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POWER PLAY #20 Prepare Like an Athlete

What do professional athletes and entertainers do before they perform? That’s right, they warm up.Watch any athletic contest on TV, and you’ll get a glimpse of the players getting ready for the competition. You’ll see them stretching, jumping up and down, and even saying things to themselves or their teammates. What they’re really doing is

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POWER PLAY #18 You Determine How You Feel

Right now, point to the person who determines how you feel. I hope you’re not pointing to your spouse, your boss, or anyone other than yourself, because—of course!—it’s you. You determine how you feel. But here’s the rub: Is there someone in your life who’s an expert at ticking you off? If you’re like most

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POWER PLAY #17 It All Starts With Connection

If you could pick just one emotion to have at your core as a presenter, what would it be? I’ve asked this question of thousands of people, and the most common answers are confidence and passion. While I agree that these are critical, I believe there’s another emotion that, when combined with confidence and passion,

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POWER PLAY #16 Feel Like You’re On a Mission

Have you ever had to do a task and felt motivated and inspired to do whatever it took to succeed—as if you were on a mission to accomplish it? If so, capture that feeling and bring it into every presentation, and you’ll be unstoppable. Back in my mid-twenties, I was booked to do a presentation

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POWER PLAY #15 Be Ready at a Moment’s Notice

If you’ve ever been caught off guard and asked to “say a few words,” you know how tough impromptu presentations can be. They pose a real challenge because being unprepared tends to get the adrenaline going: if you freak out even a little bit, your fight- or-flight response kicks in, your brain shuts down, and

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POWER PLAY #14 Flash Your Brilliance

You’ve heard of an “elevator pitch,” a presentation that’s over in a flash and designed for maximum impact, a super-streamlined message delivered with crystal clarity. As a master persuader, it’s something you want to have at the ready. Imagine you found yourself riding in an elevator with the most influential decision- maker you could ever meet, and you have sixty seconds to spark interest

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POWER PLAY #13 FIRE-UP Your Audience!

POWER PLAY #13 FIRE-UP Your Audience! Years ago I came up with a system for a persuasive presentation, something anyone could use, no matter what they’re selling. After studying all the research and methods I could find on persuasive presenting, I arrived at this acronym: FIRE-UP. Each letter stands for a step you need to

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POWER PLAY #12 End With an Action

In the final stage of your presentation, audiences should be led to take an action that improves their situation: to fulfill the outcome you established at the very beginning of the process (see Power Play #1). Sometimes, they’ll do something right then (e.g., register, buy something, give you a purchase order), and sometimes you’ll ask

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POWER PLAY #11 Use the “Invisible Call to Action

Years ago, I was taught that you had to deliver a powerful “close.” You almost had to strong-arm people into doing what you wanted, and it didn’t feel good to me. Getting people to do something they don’t want to do isn’t fun. Everybody feels uncomfortable…Uh-oh. Here comes the catch. They stop listening and start

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