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Is Your Business All Ice and No Fizz?

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When I was in college my friend Janet worked at the fast-food joint on our college campus. She gave me the skinny on some of the dumbest business practices I ever had the misfortune of witnessing. To improve profits, her manager decided to have a contest between work shifts to see now long they could make tanks of soda last. The shift that served the most drinks from one set of tanks got a small bonus in their check. The goal was to cut costs and boost employee morale. Have you figured out yet why this wasn’t a good idea?

By the end of the first shift, cups were filled with 90% ice. News spreads quickly on college campuses. By second shift sales down by 35% and everyone was asking for “no ice.” It took almost a week for the restore the restaurant’s market share. The second and third shift employees were mad because they went through twice as much syrup as usual with all of the “no ice” drinks they were forced to serve.

And here is the kicker, three weeks later the manager did it again with french-fries. :-/ Some people never learn.

So what does this have to do with you? Do you use too much ice?

I see a lot of speakers use too much ice. They turn their talks into an infomercial. No real content, no tips, no take aways, just sell-sell-sell and they’re shocked when people don’t ask them back to speak again. Hey, there’s only so many times you want to see the “Sham-Wow” guy.

I recently coached a women who had an interesting story, but when I asked her what her message was … she didn’t have one. If you follow my blog, you know I’m into using stories to make your point, but stories are the “ice.” Your message is the soda. An entertaining story by itself can’t carry your speech. If you want to get asked back or create great word-of-mouth referrals you have to start with a great message. That’s why I coach people to work backwards. Dream up your message first and then create the content that it’s packaged in. Most people do it the other way around.

Another case that comes to mind: One of my coaching clients is a great speaker. Super technique, great articulation, wonderful pacing, you name it he had it … but no message. Once again speaking ability can only take you so far. It’s just more ice. People like cold sodas so ice is important, just like stories are important, but no one wants just a cup of ice.

Just like the angry customers at the burger joint, if you don’t give the audience something to take home with them, they feel ripped off. Even if you’re speaking for free the audience is still giving you their valuable time. Honor that investment and give them something of value. If someone can better their lives with one of your tips you’re well on your way to getting their business.

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Spark Your Speaking – Interview with Cliff on Savvy Radio

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Forty Minute interview will Cliff Suttle about How to put a Spark in your Speaking on the Savvy Radio Network with host Christina Nitschmann. To find out more about Savvy Central Radio, click here.

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What to do When you’re not Funny

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My Mother can’t tell a joke, she forgets the punch-line and has to start over again and again. When no one laughs, she explains why it was funnier when Ed told it.

Do you know someone like this? Maybe you?

When you’re speaking do you avoid trying to be funny because you’re afraid you’ll embarrass yourself? Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. Most people, and I mean like 80% do not consider themselves funny. However, making your audience laugh is one of the best ways to connect, loosen up the crowd, and get them to agree with you.

So you weren’t the class clown, who cares. You don’t have to be born funny. It’s a learned skill. You really can learn the art of humor. Does it take some effort? Of course, anything worth doing does. Is it worth it? OH YEAH! People love to laugh and if you’re the person that can make that happen they will want to see you speak again and again.

The first step in learning to be humorous is committing to it. That’s a big step.

I want to help you get there. So here is what I want you to do. Go to YouTube.com and search for “Stand Up Comedy.” Watch whatever videos interest you, but watch them with a student’s eye. Each time you laugh, rewind and play that section again and notice how the comedian did it. What did they do; gestures, facial expressions, tone-of-voice, and especially timing. Then, go out and practice.

For most people practice will be the toughest part. They worry that they will look like a fool if nobody laughs. This is a valid fear. It’s not comfortable to be the only person in the room laughing. So here’s the trick; never laugh at your own jokes until the audience starts laughing. Then, it’s alright to laugh with them. Also if you tell a joke and no one laughs, just act as if you didn’t mean it to be funny and go on with your speech. No one will be the wiser.

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How to Become and Expert in 5 Weeks – The Million Dollar Mindset Show

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One hour interview will Cliff Suttle about How to Become and Expert by Becoming an Author on The Million Dollar Mindset Show with host Marla Tabaka. To see more interview on the Million Dollar Mindset Show. Click Here

 

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