Posts Tagged ‘education based marketing’

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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Ideas for Follow Up After a Workshop

Whenever you are conducting a workshop, you want to have a plan for what to offer your participants next. You may want them to sign up for a future workshop, sign up to have a complimentary session with you to become a one-on-one client, or join a group program. The key is to have a goal.

Not all your participants will be ready to engage with you further, so you want to have a plan to stay in touch with them.

Here are a few suggestions:

-Follow up with participants by sending them a recent article and personal notes to keep them motivated.

- During the workshop, have each person write one idea they will take away from the workshop. Each week, email one idea that was collected.

- After 6 to 8 weeks have gone by, send out the results from the evaluation again so they will remember the positive effects from the workshop.

- Another great idea is to have each participant write on a blank sheet of paper the answer to the following questions:

o What factors will prevent you from implementing the desired changes?
o What steps can you take to increase the likelihood of changing your behavior?

- Save the papers and mail them to the individuals after 30 days with this question:
o How have you taken the necessary steps to improve yourself?

These are just a few things that will allow you to stay in touch, continue to nurture the relationship and remind the participant that you care.

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10 Epic Content Ideas

It’s true – we are living in the age of content marketing.

This content marketing age has created a plethora of articles all over the web. More businesses get involved every day and this is making the online world a noisy and crowded place. A recent estimate states that 86 percent of business-to-business companies use content marketing.

The competition for attention out there is huge. In order to stand out, you have to make yourself heard and this means going big or going home. Posting blog posts here and there is not enough. You have to get out there with unique and outstanding content that sparks conversation.

In other words, it’s time to go epic.

Below are 10 monumental content ideas to implement for your business. Use them effectively and you will get noticed and display a voice that will garner the attention of your target niche.

1. Write in-depth, well-researched blog posts.

In this crowded internet culture, your blog posts really need to stand out. The best way to achieve this is to research well and write your posts to be as in-depth as possible.

2. Create a sizeable list of tools and tips for your industry.

Lists are very popular. People love them. And they really love them if they provide valuable information that applies to their daily lives. This is why creating a list of tools is a huge content idea.

Brainstorm some topics to create this list of tools and tips to use in your own campaigns.

3. Conduct your own original research and get published.

People create great content using the research that others conducted. But think about the kind of content you could create if you published your own research. You would attract readers, plus you could link your website to a ton of blogs in your industry.

4. Experts make great partners and help create a strong resource.

There are two essential benefits to creating content with an expert partner.  It’s an opportunity to develop an associate relationship with a key influencer and it gives you access to their network for promotions, launches, etc.

When considering the type of content, don’t worry too much. It doesn’t really matter. It could be an exclusive interview or an hour-long webinar. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s epic.

5. Produce a video series.

Video series are really taking off in the online world. People are watching videos online at an impressive rate. This is an excellent time for a business to invest in this area. Video apps and social media have made producing and sharing videos easier than ever so it’s an excellent time for you to use this medium to your advantage.

6. Conduct interviews with experts in your industry.

This is a great idea for several reasons:

  • It allows you to connect with various of experts in your niche.
  • By contributing, these experts are more immediately aware of your brand.
  • By contributing to your content, it’s more likely that they will share it with their audiences.

Research about 10 to 15 experts in your industry and then request an interview with them on a specific topic. Use the same topic for each interview. When you’ve completed conducting of the interviews, put them together into a compilation content piece.

7. Publish and share an eZine with your audience.

The old tactic of a magazine made new in an online format. A new spin on an old device, updated for the online world, could be an effective move in your business.

8. Make Slideshare presentations with your blogs.

This type of content re-purposing can require some effort, but if done right, it could lead to major rewards for your business.

Ann Hoffman used Slideshare to gain 243,000 views on her blog in 30 days. A great example of how using other formats to publish content can bring effective and successful results for your business.

9. Make a book from your blogs.

By publishing a book, you can immediately increase your authority in the industry.

Have you spent large amounts of time on blogging? If you answered yes, then you probably have enough content for a book draft. Put together related blog posts into a book and then self-publish.

10. Post new, engaging content every day.

Sometimes to really get attention, it’s not so much what you’re delivering, but how you’re delivering it. If you are thinking that you have done everything in your power to publish incredible content, then maybe you should try to increase your content through quantity. Just be sure that the quality is still on par.

Prodigious content can have a massive impact on the success of your business. If done effectively, it will bring traffic, increase awareness of your brand and help you gain new customers.

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A Critical Success Metric for Your Business

How do you measure the success of your business? What metrics do you look at when determining if you are on track toward your goals? Do you look at time spent on marketing or other business activities, time spent with clients or potential clients, conversion rates, expenses and of course, income? Thinking about my own business metrics got me thinking about another metric to include. That metric is how much we give.

I believe that how much we give is in direct proportion to how successful we will be. This doesn’t mean we foolishly give away all of our time or goods. We should be prudent and plan our giving strategy just like we plan our other business strategies.

Have you ever heard a successful business person say they gave away too much? The laws of success and the laws of the universe reward giving, and therefore I affirm giving as a powerful business strategy.

