When communication skills are vital !

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 1.26.05 PMRecently, I watched a documentary called Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room and I realised how much a PR intervention may have saved thousands of investors out or pocket and billions of dollars in unassailable debt. In a perfect world, a crisis communication plan early on could have turned Enron into a small company, but into it’s eyeballs in corruption and debt.

Except in real life, for Enron, making money by any means necessary was the name of the game.

Every company that has been caught by the media for corruption has gone through the stages of the issues life cycle. The four stages are

  1. The potential stage: The moment in a business in which something bad might occur.
  2. Emerging stage: The moments in which a triggering event causes a major issue and begins to fester
  3. Current Stage: When the issue develops into something a company cannot control
  4. Crisis stage: When the media gains a lot of traction on the company’s major issues and a made aware to the public, negatively impacting upon a company
  5. Dormant Stage: When the crisis loses traction with the media, depending on how well the crisis is handled determines how long this issue lingers on in the company.

The entire story of Enron is quite complex, here’s a short overview:

Enron was a major energy company founded by Ken Ley and hired Jeffery Skilling and Andrew Fastow to manage the books and the organisation

Enron managed to influence various state governments to deregulate the energy industry. During the time of deregulation, Enron hid all of it’s debt through mark-to-market accounting (failed ventures were seen as assets in Enron’s books), market manipulation and making companies solely to purchase Enron’s debt. The corporate culture at Enron was to make money for the company by any means necessary. They bribed auditors Arthur Anderson to stay quiet on the issue and it was speculated they bribed banks and lawyers. Enron also encouraged citizens to put their retirement funds into the company knowing that the company was a sinking ship.

In 2000, Enron’s stock was selling at more than $90 per share, By the December 2001, Enron’s stock was 26 cents per share, went from 84 billion dollars to bankruptcy in 21 days and citizens lost their retirement money. Arthur Anderson also failed due to corruption and major Enron employees were sent to jail for fraud and other white collar crimes.

Using case studies like this can help anyone working in crisis communication if a similar situation like this arises. Now as a crisis communicator, the easiest and best way to resolve an issue is at it’s earliest possible stage.

The Potential Stage

The Potential stage happened when states were deregulating the industry. This freed Enron to be more flexible with their business practices and increase the likelihood of corruption. Having a trusted professional would have helped by informing Enron of the potential long term consequences of corruption that can come from market deregulation. That way they are aware of the potential situation and may have been more vigilant against potential corruption.

The Emerging Stage

The triggering event was, when Jeffery Skilling became CEO and began implementing mark-to-market accounting. This was what started the cascade of imaginary numbers, artificially inflated stock prices and market manipulations to cover their losses.

The emerging stage is more difficult to pinpoint. The emerging stages would have occoured when Enron hit insurmountable debt. The emerging stage is when an issue starts to spin out of control and it takes a lot of PR in an attempt to stop it. At this stage, there is no chance of Enron (or any company) escaping the damage.

A crisis communicator could have mitigated it by advising Enron to declare bankruptcy and have a PR campaign detailing how and why the bankruptcy occurred and methods of repayment from investors. This may have gotten Enron staff members indicted for white collar crimes, but they whould have been able to reduce the level of bankruptcy and saved workers their retirement money. People may have looked back on Enron far less negatively than people do today.

The Crisis Stage

The crisis stage started when skilling retired from Enron two months before the financial collapse and the crisis peaked when Enron became officially bankrupt. It was at this stage when Enron decided to handle it by constantly denying any wrongdoing and avoiding the situation they set themselves up for instead of admitting outright that what they did was business malpractice.

It is for this reason that people still talk about Enron today. It is also the reason why the dormant stage of the company lingered on for many years. Had a crisis communicator come across and intervened, they could have easily mitigated the damage. The saddest thing is that it could have happened at any time over the ten years the company were active in the deregulated energy market

So, as a crisis communicator, think about these 5 stages of crisis management from the communication viewpoint. It’s an  interesting consideration. 

Nelson Cumming is an enthusiastic business blogger with AdrienneMcLean.com with a keen interest in Marketing and PR.

Adrienne McLean DTM – SpeakersTrainingCamp International Instructor and the Founder of The Speakers Practice – Adrienne specialises at The Speakers Practice helping clients to confidently deliver presentations for maximum impact for sales presentations, pitching to Investors, promotional presentations etc.

Adrienne has been training presenting to camera programs since 2012 and has been coached by Lou Bortone – US Video Marketing Expert.

 You can contact Adrienne on adrienne@thespeakerspractice.com.au or ring on 0414 367 960.

How can video help your business?

Video is an incredibly powerful way of connecting with your clients.

You, as a business owner, can connect one-on-one with your clients and prospective clients in a way that was unheard of 15 years ago. Today, it is so easy to use a phone or tablet to create a video, the quality is reasonably good and connections can be made one to many easily and regularly.

For more professional video, access is available and quality video is more affordable than ever. You can create your own commercial with high quality displaying you as the expert in your field to everyone that clicks on your website or Youtube channel.

So what sorts of video could you create to speak to your prospects?

Here’s a list but there’s over 50 different types of video – see –

  1. Short, sharp phone video for use on Facebook
  2. Branded professional video for websites
  3. How to video for Youtube and websites
  4. Video for Online Training programs
  5. Video via Webinars

Each profession will suite various sorts of video. Its a matter of thinking about how can video be best utilised in my business to help my clients.

