Archive for the ‘Business Success Tips’ Category

Perfect Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops – Part 4

Your non verbal communication says a lot even when you are not speaking. This is very important to keep in mind when conducting a workshop or presentation as your participants will respond largely from your non-verbal cues.

This is part four of this series on Perfecting Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops. We have covered six other non-verbal techniques: eye contact, head nodding, body movement, posture, proximity and vocal quality.

To read more about these techniques be sure to read our previous posts.

In this final post, we will address the techniques of smile and humor.

Technique #7 – Smile

Say “cheese”! Remember to smile so that both your mouth and your eyes are smiling! When smiling with both your mouth and your eyes, you will look relaxed, and it is then that people will genuinely respond. When you feel relaxed, you will be sending a cue to your participants that they too can feel relaxed.

When someone smiles, they send a powerful message of:

· Happiness
· Friendliness
· Warmth
· Likability
· Affiliation

If you smile frequently, you will be perceived as more likable, friendly, warm and approachable. Smiling is often contagious and participants will react favorably and learn more.

Technique #8 – Humor

Humor is often overlooked as an effective tool for learning. Laughter actually releases stress and tension for both the facilitator and the participants. Develop the ability to laugh at yourself and encourage participants to do the same. It fosters a friendly classroom environment that facilitates learning.

Obviously, adequate knowledge of the subject matter is crucial to your success; however, it’s not the only crucial element. Creating a climate that facilitates learning and retention requires good nonverbal and verbal skills. To improve your nonverbal skills, record your speaking on video tape. Then ask others for suggestions on refinement.

By being aware of these simple facilitation do’s and don’ts, you will improve your skills as a facilitator.

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Perfect Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops – Part 3

When conducting a workshop or giving a presentation, what you are saying when you are not speaking actually says volumes. You set the tone for your workshop or presentation and your participants will respond largely from your non-verbal cues.

The proper use of non-verbal communication techniques can really go a long way towards encouraging people to participate in a program. Last time we talked about posture and body movement. This time we will talk about two other important non-verbal techniques, and those are proximity and vocal quality.

Technique #5 – Proximity:

Cultural norms will likely determine a comfortable distance for interaction between people. Look for indications of discomfort when someone feels their personal space has been invaded. Some of these indications include:

· Rocking
· Leg swinging
· Tapping
· Averting gaze.

Typically, in large college classes space invasion is not a problem. In fact, there is usually too much distance. To counteract this, move around the classroom to increase interaction with your students. Increasing proximity enables you to make better eye contact and increases the opportunities for students to speak.

Technique #6 – Vocal Quality:

This aspect of nonverbal communication includes many elements, including:

· Tone
· Pitch
· Rhythm
· Timbre
· Loudness
· Inflection

For maximum teaching effectiveness, learn to vary these elements of your voice. One of the major turn offs for participants in a learning program is a teacher with very monotonous speech. Those who have to listen to such a person perceive them as incredibly boring and dull. Participants consistently report they learn less and lose interest more quickly when listening to someone who has not learned to modulate their voice.

Stay tuned for next time when we will talk about the two final techniques, smile and humor.

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Perfect Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops – Part 2

When conducting a workshop or giving a presentation, non-verbal communication speaks volumes. It can affect how participants conduct themselves, and how you act also sets the tone for your workshop or presentation.

The proper use of non-verbal communication techniques can really go a long way towards encouraging people to participate in a program. Last time we talked about two of the eight primary non-verbal techniques that facilitators need to be aware of – eye contact and head nodding. This time we will talk about techniques 3 & 4:

Technique #3 – Posture

Posture is critical when you’re facilitating a training program. There are many aspects to posture, but the most important is how you use your arms.

Here are some things not to do with your arms when facilitating a training program.

· Do not fold your arms as it represents a “closed” posture and lack of confidence.

· Do not place your arms on your hips as this represents superior power and authority.