Giving provides us with the following:

· It allows us to gain the attention of those we want to serve.

· It allows our potential clients to get to know us, and become more familiar with our offerings.

· It develops a favorable impression in our prospects’ and clients’ eyes.

· It allows us to develop solid relationships over time.

· It allows us to get to know what our potential and existing clients need.

· It tangibly shows we have the knowledge, expertise, PRODUCTS and SERVICES to meet their needs.

I strongly believe in the principle of GIVE, GIVE, GIVE. Smartly and strategically.

When we give, we serve.
When we serve, we are rewarded – financially and intrinsically.

Do you have a giving strategy? What do you give and when?

I suggest planning your own giving strategy and watch what happens. Consistently give value to your prospects and clients through articles, special reports, audio programs, video clips, telecalls, webinars, workshops and qualified complimentary consultations.

Plan in advance, perhaps for the entire calendar year, to give something of value to your prospects and clients once or twice per month and watch your business grow.

Sure, there’s buzz in the industry about “giving it all away”. But honestly, can you really “give it all away” in a 500-word article, a one-hour teleclass, or even a three-hour workshop? Or instead, will you simply be educating, compelling and drawing people to you, and converting more prospects to clients?

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A New Perspective on Marketing

Growing a business takes diligent and persistent effort. Many personal development professionals struggle with how to effectively market their business but there is a simple strategy that once grasped and adopted can actually make growing your business a lot easier and a lot more fun.

You may be one of those who shutters at the idea of having to constantly be putting yourself out there to get clients. You love serving people – lots of people – and you would like to be able to afford yourself a nice income doing it. But the idea of effectively marketing and growing your business leaves many coaches asking, “How? Where? When? Who? What do I say? And how long do I have to do this?”

What if it could be a lot easier? TRULY.  How would it feel if you didn’t have to promote yourself to “sell” your coaching services, but instead, your goal was just to “start a relationship”?

Instead of going out into the world saying “I’m a coach, hire me”, what if you went out into the world and said “I’m a coach, allow me to give you value added products and services as my gift to you and then over time, when you’ve gotten to know and like and trust me well enough, then you can hire me?” (You don’t literally say this, but you have this attitude as you are out and about growing your business).

Wouldn’t it feel like a lot less pressure if you could just say, “I loved talking with you, I have a report I wrote that I think you would enjoy on Taking Communication With Your Spouse To a Whole New Level”. Would you like me to send it to you?” They say yes, you get their contact information, you send the report, and then you start nurturing a relationship.

Or you post an ad on a web site where your market frequents not offering to sell anything or even offering a consultation, but instead offering a tangible gift like a special report, ebook or audio. They sign up, you have their name, and you begin to nurture a relationship.

This approach is used by the most successful companies because typically when you encounter a new prospect who is just getting to know you, they are not willing to invest an extensive amount of time or money with you, much less hire you to be their coach. It takes time for your prospect to first develop familiarity, trust and credibility, especially in the coaching business. Our industry is based highly on “relationship”.  Instead of selling right away, make your goal to first develop a relationship with them. And do that with a plan, purpose and intention.

Think about how this new perspective would feel for you as a coach. Would you rather ask a new prospect to buy something from you, or would you rather ask them if you could send them a gift that speaks to a special need that they have?

Studies show that it takes 7-12 contacts (or touches) for a qualified prospect to do business with you. Give your prospects time to get to know you, and give them ways to engage with you through a “multi touch communication strategy” where you are regularly offering value added products for free and low fee. And one day they will hire you.

Instead of networking and marketing to get clients, how about networking and marketing to find prospects to first develop a relationship? The relationship comes first and then the client. And by having a plan to start and nurture that relationship,  and implementing your plan consistently, your business will not only be a lot more fun, but it will grow too!

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REVEALED – The Key Element to Achieving Your Goals

We’ve all done it – for every new endeavor or new beginning, we’ve set more new goals. As a matter of fact, you probably did it just a few short months ago when the calendar turned the corner on a new year.

To be successful in business, goal setting is a critical success factor. But why do we struggle so? We know the rule – make your goals S-M-A-R-TSpecific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. We write them down, defining them clearly with a realistic, yet challenging, quantifiable, achievable, time bound action plan. We’re excited! This time we’re going to do it! We work at them diligently, but then slowly but surely the new gets old, progress is slower than we expected, or we encounter a setback. And before we know it, we’re back to our old habits, and our goals are forgotten yet again.

So what is the key element to successfully achieving your goals? What is it that can move you from yet another unattained goal to success? S-M-A-R-T is great, but it isn’t enough. There’s something more. It is the missing S in S-M-A-R-T-S. It is Self-discipline!

With Self-discipline, you can make your goals a reality! When you have mastered this skill, you can have a life filled with an abundance of personal achievements, but without it there can have no worthwhile achievements. To develop the character of Self-discipline, practice these four steps:

1. Know where you are going and why

Knowing what you want to achieve and why you want it, will make your goals personal. They become more than words on a page, they become a part of you. To

have the discipline to stay on course, personalize your goals by asking yourself these questions:

What specifically do I want to achieve?

Why am I doing it?