Once you have thought through the use of video within your business, then its the creation of the video that is to be considered.

Video creation involves –

  1. Planning – the script, the message, the location, how the video is to be created, who is to be involved , is it a person speaking or animated video?
  2. Production – the creation of the video – who is going to do this and how
  3. Post Production – preparing the digital recording into a professional MP4 recording.

There’s plenty to think about when preparing a video.

The important consideration is the connection with you and your clients and prospects.


Video can help your business by:
a.displaying you as the expert in your field
b. keep a personal connection with your audience
c. use various, interesting video to keep your audience engaged and following your topics
d. giving your audience valuable information using video in an easy to watch format
e. you, as the business owner, only need to say this once on the video and then it can be seen multiple times by viewers so for you it is actually time consuming not having to say the same thing again and again.

Consider the ways video can help you. Perhaps, give us a call to discuss opportunities where you can utilise video to help you.

Adrienne McLean DTM – SpeakersTrainingCamp International Instructor and the Founder of The Speakers Practice – Adrienne specialises at The Speakers Practice helping clients to confidently deliver presentations for maximum impact. Adrienne has been training presenting to camera programs since 2012 and has been coached by Lou Bortone – US Video Marketing Expert.

 You can contact Adrienne on adrienne@thespeakerspractice.com.au or ring on 0414 367 960.

The Skills for a Powerful Presentation

You are perceived as the expert to the audience when giving a presentation. It’s important you deliver and look like the expert that impresses and convinces your audience.  At the same time, you want to feel confident and comfortable.

Here are some important considerations to shine in front of your audience.

The 6 P’s are essential for the perfect presentation.

screen-shot-2016-06-30-at-4-29-43-pm

1. PREPARATION

WHO – WHAT – WHERE

WHO are you talking to?  The better you know your audience, the better you can hold their attention by tailoring your material around their needs.  Who will be in the audience?  Why are they here?  Why did they invite you to speak? Talk to the event organiser before writing your speech, and on the day, establish a rapport by mingling with the audience before you begin your speech.

WHAT do you need to say?  Begin writing your speech with a clear outline of the points you want to make. Select a few key points and embellish these with examples and anecdotes. Build this into a complete manuscript, and read this aloud to ensure you are keeping your message to the point.  Once you are confident of your structure and your message, you can simplify your speech into note-form again.  Prepare charts as handouts or screen presentation to present statistical or analytical information.

WHERE are you presenting?  Arrive at the venue at least an hour early to make yourself comfortable with your surroundings.  Check the microphone, lighting, audio-visual and any other factors that may affect your performance.

2. PRACTICE

CLARITY – CONFIDENCE- PASSION

Your goal is to deliver your speech with clarity, confidence and passion while maintaining eye-contact with your audience.

Begin by practicing from your manuscript, then once you’ve achieved fluency, simplify the speech into note-form.

Record your delivery so you can listen to yourself.  After each point, ask yourself, “Who cares?”  If nobody does, omit that point.  Ensure that each point is listed in logical order, so your audience can follow your argument.  Listen to your speaking speed, your volume and voice pitch to ensure the audience can hear you comfortably.

Video-tape your performance so you can review your physical delivery.  Review your energy level, body language, eye contact to assess your impact, energy and rapport.

3. PRESENTATION

IMPACT – ENERGY – RAPPORT

Your opening sentence must have impact.  Come out punching with a startling statement, quote or story.  Don’t waste precious seconds with “Ladies and Gentleman” and save any greetings or gratitude until you’ve grabbed the audience’s attention.

Deliver your speech with energy and passion.  Use inside stories to personalise information and add colour to the information you’re trying to pass on.  Charts and graphs can convey statistical and analytical data more effectively than a long recitation of numbers.

Maintain your rapport with the audience.  Encourage audience participation through questions or personal insights.  Use humour with caution: if your jokes fall flat, you will lose your credibility with the audience.  Conversely, your audience will be puzzled if a speech that began humorously, abruptly becomes dry and serious.

Finish with a strong memorable closing statement or with a vivid example.  Memorise your finishing statement so you can flawlessly “bring it home”.  Save this statement until after you’ve accepted questions from the audience.  Rather than closing your speech with “Are there any questions?” say “Before I close, are there any questions?” Once you’ve answered the final question, deliver your concluding statement, so you finish on a high note.

4. PERSONALITY

Your clothes should reflect the client’s image as well as your own

Consider the client’s image.  In the corporate world, most traditional businesses favour conservative attire, while creative industries respond to more individualist outfits.  Consider what your audience will be wearing, and dress one level up.

Staying true to your own image enhances your confidence and credibility. While you should dress to reflect the audience expectations, you should also dress to suit your own personality and taste.  Being comfortable in your outfit will help you remain relaxed and confident.  Don’t force yourself into a three-piece suit if you’re going to squirm awkwardly throughout your presentation.

5, POISE

Demonstrate your professionalism by paying attention to the small details that enhance or detract from your overall appearance.

Check your outline.  Remove anything that dangles or jangles when you move.  Your hem-line should be secure, your hair neatly trimmed and your shoes polished, with the heels fitting securely.

Ensure your clothes fit correctly for your figure.  Generally, a looser fit is more flattering as tight clothes can call attention to unsightly bulges.

