Is Your Audience Engaged or Disengaged…Here’s Why

Posted June 23rd, 2015 by Martin Presse with No Comments

Audiences are typically actively engaged for several reasons. For example, audiences who volunteer to attend a workshop are more apt to participate. Workshops that are directly related to work life or responsibilities also connect with audiences more frequently. Here are two more.

First, attendees become fully engaged when they thoroughly enjoy the session, connect with the speaker and feel a sense of empowerment from the material. Whenever attendees are mentally and physically engaged in a workshop they tend to enjoy the workshop more. If you notice people taking notes shortly into a workshop, talking amongst themselves, and begin to openly debate with you some of the material being covered, you’re on the right path. If they aren’t, stop talking and get them to engage physically, have them do a group exercise, or simply ask them to take a 5 minute break. During the break your job is to plan a “course correction”. This means figuring out what they need in order to become thoroughly engaged in your workshop. It might mean more class exercises, group discussion, or simply having them stand up more often as you speak. Yes, I ask my audiences to stand as I speak. Just two minutes of standing completely change the energy of the room.

The second reason audience members fully participate occurs when they see something of themselves they dislike. Metaphorically speaking, when a speaker holds up a mirror and asks the audience to carefully review the image, we sometimes see a shift in their energy. One of two things will happen. Audiences will disengage because they like or agree with the image being presented and have nothing to say about it. The second reaction will see them fully engage because they dislike the reality of the image and demand massive action to correct the image.

As a workshop leader it is your responsibility to hold up mirrors and see which images they agree and disagree with. Your role is to then generate discussion and help audiences find solutions to the myriad of challenges facing them.

What the Heck is Your Competition Doing

Posted April 24th, 2015 by Martin Presse with No Comments

Goals…we talk about them all the time. I have one simple goal for each month: One new client…that’s it…that’s the goal. It helps me be very strategic in my sales and marketing. It’s a small goal and it keeps the business side of things very focused. This was a tough month. Two potential clients said, “No”..and one wanted everything for next to nothing. After years of experience I’ve learned not to take the “No’s” personally. They weren’t ready and I’m ok with that. When they are ready, I’ll be ready.

I had to refocus and keep asking the question, “Who can I reach out to and get as a client”….”Think brain, think”…Late nights…Long nights…A dozen emails..a dozen phone calls…Bam…Two new clients this month.

As a book writing coach, this can be a tough business. I have to be at my best in a very competitive field. To be at my best I have to ready to negotiate and answer a myriad of questions. The more I hesitate, the more likely I am to loose a potential client. Preparation is key. This requires constant research. Not only am I asking what my competition is doing but “why” are they doing it. The best business advice I ever got was this, “What got you here, won’t get you where you want to go.”  If I want new clients each month I need to figure out a way to get their attention and that requires understanding what my competition is doing, why they are doing it and are they doing it successfully.

Something tells me I did something right this month. I need to think about it, analyze it and do it again and again..My competition is doing many things extremely well..I think I’ll go over for a coffee soon..


Why You Just Can’t Seem to Finish Writing Your Book

Posted April 17th, 2015 by Martin Presse with No Comments

Even wonder why you struggle writing your book? There are many challenges every writer will face when writing their book.  The issue could be time, focus, or finding the right topic. Let’s assume you’ve past all that. You’ve found the time by writing early in the morning before the kids get up. You’ve decided to write only 45 minutes per day so staying focused isn’t a big problem. Lastly you’ve also found the right topic. You firmly believe in your message and you’ve got the stories to share. It appears the book should write itself.

The problem then begins to appear shortly after you’ve started to write. The first week or so go by very well and then it happens. You sit down and suddenly you ask yourself, “What should I write about today?” You spend about ten minutes staring at a blank page. Nothing seems to inspire you or what you write doesn’t seem good enough. You decide to take a day off or edit what you’ve previously written.

You do this again the following day. You might get lucky and find a few days here and there to write new material but essentially, slowly but surely, you lose interest in your material. You eventually lose interest in the project and you’re barely 30 days into it.

How could this have been avoided. Simple..Spend more time on your outline. If writers spend just 14 days reviewing and revising their book outline their odds of finishing their book increase exponentially. The question is why?

A clear and detailed outline helps remove any muddy water from the writers mind. As you sit down every morning your job is to look at your outline and tackle one or two of the bullet points for a particular chapter. A clear outline removes the option to sit and wonder what the day should bring. It’s right there. You get to pick what inspires you at that moment and then write about it.

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All the best