Don’t Forget “For Instance”

Recently I was asked to help two executives get ready to sell their company, so we needed to perfect the sales pitch.

Within a week they would be putting their company on the chopping block.  It was time to get busy.

After a long drive and a wakeful night in a hotel,  I arrived at their offices at 7:00 am.

To start, I interviewed them on camera for two reasons: to get them acclimated to ...

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Guest Blog by Jonathan Li, President of The Expressive Leader

The first time I spoke in front of a group, my hands were shaking and my legs were trembling.

“G-g-g-g-good morning everyone,” I stuttered my opening.  “Today I will talk about…”

This was a terrible experience, and it motivated me to overcome my fear of public speaking. I read books, I watched TED talks, and I worked with public speaking coaches.

The next time I spoke a few months later, it was to an audience of about 200 people. Yes, I was still ...

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Think twice about the topic and length when you present

When invited to speak or present on a topic chosen by someone else, it’s time to negotiate the topic. And when invited to speak for 45 minutes, it’s time to negotiate the length of the talk.

I was recently asked to speak on the subject of differentiation in a sales presentation. I didn’t think that was a good idea.

A company differentiates itself either through its unique products and services, its unique strategy, or perhaps its key competency.  But not ...

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Drill down.  Dig deep.  Zoom in.

Persuading someone to buy a commodity requires a microscope. Let me explain.

Suppose you sell pencils.  Your buyer sees your pencil as a commodity because it looks like every other pencil he’s ever seen. But that’s because he’s not a pencil specialist.  He’s looking at your product from a distance, through binoculars.  He can’t see the deep down goodness of your pencil.  He can’t see all its ...

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Put Power Point to Work for You

When you need to use powerpoint slides, keep it simple, and use images to help you tell a story.

Often, clients ask me to help them knit together a talk with some slides. Once, I was asked to develop a presentation to introduce a major Human Resources initiative across a global company. When I arrived, the client had close to 50 bullet powerpoint slides.  When I left this morning, he had eleven slides, and not one bullet point in sight.

I think ...

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Eloquence is reason set on fire

Every idea is an incitement… Eloquence may set fire to reason.

–Oliver Wendell Holmes

Gram Parsons, an extremely influential musical artist credited with helping to found country rock, was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist. He played with the Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Emmylou Harris.  Rolling Stone ranks him 87th in a list of their top 100 artists of all time.

Despite this record of success, recreational drug use shortened his life: he ...

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