Kenny: Now, this week we’re going to be talking about the power of public speaking which Andrew and I had plenty of experience in but it wasn’t always like that. We’re going to be talking through our stories of how we got into public speaking later on in the show. But first of all Andrew, why is this so important for consultants?
Andrew: Well, I know you’re going to be talking Kenny about the large audiences around the world that you’ve spoken to and that’s meant for you. I want to start up by also emphasizing that becoming better at public speaking, just makes you better at speaking, period. It makes all your speaking more confident, more clear, more persuasive.
And, there’s just no way that I’m aware of to run a successful high fee consulting business without needing to sell yourself; sell your services and communicate with your clients and very often that needs to be done verbally. So even if you never speak in front of an audience for your business, being an effective speaker is really critical for making your business a success.
Kenny: I agree with you totally. And, once you go through that kind of comfort zone expansion, you feel amazing afterwards. Once you actually nail it, then your confidence in all areas of your life goes through the roof.
I kind of learned all about public speaking back in I think it was 2008 or 2009. I forgot but I spoke to a group of six people. We sold a seminar and we got a grand total of six people who turned up. It was a high value seminar. They paid around about three and a half thousand dollars; so about 2,000 turned a bit pounds at that time.
And, we got six people in a rear man. We managed to find a small room in this hotel to do it, so it didn’t looked too bad. It looked like a board table meeting.
When it came to me speaking, I completely and utterly fell apart. I mean, literally. Someone had to come in and rescue me. It was horrendous.
And, by pure chance about a week after this incident, one of my top role models and kind of gurus if you like, out of nowhere gave me a call and asked me to speak at one of his conferences. I was obviously never going to turn him down so I accepted.
The timing was perfect. It stopped me from hating public speaking. It just made me living complete fear of it, which I had. But, I knew this time one thing I needed to do is prepare like crazy because the previous time, that’s why I fell apart.
Although, it was by no means a polished performance, at the end of the presentation because I managed to do his presentation for I think it was about 200 people at this conference. And, I got a massive round of applause at the end. But, the important part was Andrew; I had a queue of prospects wanting to speak to me at the end.
I mean, when do you get a queue of prospects, queuing up to speak with you? And that was a big thing for me. This is when I realized the power of public speaking. I also, like I said before realized that my confidence levels went up and went through the roof at this point.
Also, another reason that it’s important is you will generally learn if you want to learn about a subject more, because I know that I get asked to speak at this conference on a subject and it wasn’t my actual fulltime subject. He seen that I’ve done something interesting with domain names and wanted me to do speech on domain names and it was my fulltime vocation. I had a big interest in it, but not huge interest.
I therefore had to learn a huge amount more and do lots and lots of research and what I would say is if you really want to learn about something 10 times faster, then the best way to learn about something is teach it. So if you really want to learn more about a topic, create a presentation about it and commit to presenting on that.
Andrew: Commit to speaking in front of big audience and that will be quite the motivation to learn all about it.
Kenny: Correct. So, that’s kind of why I think it’s important. What kind of high impact insights have you got that you can share with consultants because I know you’ve been speaking in public at some level or have had probably over a decade now? Where did it all start?
Andrew: Yeah, quite a long time and I’ll definitely give some good, some of my favorite tips at the end here. But, yeah. I wanted to share my story and that is that I was terrified of public speaking all through childhood and college. I mean, in general I was just a pretty shy kid and the idea of getting up in front of a room of people, whether I knew them or not, there was just no way I could do it.
You know, I went through my entire college career, five years at MIT giving only two five-minute presentations because I avoided all the classes that had any speaking component. I probably missed some great stuff.
Kenny: That must have taken some skill to avoid all of that.
Andrew: Every semester, I would go through the book, figure out what I was signing up for, is there a presentation required? Oh! I’m skipping that. The only ones I kept were the ones required for graduation and my thesis.
Those two five-minute presentations at the end of those classes, were the most terrifying 10 minutes of my entire college career and that includes the times that my girlfriend tried to get in the dance floor because I was horrendously terrified of that too. But, there was just nothing worse than the idea of public speaking. They say the only thing that is more terrifying to people than death is public speaking. And, that was honestly how I felt about it.
So I felt pretty good that I managed to get through college without doing it and honestly it wasn’t until I started working in High Tech, in semiconductors that I realized, for then about six months that there was no way I was ever going to advance become manager, leader, have any kind of influence if I couldn’t speak up in meetings.
Kenny: And you certainly can validate, it must be competitive as hell out there.
