It’s not enough to be the best at what you do, you have to be able to communicate it well to the people that matter. This communication can be in the form of your marketing, your branding AND in your presentations or speaking opportunities.
Business owners that have clear, consistent and effective marketing do better than those who don’t. It’s got nothing to do with how good one’s product is. The best product is not necessarily more successful.
Similarly, speakers with a clear, consistent and effective message do better than those who don’t.
You could be the very best at what you do; you could have the most amazing message to share with the world, but unless you are clear, consistent and are effective in holding the attention of your audience and being memorable, than your words are lost to deaf ears.
I am in the process of re-branding and have a new logo which I will be rolling out onto all my material. My logo-designer, Tania Von Allmen, The Symbolist, has created something for me that is more congruent with my nature. I talk about the importance of being congruent with your message, as a speaker, so it’s about time I had that congruency in my branding.
I have great conversations with Tania as we do similar things for our clients – we bring out their brilliance and where I bring it out into your voice, message and personal power; Tania draws it out into a symbol, branding and marketing material.
So let’s talk about you having a message that is clear, consistent, effective and congruent with you.
In talking to clients lately about their message, I know that small tweaks can make a big difference to their ability to inspire their audience.
Five (5) mistakes I commonly see with Content are:
1. Too much information – Though the audience may be grateful that you’ve given them so much apparent content, they leave with nothing. It’s hard to retain anything when one has been overloaded with too many points. I don’t know about you, but I like my audience to leave with at least one thing that they can remember and use to change their life, even in a small way.
2. No structure – If information is shared in a haphazard way than it makes it harder to keep the audience engaged and it makes it harder for anyone to retain anything. I have an outline and a template that I use with all my presentations, and share with my clients, to be consistent, engaging and easy to follow.
3. No preparation – Winging it might work for you to a certain degree, and I can assure that when you are prepared you will always improve your result. Imagine if I went into a volleyball match (if you don’t know, I am an Olympian Beach Volleyball player), and was not prepared. I am going to get a much better result if I have researched my opposition, worked out a strategy, not to mention trained and practiced to perform. Preparing to speak can have the same effect. You want to have a strategy for your performance with a structure for your content.
4. No purpose – What are you speaking for? What outcome do you want to get from speaking to an audience, whether it’s for 60 secs or a whole hour? Having a clear outcome will drive your content, from beginning to end.
5. Poor flow – You want your talk to flow effortlessly from piece to piece to make it easy to listen to and is logical. I heard a speaker on a webinar and each new piece was pre-framed with “And now I’m going to talk about……” I found it annoying and it gave the perception that the pieces were fragmented or disconnected, which they were not.
There are some great methods for transitioning, creating segues or even giving your listeners a ‘reset’ that need as much attention as the rest of your message.
The solution to all of these mistakes is to be prepared with a consistent structure that regulates how much information you share, based on length of presentation. The right structure will help you hit your main points, keep the attention of your audience as well as improve retention of your message.
Note, having a structure doesn’t mean you have to be rigid. You can still be spontaneous and have some fun; it’s just easier and even more effective when you start with a foundation of structure.
Imagine your audience members leaving with a particular piece from your talk that has them remembering you or quoting you, in a positive way, for the rest of their lives!
Remember – You are Brilliant so Dare to Shine!