Money Mindset: the missing piece of your business growth puzzle

You’ve defined your niche and developed a distinguishable Signature Brand, and you’re consistently marketing your business to gain visibility and recognition. BUT, you’re not getting new clients or generating the level income you want. What are you doing wrong?

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If you’re asking yourself the exact same question – take heed.

You can have the best systems and processes in place; a unique Signature Brand that portrays your professionalism; a solid marketing plan that consistently showcases you and the value you offer.

BUT, you can still struggle to attract new clients, increase your income, and get paid what you’re worth.

Why?

Because your current mindset, particularly your ‘money mindset’ is not aligned with everything else you’re building in your business.

Money mindset is OFTEN the missing piece of the business growth puzzle.

This was the case with one of my Diamond Insights subscribers – Stephanie, who had been implementing many of the branding and marketing strategies, I teach.

Her branding was unique and professional; her presentation skills were top class; and she exuded a level of confidence that many of her peers envied. It was clear she was an expert in her field.

Yet, despite having all of these key foundations in place, her dream of getting new clients and taking her business to the next level, remained unobtainable.

To say she was frustrated would have been an understatement.

However, as we looked a little deeper into her business, we could see that her mindset (in particular her beliefs around money and sales) needed to be aligned with everything else she was doing in her business.

What is Mindset?

The Online Free Dictionary by Farlex defines mindset as being a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations.

Let’s look at an example…

The scenario: two people (with similar backgrounds, experience and service offerings) are attending the same networking event with dozens of ideal clients and potential referral partners in attendance.

The first woman immediately starts introducing herself to people – many of whom she has never met before – excited to be able to nurture these relationships. She knows there is an abundance of opportunities here for her. She leaves the event with a list of names to follow up with.

However the other person stands quietly in a corner, waiting for others to approach her. She’s nervous and hesitant to introduce herself, and in all honesty, can’t wait till she can return to her office. She leaves the event with zero names to follow up with.

Why the different outcomes?

Because of their mindset (i.e. their belief) about themselves and networking.

The first woman had a level of self assurance that enabled her to confidently introduce herself and begin to establish a relationship with people she knew could support her in growing her business, and vice versa. She also believed that networking would be extremely beneficial to the growth of her business.

This mental attitude enabled her to walk away with a list of names to follow up with.

The second woman was not as confident as the first. In fact, she was right out of her comfort zone when it came to introducing herself to strangers. She felt very self conscious when it came to speaking in public and she feared she would stumble over her words – causing people to laugh at her.

Her previous experience with networking had never resulted to any business and she doubted this event would either. However, she had made a commitment to one of her colleague’s to attend.

Unfortunately, her mental attitude prevented her from speaking to many people or sharing what she did in a way that they could understand what her expertise was and how she could help them– so she walked away disappointed.

Two business women with similar backgrounds, experience and services to offer but vastly different outcomes because of their mental attitudes that impacted how they interpreted and responded to the situation.

One mindset attracted opportunities. The other mindset didn’t.

What about you?

Is your mindset attracting opportunities? Or not?

Unhelpful Beliefs

In my article Magnetic Money Mindset: Are you attracting or repelling money into your business I identified common unhelpful money beliefs, including:

  1. Prospects won’t see the value and won’t invest in my services
  2. I have to work hard to get new clients
  3. If I get busier I’ll lose my free time
  4. People will judge me and think I’m no good
  5. People won’t be interested in what I have to offer
  6. I’m not worthy
  7. I’ll always struggle to stand out
  8. No matter how hard I try – I just can’t sell
  9. Wanting more money is being selfish

In Stephanie’s case (above), despite having all of her branding, her personal presentation and other business systems in place – an unhelpful belief that ‘All sales people are pushy and obnoxious” kept her from signing up any clients.

Not wanting to be pushy and obnoxious herself, she would avoid having sales conversations with prospective clients.

And, she would often give a lot of her information away for free, so-much-so that people no longer had the need to hire her.

Realising this, was a huge eye opener for Stephanie. She was now able to work on strengthening and aligning her beliefs and mindset around sales people and no longer avoided sales conversations, nor gave away so much information for free.

Once she did, her business results improved and she was able to successfully enrol clients into her programs.

Next Step: Evaluate Your Money Mindset

Self awareness is THE first step towards change.

After all, you can’t change what you don’t know needs changing.

How is your current money mindset? Do you attract opportunities and clients who pay you what you are worth? Or not?

Take the following Money Mindset Breakthrough quiz to find out how you measure up with regards to the 5 Key Pillars.

You may very well have your own money mindset breakthrough after taking the quiz.

Rank each of the following questions from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree)

Be honest – remember: self awareness is the first step towards transformation!

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[Click on the image if you want to increase the size]

YOUR SAY:

How did you go? Scores of 12 and less in the pillars of Self Worth, Mindset and Action suggests you could benefit from a breakthrough in these areas. Scores 15 and higher in the pillars of Boundaries and Forgiveness suggests you could benefit from a breakthrough in these areas.

Are you game to share your results? What was the biggest insight for you? Go ahead and share in the comments below.

Networking 101: 5 things you DON’T want to do during your introduction

“First impressions count,” is a saying I’m sure you’re familiar with. So, with the microphone poised at your lips and everyone’s eyes on you for the next 45 seconds – what you say next matters if you want to make the RIGHT impression.

Looking shocked

Do any of the five things mentioned below and you risk the chance of leaving a wrong impression with people who could have been potential clients, referral and/or joint venture partners.

Through my weekly podcast – The Ambitious Entrepreneur Show and having attended numerous networking events over the years, I’ve heard hundreds of business owners introduce themselves.