Andrew: Extremely competitive, tons of extremely smart people which just makes these meetings even more intimidating. You look around and realized there’re so many engineers who are super smart but were just like me; they’re so shy, they never speak up, they would never do public speaking. You look at them and you realized; these guys are brilliant at what they do but they’ll never going to be able to progress in their careers because they can’t communicate. And, that was how I felt.
So I just decided I have to do something about this. And so what did I do? Did I pick up the phone? No, that would involve talking to somebody. I sent an email to Toastmasters International which I don’t remember how I heard about them now. But, most people have heard about them. They’re an immense international organization.
I sent them an email and said, “Do you know what? I think it would be great if somebody would just come out and setup a Toastmasters Club at my company. Signed Andrew Percey.” And what they did or what happened next was the district president of the Northern California Toastmaster Association showed up at my doorstep at home, three days later.
This guy was just so impressive, so disarming, so charming, so confident and with skills of flattery and persuasion that I still marvel at. He somehow convinced me to start this club at my company and to become the first president. I mean, talk about being jettison out of your comfort zone.
Kenny: Wow! I remember what Toastmaster as well. Sorry to interrupt but I just remember. It was full of different types of people. Full of people like that but also full of people like me; who was scared like rabbit in the headlights.
Andrew: Well, that’s part that makes it great. I mean, you start, pretty much everybody starts as scared to some degree and you get to see the people who seemingly have no fear and you realized, “Well, when they started, they were pretty much like me and they learned to get over it.” And that’s truly the key here.
Public speaking is a learned ability. This is not something that you’re just born with. It’s not something that’s unchangeable. Anybody can be trained and learned to become a better public speaker and I’ll say a little bit more about that.
But, I can definitely say without a doubt, that starting this Toastmaster’s Club was the best thing I ever did for myself professionally. And now, it doesn’t happen right away. I was a leader in this club, the president and took many other leadership roles and I was a weekly participant for 11 years.
I just spent a lot of time and invested a lot of time in this. But by the end, I’ve given dozens and dozens of speeches, evaluated speeches, giving impromptu speeches. I’d won eight speech contests. I placed 3rd at the Northern California Division level, International Speech Contest. And most importantly, I’d become confident at it and comfortable speaking in public and I even enjoyed.
I even enjoyed doing it. Getting to that moment where you enjoyed it, it’s so amazingly powerful. This is what allowed my advancement at that Semiconductor company; from engineer to engineering manager, to marketing manager, which a very few engineers ever make that leap, to even giving occasional reports at the CEO’s staff meeting. I give full credit for all of that to my Toastmaster’s experience and learning to enjoy public speaking.
And it’s continued to benefit me Kenny. I mean professionally, what I’ve been doing as a marketing consultant for the last five years. I’ve given live marketing seminars at MIT for the last three years. You joined me the last time. We had a blast doing it.
Kenny: Yeah, it was great.
Andrew: I’ve given intimate presentations to small rooms of prospects around Boston which has resulted in new clients. I’ve handled hundreds of effective meetings and phone calls with prospects and clients; where again, being well spoken and confident is absolutely essential. Then, there’s this podcast. Kenny, I’m sure you would not have invited me to do this with you if I wasn’t already a pretty comfortable speaker.
Kenny: Well, that was the actual reason I invited you, apart from the credibility of your background as well which played a big part. Credibility is important but it was actually how well you spoke andwith how much conviction you spoke as well which is really important when you’re speaking.
Andrew: And has it surprised you to learn that this has been an entirely a learned skill in my behalf?
Kenny: It did. I mean, when I actually got down to the conversation with you and you told me this background of yours, it is absolutely surprising because you think someone who’s been to MIT, works in Silicon Valley, must have come from a family that just groomed you for this. You know?
Andrew: He hasn’t met my family yet.
Kenny: But we make these assumptions, don’t we? We make these assumptions when we’ve see people who think the typical IV league background. And, couldn’t be further from the truth, fairly you were very nervous and very scared of speaking in public and had to get right out of your comfort zone.
And I think it sounds like this; Toastmaster guy played a really big role in that, didn’t he? Really pushing you through your comfort zone.
Andrew: He did. In fact, he was a mentor to me in many ways for a number of years through that and I’ll always be very grateful to him, very fantastic guy. I’ll even give him a call, Carlos Figueroa from California, really a wonderful mentor and leader. And, thank you for all that Carlos.
I’ll add that in a more personal note and really a more important level of the business, being comfortable in public speaking has helped me really in some of the most important moments of my life. It’s something to deliver three best man speeches, which I was so proud to do. As well as two eulogies which just meant so much to me and to the other folks who were there, my friends and family. Those are really some of the most memorable moments of my life and none of this would have been possible, had I not put in the effort to master public speaking.
