Why You Freeze When You Speak In Public

Why You Freeze When You Speak In Public

In the year 1990, Jerry Seinfeld said something interesting.

He said: “Surveys show that the #1 fear of Americans is public speaking. #2 is death. Death is #2. That means that at a funeral, the average American would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy”.

And almost immediately everyone took this statement to be gospel truth.  And the quote “Public speaking is more painful than death” went into our common terminology.

No one asked who did the survey? No one bothered to ask who they surveyed. No questions were asked.

But how can you ask questions: The statement was made in “Seinfeld”—the comedy show

In that very same comedy show, Jerry also said, “Anything’s possible.” But did you pay attention to the “anything’s possible” line? Noooooo you didn’t. Instead you believed that speaking in public is truly worse than death.

Well so is putting out an oil fire

So is getting stuck in the elevator for the weekend.

So is learning how to write copy for your sales page.

They all seem worse than death. And yes there are surveys to prove the point (heh, heh).

But waitasecond, there are people who do all of the above every day of their lives

And our natural assumption is that those people must be talented in that particular field. They must have some gift we don’t. Sure they have a gift. It’s called the gift of practice. Incessant practice. And it’s possible that you may be rolling your eyes, because it’s not like you haven’t practiced, but you still fear public speaking worse than death. So stay with me a second.

Are you shy when you speak to your pet?

Are you shy when you speak to your friend?

Are you shy when you speak to four or even five of your friends?

So why is it that when you have to give a speech to five of your friends in a formal setting that you fear it “more than death?”

The answer is simple. You don’t do it every day

You speak to your pets incessantly. You yakkity-yak with your friends at will. And yet you struggle to give a speech to the same friends (let alone a whole bunch of friends or strangers).

So let’s see what you’re up against in this speaking scenario

1) You have to be able to speak with flow (presentations are not like normal speech. They have a structure).

2) You can’t say something boring or trivial. You have to say something important.

3) You have to follow a fixed time grid. You start at a specific time and end at a specific time.

4) Worse still, you most often don’t have to speak to friends, but speak to a bunch of strangers.

Is it any reason to suggest why you would not fail at making a great impression?

You have to master at least four different disciplines before you can even start to make sense. Muck up the flow, and you look like a dolt. Say something boring and you freeze in your tracks. And structure, ooh, just mastering structure is a task in itself. And let’s not forget that you can’t ramble on forever because those strangers are not going to be as forgiving as your friends.

The myth of talent stems from the fact that some people are excellent at doing this stuff. They were born with the gift of the gab. Yet look around you and list the world’s most well known speakers.

Chris Rock (comedian), Al Gore (Ex-politician), Bill Gates (Big shot at Microsoft), the late Steve Jobs. Look everywhere and you’ll see that those you consider to be well known speakers are often painfully shy people. They rarely like to mingle with people, let alone speak to them. Yet they get on stage and they speak to hundreds of strangers. So how do they do it?

They do it the same way that people write copy for your salesletters

The first hundred or six hundred times you write copy, it’s a freakin’ slog fest. Then something happens. You’re able to write on demand. The first six hundred times you write articles, every article is terribly exhausting.

Then you get it and can write articles on demand. Drop you in a pool and you’ll drown. Put you on a bicycle and you’ll fall to the earth repeatedly. But give it enough practice and the brain eventually learns.

But it’s not just practice that counts

It’s repeated practice. Almost over and over again. In quick succession. And the more often you practice (read: daily practice) the more this becomes second nature. Which is why you can speak to your friends. You’ve been practicing that from the age of two or younger. Which is why you can walk. Or write. Or draw (oops, cancel that one out).

People fear speaking more than death, because they latched on to some random comment on a Jerry Seinfeld show.

Well, latch on to the other statement too: “Anything’s possible”.

If you practice every day. Yes, everyday!

P.S.

Note 1: When I first started public speaking I was terrified. At one of the earliest events, I forgot what I had to say. And I spoke to an audience that consisted of 50% of folks who knew me. I had to take a 10 minute break in the middle of my speech just to get my composure and my thoughts back in place.

Of course as you can tell, I was terrified of speaking. Since then if you’ve been to any of the Psychotactics events or seen me live at other events, you would find it hard to believe that I was ever scared of speaking. Yet I’ve been terrified enough. In the year 2006, I was called to speak at a paid event in Wellington, New Zealand.

Despite having years of experience under my belt, I forgot what I had to say. Have you ever had over 100 people in the audience and you’re standing on the stage and freeze? I was so afraid that I didn’t want to even visit that hotel again. But two years later I did speak again at the very same venue.

Even now, when I’m doing my own events on topics such as The Brain Audit (which I know like the back of my hand) I still practice 5-6 hours before the event (Consider that the event starts at 8am and it will give you a good indication of when I wake up to practice). Do I fear public speaking more than death? I don’t because I’ve learned how to beat the fear.

Note 2: A friend of mine shook like a leaf when she spoke at her networking meetings. She’s a perfectly confident person, but she’d get the jitters every time she had to speak. She used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and was able to speak without being afraid. Sometimes it may need more than just practice. But there’s always a way—or there’s a will.

P.S. I am sure you have a public speaking disaster or success story. Why don’t you share it here.

Why You Need The Brain Audit


“I purchased The Brain Audit and have increased my clientele two-fold.”

brainaudit_book1

As a Results Coach, I am always looking for ways to up my own game and provide more value for my clients. I came across some promotional material for the Brain Audit and was impressed almost immediately! I started reading through Sean’s PsychoTactics material and was even more impressed.

His conversational approach, his practical strategies that WORK, and his dedication to making marketing and customer attraction easier and more understandable make me not only a customer but a fan!

I purchased The Brain Audit and have increased my clientele two-fold. Buy The Brain Audit…Read it…Apply the principles…Watch your business grow!

Sean is a breath of fresh air. His strategies, principles, and advice work! I highly recommend The Brain Audit.

Dawn Langerock ~ Results Expert and Coach
Synergy Coaching and Consulting, Austin, TX, USA

Read more at http://www.psychotactics.com/brainaudit


Top Selling Products Under $50


1) Don’t Miss! You already know that 80% of a sales letter depends on your headline.
So what’s the remaining 20% that causes customers to buy? Find out more

2) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

3) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

4) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

5) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly it’s July, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected.
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.


NEW PRODUCT! Black Belt Presentations: How do you create presentations that enthrall, hold and move an audience to action?



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How To Get People To Introduce Themselves At A Workshop

How to get people to introduce themselves at a workshop

When you think about it, why would you get your audience to introduce themselves? When you think of pet hates, introducing oneself at a workshop is easily one of the most hated of all activities. So why bother getting the audience members to introduce themselves?

Or you could take a totally different route, and avoid the frustration of everyone introducing themselves. You could make the person sitting next to them do the introduction.

So how does this system work?

In effect, no one does their own introduction. All they do is talk to the person next to them. So if X and Y are sitting next to each other, X introduces Y. And in turn, Y introduces X.

Why is it important?

The reason why we hate introducing ourselves, is because we have to talk about ourselves. That alone is kinda boring for at least half the audience. But the second biggest reason is that the spotlight is on us.

We have to talk about ourselves and make ourselves look good. We’re doing a tightrope act where we can’t undersell ourselves—or boast too much. This is all too much to bear, and we often end up goofing it up. This makes us even more nervous the next time we have to introduce ourselves.

