Present Yourself First and Foremost

I work virtually with a woman named Bea Fields, who is a most interesting and innovative marketer/facilitator/coach/trainer. I enjoyed reading her blog (if for no other reason, click to see the NAME of her blog - how cool) - posting on why people come to hear you when you are doing a speaking engagement - and it reminds me to use that "B" key (blanks out PowerPoint as a toggle) more often - and remember that the slides are simply a tool, not the representation of YOU. People do attend speaking engagements to learn and to get to know a person through antecdotes and stories - so go easy on those slides. Bea writes:

In today's world of clutter and noise, I believe that we are not selling slides, ideas, products, and technological dribble. I believe we are selling PEOPLE! When your prospects show for a live event or a teleclass or a presentation, they are not showing to see your slides! They are showing to be with see if they like you and if you jazz them enough to want to do business with your company. You ask for the lights to be killed, you flash your boring PowerPoint on the big screen straight ahead, and in a flash, you lose eye contact and connection with your audience. ARGH! Your customers cannot choose to work with you in the dark, and they cannot get to know you behind the details of the slides you are using to cover up what is best about your company YOU! So...SNAP OUT OF IT! The next time you have a message to share, leave your slides at home and bring the best visual aid you own to the front of the room...That would be YOU!

I have been the speaker at two events in the last week - one for the Spokane Chamber of Commerce - "The Seven Deadly Sins Of Selling", and the other for the WSA Marketing SIG on "Sales Lead Black Holes - How Marketing Can Help Sales Win". The first presentation was more PowerPoint heavy than the second, and I enjoyed the second more because we had more interactivity. It is much more interesting to me, the presenter, to act as a facilitator part of the time and pull from the "knowledge in the room". I've always felt that the untapped knowledge circulating at an event like this goes wasted many times due to the presenter being a "talking head" - those who just jabber away, on and on, have little idea of good knowledge management & very few speakers can pull it off from an entertainment standpoint.

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