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Minding your networking P's and Q's

Great 60-second presentations all contain elements that capture your audience’s attention. There are words that seem to have almost a magical air to them. Others carry lots of emotion and some just motive others to action. In this article, I will cover several of these magical words and other essential elements that you must have if you want your 60-second presentation to sizzle.

First of all, what do I mean by sizzle. My definition of a sizzling 60-second presentation is a presentation that captures the audience attention, hold it like a vice and then move that audience to act on your behalf. Now that we are on the same page as to what I mean by sizzle, here are five items that will bring more sizzle to your 60-second presentations.

The first element you have to add to your 60-second presentations is something that will get your audience’s attention. I call this first element “the opening salvo”. My favorite technique is to ask relevant question or ask a riddle. I often start out with the words; “Did you know”, then ask a question usually tied to some current event or sensational headline. These headline usually grab a persons attention because of the words used in them are dynamic and emotional. An example might be; did you know that last year more than 80,000 people in the US had been hospitalized because they used Tylenol? I would then go on to tell the punch line, which then allows me to transition in to my own emotionally charged story. The key point here is to grab the audiences’ attention with “opening salvo”. This grabs your audience’s attention and gives you the momentum to move into your story. Your story has to be related to your “opening salvo” in some way for this to work. By using, the right words in your story you will be able keep your momentum and their attention.

The second thing you must make sure you do is use emotionally charged words through out your 60-second presentation. This allows you to keep their attention all the way to the end where you will empower them to act on your behalf. I have done a lot of research to find which words carry the most emotionally charged weight. These words can carry both a positive or negative charge. You want to use words that primarily have positive connotations. Here are a few of the word I use in my stories; Easy, Healthy, Love, Safety, Proven, Results, Guarantee, and Excited. There are many others highly emotionally charged words that are not listed here. I devote a whole chapter in my book to this subject. Check out 60-Second To success if you want to learn more about these magical words. The point to remember is that positive words draw people to you and negative word push people away. Both types of emotionally charged words will hold your audiences attention. Make sure your words are nudging them it the right direction.

Third, you need to make sure that your message is focused and has a specific outcome. If you try to ask for a half dozen different types of referrals, you will lose your audience and most of them will not know what you’re really looking for. On the other hand, if you only ask for one very specific referral, your message will be easy to follow and your audience will stay with you longer. Another advantage of being specific is that your audience/referral partners do not have to mentally work as hard to find you referrals. By being specific, you have done most of the hard work for them. Keep your message focused and specific. Being specific will always be terrific.

Forth, your task is to empower your audience. You empower them by giving them specific directions on what to do when they recognize your referrals. If you want your audience to have the referral check out your website, tell them to do this. If you want them to set and appointment with you, ask for that. If you are trying to get your referral partners to ask your prospects to meet with you, ask them to get permission from the prospect for you to call. Ask that they give the prospect your card. Giving your audience clear and specific instructions empowers them to act on your behalf. Add this piece to every 60-second presentation and your referral numbers will go way up, especially if you are not doing this now.

The fifth and last element that will give your 60-second presentation sizzle is to make sure you end your presentation with a memorable catch phrase or memory hook. Memory hooks should make you stand out in a positive way. They need not rhyme, but should be unique to you if possible and easy to remember. Using memory hooks is a way of branding your special talents, skills or product. This is important because good catch phrases will trigger a conditioned response to remember you. You should pop into the listeners’ head anytime your memory hook “plays”. Memory hooks, catch phrases, slogans and jingles are all branding elements. Make sure you are using memory hooks to brand yourself in a positive way. This will definitely increase your recognition and get you more referrals.

Using these five techniques will radically transform your 60-second presentations for bland to bam, from dull to dynamic, from so-so to sizzling. Word of mouth marketing is more that just meeting and greeting people at business events. Being systematic, prepared and professional will increase your credibility. If you use attention-getting headlines like my opening salvos, emotionally charged words to maintain momentum, a focused easy to follow story, ask for a specific out come and use a unique memory hook, your 60-second presentations will take you to the next level. Using these techniques in your presentations will all add up to better communication, more visibility more credibility and before long more profitability. Best of all you will have more fun and have less stress and closed more business.

