4 Fairytale Myths Around Speaking From Stage

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Once upon a time there was a talented and hard-working (and very beautiful!) coach who was passionate about helping normal, everyday people realise their dreams.

She worked with her clients from dawn to dusk to help them be bolder in their lives and often to a lot of success.

Then one day she woke up and had an ‘aha’ moment and realised working one on one wasn’t the best use of her time.
“If I really want to help as many people as possible then I need to be on stage!”

She was very excited about the possibility of connecting with so many more people and skipped downstairs to tell her step-mother about her exciting news . . .

Unfortunately her step-mother was not a very nice person.. . . and instead of supporting our beautiful coach to have even more impact on the world, she turned round and said:

“You’re not educated enough to tell others what to do!”

And . .

“You’re not a natural speaker, who do you think you are to speak in front of an audience!”

Luckily our beautiful coach realised these were just lies about speaking.

In the 12 years I’ve been speaking on stage (Wowsers!) I’ve seen a lot of strange things. Apart from making me feel quite old it also reinforces just how much experience I’ve had on the speaking circuit . . . I’ve spoken on other people’s stages, I’ve run my own highly successful events, I’ve even put on my own multi-speaker events.

During this time I’ve realised that the strangest thing of all is not what actually happens on stage . . . it’s the myths and perceptions that everyone else has about public speakers!

Today, I’m going to dive into them and dismantle them one by one!

Here are four common, and untrue myths.

Myth #1: You have to be educated to become a public speaker

Although education is a great asset, it is not a requirement if you want to start speaking from stage. Yes, a high educational qualification may appeal to some audiences but it all depends on your niche. If your market is academic, then a good educational background can pull interest from buyers.

But the truth is most of the market does NOT demand a highly educated speaker. A lot of public speakers don’t have college degrees and yet still make large amounts of money selling from stage. . .

In some niches, blue collar speakers with little or even no education may possess more mass appeal because the audiences can more easily relate to them.

Tip: As a speaker, remember you must inspire and motivate your audience to take action with you. If you have a lack of higher education and yet have achieved professional and financial success – then this is a very inspiring premise indeed.

Myth #2: You have to possess the gift of speaking in order to stand up in front of people to speak

Public speaking is a skill and just like any skill, it can be developed and practiced. There are formulas that anyone can use to create great speeches . . . all you need is a message and the willingness to deliver that message to your audience. . . .
. . . Then after a few tweaks, revisions, and rehearsals; you can present a knockout speech even without the possessing the “gift of speech”.

Tip: Technique and practice are the key factors in improving public speaking skills. Dedicate yourself to the art of practice . . . and greatness awaits you.

Myth #3: You have to be different or change who you are to speak

Many people will often say that a career in public speaking will make you fake, somewhat pretentious and change your personality.

If this is the case, public speaking seems like very hard work but in reality, you do not have to change in order to become a speaker!

Great speakers are individuals who stay true to their characters, including their weaknesses and idiosyncrasies. It makes them human.

Tip: Always be authentic when you are speaking from stage. Audiences are far more perceptive than you realise and will soon pick up if you are putting on an act. Just be yourself, that’s all you need to do and you’ll be surprised at how quickly people warm to you.

Myth #4: You have to work hard to be a public speaker

This can be rather subjective. Yes, it can be hard work if your heart is not into it. Any endeavour without passion is not an easy task. However, if you are really committed to the career and loving it, it won’t matter, will it?

Moreover, once you get the hang of it public speaking will come naturally to you.

Tip: If you love speaking or you’re passionate about your topic, then speaking from stage will be like a hobby for which you’re getting paid!

So this week, I suggest you sit down and make a list of all the myths or fears you have around public speaking or selling from stage . . . take the time to really get them off your chest. When your fears are on paper they won’t seem as scary any more and you’ll see them for the myths they really are! Remember, you don’t get anywhere in life without taking action so why not get out there and get yourself on a stage or a webinar soon!

Best Practice Seminar Room Set Up

Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt that something didn’t feel right? You can’t put your finger on exactly what the problem is… but the energy just feels… well, wrong?!

When you’re planning for your events, you’ll be focusing mainly on the physical aspects of the room set up… but how much time do you give to creating positive energy in the room?

Why is positive energy in your room so important? 

When participants enter your room for the first time, they will be building an impression of you and your brand. As I outlined in the first paragraph here, how the room “feels” is just as important as how the room looks… and to give a fantastic first impression both the look and feel need to be positively aligned.

If you get this wrong, people will feel unsettled when they enter the room. Get it right and your room will help your audience to feel safe and secure.