But the nervousness gets reduced when someone else is introducing us

This is because that ‘someone’ can not only boost us a bit, but they don’t need to have to remember anything. You see, when they spoke to you, and asked you questions about yourself, they would have made little notes. When they are called upon to introduce you, they simply refer to those notes. So they don’t have to remember anything and hence the nervousness goes away as well.

But confusion still abounds if you don’t have structure to the introduction

Just asking X to introduce Y is not a good idea. When we conduct live Psychotactics workshops, we make sure that there’s a clear structure to follow. e.g. The questions that X needs to ask Y would be something like:

- Your name

- Your profession

- Your favourite food

That gives the participants a clear structure to work with. They’re not randomly asking each other questions.

But can’t we just skip the introduction session if it’s so hated?

Yes you can, but you’ll find that your audience gets very disoriented. The introduction is a very vital part of who we are as humans. We like to know about each other, even if we don’t particularly like to introduce ourselves to a crowd.

But create a bit of excitement around the introduction and it’s not hated at all. Be sure, however, not to do silly things like making the person stand when doing the introduction. Let them be relaxed and they’ll thank you for it.

Introductions are hateful because of the way they’re conducted

If you turn it around and make Y introduce X, and X introduce Y, you get a much better result. It takes the nervousness out of the situation, allows us to refer to notes—and best of all it gets X and Y to know each other a lot better. Plus it enables the entire group to get to know everyone else, so don’t be surprised if you get a ton of laughs and a relaxed atmosphere.

And this sets the tone for the rest of the workshop

Your group is now introduced to each other, have had a few good laughs and are now ready to learn. What was once a pet hate is now a wonderful experience. And all it took was a few tweaks and voilà, your workshop is well on its way to rocking and rolling!

P.S. What techniques have you used to get people to introduce themselves at your workshop? And if you attended a workshop, what technique did the presenter use?

How to get FREE: Two Brain Audit Audio Files
(Without Even Needing To Fill A Form) Before 26 May 2012


brainaudit_book1

In case you missed this special go to this page.
http://www.psychotactics.com/blog/free-brain-audit-audio-files/

 


“I’m one of those people who has a lot of trouble spending money on training and education, so paying a fee to join a forum was a big step for me.

 

What I’ve found, though, is that people are serious and they contribute. That makes a big difference.

I’m also enjoying the general discussions. As a solo entrepreneur, most of my days are spent in isolation. And because of where I live, I’m not around other similarly-minded folks. The forum is
inspiring; it’s great to be in contact with other people who are working hard on their businesses and facing so many of the same challenges I am.

Thanks for your work to keep this forum going.

Joe Thoron, Eastsound, WA, USA
Find out more at http://www.5000bc.com/

 


Top Selling Products Under $50


1) You already know that 80% of a sales letter depends on your headline.
So what’s the remaining 20% that causes customers to buy? Find out more

2) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

3) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

4) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

5) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly it’s April, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected.
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.


The Black Belt Presentation Series: Learn how to make your Presentation stand out from every other presenter.



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Why You Should Not Repeat What’s On The Slides

Why You Should Not Repeat What’s On The Slides

 

You know those presenters who read out from slides? You know how you detest them? Well there’s a reason.

And it comes all the way from Hollywood

The Hollywood saying goes like this: If the scene shows you what the scene is supposed to show you, you’re in deep shit.

What does that mean?

If there are two lovers over a candlelit dinner and they’re saying: “I love you” then the scene is showing you what the scene is showing you.

So in effect it’s treating you like an idiot. You already know that the candlelit, soft scene is about love. That’s already been clearly shown to you. Now if the actors repeat it, then it’s a complete waste of space. And a waste of your time.

Love can be shown in different ways

So in an episode of Frasier, Daphne and Niles are chopping vegetables and singing a song. And they chop to a rhythm. There’s love written all over the scene. Unabashed love on Niles’ face. Unknown love on Daphne’s face. But they never say I love you. They chop veggies.

The same applies to anything whether it goes from cartoons to magazine layouts to presentations

The graphic needs to accompany the text. Not be a replica of the text. If the graphics are a replica of the text, it’s boring for the reader/listener/viewer.

So when you read off the points in your slides, you’re causing the listener/viewer a ton of grief. For one, you’re breaking Hollywood’s rule–that’s never good. And secondly you’re boring me, because here’s what happens in my brain.

When I see text, I read it

When I read it, it may appear to be a silent reading but in fact my ear is processing the information before sending it to my brain.

You see this more evidently in older folk and young children. They read aloud so that their ear processes the information before sending it to their brain. The same applies to you and me–except that we don’t read aloud. But we’ve still “read aloud” and then along comes the presenter and reads it aloud again.

That’s like saying something twice. That’s like saying something twice

It irritates the reader/viewer. It irritates the reader/viewer. And in a few minutes it turns the reader/viewer off completely. And in a few minutes it turns the reader/viewer off completely.

Get the point?

P.S. Do you have a Presentation Story? Share your Story here.

Product Offers: Links you should visit


“I wasn’t sure Sean would have anything new to say or would offer
advice that would be easy to apply.

brainaudit_book1

I was also concerned that I would be deluged with a lot of information and sales pitches that I would get overwhelmed and not be able to implement anything.

But after I checked out his site I was impressed by all the free offerings. And it seemed so well organized I didn’t feel overwhelmed or confused. I tried a few ideas out and was so happy with the positive results that I bought the Brain Audit.

After reading (and re-reading!) the Brain Audit I felt like a blindfold had been lifted off my eyes. It made so much sense and I kept thinking how it seems so obvious but no one has ever put all the pieces together like this before.

I am happily communicating with patients much better, and attracting more of my ideal type of patient.

So if you want to break through to get better results and are willing to do a little painless work, then do yourself a favor and get the Brain Audit.

Tyme Gigliotti, Licensed Acupuncturist
Baltimore, MD, USA
Read more at http://www.psychotactics.com/brainaudit


In your small business, how can you get reliable answers to your complex marketing problems?
Find out more at http://www.5000bc.com/

 


Top Selling Products Under $50


1) You already know that 80% of a sales letter depends on your headline.
So what’s the remaining 20% that causes customers to buy? Find out more

2) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

3) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

4) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

5) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly it’s April, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected.
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.


NEW PRODUCT! Learn How To make your Presentation stand out from every other presenter.



Next Step: To get more Psychological Tactics
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Public Speaking: Why It Can Torment You Forever (If You Let It)!

Public  Speaking Why It Can Torment You Forever

Have you ever been to a primary school play?

There they are, all the kids, all keen to play their part.

And then one kid forgets his part

He stands there dumbfounded. Unable to speak. Frozen in fear. The words seemingly circulating in his brain somewhere.

I was that kid!

Except I wasn’t five years old. I was thirty-three years old and I was giving my first presentation ever on The Brain Audit. Except at that point, it wasn’t even called The Brain Audit. I was, at least in my mind, just giving a one hour seminar.

And about twenty minutes into that one hour, I froze

Nothing. I couldn’t remember a thing. There were twenty five people in the room looking right at me, and my mind was blankety-blank. And time doesn’t just slow down in these moments. It shuts down. You feel suffocated, unable to move or even twitch an eyebrow.