Avoid distracting details.  If you wear glasses, choose clean lines rather than funky colourful frames.  Jewellery should not be a focal point of your outfit.  Have one simple bag for all your documents and personal items.

6. POLISH

Colour, texture and complementary tones give a polished finish to your professional appearance

Wear colours that complement your skin tone, hair and eye-colour.  Avoid colours that overpower you.  If you are petite, bright colours will help you stand out in front of an audience.  Wear some contrast, such as a contrasting scarf or tie, to help your audience maintain their attention upon you.

Choose clothes of high quality fabrics.

Make-up should be as neutral as possible.  Try to look healthy and rested.

Try to find out what your backdrop will be.  If you are presenting on a stage with a black background, your dark clothes will blend into the background.  Bright clothes will seem glaring in an extremely bright room.

It’s through Practice, that people who give presentations can work on their presentation to give maximum impact to their audience. So let’s look at practice some more, depending on your profession some call it , rehearsal but whether you call it rehearsal or practice, the key is with being prepared.

The, it’s one thing to talk about what you want to speak about, its another thing completely, whether your audience understands the points you are delivering.

Even the most experienced presenters practice their speeches, fine tune their messages, understand the timings of their presentations so their audience really gets the most out of attending and ultimately wants to hear more and wants to do business with the presenter.

screen-shot-2016-06-30-at-10-28-30-pm

So , what is the Process of Practicing a Presentation?

PREPARE – this is where you gather your information, write your presentation, look at your objectives for giving the speech and what your message is. Use stories that are yours , this will help you to remember what goes next. This is where most of your time is spent. The SpeakersTrainingCamp® has a wonderful structure that can really help you to look at every aspect of a presentation.

REHEARSE – you have your presentation ready, now to get your delivery smooth and confident, you need to rehearse a number of times so that you really feel that you know it inside out. Then you can present your speech not relying on notes, you can have them there ,however, it really helps your presentation if you are not glued to your notes and you are looking at your audience.

AUDIENCE – you are delivering your presentation to inform, inspire and guide your audience. You can make a difference with your presentation – whether it’s an important presentation to an executive committee , a work group or its a social presentation. Your presentation is for your audience.

CONNECTION – Practicing your presentation will give you the opportunity to maximise your connection with your audience. The more confident your presentation, the more you know your message, the more authentic you are, the more eye contact you have with your audience, the more you know about your audience – the better your connection with your audience and the more you will be successfully able to get your message across.

TIMING – Always ,and I mean , Always respect the timing of your presentation. Know your presentation, and by going through this process you do now, Know how long it takes and suite the timing to what is expected. You may be given 20mins, then , have your presentation going for 20minutes. This point is really important. Speakers that think they can go on for hours instead of minutes loose their audience’s respect as well as credibility. By practicing, you can fine tune the timing and increase your confidence.

IMPROVE – Professional speakers practice and improve their presentations so that they can confidently present their speech and achieve maximum impact. Don’t wing it, practice and Improve then you will get maximum impact from your presentation.

CONSOLIDATE – Now you have Prepared, REhearsed , thought about your Audience, built a Connection wtih your audience, worked at the Timing, Improved – all these tasks have Consolidated your presentation so that you can really achieve what you would like from your presentation – and that is Impress them!

EXCEL – when you follow this process , you will Excel and do your best. Ok, there’s always areas to work on ,however, by continuing along this path of Continuous Improvement and Practice of your Presentations , you will Excel! this is the Power of Practice.

Enjoy your Presentations, Practice your Presentations and appreciate the Power of Practice!!

Adrienne McLean, The Speakers Practice offers Executive Presentation Skills coaching and the SpeakersTrainingCamp ® Presentation Skills workshops to develop public speaking skills. Adrienne is skilled at challenging people to develop their speaking skills. Adrienne is a SpeakersTrainingCamp ® Instructor , a member of the Professional Speakers Association and a member of Toastmasters International. See www.thespeakerspractice.com.au,

The Skills for a Perfect Presentation

You are the expert when giving a presentation, and you want to deliver and look like the expert who can impress and convince your audience. At the same time, you want to feel confident and comfortable.

The 6 P’s are essential for the perfect presentation.

  1. PREPARATION

WHO – WHAT – WHERE

  • WHO are you talking to?  The better you know your audience, the better you can hold their attention by tailoring your material around their needs.  Who will be in the audience?  Why are they here?  Why did they invite you to speak? Talk to the event organiser before writing your speech, and on the day, establish a rapport by mingling with the audience before you begin your speech.
  • WHAT do you need to say?  Begin writing your speech with a clear outline of the points you want to make. Select a few key points and embellish these with examples and anecdotes. Build this into a complete manuscript, and read this aloud to ensure you are keeping your message to the point.  Once you are confident of your structure and your message, you can simplify your speech into note-form again.  Prepare charts as handouts or screen presentation to present statistical or analytical information.
  • WHERE are you presenting?  Arrive at the venue at least an hour early to make yourself comfortable with your surroundings.  Check the microphone, lighting, audio-visual and any other factors that may affect your performance. 
  1. PRACTICE

CLARITY – CONFIDENCE- PASSION

  • Your goal is to deliver your speech with clarity, confidence and passion while maintaining eye-contact with your audience. 
  • Begin by practicing from your manuscript, then once you’ve achieved fluency, simplify the speech into note-form.
  • Record your delivery so you can listen to yourself.  After each point, ask yourself, “Who cares?”  If nobody does, omit that point.  Ensure that each point is listed in logical order, so your audience can follow your argument.  Listen to your speaking speed, your volume and voice pitch to ensure the audience can hear you comfortably. 
  • Video-tape your performance so you can review your physical delivery.  Review your energy level, body language, eye contact to assess your impact, energy and rapport.
  1. PRESENTATION

IMPACT – ENERGY – RAPPORT
Your opening sentence must have impact.
  Come out punching with a startling statement, quote or story.  Don’t waste precious seconds with “Ladies and Gentleman” and save any greetings or gratitude until you’ve grabbed the audience’s attention. 

