My Keys To Leadership CDs is something I’ve written about before on this blog, so you can check that post out if you’d like. Of course, the back story is so much more fun. But I told that story on the other post; what more is there?
The day I did the first seminar, which led to the first CD, I was at a crossroads in the early part of my career. I wasn’t a happy guy. I was doing some sporadic subcontracting work with this other company that was leaving me very frustrated. The money was good, but the working relationship was not.
I’m all about communications. When I was a director, I made sure to keep the lines of communications open with those who worked for and with me. If something needed explaining, I made sure to do it right, especially if I needed it done a specific way. The owner of the company I was doing the work for wasn’t quite that type. She expected people to just know how she wanted things. That might have been fine for the people who worked for her where she lived, which was in the Baltimore, MD area, but I didn’t see her on a daily basis. I knew my work, but not how she wanted it presented all the time. Sometimes I’d give it to her and it’d be what she wanted, while other times I’d present it to her and she’d say that’s not what she wanted, without an explanation.
Still, it was bringing in money that I needed. But I wasn’t happy, and I knew I was going to have to make a decision at some point. That’s another reason I had set the seminars up, and even though I’d definitely picked the wrong time to do them (you’ll have to go to that other link to learn why), I figured it might tell me something about myself no matter what happened.
I gave the presentation that Wednesday night and it felt really good. And the topics I discussed made me realize that it was time to end that association, to drop that client for my mental health. So when I came home I wrote her, since she never answered her phone, and said I was done. And you know what? She never responded, never acknowledged, never asked me why… as if I didn’t exist. She could have cared less; I meant nothing to her except a body that might have had a few skills, and based on how she was treating me, I’d started to question that as well.
For the next two months I was floundering; that loss of money was big, and my mind wasn’t in a great place. Then I got my mind in a better place, not only after revisiting my own words when I was creating the sound files, but that’s when I started getting into motivational things. Within two weeks of starting that process I had both a short term project then a very long term project, and I was on my way.
And that’s the rest of the story. Anyway, this is am immediate download product; you can buy either one or both presentations, and on the site there’s also a sample clip, for those of you who’ve never heard any of the interviews I’ve done, so you can hear my voice as well. Here’s the product link to Keys To Leadership, which is also there to the left underneath my book.
Most of you know I’ve been doing these workshops and seminars on social media marketing. You might even know I’m now doing another seminar on October 2nd locally; I’ll be creating my “sticky post” about it soon. I’ve had many people come to me and say “I could never stand in front of others and give a presentation.”
I can honestly say that I can see why it would freak people out. One of the issues with blogging is that we all put our thoughts and beliefs out here for the masses, and at some point someone could come along, say something bad about it, and pretty much ruin your day. If that happens in person, it could feel like it’s even worse than blogging.
The fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia, alternates almost yearly as the biggest fear of most people, only supplanted by death. It’s hard for someone like me to believe that people can actually have that much fear of speaking to others, but I guess it could be because there are way more opportunities to speak than there are to die, morbid as that sounds.
I have never had an issue with public speaking. Even as a kid, I could get in front of a room of other kids and do my thing. I’m not really sure how, since I have my periods of being an introvert, and other periods where I’d just rather be hidden and not have to worry about people looking at me. However, I guess those periods where I have to do what I have to do come out, and after all, how could one want to be a public speaker if one couldn’t figure out how to speak in front of others?
So, what are the basics of the art of public speaking? Here are my 5 basics, some of which I’m assuming you’ll have seen elsewhere, and some of which I hope I’m the first one who’s saying it, but I doubt I am.
1. You need to like what you’re talking about. How come you can tell jokes to a group of your friends at a party? Why is it that every kid in the world can learn song lyrics to music they like yet can’t pass a history test? Because you liked the joke when you heard it, or kids liked the song they were listening to. It’s why many guys can quote some of the most obscure sports stats sometimes. If you like what you’re talking about then it’s an easier thing to deal with.
2. You need to know what you’re talking about. Our new friend Patricia knows a lot about lavender, and I hope you’ve visited her blog. If I asked her to talk about RAC audits (don’t ask) she’d be way out of her league. She’d probably sweat and get really nervous and try to do some research, if she even agreed to talk on it at all, but she’d never get comfortable with the topic. The same goes for me and lavender; I know what it is, I like the smell, and I’ve used the oil, but there’s no way I could ever get up and talk about it. If you know your topic, it becomes easier to talk about it.
