​PowerSpeaking Blog: Tips and strategies for crafting presentations

The Fine Art of Drinking Wine from a Beer Glass (or, Knowing What a Customer Wants)

Say your company is offering a new line of artisanal beer glasses designed by local glass blowers. You’ve just stepped in front of the C-level team of a large wine and spirits firm to wow them with your product.   You don’t want to waste any time, so you launch right into your pitch. Three minutes into your presentation, the CEO stops you and says, “Wait. We’re discontinuing our beer line this winter.” Uh-oh. Wrong product, wrong time? Not necessarily.  Listening more upfront, establishing the need before you advocate, or having an internal coach can avoid wasted time.


It’s a Conversation, Not a Pitch

Ever tried to have a conversation with someone who absently nods while you talk because—you can see—he or she is just waiting to say what they want to say?  Annoying, right?  Makes you feel like getting up and walking out of the room?  Welcome to the world of a potential customer who is at the receiving end of a one-way sales pitch.  


Know Thy Customer

KNOW THYSELF?  BETTER YET:  KNOW THY CUSTOMER.  The sales landscape is littered with stories of salespeople who pitched products and services to potential customers they didn’t bother to research.  Taking a naïve (at best) or arrogant (at worst) approach, these kind of salespeople think all they need to do is dazzle with facts, figures and sales acumen to seal the deal.  Or they think the product pretty much sells itself, so why do any research about potential buyers?

We recently interviewed 24 top executives in the process of developing our SalesSpeaking® course.  Listen to Sharon Black, President of Strategic Accounts at Robert Half International, as she tells the story of the novice salesperson who didn’t put much stock in knowing his audience.  


Five Ways Good Communication Creates Success

The new year is a great time to evaluate your direction and opportunities. Public speaking extends beyond formal presentations and can translate directly into career potential. In 2018, improving your communication skills may be more important than ever. Here are five ways public speaking can advance your life:


Learning From a Master: The Power of Oprah's Speech

Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globe speech has been heralded as one of the best speeches in the last 50 years. How did she inspire her audience as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement?  Read on to catch the analysis, transcript, and video in this week’s PowerSpeaking’s blog…and ask yourself, “What’s the application to business?"


Crafting Holiday Speeches: Six Tips for Any Leader to Inspire

A holiday party is the perfect time to express appreciation! Take time to inspire your team by crafting a holiday talk that sets up a revitalized team in the new year. Here are six tips any leader can use to create a memorable moment. 


How to Be a CEO: Six Habits of the Highly Successful

Uncovering trends among what makes executives successful is useful for anyone climbing the corporate ladder. It helps to see what paths lead to success and what skills are needed to get there. The trouble with successful CEOs is that a large number don’t fit the mold for the stereotypical expectation. However, there are some qualities that explain how these people become leaders of their organizations. Recently we interviewed  top Silicon Valley executives and together with feedback collected at the New York Times, compiled a short list of habits everyone can use to ensure their leadership skills. Read on to learn which six qualities CEOs need to be highly successful.


Video Preview: Guiding Principles for Starting Effective Sales Conversations

Starting an engaging sales conversation takes more than the words you use — it’s about presence. Watch this short clip from our newly redesigned SalesSpeaking® program to understand the role presence plays, and how to break free of routine interaction. As Everett Oliven, Group VP Sales at Oracle says, you won’t be successful if “you take a cookie-cutter solution to a complex problem.” Learn how to move the conversation forward at every stage of the sales process with SalesSpeaking. Our next program is December 7.



5 Tips for Crafting Inspirational Speeches

How to Inspire like Royalty: 5 Tips for Crafting Inspirational Speeches

This month we take a look at what it means to be inspirational, and how to communicate with impact. At the office or making a toast at the dinner table, these tips will help you speak with effective passion.

This past Saturday, November 11th, the United States celebrated Veterans Day to honor our military veterans. This time of year reminds us of the closing remarks recently made at this year’s Invictus Games. Founded by Prince Harry in 2014, this international multi-sport event hosts wounded or sick armed services personnel. In his closing remarks, Prince Harry makes use of a few key strategies that transform his words into an inspirational message. Follow these 5 tips to make your toast a legendary memory.


Six Ways Extroverts (and Anyone) Speak with Influence

Last time we reviewed how introverts could become more effective in times of stress. For an introvert, stressful communication can happen anytime - whether in a social setting or workplace interaction. Verbalizing can trigger a fear of judgement because their brain takes more steps to process incoming information. For an extrovert stimulation is processed straight-forward and can be immediately received. This means any formal or social interaction can be rewarding and fun. In communication extroverted speakers often employ the following habits that make them engaging and influential. Whether you are a natural introvert, extrovert or something in-between, practicing these 6 steps will help anyone become an influential communicator.

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