely uncomfortable!’

Speaking In An Unfamiliar Format

Two weeks earlier, I had applied to speak at the event DisruptHR Cincinnati. It’s a night of speaking for the Human Resources community. The goal is for presenters to give brief talks about ideas to disrupt the industry.

By brief, they mean 5 minutes — no more, no less.

And you must use 20 slides — no more, no less.

And those slides will change every 15 seconds — you guessed it, no more, no less.

I’ve only recently begun using PowerPoint-type slides. I applied to this event because I wanted to push myself into new speaking experiences. I wanted to use this presentation tool I’m still not completely comfortable with.

Lessons From Speaking Outside My Comfort Zone

The event went well. When my 5-minutes were over, I felt like I had given a speech more than creating a memorable experience. That’s the ultimate goal whenever I give a presentation – connect through memorable experiences.

After further examination, here are some insights:

What I did do well? (Always ask yourself this question first. It’s too easy to focus on the flaws and then beat yourself up. Also, if you know what you do well, you might continue to do them.)

One. Applied to an even I had no experience with. It’s always good to do something you’ve never done. You don’t know what opportunities may result.

Two. Practiced what I preach — I wrote the message first, then built my slide deck. (This increases the chances that the audience receive a valuable idea. And, that the slides will supplement that concept, not become the main attraction.

Three. Rehearsed at least three times every day. (48 practices will help you internalize your ideas.

Four. Socialized and made excellent contacts with audience members and other speakers. When not onstage, I tend to be more introverted. Forcing myself to be more ‘social’ allowed me to meet some more interesting people. SOme may become business associates.

Five. I had fun. I was ready to go by the time the emcee introduced me to the audience.

What I could have done better:

One. Improved my rehearsal technique. During the first week of practice, I continually repeated a common rehearsal mistake. It’s one I always coach people not to make. Call it:

STUMBLE – STOP – START OVER

This means that every time I struggled with a specific slide,   I’d stop. I then gathered my thoughts and returned to the beginning and started the practice over.

Don’t do this!

Why?

Because you get very good at presenting the opening of your talk,. But, because you keep returning to that part, you never do well with the rest of your presentation. That’s because it doesn’t get an equal amount of attention.

What should you do?

Keep talking through the stumbles, fumbles, and forgetfulness. It feels counter-intuitive but it ’s crucial to gaining comfort with the entire talk.

After doing this a half-dozen times, I didn’t get caught on any one slide. As the comfort level increased, I presented the material a little differently each time. And that’s OK, because these concepts didn’t need to be memorized verbatim.

Two. Improved my breathing techniques. Speaking under the pressure of timed slides increases the pressure. I stopped more than once to take a deep breath. It impacted the flow of my talk. Not a critical issue, but I could’ve handled it better.

Three. Got over-creative with my title, which was ‘Forget Bitcoin. Stories Are Your Real Currency. 

Although everyone involved loved the title, it was difficult to tie it into the theme of Disrupting the HR community and do it in five minutes. My main point was made, but I’d probably do it differently if I did it again.

Another Beneficial Speaking Experience

Overall, I’m happy to have participated in this event. These are the takeaways and recommendations I’d make, based on this experience.

=> Stretch your comfort zone. Seek out opportunities to present in new and different venues.

=  Always tie your talk to the theme and the audience

=> Write your message first. THAT is what will stick with the audience

=> Rehearse, and always push through the mistakes

=> Give yourself credit when you do something uncomfortable and different

Want to improve your speaking skills?

Step outside the norm.  You’ll discover a fun and challenging experience that stretches your limits as a speaker.

Recommended Resource

‘Storytelling Made Easy’

Harness The Power of Hollywood Storytelling Magic

Imagine if every time you gave a speech, made a sales presentation, or led a meeting, you could instantly motivate and inspire others to take action.

You can – by telling more powerful success stories.

Renowned Hollywood script consultant and story expert Michael Hauge offers you the secrets of Hollywood storytelling magic. By following his simple Six Step Success Story™ formula, you’ll be able to attract more clients and buyers by giving them their own emotional experience of success and achievement.