3. You need to rehearse what you’re talking about. When I’m going to be giving a presentation, I go into the living room and I rehearse. I go there because my wife has four mirrors on one wall, and that gives me the opportunity to practice looking around the room so that when I’m doing it live I’ll remember to do that same thing. Even when I’ve done the couple of webinars and podcasts that I’ve been asked to do, I’ve rehearsed as if I was giving a live presentation in front of others. Even Zig Ziglar, who’s been giving presentations for more than 40 years, says that he rehearses before each speaking engagement, even if he’s speaking on a topic he’s addressed in the past.
4. You’re allowed to have notes or outlines or anything else you need to help you stay on point. Most of the time when I’m giving long presentations, I will have a powerpoint presentation along with me. When I rehearse I always have an outline to work with to make sure I stay on point. When I’m putting on a relatively short presentation, as I did with my Keys To Leadership seminars, I did them without notes, but because I had rehearsed I know what I was going to talk on and only had to memorize the topics. People who come to watch you give a presentation aren’t looking for perfection all the time; they’ve either come for the knowledge or because they like you as a speaker.
5. Remember that the majority of people who are there to see you are not only there to hear what you have to say, but they’re sitting there amazed at how brave you are because they can’t see themselves standing in front of anyone doing what you’re doing. That’s actually the first thing to try to recognize once you’re close to giving a presentation. The difference between a good and bad presentation often comes down to confidence. If a speaker can project an air of confidence, people will be on their side. No one wants to see any speaker fail, especially if one is interested in the topic. Of course, don’t be so overconfident that you forget why people are there in the first place either.
As y’all know, I’ve been doing some workshops on social media marketing. I expect to do more, and I’m working with my friend Renée to possibly do a local workshop the first weekend of October.
To Be Taught by Katrina Lopez
It’s actually the first time I’ve done the same exact workshop more than once, and if I’m going to be doing it more and more I need to continue to refine it to a degree. This is different than a one-and-done, which I’m usually used to doing, mainly because some of the participants might talk with other potential visitors, and thus you want to always try to be better each time you do a live presentation. However, sometimes it’s not all that easy. Here are 10 things I’ve learned from the first two presentations.
1. You can’t control the traffic. Of all things, there was a major tractor/trailer accident on the major highway to get to where I was giving the presentation. It took them 6 hours to clear things up, which of course meant that all the people who were on their way were going to be late, since it seems none of them had listened to the news to know the accident had already occurred. The seminar ended up starting 80 minutes late; oh well…
2. There’s a different between a formal group and a nonformal group. With the first group, I didn’t know any of the people who came. With the second, I knew everyone who came. The first group listened intently, asked questions when they had them respectfully, and all was good. The second group had a couple of people who wanted to try to share what they knew about some of the things I was talking about and basically just blurted out things as they saw fit. That made for a rough day, especially since they still insisted on finishing at the same time even though we started late.
3. People form their own expectations of what they think they’ll get out of your presentation, no matter what you tell them. I think the flyer was very clear on our objectives; you will learn what you need in order to create a social media marketing campaign of your own for your business. First time around, one lady said she came to learn ways to keep people from asking them a lot of questions. This time around, one guy said he was hoping to learn how to find time in his busy schedule to do this type of marketing. Both said they didn’t get what they came for; that was expected since I wasn’t teaching what they were expecting, and didn’t come close to indicating that’s what I was going to do.
4. When people think they know your topic, they actually don’t most of the time. One guy at the last workshop said he used LinkedIn a certain way. When I made a suggestion based on my material and knowledge he said he didn’t want to use it that way. I said that was fine, went on with my presentation, and he kept interrupting to counter how it wouldn’t work for him, which was disruptive, until I got to one point when he finally said he got it. Another guy said his impression of Twitter was that it was writing things on the internet via one’s cellphone. He also said he’d spent the previous day participating in a webinar on social media marketing. Either he missed that part or it wasn’t very good if his impression of Twitter was so bad. But early on he’d been someone who said he didn’t want to talk about Twitter much, and it was based on his misperception of what it was. He’s still not going to do it, but at least I now know he understands what it’s really about.
5. When people think they know you, sometimes they just don’t understand how to respect you. I’ve thought about this one a lot over the past few days. One of the people there does presentations around town, and I’ve seen him in action a couple of times. I know his topic, as I’ve read many of the same books he’s read. I’ve written about his topic on both this blog and my business blog, and in other articles in other places. Yet, whenever I’ve seen him present, I’ve never interrupted him or called him out on something I’ve read, and rarely offered anything else. In my mind, he’s the presenter, the professional at that moment, and it’s not about me but about what he has to share, and if I can get a nugget then it’s all good. However, it seems many people aren’t like that, and thus you have to work on building up a thick enough skin to deal with it at the time, and figure out what to do with it later on. I’m still working on that second part.
