Take the Sting Out of Negative Feedback

Take the Sting Out of Negative Feedback

One of the risks of giving presentations is receiving negative feedback. Bad reviews happen. Lick your wounds, but don’t dwell on it or let it shake your confidence.  Sometimes we’re off our game. Sometimes we’re not the right fit for the audience.

Occasional low scores do happen, and you will get negative feedback. Your style and content can’t possibly appeal to each and every person. It’s almost like a rite of passage for speakers. It means you are taking risks and getting out there!

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Manage Your Mindset Before a Speaking Gig

Manage Your Mindset Before a Speaking Gig

A question I get a lot is, “How do you manage your mindset and energy before a talk?” Great question! Your mindset and energy have a direct impact on your delivery. You can have amazing content but if it’s not delivered well, you won’t get Crazy Good results!

Create an Energy Protection Plan

This strategy comes from step 10 of the Crazy Good Talks™ Blueprint. What I’ve done, and what I recommend you do, is create an Energy Protection Plan (EPP). An EPP is a series of practices put in place to protect your mindset and energy. I strongly suggest you create your own EPP because it ensures that when you’re onstage you are totally present for your audience and can give your best possible talk.

My Energy Protection Plan

1) No more e-mails, texts, or phone calls at least one hour prior to my presentation. Receiving news that I’m not expecting or don’t want to hear lowers my energy and affects my confidence. This, in turn, affects my delivery and conversion rate. To avoid this risk, I put away my phone before my talks.

2) Listen to and sing along with uplifting music. Alone. In my car. I love Christian Rock and listening to it puts me in the head and heart space for doing my best and really serving my audience. I also love “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and can belt that out like nobody’s business!

3) Move at a slower pace. Nothing gets me sweating and stressing more than being late. If I’m speaking first at a conference and haven’t been able to check in with the AV team the night before, I typically arrive 60 minutes before I speak. This gives me time to get set up and to address any environmental or tech issues. If I’ve already checked in with the team or we’ve had an official sound check, then I arrive 30 minutes before I speak. If I’m not first up, I like to go watch the speakers before me. This gets me in the groove of the conference and gives me material I can use when I take the stage.

4) Pray. A prayer that helps me stay focused and keeps me from getting anxious is, “Lord, please let me forget myself, remember my speech, and bless my audience.”

What practices can you put in place to protect your mindset and energy? For access to bonus content that will help you figure that out, watch Episode 11 of Crazy Good Talks TV!

Fear of Making Offers? Tips to Master Your Mindset

Fear of Making Offers? Tips to Master Your Mindset. 

Have you ever given a talk, but “didn’t have time” to make your offer to your audience? Or maybe you made an offer, but it came out like a mumbled apology? I get it. I used to do that too. It is very uncomfortable to give a talk where you go from educator at the beginning to salesperson at the end. Nobody wants to come off as “salesy”!

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Turn your Talks into Prospect-Converting Machines

Turn your Talks into Prospect-Converting Machines

If you are giving presentations with the goal of bringing in business, the results of each and every talk should be easy to measure. Over time, after giving several talks, you should be able to predict how many leads you will get and how many of those prospects will convert to clients, based on the audience type and size. Being able to book a talk and know how much business will come from it is a game-changer!

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Make Event Hosts Want to Book You

Make Event Hosts Want to Book You

In my last two blog posts, and in episodes 5 and 6 of Crazy Good Talks™ TV, you learned that speaking at hosted events is a powerful way to fill your pipeline without spending a dime. You also learned whom to reach out to and what to say when asking to get booked. There’s just one more piece to the puzzle: you have to get the event host to say, “Yes, we’d love to have you speak.”

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Booking Hosted Events to Keep Your Pipeline Full Without Spending a Dime

Booking Hosted Events to Keep Your Pipeline Full Without Spending a Dime:

One of the biggest challenges you may have in your business is keeping your pipeline full. Giving group presentations on a regular and consistent basis is a great way to do that! If you’re a financial advisor or insurance agent, when you think about giving a presentation, what probably pops in your head is holding your own workshop or seminar. While those can be a powerful source of revenue, you also know that it will take thousands of dollars spent on mailers and then thousands of dollars on catering, and sometimes you find everyone is just there for the food.

Speak Without Spending a Dime

Speaking in order to bring in leads doesn’t have to be expensive. By using step 11 of the Crazy Good Talks™ Blueprint, you can produce results without ever spending a dime: How? Begin speaking at hosted events.

Hosted events are just as they sound – events hosted by someone else. They get the bodies in the seats, they rent the room, they deal with all the marketing and logistics. You just show up.

Most of my clients who are what I call experts – speakers, authors, and consultants – already know about speaking at hosted events and may already be doing that. However, I find that my clients who are advisors or agents don’t realize these opportunities are open to them too. They often think, “No one would want me to speak to their group.”

I want to emphasize that you too, advisors and agents, should work on getting booked at other people’s events. It’s a lot cheaper, less time-intensive, and often it builds your credibility and visibility faster.

Book Hosted Events

There are two strategies I suggest for booking hosted events. I will present the first here, but you will have to stay tuned to next week’s episode of Crazy Good Talks™ TV for the second strategy!

