I was reading from an old spiritual book this morning and came across a great section on public speaking. It seemed so out of context from the rest of the book that I had to dig in.
What I found were some very relevant and helpful tips on delivering a better presentation.The book is called "Leaves of Gold" and the piece is from Walter Robinson. Here are my favorite points:
There's a very fine line between planning and over-planning.Take this story, a wonderful excerpt from Brian Johnson of Optimize. It speaks volumes.
The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the QUANTITY of work they produced. All those on the right solely on the QUALITY. His grading procedure was simple. On the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the ‘quantity’ group. Fifty pounds of pots rated an ‘A,’ forty pounds a ‘B,’ and so on. Those being graded on ‘quality,’ however, needed to produce only one pot. But that ONE pot needed to be perfect in order to garner an ‘A.’ Well, came grading and a curious fact emerged. The works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for QUANTITY. It seems that while the ‘quantity’ group was busily churning out piles of work -- and learning from their mistakes -- the ‘quality’ group had sat theorizing about perfection. In the end the quality folks had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
50 pounds! It’s only by DOING, and being willing to make mistakes, that we learn and get better!
Some food for thought from my latest book, Simplify.
I am sitting in a car dealership getting my 10 year old car fixed (again). It's early, so there are no customers in the place. I am sitting at an empty desk in the showroom. Sales people keep walking by me, no hello, no eye contact. They are just standing around talking to each other.
And I think to myself: Why doesn't one of them come up to me and make an introduction? Who knows, I could be their next sale. My point is not to make them wrong. My point is let it serve as a reminder to us all that sometimes our next sale or our next gift is right there in front of us. Anyone can be a prospect. So few people are asked personally for a gift.
When was the last time a fundraiser personally asked you for a gift? Remember: So much success is achieved by showing up and following up.
Want better results?
Start with being conscious of 1) HOW you are spending your time and; 2) WHO you are spending it with. To illustrate this simple axiom, we can look to a bug that takes the phrase "seize the day" quite literally.
There is a great short story from author John Michalak. John mediates on the abrupt lifecycle of the Mayfly. The Mayfly is an aquatic insect that develops for an extra long time and hatches as a fully formed adult nearly a year later (not necessarily in May as their name implies).
But here's the sad truth: Once these Mayfly adults hatch, they proceed to live life in warp speed: They find a mate, lay eggs and die. All in the same short day. That's it. These long incubating insects simply hatch, live and die ALL in just one day. We may think of this abbreviated lifespan as sad and tragic. After all, they spend nearly 12 months developing only to get a tiny fraction of that time back in life.
But what makes Michalak's assertion so powerful is the question he poses: What if the Mayfly's life isn’t so tragic?
In this final installment of call outs from Joe's recent online seminar, he talks goal setting.
If you're not working ON the business or IN the business, you need to give this short podcast a listen. Consider it Goal #1 for today.
Spotted this car in parking lot the other day. The runner's "checklist" on the back window says it all. What a great lesson in goal setting. Here are three quick things we can learn - and ALWAYS keep top of mind - about goal setting from this straightforward list.
In my experience, the best approach is usually the most direct.
Walking out of a convenience store recently, I was approached by a guy asking me if I wanted a hair cut. It turns out this fella owned a barber shop in the adjacent shopping mall and was beating the pavement, looking for customers. I was traveling, away from home and what hair I have left was sorely in need of some tending. Not exactly sure when I'd have the opportunity to head over to my hometown stylist, I agreed and ended up getting a great haircut.
But the quality of the cut isn't the real revelation here - it's the sales approach.
As I was sitting in the chair, I saw this very motivated barber snag another customer using the very same direct approach. Afterward, he told me he does it all the time. For every 10 people he asks, about 2 will get a haircut - about a 20% return on his FREE investment.
With the web, email and all manner of INdirect communication, it occurred to me that this sort of self-promotion is a modern day rarity. In fact, the vast majority of barbers, retailers and others sit in their shops and wait for customers - usually relying on some form of indirect advertising to sell their message. In contrast, this enterprising young man decided to go out and get the clients.
This reminded me of a quote: “Successful people make a habit of doing things others are afraid or just refuse to do."
Fundraising, as we all know, is more competitive then ever. Because of this, we need to get creative in our donor outreach. If you keep calling a donor to set up a visit and they don’t respond, here are THREE other ways you can grab a donor's attention:
About three weeks ago, I spotted these two geese at the entrance of my office building.
They have been here ever since. Day in and day out. While I spent the past two weeks out on the road, these two geese have been here doing what it is they do. Everyday. Without complaint or fail.
After spending countless hours driving in the car, it occurred to me...these geese have a lesson for all of us.
"Stay strong. Stand up. Have a voice." - Shawn Johnson
Life is a series of meetings. Meetings with colleagues. Meetings with donors. Meetings with family. Meetings with friends. Meetings with friends of donors. There are so many, we only remember the meetings that stand-out. Literally.
How do YOU stand-out?
Make your next meeting memorable by STANDING. By simply standing-up, you will make an impact on your meeting or presentation.
Here are four ways standing-up can help you make a lasting impression:
The cold call is a necessary part of the fundraisers toolkit. But that doesn't mean it needs to be uncomfortable. There are ways to approach the prospective call that can make it both fruitful and rewarding.
IN THIS PODCAST, Joe sits down with Matt Hugg from ThinkNP.com to take the fear out of making that cold call. Proper research and preparation will have you primed and ready to warm up that next cold call.