There has been a ton of advice given on how to give a presentation, how to design your slides when giving a presentation, and what captures an audience’s attention. For Personal Branding, giving a presentation is like steroids for your career. When giving a presentation, you are the center of everyone’s attention. You have the ability to gain visibility and to educate people on your topic of expertise. Surprisingly, not many have addressed the power of follow-ups. How many times have you seen someone speak but have never seen or heard from them again? I not only want you to give people the “A-HA” moment, but to be able to guide them after the presentation when they are looking to take action.
The value from presenting doesn’t lie in the presentation itself, but what you do after in order to keep your brand visible and seen as a thought leader. The major theme around this relates to Salamon Rule of Personal Branding # 4, Being Accessible.
Accessibility and your speech
At the end of your speech, you should have an easy way for people to contact you. I suggest including your cell phone & email address on your last slide that way people can write it down during your Q&A. Also, having an online presence and a blog is very important. If you don’t have a blog today, you should. There is no easier way to start building a community around your brand and topic of expertise. It gives people a way to subscribe to YOU. Mention that you write and maintain a community around your subject, and if anybody is interested, you’d love to talk to them personally about it.
Now that you have given others the ability to reach you, you should encourage enthusiasts to let you contact them. These are people who are eager to hear and learn from you. Get their contact information and let them know about projects you have going on or new articles that your are writing. The follow-up is an art and just as important as the presentation itself. Master the follow-up and watch your ROI multiply!
In my article for Conversation Agent, I argued that the increase of technology would make it harder and harder for retailers to succeed in a competitive economy. Consumers would have more access to information about prices and thus drive margins way down. The new retailer has to be creative and unique while driving home the user experience. This was no more evident than the recent woes that have plagued cataloger Lillian Vernon and Sharper Image.
Especially now, with our economy in question & rising manufacturing prices abroad, branding and defining who you are and who your customer is becomes ever so important. Kelly Mooney’s Open Brand certainly comes to mind as consumers flock towards brands that are transparent and deliver remarkable experiences.
Given my company’s explosive growth recently, it occurred to me that I’ve combed through dozens of resumes, and had endless interviews and phone screens. How can so many people fall through the same cracks over and over? In Sales, your success is determined by the impressions you make. You are on an endless interview that demands preparation and the ability to always be “on”. Time and time again, I will meet very talented individuals who come to interview, but haven’t even visited our website. How can you sell our product when you don’t even know what we do?
Anybody looking to get hired needs to make sure they have this list covered when meeting a prospective employer.
1. Make a good first impression
I only have one first impression of you. So do our clients. Are you dressed appropriately? Are there typos on your resume or is everything sharp? Be sure to smile and hold eye contact. If you’re confident, I’ll assume there’s a reason why.
2. Show me you’re interested in this industry and company.
The best candidates are the ones who have an understanding of the industry they’re looking into. They’ve read up on the company, it’s current situation, major competitors, and recent news. They know the company’s major products, clients, and initiatives. The best candidates NEVER over prepare for this part of the screening process.
3. Be Interested in Me.
I have a problem that needs to be solved and a role that needs to be filled. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met candidates who don’t care about my problem at all. They talk about how great they are, but don’t bother to find out what the exact situation is at the company they are applying for. This is where SPIN selling comes in handy. You need to figure out the exact situation at the company you’re at. Ask questions like why do you need this role filled? What is the exact issue you’re trying to solve? What are the implications of these problems not being filled? What kind of person are you looking for? These questions will set you up when you start to explain yourself.
4. Have a story.
Having a story is key in sales. It’s also a very important piece of getting hired. A good story will help you cut through the clutter and get remembered. A story helps answer the question of why this new job opportunity solves the next piece of your puzzle and helps humanize you. One of my colleagues interviewed with me and told me his story about moving to Seattle in the 80′s to start a rock band. He gave my company importance and told me why he was interested in the company and the role. He told me why it was the next piece of his puzzle.
5. Tell me why you would be the BEST fit for the role.
Don’t tell my why you would be good, tell me why you’d be the best bet. Sell me on the fact that I should choose you over other candidates. What do you bring to our organization that others can’t match? Are you inexperienced and are looking to grow into a role? Tell me why that’s more beneficial to me then hiring someone with more experience. Don’t only tell me about your past experience, but tell me how that helps ME.
We’ve all heard the scenario. Two witnesses observe the same event, yet recall completely different accounts of what really happened. The two witnesses have two different lenses which with they see the world. They have different states of minds, different prejudices, and different lives. We are all witnesses and observers, but at times, it’s hard to be objective and realize what our true thought patterns are. Our thought patterns create our realities and by consequence the way others perceive us.
I remember being a 15 year old adolescence on my first cruise to the Bahamas. I traveled with my whole family, including my grandmother and her best friend. Throughout the cruise, I remember my grandmother smiling and thanking her luck for being on a luxury cruise with the people she loved most in the world. She loved the service, the shows, slots, and of course the food. How can you not like cruises? Her best friend didn’t. My grandmother’s best friend complained. She saw the negative in the service, the weather, the cheesiness of the shows, and the gluttonous amounts of food. She WAS a negative person. No matter what you put in front of her, there was no way she would see the positive.
The implication of this is pretty far reaching. In fact, The Secret, a movie/book that talks about the law of attraction, points this out very clearly. If your thought patterns tell you that the world is negative, then what will happen is that you will attract more negativity. People will look at you as a negative person and treat you like a negative person. I am willing to bet that had my grandmother’s friend found the winning lottery ticket, she would have griped about the amount of taxes she would have had to pay.
At times you may think that a negative thought is harmless, but over time those thoughts take over your default way of thinking. At work, you may miss opportunity because you tend to look at what’s wrong with a problem instead of what possibilities are out there. People will start to associate you as a pessimist rather than an opportunist. At home, you may stress about the non-important rather than to appreciate the people and things you have.
One of my closest friends came up to me today and asked me for his advice as he was feeling down. My only advice was to appreciate what he had; a great job, a great family, and a great life. The more you appreciate, the more things you will have to be appreciative for.