What will I gain if I accomplish my goals?

How committed am I?

Answer these questions in writing and put your goals somewhere you can see them daily. Lee Iacocca said, “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” The key is to see your goals often and repeat them regularly. For Self-discipline, your goals have to become a part of you. It truly is as simple as “You are what you think”.

2. Start by building on little successes

Success breeds success. Becoming Self-disciplined in the small things will give you the confidence and motivation to take on the bigger things. So start small with tasks that you can easily accomplish to move you toward success. Some days your goals will seem too overwhelming, you will have other priorities, or you will be just plain tired. So whether it is big or small, do something toward your goals everyday. Developing Self-discipline is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger you become.

3. Give yourself constant encouragement

Just like eating, you need to feed yourself daily with encouragement. You need to eat to live and you need encouragement to live big! I love what Zig Ziglar says, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

To remain Self-disciplined, you must believe that you can accomplish your goals. Giving yourself constant encouragement – especially when the obstacles come – is a necessity for success. So take the time to write an affirmation of success and refer to it daily.

4. Be determined not to give up

This is the essence of Self-discipline. The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is stick-to-it-ive-ness. When you are on the brink of something great, it is inevitable that the obstacles will seem bigger than ever. It is especially during these times that you must stay on track. When you successfully move through your challenges, it increases your confidence, makes you stronger, and moves you one step closer to your goals! So when the going gets tough and you are tempted to give up, do these three things:

- Realize your challenge and how you are feeling about it

- Redirect your energies back to your goal and your reasons for accomplishing it

- Recommit by asking yourself if you are willing to move through this challenge for the bigger prize

So what do you do if you fail? Get back on track right away! Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up. Change is hard. It takes time. If it were easy, we would all be healthy, wealthy and wise. Instead, focus back on your goal and what you gain by accomplishing it. Then don’t waste another moment getting back on track!

For success in achieving your goals for life and business, you must have the missing key element. You must have the missing S in the S-M-A-R-T-S formula. There can be no significant achievements without Self-discipline. Follow the steps outlined above and you will have a life filled with an abundance of personal achievements!

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3 Strategies to Fill Your Workshop

Training programs are a powerful tool for growing a business when used effectively. They can generate substantial income, establish you as a creditable expert in your industry, attract more prospects and convert them to clients. With training programs like workshops, seminars, teletrainings and webinars, you receive these benefits plus the satisfaction of providing a valuable service that impacts the lives of those you serve.

The key is to fill your workshops so you impact more lives, become known in your industry and generate revenue for your business. This article will discuss three strategies you can use to effectively market your training programs and have a sold-out event every time.

STRATEGY 1: DON’T MARKET RANDOMLY

There is a system that will support you in filling your training events. Most business owners make the same mistake where their marketing is not strategic or targeted. It involves random activities such as posting fliers, running miscellaneous ads, and sending one email to their potpourri list of contacts. With random activities such as these, training programs do not sell out and you may become discouraged.

For the best results, focus your efforts on a specific target market. Speak their language, attract their attention and offer solutions that meet their needs. Choose a specific target market so you are able to deliver your sales message in the many places they frequent.

The more targeted your market the more effective your message will be. You will reach the right audience and get great results.

STRATEGY 2: “TOUCH” PROSPECTS FREQUENTLY AND REGULARLY

The best way to have maximum attendance at your training programs is to start marketing early by “touching” (contacting) your prospects numerous times in advance, giving them value, and familiarizing them with you and the upcoming event.

Do that by offering them value-added products and services for free that relate to your training program. This puts your event on their radar screen and familiarizes them with what they will be experiencing. These offers could include a special report, an article, an audio product, or a teleseminar. The key is to send numerous free offers over time, giving them more opportunities to become familiar with you, to trust you, and be willing to invest their time and money with you.

Studies indicate that new prospects will only spend a small amount of time and money when they first discover you and your business. Over time, as they become familiar with you they will invest more time and money. It is uncommon for someone to show up at your event and spend their time and money, with no knowledge of you other than what they’ve read on a random flier or ad.

STRATEGY 3: MAKE IT COMPELLING AND GET THEM TO ACT

In today’s market of constant media overload, it is more important than ever for your marketing efforts to “rise above the noise”, so you will be seen and heard, and capture the attention of your target market.

In order to “rise above the noise” and catch the reader’s attention, you must:

· Have compelling product offerings that meet the needs of your target market;

· Attract your audience’s attention with a message that speaks their “language”.

· Give your reader a call to action that creates urgency.

Because people buy for two main reasons, to seek pleasure or avoid pain, create a message that relates to them and makes them say, “That’s me…” and “I need that NOW”.

Applying these strategies will have a significant impact on the success of your training programs. Do not give up if your first one isn’t SRO (Standing Room Only). Most aren’t. It takes time to build your contact list, become known in your industry, and for people to experience first-hand that your programs are worth their time and investment.

As with any business building strategy you want to plan, focus your efforts, implement your activities, adjust as needed, and be persistent and patient. If you follow the strategies we’ve discussed, your attendance rates will rise and grow over time. You will increase your opportunities to serve more people and impact your bottom line.

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