Read this book and you will:

=> Eliminate the fear, frustration, and overwhelmed feeling that can accompany the thought of writing or telling stories

=> Select the type of story best suited to your product or service  

=> Incorporate the six steps of every successful success story 

=> Easily develop a simple, entertaining, and persuasive writing style that is uniquely yours

=> Master the principles of great storytelling within a variety of arenas: speeches, sales pitches, company meetings, e-mails, videos, podcasts and testimonials

=> Deliver your message clearly, emotionally and powerful 

   => And more

With this groundbreaking new book, you’ll not only attract more clients and customers and multiply your revenue; you’ll move your audiences and readers toward more connected and fulfilling lives. To pick up your copy, click here

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Want to Improve Your Speaking Skills? Do This…. appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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What if Your Audience Does The Unexpected?

Imagine you’re giving an important presentation.

You’re feeling confident. The audience seems to be engaged.

At a key point of the talk, you tell your funniest story, the one that always gets a laugh. You deliver the punch line and….

Nothing.

No response.

The only sound in the room is the humming of the air conditioner.

How do you feel?

What do you do?

What do most people do?

What SHOULD you do?

Don’t let the audience take control of your emotions

What most presenters do in this situation is lose their train of thought. When they expect a specific response and don’t get it, they’re thrown off.  Some lose their composure and never get back on track. 

What should you do in this situation?

Be prepared for no response to your funniest lines.

The difference between speaking and comedy

There’s nothing better in speaking than getting a laugh from an audience. It creates an instant connection and opens them up to hear more of your message.

But don’t let that great feeling overshadow your purpose for speaking. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned about humor in speaking is that it’s different than humor in comedy.

When a comedian’s jokes don’t get laughs, they don’t get re-hired. And that means they don’t eat. Or, they become Uber drivers.

When a speaker tells a story that doesn’t get laughs, you….

….still made a serious point.

Reframe the response when audiences don’t laugh

My friend Kevin Burke is the star of ‘Defending the Caveman.’ It’s a one-man show in Las Vegas. He performs every night 50 weeks a year.

He once told me, “Michael, our audiences almost always laugh throughout the show. Every once in awhile, we get one that just doesn’t respond at all. No laughter. They just sit and stare. On those nights, we’re not a comedy show.  We’re Las Vegas’s best drama!

This is a terrific attitude! Kevin understands that not every audience will be responsive. The same is true when you speak. Not everyone will laugh at your funny stories.

Why lack of laughter isn’t critical for a speech

It doesn’t matter because you’re not there to be a comedian. You’re there to make points that change the way they think, feel or act. The laughter is a bonus.

The next time you prepare a presentation, include funny stories. But, don’t allow the laughter that you receive in your practice sessions lull you into a false sense of security.

It’s OK to expect people to laugh every time. Just be prepared if they don’t. Don’t allow that silence after your funniest lines to impact you, or disrupt your thought process. Adjust, continue your talk and leave a lasting impression with the meaningful message you are there to give.

Recommended Resource

‘Sell More With Stories: How to Create Curiosity in 5 Minutes [or Less]’

A key to success in sales is to create curiosity. Book 2 of the Sell More With Stories series is entitled ‘How to Create Curiosity in 5 Minutes [or Less].’ 

in this book, you’ll discover the most powerful storytelling formula. It creates a “tell me more” mindset that is critical to effective sales conversations.

Combine this formula with the 60-Second Storytelling process highlighted in Book 1. This combination gives you the foundation for a more effective and beneficial sales conversation.

The bottom line is that you can generate more sales, faster, with less stress.

To order your copy, click here now: http://amzn.to/2kj3psI

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post How to Deal With an Audience That Doesn’t Laugh appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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How the Brain Reacts to Stories
I’ve recently discovered new ways to use a story to connect with an audience. I found them in the best-selling book ‘Brain Rules’ by John Medina. In an energetic and entertaining fashion, he introduces new insights into our brains.
 
