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In this e-book …

First Edition 2012 First published in Great Britain 2012 Copyright Vanessa Lanham-Day 2012 Contact the author: vanessa@cproject.co.uk 

www.CProject.co.uk www.ec-surrey.co.uk

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, and recording of otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher.

• What’s it all about?

Page … 3

• How to benefit from business speaking

4

• Getting gigs for 10 minutes!

5

• Creating a compelling message

6

• The best way to captivate your audience

7

• Getting properly organised before

8

• And systematic follow up after

9

• Growing your all-important database

10

• Setting up your SMS TEXT service

11

• And a few backstage tips and tricks!

12

• About the author

15

• What people say about Vanessa Lanham-Day

16

This book is sold / distributed subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

Vanessa Lanham‐Day ©2012 

     

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What’s it all about?

Turning speaking to your advantage

Anyone who has been in business for more than 5 minutes is bound to have experienced some sort of speaker event. Where the expert stands at the front of the room and shares their greater wisdom with the assembled company.

Finding easy ways of getting your message out to as many of the ‘right’ people as possible is the marketing leverage all business owners strive for. And being a speaker provides perfect 'one to many' opportunities that you should seek out and embrace.

Why do they do it? Well, it's excellent for business for sure. Being the expert at anything is always good for PR for you and what you do - and being a speaker definitely positions you as the 'expert'. However, really smart speakers will make sure they exit with as much 'data' as possible from the people they were speaking to; people who might want to buy from them in the future. Being a business speaker doesn't mean you have to run a full day conference, or speak for an hour or more at a time. Just about every networking group routinely offers members the chance to speak for 10 minutes - a chance to shine the light on YOU for a few moments so that other people can get a much greater sense of the length, depth, breadth of your expertise - and your PASSION. It's powerful stuff. It doesn’t matter what you do as a business; if you have something interesting to say - and you do, I promise you! - then ‘speaking’ is a marketing pillar you should exploit. It's a brilliant opportunity to help your marketing and grow your database with willing followers.

There are plenty of benefits to speaking about your business •

It's a fantastic positioning piece for you. As soon as you cross the 'dotted line' that separates you from the audience, you become 'an expert'. Worthy of people's attention, knowledgeable and a trustworthy 'safe pair of hands'. This is great for positioning you with your target audience.

Don't just limit your audience to the people who were there on the day! Being able to report that you spoke to x or y group is perfect for a press story in the local business page and excellent PR for you. Send it to the chamber magazine and use it for your own newsletter or blog. And don’t forget the photograph!

Building your database is key. Whether you ask for people's business cards or have more advanced strategies (more of this later!) getting information from the people in the room is a very definite benefit of speaking. Every speaking opportunity should result in additional data for you to use in the future.

Make great connections. You will all have seen how the 'expert' is called upon to take questions after a session, with various people in the room seeking their advice. These are good conversation starters and can soon develop into business after the event.

If you are clear about our central message (see my e-book WHO CARES?) then your speaker style should naturally develop. Try not to ‘push’ sales when you speak, as you’ll just alienate the audience. And please, please, PLEASE avoid the cardinal sin of being DULL! Having a GREAT – and interesting - message will really elevate and differentiate you. My purpose in this e-book is to show you how to find small-scale speaking opportunities, how to say something that's really interesting and how to get the maximum marketing benefit from each and every opportunity. So 'Speak Up' I say!! I hope the following pages help you on your marketing journey.

Vanessa Lanham-Day

SPEAK UP! Easy ways to GROW your DATABASE by ‘business speaking’ 

Vanessa Lanham‐Day ©2012 

     

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Getting gigs for 10 minutes+

Creating a compelling message

If you decide that speaking is a great marketing pillar for your business, you need to get some speaking gigs organised. There’s nothing quite like a deadline to make you get your act together.

Getting the message right is critical. We’ve all been terminally bored at networking sessions and we’ve all been sold to by people who simply used the platform as a sales pitch, droning on and on about what they do. Both are cardinal sins!