That’s my opinion, what’s yours?

Hector Cisneros is an entrepreneur/businessman with over 25 year’s experience, is a 17-year veteran of BNI, and was BNI Director for 6 years. Currently he manages three businesses, writes business articles and coach's business people in the art of Word of Mouth marketing. He has several intl. published articles covering word of mouth marketing and how to improve your 60-second presentations. His new book "60-Seconds to Success" is aimed at helping business people make great first impressions and make more money through word of mouth marketing. To get a FREE PREVIEW of his book, 60 SECONDS TO SUCCESS", Sign up for his blog at http://networkersapprentice.blogspot.com/. Email us when you have signed up and he will send you the free preview. Friend us on face book at http://www.facebook.com/pages/60-Seconds-To-Success/182027141821361?v=wall To contact Hector write him at hecisneros@gmail.com
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Why Networking fundamentals are your route to fun and profit.

If you are like me, you don't like to work real hard and get nothing in return. Yet at the same time, you know instinctively that doing the least amount will yield the smallest reward. I discovered that the phrase "least effort most gained" is actually an oxymoron long ago. However, I also discover that if I wanted to network smarter not harder, I had to concentrate on doing very specific behaviors that produce result. Other wise I would find myself doing things right but not doing the right things.

In this article, I will teach you the most important things to concentrate when networking. I am talking about fundamental behaviors that will product the most consistent results from your networking efforts day in and out. By engaging in these fundamental behaviors, you will produce the closet thing to “least effort most gained” and you will be making more money from referrals than ever before.
The first thing you need to create a details plan with measureable results and obtainable goal. For me, I make sure I start each year by setting aside some time to create my “word of mouth marketing plan. This plan will be set up with either quarterly or monthly campaigns and each period will have focused topic, with a focused message looking for a focused type of referral or business. I always make sure that I create smart goals and that I know what behaviors are needed to reach each goal. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely goals If your goals are not designed using SMART criteria you will probably not reach your goals.
Second, I use the calendar to create my word of mouth campaigns. I typically chose my subject by month, corporate dictate or calendar event, (like holidays). I make sure I have a focused subject for each period of my calendar. My subject starts with the question; “What kind of referral am I looking for this month?” Once I know what my focused subject are and what kind of referral I want, I sit down and create a very brief outline of my 60-second presentations for that month. It not very detailed but it does contain the theme for the campaign, specific referral I looking for, the number of presentation planned, number of referral desired and a sales amount. Once I create the first campaign, I move on to the next period/campaign etc….

Third, I make sure I am in a position to meet with my referral partners on a regular basis. I make it part of my word of mouth campaign to meet with a couple of partners every week. I put these meetings on my calendar and I make sure I contact my partners well in advance to setup their appointments. These meeting are crucial to your leveraging your message. Your referral partners can and will go out and bring you referrals if you have a clear, focus and empowering message. It also assumes you are reciprocating and that you are bringing value to your partnership. Remember the law of reciprocity. Your referral partners will probably stop bringing your referral if you forget to take care of them.

Forth, I make sure I have all my networking tools in place. I create and practice my 60-second presentations. If I am scheduled to deliver 10-minute presentations or seminars, I create and practice them. When attending events, I make sure I have a list of specific prospects and referral partners that I want to meet. I always carry my business cards, my business card holder, (which has my partner’s business cards). I always bring a pen, a note pad and a positive attitude to all events. I always look to help my referral partners at these events by getting them referral. Doing this for them helps them to keep an eye out for my needs. This always works for me. Try it, I bet it will work for you too.

The fifth fundamental is to track your results and to make sure you are accountable to performing the behaviors that produce the result. Here I recommend creating a spreadsheet or log where you record the events, the dates, people you met, why you met, what your focused message was and the out come of each meeting was. At the end of each month, look at your total number of appointments, the number of face-to-face meeting you engaged in and what was your conversion rate. These three numbers will tell you a lot about how effective your efforts are. If any of your numbers are low, make sure you are being honest about the first four fundamentals.

