Keynote Speaking: Entertainment is Just as Important as Education

Entertainment-Just-As-Important

I recently gave a social media keynote at a conference and had the opportunity to watch the other keynote speakers. Most of the other speakers were respected industry experts with great knowledge and sound advice.

The problem was that they spent all of their time on their presentation and no time on their delivery.

The slides were perfectly crafted with beautiful charts and they shared interesting, timely and relevant data.

But they were boring!

Looking around the room people had a difficult time paying attention.

Why?

The delivery missed the mark. They focused all their time on content and none on delivery. So how can you easily improve delivery? Even if you aren’t an experienced speaker, these 3 tips will help you succeed.

3 Tips to Deliver Your Presentation Like a Pro:

1) Make use of space

Move around the room, or at least move around the stage. This makes you seem comfortable and confident and keeps people paying attention. Plus, if you stand at a podium or near the computer you tend to constantly look at it and not make eye-contact with the audience.

Get out from behind the computer and move!!!

2) Build-In Engagement

People are more interested when they participate. Build participation in to your presentation upfront. Bring someone on stage, ask questions, have them vote…. There are plenty of opportunities to engage people.

Build this into your presentation to keep people paying attention.

3) Add variety into your speaking style

Speed up. S L O W D O W N. Get excited. Be creepily calm. Speak quickly. Emphasize and repeat slowly to make a point. Move a lot. Stand still.

Even great speakers become monotonous after a while because they use the same tone. Mix it up. Especially if you are speaking for over 20 minutes.

Practice parts that you’ll go slow and parts to go fast. Try using different tones of voice to grab attention.

Even if you are a great speaker the same voice gets hard to listen to for long time periods.

The bottom line is if you want to be a great speaker and keep people engaged, focus beyond your presentation and spend as much time (if not more) crafting your delivery.

What is the Next Big Thing in Social Media?

What-is-the-next-big-thing

It isn’t a shiny new object.

It isn’t the newest social network that social media marketers join in an attempt to get first mover advantage.

It isn’t Google+, Ello, Peach or whatever else people are buzzing about.

The next big thing in social media is innovation from the existing social networks.

It isn’t about finding something shiny and new. It is about optimizing and improving on the sites that you already use.

This is the next big thing.

This is where you’ll get better results faster.

 

How to Say YES to Every Request

How-To-Say-Yes

I hate to say no. I really hate it when someone asks me for something and I have to say no to them. I try not to say no, but the reality is that I can’t do everything for everyone. I have limited time. I have to focus on things that pay the bills.

A number of years ago I read some great advice about how to avoid saying no and how to say yes to everything.

When someone asks you for something give them a next step. Simple. Ask them to do something first.

Want me to check out your Facebook Page? Read these 3 articles and let me know how you can use the advice. Then I’ll take a look.

Want to “pick my brain”? Awesome… Review this report on social media and start ups and let me know what you think are your top 3 opportunities.

Want help getting a job? Great! Review my LinkedIn contacts and let me know 5 – 10 that would be helpful for me to introduce you to.

Instead of saying no say YES. Every time.

But give them something to do first.

This allows you to never say no but to filter out requests that will waste your time.

Most people won’t complete the follow-up. If they aren’t willing to invest their time why should you invest yours? 

Do You Hate Monday? Do Something Different.

Do You Hate Mondays blog post

If you hate Mondays you have the wrong job.

When I worked for a big company I dreaded Monday. My coworkers and I would get together Sunday night and watch Grey’s Anatomy and commiserate about the coming week.

I had a pretty good job. It wasn’t awful. I didn’t love it though.

Now I love Mondays.

I look forward to the possibilities and potential of what I can accomplish.

If you hate Mondays, start working on your escape plan.

Most Marketing is Insane.

Most Marketing is Insane blog post

The definition of insanity = doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

I look at a lot of social media plans, and one of the things that constantly surprises me is how long businesses continue to do something that doesn’t get them results.

They know it isn’t working.

Maybe they don’t have the path to success, so they continue to push along… getting no results from something that doesn’t work.

Sure, sometimes it takes time & consistency to get results (especially in social media). But if you post 5 similar status updates that get no engagement, you probably need to find a different kind of status update to post. Posting the same thing will probably produce the same result.

Don’t be insane.

Figure out what works and what doesn’t. Use the information you have to adapt your strategy.

Social Media Not Working? It is Probably Your Fault.

Social Media Not Working blog post

I evaluate tons of social media executions a year… for clients, people in our trainings or just for fun. While I don’t have all of the answers, one thing has become clear: Most businesses that don’t get results from social media don’t to it right.