  • Deliver your speech with energy and passion.  Use inside stories to personalise information and add colour to the information you’re trying to pass on.  Charts and graphs can convey statistical and analytical data more effectively than a long recitation of numbers.
  • Maintain your rapport with the audience.  Encourage audience participation through questions or personal insights.  Use humour with caution: if your jokes fall flat, you will lose your credibility with the audience.  Conversely, your audience will be puzzled if a speech that began humorously, abruptly becomes dry and serious.
  • Finish with a strong memorable closing statement or with a vivid example.  Memorise your finishing statement so you can flawlessly “bring it home”.  Save this statement until after you’ve accepted questions from the audience.  Rather than closing your speech with “Are there any questions?” say “Before I close, are there any questions?” Once you’ve answered the final question, deliver your concluding statement, so you finish on a high note.
  1. PERSONALITY

Your clothes should reflect the client’s image as well as your own

  • Consider the client’s image.  In the corporate world, most traditional businesses favour conservative attire, while creative industries respond to more individualist outfits.  Consider what your audience will be wearing, and dress one level up. 
  • Staying true to your own image enhances your confidence and credibility. While you should dress to reflect the audience expectations, you should also dress to suit your own personality and taste.  Being comfortable in your outfit will help you remain relaxed and confident.  Don’t force yourself into a three-piece suit if you’re going to squirm awkwardly throughout your presentation.
  1. POISE

Demonstrate your professionalism by paying attention to the small details that enhance or detract from your overall appearance.

  • Check your outline.  Remove anything that dangles or jangles when you move.  Your hem-line should be secure, your hair neatly trimmed and your shoes polished, with the heels fitting securely.
  • Ensure your clothes fit correctly for your figure.  Generally, a looser fit is more flattering as tight clothes can call attention to unsightly bulges. 
  • Avoid distracting details.  If you wear glasses, choose clean lines rather than funky colourful frames.  Jewellery should not be a focal point of your outfit.  Have one simple bag for all your documents and personal items.
  1. POLISH

Colour, texture and complementary tones give a polished finish to your professional appearance

  • Wear colours that complement your skin tone, hair and eye-colour.  Avoid colours that overpower you.  If you are petite, bright colours will help you stand out in front of an audience.  Wear some contrast, such as a contrasting scarf or tie, to help your audience maintain their attention upon you.
  • Choose clothes of high quality fabrics.
  • Make-up should be as neutral as possible.  Try to look healthy and rested.
  • Try to find out what your backdrop will be.  If you are presenting on a stage with a black background, your dark clothes will blend into the background.  Bright clothes will seem glaring in an extremely bright room.

Adrienne McLean, The Speakers Practice offers the SpeakersTrainingCamp ® Presentation Skills workshops to develop public speaking skills. Adrienne is skilled at challenging people to develop their speaking skills. Adrienne is a SpeakersTrainingCamp ® Instructor , a member of the National Speakers Association of Australia and a member of Toastmasters International. See www.thespeakerspractice.com.au,

What happens when you DON’T develop your presentation skills

screen-shot-2016-06-30-at-10-28-30-pm

Being confident and out going or simply fearful of public speaking may mean you think you don’t need to or want to  work on your presentation skills – what happens when you don’t do this?

Extroverts , as loud as they be , may put off the audience with just too much loud speaking and exuberance. They think they are fantastic when actually the audience can only absorb so much.

Being shy and quiet, may stop individuals working on presentation skills because of the sheer fear.

Introverts , may be so unassuming , that they keep themselves out of the limelight , leaving presenting to others and not giving the valuable information they know. Holding themselves back because of the fear of speaking to groups.

So what will both Extroverts and Introverts achieve by working on their presentation Skills?

  1. Audience can benefit from your knowledge   Delivering presentations is all about creating change for the people who are in the audience. Well presented information delivered with respect for the audience will connect with members of the audience and the message of the information will get through.
  2. Connection with audience and keeping their attention   Audience’s attention is not very long but if you know how to connect and build a rapport with the audience, your presentation will be much more successful with members leaving understanding the information being presented and remembering the message.
  3. Business benefits   If your presentation is for business and you are talking about how you handle the business issue – then when presenting you are the expert of the topic. A successful presentation will bring more business because of the fact that you are deemed the expert in this topic and people want to know more.

So if you decide not to work on your presentation skills – you will either put off your audience by being over the top or never get a chance to show your brilliance.

By working on your presentation skills, you will confidently demonstrate your expertise and help others. That is valuable isn’t it?  Which do you choose?

 

Have a Fear of Public Speaking?

For a lot of people, public speaking is worse than a death sentence. This graphic helps to explain why public speaking is so scary to certain individuals and ways to get over it.

