Posts Tagged 'Communications'

#DNY Say Less to Say More- A Lesson in Sound bites

Guessing he will grow up to be a politician.

Guessing he will grow up to be a politician.

“Poets, priests and politicians have words to thank for their positions”. What a great and powerful line from the Police. Here’s the deal, the words you use matter. Often times, the less you say, the better. Why? Because we all have a VERY short attention span.

I said it the other day, If I could edit half as well as I write, I would be a fantastic writer. One of my facebook friends proceeded to re-write that sentence into: If I could edit, I would be a fantastic writer. Funny as it was, it’s true.

So what exactly are sound bites? I know we hear about them all the time, especially during election season, but what does it mean?

Wikipedia states: In the context of journalism, a sound bite is characterized by a short phrase or sentence that captures the essence of what the speaker was trying to say.

It also references that often times sound bites are “lifted” from a much larger body of text (or music). That’s not the point of this piece. What’s important is the idea of “short phrases”.

When thinking about your business, think about the things you need to communicate:

  • Why is this a good place to work
  • Why would someone want to buy from you (Your Unique Sales Proposition)
  • Ways to describe your new product or service offering
  • How you’re toward your plan
  • How to get someone fired up to take on a new project and more

If you were to create sound bites for each of these ideas you would have crisper communication. People don’t take the time to read (or even listen to) long drawn out descriptions until they are compelled to do so. You need to hook them. That’s the job of the sound bite.

  • What does the sound bite look (or sound) like? I’m glad I asked:
  • A great sound bite HAS to hit the central thesis immediately
  • It should be 10 words or less
  • It does not contain a bunch of adjectives
  • It is focused on what is in it for the audience
  • Ideally, it is memorable
  • It’s effectively the gist of a much bigger idea

So here’s your homework: Take a look at what you’ve written in your marketing pieces and come up with a short sentence that describes the paragraph. Put that sentence on top of the paragraph. The readership will go up. You can also use that sentence when you are speaking to people. When they ask you for more, THEN you can refer to the entire paragraph. This will eliminate the “glossy eyed” look you receive from time to time.

How do you use sound bites currently?

What would you add to this post?

Are you more inclined to pay attention to a business who uses good sound bites?

We will be working on sound bites for the next few weeks with our client Ray Laethem Motor Village. I’m excited to see how they turn out.

10 ways to add value to your network

One of the most valuable lessons I teach when it comes to networking is the idea of “staying visible to your network“. Why? Because if you’re not top of mind with them, when an opportunity comes up to refer you, that referral may go to the person who is.

But it’s not enough to just be visible. I mean, you could be doing bad stuff and still be visible, right? So let’s talk about some ways where you can add value to your network. This will give you the positive JUJU you need to get what you want!!

These are in no particular order and many of them can be as valuable to your spouse, business associates and children as they are to your network.

10. Share an Inspirational quotation- This has become so much easier with status updates on social networks and it’s still very powerful. Pick quotations that are business or personal development related and let ’em fly. Want to take it up a notch? Send them a link to a site full of them or even better, buy them a book.

9. Keep them up to date with events that may be of value- There are soooo many things going on every day that we each miss the stuff that may be important. If you see an event that your colleague is likely to enjoy, make sure to share it with them.

8. Give ’em a pat on the back- This sounds so easy and you know what? IT IS!! And that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen all the time. People LOVE to feel appreciated. The simple act of saying “I appreciate you” goes a long way.

7. Give the opportunity to help someone else- Sometimes someone in your network is going to need help. Perhaps you aren’t the best person to provide it. Maybe you know who is and maybe you don’t. In either scenario, do your best to give your network a chance to help others in your network. This could be as easy as a Facebook post.

6. Share your specific knowledge- You are an expert in what you do. Think about that. Not many people can claim expertise in what you do (at least not people in your network). Share your knowledge. Share it often. You’ll be amazed at how often you hear “Thanks. I was just thinking about that”.

5. Lend them an ear- Sometimes people just need to be heard. We are all so busy that we forget the importance of simply listening to another. Be there when someone in your network needs a friend.

