Category Archives: Presenting

Our YouTube channel is now up to 341 thousand hits

youtube-logo

Back in October 2011 I wrote Our YouTube channel gets 250 thousand hits.

This has proved to be a very popular topic on my blog recently, so I feel obliged to point out that the number is increasing rapidly, and today stands at 341,492.

Our BIPCTV channel has been going since the Centre opened in 2006, when we began posting recordings of our Inspiring Entrepreneurs events, and our success stories.

The most recent upload was From Battlefield to Business, and run in partnership with Heropreneurs, Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, British Legion, Franchising Works and Help for Heroes.

The wonderful Levi Roots and his Reggae Reggae Sauce still tops the charts with 25,541 views, but he has stiff competition from Success Stories Guy Jeremiah of Aquatina Ltd, and William de Lucy from  Amplify Trading.

However my favourite remains Sam Roddick, founder of the ‘erotic emporium’ Coco De Mer, and daughter of Body Shop legend Dame Anita Roddick. She describes herself as an activist first and accidental entrepreneur second.

http://www.youtube.com/bipctv

Levi Roots

Create your elevator pitch with Amber Raney-Kincade

CN_Tower_lift

Photo by Abdou.W

You step into a lift and someone asks “What do you do?” They are getting off in a few floors, so you only have seconds to gain their interest and pass off your business card. How will they remember you? Amber Raney-Kincade’s workshop is dedicated to creating your specific elevator pitch. You will leave this seminar with a pitch you can begin using immediately.

I attended this workshop yesterday at the City Business Library near the Barbican as part of my journey to create the perfect elevator pitch for the Business & IP Centre (How elevated is your pitch?) Read on to see if I have succeeded.

I have included Amber’s description of her workshop in full above, as it is a wonderful example of a pitch in its own right.

I have decided for this workshop review to try and give an insight into the process. So I am going to include my working notes for my pitch, along with the topics covered by Amber.

1. The five W’s and H are common approaches when first tackling a business related problem, and are used here:

Who is the subject of the elevator pitch?
The British Library Business & IP Centre
What does the person or business do?
We provide information, training and support for inventors and start-up business.
Where does the business or service operate?
We are located within the British Library at St Pancras in north London. Next door to Kings Cross.
When is the service available?
We are open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 8pm (5pm on Fridays and Saturdays).
Why offer the product or service?
We want to make use of our existing information to make the British Library more useful to inventors and start-up business.
How does the product or service work?
We give free on-site access to millions of pounds of market research reports, directories, trade journals, company databases, with workshops and free advice clinics.

2. Understand the pains of your customers, so you can present your solutions to their problems.
For the Business & IP Centre customers this includes a lack of knowledge of:
o    Their market place
o    Their competitors
o    Relevant legislation
o    Intellectual Property protection
o    Facts to back up their gut feelings
o    How to prioritise

3. Next Amber made us look at the components of our business or service
What is the service, product, company etc?
Information, training and support for inventors and start-up business.
What problems does it solve?
Inventors and start-up business need to know more about their market place, their competitors, relevant legislation, Intellectual Property  protection, facts to back up their gut feelings and how to prioritise.
How am I different?
We hold the largest collection of freely available market research and business information in the world. We understand the role of intellectual property in protecting a start-up or growing business.
Why should your customers care?
So you don’t waste time and money, and make the right decisions for your business.

4. Amber showed us how to structure a pitch. It needs to:
–    Have a hook
–    Be straightforward (especially no jargon)
–    Establish credibility (name drop if possible)
–    Show passion for what you are doing
–    Be about informing, not bragging about you or your business
–    Not be all about you – needs to be about their needs – not yours

5. Then you need to think about background information
Who are your competitors now (be honest and realistic)?
o    For the Business & IP Centre we have partners and competitors in the shape of other business libraries, Business Link and local authority enterprise agencies.
­Who are you not like?
o    We are not patent attorneys giving legal advice
o    We do not provide incubation space
o    We don’t register companies or trademarks
­ What are your Unique Selling Points?
o    The depth and breadth of our content.
o    Our specialist knowledge and expertise.
o    Our combination of business and intellectual property knowledge.
­ What is your motivation / objectives?
o    To help inventors and individuals start and grow successful businesses.
o    To contribute to the growth of the UK economy.
­ Who is your idea client?
o    Inventors and early stage business start-ups

5. Amber ran through lots of good, bad and indifferent real examples of elevator pitches she has come across. This lead to a heated debate amongst the attendees, but with broad agreement of which was best and why.

6. We then had five minutes to come up with a pitch, which we presented to the room. The next twenty minutes consisted of a lively session where we helped each other improve our pitches.