My wife, Renuka saved me that night

She told the audience we were going to take a 10-minute break. Imagine that. A 10-minute break in the middle of a presentation. But there I was ten minutes later, my brain all rebooted. And I gave my first presentation on The Brain Audit ever. But that was my first ever event. Sure I goofed up. But then I was fine.

Fine until Wellington, that is

I had to speak to this group of insurance agents. One hundred and fifty of them. And I was being paid the grand sum of $1500 plus airfare + expenses. And though it was at least three-four years later and forty presentations later, I did it again.

I became that five-year old on the stage again

My 45-minute speech was done in twenty. And I fled the stage. I was mortified because I forgot what I was supposed to say. And I knew in that moment, that I really should stop trying to be a speaker. Heck I might as well go and hide behind my computer and never show my face again.

Moments of doubt creep up in everyone’s mind

But this isn’t a moment. This is a crisis. You’re being mangled, pulverised and every bone in your body is telling you to eject, eject and eject.

And yet you stay on course. You feel the anguish, the shame, the utter doubt. And then when you’ve done enough of your self-pity, you wake up the next day (or several days later) and you get back to doing what you need to do.

What I needed to do was go back to Wellington

Back to that same hotel. Back to that same stage. Back to face a fear so strong that even though I wasn’t going to be speaking to the same audience; or even speaking on the same topic; or the fact that several years had elapsed. I was still petrified of—get this—the very room!

But that’s what you have to do

The only way to face the fear is to face it. You pick yourself, dust yourself off and start all over again. That’s what marks out the people who succeed vs. the people who don’t.

The people who don’t make excuses. They say: I tried this stuff. It didn’t work. Well hello there, try it again. And again. At least so that you get over the fear. If for no one else, then at least for yourself.

Because the moment of doubt doesn’t care

As you get better at what you do, you have more challenges. Some challenges you breeze through. Some make you feel five again. Fearful. Blank. Unable to go on. But you must go on, because if you do there is that so-called pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow.

Remember The Brain Audit presentation I was telling you about?

Well, at that point I hadn’t written The Brain Audit. But after that event, someone came up to me and asked me for notes. Of course I didn’t have any notes. But she persisted. So I wrote out the notes a few days later and sent it to her in a PDF. Those notes became the basis for The Brain Audit as it is today.

And today that one book alone has sold over $500,000 worth of copies to date.

One book. Half a million dollars!

In my wildest dreams I could not have envisioned a turnaround like that. But it could have gone the other way as well. I could have given up. Decided to go into early ‘retirement’. And that would be the end.

Doubt shakes our very core

When you’re doing a course. Learning a new skill. Doing something different or scary. And the longer you wallow in self-pity, the more stupid excuses you make, the more that doubt is going to chew you up and spit you out.

Be that five year old

Freeze in fear if you have to. Take your ’10-minute break.’

Then come back to fight.

And win!

P.S. So what was your scariest presentation moment? And how did you overcome it? Share your experience here

Product Offers: Links you should visit


“I first bought the Brain Audit in 2002. It was 32 pages long.
And I thought it was the best damn book on copywriting I had read

brainaudit_book1

It laid down the entire sequence of elements that any successful salesletter or presentation needs to cover to make the prospect say “yes!?”

I really thought that Brain Audit could not be improved upon.

But year after year, Sean has been proving me wrong. He has improved upon it. And improved upon it. And improved upon it.

Sean’s added more details to the Brain Audit. More stories and analogies. Better graphics (and fun cartoons!). He has used every teaching trick possible to make sure that you not only understand the sequence of elements needed to make people buy… but the sequence soaks into your thinking pattern too.

Today, the Brain Audit 3.2 is 157 pages long! And its the best* book on persuasion you will ever read!

* Until Sean comes out with version 4.0 a year or 2 down the line. But you really can’t afford to wait a year or 2 to take advantage of the Brain Audit, can you?

Ankesh Kothari – Biztactics, USA
Read more at http://www.psychotactics.com/brainaudit


In your small business, how can you get reliable answers to your complex marketing problems?
Find out more at http://www.5000bc.com/

 


Top Selling Products Under $50


1) You already know that 80% of a sales letter depends on your headline.
So what’s the remaining 20% that causes customers to buy? Find out more

2) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

3) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

4) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

5) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly it’s April, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected.
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.


NEW PRODUCT! Learn How To make your Presentation stand out from every other presenter.



Next Step: To get more Psychological Tactics
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The Moment of Doubt (And How It Led to $500,000 In The Bank)

Presentation Skill Stories

Have you ever been to a primary school play?
There they are, all the kids, all keen to play their part.

And then one kid forgets his part.

He stands there dumbfounded. Unable to speak. Frozen in fear. The words seemingly circulating in his brain somewhere.

I was that kid!

Except I wasn’t five years old. I was thirty-three years old and I was giving my first presentation ever on The Brain Audit. Except at that point, it wasn’t even called The Brain Audit. I was, at least in my mind, just giving a one-hour seminar.

And about twenty minutes into that one hour, I froze

Nothing. I couldn’t remember a thing. There were twenty five people in the room looking right at me, and my mind was blankety-blank. And time doesn’t just slow down in these moments. It shuts down. You feel suffocated, unable to move or even twitch an eyebrow.

My wife, Renuka, saved me that night.

She told the audience we were going to take a 10-minute break. Imagine that. A 10-minute break in the middle of a presentation. But there I was ten minutes later, my brain all rebooted. And I gave my first presentation on The Brain Audit ever. But that was my first ever event. Sure I goofed up. But then I was fine.

Fine until Wellington, that is

I had to speak to this group of insurance agents. One hundred and fifty of them. And I was being paid the grand sum of $1500 plus airfare + expenses. And though it was at least three-four years later and forty presentations later, I did it again.

I became that five-year old on the stage again

My 45-minute speech was done in twenty. And I fled the stage. I was mortified because I forgot what I was supposed to say. And I knew in that moment, that I really should stop doing trying to be a speaker. Heck I might as well go and hide behind my computer and never show my face again.

Moments of doubt creep up in everyone’s mind

But this isn’t a moment. This is a crisis. You’re being mangled, pulverised and every bone in your body is telling you to eject, eject and eject. And yet you stay on course. You feel the anguish, the shame, the utter doubt. And then when you’ve done enough of you self-pity, you wake up the next day (or several days later) and you get back to doing what you need to do.

What I needed to do was go back to Wellington

Back to that same hotel. Back to that same stage. Back to face a fear so strong that even though I wasn’t going to be speaking to the same audience; or even speaking on the same topic; or the fact that it several years had elapsed. I was still petrified of—get this—the very room! But I stood up, gave my speech. And got a rousing applause.

And that’s what you have to do

The only way to face the fear, is to face it. You pick yourself, dust yourself off and start all over again. That’s what marks out the people who succeed vs. the people who don’t.

The people who don’t, make excuses. They say: I tried this stuff. It didn’t work. Well hello there, try it again. And again. At least so that you get over the fear. If for no one else, then at least for yourself.

Because the moment of doubt doesn’t care

As you get better at what you do, you have more challenges. Some challenges you breeze through. Some make you feel five again. Fearful. Blank. Unable to go on. But you must go on, because if you do there is that so-called pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow.

Remember The Brain Audit presentation I was telling you about?