The fear of public speaking is known as “glossophobia”. More Americans report they fear it more than heights, flying, drowning, and small spaces. So what makes this fear so common? The main reason is that they feel that they will be ostracized, which in early days of man would have meant death since collaboration was needed for survival. Even still, people who are socially isolated are found to be 26% more likely to die sooner.
Some people fear it from having past traumatic experiences with public speaking, such as being made fun of in school. Extreme cases can even be selective mutism, preventing the person from speaking at all in certain situations. Selective mutism can also be a social anxiety disorder affecting 1 in 8 children.
Much of the anxiety associated with public speaking can be changed by the way a person thinks about it. The problem of thinking that if everything doesn’t go perfectly that it’s a failure should be changed so that the speaker accepts that perfection is impossible and appreciating the elements that do work. Another problem is that some people believe that just because their previous public speaking attempt went poorly, that they are doomed for failure. The speaker needs to accept that a poor attempt does not mean that every public speaking engagement will go badly. There are other helpful tips to help change the way people feel about public speaking.

Fear of Public Speaking

 

Impressed with this Infographic? See:   Mastersprogramsguide.com for more incredible , informative Infographics!

Business Success Strategies – The 2 Things needed to Create a Business

 

 

Megan Apple is the Chief Making Things Happen Officer of a Virtual Certainty  based in Cleveland Ohio. Our topic for today is “The 2 Things needed to Create a Business”

Over the past 12 years Megan has worked with businesses from lots of different industries. Financial planning firms, real estate development and investment companies,law firms, health care organizations, wellness coaches, life coaches, business consultants, clothing manufacturers, and more. megan has learnt how to understand each individual organization and their industry quickly. And have realized that, regardless of the industry or specialty, all successful businesses are built on a strong platform of systems and processes.

With all Megan’s experience , Megan get to understand individual businesses and the challenges faced quickly. And shares tools, systems and processes that will help save time, money and headaches in building and growing your business.

Megan is a big believer in collaborating with clients and staying around to make things happen. Most importantly, Megan wants clients to succeed. When you work with honesty, directness, lots of tools and strategies, an endless curiosity and a passion for your success – success follows.

We’re going to be discussing some amazing approaches to increase your revenue and give valuable marketing strategies.

1.What is purpose and why is it SO important?

We each have one unique gift – which is our purpose and passionate – when we work from here the fuel and energy is available to be successful.

Its not motivation – purpose and passion are the fuel that drives everything. When working from purpose – it is the thing we must do.

2. How do you find your purpose?

Most of us know it – but often we don’t accept it – Your purpose feels like play – its easy for you –

When you were a child what was your favourite activity?
If you have all the money – what would you like to do?
When you dell the most confident – what is it?

We actually normally know it, but we need to own it – and commit to it –

3. With a business idea – when and how is the viability of a business idea tested?

The best time to test the viability is at the beginning.

A business is an entity that provides a product or service , at a price point that people will pay that allows you to make a profit. That’s what a business is.

The model needs to be tested for viability.

4. How does  a business owner drive prospective clients to the business?

The other crucial thing is “How you are going to sell your services or products”.

You have to create a number of strategies to let people know about the products and services you sell. This is your marketing plan.

By being excited and clear on the service – and your excitement and passion about the business will show – you have to create a plan and creating systems to implement the plan.

There is a connection between your message and purpose –

5. What is a Strategy that has really helped you grow your business?

Relationships – referrals is where most of Megan’s business has come – if I can give value in an authentic way than somehow that comes back in some way. Everything then falls in to place.

If you are interested in completing the Blank Canvas Exercises and discovering your purpose, passion and values, feel free to download it here.  Megan Apple has offered to do a 30 minute focus session for each of our listeners after you have completed the exercises.  If you are interested, send her an email to megan@avirtualcertainty.com so that she can schedule a time that works for you.

This is an outstanding exercise – enjoy the process – see –

How does the BookYourselfSolid®Marketing system work?


The Speakers Practice – Business Success Strategies Interview – with a specialist in their field – either International or Australian business owners, coaches or trainers. Our guests will be discussing up to date methods and techniques that give ideas that you can implement and enjoy seeing the results. .

The aim of this 30 minute interview is to find out from highly successful experts approaches for building businesses.

For our opening Business Success Strategies interview for 2016, we are thrilled to have Frank Bria, Author, Speaker, Strategist and Scale Expert as our guest. Frank is the author of the incredibly successful book  – Scale – How to Grow your Business by Working Less. 

Being an  entrepreneurial veteran with high-tech and financial services experience, originally from New York and now based in Arizona ,  Frank has helped businesses grow on 4 continents. In addition to marketing and selling himself, he has worked with numerous firms to help them achieve their market penetration goals. Frank knows what works and what doesn’t.

Frank is a Elite BookYourselfSolid® Certified coach – the highest level of excellence within the BookYourselfSolid® School of Coach Training .

Detailed are some amazing approaches to increase your revenue and give valuable marketing strategies.

1. How does the BookYourselfSolid®Marketing system work?
Why is BookYourselfSolid® SO  powerful??

The fundamental principle of BookYourselfSolid® is “You should be working with the people you are meant to be working with” – this is where it starts – its important to understand this concept and apart of the Foundation.