Networking

However, we’ve all been utterly captivated by a great speaker. So what’s the difference between dull and captivating?

If you’ve not done much speaking before, it pays to start small. Most networking groups are looking for speakers to do ’10 minutes’ – sometimes on a strictly rotational basis, other times it’s more a case of ‘he who asks, gets there first’! Some networking events need you to be a member - BNI and 4N – and others are happy to have guest speakers. Your best bets are probably the adhoc networking events but do your research. Chamber events Your local Chamber of Commerce will run all sorts of events for training and networking purposes and there are invariably good opportunities to be a speaker. Ask for their schedule of events for the next 12 months and see where your message might fit in. Joint venture seminars If one of your clients or contacts runs seminars, perhaps you can be a guest speaker for 15 or 20 minutes. Think about who has an audience that matches your niche market and might welcome your contribution and added value to a customer or prospect session. Webinars More and more people are running webinars nowadays – a great way to get in front of people without the need for booking venues and asking people to take time out of their diary. Being a guest speaker on a webinar is really powerful. Plus you can also run your own webinar – and maybe invite other guests to join you. It’s definitely less threatening than standing in front of 20 plus people if you are relatively new to speaking. Business shows Local business shows often look for speakers for 20 to 30 minutes. These will book up months in advance and you need to do your research in plenty of time.

SPEAK UP! Easy ways to GROW your DATABASE by ‘business speaking’ 

For the most part the difference is simple – people who talk about themselves, or focus on their own agenda are DULL and they alienate their audience. People who are focused on how they can help the audience are interesting. Think of speaking as a conversation starter. Show your audience that you understand them and that you are interesting, amusing even, trustworthy, knowledgeable. All of these will help start a relationship. Selling will not. You need to think about what your audience wants to know and not focus on what YOU want to TELL them. There’s a subtle – but very important – difference. And it is SO much more powerful when you get it right. So ask yourself … •

Who are your audience - specifically? Ages, characteristics and interests?

What common attributes do they share?

How can you tailor your message for them?

There is a real benefit from giving them something for FREE – what should it be? What do they most want to know from you?

In 10 to 20 minutes you can’t tell them EVERYTHING. You have to consider just one – two at most – points that you want them to properly remember after – your ‘takeaway’points. So if there is ONE single thing you want them to remember about you and what you do, what should it be? And share your best stuff Be brave and share your best information with your audience. Don’t hold back, thinking that they ought to be paying for this stuff. They will be thinking, “WOW! If this is what I get for free, imagine what I’ll get when I pay!”

Vanessa Lanham‐Day ©2012 

     

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The best way to captivate your audience

Getting properly organised BEFORE

Let me take you back to when I was at school. I know that lessons with some teachers ‘stuck’ and some didn’t – why was that?

Most people approach a speaking gig with the question … “What shall I talk about?” WRONG!!

I especially remember my chemistry teacher who stood at the front of the lab for double (and sometimes TRIPLE!) chemistry, reciting the characteristics of the periodic table and he expected us to remember it the following week! It was awful and today chemistry is still a mystery to me. Contrast that with Mr Harris, our history teacher. Each week he would engage us with stories of Arch Dukes and plots in Europe. He invited us to become players in the ‘triple entente’ as the world drew towards the Great War. We were engaged and interested – and I still remember it all to this day. The difference? Storytelling. It’s proven to be the most powerful way to teach any subject. The reason being that the brain engages on many levels but, most importantly, it engages EMOTIONALLY. Put simply, we care about the outcome. Which is why storytelling is far and away the most powerful way that you can engage with your audience. You’re a plumber – rather than tell them about plumbing technologies and high pressure systems, tell them about the call you got one day, a week before Christmas when the boiler had gone KAPUT! The family were all due in 5 days time, the turkey was bought, the Christmas tree resplendent – and the heating was most definitely off! How did you get it sorted? How many mince pies did you and the team get through? And tell them about the celebratory glass of mulled wine, just hours before the family turned up to a warm cosy house. Everyone has stories to tell. Funny. Dramatic. Scary. Or just plain oddball! If you have a 10 minute slot to fill, just tell them one of your stories; flesh it out with lots of highs and lows, plenty of detail – and a good ending. Make them smile if you can. And almost certainly, you won’t need a single PowerPoint slide. No technology to get hung up on – or to go wrong! Maybe take a simple prop with you – a key tool that you use, or a large photograph perhaps - but no more.