With the potential to open up lots of opportunities, you’d think they would have planned and rehearsed what they were going to say so they could confidently explain who they were, what they did, and the solutions/outcomes they could provide, therefore leaving a memorable impression.

Sadly, often times – that was not the case.

Their introductions were memorable all right – but for all the wrong reasons.

Here are the five things they did that you DON’T want to do the next time you stand up to introduce yourself at a networking event:

1. You ramble on

Forty-five seconds can seem like a lifetime for people in your audience if your introduction is not structured and you ramble on and on.

This will often happen when people don’t take the time to think about what they want to say beforehand, so they end up rambling during their allotted time frame, resulting in a confused audience.

Don’t just ‘wing it’ – plan out what you want to say and practice, practice, practice saying it out loud.

Preparation is key.

Networking 101: Don’t wing it. Plan & practice your introduction. Preparation is key.” – Annemarie Cross

2. You use jargon

While you may be excited about the modalities you use in your practice, or the latest and greatest things going on in your industry, or how proud you are of the certifications you hold – because we’re not in your line of work we have no idea what you are talking about.

At one networking event, I remember one Life Coach rattling off a list of modalities she used with clients as well as other industry-related jargon.

Looking around the room I could see people’s eye glazing over. They had no idea what she was talking, so they switched off.

Some of the other businesses in the room could have been potential referral partners, however because they had no idea what she did or how she could support clients – the opportunity was lost.

Don’t lose potential opportunities by using jargon. When you’re explaining things, please keep it simple, and use language we can understand.

3. You speak softly

Typically in a networking event you’re in an open space with numerous people so the acoustics in the room is not going to be great.

You need to project your voice so we can hear you. Even if you have a microphone, please speak into it clearly and at a level that we can hear you.

I’ve been in a room where a person still spoke softly into the microphone and the people close to her still struggled to hear most of her introduction.

Project your voice.

 4. You make excuses and/or apologise

Ever heard someone say “I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to prepare anything,” “I forgot my notes,” or some other excuse?

Similarly you may hear people begin their introduction with an apology. “I’m sorry for being unprepared – please forgive me,” or “I’m sorry I’m so nervous – I really dislike speaking in public,” “I hope I don’t bore you to tears with what I’m about to say,’ or some other reason.

If you do this too, sadly, you’ve just undermined your credibility. The audience is more likely going to be listening out for when you make the mistake, or how soon you’ll start to bore them.

Never start your introduction with an excuse or apology.

Be proud of who you are and the services you offer. Prepare and practice your introduction so you can confidently share this information with the audience.

 5. You’re not specific enough

If you’re not clear on your ideal client, how you can help them and your introduction is too broad it’s going to be difficult for your audience to understand what you do.

The more specific you are about WHO you serve, HOW you support them (i.e. the solution you offer), and the OUTCOME they can expect – the more likely you will get referrals.

“Networking 101: Tell us WHO you serve; HOW you support them; & the OUTCOME they can expect.” – Annemarie Cross

Here’s an example. See which one stands out for you:

(A) “I work with mid-management sales executives in developing powerful career marketing documentation so they can get noticed, hired and paid what they’re worth when positioning themselves for senior-level sales positions.”

Compared to:

(B) “I’m a career coach and professional resume writer helping people achieve their career goals.”

Which do you think is better? A or B?haveyoursay

Join the conversation: Let me know – would A & B (above) spark you attention if you were sitting in the audience listening to the introduction? What is it about the introduction that  stands out ? What other DON’TS do you have to share with others so they avoid becoming memorable for the wrong reasons? Leave your comments below.

How to overcome indecision

Decisions, decisions, decisions. They’re a normal fact of life. However what happens when the whole decision-making process is anything less than normal?

Indecision

According to Brainfacts we make thousands of decisions each day with many so easy, we don’t even know we’re making them.

Just this morning, I’ve already made numerous easy decisions such as “Shall I get out of bed now or allow myself a few extra minutes to snooze? Do I feel like tea or coffee? Should I write in my gratitude journal first or should I study my daily devotion?” – just to name a few.

While these decisions may seem trivial (and easy to make) there are times when making a decision can be more difficult. Painfully so.

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Years ago my husband and I had an opportunity to purchase a block of land. We were told these properties would significantly increase in value, due to their location and plans for development by the local council.

However, being cautious when it comes to large chunks of money, neither of us was able to come to a decision.

Our indecisiveness and delay meant that we missed the opportunity with all the blocks being snapped up quickly – something we secretly were thankful for as we no longer felt the pressure of having to come to a decision.

However you can imagine our disappointment and utter annoyance at ourselves when 12 months later one of my husband’s colleagues (who had jumped at the opportunity to make the purchase) sold the land for four times his original investment.

A lesson learned.

And, one I’ve taken with me into my business. The last thing I want in business is to be in a position of regret because I wasn’t able to come to a decision.

What about you?

Are you able to come to a decision quickly?

Or are you like some entrepreneurs who find decision making a constant challenge.

Indecision can be debilitating – even terrifying.

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Why do we struggle with indecision?

When looking back at the times when I’ve been unable to make a decision – the reason was because of my lack of confidence and self doubt.

My husband and I lacked confidence and therefore doubted our ability to make the right financial decision with the purchase of the property.

In hindsight, we should have sought advice from trusted industry advisers so that we were better informed.

Instead, our indecision had us take the head-in-the-sand approach where we chose to ignore the situation and let fate make the decision.

An unwise move.

Here are some unwise moves when it comes to business decisions:

  • A program you’ve been putting off investing in because you can’t afford it – even though you know the skills you’ll learn will allow you to more than double or triple the investment in the program;
  • You’re undecided about hiring a coach/mentor yet have been struggling for years to take your business to the next level on your own;
  • You have an opportunity in front of you that could take your business to the next level, but you’re not sure you’re quite ready to make the leap, so the proposal sits on your desk, still incomplete.
  • … [you fill in the gap].

