Gordon J. H. Newman, CPT - Gordon is President of The Newman Learning Group Inc. an organization dedicated to providing value add learning and development solutions to improve the bottom line performance of organizations and individuals. Gordon may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-790-2944 or www.newmanlearning.com
Brampton - Recently received a call asking if I would mind being the guest speaker at a networking group meeting in two days time. Well, as one not above a bit of shameless self promotion of course I said yes.
Then came the tricky part and perhaps for you when you were placed in such a situation. What to present about? Clearly as a learning consultant and performance technologist there is no shortage of subject material from which I can chose. No doubt you have similar circumstances in your profession.
The question became not one of finding a topic to present but rather of how to narrow the available topics to one specific topic. Will not divulge the topic chosen because it is not pertinent to the revelation that occurred.
Incidentally, sometimes we get less notice to present ourselves or our business. This led me down the path of thought regarding presentations to groups where everyone is comfortable with each other. In most cases everyone has presented their business several times already.
Generally speaking, with most networking groups that meet regularly, you get to know what each person does within a couple of months. Perhaps it will take as long as six months if the meetings are not weekly or bi-weekly and the group is large. As a result many folks deliver the same presentation time and time again.
The repetition of a presentation has both good and bad points. First, the good point. The more anyone hears a consistent message the easier it is to remember. Thus when a potential for referral comes up your message may be front of mind.
The opposite can also be said. The more you hear the same message the less you listen to the message. Each of us has a hundred different things going on in our lives. If we can tune out of a presentation while attending to some other "urgent" thought, we will do so. As a result your message may fall on deaf ears, losing that repetition value.
The key is to keep your message clear, concise, understandable and exciting. Keep them on the edge of their chair each time you present. Think about it, were the presentations at your last networking meeting better when a guest was present. Of course they were. There was someone new to listen to the pitch.
The concept is that each entrepreneur has a story to tell. It is that story that will keep the business top of mind when it comes to referrals. Because not everyone has the same interests every day, the more ways you can tell that story the better the chance there is of your message being both heard and understood.
So, before you present your ideas to another group of potential clients or people who you want to refer you to clients, ask yourself a couple of basic questions:
- What is my story? - Can I tell it in a different way? - Above all, in the final analysis, who cares?
The answers will allow you to be both exciting and listened to when you present.