Blogs are great examples. I heard a stat years ago that most corporate blogs fail. Most of the corporate blogs that I look at suck. Why?

  • The content isn’t strategic.
  • They have no strategy.
  • The headlines are mediocre.
  • They don’t post consistently.
  • The posts don’t have great visuals.
  • The posts aren’t structured well.
  • The content isn’t very interesting.
  • The audience isn’t clearly defined.

These are just a handful of reasons – most blogs suffer from many of these.

It is easy to say “we invested in a blog, wrote on it for months, but blogging just doesn’t work for us”.

No. Mediocre blogging doesn’t work for you.

The bar is higher in social media than ever before. If you don’t write great stuff, people won’t pay attention.

Do it well or don’t waste your time.

In almost every industry there are companies using every social media tool and getting great results. If you aren’t one of them you are probably doing it wrong.

It isn’t that social media doesn’t work. You aren’t doing it right.

Spend the time and effort to build a solid strategy and learn best practices.

Mediocre won’t get results and won’t cut it. You can’t afford to not be great any more.

The Secret to AMAZING Marketing Results

The Secret Amazing Results

If you do the same things the same way as your  competitors, you’ll get the same results as them.

You don’t get ahead by doing the same thing, the same way as everyone else.

How do you get ahead?

How do you get amazing results?

Do things….

  • Better
  • Faster
  • Smarter
  • Bigger
  • Smaller
  • Cheaper
  • Cleverer
  • Interestinger
  • Surprisinger

…than your competition.

If you want to get ahead, out-think, out-smart, out-execute….

For many businesses status quo is good enough. That won’t get you ahead.

Professional Speaking: Delivery Trumps Content

Professional Speaking: Content Trumps

 

I’ve been a professional speaker for many years now, and I’ve also seen thousands of speakers – both amazing ones and not so amazing ones. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing speaker feedback – both my own and that of other speakers, and there are a few surprising things I’ve learned along the way.

First, I’m not saying content DOESN’T MATTER, but it doesn’t matter MOST. Too many speakers spend all of their time on content and no time on delivery. There is a huge disconnect between what makes a great speaker and where speakers spend their time.

1) Delivery Matters Most

The speakers who seem to get the best reviews are the best entertainers. I’ve seen speakers who are highly entertaining get rave reviews, even though they didn’t really have a lot of helpful or actionable content. At the same time, some of the smartest people I know don’t get rated well as speakers because they don’t have great delivery.

If you are a speaker (or want to be one) focus on your delivery. Build in energy and entertainment if you want to get rave reviews.

2) Audience Participation

I sometimes struggle with getting the audience involved… it can be hard because as a speaker we want to focus on our message. Getting the audience to engage and participate gets them much more engaged with the presentation than just talking.

Plan your presentation to get your audience involved – whether it is in big ways or small ways – and you’ll notice an improvement in your feedback scores.

3) It Isn’t About You

There are some speakers who are funny and have decent content, but they make their presentation too much about themselves, and not enough about the audience. Inside jokes or references to how smart you are don’t win people over. Instead, be relatable and try some deprecating humor. Build bridges based on commonality and your audience will relate to you better.

Always focus on them.

Can Disconnecting Increase Stress?

Disconnecting

I’ve read a lot about “disconnecting” and with summer in full swing, many people are taking breaks where they have little to no digital connectivity.

I recently had one of these – 5 days with no cell phone reception or wifi (confession: I cheated once and went into town for wifi).

Some of you may think “great – time to relax and recharge”.

I say absolutely not.

Not being connected was stressful and actually limited my ability to relax.

It was stressful knowing that IF something came up that there was no way for anyone to get in touch with me (and our sites went down for almost 24 hours while I was out of touch which could have been quickly fixed if I had been available).

Being in touch actually helps me to relax. Checking in for 30 minutes a day to handle any urgent or high-value emails helps me to relax, knowing that everything is running smoothly in my absence and I can quickly help with anything needed. Plus I actually like my job and knowing what is going on – work isn’t this big negative thing that I have to deal with.

I don’t need to enter a no-connectivity zone to disconnect, relax and ignore work either. On weekends I often go most of the weekend barely checking my phone. I’m not fully out of touch, but I’m not connected to the point of distraction.

My final verdict: Figure out how to relax and recharge during your life without fully disconnecting. Maybe some people find value in fully disconnecting electronically – for me, it added stress instead of reducing it.