October 28, 2008

Three Secrets of Presenters: Repetition, Illusion and Self-promotion

Last week, I saw two professional presenters I saw last year last year: Wayne Cotton and Anthony Morris. They're both entertaining, knowledgable and experienced. That's why I wanted to see them again.

I unlocked three secrets:
  1. Repeat What Works
  2. Fake Uniqueness
  3. Promote Yourself
Luckily, we can easily apply these techniques.

Repeat What Works
The topics Wayne and Anthony presented this year were essentially the same as what I'd already seen. Even though the descriptions looked different. Others who saw them before made the same comments. Yet the attendees accepted the reruns. This shows that the importance of the delivery, entertainment, and how little we remember. 

Thinking  back, I've seen Stephen Covey live several times. Each time, there was plenty of overlap in the content. Some of the same videos were replayed (e.g., Max and Max, Stone).

Earl Nightingale said that if you asked him to speak, you got his choice of topic. Maybe that happens with professional presenters. They choose or influence the topic. Or they tailor a standard presentation slightly. Why not? Once honed, why tinker drastically with a presentation that works?

Fake Uniqueness
Presenters make ideas seem unique when they really aren't. Yes, there are differences but the general ideas are similar. Think of alternatives to cold calling: Precision Marketing (Wayne Cotton), Magnetic Marketing (Dan Kennedy), Guerilla Marketing (Jay Levinson), Permission Marketing (Seth Godin), attraction marketing, pull marketing, laser marketing. These different systems achieve similar results: appealing to the right clients and repelling the wrong ones. So does viral marketing (what Seth Godin calls "sneezing" an ideavirus).

Trademark your approach and you've got something that looks unique but isn't entirely. We can do the same. For example, the Financial TRAIL to taming your financial risks starts with Trust and uses experts in Risk, Accounting, Investment and Law (TRAIL). Using a team of specialists to help a client with their financial risks is hardly unique, but this particular description is.

Promote Yourself
A top advisor sells in this order
  1. Sell yourself
  2. Sell your company
  3. Sell your product/service
  4. Sell your price
A mediocre advisor does the opposite, selling price first and themselves last. I can't remember the original source. Probably someone like Brian Tracy. 

The presenters I saw sold themselves first. Through their introductions, examples and stories. You felt they were different and you would benefit from their approaches ... even if delivered by others in their organizations. We can too.


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