Your room will feel like a comfortable space for your clients to be, and exactly the right place for them to feel at ease with taking the next step with you and your business.

If you follow these 3 tips, the energy and “feel” of your room will be massively enhanced…

#1: Lay out your chairs in straight lines;

Wonky chairs… even if they’re only very slightly wonky, will throw your room into instant disarray. A line of chairs that aren’t perfectly straight distracts attention unconsciously. I know it seems ridiculous, but did you know that something out of place on your desk distracts attention 6 times a day. Multiply that by, well, lots… and you get the impact of a messy seminar room.

If your room looks “thrown together”, then your audience will perceive that your business has no real structure either.

Unconsciously- if you’re making an offer to your audience- there’s a high chance you’ll be facing an underlying resistance – they may be concerned your product is sloppy and slapdash too.

A quick and easy way of ensuring the chairs are completely straight is to have one person at the back of the room looking down the sightlines of the chairs towards the stage – this way it is obvious when a chair is out of line. If you find any chairs that are out of line, have a second person go to the out of place chair and adjust it… under guidance from the person with the sightline.

It won’t take long, but it will have a big impact on your room set up.

 #2: The right (and wrong!) way to place handouts on chairs;

Sometimes you will want to provide extra information to your clients by placing a flyer… or handout on their seat. If you put them out upside down, skewed, or generally looking like they have just been thrown down on the seat “willy-nilly”, this again is creating the impression of a “slapdash” business.

Anything you place on seats should be centred on the chair in such a way that when the participant returns to their seat, the base of the leaflet is at the front edge of the seat – the part of the seat facing the stage.

It will take very little additional time to ensure this job is done properly… especially if you have a crew member who enjoys getting the details spot on. But again, making the effort to get this right will have a big impact on your event energy.

#3: De-clutter;

Make sure that your team (we call them crew) know not to leave their cups or belongings etc under their seats. … Ensure there is NO clutter whatsoever around the service table if people are purchasing anything at your event! 

How do you feel when you go into a shop and the half eaten lunch and coffee is o the counter? When your attendees can see your mess and clutter, it is something else that gives them the impression that you have a sloppy “couldn’t care less” attitude towards your business.

Because don’t forget… when it is your event, your room is the biggest representation of YOUR business!

So, there you have 3 simple, subtle but very effective ways to support the unconscious impression your business makes at your seminars.  These tips will help you create a good positive professional vibe too! Next time you go to an event, take notice of whether they have applied these tips and how the room feels as a consequence.

Do you consciously take notice of the energy in the room of events you attend? Do you make the time to ensure the energy at your events is positively spot on? Please leave me a comment below and share your thoughts 

3 Reasons Why Your Product Launch Might Fail!

3 reasons product launch failYou’ve been working hard on a new product, and you’re planning a big launch sometime soon. After working so hard pulling everything together, you wish you had a crystal ball that will tell you whether your product launch will be successful and bring you a big payday.

Unfortunately, as you’re reading this blog online, I can’t predict if you’ve got a winner on your hands or not… but what I can reveal is the 3 circumstances that I have seen negatively impact product launches… so you can avoid them if possible!

#1: You need money… FAST!

It is NEVER a good idea to launch a new product when you are desperate for cash. Similarly, being desperate for cash is not a good reason to do a big launch of something new.

When you badly need something to work, you invest too much emotional energy into the desired result, and there’s a huge pressure on you to deliver.

When you’re in a hurry, you’ll likely cut corners… meaning that the user experience is going to be less than satisfactory – putting your reputation at risk too.

Given a choice I would always do MORE of something I KNOW works when ina cashflow crunch. (And yes- for some people this means get an interim job!!)

If you do need to raise cash quickly, find a way to sell more of what you are selling already… host a webinar, get a speaking gig booked in, and promote something you already know works as it should do.

#2: You misread the buying signals

How many times have you seen or heard people raving about a new product or service, and thought to yourself “Yep, I could sell that and make a lot of money!”

Even if you’ve never gone ahead and actually invested in it, I’m pretty certain you’ve pondered the idea at least once?

Am I right?

Just because a handful of people think something is good… or profitable… that isn’t conclusive proof that it will be a successful income stream for YOU.

Just because other people are making a fortune teaching internet marketing doesn’t mean it’s the right path FOR YOU ;-)

Before you jump into anything new, do your own due diligence… is there enough evidence to prove that it would be a good move? Does it fit comfortably with what you do now? Will you have to put in a lot of effort that would be more profitable just expanding what you know you’re good at?

Will you still be in flow?

Watch out for “grass is greener” syndrome. Lots of people have lost out big time financially by jumping in blindly… don’t become one of them.