You can’t build a successful business when you’re sitting on the fence of indecision.

Like George Canning said:

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How to overcome indecision in business

Here’s what helped me.

I made a decision to MAKE a decision as promptly as possible – Yes OR No.

If the answer is ‘No,’ move on – with no regrets.

If the answer is ‘Yes,’ plan out what you need to do, and get into action.

  1. Decide and move on; OR
  2. Decide and take action.

Now it’s your turn.

Is there something you’ve been struggling to make a decision on? Make a decision to make a decision. Yes or no.

Make your choice.

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Join in the conversation: Ever find yourself unable to make a decision? What have you done to ensure indecision doesn’t keep you stuck in the downward spiral of indecision?

How to get over your fear of speaking in public

Does the thought of speaking in public make you want to throw up?

fear of speaking in publicIf you answered ‘Yes’ you’re not alone.

The fear of speaking in public (referred to as ‘Glossophobia’) outweighs people’s fear of death.

In fact, the fear of speaking in public is THE greatest fear people can have – according to Glossophobia.com.

A few years ago one of my business colleagues approached me and asked me to work with her husband.

He was a senior executive in the transportation industry and had recently been presented with an opportunity to step up the corporate ladder into one of the company’s top senior roles.

He had been working towards this role for many years, and now finally the opportunity had presented itself. However upon learning the role would require him to speak in front of staff and customers – he promptly turned it down.

Why?

His fear of speaking in public.

He turned down the job opportunity that he had dreamed about (and had worked extremely hard towards) for years because of his fear of public speaking.

So, like my colleagues’ husband, if you are one of the 75% of people who fear public speaking, you’ve probably been reading my recent Speaking to Grow Your Business articles, thinking: “Yeah right Annemarie – it’s never going to happen.”

Today’s article is for you. Here are three things you can do to begin minimizing your fear of speaking in public, so you can finally start to reap the many benefits that speaking to grow your business, offers.

1. Pinpoint the source of your fear

What is it that you are really afraid of?

When I ask clients this question, common responses include:

  • That I will forget what I want to say;
  • That people will laugh at me;
  • That people will think I’m silly;
  • That people will criticize me;
  • That I will make a fool of myself;
  • And the list goes on.

WE are our own worst enemy and critic, and often what we really fear would never happen.

Let me explain…

Many years ago I participated in a training course that taught us how to assess staff training needs, develop specific course curriculum, and then deliver the training to increase staff productivity and performance.

The very first day of the course (before we even had a chance to learn more about the other students) we each had to stand in front of the entire group and speak about any topic for two minutes.

I hadn’t spoken in public for many years so was very nervous. (If I remember correctly, the last time I had spoken in front of a group of people was when I was 8 years old for show and tell, which was more than 15 years ago).

So I was petrified.

As I got up and walked to the front of the room I honestly thought I was going to pass out. My heart was pounding so hard and so loud, I thought everyone would hear it.

Those were the longest two minutes of my life. After I finished I wanted to curl up in a ball and shield my ears from the feedback I was about to receive from the class.

I didn’t need to hear how bad my two-minute speech (aka ramble) was. I was there and had first-hand experience about how unprofessional it had been.

However, to my surprise, what I thought would be negative criticism, wasn’t.

People were interested in what I had to say; the feedback I received was that I had spoken clearly; and had come across as a confident speaker.

WHAT???!!! Are they kidding?

Were they in the same room?

I could have sworn what I heard come out of my mouth was mumbo jumbo; I rambled on like an idiot; and I was so nervous – even my finger nails were sweating.

But that was not what the audience had seen.

WE are our own worst enemy and can worry ourselves into a stupor, if we let ourselves.

Don’t let yourself.

Pinpoint the source of your fear and you’ll realise (like I did) that often YOU are the main source of your fears.

Action step: STOP the internal negative chitter chatter.

2. Prepare your Signature Talk

Like anything in life – preparation is THE key to success.

You wouldn’t expect to turn up and ace an exam without any preparation beforehand, would you.

It’s the same with your Signature Talk – preparation is key.

According to Wayne Burgraff:

“It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.”

So if your Signature Talk is 60 minutes in length – that’s 60 hours of preparation you need to put into crafting and perfecting your presentation, at a minimum.smart-tool

  • Know your audience’s needs and expectations PLUS
  • Create content that creates value AND desire to know more EQUALS
  • A Signature Talk that people will love AND will generate subscribers, leads and clients

 

Action Step: Start preparing your Signature Talk!

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

Steve Jobs was renowned for his exceptional presentations.

Not only did he spend days preparing his talk, he also spent days rehearsing the delivery of his presentation.

How much practice are you putting into the delivery of your Signature Talk?

According to a study (back in the 1970’s) that measured the impact of communication:

  • 55% of the impact of communication were visual elements; your body language and your mannerisms;
  • 38% of the impact of communication came from auditory elements; your tone, speed and pace of your voice; and
  • Only 7% of the impact of communication came from the words that were spoken.

Interesting that 93% of the impact of communication was not what you said, but how you said it.

While the words (i.e. content) you speak need to make sense, what’s going to make the most impact with your audience is how you deliver your talk.

Whenever I’m about to deliver a Signature Talk that’s either a new topic or one I haven’t delivered that often, I will rehearse it all the way through at least 5 to 7 times, or until it just flows out of my mouth.

Over the years my little pooch has been a very attentive audience of one – and still is, as I practice, practice, practice my presentation.

Going over my presentation that many times beforehand, means that when it comes to going live, I can concentrate on the delivery. I can concentrate on my language, the gestures I use and my voice, because I know this is what is going to make the biggest impact with my audience.