6. It’s always nice when you see someone have an “aha” moment. At the first workshop, I happened to mention Meebo and how I use it for business. This one guy thought it was a great idea, and on the spur of the moment he figured out many ways he could use it in his business and the customer service benefits of it. And the thing that felt good is that he was a marketing consultant who came to learn about social media marketing and actually got something really beneficial out of it.
7. Doing a workshop is like trying to teach someone how to play a musical instrument. I play piano, and while I was in college, people would ask me to teach them how to play. So I’d start by telling them where middle C was, and they’d invariably say “I don’t want to learn all that, I just want to learn how to play a song. In music, you can’t learn how to play anything until you know a couple of foundation pieces to help you know where you need to put your fingers. With social media marketing, if you have no idea what it is or why it can be beneficial then it does me no good to tell you how to use it. A couple of times I got interrupted by someone asking me how they could use something when I was still building the foundation as to why it was important. Since they already had my presentation in their hands, they knew what was coming. I would always have to say “I’m going to get to that”, which is irritating, but you do what you have to do.
8. Building the foundation is important. Why? Because at the end of each workshop there was at least one person who came to me and said they didn’t know any of the stuff I taught them, and how much they appreciated that I took the time explaining it all and then giving them ideas on how to use it. That’s what it’s all about, and the thing anyone who gives a presentation of any kind has to remember. Because…
9. You can’t please everyone. Well, if they’re open to what you have to say maybe you can, but in general you’re going to hit some home runs, and you’re going to have to bunt to get on base a couple of times. I go to very few things where, in the long run, I didn’t think I made a good decision. That’s called evaluation, and if you have everything you need, you should be able to evaluate whether something will help you or not. I know that the two workshops reached the majority of the people who came, and I’ve always been a numbers guy, so in my mind they were both fairly successful.
10. Rehearsing is paramount. I can’t believe people will put together a presentation and not rehearse it, then wonder why things didn’t go well. The first presentation went six hours including a 45-minute lunch break. The second one went 4 hours and 45 minutes with a 30 minute lunch break. I presented over 4 hours both time, yet ended up not quite giving the same presentation each time. Without rehearsing, timing different concepts to see how long they would take for me to talk about, building in what I considered was legitimate question time, I wouldn’t have known how to change things up to achieve my objective. And I really needed that skill the second time around.
I could add more but this post is already long enough. Suffice it to say I’m definitely doing more of these, and hopefully each time I do it, I’ll learn something else I can use the next time.
Two months ago I posted a survey here and asked y’all to complete the survey and earn some free tips.
For those of you who didn’t see it, the survey was about training and how people would like to receive training, and many other questions concerning it. Along with a friend of mine, Renee Scherer of Presentations Plus, I did my first webinar earlier this year, which you see the advertisement for there in the second spot at the top left. We plan on doing more, and each of us has certain talents that we give presentations on, as well as a couple of shared things.
For instance, Renee gives presentations on anything Microsoft Office related. She recently gave one to an organization on Microsoft Office tips, and I’ll be giving one to that same group in either April or May on social media.
My topics are a bit more broad because I’m all over the place, as you know. I’m not going to start spouting them all here again, but if you want to just take a look at my one business website and then my other business website to see some of what I do.
Anyway, something that doesn’t happen all that often when someone does a big survey is that they don’t share any of the results of the survey. Y’all know me; I’m all about sharing, thus Renee and I are sharing the results of the survey with you, which I found very interesting overall. And, if you put your name and email in at the bottom to get on our mailing list, you’ll receive two free little gifts for your trouble. Hey, it’s the holiday season, right? Just so you know, the mailing list will be private and protected, and will only be used whenever we’re doing a webinar or seminar of some type, and then to mention the product created from that process. Otherwise, you’ll never hear from us; that’s my guarantee.
By the way, y’all know how I’m always trying to get more publicity. Well, this time around, I’m in a magazine article, the first one quoted, and I even got my picture in it, though it’s in black and white; hey, you take what you can get. If you’re interested, I turned it into a pdf and you can download it. The story is called Webinar Anyone? Enjoy that as well.
And remember, if your group or organization needs a speaker on any of the topics in the survey, and pays, reach out to me; will speak for pay! 😉
Something you hear many of the internet marketing gurus talking about is creating your own products, especially information products. Supposedly there’s this big market for almost anything that’s intellectual property, and big money can be made from these things.