#3: You’re too emotionally attached

Along the lines of #2, are you seeing the project through because you’ve invested so much emotional energy into getting it to market?

I get that it’s your idea… your baby that you’ve birthed. As parents, we all think our baby is the best ever. But when it comes to selling a program or product- is this the truth or is your judgement flawed?

Are you in your own target market? Do you truly understand the audience that you will be selling to, and know for sure that your product is what they will want to buy?

Get a handful of people to review your product and provide their honest feedback. Listen to their suggestions, and implement their constructive criticism.

Better still- sell it to them before you make it if possible so you know it’s a winner!!

Otherwise you might have to make a tough decision… but it’s better to learn the truth before you get too far down the line, eh?

What failure warning signs have you encountered? Do you have any stories to share around a product launch that flopped big time? Please leave your comments below and tell me what happened?

What to do when you can’t sell from stage…

Blog 4I recently received a great question from someone in my community. As it’s relevant to everyone who presents, I thought I’d share the question and my response with you here…

“I did your course 3 years ago and initially had some success with following your 4 permissions and making an offer from stage.
Recently I was told by a conference organiser that they had received feedback that my presentations were commercial – despite the fact that I made sure to give great value and I used your 4 permissions and other techniques too.

So I felt rather ashamed!

Yesterday I was in a Mastermind group and we were discussing how the public has gone right off selling from stage.

Now, even though I know you taught us to do it authentically, many of us have found that audiences in the UK and Europe don’t like it. The opinion was that it’s acceptable to sell from stage at your own events but not at events run by other people.

The reason may be because there are very pushy people around and we’ve all been made to suffer for them. Maybe just because it is “selling”?

Anyway, what is your thinking and how would you act in an academic conference for instance, or someone else’s event where they say “no selling from stage”?”

I’m so pleased to be asked such a great question! I’m really happy to answer this, because it’s going to be crucial to the way you move forward.

All feedback is good!

First thing I’d like to say is that I totally hear where you’re coming from! It can be really frustrating and perhaps embarrassing to receive this kind of feedback – however, all feedback is good, as it gives you a chance to reflect on how you appear to others.

In this instance, as the event promoter has said that your presentations are too commercial for their platform, it’s really important feedback for you to receive.

No matter how authentic you are and how genteel you are with your offer, if the context is no selling, you’re always going to be the easy target, as you weren’t like the other speakers and you ‘didn’t fit’. 

Therefore take the feedback on board and probably change the way you are presenting at your academic conferences.

What’s the context?

It’s not about selling on your own platform as opposed to selling on someone else’s platform; the question really is “What’s the context of this event?”

If you’re at an event where people are expecting promotions, then you offering the opportunity for your audience to enrol on the next step of their journey is fine – no matter if it’s your platform or someone else’s platform.

If you’re speaking at an event where no one else is selling and you haven’t been positioned by the promoter as someone who will be making an offer; then it will come as a shock to the system for your audience!

In this instance, unless you’re very, very elegant and congruent, then it’s going to be very hard to pull that one off without getting some people off-side.

What’s the bigger picture?

Does it matter if you’re getting people off-side, if you’re getting a result? Some would say yes and others not.

For me personally, I’d be looking at the bigger picture and ask myself questions like “Do I want to be invited back?” and “Is this a list building opportunity?” and so forth.

The issue is not about what is happening in the UK or Europe, with regards to selling from stage. Whenever I hear that kind of response it makes me worry – because it isn’t about UK, Europe, or even the rest of the world – responses like these happen everywhere in the world. 

It really comes down to; if the sale is a surprise to people, they’re going to fixate on the fact that they’re getting sold to (because everyone has ‘stuff’ around sales!) – rather than focusing on the value they’re getting – especially if the shock and the context isn’t right.

So it’s less about your platform (or the platform of others), less about culture and country – and it’s more about the context of the event and if this has been set correctly for selling.

Academic conferences aren’t any different!

As you’ve gotten that feedback from an academic conference, I’d take it on, take it in and apologise.

Explain that your intention is to always offer great value and to give people the opportunity to learn more – especially as we all know you can’t learn everything you need to learn at a conference or in a half an hour slot.

Go on to explain that you’re really happy to never do that again and will just come and deliver great value.

What you could do instead is to offer something for free – and this doesn’t even have to be a big deal.

You could just say something like “If you’d like the PowerPoint’s from this presentation, please hand me your business card and I’ll send them over to you”.

Or “If you’d like my eBook, where I go into this topic in more detail, then please hand me your business card and I’ll be more than happy to send you a copy”.