· Do not do the wounded arm – when one arm is clamped on the other arm but that arm is hanging loose.  This is another form of a “closed” posture.

· Do not put your hands in your pockets as you may start playing with whatever is in your pockets.

The best thing to do with your arms is to use them to express your points in a more animated fashion, but use them with purpose. When you are not using your arms, keep them hanging comfortably at your sides. This may seem awkward at first, but will become more natural as you do it more.

Technique #4 – Body Movement

In addition to your arms, you also want to avoid distracting body movements. When you are facilitating, body movement can be very powerful. You must pay attention not to take away from your facilitation with distractions such as walking too much or pacing around the room. Another distracting gesture is to rock back and forth when you’re standing still. All of these will take away from your effectiveness because people will start paying attention to what you are doing rather than what you are saying. Be sure you are moving with purpose.

You also communicate a variety of messages by the way you walk and talk, or stand and sit. Standing erect and leaning forward slightly can send a message to participants that you are approachable, receptive and friendly. If you speak with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling, this indicates a level of disinterest whether you intent it or not. These movements should be avoided. Interpersonal closeness results when you and your students face each other.

Stay tuned next time when we talk about the ever important aspect of proximity and vocal quality.

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Perfect Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops – Part 1

When conducting a workshop or giving a presentation, non-verbal communication speaks volumes. In fact, it can dramatically affect how participants conduct themselves in return. Your non-verbal communication sets the tone for your workshop or presentation because what you do often speaks more loudly than what you say, and therefore you want to be aware of the non-verbal cues you are giving, and the tone you are setting.

The proper use of non-verbal communication techniques can really go a long way towards encouraging people to participate in a program. Here are two of the eight primary non-verbal techniques that facilitators need to be aware of when conducting a training program or giving a presentation:

Technique #1 – Eye Contact

We all know that a good leader makes eye contact with people when they are speaking. The same goes for learning environments like workshops. Eye contact is one of the most important elements of interpersonal communication. Eye contact helps control the flow of communication, and it also signals the level of interest in others.

Furthermore, eye contact increases the speaker’s credibility. Teachers who make eye contact convey interest, concern, warmth and credibility.

With this in mind, you will want to make eye contact with every participant in the workshop and connect with them and make them feel valued and important. Some theories suggest that you can pick out a few people and just speak to them, but as a facilitator in a learning program,  you need to make eye contact with everyone in your workshop.

A powerful technique for making eye contact with everyone in the room is to use the “Lighthouse Technique.”  Think about the lighthouse as a sweeping flash of light that holds your attention.  Same is true with eye contact.  If you sweep the audience with your eyes, staying 2-3 seconds on each person, your audience will feel that you are speaking to him/her personally and ensure their attention.

Technique #2 – Head Nodding

Failing to make gestures while speaking can give people the impression that you are boring, stiff and inanimate. A lively teaching style works to capture a participant’s attention; makes the material more interesting; facilitates learning; and includes a sense of entertainment.

Nodding your head, a key gesture, will communicate positive reinforcement to students and indicate that you are listening. Nodding your head shows that you are understanding what somebody is saying. By showing this understanding, you affirm participants which helps them to feel safe and open up. Also, by not interrupting and allowing some silence, gives them time to formulate their thoughts and get to the point they really want to make. By nodding your head, you are encouraging participants to speak and feel valued.

Stay tuned next time for Part 2 where we will look at techniques 3 & 4.

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Tips for Creating a Client Attracting Website Fast

Many people spend months on their website and this
substantially delays their ability to build their business.

I have an important message for you.

YOUR WEBSITE SHOULDN’T TAKE MONTHS TO COMPLETE

If you remember, in the past I’ve suggested that you need
these pages to get started:
- a home page
- an about me page
- a service page
- and a contact me page.

Four pages to get your website up and running.
put everything aside and commit to getting it done.