Action Step: Practice, Practice, Practice

Join in the conversation

Question for you: “Do you fear speaking in public? What have you done to help you get over your fear? What other things do you recommend people try to help them get over their fear of public speaking?” Scroll down to the comments section and join in the conversation…

Your Irresistible Signature Giveaway: a vital element in your Signature Talk

Speaking is one of the best ways I know to help you grow your business – fast!

Signature TalkImagine this…

A few week’s ago you delivered your Signature Talk to 50 of your ideal clients.

  • Ninety per cent of the audience are now on your list (i.e. subscribers) and part of your community. These are people who have given you their permission for you to continue building and nurturing a relationship with them;
  • 10 people (i.e. leads) registered to speak with privately through your complimentary Strategy Session (which is an automated process you’ve created as a follow up once someone’s signs up for your Irresistible Signature Giveaway), and
  • Out of the five conversations you’ve had already – three people are now going to work with you privately in your 3-month VIP program generating you $15,000 in sales.

A pretty awesome outcome – wouldn’t you say?

Considering you still have another five conversations to go, AND that you can continue to nurture and strengthen your relationship with the 45 new people you’ve added to your list…

…all from one 60-minute free talk.

Are these the kind of results you’re getting from your Signature Talk?

You should be.

And you can – IF you have the right tools in place.

One of those tools is your Irresistible Signature Giveaway, or what some people refer to as your free offer.

[If you’re unsure what this is, here’s the explanation I gave in my article: Speaking To Grow Your Business: 3 Tools You MUST Have In Place]:

ISG

 

Why is your Irresistible Signature Giveaway so important when you’re speaking to grow your business?

Because of these three reasons:

1. People often need MORE EVIDENCE before making a decision

If this is the first time people have heard of you, it’s highly unlikely they’re ready to make a purchase – especially if your goal is to sell one of your high-end programs.

People need more proof that you are a specialist in your field and that you are the right person for them to work with.

They need more evidence.

So the information you share in your Irresistible Signature Giveaway should do exactly that.

In the example I shared above, the speaker was aware of this.

(a) The main call to action in her Signature Talk was to get people to sign up for her Irresistible Signature Giveaway.

(b) The information she then shared in her Giveaway showcased her expertise and gave people the evidence (and proof) they needed.

(c)  Then, by strategically prompting people to register for her complimentary Strategy Session (after they had received the evidence they needed that she had value to offer them) – 10 people stepped forward.

(d)  From there she generated $15,000 after speaking to 5 people.

None of these things would have been possible were it not for her Irresistible Signature Giveaway.

2. People often need MORE TIME before making a decision

According to Gleanster Research, 50% of your leads may be qualified (i.e. your ideal client) but not yet ready to buy.

So when are they likely to be ready?

That’s the million dollar question – which very much depends on how great the urgency and desire they have to solve the problem/challenge they are faced with.

Many marketing professionals believe it can take 8 to 12 touch points (number of times you connect with a potential client) before someone will consider hiring you.

And, if the economy is tight, you can double that time frame.

By encouraging people to access your Irresistible Signature Giveaway means they are now on your list and part of your community, giving you the opportunity to keep in touch and nurture a relationship with them.

Guess who is going to be top of mind when they’re ready to make a purchase?

You!

3. People often need MORE PROMPTING before making a decision

Do you know what one of the most common reasons someone will decide NOT to buy from you, is?

Themselves.

In particular their beliefs (mindset).

  • They don’t believe they’re ready yet: “Now is not the right time”;
  • They believe they know this information already;
  • They don’t believe they can be successful – despite other people achieving success;
  • They don’t believe they can afford it;
  • They believe [you fill in the gap].

Once people have accessed your Irresistible Signature Giveaway and are now part of your community, you can continue to help them melt away their objections and misbeliefs through the articles you write and information you share.

So, as you can see – your Irresistible Signature Giveaway is key to encouraging people to step into your world.

After all, how are you going to continue nurturing and building a relationship with people if you can’t connect and communicate with them on a regular basis?

You can’t.

Which is why you should have an Irresistible Signature Giveaway in place and ready to go as you continue to deliver your Signature Talk.

Here’s to growing your subscribers, leads and clients with your Irresistible Signature Giveaway!

How to connect with your audience during your Signature Talk

Ever found yourself listening to a speaker who droned on and on – wishing they would hurry up and finish their Signature Talk?

I have.

How to connect with your audience during your Signature TalkRecently, in fact.

The presenter’s information wasn’t structured and flitted all over the place.

What she spoke about sounded more like an infomercial for her business and not the topic the event organizers had promoted and promised.

She also read her entire presentation word-for-word from her note pad with the only acknowledgement we received being an occasional glance as she turned over to the next page of her script.

As a member of the audience I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

However, as a coach and mentor who supports entrepreneurs  in creating a powerful and meaningful Signature Talk that generates subscribers, leads and clients (and 5-figure pay days) for their businesses – I felt sorry for her.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only person in the audience who felt this way and I know she missed out on many business opportunities with the 150+ people in the audience – many of whom were her ideal clients.

All I can say is thankfully there was coffee, tea and refreshments being served during the presentation. Otherwise it would have been the longest 40 minutes of my life.

This speaker ticked many of the boxes of what NOT to do during your Signature Talk if you want to connect with your audience.

Why is it important to connect with your audience during your Signature Talk?

Because you begin to develop relationships that can turn into lucrative business opportunities for you.

Here are 5 lessons you can learn from the above experience so that the next time you deliver your Signature Talk you can avoid missing out on lucrative opportunities because you’ve disconnected with and alienated your audience.

1. Think service – NOT selling

It’s all about THEM – NOT YOU!

The best presentations put the needs, desires and expectations of the audience – first!

