What is one of the best ways to increase your income, advance your career and cause new opportunities to come your way? My research and experience have shown that learning to speak and present ideas in an effective way is the easiest way to achieve those three goals. You may be thinking that this column does not has much relevance to you, but we make presentations all the time. It starts first thing in the morning when you get your kids out of bed. Add up how many times in a day that you are presenting ideas to influence or persuade in order to move people or a project forward – you would be surprised!
This week’s podcast is with Farah and Martin Perelmuter, founders of Canada’s leading speaking agency, Speakers Spotlight. They represent over 500 of the most accomplished Canadians, including Michael "Pinball" Clemons, Justin P.J. Trudeau and Olympic Champion, Cindy Klassen. Their clients speak at over 2000 events every year. In our conversation, they shared four ideas that anyone can use to present with confidence, persuade with effectiveness and leave a great impression. These four concepts can be used whether you are an Olympic Athlete speaking to 2000 executives or a young professional presenting a solution to your boss.
Farah and Martin both graduated from university taking very traditional programs. Farah joined the advertising industry and Martin joined a Bay street firm as a new lawyer. Life was great – they were on track toward marriage, mortgage and following the Freedom 55 path. Farah’s uncle, a professional speaker, knowing her marketing experience asked for her help to develop his packaging. Here is the kicker. Farah said, "I had never seen a speaker, I knew nothing about the industry and the business, but I did the research". Like all good marketers, she set out on the path of learning as much as she could. After all, you never want to be fired by your Uncle. This accidental "client" led her and Martin down an entirely new career path, one in which they had much more control over and were both equally passionate about. "We were 25 years old with nothing to loose – we took the crazy entrepreneurial adventure. Quitting our jobs, we went back to living the student lifestyle." Speakers Spotlight started in a spare bedroom and now 13 years later with four offices and a team of 20, they have grown into a leader in their field. Not only have they impacted millions of people through their speakers and events, they now have also built a schoolhouse in Kenya.
As Farah said, "How can we fail? We work with the best in the world. We can’t have a bad day. We are in the business of changing lives through the sharing of powerful ideas".
Here are four attributes of a great presentation:
- It makes you think differently. Don’t underestimate your ability to bring a unique perspective to ideas or problems. You would be surprised what others don’t know.
- It is entertaining. Whether it is in your story telling, visual elements or your use of humour, you need to make it interesting for the audience to connect with your ideas and stay interested.
- It inspires you. Think of Obama’s "Yes we Can!" Can you tell me the specifics of his platform? Most likely not. What Obama does through his speeches is to inspire and create tremendous emotion around his campaign and his ideas.
- It is authentic. We live in a world that is very cynical in many ways. You can’t fake and make it anymore in this highly competitive world. Don’t be afraid to be you.
Bonus thoughts – two ways to get the most from a presentation:
- Have an open mind and be realistic about what to expect. Action – Make a goal of taking one idea away from each presentation.
- Be present and focused. Let your Blackberry have the hour off.
As Martin said about speeches, and I whole heartedly agree, "You never know what you are going to learn or how your lives are going to be changed".
Looking to get back control over your career and your future? Join our complimentary 1 hour workshop based upon my book initial session with me – you will be surprised of the options that you have to move forward in your career.
P.S. If you are looking for a keynote speaker or a career development workshop for your organization or upcoming conference, call our office to inquire how I can bring practical information, inspiration and career advice to your organization or event.
Along the road with you!
This week’s 10 Minute WORKout
Think about how you can improve your presentation skills. Keep an open mind, be inspiring and don’t forget to add a little humor.