If your website is complete,
take time this week to review it and make updates.
Perhaps you need to update your special offer,
your home page message, or even review it
for typos and grammatical errors.

If you don’t have a website, make this a priority.

Although a website will typically NOT get you business,
it definitely will legitimize you as a business owner.
It is also a powerful tool for collecting names of prospects
who are interested in your special offer.

I’ve seen the development of a website
hold people back more than enything else.
They are waiting for the perfect look,
and the perfect message.

Do not wait!  The quest for perfection will keep you stuck.
Get your site up, and you can change it later.
In fact, you will change it later.  Guaranteed.

Your website can be as simple as a home page,
an about me page, and a generic services page.
And make sure you clearly have a way for your visitors to reach you.
Later you can add an FAQ (frequently asked questions),
a resource page, events page, etc.

Here are a 5 important tips for creating your web site:

1. Make your home page be about your market,
NOT about who you are.  Also, a short homepage
is better than a long one.
YAY, that makes it easier for you!

What goes on your home web page:

- What are their problems?

- What are the ramifications of those problems?

- How are you the one to save the day?

- How are your products and services the answer to their problems?

Do this in 250 words or less.

DO NOT PUT TOO MUCH INFORMATION ON YOUR HOME PAGE.
LESS IS MORE.

2. Remember to have your website reflect the
brand you created in recent weeks. Simple, clean,
colors and images that reflect your brand.

3.  Have a compelling free gift and an opt-in box
for people to give you you their contact information.  Do
not give your special offer away without getting your visitors’
contact information.

4. Have a professional photo of yourself on your home page.  With the rise of internet business and skeptical buyers, people feel more comfortable if your site is warm and inviting, speaks to their needs, and shows them who they are entrusting their contact information to.

5. Your other pages – About me, Services and Contact.  To start, stick with the basics – an about me page, a services page and a contact me page.  Get the basics complete for now and then you can add later on.  Remember your goal is to connect with your visitors, establish credibility, show them that you understand them and can meet their needs, and invite them to engage with you further.  Keep your site simple, and keep it about your visitor (remember they’re thinking, WIIFM – what’s in it for me).

Again, your website will change and evolve over time.
Guaranteed.  Do not overcomplicate the process of creating
your web site. Get something going so you have something
to tweak as your message and business solidifies.

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4 Steps to Creating Predictable Income in Your Business

Imagine if you could plan and predict your income every month. That would be pretty amazing, wouldn’t it?

Out of all the things you can do in your business, planning your income is the one thing that will give you more confidence, enjoyment and peace of mind, than anything else.

Here’s a simple strategy to create consistent and predictable income in your business:

1. Identify your target market’s 3 greatest problems.

Create tips, solutions, resources or other education-based information that you can send to your prospects and clients to address these needs. This can be delivered in various mediums such as the written word using articles or success tips, audio, or short instructional videos.

2. Develop a communication schedule to send out these tips, solutions and resources.

What topics will you address and when? What tip or solution will you send and on what dates?

3. When you deliver the information, promote an upcoming teleseminar or webinar where you will be discussing the topic in greater detail.

Addressing a need, providing tips and other valuable resources to solve that need, and then offering an opportunity for them to come and learn more in a teleseminar or webinar,
is a very compelling offer for your prospects.

4. On the teleseminar or webinar, have a specific program, product or service to promote.

What do you want them to do next? Have a complimentary session with you? Sign up for a program? Buy a product? Come to an event? Have a well thought out
plan for what you want your attendees to do next.

By doing this on a consistent basis and tracking your results, you will be able to plan and predict your income every single month.

It’s Time To Simplify

I think I ‘follow’ too many people.
Do you ever feel that way?

I get so overwhelmed and think that
if I get another email about how to make money on the internet
or how to market my business I will scream.

And lately I’ve seen people that don’t even
specialize in business building strategies
teaching people how to grow their businesses!

All of this is enough to make me crazy.
And I’m a marketer and LOVE marketing!
I can imagine how people who hate marketing feel
because they know they need to do it to grow.

