How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?

 
How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?

If you are going to deliver an effective message, one that your fellow members can understand and pass on to others, you need to prepare and practice.

I have visited more than 100 different networking groups and would estimate that half the members of any Chapter have given almost no thought to their one-minute presentation.

Of the remaining half, I would say 50% have an idea of what they are going to talk about but have done nothing more than think about it. It is only the last group, just one-quarter of the Chapter, who have actively prepared for the meeting.

Isn’t that a disappointing thought? Here you are, sitting in your networking group, probably the most important meeting you have each week, a meeting that has the potential to provide you with high quality and qualified business opportunities, yet three out of four people have not fully prepared for it. How would you react, if three out of four members of your sales force could not be bothered to prepare for your regular sales meeting?

Anyone who knows anything about the successful transference of knowledge, and let’s be honest that is what you are trying to do in your one-minute presentations, understands that unless you prepare an easy to understand, easy to deliver and accessible message, you are wasting your time.

You need to prepare and plan a one-minute marketing campaign. Yes, I said marketing campaign. You need to think about and plan the topics you are going to cover (see the chapter about planning for more information), write and prepare the content, and then practice to deliver them effectively.

I suggest that you allocate 15 minutes, the day BEFORE your meeting, to recap what you are going to talk about and practice your one-minute presentation and to check it fits in with your overall plan (plans can change) and it is relevant to the meeting. If you can practice with someone within your company, they will help you by giving their feedback on the message and its delivery. If you work by yourself, get your spouse or a friend to help you, but remember you need to ask them to be brutally honest.

Do not get embarrassed about performing in front of people in your office, home, or on your job site. After all, the next day you are going to deliver it to 30 people who know and trust you, as well as some visitors you have never met, so you need to be effective. Do you think that great actors walk on stage and just say the first words that come into their heads? No, they prepare and practice.

One group of people you should try to practice in front of is your family. You will find this the hardest as you know they will be totally honest, because they love you, and want you to do the best you can. They will ask the tough questions and help you to make your presentations so much better. Remember, their honesty is what you need to help you create effective messages.

On the way to the meeting, you should be practicing the one-minute presentation you are about to deliver. The car is a suitable place to do this as you can talk to yourself and no one will think you are a little unhinged. Practicing on the bus or train is a little less effective as you become self-conscious. You need to ensure that the first time your fellow member's hear your presentation, it is not the first time they are being said by your mouth.

I try to write my presentations down exactly as I want to say them, sort of like writing a script for an actor, and then I learn my lines. When I deliver my message, I will have the written words in front of me, but they are there only as a backup, for a ‘brain freeze' situation, or if I lose track of what I am saying. See below for a simple and effective memory aid for your presentations. It was shared with me by Mr Peter Mitchell (Google him - his website is down at the time of writing this book), he is a trusted profit coach and helps people to make more money.

I guess now is an appropriate time to talk about stage fright. Even the most confident speakers get it! But it is the way you channel the nervous energy stage fright gives that makes the difference. Stage fright is great as it lets you know you are moving out of your comfort zone and are ready to perform effectively. I love the little feeling of apprehension I get before I speak in public. I use that feeling to power me up, and it becomes the fuel to add power to my presentation.

So, you have prepared, practised, and are delivering targeted and scheduled messages, so what happens next?

Well, if you have done it right, the level of knowledge and understanding your fellow members have for your company will rise, which should translate into an increase in the referrals you will receive. Remember your presentations are aimed at preparing them to find referrals, it is about education not selling.

Additionally, you should not be afraid to ask for feedback about your presentations. Ask a selection of members if your delivery was effective, if they understood the message, and if it gives them what they need to talk with confidence when they are trying to refer you. It is an important thing to discuss in a Recon Meeting.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Everyone knows that, practice, practice, practice!

Stage fright proves you are alive!