So, enough of the background. I know you guys want to hear some of the tips. What do you do to make this work besides all the 11 years of practice, right? Well, let me give you some key nuggets that won’t take 11 years to learn but can make a tremendous difference the next time you go out and need to give a speech or any kind of talk.
The first is take advantage of small speaking opportunities. Use them to practice and keep sharp so that when you do get that call, as Kenny did and get invited to go on a big stage, you’re more prepared and more confident.
And by the way, Kenny you said before that doing that gave you so much confidence and I think that’s very important to hear because you don’t have to get all the confidence first before you ever speak. Just starting to speak gives you confidence and it grows with you.
Kenny: I think, just to add to that, I know a little bit more about your background and you mentioned before very briefly that you’re really scared of being asked to dance as well. And, so I just got a question for you. Do you think it’s this public speaking that gave you the confidence to actually start dancing as well? Because, you went out there and became a dancer as well, didn’t you?
Andrew: No, completely unrelated.
Kenny: Right, okay.
Andrew: It was another fear, another huge fear of mine. Honestly, my girlfriend in college almost broke up with me because on her birthday, I wouldn’t go on the dance floor with her. I was just so shy and timid about it. But, it’s related.
In that case, you’re as nervous about how you’ll look and whether you’re actually going to be able to dance with someone and how them a good time, right? You know what? Pick up a partner and have her be embarrass out there because you have no idea what you’re doing when you’re the leader, right?
So that took a long time for me to overcome too. But it was the same thing. It was practice and practice and practice and getting a little more confidence and a little more confidence and it took me a year and a half of regular dance classes before I had any fun whatsoever.
So you’ve got to put in the time to practice and get to the point where it actually becomes enjoyable. Quite, simple.
Kenny: I usually find that 20 beers help me. I’m usually the drunk uncle at wedding.
Andrew: Everybody looks fantastic and feels fantastic on the dance floor after 20 beers. That is the shortcut. If you take nothing else in this podcast, take that one away.
Kenny: Especially when you’re dancing to the dance floor. That’s a good look, isn’t it? Dancing your way to the dance floor.
Andrew: Kenny, I’m glad this is a podcast and not a video.
Andrew: That’s what I’m going to say about this. Alright, moving out to my second tip and Kenny, you hinted at this before. And that is that the more nervous and unsure you feel before a presentation, that’s just means you need to prepare and practice that much more.
You’ve all heard the saying, “Success is 90% preparation.” And that’s definitely true when it comes to public speaking. For my first 5 or 10 speeches, I wrote out every single word. I practiced 5, 10, 15 times by myself, in front of others, by myself again. And overtime, you don’t need that.
Overtime you can do less and less. But to get started, that’s perfectly fine and that helps give you the confidence you need to go ahead and do it.
Next tip is don’t try to talk to an entire audience. That’s just overwhelming. Always think about talking to individuals.
That means when you’re speaking, look at one person. Look them in the eyes for about five seconds as you’re speaking. Maintain that eye contact, make it personal and then move on to the next person.
When you do this through 10, 20, 30 people around the room; that accomplished a number of things. Number one, it makes it so much easier for you because it’s a lot easier to talk to one person that to a crowd. Number two, it gets them more connected to what you’re saying because you’re looking at them. And number three, it just makes it look like you have supreme confidence when you maintain that eye contact working around the room.
It’s hard to think about. So again, it takes practice. But once you start doing it, it makes you a lot more comfortable. Think of speaking to individuals.
My next tip, especially if you’re nervous is take three deep breaths before you start and force yourself to speak extra slowly to the point where you’re up there speaking and you feel like, “Oh my god! They must think I know nothing and can’t speak at all.” That’s how it feels when you’re talking. But when you’re nervous, you automatically speak faster and you can’t control it and it doesn’t feel like you’re speaking faster.
But I’ve had this experience so many times. I’ll time my speech and I know its five minutes. I’ll do it again, its five minutes and five seconds. Again, five minutes and five seconds. And then, I get up and give the speech in front of an audience, its three and a half minutes.
I’m like, “Where did that go? Why did it go so fast?” Because you speed up when you’re nervous. So think about speaking extra slowly to the point that it feels odd and if you look at a video or hear feedback afterwards you’ll find out, “You know what? That was just perfect.”
My next tip is practice using volume, infliction, tone and pauses to emphasize your points. Really give your voice a chance to move around. Use different volume, inflict as you’re speaking the tone and then be comfortable pausing. Because when you can pause and be comfortable in five seconds of utter silence while all eyes in the room are on you, then you know you’re becoming a confident and powerful speaker.