The speakers connect with their audience because everything in their Signature Talk has been carefully designed and structured from the point of view of their audience.

  • How well do you know your audience?
  • Have you taken the time to identify their needs, desires and expectations?
  • What is the overall theme and purpose of the event?
  • Does the event align with the topic of your Signature Talk, and/or what do you need to tweak so that your information aligns with what the audience expected to hear and learn?

Does that mean you can’t mention anything about you, your expertise and the results they could achieve if they were to work with you?

Of course you can – but it should be presented in a well-planned and non-salesy approach.

For now, think service NOT selling and ensure your Signature Talk doesn’t come across as one big infomercial for your business.

You’ll only annoy and alienate your audience.

2. Be mindful how you start your Signature Talk

The old adage ‘first impressions count’ is vital when it comes to your Signature Talk.

Here are some of the things I’ve heard speakers do at the start of their talk, which undermines their entire presentation.

  • They share how nervous they are and that they hope they don’t make a mistake;
  • They apologize beforehand if they bore the audience;
  • They explain they know the audience’s time is precious so they promise to keep their presentation – short and sweet.

While you may be nervous about stumbling over your words, making a mistake, or boring your audience to tears – don’t ever mention it. EVER.

If you do, you’ve just undermined you and your presentation. Also the audience is now more likely to be on the look out for any time you do fumble or make a mistake during your presentation because you’ve alerted them to it.

Start your Signature Talk with a powerful hook that grabs the audience’s attention from the get-go.

  • A pertinent question to get them thinking;
  • A recent study with findings that will impact them if they don’t find out more about your topic;
  • A relevant story that your audience can relate to.

Remember, how you start your Signature Talk sets the tone for your entire presentation – so make it good!

3. Use stories to deepen connection and engagement

When done well, sharing stories throughout your Signature Talk will deepen connection and engagement with the audience.

Studies I referred to in my article The Power of Storytelling in your Signature Talk showed that stories the audience could relate to cut through distraction; activated the audience’s brains; and could even change people’s thinking and behaviors.

What stories can you share with your audience to deepen connection and engagement?

  • Your personal journey;
  • A success story and/or case study;
  • An inspirational story.

But remember, your story MUST be relevant to your audience. It must elicit the right emotions. And the story must be shared in a thought-provoking manner.

4. Understand Adult Learners and Adult Learner Psychology

As adults our hectic schedules and busy lives means that we have very limited time.

We’re also far more skeptical and critical, so we want to know why the information you’re going to share in your Signature Talk is of relevance to us. And more importantly, we need to know the outcomes and benefits we will walk away with.

What’s in it for US – is top of mind. And if the beginning of your talk doesn’t confirm this for us, you’ve probably just lost our interest.

There are also four adult learning styles you need to be aware of.

  • Innovative Learner
  • Dynamic Learner
  • Analytic Learner
  • Common Sense Learner

Each learner has different communication preferences; prefers information to be presented in a specific way; and resonates with different words, phrases and specific information, for example facts/figures, how to’s etc.

I share more about adult learner psychology in my free Speaking to Grow Your Business training course.

Familiarize yourself with it, because when you do, you’ll deepen the connection with your audience, instantly.

5. Establish and maintain eye contact

Reading your entire Signature Talk and not acknowledging your audience with any eye contact, other than a few occasional glances as you turn over the page like the speaker I mentioned earlier, will not deepen the connection with your audience.

In fact, lack of eye contact will unfortunately create a barrier and may even have some people assume you’re unsure of yourself or worse yet – untrustworthy.

Rehearse your Signature Talk to the point where you could recite it in your sleep.

Taking notes with you is fine – however if you know you’ll be tempted to read everything off the page if you bring the entire thing, just write down the main points of your talk to prompt you.

When delivering your Signature Talk – it should all be about the delivery.

Connecting and engaging with your audience through your mannerisms (body language) and your voice, and by establishing and maintaining eye contact throughout your presentation, is vital.

 

Check out the following relevant articles:

Get IMMEDIATE Access to my Speaking To Grow Your Business FREE training course

 

 

The Power of Storytelling in your Signature Talk

Are you using the power of storytelling in your Signature Talk? You should be – here’s why…

Once upon a time…

Storytelling… a very common phrase, which I’m sure you can recall from your childhood as you waited with great expectation to find out what journey you were about to embark on in the story that followed.

I know I can.

The power of storytelling has been around for centuries – even before the advent of writing.

Stories being passed from generation to generation around camp fires, through paintings and carvings on cave walls, on clay/stone tablets, or any other method that could immortalize a message.

This is how events were and continue to be passed down from generation to generation through the telling and sharing of stories using various mediums – even today.

I love a great story – whether captured in a book or a movie.

In fact one of my favorite movies of all times is the trilogy of the Lord of the Rings.

From the start of the first episode – Fellowship of the Rings, where Cate Blanchett (who plays the character of Galadriel – an elf queen, known as the Lady of the Woods) begins the story with the narration: “history became legend, and legend became myth and some things that should not have been forgotten were lost…” right through to the end where Frodo and Samwise Gamgee get to the top of the Mount Doom, ready to destroy the ring. I’m captured for hours on end by the characters and their journies.

So why is storytelling so powerful? And, more importantly, why should you incorporate stories into your Signature Talk?

For many reasons.

Here are three reasons, which prove the impact that stories can make with your audience when you incorporate them into your Signature Talk:

  1. Stories will help you cut through the distraction;
  2. Stories will activate your audience’s brains;
  3. Stories can change people’s behaviours and actions.

Let’s look at each of these more closely.

1. Stories will help you cut through the distraction

We’re busy with hectic schedules.

As a speaker, you have to compete with these busy schedules and only have a small window of time to seize people’s attention.

