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How are your public speaking skills?

93% of adults say they’re “shy.”  Yet, the #1 skill for success is still communication.

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Do you realize how much public speaking you do every week in networking, staff meetings, job interviews, leaving a voice mail, radio/TV interviews, and, of course, presentations?

It’s true that people judge us by our public speaking skills and many of you have expressed a desire to improve your public speaking. In fact, 39.5% of people hire a life coach to improve public speaking skills.

Remember the following about public speaking:

Public speaking will make you accessible to your audience, instantly making you credible and visible in the most economical yet profitable way.

  1. Accessible: When you speak in public you are making yourself more accessible. People don’t just want to hear you, they want to know you. They want to know the person behind the product.
  2. Credible: If you have good speaking skills, people will automatically believe you are a credible person. If you have poor speaking skills you will lose credibility quickly.
  3. Visible: Most people do not remember a name, product, or service until they have seen or heard it 5 times. Speaking in public is one of the best ways to increase your marketing visibility.
  4. Economical: Think about it, you pay a lot of money for a newspaper or magazine ad, TV commercial, or radio jingle, but when you speak in public, you don’t have to pay anything most of the time. Public speaking is the most economical way to market yourself and your business. But you better be good at it or you will shoot yourself in the foot.
  5. Profitable: Do you realize you can actually make money from your public speaking?  You can get paid to deliver keynotes and training. You can sell books, coaching, audio resoursces, and teleseminars. You can drive more traffic to your web site where you sell your products. If you enjoy public speaking, I can coach you in building your speaking business.

Coaching points:

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses in public speaking?
  2. Are you fully utilizing public speaking for your business, product, and marketing?

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to www.brentobannon.com and www.marriedtoyourboss.com.

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you are on a quest for success in your personal and professional life, you need a mastermind group.

The term was first introduced in 1937 in Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich.

Many successful people have used the power of the mastermind group including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and contemporaries like John Assaraf, and co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfield.

I started my own business growth mastermind a few years ago and we meet every other week at my home. It has been a great source of creative ideas, honest feedback, and accountability.

One member, a good friend, is a memoir ghostwriter who has grown his book writing business from getting paid $5,000 a book to $100,000! Check out www.lathamshinder.com.

Mastermind groups can be paid with a coach or free with a peer group. Both accelerate growth. I’m in a speakers mastermind group that has a monthly payment but I’m also in a free local business development mastermind and a telephone speaker/coach mastermind group with members from all over North America.

Here are 5 tips for starting your mastermind group:

  1. Research, Google, and learn about mastermind groups from someone who has done it.
  2. Invite 5-9 people who offer expertise, a high level of success, or strengths that compliment yours. I find that having a variety of personalities and strengths in the group helps energize and catapult the group’s overall success rate.
  3. Choose a consistent time to meet every other week or month. You can meet at someone’s home (I enjoy having my local group sit around my pool cabana) or on a free telephone conference line that can be recorded (like www.freeconferencecall.com).
  4. Let the group evolve and choose how they want to meet. Some are more structured with topics and format and many are spontaneous and unstructured. Some focus only on business success though many focus on personal growth and business development.
  5. Share ideas and resources, successes and struggles, and be accountable. Build trust, share compassion, show stability, and inspire with optimism. Find a balance of giving and receiving with your mastermind group.

Coaching points:

  1. Who would you invite to your mastermind group?
  2. What holds you back from starting or participating in a mastermind group?

 

What dynamite daily activity can balance your business, build referrals, and boost your income?  Networking!  Check out my lucky 7 secrets to networking success:

1.  Build Your brand

Effectively networking with others starts with knowing how to sell yourself, which I break down into 3 parts.

1.  Get a name badge
2.  Invest in professional business cards
3.  Prepare your 7-9 second elevator speech

The name badge will get the conversation started and help people remember who you are. Then, when someone asks what you do, you can whip out your snazzy business card without fumbling over what to say.  That’s why your 7-9 second speech is for, hooking your listener so they’ll have a reason to keep your card–and, hopefully, use it.

2. Smile + style = success

They say you’re never fully dressed without a smile.  A bright, genuine smile attracts people and lets them know you are open for connection.  Accessorize your grin with what you wear.  The styles and colors you choose communicate how professional, personable, and playful you are. Craft your image wisely and make sure you match your body language to your style choices.

3. Host the party

You have to act like the host to get the most. When you’re at an event, don’t sit in the corner waiting for people to come to you. Adopt a party host’s attitude.  Get up and greet people as they arrive. Help introduce, direct people and answer questions.

4. Play the name game

There’s no shame in forgetting a name. I hate it when I forget someone’s name, but I’m human and I meet hundreds of new people a month–sometimes every week.  When you’re introduced to someone new, ask for a business card. If you’re unsure about a contact’s name, don’t be afraid to have a third party remind you before you initiate a conversation. My favorite way to dodge an uncomfortable situation when I’m fuzzy on someone’s name is to introduce them to a third party and let the two people say their names in front of you.

5. Make an exchange

Networking is all about give and take.  Receive business cards with enthusiasm and take a few seconds to identify something that grabs your attention about the card you’ve been handed.  Pocketing a card without reading it over can feel like a slap in the face.  Then, when you’re presenting your card in exchange, add an extra–one is to keep and one is to give away as a referral.

6. Listen and glisten

There’s no better way to leave a lasting impression on someone than to give them an opportunity to shine–to glisten.  In other words, it’s not all about you.  Ask open ended questions and encourage the other person to talk about their business, their family, their children, their pet, their vacation, their struggles, their dreams. You won’t just make a new contact, you’ll make a new friend.

7.  Follow up

You have to touch base to stay in the game.  Following up with a card, an email, or a quick call is an extra touch that will sear you into your contact’s mind like a steak on a hot grill.  This follow up may just turn into a phone conversation, a business lunch, or  an opportunity to make big money.