Thursday, August 26, 2010

Speaking Season - 12 of 107

Sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you fight...

Grand Island, NE last night. Great turnout, great presentation, low return.

What do you do when you know you spoke well, yet didn't yield the results you wanted? There's a lot that goes into the success of any presentation, beyond the success of the presentation itself. That is, you can speak well, but there are many other factors at work.

Let's assume (despite the fact that that is one of the biggest mistakes to make) that you were brilliant. The sound and video were perfect. The room was full and you have a great product, service, idea or inspirational perspective to offer the audience.What can go wrong?

1) People Have a Life....and sometimes it doesn't go well. Bad days don't mix well with evening sales presentations - motivational/inspirational speakers have a better shot to turn bad days around than sales folk do, but it's still an uphill battle.

2) People Have Finances...and they can't always buy, no matter how much they want to. Are you in a financially depressed area with an audience to match? I can't control who comes to my presentations, but if you work for yourself, be sure to manage your marketing to an audience who can afford you and your solutions.

3) People Have Priorities...and if your offering doesn't shift them, you're out of luck.

4) People Like to Wait...particularly here in the Great Midwest, where the 'sleep on it' mantra is nearly a biblical commandment. Be patient, results can improve with time.

5) People Don't Like Your Offer...not everything is for everyone, everywhere. No matter how great it is. If you don't like carrots, and all I've got is carrots, you'll go buy your peas elsewhere. Even if I tell you my carrots taste like peas if you close your eyes and see your goal of eating peas.

6) People Don't Like You...yeah it happens. You can't be everyone's favorite flavor. Maybe it was your suit, your accent, or just the fact you reminded them of someone that used to beat them up in the third grade. Get over it, make sure you didn't have ketchup on your tie or toilet paper flowing from the back of your shoes, and move on with life.

If you think of more - please add some below.

The bottom line is to remember that you can only control what you can control. That's not an excuse, that's a fact. Control your attitude, you interactions, your dress, your delivery, your equipment, your stage environment, all to the best of your ability at the time. Take a moment after each presentation and do a self-inventory, and adjust for next time. As long as you know you are putting forth the best effort you can, let the result chips fall where they may. If you're not doing the best you can...well, that's an issue for a different post :)

Tonight's a new night. Time to get ready to Speak...& Deliver!

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