So here’s what I think.
IT’S TIME TO SIMPLIFY.

I have a simple marketing philosophy,
that has helped me grow a very large list fast,
and create a very nice income.
Simply put, that’s what we want -
a large list and a nice income. :-)

Guess what?
You need just three things to do it:
1. Someone to talk to
2. Something to say
3. Something to sell

Who is your ideal market? Where are they? How can you reach them so you can talk to them?

What does your target market care about most?
What problems are they having and what solutions can you provide?

What do you have to sell?  What programs, products, or services
that SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM do you offer?

If you have these three things,
you have ALL you need
to be successful in your business.
If you don’t have all these,
it’s time to get them.

If you would like a free weekly action plan to help you move forward in your business one step at a time, go to: www.takeonestepforwardtosuccess.com

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Do You Have A Brand For Your Business?

One of my clients is setting out to create a brand for her business, and that got me thinking about the importance of having a clearly identifiable brand for all businesses.

As we were working through the process of designing her brand it was amazing to see it come alive through two important elements.

The first element was what she wanted people to ‘feel’ about her business.
The second element was how that feeling or perception would ‘look’
in colors, images and words.

Many business owners do not intentionally create a brand for themselves.
Often it is something that just “happens” without much thought
or strategy – and sometimes that is good, and sometimes not so good.
Not intentionally creating a brand can lead to mixed messages,
inconsistency and buyer confusion.

Confused buyers do not buy.

A brand is both a ‘look’ and ‘feel’ that you want your business to be
recognized by.  At the heart of your brand, is the ‘feel’.
It is what you want to be known for – what you want people to think
of when they think of your business.  And then the ‘look’ pulls it
all together in the form of logos, colors, words and images.

Very importantly, your brand needs to resonate with your target market.
It needs to attract them, speak to their needs, and communicate both visually
and in the written word that you are the right solution for them.

Answer these questions when creating your brand:

If you do not have a name yet, think about what company name is a
reflection of your target market’s greatest needs?

What promises are you making to your ideal clients?

What is the mood and personality of your business?

What colors, words, images and shapes reflect your company’s personality?

Use this information for creating your logo, working with your web designer to design the best look and feel for your web site, and with your copywriter when designing the perfect message for attracting your target market.


5 Ways to Get Control of Your Business

Did you know that most small business owners spend the majority of their first three years in business marketing their business rather than serving their clients?

And then to add to the stress, they worry about the continued expenses and lack of income.  They question if they made the right decision by going into business for themselves, and they wonder if they are going to ‘make it.’

Does this sound familiar? This was me. I spent countless hours each week, spent thousands and thousands of dollars and wondered if I was ‘doing the right thing.’

But when I made the shift from spending the majority of my time marketing, to serving clients, life got a lot easier and business became a lot more fun.

Here are the 5 things I did to get control of my business, control of my time, and thankfully, control of my income:

1. Focus on one single target market.

This is critical. If you identify an accessible target market and determine all the places to reach your target market, you will have more places to reach them than time to do it.
Effectively serving one market is more than a full time job. Multiple target markets means multiple full time jobs.

2. Identify their greatest problems.
How do you get your target market’s attention when there is so much noise and so many other people vying for their attention? 
Ask and answer this simple question:
“What are my target market’s greatest problems, and how can I make it as easy as possible to fix them?”

3. Solve their problems.
Solve their problems through various communications – the written word, audio, video and live speaking/teaching. Give them a lot of great value for free so they can get to know and trust you. Giving value also keeps their attention on you while they are checking you out before doing business with you.

4. Plan your communications.
When solving their problems through a planned communication strategy, you will feel much more purposeful and in control. What will you talk about, when, how often and through what mediums of communication? Planning your communications will make you feel like you are controlling your business instead of it controlling you.