4. Send a link to a relevant article- Like events, important articles are coming at us fast and furious. Make sure your network knows you’re thinking about them by sending them some relevant stuff. You can do this via social media, e-mail, text or you can kick it old school and actually mail them the physical article (I know, I’m crazy).

3. Introduce them to new people they need to know- The better you become at paying attention to the needs of your network, the more likely you are to find people who they need to meet. Don’t hesitate to make introductions that you know will add value to others.

2. Give what you have to give when asked- Many people are waking up to the idea of giving. As such, they are asking their network to give to what they believe in. They may be asking for time, money, connections or shares. Whatever the case, when your network asks for your assistance, give what you can.

1. A referral- Nothing says “I value you being in my network” quite like giving a referral. The more you can give, the more value you create for those around you.

What do you think of this list?
What would you add?

Thanks for taking a look at it.

Terry Bean’s “Become a Magnet” Event

Become a Magnet

Terry Bean’s Guide to Success

BUY TICKETS NOW

Terry Bean has mastered a few areas of life: Communications, Networking and Right Thinking. This combination allows him to attract many great opportunities. Terry thoroughly enjoys helping others live their best life too.  He does this by providing inspiredutaining instruction (inspirational + educational + entertaining) on the best business and life development practices that can be implemented immediately.

Terry rousing the audience at TEDx Detroit 2011

Terry rousing the audience at TEDx Detroit 2011

This day-long session will provide you with the right information as well as ample opportunity to practice your new found knowledge. At the conclusion of this event you will understand new ways to enroll others, new strategies to grow your business and most importantly how to live your life out loud and on purpose.

Who should attend? This class is designed for people who are ready to take the next big step in their life.   This is NOT a beginner class, although those curious beginners with an open-mind and a willingness to learn will find a lot of value.

The cost of this course is $159.00 (special first time price and will be $279.00 the next time it’s offered) and includes a.m./p.m. refreshments, lunch and a signed copy of Terry Bean’s new book “Be Connected”.

You will be guided to:

  1. Discover your purpose so you can live your passion
  2. Understand how to be the best communicator you can be
  3. Implement new strategies to generate referrals constantly online and in the real world
  4. Sell more and cold call less
  5. A thorough understanding of the art and science of Networking

Date: July 11

Location: Troy, MI Credential Check Corporation 575 E. Big Beaver Terrace Level

BUY TICKETS NOW

8:30-9:00 Registration/Networking/Coffee

9:00-9:50 The 6 Degrees of Connectedness (originally delivered at TEDx Detroit 2009)

9:50-10:50 Target Clients, Partners and how to ASK for them

10:50-11:20 Speed Networking Break- Practice Your New Skills

11:20-12:30 Personal Branding and Improved Communications skills

12:30-1:15 Lunch and Networking (onsite likely sandwiches or pizza…lunch will be provided)

1:15-2:45 Going Social (using facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube to network more effectively)

2:45-3:00 Break. Cookie networking

3:00-4:30 What I’ve learned about S&M…sales and marketing

4:30-5:15 Q&A/Networking/End

WHAT you do isn’t nearly as engaging as WHY you do it.

If you’ve been to a networking event, high school reunion or just about any other type of gathering you’ve been asked the question: What do you do?

Here’s the trick… in most instances “what you do” isn’t really all that exciting. In fact, a lot of us have relatively boring jobs. And interestingly enough the longer we’ve been doing them, the less exciting we make them sound.

The next time someone asks you what you do give them a quick answer of your general business category. Then instead of talking at length about what that means…tell them why you’re excited to do it every day. Or tell them what got you into that line of work in the first place. Passion is engaging!

I created and run a large business networking group that meets online and face to face in and around the Detroit area. That’s one of the things I do. That answer isn’t nearly as exciting as I’m passionate about other’s success and I provide connections and opportunities for them to improve their personal and business lives.

How can you incorporate WHY you do something into the WHAT you do? Should you have a challenge answering this question, there are great coaches who can help you.  If you’re not passionate about what you do, it may be time to change what you do.

Do let me know how I can be of service to you.

BYBY (Be Your Best You)