7. Finally Amber gave us a formula to apply in the unlikely event that we had not managed to produce a suitable pitch during the workshop.

 

So after all that work, here is my shiny new pitch:

Are you ready to take the leap to start your own business?

At the Business & IP Centre in the British Library we provide free information, workshops and advice on your markets, competitors, legislation and in fact pretty much anything you need to start or grow your business.

Please let me know what you think, and how it could be improved.

Thanks again to Amber for a great workshop.

Amber_Raney-Kincade

http://www.raney-kincade.co.uk/Raney-Kincade/Home.html

http://ninfield.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/how-elevated-is-your-pitch/

Effective Writing And Communications with Kimberly Davies and Steve Trister

Kimberly_DavisYesterday I attended another of Kimberly DaviesMarketing Masters days. This time the topic was Effective Writing And Communications and featured guest speaker Steve Trister the creator of Performance Dynamite.

I not sure if Kimberly is a geographer at heart, but the four days I have attended have been located in south, east, north and now west London. I’m not sure where she will go next now we have covered all four compass points.

One of the consequences of moving to a new location each time, is that the rooms often have technical glitches with the sound or vision, or in yesterdays case, both.

Kimberly copes with these challenging starts to the day with an impressive level of  professionalism and humour.

steve_TristerKimberly spoke for most of the day and was excellent, however the highlight of the day for me was actor and business coach Steve Trister the from Performance Dynamite..

He walked to front of the room wearing a doctors mask and mumbled something to. That got our attention. He then asked us to name the number one disease in business. We came up with a range of suggestions, but failed to give the correct answer; Vomiticus Contentinaatum – otherwise known as puking content, or verbal diarrhoea.

I have to admit that working in one of the largest libraries in the world with over 150 million items in our collection, this is a disease I am all too well aware of falling prey to.

The cure to this disease is to make an emotional connection with your audience (of one or more). This of course is much easier to say than to do. So you need to prepare, by building the right mindset.

You need to tell yourself every day that you are already connected to your audience, then you need to mentally rehearse by visualising the event in advance (some of which will be scripted, and some not). This is similar to the way professional athletes prepare for a competition.

You need to be clear on the emotion you want to conjure up, be in state (or in the moment with no distractions), and to commit 100% to the performance.

Steve had investigated the famous research by Albert Mehrabian on non-verbal communication. He found the commonly quoted result, that clues from spoken words, from the voice tone, and from the facial expression, contribute 7 %, 38 %, and 55 % respectively to the total meaning, is wrong, as it it relates only to the communication of positive versus negative emotions.

Our voice is critical to how we communicate to our audience, changes in vocal emphasis (the stress we put on specific words) can completely change the meaning of what we saying. He asked how often do we take note of how we are actually speaking. He explained that our tongues are muscles, so we should exercise them using tongue twisters.

He also covered body language and the use of gestures, and how these can be used to reinforce or undermine our verbal messages. He said we should practice expressing our business activity in the form of charades. This made my mind boggle at how I could show the British Library through mime.

Steve illustrated each of these points with victims (sorry volunteers) from the audience, and guided them through. For the final example he had a professional photographer give an excellent and clear mime of his business.

Finally he said we should find an emotional story that will relate to your audience.

Needless to say Steve used all of these techniques during one of the most engaging and memorable presentations I have ever seen.

You can see a YouTube video of Steve in action, and an interview with Smarta.com.

Here are my notes from the rest of the excellent day:

Learn the 20 rules of communication that should never be broken

Kimberly’s no. 1 life lesson;
“You can reach anyone in the world with, seven phone calls or less, saying the right thing.”

Statistics show that 50% of marketing spend is wasted.

Led to the idea for Sarsaparilla – to detox your marketing – Marketing Purification

Definition of marketing
Anything that affects the perception of your company. From logos to staff behaviour.

You are exposed to 4,000 brands every day. So how does your business stand out?

Know your audience
–    Who is your target market?
–    Who is your idea client / decision maker?
–    What motivates them?
–    Profile (gender, age, health, wealth, culture, interests, position, salary, budget, etc)

Then put yourself into their shoes.
–    How can you make their life easier?
–    What is in it for them?

Then find your voice (written language).
–    Who would narrate your content?
–    Think of a character of personality best suited – perhaps Steven Fry for the British Library
–    Who would your audience relate to and want to hear? Admire? Look up to? Believe
–    Imagine their voice each time you create marketing content

Keywords
–    Ten words that best describe your business – For the Business & IP Centre: innovation, inventions, information, support, advice, help, entrepreneurs, business-startup,
–    One word that best describe your business – knowledge

Unique Selling Point
–    What truly makes your business unique – For the Business & IP Centre: The largest free collection of free market research and business information in the world, with expert guidance.