Kenny, those are some of my top tips that when I try to think of every time I get up and give a major speech. There’re many more but take these to heart and I promise your public speaking will improve tremendously.
Kenny: Some great tips there. Thanks for those. And, I’ve spoken out a lot of conferences and literally hundreds of webinars and podcasts. I think you’ve covered most of it there, but I’m going to just give you a few more tips in no particular order.
So number one tip for me is do your research and know and understand your audience before you communicate with them because you want to get the right message to audience match. This is where even the best speakers can go wrong if you don’t know your audience and you’re not giving them what they want, then there’s going to be some level of conflict there. And, you just won’t really connect with them. So that’s number one.
Number two; nail the first five minutes. If you’re a little bit nervous, just really get that five minutes right that you’ve almost got it memorized really that you can just get up there and I say almost memorize, make sure it’s memorized, that will give you the confidence. And also, memorize your close. Make sure that you know how the close goes.
Then, if you’re confident about these two aspects, then the rest will usually look after itself as long as you’ve done the preparation, as long as you’ve done the planning, as long as you’ve practiced it plenty. Those two aspects are really important.
Andrew: That may sound all funny, we actually gave the exact same advice on Toastmasters. You may wonder, “Well, what about the middle part? That’s the meat of it.” But honestly, if you have a strong opening that relaxes you, it eases you into it, it gets you ready for the rest. And if you know you have a strong closing coming at the end, you can also relax about that. So, it just makes the entire speech go so much better.
Kenny: That’s absolutely! And number three; learn to tell stories. Learn first of all your own story and when you’re telling stories all about yourself or about somebody else, kind of learn the hero’s journey.
I learned this from a good friend called Chris Payne. He told me about this hero’s journey and how Star Wars, the guy behind star wars had all of these great ideas and then he read a book which outlined the hero’s journey. What he did with Star Wars is he put it into this structure of the hero’s journey. Now a very basic level, most movies or most strong television programs have this hero’s journey as the structure.
Basically the hero’s journey in a very basic level goes like this; you’ve got a bad situation or you’ve got a situation which is where you start off. Then, there’s usually an evil villain and that can be an either an external villain out there; so it’s somebody whose an adversary or something that is an adversary or an internal one, might be procrastination, stopping you of getting where you need to go.
Then there’s the hero which could be you or it could be your mentor or it could be an advisor or it could be your whole solution. You kind of lost in the wilderness and then there’s a turning point where you learned what you need to do and you overcome the evil villain there and you find your way and you did it the hard way so that the audience don’t need to. And that is a great way of you kind of selling something, you’re selling a product, service or just a message and it’s really good to kind of include because most of your life stories will go through that anyway. And, if you can just structure it, in the hero’s journey; that will be really powerful and will really help you connect with the audience.
Number four; create memorable terminology or acronyms especially as you’re a consultant. I thinking if you’re going to be presenting, you’re probably going to be wanting to build a community of an audience and behind your products and services. When I say, great memorable terminology or acronyms, it’s just like I have done with, for example I call a method of outsourcing and automating, POAD method which is P-O-A-D; which is prioritize, optimize, automate and if you can’t automate, delegate. I talk about when people come on my webinar, I talk about, “Once you go through my program, you will reach the influence Jetstream.”
Now, this is just terminology I’ve kind of made up but it’s connected to me. And if you can do that, people will remember what you say more.
Number five; and this is a big one, I’ve only recently over the last kind of year gotten really understood. This is if you’re kind of speaking a conference or you’re speaking on a webinar. You can’t do as much with a podcast for instance because they’re prerecorded. This is interact and speak as if you are speaking with just one person.
Whatever you’re doing, if you’re doing a podcast or a video or anything while you’re presenting, always speak as if you’re speaking to just one person. That is your ideal prospect if you’re selling something. But the term I used there is interact. And if you’ve got an audience there, the best way to connect with them is interact with them.
If you’re talking to one person, you have to be careful of your language. You might say, “Raise your hand if you’re sick of being a slave to your job and working time for money.” And then you raised your hand once you’ve said it to connect with the audience and they will raise their hand and that’s you connecting with them. But, try and stir away from where you’re talking to a group.
Try not to say stuff like, “Who here in the room is sick of being a slave to your job and working time for money.” Just need to simplify it, “Raise your hand if you’re sick of being a slave to your job and working time for money.” And that will connect you of the audience and do this as much as possible throughout the presentation. Because again, this will give you feedback as well to let you know that you’re on the right wavelength and sometimes you can say that in your presentation.