Well, at that point I hadn’t written The Brain Audit. But after that event, someone came up to me and asked me for notes. Of course I didn’t have any notes. But she persisted. So I wrote out the notes a few days later and sent it to her in a PDF. Those notes became the basis for The Brain Audit as it is today.

And today that one book alone has sold over $500,000 worth of copies to date.

One book. Half a million dollars!

In my wildest dreams I could not have envisioned a turnaround like that. But it could have gone the other way as well. I could have given up. Decided to go into early ‘retirement’. And that would be the end.

Doubt shakes our very core

When you’re doing a course. Learning a new skill. Doing something different or scary. And the longer you wallow in self-pity, the more stupid excuses you make, the more that doubt is going to chew you up and spit you out.

Be that five year old.

Freeze in fear if you have to. Take your ’10-minute break.’
Then come back to fight.

And win!

So tell me what was your moment of doubt? And how did you overcome it?
Share your experience below


How to get a FREE 30-Page Excerpt of The Brain Audit
(Without Even Needing To Fill A Form) : Before 14 August 2011

brainaudit_book1
In case you missed this special go to this page
The Brain Audit Download
Also, look out for two more freebies this SUNDAY.


Products: Under $501) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

2) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

3) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

4) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly it’s March, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected.
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.

5) Nothing bugs you more than a painful client.
A client who hassles you at every step of the way. Learn how to use the power of the ‘six critical questions’ to get incredible testimonials—and attract clients that make every day an absolute joy.


NEW PRODUCT! Black Belt Presentations: How do you create presentations that enthrall, hold and move an audience to action?


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Why Variation Is The Hallmark of Outstanding Presenters

Black Belt Presentations: The Hallmark of outstanding presenters
Put on some Bach, Beethoven or Chopin. And listen to the music. What do you hear? You hear variation. The music races madly ahead. Then it stops. It goes softer, then louder. Then at a normal volume once again.

And variation isn’t just restricted to classical music. It’s pretty much everywhere you look. In cartoons, movies, speeches, art—you’ll find variation everywhere. And there’s an important reason why variation should be a critical component in your presentation.

It’s because a lack of variation is terribly boring
If all you do is blah, blah, blah from start to end without variation, you’re doing exactly what average speakers do. Like lifeless ghouls they advance from one slide to the other, never changing their tone, volume or rhythm. And even if their content is pretty interesting, the presentation tends to lack packaging. And variation is the magical packaging on which great presentations thrive.

So how do you create this variation anyway?
You do so with a change of rhythm, pace and volume. At least twice or thrice in your presentation, you need drop your voice down completely, to a whisper. And boof, the attention levels in the room spike madly as the audience leans forward to hear what you have to say.

And yet a whisper is only one method of creating voice
As you’ve probably figured out, you also can raise your voice to create drama. You could possibly speed up your pace. Or slow down. Or say something important, then say nothing at all for a few seconds.

So yes, variation rules, but how much variation do you need?
Not a lot actually. You can deliver most of your presentation—say about 80% to 85%—at your normal pace and volume. If you simply create variation at several junctures in the presentation, you’ll create enough change to keep the audience always alert.

But how do you know when to speed up or slow down?
Speeding up suddenly creates a flutter of excitement. So if you’ve got something exciting to say, speed it up. If you want to emphasise some fact, slow your speech down.

If you’ve got something really important to say, let your voice plummet to a whisper. And the members of the audience will listen intently, just as if you were telling them some state secret.

It’s hard to give you exact advice on when to go louder or softer, but if you choose to increase your volume, you need to do it very briefly. A loud volume is hard on our hearing for more than a few seconds.

If you persist in ‘shouting’, it’s more than likely that the sound engineer at the back of the room will reduce your levels. While there’s no reason why you shouldn’t raise your voice, just do it briefly. Then having made your point, move back to your normal volume level.

The same applies to the whisper
If you keep whispering endlessly, you’ve reduced a dramatic variation to a farce. A variation is powerful because it’s infrequent. And when it suddenly makes an entrance, it demands instant attention.

What’s interesting is that variations don’t work in isolation
In fact they work a lot better when teamed up with body movements. So when you suddenly go silent, it’s not just your mouth that snaps shut. Your body freezes as well.

When you get all excited and speak faster, your hand gestures, your face, your legs, they’re all excitedly moving as well. And this intense energy hurls itself into the audience, and they get excited or quiet too.

Which is why it’s important to use the stage well
Sure you can sit on a chair and wave your hands madly, but the effect is not quite the same. Which is why the most revered presenters on the planet aren’t stuck behind a lectern, but are out there moving purposefully across the stage like it were their personal fiefdom.

And they pace their presentation. Like some modern day Beethoven they hold their audience in a spell. And they never forget to bring in that subtle variation from time to time. Because they know it’s the tone, rhythm and pace that makes a presentation come alive.

And stay alive.

Note:
This was an excerpt from the Black Belt Presentation Series. The Special Offer expires soon. So get your copy before the prices go up again!

———————
Next Step: “My first meeting with a client used to be nothing more than a presentation of my portfolio.”

The Brain Audit has given me a system that I can illustrate to the client, and I can tell I sound much more professional and competent. Also, the system makes my job easier and faster. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.

Yes, The Brain Audit is a system that makes communication more effective and makes me appear more professional. It also opened my mind to a new way of seeing my profession.

Not just a designer, but a valuable designer that thinks and can help clients grow.”

cesare
Cesare Ferrari, mfwebmarketing,Du Bois, Pennsylvania, USA
Judge for yourself The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy And Why They Don’t
———————
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“Nothing is held back, you get a real inside view of Sean’s business model. I actually understand how his business works and can apply many of the same concepts to my situation.”

Richard Mouser, jumpstartpublications
Houston, Texas, USA

5000bc now has a Waiting List.

The waiting list joining time is approx. 30-45 days. So if you are serious about getting your business to the next level, get on the waiting list now.

Judge for yourself http://www.psychotactics.com/5000bc
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3) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
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4) Chaos Planning
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Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.

5) Nothing bugs you more than a painful client.
A client who hassles you at every step of the way. Learn how to use the power of the ‘six critical questions’ to get incredible testimonials—and attract clients that make every day an absolute joy.


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How To Set Your Speaking Fee

How To Set Your Speaking Fee

If you’re Jim Collins, it’s $50,000 per hour.
If you’re Bill Clinton, it’s closer to $100,000 per hour.
If you’re a best-selling author it’s $20,000 per hour.
If you’re an average author it’s $5000-12,000 per hour.
If you’re not that well known it’s still $2000-5000.
And there’s everything below that fee.

The question does arise: How can you justify asking for big speaking fees?
The answer is simple. Though you may speak for just one hour, in reality it’s about three days worth of effort. If you’re just making the same speech day in and day out and don’t care a whit about your speech, then you don’t need much more than a couple of hours preparation.

If on the other hand you’re slightly pedantic about improving your speech, then it’s more than likely that you’re going to spend at least 2-3 hours tweaking the presentation, and at least three-four hours practicing so that it seems you’re not presenting at all.

Three-fours of practice is not unusual for top performers
Tennis players will practice the day before the tournament (even though they are playing 250 days in a year). Athletes, chess players, even rock stars will spend several hours practicing on the previous day—and possibly on the day itself.

