Archive for the ‘Presentation skills training’ Category

The Vulnerable

Dr Brene Brown is an amazing researcher, author and speaker on being brave. She’s not the kind of ‘feel the fear and do it anyway!’ brave, but the ‘let people in’ brave – which is arguably tougher.
This sort of brave is about lowering your guard, even when it may hurt. It’s about showing you have a human side and that you may not have all the answers – even when your title implies you should. It’s about showing that which we would call our ‘weaknesses’.
While many people find it difficult to share their weaknesses, here’s the irony – we see vulnerability in others as a strength. It shows you can do something others won’t, it makes you more relatable and it makes me feel at ease with my own weaknesses.
Displaying vulnerability builds massive connection with your team and makes it easier for them to get on board with your message. This is influence at its best.
Your weaknesses may just be your strength.
As always I’d love your thoughts on this here.


The Bermuda Triangle

When I was a kid I was fascinated by the Bermuda Triangle. How could planes and ships just seemingly disappear without a trace with no valid explanation? Various theories have been put forward by experts, authorities and fortune tellers as to what happened. Only recently have valid theories been offered – namely that they are just coincidences.

The modern day version of the Bermuda Triangle is the Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370. No one (alive) seems to know what happened to it.

But if you search the internet you will find hundreds of theories on both the Bermuda Triangle and MH370. These theories range from a suicidal pilot, the plane being captured by the Russians through to North Korea using a remote hacking program to steal the plane and harvest the body parts of those on board.

The individuals creating these theories are basing them on their own understanding of the facts, research, observations, beliefs, mis-understandings, biases, suspicions, paranoia, vendettas, agendas, desires to build themselves up and the wish to be the person that is right. People create theories because we don’t like incomplete information – we guess and make stuff up to fill in the blanks.

The same thing happens in your workplace. When people don’t know why certain decisions are being made, they cannot help but use their own understanding of the facts, research, observations, beliefs, mis-understandings, biases, suspicions, paranoia, vendettas, agendas, desires to build themselves up and the wish to be the person that is right to explain what is going on.

Stopping this is simple. Explain the reasoning behind decisions that effect people. When they know why, they wont have to make up a reason for a decision they don’t understand. This builds trust and increases your chance to influence your team.

As always I’d like your thoughts on this here.




Do you believe in climate change?

It’s the wrong question. Beliefs are hard to change. They are bound up in what we think about ourselves, our biases, what we think people like us should think. Changing a belief means admitting how I defined myself as yesterday is no longer correct for how I define myself today.

Whether someone believes in climate change or not is a moot point – it’s happening with or without their belief

The better question to ask is, “Do you understand climate change?”

If you ask better questions you get better answers…and more sales.

As always I’d love your thoughts on this here.



The Story Behind The Numbers

How do you find the stories behind the numbers? Just tell us what the numbers mean

I fly a lot and Virgin Australia told me what my numbers were….and what they mean.

Over the last 12 months I’ve:

– taken 76 flights….which means I must know the safety demo off by heart

– Spent over 5 days in the clouds….which means I have seen a lot of in-flight movies

– visited Melbourne 17 times….which means they think I like the coffee

– travelled 76,829kms…which means I’ve done over 2 laps of the globe

…which all puts me in the top 1% of Virgin Australia travellers.

As a self-confessed #AvGeek these numbers mean something to me – and engage me in their brand.

It gives me insight into my travel, something trivial for me to talk about….and costs Virgin nothing.

When you share the numbers in your sales presentations do they engage your audience and connect with them on an emotional level?

As always, I’d love your thoughts on this here.



Confidence is B.S

Confidence comes when you know you will be successful. If you don’t know that you will be successful you can’t have confidence.

What you need is courage. Courage to take the next best step. When you do that, you move forward. Eventually you reach a point where you know you will be successful, and you can have confidence.

The trick to having courage is to install a process so you know what to do next. When you know what to do next, and then next, and then next and then next again you end up with confidence.

Whether you are delivering a presentation, selling a product or fixing a car, if you don’t have a process…buy one.



How Your Leadership Style is Perceived: Leader, Imposter, Enemy or Loser?

The way others perceive you and the way you think about yourself will determine why people follow you.

Leadership can be looked at from two perspectives. The first is you – do you see yourself as a leader? The answer is yes or no. The second is your followers (staff, superiors, market etc). Do they see you as a leader? Again it’s yes or no.

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If your followers see you as a leader, and you carry yourself as one, they will perceive you as a Leader. It’s a case of your followers saying that they want someone else to take control and make decisions. You see yourself as that someone and fill the need they have. This is what everyone wants.