Using your presentation as a list building opportunity is probably the best thing you can do for academic conferences.

Don’t let negative feedback put you off selling from stage!

Finally, don’t let this bit of negative feedback turn you off selling from stage in general.

Also, don’t let the conversation around selling from stage ‘not working in your country’ hold you back – it’s not about scaling back everything fabulous that you’ve achieved. Look at the context you’re in and ask yourself “What is the most appropriate next step for this audience, at this event?”

And, if no one else is selling and the promoters don’t want you to sell – then don’t!

If no-one else is selling, but the promoter is OK with it- just make sure you give LOTS AND LOTS of reasons why you’re making the offer, why you’re committed to giving them the opportunity to keep learning, and be REALLY congruent.

Otherwise- give something for free in return for contact details and then ask them onto your own event, teleseminar or webinar where you can sell- because YOU set the context.

Have you received negative feedback around selling from stage Do you have limiting beliefs around whether selling from stage is ok in your country? Are the opinions of others stopping you from growing your speaking business? Tell me what you think in the comments area below. 

How to be a more impactful speaker

Blog 3Did you know the one secret ingredient that can make or break an effective and profitable presentation?

Luckily it’s an ingredient all of us have but sadly not of all us use effectively.

What is that ingredient?!

It’s your voice!

Any parent will tell you that tour tone of voice can dramatically impact the response you get from a child, event before they can use language. So we need to become cognisant of this when speaking- and use it to maximum effect.

The 3 keys to using your voice dramatically

Becoming more impactful with your voice is not something that happens over night. But you certainly can develop this skill with a simple 3-step process.

1. Awareness

First, become aware of voices: your won and others.

It has been shown that, where meaning is ambiguous, the words that we choose are only 7% of the message that we communicate. 38% of our message is due to our vocal tonality, and 55% of it is due to our physiology, our physical action.
So over a third of your outcome depends on your voice.

Create awareness of your own voice and use it dramatically.

Listen to how you use your voice, listen to the vocal range that you have.

Start to listen to other people’s voices, how they use them, and then start to bring awareness to the extremes that you use in your own voice. Do you have extremes of volume, of pitch? Do you use different timbes (or qualities – like breathiness, or gravelliness – technical terms I promise!!) Or is your voice a bit monotone?

You will make it easier to listen to you if you can work on your voice variation. When you’re easier to listen to, you can have more impact. And more impact will eventually lead to more responsiveness and sales if you indeed sell from the platform.

2. Practice Vocal Strength and Flexibility

If you start to learn how to use your voice in a powerful manner, then you’ll find that it will be more powerful for longer, and you will be able to preserve and conserve your voice.

I have a simple voice warm up that I do before every presentation, and if I’m being very good I’ll do it every day even if I’m not speaking. This expands my vocal range, and makes my vocal cords stronger.

They are muscles- so they need to be “worked out” to build strength like any muscles.

Three simple exercises you can do any time are:

  • Conscious diaphragmatic breathing: consciously deepen our breathing and control the length of time you breathe out. Try breathing in for 3 and out for 10 as a start and see how long you can expand it.
  • Humming- which will increase your resonance and eventually the carry of your voice
  • Sirening – make the “ng” sound and siren from the lowest end of your register to the highest. And go up and down. This helps you to expand your range.

3. Practice your presentation with vocal overlays

This is a fun thing to do, especially if you have a keynote you do a lot. Write a list of different things- “directions” – you can do with your voice, each one on a separate 3×5 card. Such as: high pitch, low pitch, breathy, sexy, fast, slow, monotonous, staccato, Sean Connery, The Queen… get creative. Anything that might make you speak differently.

Put them all in a bowl.

Start your presentation and pull out one of the “directions” and try it that way for that part of your presentation. It increases your flexibility and you just might discover some creative ways to liven up your presentation!

Be Memorable!

If you’re committed to becoming, not just a profitable speaker, but also a memorable speaker, it’s key to get masterful with your voice.

Be the sort of person that when people leave the room they continue to talk about you, not just because of your content, but because of your style, your charisma and your ability to take them on an emotional journey.

So, What’s Next?

Well, at the very least my suggestion is for you go to have a little bit of fun this week . . . and go see a high drama movie. Here’s an opportunity for you to listen to the way these highly trained actors use their voice to create mood. Notice the high, the loud, the soft, notice the pace changes, notice the volume changes.

So I want you to spend the whole time listening to people with a new intention and then see how you can utilize this yourself.

And remember, have fun!

Public Speaking: The Top 5 Benefits Of Speaking In Public

Blog 2“Erm.  Hang on?  Speak  . . . speak  in public you say?