I’ve presented The Brain Audit dozens of times, and could easily present to you if you woke me up from my sleep at 3am. But I will still practice for at least 4 hours. This is not because I’m afraid of an audience, or because I don’t know my material. Rather it’s because practice makes the presentation appear as if the presenter is not presenting, but just speaking.

So that’s just practice time
There’s also other time involved. Like travel time. And recovery time. On average it’s more than likely that one hour of speaking is going to clear cut three days of your life. One day for the practice and tweaking of the presentation, another day for the presentation itself and all the travel etc.

And a third day just getting back into the swing of things (and possibly travel back to your home/office). What seems like a single hour is quite easily three days. And that’s three days when you could be creating a book, or seeing clients or doing something very productive and possibly very profitable.

So does that mean you never speak for free?
I spoke free almost all the time when I was just starting out. And not only did I speak without charging a cent, but I’d often travel 100 miles or more to be at an event at 7am and find out that just three-four people (yes that was the entire audience) showed up. But that was my agenda. I wanted to learn and so I picked events where they would have me speak, and frankly I learned a lot by doing these events. And I may still speak for free, if it’s a favour for someone or because I feel strongly about things.

But I won’t buy into the non-profit story any more
I have spoken at events where the organisers will say that they’re a non-profit or not-for-profit organisation. And guess what? The event organisers pay full fare for the venue. Full fare for the catering.; full fare for the audio equipment; full fare for the airline tickets, fuel costs, car hire, taxi fare—and pretty much everything you can dream of. And that isn’t the end of their expenditure.

Call me cynical, but I’ve seen money being blown up elsewhere as well. I’ve then been invited to dinners (post-event dinners) where the event organisers will spend a few thousand dollars patting themselves over dinner and fancy wine. And of course there’s justification for all those expenses. All those expenses aren’t free.

But they will want you to speak without any charge. And I won’t do it any more. Have I done it in the past? Sure I have. Will I do it again? No I won’t. They either pay my fees or I don’t go.

You may or may not have that option
You may need to get in front of an audience to get better at speaking. You may need an audience to create future clients. You may need to get the credibility so that you can then charge better prices/ have different terms in future. It may be logical to speak free now so you get dividends later.

And this is where my rule comes in.

I have a rule that goes like this:
I will speak if I can either travel to a place I haven’t been, or reach an audience that I may not have reached, or if I can sell to an audience. For instance, when I last spoke in Chicago, it met two of those criteria.

I was able to reach a new audience and also sell to the audience. That event generated no speaking fees, but got me sales of over $20,000. However, my methodology of selling is not the endless pitch. It’s different, but that’s a whole different story.

The question here is how you’re going to make your decision how much to charge. And if you’re going to speak free, then what are the conditions under which you’ll speak without charging the organization.

And the answer is based on the rule below.
1) Are you travelling some place nice and “exotic”? (Even if it gives you a break, it may be worth it).
2) Are you reaching an audience that will then become clients? (You need to evaluate this very carefully and not be whimsical in your evaluation).
3) Can you sell to that audience? (When I say, “sell”, it’s a logical extension of your presentation, and not a pitch).

There are reasons and dividends for most speaking engagements
But know what those dividends are in advance. Question why you’re doing what you’re doing, and if it still makes sense, then go ahead with it. If you must speak free, then so be it. If you must charge a small fee, then that’s ok too. But ideally you should be charging full fare, because frankly everyone else is getting paid in full.

Once you decide what you want to charge, stick to the fee.
And stick to the rule.

Or just copy my rule instead.
———————
Next Step: “Before I purchased the Brain Audit, I thought this is just crazy, I’ve got so much marketing material that I still haven’t implemented.

But right from Sean’s first story and metaphor, I could see this was different. I was hooked. The Brain Audit challenged virtually every principle of marketing I’d grown up with. Like selling benefit or never starting with a negative or problem.

And it’s this refreshing, innovative approach that makes the Brain Audit a must buy for anyone who is really serious about challenging the status quo and taking their business to new heights.

Already we’ve applied the principles to one of our workshops and the response has been fantastic. The Brain Audit and our ongoing association with Sean has been one of the best business decisions we’ve every made.

paulm Paul Mitchell, Managing Director, The Human Enterprise, Australia
Judge for yourself The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy And Why They Don’t

———————
“I actually didn’t join 5000bc a year earlier than I did assuming it would be a lot more expensive than it is. Silly me.”

I found it was far better than I ever imagined, over the years I have been a participant of many different memberships and forums and none of them come close to what 5000bc offers.

I would recommend 5000bc to any entrepreneur or small business owner as a great source of knowledge and information from like minded people who have often already achieved what you may be struggling to do and can help save you loads of time and ultimately expense in getting to where you need to be.

duncanDuncan MacIntyre, officechairadvice, Derbys UK

5000bc now has a Waiting List. The waiting list joining time is approx. 30-45 days. So if you are serious about getting yourbusiness to the next level, get on the waiting list now.Judge for yourself http://www.psychotactics.com/5000bc

———————
Products: Under $50

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1) NEW! Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

2) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

3) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

4) Get ready for 2011!
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly it’s March, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected.
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.

5) Nothing bugs you more than a painful client.
A client who hassles you at every step of the way. Learn how to use the power of the ‘six critical questions’ to get incredible testimonials—and attract clients that make every day an absolute joy.

:next_step:


How To Get Audiences To Speak On A Teleclass

You’ve just finished your teleclass and you’re moving on to question stage.

And then comes the moment that you think you’ll be flooded with questions, so you ask, “What questions would you like to ask me today?” And all you hear is the chilly wind of silence.

So how do you get the audience to respond anyway?

The core of teaching is understanding what the audience is learning

So if you’re holding a teleseminar and giving your customers some new information; something that they haven’t heard of before, here is what’s happening: Imagine you’re on the water with another surfer (your customers), waiting to surf the waves. And when the first wave comes along, your customer decides to surf it.

But hang on, there are two hundred waves after that wave. And you’re still in the water waiting to catch the right wave. But the customer is long gone on the first wave.

The same occurence takes place with a customer on the other end of the line

They’re not quiet because they’ve run out questions. The information that they’ve got is suddenly so overwhelming, that you’re in the ocean and they’re out on the beach. And the gulf between the two of you is enormous.

So the key to presentation, is knowing that there’s going to be an awkward silence simply because the customers are too busy absorbing it. That’s only part of the problem. The second part is the factor of thinking up the question, and then getting the nerve to answer the question.

In a live audience situation, only a skilled presenter can get the entire audience to talk freely. But even a skilled presenter can struggle with a teleconference. You see, you can’t see your public and they know that very well.

So why doesn’t your audience speak?

1) Too much new information:

Because the information is too fast. They’ve got to absorb it. You’re all nervous about the lack of response. They’re just coping with the new data.

2) Not enough repetition:

Notice how I’ve repeated facts here. I’ve said the same thing thrice in a very short set of paragraphs. Repetition, is the key to learning. So learn to sum up things, learn to round up stuff, so that the audience is in line with where you are. And can absorb your questions.

3) Introducing the Safe Zone:

In my workshops worldwide, I always announce the ‘safe zone’. I always tell customers that they’re in a safe zone. And then I make sure that they feel safe. This means introverts (who are often petrified of speaking) will speak freely. It’s a system of gently getting your audience to know that you will not ridicule them. And that neither will anyone else. But you say, “I’d never ridicule my audience.” Haven’t you seen a teacher ridicule a student? You may not have been that student, but you remember that situation all the same. You have to go out on a limb and make sure that you tell them, “This is a safe zone. There’s no such thing as a silly question.” And that will calm your audience down. And get them more participative.