USP
–    You need to be the only…
–    Everyone says, great staff, customer service etc. That is not unique
–    Sarsaparilla – the only marketing purification agency
–    Try to be everything to everyone and you will be nothing to no one.

Misconceptions
–    Write down misconceptions about your company and industry
o    The British Library is a only accessible to senior academics and authors.
o    The British Library is a very big public library.
o    The British Library only has books.

Testimonials
–    Stronger to have others say it for you
–    One to address each misconception – a maximum of five
–    Keep them really short
–    Use white papers and case studies

Focus on the benefits for your customers
–    List them – information, advice, contacts, training
–    What problem can you solve?
–    How can you make their life easier? – a clearer view of what they need to do to start their business

Key Messages
–    What are the three key things you want people to remember about your business?
o    Business & IP Centre at the British Library at St Pancras central London
o    Free workshops and advice
o    Free access to market research and business information.

Branding
–    The trust people have in your company
–    Consistency – with the rest of your business
–    People will judge you from how you look

Professional photos
–    Stock photos are too common – better to use your own commissioned ones

KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid
–    You have two seconds to make an impression
–    8 year old level reading age for printed materials
–    Get straight to the point
–    Bulleted lists are good, with verbs to start
–    Every word competes

Formula for success and to avoid writers block
–    I’ve got all this information, now how do I organise it?
–    Reverse pyramid order – most important to least important
–    Start with the ‘lead’ – who, what, where, when, how

Navigate
–    Map out where you want them to go
–    Tell them what you want them to do

Incentives
–    Free downloads
–    Upgrades
–    Gifts
–    Discounts
–    Occasion
–    Expiration date
–    First 10 receive
–    Etc

Call to Action
–    Create urgency
–    Why should I stop what I’m doing and buy NOW?
–    Now or lose your audience

Ask questions – keep the dialogue going
–    Show a sincere interest
–    Surveys, feedback, phone
–    What questions would you want to know for market research?

Relevance
–    How can you connect your business to current news?
–    Have an opinion
–    Share your views – become an expert

The Elevator Pitch
–    What is it?
–    The most important tool
–    People decide whether to file or forget you
–    Get everyone in the company to memorise
–    Use it everywhere – keep it consistent – brochures, home page, flyers etc

The who, what, where, when and how of your business

I still think Sarsaparilla’s elevator pitch is the best I have come across;

50% of marketing is wasted. Sarsaparilla is a marketing consulting and training agency that specialises in marketing purification – the process of detoxing your marketing, protecting you from The Flash, Fluff, and Fakers, and helping you make more money with less.

Cool infographics that tell a story

Although I have never really believed in the old cliché a picture is worth a thousand words, I have been a big fan of effective illustrations for many years.

I started with the seminal works The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and Envisioning Information by statistician and sculptor, Edward Tufte. Although, I have to say I was always somewhat underwhelmed by his examples.

Thanks to a recent BBC series on The Beauty of Diagrams, I discovered that Florence Nightingale (who is best known as the nurse who cared for thousands of soldiers during the Crimean War), was the first to use statistical graphics as to illustrate the causes of mortality.

More recently I have discovered the Cool Infographics blog, and have seen some excellent examples of effective presentations of statistical information.

The Conversation Prism 3.0 for 2010 shows  the major players in each of 28 different online conversation categories.

Although not strictly speaking statistics related,  How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? gets an important point across very effectively.

Ten top tips for presenting from Jacqui Harper MBE

I was going through some old notes today and came across these top ten tips for presenting. Although many are familiar suggestions, numbers four and eight are less so, and worthy of attention.

They come from a Top Tips for Presenting workshop delivered by Jacqui Harper MBE, M.D. of Crystal Business Training, way back in November 2006, but are just as relevant now.

1. Start by identifying the purpose of the presentation for your audience.
The key thing to ask yourself is ‘what’s in it for the audience?’ Once you know the answer to this you’re on your way to creating a great presentation.

2. Use key messages and a simple structure to convey your points.
The best presenters communicate clearly and concisely with key messages that are easy to follow.

3. Make your material relevant and interesting for your audience.
Keeping an audience’s attention is quite straightforward if your material is adapted to their specific needs and interests. Audiences like to know you’ve done a bit of homework for them.

4. Rehearse your presentation at least twice.
It’s even better if you can tape your rehearsals with a camcorder. This speeds up familiarity with your material and dramatically improves your fluency.