“Let me just swallow my fear and choke on my cornflakes.  You want me to stand up in front of a group of strangers and talk to them?  Like give them a presentation?!

“Are you cuh-razy?

“I can’t speak in public!”

No, I am not crazy.  In fact . . . I am about to offer you the fastest ticket to success you could ever imagine.  You know Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the Golden Tickets . . . well speaking is YOUR golden ticket to success.

Look, I know for most people there might be a few fears to get over (although for the rare few there are none)  … but let’s imagine you’re the norm and not the exception and you do have a bit of stuff around speaking in public. That’s ok. Maybe you have a lot of stuff around speaking in public!  Because public speaking is (apparently) the number one fear that most people have.

Which is such a shame!   There are so many benefits to becoming a speaker – for your business, your bank balance, for your lifestyle AND for your own personal confidence – I can’t even cover them all in one mere blog post so I’ve highlighted the top 5 for you!

Read on . . .

The Top Five Benefits Of Public Speaking

1. Increased Self Confidence

Once you have mastered speaking in front on an audience, whether it be in front of a crowd of ten or a crowd of thousands, your confidence levels will go through the roof.  Do this, and you can do anything. You’ll be selling more easily 1-1. You’ll be more confident generally in life. True!

2. Reach More People

Do you have a vision which is close to your heart, a vision which could shape the world, a vision which could heal?  Yes?  Well stop holding onto it and start sharing it.

Does it make more sense to talk to one person at a time, or a roomful of people?  Which method will spread your vision faster?  Remember, a vision flies when you stand on stage.  You give it wings.

Allow yourself to fly.

3. Make More Sales

Regardless of what you are selling –  your ebook, your 3-day seminar, your coaching or your membership site, you will multiply your sales and in far LESS time when you speak to a hundred people as opposed to  selling one on one.

And I’m not just talking about “live”. You can also seak to groups online via webinar and teleseminars. There’s so much opportunity now.

This is a MASSIVE benefit of public speaking – the opportunity to make more sales in one sitting. It’s call leverage.  And it can make you a lot of money.  Fast.

4. Build Credibility

When you are on stage you become an authority in your field.  People look up to you.  Their opinion of you changes simply because you are standing on stage.  Strange but true!

Don’t ask me why- but as soon as someone stands up on a platform- they are automatically assumed to be the expert!

This credibility will open up more opportunities and earn you more recognition which in turn builds credibility and gets you more opportunities.  It’s a winning cycle.

(And it’s much faster than writing a book in my humble opinion!)

So time to get on it!

5. Make Big Money

I saved the best benefit for public speaking for last.

Public speaking is one of the easiest and best ways to make money.  Big money.   I’m not suggesting this will happen the first time round (although it can and it often does). However if you have researched your market, determined your niche, sent out a compelling message to this market, built a program with tonnes of value to it, then why not?

I see this happen all the time. One client, naturopath Louise Kershaw made just under $10,000 in one 90 minute talk selling a Weight Loss program she created. Trading advisor David Hunt sold $34,000 worth of training programs the very first time he made an offer from a webinar!

Could you do it too?

Go On . . . We all Feel The Fear – but Do It Anyway!

So, now you’ve seen the benefits of public speaking, why not go out there and stretch your comfort zone this week?

If you’ve never spoken at an event (but always secretly wanted to), is now the time to put your hand up? It doesn’t have to be huge!  A few people is as good as start as any.  Or if you’ve only ever spoken to smaller audiences, could now be the time to step up to the next level?  Or if you’ve spoken to large audiences, what could you do differently that will stretch you this week?

There’s always another step out there.  This week could just be the week to take it.  I dare you.

How to have instant credibility with your audience: the importance of a perfect MC introduction.

Blog 1Emcee or MC . . .  However you choose to spell it isn’t the important part.

If you are a professional speaker, and you want to grow your business and income, you cannot underestimate the role of the person who introduces you. Your ideal situation is a great MC introducing you, and your work in a way that people are sold on your awesomeness before you even open your mouth.

But we’ve all been to events where there is:

  1. No MC
  2. A very average MC or
  3. A great speaker who messes up your introduction fabulously!

The role of the MC is actually a lot more important than most people would assume. Yet we often overlook it. So use these simple steps to put together an awesome introduction to you and your work that you can hand to the MC so they say all the right things.

(Of course you can apply the following steps if YOU are the MC and you’re working with speakers who haven’t given you a great introduction too!

First: Understand The Purpose of Introductions

There are three main reasons to introduce to be introduced correctly correctly.