4) Group Silence or Group Noise:

There’s a factor of group quiet-or group noise. When in a group, audiences work the same way. If you ask “Does anyone have questions” and no one answers, then no one will ask questions. If someone asks a questions, suddenly you’re fighting questions. So it’s important to (especially with a smaller group) to pick names.

“Jane, what was the hardest part of today’s learning?” “Bruce, where do you think you can put this to work in your business”. Notice I’m not just picking on audience members (which is vital) but I’m also asking them a question that they will find easy to answer. Again, lack of threat. There’s nothing that Jane or Bruce can say that will make them seem foolish, so they answer the question. And the safety factor is created.

If you’re dealing with a large group, and don’t know their names, or don’t even know how many people are on the call, then you can still break the ice by asking someone to share their biggest learning on the call.

5) How to Test the Waters:

Admittedly, there will be times when you don’t have questions. You can work this out, by testing the waters. Don’t always wait for the question session at the end. When you finish one section (out of three major sections) you should ask, if anyone has questions. If no one answers, move on to the second section. Again, ask: Any one has any questions”? Again if there’s no answer, what do you think is going to happen the third time? Yeah you got it–no questions. So if you don’t test the waters, you will never know what to expect.

6) How To Use Repetition to Create The Safety Zone:

What should you do then? Well, don’t panic. The group may not have questions, but as we now know, they have ideas that they’ve learned from the session—and make sure to use repetition. So call on the individuals. Ask them: “Jim, what was your biggest learning?” And then after Jim answers, then move to Bruce with the SAME question. Again, you’re creating safety. Martha, Maria, John, Alisha and everyone else on the call know exactly what’s going to come next, so they’re mentally prepared. And you get a whole lot of sharing and also a whole bunch of satisfied customers who’ve learned something–because they just told you what they learned. So not only have they summarised your speech, but they’ve also created the warm feeling of learning.

7) How to Get Names From A Big Group:

But how do you know about Martha, Maria, Jim, John and Alisha? Why that’s easy. You get on the call before it’s due to begin. And there are always a few early birds. Start a conversation with them. And ask for their names. You’ll get at least 3-4 names in under 5 minutes. A good starting point of discussion is always the weather. Talk about the weather and quite a few folk will jump in. Ask their names, and jot it down on a piece of paper. Just remember, in most cases, the participants that turn up first are the most eager of the lot, and will be there till the end. So you have a pretty good chance of having them on the line when you ask for comments or questions. And they’ll know you know their names, so they’ll be more likely to answer.

Take these steps, and get rid of the sound of silence forever

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The Importance of a Safe Zone

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Manhattan, New York isn’t a scary place.

And yet, as I stepped out of the subway into a sea of people, I was intimidated. I wasn’t sure where to go. Or what to do next.

I was completely out of my safe-zone. I’d gone from a country of 4 million people (and a zillion sheep), to a country of 300 million.

And suddenly, I was intimidated.

Your customers feel the same intimidation when dealing with you

You’re like a New Yorker. You know the streets. You know the subways. You speak the lingo. The client is a stranger. And intimidated as heck.

But where does this intimidation come from?

It comes from two sources:
1) The supplier (that’s you).
2) The buyer (that’s the client).

The product you’re selling may be unfamiliar.
The information that you’re giving may be buffet-sized.
The training may be bouncing right over the head of the client.

But it’s not all your fault.

Because a good chunk of the intimidation may come from the client. The client may have some level of product-phobia. The client may have dealt with consultants before, and got easily confused. The client may think your training will put them in a spotlight they’d rather not be in.

As you can see, it’s kinda impossible to guess what makes people feel unsafe. And therefore the first thing you need to do is announce the presence of a safe-zone.

Announce the presence?

Si. :)
Announce it.
If you’re starting a consulting session, announce the safe-zone. If you have a membership site, announce the safe-zone. If you have any situation, where the client is outside their comfort zone, you’ll need to create a sort of comfort-zone.

Or in other words, a safe-zone.

But in the rush to get things done, it’s easy to forget about the announcement.

A situation where you’re interacting with a client has a lot of factors involved. And it’s easy to forget to announce the safe-zone, so I put in a reminder.

If I’m doing a workshop or training session for instance, I’ll put the ‘safe-zone’ slide in my list of slides. So right at the start, the slide pops up, and then I can make the announcement.

If it’s a teleconference, we announce the safe-zone over, and over again. And if it’s a consulting session, we announce it again. And again.

And demonstrate that no question is a silly question.

But of course, while you agree that the safe-zone works with services and training, does it work with products as well?

Yes it does. But it depends on the product itself.
If you’re selling a pen, there’s no intimidation.
If you’re selling a sound mixer, the intimidation pops up quickly.

So many products create ‘Quickstart guides.’ Guides that are simple to use and have specific 1,2,3 steps that anyone can follow.

And that’s only part of the intimidation

The other part of the intimidation comes from the client.
Their past experiences.
Their inhibitions.
The ghost that’s in their head.
You can’t fix that. You can never fix that.

So if I walk into the light from a Manhattan subway, I may feel a little jittery. But that may be because I’m not used to crowds. Or that I’ve just had a bad experience on the subway. Or that hotdog is starting to have an effect of sorts and I need to find a toilet pretttttty soon.

Who knows what causes me to be intimidated?

But the city of New York does its bit.

It puts up signs.
It prints maps.
It has visitor centres.
It maintains an informative website.

But is that all you can do?

No it isn’t. It’s important to ask customers how they felt when they first ran into your product/service or training.

What intimidated them the most?

You’ll find that customers are more than willing to let you know. And then you should reduce, or better still, fix that intimidation factor.

And that’s the first step to a safe-zone!

Personal Experience:

When we have our workshops, I’d start off the workshop at 8:02 am on the first day of the workshop itself. So what was intimidating about starting on the day itself? Well, most people don’t know others in the room. Most don’t know where they need to sit. Or what they need to do.

So one year, a client told us how he didn’t feel safe and suggested we have a ‘meet and greet session’ the day before the workshop. And so we did.

And what a massive difference it makes.

At the ‘meet and greet session’ we show the participants the room; where they’re sitting; and take any questions. I’m also dressed down in a very casual t-shirt and jeans. This relaxes the audience, and sets the tone for the dress code.

And so not only do they relax, but they also get to know each other. They share a dinner. They talk. And they rest well before the start of the workshop.

Instead of unsettled attendees, we have relaxed, calm, chattering attendees the next morning.

And that my friend is just one instance how you create a safe zone.

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Can you avoid wearing that Darth Vader suit in future?

002_who_needs_feedback

I was doing a three-day website strategy workshop in Campbell, California, when one of the participants gave me this piece of feedback. Apparently I was wearing a Darth Vader suit. I looked down at what I was wearing, and all I could see was a perfectly tailored suit. There was nothing Darth Vader about it.

So what was the participant really saying?

The participant was giving feedback. She was saying that something about my suit made her feel uncomfortable. That suit cost a few hundred dollars. Was I going to just chuck it away because the suit intimidated this one participant? Was it the suit? Or was she saying something else? And how is it that a client/participant can get so up close and personal when giving feedback?