The last fundamental to engage in is accountability. You need to make sure you are performing the right behaviors not just doing right. The best way to do this is to find an accountability partner who you will meet with at least once a month and to go your results. You may even be able to do this for each other. Either way being accountable to performing the needed behaviors and tracking your results is the only way you will succeed unless you are extremely lucky or heavenly blessed.

By creating a detailed plan that contains smart goals, scheduling meeting time with your referral partners, strategically choosing events to attend, taking time to practice and prepare, tracking your results and meeting with an accountability partner, you will be poised for success. Follow these fundamental and you will achieve the closest thing to least effort most gained. You will not only have spent your time wisely but you will also be handsomely rewarded for your efforts.

That my opinion, what yours.

Hector Cisneros is an entrepreneur/businessman with over 25 years experience, is a 17-year veteran of BNI, and was BNI Director for 6 years. Currently he manages 3 businesses, writes and coach's business people in the art of Word of Mouth marketing. He has several intl. published articles covering word of mouth marketing and how to improve your 60-second presentations. His new book "60 Seconds to Success" is aimed at helping business people make great first impressions and make more money through word of mouth marketing. To get a FREE PREVIEW of his book, 60 SECONDS TO SUCCESS", Sign up for his blog at http://networkersapprentice.blogspot.com/. Email us when you have signed up and he will send you the free preview. Friend us on face book at http://www.facebook.com/pages/60-Seconds-To-Success/182027141821361?v=wall To contact Hector write him at hecisneros@gmail.com
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Understanding the importance of your 60 second presentation

I am often asked the question; "How important is a good 60 second presentation?" People sometimes gasp at my answer. They look at me as if I am a little crazy because my answer is simple and very straightforward. The value of a good 60-second presentation is only as high as the importance you place on it.

I go on to say that, if people place little value on creating a good introduction for themselves, they will usually wing their 60-second presentations. By always winging their presentations, they lose their perspective. They will never know the value of a good 60-second presentation, and they will not reap the rewards associated with delivering them. The way I see it, three things create value in your 60-second presentations. Your efforts, (time spent on it), the feedback you receive from your trusted peers and the measured results.

To start with, good presentations are created, (i.e. thought out and written down), practiced and then refined. It does not matter if you are great at winging it, you will always present better if you have a focused clear message that is tested and practiced. A little hard work on your part will add value to your message by clarifying and focusing it.

Another way is to ask for feedback. Ask someone you trust to summarize what you said. This person should be skilled at doing 60 second commercials, (at least better than you do). Ask them for constructive criticism. If they can't tell you what you said in two or three sentences you know message is not clear and it’s defiantly not focused.

The best way to see the value of a good 60-second presentation is to track the results. What should you track you ask? Well here is what I track; I always track the name of 60-second presentations, (yes you should give your 60 second commercials names), I always track the venue I attend, the venues date, the people I talk to, whether a person showed interest in my product/service and who I closed business with. Tracking your results is the only objective way of knowing whether your efforts are bearing fruit. What’s amazing about this is that most people never track their results.

Take the time to write out and practice your 60-second presentations. Ask trusted associates for feedback and finally track your results. Doing these three things will get you more referrals and make you more money. The value of a good 60-second presentation will become clear as fine crystal once you see the money coming in.

If you want to learn, more about word of mouth marketing join a local networking organization like The Chamber, BNI or Net Worth. Subscribe to my blog (http://networkersapprentice.blogspot.com/) and you will receive fee articles that will lead you towards success. If you would like to learn how to create a comprehensive word of mouth marketing plan, read my new book, "60 Seconds To Success". It will show you how to do this in a set-by-set manner. Thanks for reading my opinion. I hope to hear yours. Post your comments or write me at hectortheconnector@websiteknowhow.com
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You will learn how to use powerful words that compel and motivate people to action. You will learn my methodology on how to construct your messages so that your referral partners will be able to repeat and pass your message on for you.

You will also learn how to keep your message fresh so that your listeners will be compelled to hear your message, even after hearing it many times.

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Enjoy;

Mr. C.

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