However there’s also something else that can distract the attention of your audience.

According to studies (mentioned in the article ‘The Science of Storytelling: How Narrative Cuts Through Distraction’) we spend about half our waking hours fantasizing and daydreaming. In fact, we can have approximately two thousand daydreams a day, each lasting on average up to fourteen seconds.

That’s a lot of daydreaming.

So as a speaker, not only are we competing with frazzled, busy people and their mental ‘to-do’ lists, we also have to compete with their daydreams.

How do you cut through all that mental clutter?

Through storytelling.

According to studies, when people are absorbed in a good story they stop daydreaming. A good story can calm our distracted minds so we can then start to pay close attention to the story at hand – often for hours on end.

Imagine being able to capture your audience’s attention – for as long as you wanted.

You can…with a good story!

2. Stories will activate your audience’s brains:

According to the same studies mentioned above when we are absorbed in a good story, we are not just spectators, but participants.

We feel emotions.

So if a story is sad – we feel sad. When a story is funny – we laugh. When characters in a story become frustrated – we too can become frustrated.

The article “What Listening to a Story Does to our Brains” explains that when a story is told your audiences brains are activated and stimulated. Your audience can experience the emotions of the events you share because various parts of the brain are stimulated that only a story can activate.

Not only that, but when we share a story that has made an impact in our own way of thinking and our lives in general, the emotions and learnings we share can have a similar impact on your audience too.

“The brains of the person telling a story and the people listening can synchronize” according to Princeton representative, Uri Hasson.

When you share a story you can influence your audience so they get to experience the exact same thing.

The article goes on to mention a case study where through sharing a story a woman was able to synchronize her brain with her audience. When her frontal cortex lit up, theirs did too.

By telling a story, this woman was able to suggest ideas, thoughts and emotions into the brains of her listeners.

Just by sharing a story.

3. Stories can change people’s behaviours and actions.

According to the article: ‘Infecting an audience: why great stories spread’ telling a person that something should be a certain way does little to sway that person’s viewpoint. In fact, being told they should think or act a certain way only made them skeptical and critical.

However, when a story was told (in this case – a TV show) that presented certain ideas in a non-judgmental way, people were likely to move in the same non-judgmental direction.

The story caused people to become more empathetic with the ideas and viewpoints shared, versus being told how they should think and respond.

Stories can change our brain chemistry and therefore our behaviours and actions.

Powerful for sure.

So when it comes to your Signature Talk, rather than telling people what they should think or do – create a story that is non-judgmental so that your message can by-pass people’s resistance.

Let your story by-pass your audience’s skepticism and criticism so they can empathize with you. Because when you have empathy and understanding, people will become far more responsive to what you have to say. And, far more responsive to your call to action!

Happy story telling!

 

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How NOT to alienate your audience at your next speaking gig

Imagine this…

You’ve spent hours preparing your talk and there you are on stage in front of hundreds of people – sharing your message.

alienateBut… something unexpected and horrifying is happening.

Instead of smiling faces of appreciation, your audience is frowning.

Several people are leaning across to one another whispering while looking at you and shaking their heads in disgust; and a few have gotten up and walked out the door.

What happened?

You’ve alienated your audience.

Thankfully we are only imagining this scenario– however I remember cringing when a colleague told me about a similar situation that occurred with a well-known business person at one of her speaking gigs.

Rather than inspire and empower people, she offended them.

She alienated her audience.

While being in a position where you walk away from a speaking gig with no subscribers, leads or clients is disappointing, walking away from giving your Signature Talk with no subscribers, leads or clients AND having to do some serious damage control to turn around your tarnished reputation – is far worse.

And the damage may not be confined to just your audience.

Considering that numerous people carry around their mobile devices with them and have 24/7 connectivity – many of them have probably also shared their disappointment across their social networks for the world to see.

It’s every speaker’s worst nightmare, and one I’m sure you’ll want to avoid at all costs.

So, how do you ensure you don’t find yourself in the same situation as this speaker did?

By researching three very important things:

1. The Event

  • What is the theme of the event and who are the organizers?
  • Do they have similar corporate values as you and does it align with your brand?
  • What is the purpose of the event and does it align with your message and your mission?

These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself before saying ‘Yes’, and agreeing to speak.

You may just find that the event and its purpose are quite different from your values and mission, and in some cases, the opposite of what you stand for.

And, if the event is different from your values and mission, the likelihood that your ideal client will be sitting in the audience is highly unlikely.

This leads me to the next thing you should consider.

2. The Audience

  • Will the majority of the people attending the event align with the qualities and characteristics of your ideal client?
  • Did they pay to attend the event, or not?
  • What are their expectations?

If your goal with speaking is to grow your business by educating, empowering and enticing people to want to know more, answering the above questions is important.

Because if the audience is not your ideal client, it’ll be highly unlikely that they’ll be compelled to move forward in response to your call to action.

Which leads me to the next thing you should consider.

3. The Topic (Your Signature Talk)

  • Does your topic align with the expectations of the event?
  • Is your topic relevant to the needs and expectations of your audience?
  • Are the examples and case studies relevant to your audience so that they can resonate and relate to them?

Answering the above questions is also going to ensure that you don’t offend and/or alienate your audience, unlike the speaker I mentioned earlier.

She didn’t consider any of these things and used her Signature Talk she’d created for women in business.

Had she done her research, she would have realized that many of the people in the audience were not entrepreneurs and women in business.

They were either unemployed or single mothers who were struggling to keep their heads about water.

The event organizers wanted to offer attendees support and inspiration to give them hope that they they could turn their situations around.

However, what ended up happening was the audience couldn’t relate to the information or examples the speaker used.

Rather than inspire and empower them, it made them feel far worse about the situation they were in.