Well, I’m about to somewhat challenge that view by talking about my own products that I’ve created. Some I’ve talked about here, while I haven’t talked about the others. So, I’m going to do that here, with links to where I might have talked about a product before, and then talk about the other things I have. Of course, within those other links is a link to my product.
First, for this crowd, is my book Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool, which is up there at the top left of this blog. Do you know how many people have actually visited the book from this blog? Four ever; period. That’s it. Now, to be slightly fair, the last time I actually promoted the book in full was in August, but come on, only four people ever, with all the visitors I have coming to this blog? All the people who say they’re interested in making money, all the people who have businesses with lousy websites, and I could only drive four people to that site? That’s pretty pathetic. What’s also pathetic is that for each of the times I’ve written about this book, I didn’t get a single comment on that post; I’m obviously a terrible marketer.
The second thing you see over there is for my webinar Social Media, SEO & Your Business in 90 Minutes. That post also didn’t get a single visit, and I’ve driven 3 people to check out the ad for the book from this blog. At least it’s newer than the other ebook, but still,… And, once again, no comment on this post, though I did get a couple of comments when I was talking about it before I actually did the webinar. Once again, created product, but lousy marketing I assume.
Next, look to the left there under the ad for 123Inkjets. This is my book Embrace The Lead, the one product I’m the most proud of. It was a labor of love, and I worked hard on completing it before my dad passed away. I was able to get 9 people from this blog to go look at it, but that’s not really great either. It has been my biggest selling product over the years, as I sell it in both electronic and soft cover form (I’ll even autograph a copy if asked). But I have to admit I’d have thought I’d make at least one sale from it off this blog, which has never happened. I have made a sale because of my Mitch’s Blog, which is my business blog, but not this one. And I’ve had two different squeeze pages for this book, but neither has generated all that much action ever, which is why it’s a muted looking page integrated into my business website format.
Below that is my CD series Keys To Leadership, and I’ve driven 7 people from this blog to check it out, even though it got some nice comments here. Seems people were more interested in what I had to say on the blog, which was a pretty funny story, than actually deciding it was worth taking the time to go see what the CDs were all about. You know, it makes me wonder just how many people actually even use the Listen button at the top of each blog post instead of having to read some of my longer posts. Okay, that was a sidebar thing; don’t answer it. Once again, it had one of those fancy squeeze pages that I later decided didn’t work, and integrated it back into my business website.
The last two products I haven’t really talked about here, but I will now. One is called the Mitchell Manager Training Program, and is a training program for new managers who want to gain some skills in things managers or supervisors need to know, but don’t have time for a lot of deep theory. It also has a portion that talks about stress and time management, as well as a brief lesson on budgeting. Sure, it’s still around 150 pages long, but I wrote it to be fairly easy to understand. Two weeks ago I made my first online sale, as it was only maybe 4 months ago I turned it into a digital product and began marketing it in that fashion. This one has never had a squeeze page; I’ve always marketed it basically through my business website. I haven’t put it on this blog because, frankly, I figured I’d be wasting my time. After all, it hasn’t lit a spark for any of my other products.
And finally, there’s my Mitchell Employee Evaluation Module, which has always been on its own squeeze page, though I’ve thought about pulling it back within the business site. It’s about 27 pages worth of information and sheets that will help managers evaluate their employees, as well as set up criteria to use in evaluating new employees. Once again, I’ve only made one digital sale of this product, and the buyer seemed to be happy with it. I knew this one would have no interest whatsoever on this site, which is why I haven’t marketed it here before now.
So, there’s six information products that I’ve created, and how are the sales? Lousy. How is my marketing? Obviously lousy. See, a big part of the piece says to try to find out what someone is interested in, then create something towards that interest. The other part of it is that, if you’re not interested in that, how the heck can you write about it? Some of these gurus aren’t interested and don’t care about stuff. They pay someone else to write it, someone else to help market it, and collect the profits. It works best when they’re already big names in selling something else; I doubt most of us could get away with that.
And why would we want to? What could be more dishonest than that? Matt Cutts was talking about that once with a website that advertised medical services that someone needed for their mother, but when asked for more information they couldn’t give it because the person knew nothing about the procedure; they had paid someone else to write it for them so they could put their name on it. How irritated would you be about something like that?
In any case, this post has a twofold purpose. One, to highlight all of the products I’ve created thus far; more are coming as I move along. And two, to show you that even creating your own products doesn’t guarantee success or interest. This doesn’t mean don’t create new things; it just means to temper your thoughts on how successful it might be once you put it out there.