5. Make sure your presentation has a strong impact at the beginning.
Your audiences are most attentive at the beginning of a presentation – if you engage them at the start you’re most likely to keep them.

6. Show the audience you care about your material and them.
Showing passion for your subject and a genuine interest in your audience always goes down well.

7. Use light touches of humour when you can to build rapport.
It doesn’t need to be a stand up routine. Occasional humorous comments instantly build rapport.

8. Only use PowerPoint when you absolutely have to!
PowerPoint will generally send audiences to sleep unless it’s really well used. It’s far better to ditch the slides and speak directly to the audience.

9. Dress in an outfit that makes you feel good and is appropriate.
A smart, well-groomed appearance will boost your confidence and impress your audience.

10. Get training!
All good speakers have had training. The cheapest way to train yourself is to buy a self-help guide like ‘Voices of Experience: The Expert’s to Making Great Presentations’. The quickest way to learn is to do a public speaking course with specialist companies like Crystal Business Training.

I also remember her advice to practice vocal exercises before every presentation.

Confident Communication – speak up and get your message across with clarity, confidence and influence

kathleen sullivanI was fortunate enough to sit in on this workshop yesterday morning and got a lot of useful ideas from it.

The trainer Kathleen Sullivan from KSCoaching was excellent. Especially when you consider that we were all much more conscious of her presentation approach given the nature of the workshop. I was immediately impressed by the way she coped with an initial technical hitch, because I have seen this throw many experienced presenters in the past.
The topic of First Impressions was well-known to most of the audience, but given its importance, was worth spending time on.

According to research you have up to seven seconds (and often much less) to make an initial impression. And if this is ‘wrong’, it can be very hard to recover from. ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’.
There are six key elements that go to make up that first impression:

1.    Handshake – Ideally, you don’t want your handshake to be memorable. We all have strong memories of handshakes that are too weak and limp, or too strong and bone crushing. Even more important it is to make eye contact at the same time.
2.    Appearance – Again, we all know of the importance of being clean and tidy, but sometimes you can be over-dressed for your audience. ‘If you stand out from the crowd, ask yourself it it’s for the right reasons.’
3.    Eye contact – Establish good eye contact, but don’t stare or blink unnaturally.
4.    Posture – You posture will have an impact on your audience and yourself. An open relaxed posture makes you feel more confident and will inspire confidence in those you are talking to. Your shoulders should be dropped, not hunched, your back should be upright, but not ramrod straight, your feet should be firmly planted on the ground, no crossing of legs or leaning on tables or walls for support. Your hands can rest on the table, in your lap or by your side, not hidden from view (indicates hiding something from your audience).
5.    Facial expressions – A gentle smile with both your mouth and eyes is good. A fixed grin (à la Miss World competitions of old) is false, and pursing or biting of lips is worse.
6.    Body language – To indicate fear, insecurity and defensiveness do the following; clutch your thumbs, sit on your hands, fold your arms and lock your fingers together. ‘A confident speaker has open, relaxed hands that move in line with what they are saying and have nothing to hide.’

The tricky bit is getting all of these right when you are in a stressful situation, such as a job interview or presenting to a potential hostile audience.

The key objective is to build rapport as quickly as possible.
Here are some additional suggestions taken from my notes:
1.    Shake hands with everyone you can, and when you do, say something positive and upbeat like, ‘lovely to meet you’.
2.    Aim to create positive energy in the relationship, not negativity. Don’t be an ‘energy vampire’.
3.    Be authentic, open and positive. Speak with passion and say what you mean. Your audience will smell out fakery every time.
4.    Be interesting without being overly controversial or opinionated.
5.    Listen twice as much as you speak. Practice being silent. It makes you seem more intelligent too.
6.    Acknowledge and validate their thoughts, ideas and feelings. Repeat their language back to them (mirroring).
7.    Using matching and mirroring of body positions to aid rapport. A 30 to 50 second delay is ‘natural’.
8.    Manage interruptions when you are presenting by acknowledging the speaker and repeating their comment to the rest of the audience. Once validated the interrupter is likely to feel satisfied and be quiet. Finally, sweep away the interruption with a wave of your arm and move on.
9.    Shake hands to signify the end the meeting.
10.    Leave a room with your face. In other words, make sure as you walk out of a meeting you turn and say your final goodbye so they see your face last, rather than the back of your head.

How to pitch your business

Irene Bejenke WalshFor any of you who have watched entrepreneurs pitching their business on the BBC’s  DragonsDen (or even better the Harry Enfield spoof version below), I’m sure you will agree it is often too painful to bear.

Fortunately we are introducing a workshop in the Business & IP Centre on this scary topic called the investor pitch, on Monday 25 January, and Monday 22 February 2010.