You can say, “Can I just find out is this useful to you this information?” Very rare that someone will put there and say nope. But it’s that connecting with people, that’s the really important part here.
Andrew: Kenny, do you also sometimes ask individuals questions?
Kenny: I will do it if I know who is in the room. I generally won’t pick on somebody unless they put their hand up because then, you can have the whole of the room completely scared and in fear and not listening to you thinking, “Geez, am I going to be the next one to be called out here.”
Andrew: That’s very true and related to that, if somebody asks you a question, a mistake a lot of people make is to spend the next five minutes just looking at that person as you’re answering the question. That puts them on the spot. It also makes other people in the room uncomfortable for the same reason.
Andrew: The tip there is start off looking at them as you answer the question. But then, 5 or 10 seconds later, go back to making eye contact with the entire room, you’ve move away from the individual. Now, you’re just answering a question and when you’re done you go back to your presentation. That’s much more comfortable for everybody.
Kenny: Yeah. And another tip, another advanced tip in that area. If someone in the audience ask you a question, see where they are located and adjust yourself, your position on the stage appropriately.
What most people would do is they will walk. Most presenters will walk to the side of the stage where the person asking the question is located. If someone on the right hand side, as you speak and someone on the right hand side ask you a question, what most presenters will do is walk closer to that person.
But what that does is closes off most of the audience.
Andrew: That’s right.
Kenny: The trick is for you to keep contact with that questioner but move to the opposite side of the stage and thus open up the whole audience. Therefore, if someone in the middle ask you a question, then you move to the middle but then you will take a few steps back on the stage again opening up the whole audience. And then, keep eye contact with them and then move your eyes around the audience.
Andrew: I challenge everybody listening here to look for these things the next time you watch a confident speaker on the stage because they’ve been doing this all the time and you’ve probably never notice because you weren’t looking for it specifically, but you see these things. Now, as you take note of it, you’ll be able to start using them more yourself.
Kenny: Yeah. And just staying on that kind of theme there, if you’re talking about past, present, and future, so imagine you are on the stage looking to the audience. If you’re talking about the past, then stand on your right because that is their left.
Now if you’re talking about the present, stand in the middle. Now if you’re talking about the future, stand on your left, which is their right. Because this way, you will create a logical timeline for them and that will connect with them better as well subconsciously. So some kind of an advanced tip there but it’s really worth noting.
Andrew: It’s funny isn’t it? If you do that in the opposite way, it really confuses people and they don’t know way. They don’t understand why they can’t follow what you’re saying.
Kenny: That’s right. Never benefit talk in terms of benefits. Give them what they want and then sell them what they need. For example; if you were selling a drill, you need to understand that people don’t want the drill. They actually want a hole. And in fact, they actually want the shelves, etc. So talk about these benefits before you sell the solution.
This goes beyond just presenting on stage. You’ll notice that a lot of my terminology that I’m talking about today includes selling your message from the stage. But always talk in terms of benefits and what we’ve mentioned is a lot throughout the show and this is the same when you get on stage as well when you’re presenting to an audience.
Andrew: It’s a very key to selling high for your services that we talked about before. You have to sell the benefits first.
Kenny: Yeah, absolutely! Going back on your point as well where you kind of, if someone ask you a question then you connect with that person or in fact you said before that, don’t try and look at the whole audience, pick up a few individual people in the audience. A good way again to do that as soon as you come on the stage is to look towards you’re left and work your way across.
So look towards your left, connect with one person and talk as if you’re talking to that one person and what it will do is it will create a little bit of a ripple effect around the area because people won’t individually know that you’re definitely just talking to that person. And then, move to the middle and then move to the right, and you’ll notice a ripple effect of people kind of feeling the energy of you gazing towards them which is really, really powerful.
Now, if it’s a big audience; front left, back left, front middle, back middle and front right, back right. That will create a nice ripple effect through the audience there.
Now, another couple of tips here; one is if you are using flipcharts, which are really powerful for presenting by the way. If you’re using flipcharts, then what you can do is if you create a flip chart, if you’re really nervous, create a flipchart that has some pencil instructions on there. And this is your rescue page.
Grab a page of the flipchart and write some instructions on there that shows you how basically tells you what you’re going to present on that flipchart and create something that is fairly generic and will work throughout the presentation. What you can do is if you lose the power of speech, which can happen if you’re really nervous, then you can always go to that flipchart and use it as a prop and flip it over, go to it. You can see the pencil marks there, the audience can’t and then just start drawing on that and then talking about what you’re drawing. And this will really give you that confidence to know that that’s always there if you need it.
