Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How To Wow: Part I

How To Wow: Part I

"Professional Speaking That Wow's Your Crowd"

I've been getting more and more people asking me how to become a motivating speaker. Well, to start with, you have to WOW your crowd. Want to know some secrets on how to wow 'em like the best speakers in the business?

Here are seven techniques to help you get started.

7 Ways To Build "Wow" Into Your Next Presentation:

1. Set It Up

Before you can wow anyone, you must first set it up. For example, one speaker drops a stacks of books before he speaks. He then says, "Well, that was the advice from all the gurus on our topic today. Guess we don't need all those books, after all. Now, let's look at how people today really do this..." and from there he's off and running. I'd call that the "surprise" intro, wouldn't you?

Steve Jobs, when he announced the Apple MacBook Air, started off his talk at MacWorld with "Something's In The Air Today..."
(see the whole video here:

A comedian comes out with one string of ideas after another, then something totally random that makes you laugh.

Consider one of these approaches. If you start off B-O-R-I-N-G you're dead in the first 30 seconds. So, start off with something that sets your group up to know what they're going to get, in a creative, fun, and distinctively you type of way.

2. Use Simple and Clean Graphic Visuals.

Instead of saying "this is thin" to convey your idea, say, "It is only this thick," and show a picture of a pencil. A great visual is powerful, indeed.

You'll see how Jobs is a master at simple graphic visuals through this video:

Keep it clean and simple.

3. Simplify some more.

Imagine you want to tell someone "I love you." How would you say it? How would this suffice:

4. Use powerful words (and gestures).

You can be enthusiastic, but if you use the wrong words, body language, and tone, you'll probably give a mixed message.

Good copy is one of my newfound keys to success. I'll swear by the copy on a page. It's either selling for you, or your copy is working against you. Are you using words that sell? If not, try some of these:
Amazing, Blast, Greatest, Smallest, Largest, Huge, Phenomenal, Explosive, Fun, More, Easiest, Simplest, Most Comprehensive, Powerful, Gigantic, Tiniest, Flattest, Fattest, Richest, Fabulous, Exciting, Quickest, Shortest, Thickest, Roundest (is that a word?), anyway, you get the idea.

The WORDS you use MATTER as much as the enthusiastic TONE and BODY LANGUAGE you use to convey your ideas. Use all three to the max!

Hand gestures ought to be emphatic. Body image ought to be tall and strong, unless you're trying to convey weak and wimpy.

5. Show WHY people ought to care.

People often struggle with their WoW because they fail to realize how or why people care about them. If you're going to stand up and say "I'm going to change the world," then you probably need to back that up with the top three ways you're doing that now. But don't just tell them: SHOW them. People respond when you back up a strong statement with strong facts, stories, and anecdotes, and visuals (videos, etc.).

6. Give them a little bit more.

"You want to Supersize that?" was famous for a campaign that resulted in larger sizes for a little more money. It made an order for a burger, fries, and soft drink increase in size of volume, but also added an additional $0.80 per order, too. So, when people said, "Yeah, SuperSize me," they were giving permission to sell them something more.

My Dad once said to me that a doughnut shop taught him the key to success in business. "Scott, always give them a little bit more," was an expression he told me starting out. What he was referring to was the idea of giving people more than they paid you for. For example, he told me about this doughnut shop. He ordered a few special glazed doughnuts, a fill, and then a dozen "holes" for his toastmaster group. He said that someone in the group later counted the number of "holes" they received, and rather than a dozen, they'd been given thirteen. This didn't just happen once, it happened EVERY single time he ordered a dozen "holes" for the group. Notice, they had the repeat business to find out. Give them a little bit more than they expect, and they'll love you, buy from you, and always book you back again.

Sometimes, in a presentation, it is also good to give them one extra thing. Steve Jobs is a master at this. Other speakers, too: I remember that when I thought Zig Ziglar was done, he then went into a commitment talk and asked me to write my commitments down, and to do that one more thing for myself to make his talk matter. It is the one thing I took away, besides him up there working a pump saying "you gotta prime the pump!" from his talk.

7. Build a little suspense before selling anything.

Have you ever noticed a sales leader get up and start selling without giving you a reason to care? It's like the movie that starts with a character you don't know immediately shooting people. I always think, "Okay, so what, you haven't made me care about the characters." Character development matters. So, before you start selling, establish your character, create the story line of why it matters to your audience, then give them your pitch. The best in the business will always build more suspense prior to giving you the main sell. It's just good form.

Try building these 7 steps into how you WOW your group where you speak and see if you don't have a more powerful effect, higher results, and people writing good things about your public speaking.

Copyright © 2008 by Scott Andrews, Founder of AspireNow and CEO of ARRiiVE Business Solutions. Scott is available for Keynote Speaking.

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