Hey everyone, here we go. . . . . .
IN OUR WORLD
So starts my next few months of travel. Today I am coming to you from Minneapolis, the second city on this three city road trip. Last night there was an unbelievable thunderstorm full of lightning, thunder, rain and hail. I was on the 15th floor with a perfect view. Beautiful and kind of freaky. Tonight I am off to Houston and then back home on Saturday, at least for two days then off to Atlanta.
Though the travel is challenging the projects are fantastic. This trip is mostly based on my Repeatable Successful Acts sales strategy platform. The level of engagement from both the leadership and the participants in the program has been great. I did a keynote for about 300 and then a breakout session where I drilled down on direct applications for three of the RSA’s. I had a full room and they had to bring in 45 additional chairs to handle the overflow.
After the RSA programs I am scheduled to start a project on organizational transformation for one of my favorite not for profit groups. I should have about 140 people in the audience.
I get just enough time to catch my breath then its off to Atlanta to work with the support staff of one of my favorite clients. The focus on training support staff yields fantastic results. Then I get to teach a full day of interpersonal communication skills to top sales professionals.
I had a great interview with interview with Inc Magazine and should have some of my ideas in their internet version this week.
I am honored to have a full schedule and each project is filled with opportunity and potential.
HEY, YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER –CREATIVEVENTURE
AND ON FACEBOOK – STEPHEN HARVILL!
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
A quick few comments on presentations. During the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to see at least a dozen major presentations by highly trained professionals. I sat in the audience and was continually amazed at the horrific visuals that were used. There is an elegant architecture to creating a visual journey that supports your message. Here are a few core principles that will serve your next presentation:
- PERSPECTIVE: Most presenters design their visuals from THEIR perspective. They drive their message from the front of the room to the audience. This creates the wrong direction for impact. To gain access to the audience you should design your presentation as if YOU were a participant. What would you want to see to drive an idea home? I can tell you it isn’t a graph with multiple lines and 9 point font!
- FONT: Think BIG. Here is a fun hint. Take the age of the oldest participant and divide it in half to get the right font size for the audience. Despite that equation NEVER go less than 24 for font size.
- TEXT CONTENT: If you follow the above rule you will be challenged to reduce the amount of text you have on your slides. Look for core understanding. You can’t cheat and use a print material sheet and just convert it into a slide. People DO NOT WANT TO READ your presentation. If you need strong support material print it up and hand it out at the end of the presentation.
- COMPLEXITY IS THE ENEMY: If you subject is complex the idea is to create a method of simplifying it to appeal to the audience. Don’t assume that they will understand your material just because they are in the same field. I went to a lecture by Albert Holm, the Hubble Space Telescope astronomer, who took the mysteries of the universe and made them appeal to everyone from the scientists to the regular guys.
Due your audience a favor and spend some REAL time on your presentations. I teach a class called The Architecture of Presentations, drop me a note if you are interested.
MOVIES: Scott Pilgram vs. The World: This is an odd idea for a movie, but the special effects are stunning and they lead to a great little heartwarming story.
NetFlix Fans: The Ghost Writer: This was a great little mystery thiller.
TV: The new USA show Covert Affairs is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine. The USA Network remains the most popular cable network with their original series,
BOOKS: The Cleaner – Brett Battles: This book introduces Jonathan Quinn a fantastic character.
MUSIC: Simon and Garfunkle.
WEB SITES: Music video site.:
SOUTH OF NORMAL
Stanford University just finished an interesting study into retail sales and though much of the data will prove useful, the interesting aspect to me was the section called; The Waiting Customer.
Through their research they found that if you have customers waiting outside your doors before your posted opening time that if you let them in a little early they will spend more than they had planned. The waiting customers see the early opening as a bonus to them, as the retailer caring about the “huddle masses” waiting to access the nirvana of their retail haven.
As I waited with 5 other people to access the fitness center at a hotel while the staff sat at the check in desk visiting, I thought, wow, if they read this study they would open the doors 5 minutes early and gain the benefit of grateful customers all at the expense of a few minutes of visiting.
Those people waiting at your door are golden customers and giving them 5 extra minutes will provide a ton of benefit!
Drop me a note with your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Adios and Aloha.
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