Your questions should be … “What do I want to get out of the session?” and “What do I want to happen next?” If you start from the OUTCOME that you want then work back and decide on the most suitable thing you could say that will deliver it. A small but VERY important difference in approach. Think about your audience – who are they and what is the thing that you could do for them that would give them the MOST benefit? For example, if you are an electrician, would ways to cut lighting bills in the home be useful to your audience? Or how to implement a green power policy in the workplace? If so, then create an e-book, video or series of helpful sheets that answer this question. If you are a change management consultant, speaking to a business audience, you might have information on how to change the culture of a business whilst keeping the team 100% engaged; In which case, create ’10 dynamite strategies for keeping your team in tune with change’ e-book. Let’s be clear, the outcome in both cases is data collection – all the audience needs to do to get the great value FREE thing that you have created, is let you have their contact details. Hey presto – job done. More on how to do this creatively later. Pre-qualification It might be that your offering requires some prequalification – ie. you don’t necessarily want to work with everyone in the room. Make sure the title of ‘free’ offer prequalifies exactly the right group in the room. If you are a nutritionist talking about healthy eating, but you mostly work with menopausal women who want to lose weight - then call your e-book ‘Looking great in the menopause’. What should you talk about

And the best thing about it – apart from them remembering what you said long after you leave – is that you will come across as a very real person.

That’s simple. Tell a story or a case study that directly relates to your e-book or free giveaway. What you talk about should lead the audience directly to the conclusion that they want the thing you are offering.

SPEAK UP! Easy ways to GROW your DATABASE by ‘business speaking’ 

Vanessa Lanham‐Day ©2012 

     

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And systematic follow up AFTER

Growing your all-important database

You’ve captivated the audience and gathered the data – so what next? You want to build on the trust you created on the day – it’s definitely NOT a case of ‘job over’ once you get back to the office. You need to be organised BEFORE the event for impactful follow up AFTER the event.

There are three important steps you need to take ...

If you have access to some form of automated email system this will be much easier for you but it’s not impossible manually – just harder! •

You need to deliver what you promised as soon as you get back from the talk – certainly within the same day.

Have a great email ready and set up to go, with the download attached. Personalise it – or merge it with an automated system – for maximum impact.

If you are using an automated system, you should be able to track whether or not they have clicked on / opened the download – in which case you should have a couple more follow ups that go to the group that DID NOT download.

And for those who did download, have a follow up email that asks them if they enjoyed it – ask for their comments.

If you are using manual email, use the BCC facility or send individual emails. Don’t share the data with the whole group.

You need to be able to identify the whole group in your database. What other offers can you make to them that would be of interest? Can you add them into any other marketing / follow up sequences that you are running?

Can you create an offer that is bespoke to that group?

What else can you do? • • • • •

It doesn’t all need to be email based – try a letter or a phone call. Could you write a press release and offer it to the local paper? In which case, maybe make sure you get a photograph at the event. Could you turn the talk into a blog? Can you tweet about the event (before and after) Mention it in your LinkedIn status. And add it to your business Facebook page.