The words of encouragement the speaker used didn’t inspire or empower, it made them feel that their situation was even more hopeless because none of them had any idea how to start a business, and a few of the examples the speaker used involved spending money, which they didn’t have.

Big mistake.

So, everything that normally empowered and inspired her audience in this situation had the opposite effect, because the words and the examples she used didn’t connect or engage with the audience.

It ended up disconnecting and enraging the audience.

Had this speaker done some research and answered the above questions, she would have saved herself a lot of heartache and would not have found herself having to salvage her reputation.

So, BEFORE you say ‘Yes’ to that speaking gig, do your research to ensure it’s the best opportunity for you and whether you need to tweak your Signature Talk, your examples, and your call to action.

I’ve made it easy for you by putting together my free Pre-Speaking Checklist. In it I have over 30 questions you should consider BEFORE you agree and say ‘Yes’ to speak, so that you don’t alienate your audience.

You can grab your copy by clicking here

To your speaking success and brilliance.

Annemarie

YOUR SAY: Have a story about a similar situation? Perhaps you were in the audience and could tell the speaker didn’t do their homework? Did they alienate their audience? Or perhaps this has happened to you? Go ahead and share. It’s wonderful to be able to learn and grow your speaking skills by sharing and reading other people’s experiences.

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Speaking To Grow Your Business: A Common Mistake

Are you speaking to grow your business?

Speaking A Common MistakeSpeaking is a great way to boost your visibility and profile to MANY of your ideal clients as it follows the one-to-many model.

However, ONLY if you have a clear strategy and the RIGHT steps in place.

Unfortunately, many business owners who are speaking to grow their business are leaving thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars on the table, because they DON’T have the right steps in place.

Let me explain.

Imagine you’ve just given a presentation and the audience enjoyed your talk.

Even though you received a loud applause at the end of your talk, and you had many people coming up to you after your presentation to shake your hand and thank you for your inspirational message – not one person asked you about your services or how they could work with you.

What do you do?

While you may be tempted to collect as many business cards as you can from attendees; take them back to your office; and add them manually to your database so you can email them more about your products and services – DON’T!

You have just violated spam regulations, which prohibit you from adding people to your database without their express permission.

And more importantly, you have just potentially damaged your opportunity to build a relationship with these people, who may have become raving clients.

But, by adding them to your list without their permission, spamming them with information and trying to ‘sell’ them on your services before they have gotten to know, like and trust you – you have just jeopardized your efforts to sign up a new client.

How do I know?

I recently asked my community on Facebook what they thought about this process and their responses confirmed it. Here are just a few of the responses:

  • “I get so annoyed and have recently had to ‘unsubscribe’ and report them to mailguard”
  • “It’s shocking this still happens and to me say’s a lot about how that person does business overall.”
  • “I find it annoying and an intrusion.”
  • “I hate it, unless I know or have spoken to that person, I never open their emails.”
  • “Hate it, it’s just rude and people should know better by now. Another peeve is the group email displaying everyone else’s email addresses.”

So what should you do instead to encourage people in the audience to get onto your list?

You give some thought to the following two questions:

1. What do you want to have happen after you finish your talk?

While it’s important to spend time on the content of your Signature Talk so it’s concise and of value to your audience, so is considering the next step you want people to take after you have finished you talk.

This is something many business owners don’t consider.

The reason this is so important is that it will determine how you structure your Signature Talk, the information you share, and the depth of each of the points you talk about.

What is the action you want people to take after you have finished your talk?

In my complementary The Secrets to Successful Speaking in Business training I discuss three different actions you can encourage people can take.

One of those actions is to sign up for your Irresistible Signature Giveaway. Once they sign up, this now means they are part of your community and you have the opportunity to continue building a relationship with them so they get to know, like and trust you.

As people get to know, like and trust you, they are more likely to say ‘Yes’ to your offer.

Remember though, building a relationship with someone takes time, so please don’t bombard people with sales materials. Take the time to build your credibility as an expert in your field and ‘wow’ them with your knowledge and information you share in your giveaway.

When you get that formula right – you’ll have people scrambling to work with you!

2. How can I make it an easy “YES!” for people to take the action step I want them to take?

While educating and empowering people during your Signature Talk is important, so is engaging with them and helping them recognize that you understand their struggles and what they are going through.

Once you know the action you want them to take, the MAIN task of your Signature Talk is to build awareness of what they still don’t know or can’t do (i.e. the gap) WHILE deepen their desire to fill this gap by getting their hands on your Irresistible Signature Giveaway.

Let me stress again that the role of your Signature Talk is to educate and empower your audience WHILE create awareness that they still have a gap in their knowledge/abilities (that prevents them from achieving their goal) and to deepen their desire to want to learn more, which they can do by accessing your giveaway.

You have the solution and it’s presented in your Irresistible Signature Giveaway and to access this information they need to give you their contact details.

It’s that simple.

That is the RIGHT step and the RIGHT way to encourage people to get on your list.

So in closing, if you want to use speaking to grow your business – before you give your next presentation:

  • Get totally clear on the ONE action you want your audience to take; and
  • Ensure your Signature Talk has the correct structure and content so that it educates and empowers your audience; creates awareness that they still have a gap in their knowledge/abilities that prevents them from achieving their goal; and deepens their desire to want to learn more, which they can do by accessing your giveaway.

When you do, you’ll have no problem in increasing your subscribers and growing your list with ideal clients who want to learn more about you and what you have to offer, after each and every one of your Signature Talks.

To your speaking success and brilliance!

Annemarie

PS. Are you still unsure if you have the right structure and content in your Signature Talk? Why not sign up for one of my complementary Signature Talk Strategy Sessions and we’ll see where you still have gaps and what you need to do to create a Signature Talk that generates subscribers, leads and clients.