It starts the Trust and Credibility process  – Michael Port says ” You can only sell the amount in proportion to the amount of trust you have learnt.  Who are you serving and what are you doing to help plus how you are building trust and credibility. This all is apart of the BookYourselfSolid®.

2. What is the definition of Marketing the BookYourselfSolid® way?

From BookYourselfSolid® – marketing doesn’t get you clients – marketing gets you attention – they check out your foundation – you get the opportunity to earn trust – then when the time is right – the business can follow.

Building the relationship is incredibly important. The relationships is incredibly important. Systems and process need to be in place.

3. Why are deciding who are Your Ideal Clients SO Important?

Business owners need to work out who they are the people they are meant to work with. This is a challenging task for entrepreneurs. Through the narrowing down of the client profile helps entrepreneurs grow their business. The message needs to be specific enough – displaying credibility to the people you are meant to serve.

4. What are the guidelines for choosing a target market and why is this so important?

When picking a target market – you need to know where your clients are – if you haven’t got specific guidelines for your target market – this is where business problems are started from.

Examples of target markets are described clearly by Frank which give details of areas to look at for both target markets and ideal clients.

5. What is a Strategy that has really helped you grow your business?

Frank Bria highly recommends that business owners define their high ticket item – this defines their business – looking for a high impact item – bringing high value – which means a high charge item.

How do you go out into the market charging really what you are worth? Its about creating value – you are doing so much for someone’s business – that you are valued – Frank trains on this – there is a gift for our guests – see www.frankbria.com

Here’s the video of our discussion – there are some extremely valuable concepts discussed here to small business owners.

2015 – Its been a Fabulous Year for The Speakers Practice!

Things have happened this year that I could only have dreamed of!

Starting a business from scratch is a fascinating journey – there are twists and turns that you may not have expected – but it is from these unexpected occurrences that you learn and grow. This year has been pivotal for The Speakers Practice in many ways and at the end of 2015 , we have achieved and assisted our clients , as well as, growing stronger in our offerings. Its been a Fabulous Year!

Achievement 1 – First Australian BookYourselfSolid® Certified Coach

Marketing to me was a complicated topic , I tested things out – my marketing  was done as I was taught from numerous courses but there is so much information that didn’t really connect with what was happening. I was made aware of Michael Port and the system – BookYourselfSolid® at the SpeakersTrainingCamp® Instructors training presented by my mentor , Sue Gaulke of SuccessWorksUSA in 2009. After a few years of experimenting with marketing, I decided to follow the BookYourselfSolid® system and as Michael Port suggests I fell in love with Marketing and Selling  and have not looked back.

After 3 years of studying the various programs offered by the BookYourselfSolid® School of Coach Training, at the end of January 2015 , I graduated as the first Australian BookYourselfSolid® Certified Coach. Yes, this is an achievement but the real achievement is that I now understand how marketing works – Michael Port is an expert and his training really has been valuable in taking the complexity out and really highlight the important activities that are incredibly important in getting more clients and being Booked Solid. I am proud that Michael Port has been a mentor and inspiration in Thinking Bigger about what I can offer the world.

Thank you so much to Michael Port , Matthew Kimberley and the team of BookYourselfSolid® Coach Trainers.

Achievement 2. Launch of The Speakers Practice – Succeed Program 

The Speakers Practice – Succeed Program was launched on the 24th March, 2015. This program is a continuous improvement program for small business – it is based on the Deming Cycle and the BookYourselfSolid® marketing system.

The Succeed Program is designed to focus a small business on getting more clients – we look at the business from the business growth aspect – the program is designed to give accountability to grow business using the top rated system BookYourselfSolid®. For businesses that are wanting to grow, this approach is well established and achieves results.

A fabulous evening was held to launch the Succeed Program and present the BookYourselfSolid® system. Here pictured are the President of the Hornsby Chamber of Commerce 2011 – 2015 – Bill Tyrell, MC Tim Stackpool and Sean Spence – a BookYourselfSolid® Coach-in-Training helping Adrienne McLean on the night.

Achievement 3 – Presentation and Video Program for Professionals

Training Professionals to present to camera and use video as a marketing strategy is pivotal in The Speakers Practice suite of programs. In 2015, we ran Presentation snd Video programs training Professionals to present to camera with impact.

It is ideal for a Business Owner who is passionate about their business to be the “face” of their business and really connect with their clients and potential new clients. However, if they have not really used video before producing a quality result is challenging – that’s where The Speakers Practice – Presentation and Video Program excels – we train Professionals – who have never been in a film studio before to create a captivating script, use an autocue and present to camera with skill. This program is held at the beautiful, purpose built film studio – Pow Wow Studios.

The Speakers Practice together with Tim Stackpool, a Media Skills Professional specialising in Presenting to Camera, we have a strong program. the Presentation and Video Program,  that trains professionals to present to camera and produce quality video. For more details see – https://youtu.be/5Pm43y5knOk

Achievement 4.  Video Marketing Specialist in Australia

Its essential to produce a quality presentation in front of camera – the next step is to use that video and market your business effectively.

The Speakers Practice offers a quality, uptodate presentation “Video Marketing in Action” – in this program – attendees find out the benefits of using video in their marketing mix – the benefits and necessity to use video is growing exponentially. As the generations age, video is only going to grow into being the norm. Even now, Youtube is the 2nd largest search engine – that is a huge step for video.

Video Marketing in Action gives the information about the benefits to using video for marketing your business, how to use video and the sites along with methods to help you get maximum exposure with your video. Also. ways to create products using your video.