  1. To grab hold of the audience’s attention (let’s face it, people are normally chatting with their buddies and sipping coffee).
  2. To bring together a diverse group of people for a singular intention for the duration of the presentation. Often the people in a seminar room come from diverse backgrounds, and have different purposes and reasons for being there. It makes your job easier if the person doing the introduction can pull the audience together to be present and focused.
  3. To entice the audience to pay attention to the relevant content for the entire presentation. The last thing you want is people checking emails or nipping ut for a quick phone call.
  4. To build up your credibility. A successful MC will have the audience wanting to work with/buy from/ book you, even before you’ve stepped onstage. When done right it minimises your need to “toot your own horn”. And let’s face it. When you say something about yourself that’s one thing, but a third party endorsement is everything!

Therefore, when crafting your introduction make sure that it has ALL these elements in place

Second: Write the introduction for your MC

I tend to have a half page introduction written out long hand so that if necessary the MC can read it our verbatim and introduce me EXACTLY how I want to be introduced. It’s great if they make it personal and heartfelt if they know you too. But give them the script and it makes everyone’s life easier.

Here is my example, and then we can create yours:
(please note I speak on two topics: the business of speaking, and women and leadership. I have different introductions for each obviously, as should you for each topic you present.)

MC Introduction for Dr Joanna Martin

(If you haven’t introduced yourself do this first please. “Welcome everyone, I’m ________ and I’m really excited to be your MC for this evening.”)

 Our speaker for today is no stranger to the speaking business. She’s been a professional speaker for 10 years and took her own business from zero to seven figures and two countries in 12 months. She did all this while maintaining an enviable lifestyle.

Who would like to get results like that in their business? (ask for hands up)

Well, you’re in the right place.

  • Dr Joanna Martin has spoken to over 60,000 people on three different continents
  • Her corporate clients have included big Australian companies such as ANZ Bank and Fairfax publishing, as well as global organisations like EBay
  • She has shared her speaking success secrets with over 23,000 business owners all over the world.
  • Indeed her students and clients include successful speakers such as: (choose 3 you think your audience would know)
    • Daryl Grant
    • Ben Angel
    • Peter Thomson
    • John Lee
    • Paul Avins
    • Caroline Marsh
    • Simon Coulson
    • Simon Zutshi
    • Shaa Wasmund
  • and numerous publicly recognised clients who prefer to keep their work with Joanna confidential.

Today Joanna is going to focus on the business of speaking. Indeed one of her students made over 2 million dollars in a single weekend using the strategies she’s going to share with you today.

So… listen very carefully as Joanna takes you through how to add 100, 1000 or even 10,000 pounds to your income each month using the skill of public speaking.

Please stand up (indicate and wait for people to stand) and give a HUGE round of applause, for Dr Joanna Martin

Now you have a model lets create yours.

  1. Brainstorm out a list of everything that gives you credibility. Especially things you feel awkward talking about. Include:
    1. Facts (your pedigree, training)
    2. Figures (how many people, how long, how much)
    3. Results you’ve achieved with personally and with clients
    4. Any awesome people you’ve worked
    5. Any awards you’ve won
    6. Anything the media have said about you
  1. Select the pieces that are relevant to the topic you’re writing the introduction for. For instance, I am also a wife, the mother of a 2 year old, a loud sister, and personal chef for my entire household. These things are not especially relevant for a business audience. But they feature heavily in my introductions to a women’s audience where women relate so strongly to the multiple hats we all have to wear. So grab the best pieces that show you off for this crowd.
  1. Formulate it into easy to read, short, sharp sentences and bullets. As you can see in mine, there are no long sentences with loads of commas. Its short sharp and to the point.

    **Important Tip** Adding bullets and paragraphs makes it more visually engaging and therefore easier for the MC to remember. We remember images far more quickly than words, so breaking it up this way gives some structure for the person trying to gt their head around it.
  1. Format it so it includes any “stage directions”. You’ll notice in mine I encourage the MC to get a hands up, and to make sure people are standing when I enter. This helps raise the energy of the audience before I come out. Note these “stage directions” are in italics so they don’t read them!

There you have it- a great introduction. But it doesn’t stop there. Here’s the steps you need to do in the lead up to an event to give the MC the greatest chance of succeeding.

Steps to get the most out of your MC

  1. Make tiny adjustments to the bio for the crowd you’re speaking to if necessary. For example, in my bio I would usually select the 3 big names myself if I know the audience. If it was a room full of only business coaches I would add “listen very carefully as Joanna takes you through how to add 100, 1000 or even 10,000 pounds to your COACHING BUSINESS each month using the skill of public speaking.