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Speaking to Grow Your Business: 3 tools you MUST have in place

Are you speaking to grow your business?

3ToolsAccording to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report – 2014, sixty per cent of business’s who participated in the survey were going to use speaking (and networking) as an additional way to market their business, alongside social media.

In my article “How to Build Credibility, Visibility and Profitability FAST with this One-To-Many Model” I shared the many benefits and successes I have personally experienced through public speaking and can therefore highly recommend speaking as a great way to build visibility for your business.

To recap some of these successes, they include:

  • Building my credibility as a specialist: I’ve been sought out to speak on other people’s stages alongside other multi-six and seven-figure business owners;
  • Growing my list of subscribers: I consistently grow my list of subscribers from every talk. In fact, recently after a 30-minute presentation I added over 350 highly targeted people to my list who I now know are interested in that specific topic.

I now have the opportunity to nurture and build relationships with my new subscribers. As they continue to get to know, like and trust me and continue to learn more from the information I share, guess which person is top of mind when they are ready to step forward? [Hint: Me].

  • Gaining referrals for other speaking opportunities: many times after a speaking engagement, I find one (or more) people in the audience request I speak to their group. So I’m consistently receiving more opportunities to speak in front of groups of my ideal client;
  • Increasing my income: after hearing me speak, people who are ready to take action and generate results – invest in my programs/products.

In my conversation with many other business owners (who want to know the secrets to successful public speaking in business) I am asked, “Were you always generating these types of results?”

No, I wasn’t.

In fact, I’ve lost count of the number of speaking events I’ve been involved with in the early days that had little to minimal results. Even though I managed to inspire the audience with a great presentation – the results as far as subscribers, leads and clients (income), were dismal.

Until I made some changes.

Here are three things I integrated into my business that helped me turn my results around.

Make sure you have these three things in place as well to avoid disappointment and frustration because you’re not generating the results you want from your talk.

Speaking to Grow Your Business –
Tool 1: Your Signature Talk

Just because you can speak about multiple topics – doesn’t mean you should.

I learned this the hard way.

I used to accept any and all opportunities to speak and get in front of the audience, so-much-so that I would speak about any topic; even topics, which didn’t always fit into my program funnel.

What ended up happening was that I inadvertently developed a reputation of being a specialist in an area quite different from what I wanted to build my reputation as an expert in.

I was also spending a lot of time creating presentations that didn’t really fit in well with my business model, and more importantly my product and program funnel, so I wasn’t generating a steady stream of enquiries and clients, either.

Thankfully, this changed dramatically after I created two key Signature Talks, each covering a topic I wanted to become known as an expert in. AND, both of my Signature Talks are aligned with and relevant to my product and program funnel.

Does that mean I don’t tweak my topic to suit the theme of the event I’m speaking at? No – of course not.

But, I now know that every event I’ll be speaking at (and the people who are attending the event) – are my ideal clients and will therefore be more likely to want to learn more about my work.

This is because:

  • I know the struggles and challenges they have;
  • I know what keeps them up at night;
  • I know what they dream about and long to achieve;
  • I know what they want and I show them that I am able to provide a solution to support them.

My Signature Talk is strategically positioned to engage where they are at in their current struggles; it educates and empowers; AND it entices them to learn more from me.

Which brings me to my next tool.

 Speaking to Grow Your Business –
Tool 2: Your Irresistible Signature Giveaway

Not everyone is at the point where they’re ready to say “Yes’ to your offer. However, you don’t want to walk away from your presentation without getting as many names and contact details (at least an email address) of your ideal client.

How do you do that? With your Irresistible Signature Giveaway.

What’s an Irresistible Signature Giveaway?

It’s a piece of content that your ideal client (who is sitting in your audience), wants to get their hands on. And, to do that, they need to give you their contact details.

This piece of content, must be relevant to your Signature Talk, must be relevant to your program/product funnel, and must provide incredible value to your new subscriber.

In other words, don’t just throw any old thing together and hope they’ll find that resource of value.

Remember, every piece of content you share is a reflection of you and your work – so make sure your Irresistible Signature Giveaway continues to showcase your expertise and the value you offer.

 Speaking to Grow Your Business –
Tool 3: Your Signature Program

Do you have a product and/or program your audience can invest in if they want to take their knowledge, ability and results to the next level.

If you don’t – you’re leaving money on the table. And, in some instances if you don’t have a program to offer, you end up creating business for your competitors, because your audience now realises they need help in that area. If you can’t help them, they’ll find someone who can.

How do I know?

Because this happened to me.

A few years ago I was asked to speak on the topic of social media.

Someone had seen what I was doing on social media with my business, and wanted me to share my successes and tips with their group of small business owners.

I certainly didn’t mind sharing, however as I don’t necessarily teach and support people ONLY in their social media strategies I didn’t have any programs on that topic that people could invest in.

After my talk, at least one third of the room approached me and asked whether they could work with me privately.

As I didn’t have anything to offer them at the time – I left opportunities and money on the table.

An expensive lesson learned.

Do you have a product or program your audience can invest in if they want to deepen their awareness in the topic you’ve just spoken about?

If not, then you either need to create one OR you need to create a new topic for your Signature Talk. A topic that is relevant to what you want to become known as an expert in and that leads people into your product/program funnel.

Don’t be like me those many years ago – where you end up leaving money on the table OR creating business for your competitors because you didn’t have a program/product to offer people who are ready to invest in your product/programs.

Want to learn more about the Secrets to Successful Speaking in Business?

Get immediate access to my training: 5 Key Mistakes Business Owners Make When Speaking & How to Avoid Them! Learn How To Become Known as an Expert in Your Field, Book New Clients and Generate 5-figure (or more) Pay Days From Your Next FREE Talk!

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