Lou Bortone, US Video Marketing Guru is  my video marketing mentor – Lou’s programs have really assisted my development and confidence in being a Video Marketer.

Video Marketing in Action has been presented at BeUltimate- Business Coach and the Enterprise Centre, Sydney.

Achievement 5 – The Speakers Practice – Fortnightly Friday Forum – 

Over the 18 months  The Speakers Practice – Fortnightly Friday Forum – 27 Business Professionals were interviewed on all sorts of topics. This was a 30 minute interview – a recorded webinar – using script and PowerPoint slides – from the recording – the following content was produced –
– a Video MP4 posted on Youtube
– a Podcast MP3 uploaded into iTunes
– a Blog on The Speakers Practice Blog
_ and a transcript was prepared for future projects.
This is an example of producing content for various uses – Content Marketing.

The Friday Forum produced a lot of interesting, valuable information from specialists on a variety of business topics. The Forum was innovative , used Google Hangouts along with a webinar marketing platform and promoted Professionals on numerous topics. There were 27 productions completed over this time. Everything was handled from scripting, PowerPoints slides, discussions, recording, editing,creating various types of content and promoting on social media.

The next exciting step is to start in February, 2016 is the new program – Business Success Strategies. The new format  , based on the Friday Forum, will be interviewing business professionals on strategies they recommend to build and grow business. Both local and international business professionals will be interviewed.

The aim of  Business Success Strategies is to give SME Professionals access to specialists and hear about successful strategies that work in building clients.

Achievement 6 – NSW Business Chamber NE Regional Business Awards

My NSW Business Chamber – Account Manager suggested I enter the NSW Business awards for my region.
Well, what did I have to loose? So entered and became a regional finalist in the NE Region Business Leader award.

This is a lesson of taking what is on offer – its been a marvellous opportunity to be involved in another part of the chamber offerings. The Speakers Practice raised its profile yet again – focusing your marketing efforts on a tight target market does work as you meet the same people in the various events – its about building a presence and becoming trusted.

Achievement 7 – Attendance Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking – Toastmasters Convention – Las Vegas 2015

Sometimes, you have to pinch yourself that you are really here and apart of this amazing event.

That was me in August, 2015 – I was invited by Sue Gaulke of SucccessWorksUSA to assist her with the Trade Show table for SpeakersTrainingCamp® promotion at the Toastmasters 2015 Convention. If I have any advice – it is – never miss an opportunity. This opportunity gave me the experience of an event that I never thought I’d see – even as a Distinguished Toastmaster – the highest Toastmasters award – I never thought I’d get this opportunity.

Thank you so much to Sue Gaulke – it is an experience beyond imagination. It was wonderful to work with Sue and promote the SpeakersTrainingCamp® and the Instructors program. We got to meet so many incredible attendees of the Toastmasters convention as well as seeing the presentations and competitions.

Really one of the main highlights, and there was so many, was to speak about the many benefits of the SpeakersTrainingCamp® program. This program is life changing – it builds confidence, you learn to handle nervousness, learn to halve preparation time and to become far more dynamic as a presenter. Sue Gaulke is an International Expert in Presentation Skills and it was an honour to be working with her promoting her program that has been presented to Fortune 500 companies for over 30 years.

Together, we attended the Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking 2015 – to see the 10 contestants deliver flawless presentations , one after another, it was an amazing experience being in the audience. Then, being able to meet the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place getters was incredible – here I am with the World Champion 2015 – Mohammed Qahtani.

For a Presentation Skills coach, this was an honour and my gratitude is immense to Sue Gaulke for inviting me to attend. Las Vegas is the most incredible city – fun, with all the extremes you could imagine – and I am looking forward to my next visit – but it would be difficult to match this trip!

Achievement 8 – Business Community Involvement

Choosing your target market is important and it needs to be tight so you know where to do your marketing. I chose my local district along with the chamber system and became involved with the local business community. Within a very short time, I was voted in as the President of the Hornsby Chamber of Commerce.

The Hornsby Chamber of Commerce was started in 1919 and after many strong years was going through a period of struggle. For someone with a streak of Entrepreneurialism, standing up and getting voted in as President is what is done to help grow a failing chamber.

Putting on a talented committee was the first step in growing the chamber. In 7 short months, the chamber has tripled its membership and has the support of local, state and federal government. There are so many opportunities for the Hornsby Chamber to build a strong and vibrant Hornsby Business Community.

The committee was voted in the last AGM and we look forward to a fabulous 2016. This is an exciting prospect!

Achievement 9 – Bringing Public Speaking and  the SpeakersTrainingCamp® to Teenagers

It was an immense pleasure to work with these 5 talented and cheeky 13 – 14 year olds. After a long day, they turned up every Tuesday during Term 3 and attended Public Speaking classes.

The joy comes from seeing them building their confidence and communication skills – they don’t know how talented and articulate they are – some were shy – some were simply out spoken but they were all keen to participate and learn.

For me , seeing these  boys  really display more confidence, being more fluent in putting their case forward and being quicker to reply to impromptu topics was a thrill. They are all leaders of the future and I have a soft spot for each of these fine young men.

Achievement 10 – Bringing Interview Skills to International  Graduates

Many International students are living and studying in Australia and keen to integrate into the Australian lifestyle.