Feedback is jarring. Feedback is not necessarily a sugary testimonial.

Feedback is the screechy sound you hear when a live microphone is pointed towards an output speaker. It’s jarring. It squeals. It makes you cringe. And if you’re running a business, you need to cringe a bit, because it will give you the information that you sorely need to improve your product or service.

But just asking for feedback is a waste of time. Feedback should be a session by itself, with all the glory of structure involved.

So how do you structure a feedback session?

There are three core steps you need to take when getting feedback:
a) What did you learn? (from using our product/from attending the session/from doing the course)
b) What did you like?
c) What would you change–if you could change it? (Nothing is too bizarre or crazy. Or too big or too small).

The importance of ‘what did you learn’.

This is critical to measure perception and learning. You may think you’re getting a message across, but you may be getting the wrong message across. Or no message at all. The learning session enables you to listen to what the participants have really learned in the session, or in the interaction with your product or service.

The importance of ‘what did you like?’

This is important because of the psychology of humans. We just don’t like to complain. So if we’re given the chance to praise and then critique, we feel there’s a balance. So first give them a chance to tell you what’s right; the things they like about what you’re doing.

This makes the audience feel good and relaxes them a lot. It’s also good for you to know the things that people like. If they like it, you want to do more of it in future. And of course, it doesn’t hurt your ego one little bit. You need a pat on the back.

Then I move them to the critique part of things.

In this part, I always encourage a ‘feeding frenzy.’ I make sure that the participants know that it’s purely a brainstorming session. That anything and everything is valid. That no judgments will be made on the person giving the feedback, and no evaluation will be made on the spot.

Of course one way of doing this is to have a whiteboard and let the participants list everything they possibly can. You’ll find they have a big list. And often there will be bizarre elements on the list.

What could be bizarre?

In one session, participants came up with very sane feedback: e.g. Can we have a meet and greet session before the workshop or course itself. This as you can tell is a very reasonable sounding piece of feedback. But the bizarre ranges from ‘can we do a wine tour?’ to ‘can you not wear that Darth Vader suit?’

So did I change the suit?

You bet I changed it. It wasn’t the suit, you see. It was the intimidation of this deep black suit that was causing the discomfort. But how do we know if the feedback worked? The following year (when we had the same event again) I wore a plain white t-shirt and jeans. And a participant, who’d never been to our workshops before, came up to me and said: “I’m so glad to see you in this casual outfit. I was scared. Not sure what I needed to wear.”

And so the so-called bizarre feedback from one event was applied to another event. And so it goes: No feedback is truly bizarre if you really analyse what the client is saying.

Of course, that’s provided you dig deeper and get to the heart of the feedback.

But how do you maximise the depth of the feedback?

You always make sure you cover every aspect of your event. E.g. in a live event for instance, there’s the following:
1) The pre-sell running up to the event.
2) The information that gives instructions about the event.
3) The meet and greet section.
4) The speaker’s methodology.
5) The speaker’s technology used.
6) Venue and other event-related issues.
7) Any issues they can think up.

You need to split up every possible stage of the journey, right from the inception of the event, to the final moment when they’re ready to leave. And this of course can be done for both online and offline events/products or services. For online events, the feedback will be through a teleconference or Skype. For offline, it’s usually at a physical location.

Remember one crucial thing however…

You don’t and won’t get feedback if you make the participants feel unsafe.

1) You need to stress over and over again that they’re in a safe zone.
2) That the feedback is purely designed to improve the program.
3) That if they don’t feel like giving feedback in the live session, they can email you or call you or do whatever it takes, because you’re keen to improve things.

I put these points on my slides. I put them in my presentation notes. I put them everywhere, because if I don’t put them in, I may forget to tell the participants about these important points and then the quality of the feedback suffers.

Feedback is the worst feeling in the world.

It feels like a jab to the face. Then another jab. Then yet another jab.

No one likes brutal feedback, and yet it’s the brutal feedback that helps you move ahead faster and more efficiently than ever before. You may think you know every thing there is to know about your business and your customer.

You are wrong.
The customer always knows more.

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Product Offers: Links you should visit

1) “I first bought the Brain Audit in 2002.  It was 32 pages long.  And I thought it was the best damn book on copywriting I had read!  It laid down the entire sequence of elements that any successful salesletter or presentation needs to cover to make the prospect say “yes!”

I really thought that Brain Audit could not be improved upon. But year after year, Sean has been proving me wrong.  He has improved upon it.  And improved upon it.  And improved upon it.

Sean’s added more details to the Brain Audit.  More stories and analogies.  Better graphics (and fun cartoons!).  He has used every teaching trick possible to make sure that you not only understand
the sequence of elements needed to make people buy from… but the sequence soaks into your thinking pattern.

Today, Brain Audit 3.2 is 157 pages long!  And its the best* book on persuasion you will ever read! * Until Sean comes out with version 4.0 a year or 2 down the line.  But you really can’t afford to wait a year or 2 to take advantage of the Brain Audit, can you?”

Ankesh Kothari, Adventures of a serial entrepreneur, India
Judge for yourself http://www.psychotactics.com/brainaudit

2) 5000bc Community: How can you get reliable answers to your complex marketing problems? (And how on earth do you find answers to these questions at 3:25 in the morning?). Find out how at
http://www.psychotactics.com/5000bc

3) “I started listening on my PC, and found it so compelling that I downloaded the audio files, and put them on my PDA to keep listening when I went out.”

Eric Graudins, Webangel, Australia
Find out Why the Website Trilogy Series is so compelling?

http://www.psychotactics.com/website-secrets

4) How to Create Powerful Testimonials To Sell Your Internet Marketing Product. Find out the sec’rets…
http://www.psychotactics.com/testimonialsecrets

5) “I was worried that this would be yet another expense where I didn’t end up using what I had bought.”

“You guys are masters of making sure that we consume (what we’ve bought)! And so, I’ve learned a ton since I joined! I love The Cave. I honestly haven’t made the time to try out anything else or even look into anything other than the general discussion board! The other things I really like: Direct access and insight from Sean, networking with other like-minded small business owners, the positive and encouraging vibe.

If you ask me: Would I recommend 5000bc I’d say: Of course! Because I’ve learned a lot! One more thing I’d like to add. Thanks for being so dedicated to us. :)”

Marina Brito
Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Judge for yourself http://www.psychotactics.com/5000bc

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Article By: Sean D’Souza
Wouldn’t you love to stumble upon a sec’ret library of small business ideas? Find simple, yet electrifying ideas, on copywriting, public speaking, marketing strategies, sa’les conversion, psychological tactics and branding.
Head down to http://www.psychotactics.com today and judge for yourself.


How to Segregate Sticky-Pairs at Workshops

(Also listen to the audio at the end of this article)

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You see it in sci-fi movies.
You see it at workshops.

It’s called the ‘force shield.’

Once the ‘force shield’ is up, nothing can penetrate the shield. The people within the shield are cocooned. And the people outside the shield are isolated.

Sticky-pairs cause force-shields at workshops

So what are sticky-pairs?
Sticky-pairs are people who know each other.
Like husband and wife.
Like co-workers.
Like friends.
Like participants who speak a common language. Or have a country/city of origin.

They stick to each other like glue. And in doing so, create a clique; a force-shield.