For example, one idea that is useful for storytellers. He discusses the power of senses to create vivid and emotional experiences. This helped me understand one of the strengths of my coaches. They are some of the best speakers in the business. And they’ve taught me how to bring life to a story with sensory-rich detail.
What is a Sensory-Rich Story?
Start your narrative by describing the Circumstances and Characters with sensory language. This creates an instant bond with listeners. They might not know why, but they are attracted to the story.
 
For example, consider the following story opening:
 
“It was a bitterly cold January afternoon. The howling winds were so loud John could barely think. As he drove over the crest of the hill, he thought, ‘Oh, no!’ He could smell the unmistakable odor of burning wood. Then he got the first glimpse of the charred remains of his house.
Which of Your Emotions Does This Story Passage Trigger?
What do you see?
 
What do you hear?
 
What do you small?
 
What do you feel?
 
What do you taste?
 
This last question is the toughest. Taste can trigger strong sensory memories, but they’re not always so obvious. If you have ever been near a house that has burned, there is a lot of material in the air. Sometimes you can actually taste it. It’s not the greatest experience, but, it sticks in your memory.
52 Words to a Fully Engaged Brain
Think about the power of this passage. 52 words — in less than 20 seconds — activated all five of your senses. This the meaning of the phrase ‘creating a connection with an audience.’ Through their own experiences with the cold or a fire, they now feel as if they’re part of your story. This opens them up to hear more of your presentation.
 
There’s another reason sensory connections are effective. They trigger curiosity in the audience. What questions come to mind as you read the opening lines from the story above?
 
Where does he live that is so cold?
 
How did the fire start?
 
Was anybody in the house?
 
How much of the house burned down?
 
Was it salvageable?
 
Where would John live now?
 
All these questions, and more, from those 52 words.
 
It’s incredible how much emotion and curiosity sensory-rich stories can create.
Help your audiences come to their senses. Include as many of them as possible when you develop your stories. You’ll experience a connection that lasts far beyond your time in front of them.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCE

Speakers Power Pack: Improve Your Speeches with Secrets from World Class Speakers’

Have you ever sat in awe of a speaker who held an audience in rapt attention, keeping them on the edge of their seats? 

Have you ever wished you could do that? 

Guess what? 

You can!  Contrary to popular belief, great speakers are not born, they are made.

Since 2001, Michael has studied and worked with World Champion and Hall of Fame speakers, individuals who now serve as his mentors. They have taught him how to create and deliver world-class caliber speeches.

Michael has packaged the lessons he’s learned into a series of audio lessons and books that can save you years of trial-and-error and thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Invest in this program, and you’ll quickly develop the skills that make you:

  • Feel more confident
  • Become better known
  • Attract more opportunities
  • Advance your career faster
  • Earn more money
  • Free up time
  • Enjoy the process of developing and delivering speeches
  • and much more!

To immediately begin diving into these world-class tools and processes, click here.

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Story Brings Audiences to Their Senses appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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Speaking CPR by Michael Davis - 3M ago
A Speaking Experience
Recently, I attended a presentation that changed my perspective on Power Point. The speaker was Mike Robertson, a motivational speaker.
 
For me, the underlying message of his talk was ‘How to WOW your audience.’ He use of visuals, slides and videos was unlike anything I’ve seen. His use of Power Point slides was masterful Actually, he utilizes Apple’s version of Power Point, Keynote.
 
Mike’s previous career was in graphic arts. Because of his unique perspective, Mike has created visuals that are more than slides. They create an experience for his audiences. What’s most impressive is that his slides don’t overshadow his message — they enhance it.
Are You Speaking with Slides the Same Way?  
Driving home from the event, I passed by this long-abandoned commercial trailer. I realized that this is a metaphor for most speakers slides decks. They’re run-down, tired and forgettable.
 
Once-in-a-while, presenters attempt to ‘spruce up’ their slides. They’ll change a font, or add a transition effect. But, it doesn’t make a difference, the slides are still forgettable.
 