Andrew: I never heard that tip before. That’s really interesting.
Kenny: Yeah. Another tip that I would say is do some exercise before you’re due to go on stage, possibly not right before you go on stage but during the day. Go for a run and get rid of that nervous energy. It’s a really good tip.
I always did it before webinars, for a good run and just get rid of all of that nervous energy. Even do some voice exercises. It’s quite difficult sometimes if you got a conference but go find some space close by and just do some voice exercises. Get that nervous energy out of there.
The tip I got is actually from some at Toastmaster, when I first went to Toastmaster back in 2009. Because remember when I said before, I planned and planned and planned for that next presentation. I also like you Andrew, I went to Toastmasters and kind of help me.
I don’t know how true this is but it did help me. He says, “If your throat is tense, it can stop you from speaking.” So that’s when you get the dry mouth and you can’t speak. And he says, “If you’re feeling that, then tense your butt cheeks because it’s very difficult to tense both at the same time.” So that was the tip he gave to me and that is the final tip that I will leave you on today.
Andrew: What a visual. Kenny, maybe he just liked the way you looked in your pants.
Andrew: Just throwing that out there.
Kenny: Exactly! So that is my tips. I’m not sure tips Andrew. Have you got anything else to add there Andrew?
Andrew: On that last part about nervousness. If you’re all nervous, definitely, definitely skip the caffeine. It’s only going to make things 10 times worst.
Kenny: I did that once at a, it was a bit like a Toastmasters. It’s called Speak something or other. I went to it and I don’t drink coffee very often and I had a coffee and I also had a cookie because I was nervous. I had the sugar rush on this coffee.
Andrew: Oh boy!
Kenny: And I was literally jittery. I couldn’t speak. It was so bizarre.
Another point I just thought of actually before we move on the questions from clients is when you’re looking out people in the audience, if there’s anybody who looks a bit tired or looks a little bit demotivated then just avoid them. Just don’t look at them. Look at someone who has a smile on their face.
Because of the time, 90% of the audience plus really want you to do well and so there’s plenty in the audience, plenty of people to look at in the audience who will have a smile on their face, who were urging you to go on and who there for you and they want to listen to you. They want your information.
Andrew: If there’s a big enough audience, you’ll guarantee it, there’ll be some people sleeping. Don’t take it personally.
Andrew: It’s just how it goes.
Andrew: I just want to wrap all this up a little bit. We’ve covered a lot of ground and just remind folks that; number one, if you do get a chance to get up on stage, these tips are golden and can help you get that queue of prospects that Kenny was talking about, at the end of your talk because this just builds authority and connection like nothing else; and second, even if you don’t get the chance to go up on a big public stage, again, doing this for yourself, practicing it, getting more comfortable at it, makes you better in all your verbal communication and that is certainly going to help your business in many, many ways.
Kenny: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I have clients sometimes who really want to get on the stage. When they get on the big stage, they don’t know how to go on the big stage and the first thing I say is create your own stage, do a workshop and get as many people there as possible, video record it and then you have proof that you’ve spoken in public and you can then send that to events, organizers. But that’s a whole new show all together.
I’m going to move unto from questions from clients now and I have a client asked me about the best way to communicate with individuals if you don’t know them. How can you go away and research so to know exactly how to communicate with them. I thought that just quite relevant for this show because this show is all about communication. So should I be formal, should I be informal, how should I communicate with them?
And had this client as me a few weeks ago, I would have said, “Well, do your research. Go to LinkedIn. Go to their blogs. See if they’ve done any podcast. Listen to their podcast.” But he couldn’t have asked me about a time because someone had showed me an awesome tool called Crystal Knows. I’ll tell you the link to this shortly.
Now, the tool analyzes data and then goes off. Basically, gets your data and then will find out so maybe an email address or something like that. And what it does is it cross references the email address and gets of different social platforms, mainly LinkedIn. So analyzes LinkedIn data mainly but then goes off and analyzes your website data and all of that kind of stuff and it will check that data to see how that person communicates with other people and how they liked to be communicated with.
And Andrew, I run you through this today if you don’t mind.
Andrew: Oh you’re kidding.
Kenny: I did!
Andrew: I’ve never heard this tool before but the way it sounds fascinating.
Kenny: Yeah. Well, let’s just see whether it’s correct or not. I think it gives a good indication of you. Now, it’s giving you an accuracy confidence of 58% which isn’t bad. It’s never be going to be a 100% confidence because it’s a machine based, but it actually tells you how confident it is. And when I put mine in there, must have more data because it’s 60% up.
