It’s your turn! It’s your turn to stand up and share your story, at a networking event. The moderator of the group says, “Don’t just do a feature dump about all of the solutions, products or services your company provides. Tell us how you and your company delivered a life changing, mind altering solution that helped your client become the huge success he is today. Tell us an amazing story.” Your mind freezes. You can’t even think of one compelling story that will leave your audience with something that will be truly memorable, helpful and valuable.
There are countless situations when you meet with someone and it seems that many of them can’t seem to shut up about themselves. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME and then announce we only have five minutes left. . .tell Me about you.
If you only have 5 minutes or less
If you are in a competitive situation it is often best to be the last to present. We often hear that being in the coveted last presentation spot ensures you will be the most memorable. The same might be said for networking lunches and one-on-one meetings, but only if you are good. You have to be concise and keep it moving. Yes, you have to tell a memorable story, quickly.
Whether we are talking about you specifically or your brand everything is about content these days. Have amazing content or be among the forgotten. I have been to a few presentations this week for social media week in Chicago. Several times the “content marketing arms race” and “authentically engaging with them (your audience)” were mentioned in a variety of ways. We have been educating our clients for many years about this. . .kind of amazing that this seems to be the big buzz this year. Remember that this is true for both you and your brand when telling your story.
A few tips from an actor’s point of view.
As an actor and voiceover artist I believe in being entertaining when presenting to a group. But how many times have you listened to someone who drones on and on? Someone who talks but doesn’t ever get to the point; he doesn’t know when to stop. Here are just a few tips many public speakers forget that will help you tell a better story. . .
- Say it quickly; make your point and then stop.
- Write it down if you can’t remember the important points; writing important tips on your hand is completely acceptable. Make it conversational. Talk to them – don’t talk at them.
- Have a few different stories and topics prepared for different audiences.
- Practice, practice, practice in front of a mirror, friends, colleagues or on camera. Stop those irritating tics. . .unnatural facial habits, hand movements and pacing.
- Don’t make excuses. Not everyone is a public speaker but if you choose to speak in public be the best you can be.
- And never start you story with, “I’m not a very good public speaker”. You’ve lost your audience before you continue.
- Planking. . .You are not a board. Don’t be too stiff. Loosen up.
- Be professional but be different. Find the emotional connection with your audience.
Planking. . .Don’t do it unless you are a professional
Time for you to tell us your story.
It’s your turn. Tell us an amazing story about you, your brand, solution or product. I will then help share your story with our followers (as long is rated for all audiences.
Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlue Digital Media: A New Awakening for Brands, Businesses, Individuals and Agencies. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN) in the Chicago Area.