  2. Meet with MC before hand. Build rapport with them. Ask what they need to make their lives easier. Be NICE. (Lots of speakers aren’t!!) Then you can politely show them exactly what you mean with your stage directions. For example I would show them how I would elicit a hands up, or how long I would wait until people were standing. Oh and another thing: make sure before you go on stage they know at least your name by heart and they know how to pronounce it!  There’s nothing worse than having to read the name out, and then pronouncing it incorrectly!

  3. When you hit that stage, connect with your MC physically – a handshake or a hug – and thank them. Ask the audience to give them a round of applause. All this serves 2 purposes.
    1. It thanks the MC for doing an awesome job, and we all love thanks
    2. It transfers rapport from the MC to you… making your life easier. And I’m all for making your life easier.

  4. Finally, before you go home… don’t be a selfish git. (Am I allowed to say that? I just did). Find the MC and give them a huge thanks in person. If they also happen to be the person who arranged the event ask for their feedback and how else you can support them.

In Conclusion

Wow. This turned into a super long article… but I wanted to give you everything so you can be a success with this. Truly the MC can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your presentation, so it is well worth investing the time here.

 What questions do you have about your introduction? Any stories (good or bad) or tips you care to share?

Presentation Skills: Using statistics to prove your points

I believe that one of the best presentation skills you can have is the ability to deliver “effective presentations”. These are the kind of presentation that don’t just inform, but involve, inspire and move people to action.

A core part of moving people to action is that you have to prove and back up your points and arguments. There are various presentation skills that will support you in this- use testimonials, quotes, stories and so on. But we all know that “STATISTICS DON’T LIE!”

So it’s a great idea to use statistics in your presentation. However this needs to be done with a certain level of skill and aplomb so here are some guidelines.

Statistics as a Presentation Skill

    1. Do not overwhelm people with all the statistics in one part of your presentation. There is such a thing as too much data! Try to restrict it to 3 stats at a time, and then some qualitative information, or stories.
    2. It’s a good idea to mention the source for data. We know that the more legitimate your sources are, the more credibility you will have; and therefore the more power your presentation will have.

    3. Back up statistics with personal stories or stories of clients that further demonstrate the point your statistics make. Generalizations are great and can hold power, but people will remember the specifics of stories.

  • Make any numbers “real life”. This is one of the best presentation skills you can develop. For instance you might say “In the year 10,000 B.C., there were only 5 million people sharing 57,268,900 square miles of land- imagine that! The current population of Sydney spread out over the entire planet! My how we’ve grown!”


Don’t avoid statistics because you think they may be boring. They can be really influential and quite exciting if used in the right way. What’s more, when people “see the proof” they are more likely to act! And having people take action is the best presentation skill you can ever learn.

The Anatomy of The Perfect Squeeze Page

Today we’re talking about marketing and on the operating table I’ve placed a squeeze page (or lead capture page) for us to dissect. You must have heard the old internet marketing mantra that “the money is in the list” and the main role of a squeeze page is to build your list.

Here at Shift we prefer to call the list our ‘community’ because essentially it’s all about building a relationship between me and you. You may have joined our community via this blog, from one of my speaking engagements, or you may have opted-in to one of my squeeze pages.

Here are 2 examples of squeeze pages I use:

http://www.presentationprofitsblueprint.com/ – This page offers a free chapter from our speaker blueprint and grows our Shift Speaker Training Community

http://www.shiftlifestyle.com/laws – This free gift is 7 video tips on lifestyle design and is designed to grow our Shift Lifestyle Community

Note they are entirely different communities, both with separate needs, frustrations, desires and wants and so have 2 completely different gifts.

Tip: Take the time to check them out yourself and if you haven’t already got your free gift, why not opt in so you can dissect the email sequences we use too!

Should You Use A Squeeze Page?

Squeeze pages are used by internet savvy business owners, solo-entrepreneurs and anyone with a free online product they want to give away in return for building a list. This online community then represents a readymade and targeted audience for your paid products and courses so it’s a must-have if you are serious about creating financial success.

Tip: As a speaker, I 100% recommend a squeeze page because when you build your community you can then promote your speaking gigs to them. Did you know most of our speaking gigs are filled by our own community? You see when you create a good relationship with your community, a relationship based on value, they will love the opportunity to see you live.

The Anatomy Of A Squeeze Page

There are three components every squeeze page should possess:

1. An powerful and alluring headline that gets the prospects attention, promises great benefit and forms a connection with the target audience;

2. The benefits are outlined in a bulleted-list with a strong and compelling description which incites the reader to complete the opt-in form

3. A call to action where the reader provides their contact data in response to your initial promise and the relationship building process can commence.