To be transparent, I’ve been anti-Power Point most of my coaching career. But then, I saw a presentation by past NSA president.Dr. John Molidor. He’s a brain scientist. He talked about how the brain takes in information. He discussed how audiences learn today.
Speaking to All Senses
Dr. Molidor convinced me that visuals (slides, videos, pictures) can enhance your talk. Audiences need ongoing stimulation to stay engaged. Well-crafted slides can help you keep their attention. Omitting visuals can dilute the impact of our messages.
 
Mike Roberston convinced me that slides can transform your message. They can create a WOW factor and leave a lasting impact.
I’ve seen the Promised Land of Power Point. Slides can support your message — bring it to life, but not overtake it.
Take Your Speaking to a New Level
How can you ensure that your slides add to the impact of your talks? How can you create a lasting, positive impact on your audience?
 
Invest the time to learn the basics of these tools. Mike’s talk convinced me that most speakers — including me — put little effort or imagination into our slides. There is no excuse to not knowing how to create more impactful slides. You Tube videos, books, articles etc. are available on the internet 24/7.
 
Mike Robertson has a few videos on his You Tube channel. Click here to check them out. You don’t need to become a full-time Power Point expert or graphic artist. But, commit to your audiences to invest the time to create an experience.
 
Hire someone like Mike. It’s worth the investment to hire an expert. I’ve found this approach saves me money over a long period of time.
 
Has your speech — and your supporting visuals — become run down? Do they leave the same impression as an abandoned trailer?
 
Want to create a presentation that people experience, like a beautiful and memorable structure like the Taj Mahal?
 
Step outside your comfort zone. Create visuals that touch the audience long after your time on stage.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCE

‘THE Book on Storytelling’

Want to tell business stories that give you an edge, make you stand out, and increase your chances of getting the business?

This step-by-step guide shows you how to craft and deliver stories that:

  • Increase your confidence
  • Attract more qualified clients
  • Inspire others to act on your message
  • Create deeper levels of trust, in less time
  • Have more fun when you give presentations

Discover how the best speakers, storytellers and leaders develop and deliver stories that immediately grab audience attention, keep them on the edge of their seats, and inspire them to act on your message.

2000 World Champion of Public Speaking, Ed Tate, CSP says: “This book is outstanding! It will be my new #1 storytelling resource.”

For more details, visit: http://amzn.to/1BaNf62

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Are You Speaking to WOW? appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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A New Perspective on Writing a Speech

Recently I visited the Dunes National Park. It’s located near the southern California and Arizona border. There are a seemingly endless series of dunes that stretch for miles.  I didn’t expect that it would give me a new perspective on writing a speech.

This was my third visit to the Dunes. I had a different perspective on this trip. Standing at the foot of the highest dune, I told my son, Brenden, “That’s the one. We need to climb to the top of that one. It’ll give us the best view.” He agreed.

Dunes are actually a series of “mini-dunes” and dips. You climb to the top of one, then you have several choices about how to get to the next. Once you choose that path, you have to walk down a small dip to the foot of the next dune. Repeat this process until you reach the top.

Due to constant winds, the shape and size of the dunes changes daily. Climbing them is a different experience each time. Even in the late winter, you get warm, and winded.

How Do You Get to the Top?

There are different methods of climbing up a hill of sand

One foot in front of the other, like everyday walking. Your feet tend to sink several inches into the sand with this style

What Brenden calls ‘Duck style’ – toes pointed outward. Your feet sink less, but this feels awkward on the knees

‘Crab style’ – walk on your hands and feet. Believe it or not, this was the quickest way. Unfortunately, my 54-year old back didn’t like that one for too long

Reaching the top is exhilarating. You can see for miles, across the US-Mexican border. The mountains in the background are beautiful, it’s a peaceful experience.

What does this have to do with writing a speech?

Climbing the Dunes can be a metaphor for success in life, but let’s focus on speaking. Creating a memorable presentation is an up-and-down process. When creating your speech, start with your end goal in mind – the peak of the Dune, if you will.

There are many routes you can take to get to that end result. Which is the best?