SPEAK UP! Easy ways to GROW your DATABASE by ‘business speaking’ 

Create your brilliant free giveaway… Your ‘freebie’ needs to be something that's utterly relevant to the people in the room that you want to do business with. It needs a great title and a simple oneliner description that will connect with your audience. You want them to be thinking - "I want that!" Make the no brainer offer… This might sound something like .. "If you're interested in the stuff I've talked about today, I've got some really useful free information for you on saving money on your lighting bills - it's a short e-book called '10 simple steps to reducing your home energy costs’. Basically it takes you through some really simple ideas that you could implement quickly that will save you literally £100s of pounds at home. If you'd like a copy, let me have your name and email details and I'll get that off to you when I get back to the office." Have a fool proof method for collecting the data… There are three basic methods to collect data and all need some simple preparation to make them work really well. 1. Ask for their business cards. You need a bowl or box to pass round. Brand it with your logo and the name of the e-book if you can. 2. Have a sign up sheet to pass round ... Ideally clipped to a smart board and nicely branded so it's easy to complete and looks professional. You just need their name and email address. Don't ask for more as it will reduce take up. If you are opting for either of these methods you need to introduce the idea early on in the talk to give enough time to get round everyone.

3. The best route, however, is to go for a TEXT based collection. It's much smarter and positions your business really well – and your audience is much more likely to act on it. We all like a bit of clever technology after all, even if we are only interested in how it works! You'll need to show them - ideally with a nice big poster - exactly what they need to do.

Text 60777- 12345 firstname lastname email ie. 12345 Vanessa Lanham-day vanessa@cproject.co.uk

Vanessa Lanham‐Day ©2012 

     

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Setting up your SMS TEXT service

And a few backstage tips and tricks!

There are a number of online providers offering automated SMS TEXT-based services. I used TEXTlocal and I will explain how to use this service – however, the principles will be the same for others.

Don't rely on PowerPoint

This is what you need to do… •

Create your e-book as a PDF.

Upload the ebook onto your website – I can’t help you with this as it completely depends on the website that you use! If in doubt, ask your web tech person to help. Ultimately you need a url that you can send people eg http://www.somethingorother.pdf

Sign up for a free account with TEXTlocal. Go to www.textlocal.com

Once you’ve sorted all your logins, go to the Receive menu / View Inboxes. You will have been allocated a free inbox with a 5 digit text code – a mix of numbers and letters.

Go to settings for the inbox. Set up the reply message and include the attachment. Something like "Thanks for requesting our free Ebook on x, here's a link to the download. I'll email it to you as well. You need to add the link for your ebook – click the button that says ‘Insert Short Link’. Click ‘Add URL’. Add in your PDF URL and finish with ‘Insert Link’. This adds a short code URL into your text message. Save the page.

Send yourself a test to check it works.

Purchase some text credits. It will use 1 credit per 160 characters in your replay message.

Export the data you collect (a .csv file) and add it to your database. If you have an automated process, trigger the follow up sequence, if not do it manually.

If you are doing it manually, don't share the data with every one else who requested your freebie. ie. send it as a blind copy BCC or individual emails.

SPEAK UP! Easy ways to GROW your DATABASE by ‘business speaking’ 

It's all too easy to think 'I'm doing a talk, I'd better sort my PowerPoint'. But I would really caution against using slides unless it's 100% necessary. For lots of reasons ... •

All sorts of technology can go wrong and frankly it's a stress and distraction you don't need on the day. Data projectors, memory sticks that don't work, slow connections, aged technology and lack of an extension lead - arghhh!!

Speakers often - wrongly! - think that they won't be interesting enough on their own and they 'hide' behind the technology and their slides. Your audience can't have a relationship with a screen - but they can have a relationship with you. You need to look them in the eyes!

PowerPoint tends to over complicate matters. In a short talk, it should just be about you and your story. Use props, not PowerPoint.

It's too easy to use your PowerPoint as your speaker notes. Meaning you spend most of the session reading the laptop or the big screen - either way, it's not compelling for your audience.

If you are using PowerPoint, plan your talk FIRST and the slides SECOND. Otherwise you'll just end up reading your slides. And that invokes cardinal sin number one - being DULL!!