Tip: When you are creating your own squeeze page, the more targeted the audience the better your conversion rate will be. As a giveaway, you might choose a free report, an ebook, a series of video tips, an interview with an expert etc. All too often I see people giving away free products that have NOTHING to do with their ongoing products! Make sure there is a connection between your free giveaway and your paid products.

How You Create A Squeeze Page

Even though the general structure of a squeeze page is quite simple, the copy-writing to prepare the headline, benefit bullets and even the call to action can have a huge influence on the conversion rate. Therefore before actually making a squeeze page, stop and consider:

1. Who are your target audience

2. What problem are you attempting to solve for them and how you can reflect this in your headline

3. Create at least four benefits to be offered via the bullet points

4. The nature of your offer when creating the call to action.

Finally . . .

Two final points to consider as you create your first lead capture page:

• Though many early lead capture pages were “text-oriented” there is a growing trend to use a video (usually between the headline and last two sections) with the author adding a personal message that is often far more compelling. Video lead capture pages usually have higher conversion rates. As a speaker you should be experts at this!

• Good copy writing is an art form. Everyone should study multiple examples of lead pages targeting a variety of niches. Don’t be afraid to “borrow” ideas, especially from pages believed to have higher conversion rates.

• If in doubt, hire a copywriter!

So now you know how to create the perfect squeeze page, I hope to see you starting your very own community soon! If you have anything you want to add to this, please drop me a comment below.

The Importance Of Passion In Selling

Oh my Gosh, if I had a cent (or a penny) for every time someone asked me ‘how’ to speak on stage . . . I’d be living in the Bahamas and swinging on my hammock on a daily basis.

(And perhaps supping the odd cocktail . . .)

So enough already!

Because get this – I’m not so concerned with the ‘how’ to speak but much more so with the ‘why’ to speak on stage.

And the absolute number one key to speaking on stage  is  . . .


Listen very carefully because this is probably the most powerful piece of advice I can give to new speakers – Follow Your Passions!

When I am stood up  on stage I always try to speak from the heart and connect with the audience in this heart-felt way.  And funnily enough, when I bring my heart into my speaking, it always follows that my sales increase!

But get this – I don’t speak from my heart to create more sales. That’s counter-intuitive. Selling more is just a byproduct of what happens when you are passionate about what you do.

Bring Your Heart Into Your Sales
Think about it.  Children are some of the best sales people around, not because they know all the tips and tricks on creating a masterful close, but because they are undeniably passionate about their view point and their outcome.  They will not take no for an answer and they are not afraid to show it.

Likewise your passion for your product, service or message will shine through over and above any techniques you learn.  I’m not saying don’t learn the techniques:  you must.  But technique without passion is fruitless.

Passion on stage comes from being passionate about what you do in life.

The Attractor Factor
In the Attractor Factor, Dr. Joe Vitale cites a study where a group of 1500 people were given the option of joining two groups.  Group A was a group of people who were going to pick a career they believed was going to be a practical way to make a lot of money and then they were going to follow their passions after they made enough money.

1255 people joined Group A.

Group B was a group of people who were going to pick a career that they were interested in and passionate about and just trust that the money would come.  Only 245 people joined Group B.

20 years later there were 101 millionaires out of the 1500 people who signed up for the study.  100 of the millionaires came from group B, the group of people who followed their passions and just trusted that the money would come.

Only 1 out of the 1255 people who picked a career because they believed it was a practical way to make a living actually became a millionaire.

This study shows that you do not need to have a plan or know how you are going to make money by following your passion.  All you need to do is to follow your passion.  Remember the great Dr. Martin Luther  King Jr. said,

“I have a dream! . . .”

He did not say:

“I have a plan.”

The Key
Discover what you are passionate about.  You may already know this exactly.  What is it that lights you up?  How can you use this to inform your sales presentations? Try asking yourself some of the following questions to connect with your passion:

·    What did you love to do as a child?
·    What do you love about your product or service?
·    Why do you want the world to know about it?

Passionate Summary
If there’s one thing that’s clear from this . . . it’s that living from your heart-felt passion will not only give you a sense of purpose in your career – and on stage – but it will also attract more abundance to you!

The thing is it takes courage to follow your passions and just trust that the money will come.  But having been both a speaker and an audience member, believe me when I say, there’s no more compelling call to action from an audience’s perspective than watching someone come from a place of true authenticity, love and passion.  You simply shine like a lighhouse and everyone wants to be in your beam.

So, forget about getting ‘it’ right next time you speak, just try connecting more with your passions in your next presentation and see the magical effect this has . . . .