Strategy #1: Search online for opportunities in your community. Regardless of where you live, it’s likely that in your community there are dozens of live events each week that bring in outside speakers.

These days there are groups for everything. Chances are good that you can find pre-existing groups full of your ideal prospects who meet regularly and who are looking to fill speaking slots for their meetings.

If you missed last week’s episode and want to access some Crazy Good bonus content to get you started finding hosted events, tune in to Episode 5 of Crazy Good Talks™ TV.

Make Your Audience Members Think You Are Talking to Each of Them Directly

Make Your Audience Members Think You Are Talking to Each of Them Directly

Have you ever felt like a speaker was talking directly to you? It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?  You feel connected to them. It feels like they really get you.  You’re more engaged and more likely to work with them.

A simple strategy from step 10 of the Crazy Good Talks Blueprint is all that you need to become a speaker who cultivates this type of connection with individual audience members.

Address them as individuals

Whenever speaking to a group of people, instead of addressing the audience as a group, address them as individuals. Most presenters say things like “How’s everyone doing today?” or “How many of you worry about paying for college?”

In this way, audience members feel that they are being addressed as a group. With a slight tweak in wording, you can make those same audience members feel as though you are speaking directly to them as individuals.

Use the word “you” as much as possible.

Instead of “How’s everyone doing today?” say “How are you doing today?”

Rather than “How many of you worry about paying for college?” say “Raise your hand if you’ve ever worried about paying for college”

Implementing this strategy

While this strategy is subtle, it is powerful. It can make a room full of people think, “Wow! She was talking directly to me!” However, I have found that while the concept is easy to grasp, it’s difficult for my clients to implement. It takes practice to rewire this speech habit.

If you missed last week’s video episode click here for more information on how to change group-focused language to you-focused language, and to gain bonus content that will help you change your speaking habits.

A Simple Strategy to Increase Your Conversion and Connection

A Simple Strategy to Increase Your Conversion and Connection

When you speak anywhere, your main objective should be connecting with your audience’s emotions to inspire action. Not only does this strategy increase audience engagement, but assuming your goal is booking appointments, you’ll increase your conversion rate too! So how do you connect with your audience in an impactful way? Read on below to learn about the power of the art of storytelling!

Step Four of the Crazy Good Talks Blueprint

Step Four of the Crazy Good Talks Blueprint is all about forging powerful emotional connections with your audience through the art of storytelling. However, you can’t tell any old story to accomplish this; a Crazy Good Talk contains one of four specific types of stories.

The Four Types of Stories

1. Your Why Story.

Explain why you do what you do, why you care about your given topic, and why you are passionate about this particular audience.

2. A Then, Now, and How Story.

This strategy goes over the story of a client who has gotten great results using your services. It highlights where the client started, and where they are now as a result of using your services.

3. A Client Vignette.

Simply stated, this is a short client testimonial told the format of an engaging story.

4. A Story to Illustrate a Point.

This story is intended to bring your facts and content to life by weaving together an entertaining tale. Specifically, this story offers a lesson to learn so your audience understands and remembers your point.

Now, would you like to learn an insider secret about storytelling – one that can significantly impact your conversion rate? When you tell stories, particularly your Then, Now, and How and Client Vignette versions, be sure to share stories about people who are similar to your specific audience.  

For example, if you’re a male advisor speaking to female executives, tell stories about the female executives you’ve worked with, or if you’re an expert consultant talking to business owners about succession plans, share stories about other business owners. Doing this will not only help you connect with your audience, but it will make them feel like you get them and that you’re one of them (even if you’re not).

Years ago, one of my clients, Matt, told a story to a group of moms about a woman named Allie who was like them, and struggling with their same issues. He had a 100% conversion rate of booked appointments that day, and we knew his story was one of the critical factors that made it happen! I would guarantee, if he had told a story about a fifty-year-old truck driver named Al, his conversion rate wouldn’t have been so strong.


Looking for a little bonus content or tips for telling Crazy Good Stories™?

If you missed last week’s video for this blog, go here to watch the video and grab a worksheet that will give you a detailed explanation of each story type, and questions to spark ideas for the stories you should be sharing!

Grab Your Audience’s Attention with Your Very First Words

Grab Your Audience’s Attention with Your Very First Words

Every member of your audience has in their hands something that could easily be more compelling than you are: their cell phone. Your challenge as a presenter is to grab the attention of your audience away from their phone with your very first words.

Unpleasant pleasantries

Think about the last presentation you heard. How did the presenter start? They most likely began with something standard like, “Thank you for having me here, my name is Deirdre Van Nest. Isn’t this weather crazy?!”

People will decide within the first 30 seconds of your talk whether they are going to tune in or tune you out. By starting with what I call “unpleasant pleasantries,” you will surely lose the battle for your audience’s attention.

Open with a bang!

So what do you do instead? You open with a bang! There are many ways to do this, but my favorite is the simplest: Ask your audience a carefully-constructed question that contains 3 important ingredients.

To learn more about how this technique can impact the quality of your presentations, and to gain bonus content that includes the 3 key components of a Crazy Good opening question, watch Episode 2 of Crazy Good Talks™ TV here!