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about the content of investor presentations as well as how to deliver effective pitches.

Specifically, the following topics will be covered:

• What are investors looking for?
• Targeting different investor audiences
• How to turn your business plan into an investor presentation that will make an impact
• Content of an investor presentation
• Individual presentation skills & delivery
• Pitching formats
• The perfect elevator pitch
• Creating rapport & trust with investors
• Live pitches & feedback

Having met the presenter Irene Bejenke-Walsh, founder of MessageLab, I am confident attendees will be in good hands. She has been coaching entrepreneurs and management teams for investor presentations and pitches for more than a decade. Her clients include the UK’s largest Business Angel network, London Business Angels, where she has coached more than 300 entrepreneurs pitching to the network in a real life “Dragon’s Den”, contributing to an increase in investment rates of over 30%. She also coaches early-stage companies entering the London Technology Fund competition as well as many small and large businesses seeking investment.

How good is your Escalator Pitch?

I often ask my business advice clients if they have an elevator pitch. Quite a few have not heard this expression before which surprises me.

The basic idea is that in the fortunate event you find yourself in a lift with a potential backer for your business (think Richard Branson), could you convey the essentials of your idea or invention before he got out on the 20th floor?

In practice this means between 30 seconds and two minutes to express all the salient (selling) points without any waffle, which for some of my clients is a challenge to say the least.

To see examples of this in an even more demanding environment head over to Techfluff.tv to watch one of their many escalator pitches. Just be aware that practicing this on the London Underground might get you arrested.

DEMOgodAnother inspiring place to visit for when you get a little bit longer to get your idea across (in this case 6 minutes), is Demo.com. In particular have a look at some of the Demo Gods in action to see how it should be done by the best of the best.

About DEMO
The feel you get when you enter the ballroom at DEMO is unlike any other conference. Each company is given just six minutes on the DEMO stage to truly demonstrate how their product will change the world. No PowerPoint or flashy corporate presentations allowed. Just the founders and the technologies many are staking their careers on… it doesn’t get any more straightforward and fast paced than that.

PitchTV – your chance to make your pitch to Richard Branson

http://www.virginlifecare.co.za/assets/images/AboutVirginLogo.jpgPerhaps not surprisingly in these YouTube obsessed times, there has been something of a rash of video-pitching websites. A friendly version of Dragon’s Den? and See my pitch are just two that I have covered previously.

However, when Richard Branson of Virgin fame gets involved you just know there will be a lot of interest.

PitchTV gives you the “chance to pitch your business idea directly to people who could make your ambition a reality.”

Once a month we’ll pick out a selection of the best video pitches and then let everyone vote for their favourite. Each month the five most popular video pitches will make it on to the PitchTV show which will premiere on Virgin Atlantic’s in-flight entertainment – to be seen by top business professionals from around the world.

So if you think you have the media friendly features to make it through to the final round, then why not give it a go.

http://entrepreneur.virgin.com/pitchtv/

Is Creative Commons the future of copyright?

smallcover2I listened to a fascinating discussion on In Business on Radio 4 recently with Professor James Boyle of Duke Law School.

Professor Boyle is the co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain, and Chairman of the Board of Creative Commons, which is working to facilitate the free availability of art, scholarship, and cultural materials by developing innovative, machine-readable licenses that individuals and institutions can attach to their work.

Although not arguing for the end of all traditional forms of copyright. For instance the intellectual property within movies will still need to be protected in order to recover the significant cost of production. However, he argues for a much more flexible approach to use of creative output.

In this spirit he has ‘published’ his latest book The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind both in hard copy and as a free download under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License.

Professor Boyle explains his reasons for taking this approach by indicating that the free publicity gained will lead to more sales than those lost to free downloads.

“Why am I allowing you to copy the book for free?  And why is Yale University Press letting me?   To understand why I am doing it, watch this video by Jesse Dylan.  And if you want to  understand why it  makes economic sense to my publisher, read this short article.”

This may seem like a risky or foolish approach to those with a traditional view of Intellectual Property, but there is growing evidence of its success. The latest high profile example is from heavy metal band Nine Inch Nails, who’s Creative Commons licensed Ghosts I-IV was ranked the best selling MP3 album of 2008 on Amazon’s MP3 store.

In other words, a music album that can be legally downloaded and distributed over the Internet for free, has sold more than any others for $5 each, and earned over $1.6 million in revenue for NIN in its first week.

This is all makes fascinating reading given my participation in the next Real Time Club event, Intellectual Property:  Success Story To Be Extended? Just Desserts or Global Gridlock? on 27 January at the National Liberal Club in London.