A great speech started with these two laws

20 Apr

Wow. They actually worked.

Two of Jeffrey Gitomer’s 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling helped me nail my presentation this past week: Law #4 Employ Humor and Law #19 Perform Dynamically.

I present every other month to a group of 150 sales and marketing colleagues. The audience always includes my boss and the CEO: two incredibly dynamic presenters.

I usually rely on an interesting (at least to me) marketing story as the anchor of my speech, but this time I took a leap: I tried humor.

Here are a few of the guidelines I followed from Gitomer’s book that helped me succeed:
* Make sure the laugh is at your expense
* Study humor (thank you Stephen Colbert)
* Test your humor on a friend or family (Thank you Linda Kay O’Reilly)
* Know your material
* Speak from the heart, not a script
* Have a compelling, transferable message

I’ll add one more: gauge the energy in the room. This group is very upbeat and was ready to laugh.

Gitomer issued a challenge that gave me the courage to take the leap: If you’re a leader in front of your people, ask yourself this: Do they WANT to listen to me, or do they HAVE to listen to me?

I think next time they’ll WANT to listen to me.

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