And your first job as a presenter or facilitator, is to destroy that shield.

And there are good reasons why.
1) Other participants avoid sticky-pairs.
2) Sticky-pairs get less working time.
3) Sticky-pairs get less ways to solve their unique problem.
4) They end up unhappy, and grumbly.

So let’s quickly see what happens at a workshop.
Sticky-pairs tend to stick together at breakfast. At lunch. At dinner. And are almost always seated right next to each other in a workshop.

This causes other participants to get intimidated. That’s because it’s two people vs. one. As a result, when they bring up a problem in the group, the problem is treated as a single problem.

So if the group has one hour to work on their own business, and about fifteen minutes is allocated per person to a group of four, a sticky pair is often treated as a unit, and given less time by the group.

So they tend to get the same fifteen minutes even though they’re two. And should logically get half an hour.

But that’s not all. If the sticky-pair weren’t so gooey, and separated into two groups, they’d find they’d get two different points of view to solve the same problem.

But because they’re part of the same group, they invariably end up listening to just one angle, thus depriving the pair of different viewpoints.

If your workshop lasts for less than a day, this stickiness isn’t quite as noticeable.
If it lasts for a day, it kinda surfaces by the second tea break.

But if the workshop lasts for three days (as our workshops do), then the sticky-pair becomes totally isolated.

Of course, no one is isolating them on purpose, but invariably the isolation kicks in. You’ll find that sticky-pairs then get more grumbly, and are far more dissatisfied.

As you can tell this situation isn’t good for the stickies, or the group, or the facilitator.

So the best thing to do is un-stick them as soon as possible.

So what’s as soon as possible?
And how do you un-stick them?

The sticky-pair need to be un-stuck before the first workgroup session itself. The sooner they’re separated, the better. And the way to separation, is an overt as well as a subtle method.

So let’s look at the overt method.

You announce to the group about the sticky-pair syndrome and why it causes an issue. This brings the problem of stickiness to the fore. Now the sticky-pair, as well as the rest of the group are aware about the issue, and with a little luck, they’ll quickly separate.

But luck isn’t always a good method, so it’s time to use the subtle method.

And here’s how you do it. Any big group can be split up into smaller groups of four or five members. Well, let’s assume they’re five. And let’s assume you call those five the following: A, B, C, D, and E.

Here’s what you do next…
You assign the letter A to the first person. And then B to the next. And C to the next and so on.

So now the first five people have the letters from A-E. Now continue assigning letters to the group, going from A-E.

As you’ve figured out, the sticky pair will be A and B. Or B and C. Essentially, they’ll be consecutive letters, because they’re seated right next to each other.

But your next command is simple. You tell all the A’s in the room to form a group. And all the B’s to form a group, and so on.
In a second, you’ve separated the sticky-pair.

But won’t that make the sticky-pair feel a little unsafe?

After all the reason they got sticky in the first place was because they share a common background. And in an alien workshop, sticking together provides a sense of comfort.

And yes it does, but only for so long, because eventually the pair alienates themselves, and in turn gets alienated from the group.

Bring down the force-shield. Get the sticky-pair unstuck. And your workshop and experience will be more sticky as a result!

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How to Engage an Audience with Props

(Also listen to the audio at the end of this article)

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Imagine you pulled out a chair.
Or two large pieces of paper.
Or a balloon.

What you’re doing is waking up the audience with a prop.
And props wake up the sleepiest of audiences in a matter of seconds. Yes, even if the prop isn’t remotely connected to your business.

So here’s what I do when I’m presenting the ‘Brain Audit’ presentation.
I set a chair in the centre of the room.

I then proceed to sit down on the chair.
Then I stand up.
Then I sit down.
Then I stand up.
Then I sit down.
Then I stand up.

It doesn’t matter what the audience was doing/thinking about/fiddling with before I put that chair in the centre. Now they’re looking at me. And in an instant, I’ve got their attention. They’re wide-awake. Aha, and it’s all because of the prop I’ve used.

But the prop alone won’t work
The prop will indeed get the attention of the audience, but it’s now up to you to create the connection with that prop.

So here’s how I connect: I ask the audience a question that’s impossible to goof up.

I say: Who among you expected the chair to break? I then wait for a few seconds and ask another ‘impossible-to-goof-up’ question. And say: Why didn’t the chair break? And after an initial hesitation, I do get a response.

Sometimes two or three.

And then it’s time to create the connection:
The chair didn’t break because it was built on science. Our communication, however, is not built on science. It’s built on randomness. This is why so many people misunderstand what we say.

This is why we spend thousands, tens of thousands, even millions of dollars, and still don’t get the message across. This is because our communication is built without parameters.

The Brain Audit, however, is built with parameters. It’s built with benchmarks. And like the chair, it’s built on science. Which means that you can be sure if you use the concepts outlined in the Brain Audit, you’ll get specific, consistent results.

So you see, using props is a three-step process:
1) You pre-determine the prop you’re going to use.
2) You take the prop out of context (if you can) to create drama.
3) You then make the connection and snap your audience out of la-la land.

Pre-determining the prop is important.
If you don’t prepare in advance, your presentation may get their attention, but you’re more than likely to goof up on the connection, and make a hash of your presentation.

And taking the prop out of context is also important, because a chair is a chair, is a chair—until you put a chair in the middle of the room. The prop out of context is what creates the drama.

But the question that may arise is: Does the prop need to be connected to your business? So if you’re presenting a phone, do you need a phone? Or should you always use something that’s not quite connected, like a sneaker, or a cup of coffee instead?

I’d always use the prop that’s not connected to my business. The reason is drama. When you stand up to talk about phones, the audience is expecting you to talk about phones.

But a sneaker or a cup of coffee, or some completely unrelated object throws them off guard in mere seconds. And creates instant drama.

But hey, you don’t have to listen to me. You can use props that are connected to your business, as well as props that are not connected. And here are two solid examples.

Example 1: Connected to your business:
Imagine you’re presenting an Icebreaker garment. Now Icebreaker is a brand of garments made from pure merino wool. And what’s cool about them is that you can sweat, and sweat and sweat, and they don’t stink. So in effect, an Icebreaker garment itself can become a prop.

The marketing executive can stand up in an audience and say: “I have a secret. I’ve been wearing this t-shirt for the past thirty-five days.”

Boof! She’s got the attention of the audience. And she continues:“And guess what? It doesn’t stink.” In fact, the late Sir Peter Blake wore it for forty-five days and forty-five nights, while he was yachting. And it still didn’t stink.

See the connection? Icebreaker’s uniqueness is that their garments just don’t stink. And they used the prop that’s connected to their business. This of course, takes us to the second example.

Example 2: A prop that’s not connected to your business
Let’s imagine the marketing executive removes a stuffed skunk and places it on the table. And then says: “If you were to wear your t-shirt for the next thirty-five days, your t-shirt would smell like this skunk.

But not with Icebreaker. You could actually wear an Icebreaker t-shirt for thirty-five, forty, or even forty-five days, and do the most rigorous activity…and still not stink.”

Got your attention didn’t it?
It most certainly did. And props—when properly used—will always get the attention of the audience, no matter whether you use a prop that’s connected or disconnected to your business. So the next time you’re making a presentation, don’t just blah-blah.

Use a chair.
Or two large pieces of paper.
Or a skunk for that matter!

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