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The #1 Most Costly but Avoidable Mistake of Presentations 

presentations

There are 66 words in the Lord’s Prayer, and most people can recite it.

There are 179 words in the 10 Commandments, and most people can name at least a few.

There are 282 words in the Gettysburg address, and most people can recognize it.

Then there are 26,911 words in the United States Government’s Regulation on the Sale of Cabbage, and nobody cares.

The point, as I originally learned from the above illustration by James C Humes, is that when it comes to presentations “less is better.”

Yet, it’s perhaps the number-one mistake that salespeople make in their sales presentations and speakers in their keynote presentations: they talk too much.

They go too long. They share too many details. They divulge too much information.

And as a result, their overall message gets diluted and decreases the likelihood of moving anyone to action.

As presenters, we think that it’s the opposite.

We think we’re serving the audience by trying to squeeze more in but we’re not; we’re dis-serving them.

More is not always better, and that’s especially true when it comes to persuasive presentations.

Too often salespeople talk past the close and miss out on the chance to make what should’ve been an easy sale. Too many presenters drone on and on about useless details that water down what could’ve otherwise been an impactful message. In both instances we miss the mark because we share too much.

Experienced presenters know differently.

I remember when I was working on one of my practice presentations for the World Championship of Public Speaking, I was trying to whittle down my presentation from 9 minutes to the allowable 7.

I had spent 9 months pouring over it, not being able to figure out what to cut out. I felt like everything had to be in there.

And then I sent it to one of my speaking coaches David Brooks, the 1990 World Champion of Public Speaking. He said, “Let me have a quick look at it and see if I can give you some ideas”.

Twenty minutes later he emailed me back the speech, and he had reduced it from about 900 words to 600 just by deleting parts that weren’t critical, changing a few words here and there, and suggesting to replace some of the words with stories and facial expressions that could make the points much faster.

I immediately called him on the phone and said “David, I can’t believe this, you did in 20 minutes what I’ve been trying to do for 9 months!”

He replied, “No Rory, that took me 20 years to learn how to do.”

David went on later to say, “The masters tell the audience every word they need to know but not a word more.”

If you’re in sales (and we all are), or you do any other type of presentations, we should all learn how to do the same.

Succeeding in the Speaking Industry with Brian Tracy – Episode 163 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Speaking Industry

Brian Tracy is an Author, Keynote speaker and seminar leader. He addresses more than 250,000 people each year on the subjects of personal and professional development and has studied, researched, written and spoken for 30 years in the fields of economics, history, business, philosophy and psychology. He is the top selling author of over 70 books that have been translated into dozens of languages.He has written and produced more than 300 audio and video learning programs, including the worldwide, best-selling Psychology of Achievement, which has been translated into more than 28 languages.

Prior to founding his company, Brian Tracy International, Brian was the Chief Operating Officer of a $265 million dollar development company. He has had successful careers in sales and marketing, investments, real estate development and syndication, importation, distribution and management consulting. He has conducted high level consulting assignments with several billion-dollar plus corporations in strategic planning and organizational development. He has traveled and worked in over 107 countries on six continents, and speaks four languages. Brian is happily married to Barbara and has four children. Brian is active in community and national affairs, and is the President of three companies headquartered in Solana Beach, California.

Show Highlights:

  • Without self-discipline, hard work, and focus, you really can’t accomplish anything. @BrianTracy
  • “The Master key to riches is self-discipline” – Napoleon Hill
  • “Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.” – Albert Hubbard
  • Self-discipline is the catalyst or linchpin that makes all the other principles work. @BrianTracy
  • Manage your time, get organized, set priorities and determine most important thing and stay with it until it’s complete. @BrianTracy
  • I didn’t graduate high school so I thought washing dishes was my future. @BrianTracy
  • I had 3 major turning points in my life:    @BrianTracy
    1. Discovered I was responsible for my own life.
    2. Discovered the importance of written goals and plans.
    3. Discovery of personal development
  • Discipline yourself to do what you need to do to accomplish the goals that are important to you. @BrianTracy
  • Every high powered person is very responsible. @BrianTracy
  • I found the only way to be successful was to go back to basics. @BrianTracy
  •  My focus has been to teach people how to dramatically increase the rate at which they reach their goals. @BrianTracy
  • When speaking, romance your points. Give more stories and low it down so they can assimilate it. @BrianTracy
  • Rory shares his checklist for how to get started and to be successful as a professional speaker! @rory_vaden
  • The number one element for becoming a great speaker is: Be a student. @rory_vaden
  • It’s not about age time, it about stage time. @rory_vaden
  • Take charge of your own success. @rory_vaden
  • You can’t afford to wait to be discovered; your dream is too valuable. @rory_vaden
  • Don’t allow your pursuit of your dream to compromise your other targets. @rory_vaden

To connect with Brian and find materials on self confidence, goal setting and much more visit: briantracy.com

This is a special extended interview with Brian Tracy. The extended interview is all about wealth and successful habits of millionaires! To receive the extended bonus interview, send an email to rorypodcast@gmail.com with just your FIRST NAME in the subject line and it will be sent to you in an email format.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

How to overcome your fear of public speaking

Rory Vaden Public Speaker

I am amazed that it has already been over eight years since I came in second at the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking.

And still to this day many interviewers ask me questions about that season in my life, which was so long ago. The most common question asked is, “How did you overcome your fear of speaking in public?”

It really is quite simple.

First, you have to have an understanding of what causes this type of fear in general.

Fear is the result of a self centered perspective. It is thinking about whether or not you’ll be good enough, whether other people will like it, or whether you are ready.

In other words, fear results when you’re thinking about all of the bad things that could happen to you.

That is amplified when you think about being in front of a room full of people. If something goes wrong, you not only have the personal embarrassment you would feel of making a mistake, but it is compounded by the humiliation of having many people witness it live.

In general, fear is your creativity working in the wrong direction.

In this instance, fear results as you allow yourself to daydream about all of the terrible things that could happen to you while you are up speaking.

So the solution to overcoming this fear is very simple…

The solution is to not think about yourself.

The solution is to be others-centered.

The solution is to think about other people-specifically the audience.

The solution is to think about how you are going to help them – and not worry about you.

If you simply direct all of your energy into helping them rather than into worrying about yourself, your presentation, what you’re going to say, and whether or not they are going to like you…your fear will go away.

“It’s hard to be nervous when your heart is on service.”

So right before any presentation I do not think as much about what I’m going to say, or what people are going to think about me.

Instead, I stand back stage behind the curtain and I look out over the room. And then I pick people out of the crowd one by one.

And in my mind I think about what life might be like to be that person. I think about what are the types of things that person might be struggling with on a day-to-day basis. I create a story in my mind about some of the physical, mental, emotional, financial, professional, relational, and spiritual challenges they might be dealing with.

I think about how hard it might be to be that person.

And then I think about how likely it is that this person has only a very small few number of people – if any – who constantly encourage them in their life.

In that moment, when I feel connected to that person, I simply ask God to use me in a way that would help them. That He would give me the words to say that would encourage them. That the ideas that I share would excite them.

And then I move on to the next person.

I consider that as my creativity working in the positive direction.

It takes all of the focus off of me and my fear goes away with it.