Signs on sticks! Where visual prompts are helpful - step 1, step 2 etc, or simple graphics - try printing them out and mounting them on a stick for low tech PowerPoint!! It will always get a laugh and is much easier to manage. Just be yourself Remember it's you they came to see - don't try to be a 'speaker' - just be YOU. It doesn't matter if you go wrong, mutter or mumble, or lose your way. If you are relaxed you'll deal with these situations, just as if you were with friends. A smile covers most problems and always remember that your audience WANTS you to succeed. After all, next week it's probably their turn!!

Vanessa Lanham‐Day ©2012 

     

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Rehearse!

Use bullet point notes

Don't make the fatal error of the first time you hear your talk out loud is the day you deliver it! It's not enough to have gone through it in your head - you need to do a proper dress rehearsal, with you standing up, projecting your voice to an imagined audience, with the slides or visuals all running. Exactly as it will be on the day.

You don’t need to learn your presentation by heart, but try not to read it all either. Prepare bullet point notes - maybe a single sheet of A4 with key headlines to keep you on track printed LARGE so it's easier for you to read in a stressful situation.

Yes, I know you'll feel daft but no more daft than you'll feel on the day when you suddenly feel like your mouth and brain have been disconnected through lack of practice! And you'll be amazed how what you had written down just feels strange when it comes out of your mouth; you need to practice key phrases exactly as you'll say them. Start properly – give yourself time to breathe Anchor yourself as you start the talk. Take your time, get settled, get your 'stuff' where you need it, plant your feet firmly, head up, shoulders back, slow deep breath ... and then take in your audience. Give them a big smile. Think of them as friends - people who only YOU can help and who will really benefit from what you have to say. Take a few seconds and then begin. Don't hide behind a table

Involve your audience As I've mentioned, your audience WANT you to be successful. They are on your side unless you alienate them. A great way to get them really gunning for you is to involve them in your talk ... • • •

Have questions up your sleeve •

If you are using notes and props, don’t fall into the trap of having them all on a table in front of you as it will tend to root you to the spot and will encourage you to look down at your notes. Avoid being stuck behind an audience barrier. If you can step away from the security of a table, you'll be able to move around more freely and you will connect more with your audience. Pop a table to one side so that your notes and props are easy to access. Use a raised podium In order to ensure I keep eye contact with the audience, and so that my notes are close to hand I have built my own mini portable table-top podium! It means I don't have to lean over to read my notes and I can easily glance down without using eye contact. If you are a regular speaker, something like this could be really useful and is easy to create with a sheet of MDF and a drop of glue!

Ask how many have experienced, x, y or z - groups of three questions work best Get someone to hold up your props for you Spot the comedian in the room and joke with them. I have often used this person to my advantage by making them my `glamorous assistant’ complete with feather boa! It gets them on your side rather than having to deal with a heckler! The rest of the group love it (and in truth, so do they!)

It's always good to have audience questions after you've finished; a great way to show your expertise and to engage with your audience. Think about how you can phrase your ending so there is a natural lead in for their questions. "What kind of issues have you experienced in the past ... ". But it really helps to have a question or two up your sleeve! There's nothing worse when no-one speaks and you are left there in the silence. "One thing I tend to get asked a lot is ... has anyone else experienced that?"

And finally, have fun! Just enjoy yourself. You'll be masses more memorable if you do and ultimately that's the MOST important thing. Most speakers are memorable for all the WRONG reasons - make sure you are not one of them.

Failing that, some venues may have a podium available to use - just avoid standing behind it and delivering a sermon!

SPEAK UP! Easy ways to GROW your DATABASE by ‘business speaking’ 

Vanessa Lanham‐Day ©2012 

     

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About the author: Vanessa Lanham-Day

What people say about Vanessa …

Vanessa is founder and managing director of CProject, a Surrey-based marketing consultancy that was formed in 1988.