5. Tell them what’s next.
So many business owners don’t tell their potential clients what they want them to do next.  People have to know what you want them to do – otherwise they won’t do it and they surely won’t ask. What is next for them? Do you want them to come to a teleseminar or webinar? Sign up for a workshop? Listen to an audio? Purchase a product or program?
Have a complimentary session with you? Let your clients and prospects know what you want them to do next.

These 5 simple things changed the course of my business.  It didn’t start out this way, but now I have a plan, a purpose, peace of mind, and I don’t feel the need to chase after every strategy that crosses my desk.

Think Outside the Box – Try these Marketing Ideas

It’s time to abandon the classical side of marketing and start being inventive with your marketing strategy.

Marketing is constantly evolving. Some of the up and coming marketing strategies are good and some are just bad. There is so much competition and so many options out there, it is easy to get confused.

Surprising your audience with something new and interesting is a great marketing solution. Here are some fresh and unconventional methods to think about trying:

Build on Your Current Community or List

Look at your customers as a way to spread your message. When you send out newsletters or post blogs on your website, give them an easy way to share with their friends and ask them to do it. You could say, “If this information has been helpful, share it with your friends by clicking below (or forwarding this message).” It’s one thing to get new customers in traditional ways, but it’s another to find them in new and innovative ways. Word of mouth may be an old trick, but finding a new way of spreading it is a great strategy.

Know Where Your Customers Are

Knowing where your clientele frequents can help you figure out how to best position your marketing. There may be websites on the net that you never would have considered advertising on, but if your target market frequents them, there’s a good bet that you could gain some new customers by advertising on those sites.

Make Personal Connections

Think about personalizing the products that you market or arranging to have them personalized for your customers. If your product is digital, perhaps include a personal note with each purchase, or a free gift. Simple gestures like these can go a long way toward your building personal connections with your clients.

Make Saying Thank you Special

Thank your clients in some way, whether it be big or small. Send out digital gift cards, no strings attached. Or set up a points program and offer rewards to customers based on their points level. Thanking someone by giving something back says something to your clients. It resonates because it makes them feel special and appreciated.

The Internet is Powerful – Don’t Underestimate It

Do something innovative with videos and post them online. Shares on the internet make people more recognizable now than ever before. The 21st century’s version of word of mouth can be very powerful indeed.

Infographic Marketing

Infographics are very popular but be sure to use them correctly. When used correctly, you can more easily deal with the limited attention span of consumers caused by the surge in social media and technology. Words have become less effective of late and communication via multimedia is continually on the rise. Infographics are a fantastic way to explain a topic, or provide information in a fun and interesting way. Also, infographics can spread like wildfire online due to social media shares, media outlet exposure, and infographic directories. Be sure that you use good data and it is not just a throw away survey you scrapped together in the eleventh hour. Finally, if you decide to hire someone to create it for you, ensure that person knows their craft – ask for sample of their work before you hire them.

Affiliate or Referral Programs

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to attract sales and traffic. You can do this without any out of pocket expense. These programs involve paying for leads or sales that others send your way, rather than paying for client acquisition up front. You’re not just saying “thanks”, you’re actually giving them something.

People Hate Ads, But Not If They’re Creative

This doesn’t mean putting more creativity into your ad’s artwork. Innovative marketing requires an eye for parallels. If you can pull it off it’s great publicity for your business. People remember what’s different, even if it is clearly advertising a product.

Thinking Creatively.

You might get lucky…your same ideas from last year might just keep working. However, often they don’t. The novelty of new advertising doesn’t keep its novelty for very long. Businesses these days need to regularly consider changes to their existing methods of advertising to both current and potential customers. Being aware of common marketing mistakes is very important. Also of utmost importance is to always be looking ahead for new and lucrative possibilities in marketing that might not have worked previously, but in today’s climate, they just might be the thing.

Try thinking outside the box for your marketing strategies. You might just stay one step ahead of the competition and bring a pleasant surprise to your customers.

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