But for you, the headline is, “Andrew craves accuracy and efficiency and will be agitated by an exaggerated statement or conversation that lasts too long.” Now, for me that’s pretty accurate there.
Andrew: That is pretty amazing Kenny.
Kenny: That’s the headline, right? It then gives you advice. It says, “When speaking to Andrew, remain stoic and objective. Keep sarcastic remarks to yourself. Set clear expectations for the conversation and stay objective rather than emotional.” It’s pretty close isn’t it?
“When emailing Andrew, use data to prove a point. Send lots of extra information like links and attachments. Provide lots of detailed information and instruction. Ask him something that will require a long and thoughtful response.” I don’t know whether that is accurate. But, a lot of that seemed accurate. Is it fairly accurate so far?
Andrew: I’d say it’s pretty fairly accurate. I try to find ways to simplify my email conversations these days because I do end up taking too long and obviously it’s picking up on that.
Kenny: “When working with Andrew, use logical appeals if you argue. Do your homework before a meeting. Schedule meetings at precise time and compliment the quality of his work.” I just seems to accurate this.
Andrew: I tell you, I think my wife would agree completely.
Kenny: The way you put your wife inside, I put my wife in it, it was spot on because obviously my wife a lot more emotional than you are. And I was just like, “Wow! This is amazing.”
“When couching Andrew, make sure you’re prepared for tough questions.” Absolutely. “Present proven facts and statistics instead of customer stories. Ask primarily yes or no questions. Ask permission before calling.”
Andrew: Oh my gosh! That’s hilarious.
Kenny: There’re more points here. So let me just go through this because I think it deserves it. It’s a long show this week, I don’t care because some of these is really important for people. And it says here, “Comes naturally to Andrew too. Verbally challenge a bold claim about products. Feel annoyed by exaggeration. Pours a conversation to correct something in accurate. Approach problems cautiously and methodically.”
Then it says, “It doesn’t not come naturally to Andrew to get fooled by a sneaky sales tactic. Exaggerate so it does not come naturally to you, you overcome that. You can see that a mile off.”
It doesn’t come naturally to you to exaggerate details when telling a story. It doesn’t come naturally to feel sad even accomplishment goes unrecognized and it does not come naturally to Andrew to openly discuss emotions.” So there were all the points there.
Andrew: That is pretty darn good. I think it paints a little bit of a rougher picture of me than reality, but it’s pretty close.
Andrew: It’s pretty close.
Andrew: My wife will surely tell you that I’m not the best story teller because I don’t know how to exaggerate, that’s probably true.
Kenny: It’s great. You’re and honest, honest man and you like being on this conversation which is great.
Andrew: And let me also add that this evaluation goes completely out the window after those 100 beers Kenny.
Kenny: Have that!
Andrew: I was a 10. Ten a hundred, after 10, doesn’t matter.
Kenny: Now, you are exaggerating.
Andrew: For business that’s pretty spot on.
Kenny: And then it has a plug in to Gmail and I think also Outlook whereby if you’re emailing that person and you going overboard of your story telling or whatever, it will correct and say, “Hey. You need to change this in the mail.”
Andrew: That is just wild.
Kenny: So, so powerful.
Andrew: I have to go and check that out.
Kenny: It’s brilliant.
Andrew: It actually works with you. This is some new tool. I’d actually worked with the tools you already use to help improve your communication.
Kenny: That’s right. It’s creepily accurate. And, you can go and get it. You can check it out by the way. I’ve put a link there. It’s not an affiliate link or anything. But, just to make easy for you to remember is magneticconsultant.com/crystal and it’s a great tool.
At the moment, I think because it’s sound bitter to actually get invited to it. It tells you, you have to sign up and then you have to tweet about it. It’s very clever to get people spread the word out. Then, you have to follow them as well, so you can noticed they’ve got lots of follows, 20,000 followers on Twitter right now as we’re recording this podcast.
I just think it’s brilliant and it’s been so accurate and I think it will help you communicate with people before you’ve ever met them without having to go and do a ton of research. And even underneath that, I’m not going to go through it now, because we’re running out of time. But it says how to write an email to Andrew and it gives you an example of how to write an email about how coffee increases energy levels by 25%. It tells you exactly how I would write that Andrew.
Andrew: I want to read that email.
Kenny: Yeah, it’s brilliant. I’ll email it to you and you can read it afterwards and if everyone else wants it, just drop me an email at email@example.com and I’ll email it to you.
Andrew: Thank you for that Kenny. That was enlightening.