Vanessa is one of the most engaging, fired up and passionate business and marketing speakers I have heard on the circuit. She is very inspirational and not surprisingly she is already the leading Business Growth Advisor. Andrew Smith, ASM

Vanessa started out in insurance marketing and, as well a including significant portfolio of leading UK insurers, the business developed a strong reputation with many major businesses – Colgate, BOC, ICI, Pirelli and Zeneca, for example. In the 90s, Vanessa’s reputation in the financial sector continued to grow, particularly within the burgeoning Certified Financial Planner community, along with many other professional business-to-business practices, an interest that continues to this day. Despite enjoying working with client businesses on their marketing, there is nothing quite like doing it yourself. When an opportunity for a 50% stake in the retail arm of a national knitwear brand came up, Vanessa jumped at the chance. From 2004, Vanessa’s marketing skills grew the High Street retail business and added a successful international e-commerce arm, quickly growing sales to match 25% of the retail operation. In 2011 she accepted an offer to sell her share of the business back to the manufacturer who wished to build on the internet success. This coincided with her decision to join forces with Nigel Botterill and she is now runs the very successful Surrey Entrepreneur’s Circle. In December 2011 she was awarded the prestigious Business Growth Advisor of the Year and continues to be a leading light for the organisation. In addition to her marketing work with clients, and mentoring of local businesses, Vanessa is becoming increasingly well-known on the speaker circuit for her passionate marketing talks. As we go to press in June 2012, CProject’s passion is ‘Inspiring and empowering you to fulfil your marketing potential’ and it is certainly what Vanessa loves doing most.

To contact Vanessa: www.cproject.co.uk / vanessa@cproject.co.uk

SPEAK UP! Easy ways to GROW your DATABASE by ‘business speaking’ 

Vanessa is one of the most dynamic people I know ... with the energy, commitment and skills to drive any project forward to a successful conclusion. To top it all, she's great fun! I would happily put my trust in Vanessa for any project; if she doesn’t have the answer she will go and find it, learn it, or create it. Keith Thomas, Sightline

Vanessa is the most valuable asset ... challenging, inspiring, motivating and supporting you on your business journey. Debbie Walker, Passport to Change

Vanessa's enthusiasm plus high energy creates a very positive atmosphere. She is very effective at influencing people to think through their business challenges and options. Lyn Etherington, Cape Consulting

Vanessa's incredible enthusiasm for what she does, the energy she puts in to the business and the results she achieves; I defy anyone to not get some good ideas as to how they can move their business forward! Keith Hern, Keith Hern Photography

Vanessa’s input has had a significant impact on our business and we'll continue to tap into Vanessa' knowledge to help take us forward. Well worth the investment. Jean-Claude Vacassin, Forme & Function

From the moment I met Vanessa she has had a huge, positive impact on my business and I've seen it grow month on month ever since. I can't afford not to use Vanessa. She always delivers. Her enthusiasm is infectious. Her advice just works. Gavin Thorn, Gavin Thorn Photography -

Vanessa is the sort of person that seems to have vanished from these shores- someone who doesn’t ask what's in it for her before she does anything. I hope she stays this way, which is her unique competitive advantage. Wilson Ng

Vanessa helped me develop my ideas and simplify my message in a way that really engaged with my target audience. I had very tight deadlines to meet and my goodness, Vanessa kept me on track and delivered! No longer do clients ask for client testimonials or delay decisions. My report fees have increased both in number and size and increasing my bottom line by £30,000 this year alone. When Vanessa says ‘she has never missed a deadline', she means it! Mike Marigold, Montgomery Charles

Vivacious, interested and interesting, Vanessa’s impressive list of contacts and network brings extra value to any project which needs additional support as well as the creative services that she provides. You have been warned. If you work with CProject Ltd it is almost inevitable that you are going to have a thoroughly enjoyable time in great company and achieve outstanding results. Adam Workman, Wheelers Solicitors Vanessa consistently produced work of a very high standard, thinking outside of the box and exceeding our expectations. Catherine Kirk, Pirelli Tyres

Open minded and responsive, Vanessa's marketing background gives her the tools to think outside of the ordinary and challenge convention. Tim Ostle, Charterhouse

Vanessa Lanham‐Day ©2012 

     

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Speak up! Easy ways to grow your database by 'business speaking'