The Speakers Practice has been running training sessions on the topic of Interview Skills – this presentation gives the information necessary to shine when in the interview. Preparation, planning , presentation skills, handling nervousness and much more are discussed. All aimed at helping the graduates to get that first important role.

Ultimately, The Speakers Practice Interview Skills program helps individuals get their next job and for international graduates our program helps them to integrate into Australian society.

Achievement 11 – SpeakersTrainingCamp® Program in Sydney

This wasn’t really my achievement – it was Sue Gaulke and SuccessworksUSA – 2nd Instructor training workshop and Presentation Skills training for the SpeakersTrainingCamp® – a very successful 3 day SpeakersTrainingCamp® Instructors program was help.

It is a honor to be a SpeakersTrainingCamp® International Instructor – I am the first in Australia and only one of six in the Pacific Asia region. Sue kindly gave me the opportunity to present at the training – on the topic of marketing .

Achievement 12 – Marketing Plan Masterclass

Marketing Plans are essential if you want to know what you need to do to grow your business – this document is the “Go-To” document – when you are wanting to move forward. Rather than just working ad-hoc – this gives you a road map.

The Speakers Practice has combined the BookYourselfSolid® marketing system with the Australian Government Marketing Plan template – to assist small businesses to understand marketing plans so that when they write one – it will be a useable document (rather than just sit on the shelf!)

The Speakers Practice ran a very successful Marketing Plan Masterclass in November, 2015. This program is already booked for running again in 2016.

We are also looking at running 90 Day Plan Masterclasses – these are shorter focused , more immediate results. Its planning that’s important, then you know where you are going!

Overview: 

Its been a big year – with too many other items to mention – above all The Speakers Practice is focused on helping SME Professionals to promote themselves and build business. Along with promoting the benefits of presentation skills.

The Speakers Practice offers international quality programs to help professionals build awareness of their business and grow the numbers of clients so ultimately they are booked solid. We specialise in the area of marketing, communication , presentation skills, presenting to camera skills for video and  interview skills.

The Speakers Practice is a boutique business that works with professionals to help them to feel comfortable and give them the skills to promote themselves and their business so ultimately they are booked solid.

Thank you to all clients for your support. Thank you to my mentors – to Sue Gaulke who has been brilliant in her support and friendship – to Michael Port and the Elite Coaches at the BookYourselfSolid School of Coach Training – you have all been so incredible. Importantly, thank you to my husband and children for supporting me in my endeavours in helping Service Professionals get more clients!

Adrienne McLean, The Speakers Practice can be contacted on adrienne@thespeakerspractice.com.au or on mobile 0414 367 960.

Continuous Improvement for Business Success!

This Continuous Improvement system – the Deming Cycle – has been implemented in the corporate world – originating in Japan in the 50’s. Why is this process so IMPORTANT Today?

diagram-act-plan-check-do

In Business today – if you are wanting to Grow, Develop and Achieve Amazing things then by following this approach – you can achieve your desired results – Each step is important –

Stage 1 – Planning – this is the stage where you set the stage – you decide the end results that you are wanting – it helps to categorise these into – Financial, Marketing, Projects and Systems. This gives you a framework to move forward.

The Important task with this stage is to set Key Performance Indicators. Set a measurement for each category to see that you are moving in the right direction. The time spent here is important for setting the stage for the improvements.

To help small business owners who may be struggling, wanting more growth, looking for clients, using a system to work with helps. My approach is to do an audit using a marketing system – BookYourselfSolid® – by checking where the business is at the moment against the Internationally Successful Marketing system BookYourselfSolid® – you can find out what is being done at the moment and what needs to be done to grow.

Stage 2 – Do – This is the execution step – You need to execute the actions required to achieve the goals you have set. This requires focus and a clear pathway of development – set in Stage 1.

Keeping an eye on your Key Performance Indicators is important so see how you are tracking.

For small business owners, The Speakers Practice approach is to train using the BookYourselfSolid® system – really getting a great understanding of this system will assist with developing skills using innovative approaches.

Stage 3 – Check

This is where you go back and Check your progress – are you achieving everything you have desired or are you behind or infant?

This is important to assess because its here that you make the decisions of what needs to be changed to achieve your end results – your Key Performance Indicators.

Its may be you need some training, you need to learn new tasks, there will be some development required to grow your business to the next level.

For small business owners – here another audit is done – to see how far the business has come – this is important in identifying the learning required to develop the skills of the owners and staff.

Stage 4 – Act –

This is where you do the learning, the training and grow the skills to enable you to develop your business further. Skills development is important whether you are a sole trader, a small business or a large multinational.

The point with this process is that it is for any size business – growing and developing a business is essential for the health of the business – otherwise the business will stagnant.

This is the training process – getting the business owner – out of their comfort zone – learning new skills which gives the opportunity to grow the business. The Speakers Practice offers presentation skills and public speaking training, speaking to camera training, creation of information products training, social media training, and so on.

Closing Points

Then the key to this process is that it goes around and around. After the training – you do the planning , Implement and DO, Check and then do training to grow and develop more.

Its about learning , growing , developing and achieving the seemingly impossible goals – with application , perseverance and using this four stage process – you can develop your business and realise your dreams.

To speak with Adrienne McLean – ring 0414 367 960 – Skype Adrienne.McLean2 https://thespeakerspractice.leadpages.net/marketing-may-1-2015/