Monthly Archives: November 2013

Take Control of Your Audience’s Memory…

161919220Wouldn’t it be great to control what your audience remembers after your presentation is done? Rather than them going back to the office with a memory of the great coffee or the attractive blonde in the front row or even the bad joke you told, they might actually remember key points you made. Here are a few ideas on how you can help improve retention:

  1. Have a key message. Decide what your presentation is really about. Have one key message (you can have sub-messages but only one key message) and build your presentation around this.
  2. Keep it simple. Just because you only have one key message doesn’t mean you have to pack everything into this one message. Keep it simple and it will be much easier to retain.
  3. Identify the key message. Make it known what your key takeaway is. Say “this is the key takeaway” or “this is the most important point” or “this is the key message.”
  4. Repeat. Do this throughout to remind the audience of what the key message is by coming back to it. If it’s your key message, your presentation should relate to it throughout.
  5. Leave it on the screen. Keep it up on the screen while you are talking so the audience sees it visually. This will help them remember. You may even try associating a picture with your message if one is relevant.

This form of mind-control is perfectly legal in all 50 states. So give it a shot and you will see your audience is much more likely to contact you the next time they need help because they remember that you offered a solution.

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Consistency Wins…

One of the great things about chain restaurants like T.G.I. Friday’s, The Olive Garden, or Burger King – and it’s not their food – is consistency. You can walk into a T.G.I. Friday’s in New York City or Omaha, Neb., and you know what you are going to get. There is no deviation – the look is the same, the food is the same, and the prices are relatively the same. You never have to worry about getting sick or what the bathroom will look like. Again, I am not saying the food is fabulous or the places are immaculate – the point is, you know what you are going to get. And often, that in itself is comforting.

Think about your business for a minute. Do your corporate communications show consistency? Do you use the same logo on your letterhead, in an email newsletter, and in a print ad? Do your salespeople all communicate in the same manner? How about your customer service reps? Do they have a similar personality to one another? Do they provide similar results call after call?

Consistency and confidence in the areas mentioned above will keep your customers around for a long time to come. Just the way you are more comfortable with the golden arches than the local burger joint in a new city, your customers are comfortable with what’s familiar and consistent. They know what to expect and that is priceless.

It sounds easy, but consistency can be very challenging. But, if you can be consistent in the way you operate, you will keep your competitors at bay.

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Free PR for Your Business…

166127053We all need a little public relations in our lives… but PR can cost money, you say. You have to hire a PR person, pay them per project or a monthly retainer, etc. But this is not necessarily always the case. There are many ways in which you can generate free PR for your business. The most obvious is a press release. Write it yourself; there are many sites that offer free press release distribution. This can spread around the web, get picked up by newspapers, magazines, and other media outlets and thereby drum up great business.

Here are some other ways to get free PR:

  • Writing articles: Write about how to do something – this is always valuable for readers. The article doesn’t have to be long, just informative. This also gives you great credibility and can establish you as an expert in a certain area.
  • Newsletters: Create a weekly or monthly email newsletter that you distribute to clients, prospects, and anyone else who wants to hear what you have to say. This is great advertising and keeps you in front of the people you want to be speaking with.
  • Public speaking: Speaking in front of an audience usually makes you an expert. People like to buy from experts. If they’re in your audience, then they’ll remember your expertise and come to you when they need your product or service.
  • Free guides / reports: Offering a free guide or report online is a good way to get an e-mail address from prospects so you may market to them later. The free report can be a dressed-up article, a list, a survey that you’ve done, or some research-based information.
  • Online forum participation: Participate in relevant newsgroups and forums… people will get to see your posts and get to know you. Answer questions, post new questions, etc. LinkedIn is a great place for this if you join industry-related groups.
  • Letters to the editor: Many times a letter to the editor has a better chance of getting published than the actual press release. You’d be surprised how many people read this column in publications. This is also another way to become friends with the editor. If they see you enough and match you with a newsworthy press release, then your chances of getting a press release in print increases.
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