Browse Category: Brand Building

Business stories are often about the people that run them

Rudi had the energy and build of a scrum half. He bounced into my office and thrust his hand out to shake mine. He had teeth and over the ear hair that advertisers dream of. But he wasn’t smiling that day. He was a customer and he wasn’t happy. By a strange quirk of fate I had ended up running a group of companies in Germany. One of them made wooden windows and doors. Rudi and his small team of 5 were resellers – they sold windows and doors in a 150 mile radius, bought them from our company and fitted them for a day rate and a small premium. The problem was – the margins were so small that you if you had to go back to fix something you would make a loss. If you had to go back twice it soon became expensive. And he was having massive problems with our products that were costing him money.

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Presentation Coaching

Presentation Coaching – We Are All Amateurs and Armchair Experts

“I bet he didn’t get any presentation coaching.”

X Factor was the first big show to turn us all into armchair experts. Then followed all the other instant celebrity shows. When I visited the amazing Olympics in London, brilliant explanatory videos and introductions to each “show” taught us spectators how to be instant and superficially, knowledgeable critics who knew exactly what to watch out for.

We have all seen presentations. Some of us have occasionally even seen ones that are passable or good. We all instinctively know what makes a cringeworthy or ineffective presentation. Boring facts, reading from a list-laden Powerpoint presentation, showing the audience your back, having technology issues, not knowing your stuff, lack of eye contact. The list goes on and on.

It is easy to say what is wrong with a presentation. It is not so easy to coach presenters so that they give less bad, better or even good presentations. Reading a book or a blog is all very well.

But what usually happens when your palms are sweating and your face feels flushed and the audience are rolling their eyes? You feel blind, primitive fear. You want to run out of the room, tell your boss that you are sorry for losing the client before you even know that you have.

The last thing on your mind is the content and the words in the presentation folder or blog or book that you read last week. You may know exactly where the book or the folder is – even what shelf they are on. But you cannot, for the life of you, remember what those pearls of wisdom in them are. Let alone apply them to your current awful situation.

Books make you more aware, on an intellectual level, of what to do and not to do in presentations. Presentation coaching makes you more able to give good presentations.

P.S. I offer presentation coaching! 

Speech writer perspective – The different types of speeches and the characteristics of a good speech

Speech writer perspective – the different types of speeches and the characteristics of a good speech

There are three main ties of speech. Business speeches, political speeches and social speeches.

Professional speeches or Business Speeches include pitches and presentations, AGM speeches to stakeholders, fundraising speeches and select committee interviews and speeches.

Political speeches include getting selected speeches and getting elected speeches, constituency speeches, parliamentary speeches, special interest speeches such as Human Trafficking or Housing, factory or visit speeches and international speeches such as speeches to the United Nations and similar international organisations.

Social speeches are the most obvious – they include best man speeches, wedding speeches, funerals speeches, after dinner speeches, birthday speeches and speeches at your golf, sporting or social club.

Although as a speech writer I have helped thousands of people prepare for most own these types of speeches, my focus has always been on political speeches and business speeches.

But the same principles apply to all the different types of speeches and speechwriting – and so do the 10 elements of MessageCraft.

You can also tell a good speech from some basic key characteristics which I outline for you here.

Characteristics of a good speech:

  • Clearly, confidently and naturally delivered
  • Different and original – this is tricky – copy and paste speeches are just endorsement speeches
  • Delivered well and showing some clarity of thought
  • Made up of short words – and not many of them – long speeches are boring even when delivered by the William Hague’s of this world.
  • Memorable not because of what you say but because of what your speech makes your audience think about and how your speech makes your audience feel.

 


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