The Speakeasy User Guide (Part 1)

I’ve been running Speakeasy Groups for 16 months now, and it dawned on me that I’d never produced a ‘user guide’ to help people get the best from it.  But I think a good starting point (this is effectively the ‘Intro’) is to suggest ways in which Speakeasy can help you, especially if you’re in the networking/micro/SME community.

Naturally, Speakeasy can and will help you present yourself better.  But it’s far more profound than that and hopefully this explains why.

As always with training, it’s what you do between your sessions that counts. Some suggestions would be to get into Ted Talks, listen to some good storytellers and take an interest in basic human psychology.  But even if you do NONE of the above, provided you embrace some of the principles shown below you’ll gain more benefit from attending our sessions.

The 3 key goals of all the work I do are:

  • Help people know their own story
  • Help them tell it better (so it’s compelling)
  • Help them build a network around it and PULL people to them

There’s too much bland networking and pitching going on.  It’s pushy and unremarkable and people just switch off.  Too many people have the mind-set of:

  • Be seen in as many places as possible
  • Deliver my basic factual message
  • Wait for the business to come in

The trouble with this is everyone starts to sound the same.  The question is: why should they choose YOU? The Speakeasy message is:

  • Do you and your story justice.
  • Be worth listening to.
  • Get people talking about you.

So here’s a few ways in which Speakeasy can help you.

Improve your Elevator Pitch

This is something you do all the time when you network, sometimes formally (the round-the-table), sometimes in conversation.  Develop something that’s punchy, memorable and makes people want to know more.  I believe you should have not one, but many variations of your pitch.  But the key is that it always relates in some way to your expertise in whatever niche you occupy.

Deliver a better presentation – one that has impact

Many people shy away from the 5-10 minute ‘spotlight’ – where they have a chance to expand on their 60 second pitch.  But it’s a wonderful opportunity to convey the essence of what you’re about and win over an entire audience in one go.  Use Speakeasy to test-drive this presentation and aim to deliver it 2 or 3 times during your initial 6 month membership.  It’s a safe environment to experiment with some new ideas and methodology.

Make it easy for buyers to choose YOUR company

Your pitch or presentation is really your ‘story’.  But so many people use it to deliver facts – “we’re a printing company, we’re based in Stockport, we’ve been in business since 1978 and we do a wide range of printing jobs…” zzzzzzzz!  Your task is not really to tell us what you do; the challenge is to give us a reason to choose YOU.  Speakeasy helps you know your own story, which might include why you do what you do, how you’ve transformed a client’s situation or what ambition you have for the future.

Become more persuasive when pitching to prospective clients

There’s a saying that facts make people think, but emotions make them act.  If the purpose of your pitch is to trigger a behaviour (ie buy from you!), start thinking in terms of how you want your audience to feel.  Of course, you’ve got to present a logical, rational argument for them buying your product or service.  But they’ve also got to feel good about doing it.  Speakeasy helps you take prospects on that emotional ‘journey’.

Network with more confidence

A lot of people approach networking with apprehension, but in a funny sort of way Speakeasy helps people realise how interesting they are!  There are many things about you and your work that you wouldn’t expect to be a typical brochure, but they add colour and depth to your ‘brand’.  We help you recognise things that you can use as material for your ‘story vault’ and of course these anecdotes and personal reflections make you a much more interesting conversationalist.

Listen!

Develop better material for posting on social media

A few years ago if we wanted to publish something we’d look to the local newspapers or print some leaflets.  But social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook (and the ability to post blogs) means we’re all authors – but that doesn’t mean what we produce is worth reading!  Speakeasy helps people recognise what’s newsworthy.  It helps you develop a ‘nose’ for a good story. And of course it all helps you stand out from your rivals – you’re developing your own distinctive signature.

Build some terrific relationships

As well as a personal development club, Speakeasy is also a networking community.  But because you’re all learning something together (and presenting is a fundamental human frailty), our members tend to develop deeper, authentic relationships.  There’s an element of vulnerability with Speakeasy, but that means the removal of falsity and the discovery of who we really are.  And that paves the way to true connection.

 

I hope that’s painted a clearer picture of the depth of this concept.  It’s fundamental to your success in networking and marketing because it’s about people truly appreciating what you (as opposed to your rivals) have to offer.

See you at the next session. See Speakeasy dates & venues here.

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