You won’t know til you begin the trek:

1. You write the speech, and feel pretty good. (UP)

2. You rehearse and discover some parts don’t sound as good to the ear as they look on paper (DOWN)

3. You correct those parts and it sounds better (UP)

4. You practice before an audience. You receive feedback on what works and what needs improvement (UP and DOWN)

5. You make changes (UP)

6. Repeat this process until you give the final version to your audience.

Your Speech Gets Better With Each Peak Your Reach

Each time you repeat this process, you’ll start from a higher point than your first attempt. It’s like continuing your assault to the top of the highest dune. Each peak of the mini-dunes, is a higher starrting point than the ones that preceded it.

So, how can a sand dune improve your speech?

It serves as a reminder that your trek to create an impactful presentation won’t be a “straight line to the top.”

That’s part of the fun. Keep taking one step after another, up and down. You’ll create a message that resonates with others.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE ’52 Storytelling Tips’

How much would your business improve if you could become at least three times better at storytelling than you are today?

In one year, you can do just that. Every week, you’ll receive a free 5-minute audio tip and downloadable PDF transcription of that lesson. For 12 months, you’ll automatically receive these tips that build one upon another.  Develop these skills and you can:

– Become better known

– Increase your confidence

– Create more opportunities for your business

– Make more money

– Save time

– Reduce the stress and anxiety often involved with crafting and delivering memorable stories that get results

To register for these free tips, visit: http://speakingcpr.com/52-storytelling-tips/

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post How Can a Sand Dune Improve Your Speech? appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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Key Speaking Lessons From World Class Speakers

Last weekend, I had the honor of emceeing an event for speakers. Its called Lady and the Champs. The ‘Champs’ are three former World Champions of Public Speaking turned professional speakers. The ‘Lady’ is Hall of Fame speaker Patricia Fripp. Other featured presenters were a Las Vegas headliner, and, a business development expert.

During the weekend, this thought occurred to me:

These six world class presenters have a combined 151 years of platform experience. Yet, in the last year, they’ve each become better speakers. They were excellent year ago. But, they didn’t sit back and rest on their laurels. They improved.

Why Do These Speakers Continue to Improve?

Because they are lifetime learners.

I interviewed some of them during the conference, and they answered one question:

“What have you learned in the last 12 months that makes you a better presenter?”

Each gave brief, yet thoughtful answers. And every one was different. You can see them deliver their responses here.

Seven Lessons From Speakers at the Top of Their Game

These speakers, who are at the top of their game, have taught me these seven key ideas:

1. Never stop learning. To quote World Champion Speaker Darren LaCroix, CSP, AS, “Always be a sponge.”

2. Seek advice from people who will tell you the truth. Pats on the back and kudos are nice. But, growth comes listening to individuals who’ll tell you how you can improve.

3. Get on stage every chance you get. Repetition and testing of material is your fastest and best road to speaking success.

4. Take a hard look at your speeches, or speaking business, and ask “How can I add more value?”

5. Schedule your success. Make appointments with yourself to accomplish your most important tasks.  For speakers, this is writing, practice and feedback time.

6. Listen to your audience. They’re constantly communicating with you.

7. Be specific and targeted about your marketing. Know who your ideal client is and focus on reaching those individuals.

How to Best Use These Tips

Are these a lot of new ideas?

Yes. That’s what happens when you surrounded yourself with world-class people. They stimulate your brain and imagination.

If you like these ideas, take one-at-a-time, and work with them.

Test for 30 days. Decide if that tip works for you.

Then use the next idea.

Within half-a-year, you’ll be much farther down the road toward your speaking goals.

Want to learn more from these world class speakers? Contact me at mike@speakingcpr.com, or call me at 513.315.6825.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE

Are You Committing the 7 Deadly Storytelling Sins?

The ability to tell business stories that inspire action can be your most valuable business asset. World class presenters use storytelling ‘tools’ that are subtle, but make a huge difference in how you experience their narratives.

On the other hand, it only takes a few minor mistakes to deliver a forgettable storytelling experience. There are seven common storytelling ‘sins’ that are difficult to spot, but easily overcome.

To discover these common mistakes, download your complimentary copy of the report:

‘Are You Committing the 7 Deadly Storytelling Sins?’

To receive your copy, click here.

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Great Speakers Are Lifetime Learners appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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