Photo by Janeke88
[FYI: The title “BBJ” refers to Bill’s Business Journey]
One of my favorite internet business experts, Ray Edwards, tells this story:
In his Master Mind group (a small team of like-minded business owners who meet regularly to help each other grow their businesses), Ray tried something new: instead of asking for advice on a specific issue, he told his group, “Talk about me and my business as if I wasn’t here. Discuss things I’m doing well, ways in which I could improve, and so on. I’ll just listen.”
What he got was a tremendous insight – not by what was suggested, but by what was asked. One of the members, who’d been a part of the group for years, shocked him by posing this question:
“What exactly does Ray do?”
In our efforts to differentiate ourselves from the competition, we may try to promote our services on a grand scale: “As a presentation consultant, I empower my clients to create experiential presentations that transform their audiences.” Or we may create pithy catch phrases to encompass everything we strive for: “Making your message memorable.” But these descriptions alone might actually backfire on our potential clients – or even, as Ray learned, on our own networking colleagues.
At some point, we need to just keep it simple and clear. The results may surprise us.
I recently met with a new networking contact to discuss how we might assist each other’s business growth. While we were still chatting, he suddenly said, “Wait a minute: do you do PowerPoint work?”
I answered yes, and he told me this: “When you said ‘presentations’ at the group meeting, I thought you only offered coaching for high-level public speaking, like Toastmasters. But if you do PowerPoint, I’ve got clients who could use you right now.”
He wasn’t kidding. A week later, he set me up to begin some PowerPoint work for one of his clients, the first of several ongoing projects.
It wasn’t because I promoted my services on a grand scale. It was because he now knows exactly what I do.
This blog chronicles my adventures with my public speaking and presentation coaching business, Rhetorio Presentation. To learn more about it, visit the main site at www.rhetoriopresentation.com. For presentation-specific tips, scroll down the right-hand sidebar for the 3 presentation categories: #1: Think, #2: Show, and #3: Tell.