If you’re not in the Leader quadrant you will have trouble.

If your followers see you as a leader, but you don’t carry yourself as one, they will perceive you as an Imposter. It’s like the team leader who has been promoted from within but won’t take charge for fear of not being liked. The Imposter is the sales person who goes to see a customer but won’t lead the sales call. The customer is not interested in doing the sales person’s job and won’t see them the next time they come back.

Where you have real problems is when the followers don’t see you as a leader.

When the followers don’t see the person in charge as a leader, but that person carries on as though they are, then they are seen as the Enemy. It’s the motivational speaker who comes out after lunch and says, ‘We’re having a great time – let’s do some star-jumps’ and the audience thinks, ‘No – you’re a tool!” It’s the sales manager who declares, ‘This month we’re going to get budget! Why? Because we’re just going to get it!’ There is no grounding in reality and you get lots of push-back. This is the most dangerous place to be.

The final place is where no one sees the person in charge as a leader. Here they are simply perceived as a Loser. It’s a case of the followers saying “I don’t want to listen to a message you don’t want to give’.

Levels of Engagement

The Loser has to deal with disengagement. No one is listening – but that’s not usually a problem as the person in charge is not speaking.

The Enemy has to deal with disinterest. They could be giving out next week’s PowerBall numbers but the followers don’t care because they think the leader is an idiot.

The Imposter is dealing with disillusionment. The followers want to follow or buy but are not getting the guidance and leadership they want. This is why good staff leave poor managers and reliable customers start looking elsewhere.

It is only when you are perceived as the Leader that you get engagement. Here people want to listen to what you have to say. In this position you have influence and can sell more. This makes your life easier. You’re happy because you’re getting budget. Your superiors are happy because you’re doing your job. Your followers are happy because they are getting the leadership they want.

From Imposter to Leader

Over the last dozen years of working with senior managers I have seen that about 90% of people hold themselves in the Imposter position. They want to be the leader, but are afraid that if they step up they will be seen as the enemy.

The key to stepping up from Imposter to Leader is courage. Do you have the courage to take the next step in the process? Don’t look for confidence and that is often too far down the track. Have a plan to follow and have the courage to take just the next step in the process.

How have you found working for Leaders, Imposters, Enemies and Losers? Leave your comments below.



The Pitch – You’re on Trial

When you stand at the front of the room and share your message you are being judged.

The audience wants to know:

1. Can I trust this person?
2. Do they believe what they are saying?
3. Are they confident in their message?
4. Are they a leader?

If you don’t get a favorable judgement to these questions you will be seen as an impostor and not someone who can fulfill the clients contract.

If you do happen to jag the contract you will be in a weakened position until you change their first impression of you. This weakened position often means your in a partnershaft not a partnership.



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The Pitch: Your presentation skills are irrelevant…until

Your presentation skills are irrelevant*….until you have a boring message.

When your message is boring, does not make sense or is not convincing, people then look to your presentation skills and see that they are not up to scratch.
Many pitches have been lost because the message was not clear and poor presentation skills took the wrap for it.

As the presenter of the pitch it is up to you to have a crystal clear message that resonates with your audience. Then polish your presentation skills so you stand out.

You’re always being judged in a pitch. It’s important to understand what you’re being judged upon.



*It may seem unusual that a presentation skills expert would say this. That’s why my training is focused on how your audience hears your message – and not how you deliver it.

Position | Engage | Influence

There are three things your audience expects when you speak to them.

  • That you are confident. If you’re not confident you look as though you don’t believe your message
  • That you will respect their time. If you want their time and attention you must be engaging. If you’re not, they have every right to check Facebook, e-mails or just fall asleep.
  • Have something of value to offer them.

These expectations hold true for one on one conversations and small team meetings just as much as they do for formal presentations. If you cannot be confident and respect the audience’s time and give them value they will not see you as a leader – no matter what the title on your business card says.

If you’ve ever had a presentation that has flopped or not been as effective as you’d like it to be, you will usually find the reasons in these three issues. If you have experienced a poor presentation, check out my latest course Position | Engage | Influence. This course could just be the answer you’re looking for.

If you’re interested you can get the details here.




Tell Show Ask | Public Speaking Tips

Tell Show Ask

Communication is a major problem in organisations. People don’t deliver the right message in the right way at the right time. if you get this wrong, it makes public speaking more difficult.

My friend Matt Church speaks of the three primary channels through which you can share a

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