Kenny: It’s amazing. It’s an amazing tool and I just thought we got to get it out there now that’s our audience can use it and use it your benefit. It’s just amazing how big data, lots of different individualized, personalized data like that and contextual data is really going to help us consultants be more accurate and relevant in our conversation moving forwards.
Andrew: I love it.
Kenny: That brings us to the tip of the week and this week it is you Andrew.
Andrew: Well, Kenny no surprise. My tip this week is join a Toastmaster’s club and participate intensely. Besides Toastmasters, I’ve taken a lot one to two day intensive public speaking courses over many, many years but in all honestly, they do very little. They’re much less effective and usually much more expensive because you simply can’t master public speaking by consuming information.
Like a lot of things, you have to practice, practice, practice. Every week, you need to get up and speak and push yourself out of your comfort zone and that’s what Toastmasters allows, its weekly practice. And when you do that every single week for years, your comfort zone gets bigger and bigger and bigger until one day, you get up to speak and realized something truly amazing.
You’ll realized, “Hey, I feel good about this and I’m going to have fun.” And man, let me tell you, that is a moment of spiritual and enlightenment. And if you want to get started now, just go to toastmaster.org. There’s over 13,000 clubs in 116 countries, so there’s got to be one near you and you can always sit and as a guest to observe on your first visit.
Kenny, there’s even a few clubs right here in Osaka, Japan where I’m currently living with my family. And I thought about joining. The ones I found so far looked to be English only and I really want to do right now while I’m here in Japan is master Japanese. But, I may join just for the networking opportunities which Toastmasters is also great for; so we’ll see about that. And that is my big tip of the week; go forth and join Toastmasters.
Kenny: Absolutely. And I will give a big shout out to Didspree Toastmasters, Manchester Orators, tell call themselves and Warrington Toastmasters. It been two or three of those, they’re excellent and Didspree is the one that majorly helped me with my first conference.
Andrew: Oh, great idea! So I’m going to give a shout out to my club too, the one that I founded and was part of for 11 years so probably in California that is Xilinx Xpressionists. I miss you guys.
Kenny: Fantastic! That brings us on to the inspiration of the week before we tell you what’s coming up next up and wrap up the show.
I recently heard about an alternative to buzzsumo.com which I spoke about on the show before, which is an app that lets you analyze what content is performing best for a top pick or competitor and then use that as inspiration to create your own content or your own presentations. The alternative that gives you lots of free data, because BuzzSumo only gives you a set amount of data and then you’ll have to pay for the rest. It’s called Epic Beat. Check out magneticconsultant.com/epic.
Anyhow, I looked at it and thought it was great and I contacted them to tell them. Now, this resulted in them responding to me almost instantly, organizing a Skype chat with me which resulted in those possibly collaborating on something moving forward because they’ve got this amazing data set here. They’ve got an amazing team of developers that are working on this. And they’re so keen to go out there and find more information out. I just thought, “These guys are brilliant.”
We had a Skype chat and it was great. I guess the moral of the story and the inspiration there is to let people know if you think that they’re cool. And, if you do, you never know good things could happen.
Andrew: Yeah. I agree completely. If you do one random act of kindness in any realm, on a regular basis, do it just for the goodness you spread but sometimes things will come back, wonderful things will come back.
Kenny: Absolutely. That’s the inspiration of the week. What do we got for next week Andrew?
Andrew: Next week, we are getting back to some more nuts and bolts of directly helping consultants out there with improving their business on the ground. And that is helping them, helping you, you the listeners, to create your own USP, your unique selling proposition step by step.
Now, this can be easier for consultants and for larger businesses because you generally have a smaller set of services or products to promote. But it still a huge challenge. It requires a lot of introspection and it’s the critical first step before you can hope to have any coherence and effectiveness in your marketing.
Once you completely clarified and breathe the life into your USP, well that’s going to guide everything else that you do; your website design, your content, your ad campaigns, your email marketing, your live presentations, your webinars, everything. But, you have to get this right first. You have to get the USP right first. So we’re going to devout an entire show to it next week.
Kenny: So what’s the promise? What they’re going to get? What they’re going to have after they’ve been through that show? What we’re going to promise them?
Andrew: They’re going to have our step by step plan, one that I worked on with other clients, as well as myself, as well as your steps Kenny to creating a magnificently effective USP for your marketing.
Kenny: Do you hear that? You’re going to have an awesome USP. I got it a lot with my clients who come on board with my coaching program. They’re like, “Well, I’m not unique. I can’t find my unique selling point.” And, after next week show, you will know and understand your USP. That’s our promise to you.