Part 4 of a Four Part Series, Common Mistakes Made During a 60 Second Presentation

Sometimes you have to do things in reverse. If you’re trying to understand how to create great 60-second presentations. You may just have to first understand what not to do when you’re presenting instead. This is part four of a four part series discussing common mistakes made during 60-second presentation. In this last of my four part series, I will discuss five more mistakes that are common from my top 20 list of mistakes. These last five complete your arsenal of mistakes to avoid. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to avoid the pit falls so many networkers make. Each article in the series stands alone in teaching you what not to do. However, I do encourage readers to go back and read the first three parts of this series if they haven’t done so. With all four parts combined, you will be able to avoid 99 percent of all the mistakes networkers make when performing their 60-second presentation. Avoiding these mistakes bring you that much closer to presentation nirvana. It also brings more referrals and the opportunity to make a lot more money. So without any further delay, let’s get started.

Common mistake #5 Being asleep at the wheel

I’m always amazed when people hurt their credibility because they are not paying attention at a networking event. We are there to network and give our message so that others can bring us referrals or buy our products. So why is it that someone in the room will not be ready when it’s their turn? Not only are they not ready, they don’t even have a clue that it is their turn! The cure for this is to “be here now,” so to speak. Pay close attention to what each player’s is saying. If you’re following what they are saying, you will notice that the turn is coming your way. Stop fiddling with your cell phone or iPad and get ready. You only get one chance to look good when it’s your turn.

Common mistake #4 Using acronyms

We live in a world that loves and hates acronyms at the same time. Acronyms are great for saving time and space when speaking, reading and writing. However, this is only true if you know what the acronym means. Nothing makes a person feel left out (or worse, stupid) like not knowing what someone meant. Using acronyms is an easy way to make your audience feel “NOT OK”. It will also keep you from getting any referrals. Make sure you don’t use any acronyms; they are bad for your 60-second presentations and bad for business.

Common mistake #3 Cramming 3 minutes into 60 seconds

I can always tell when someone is either new or unprepared to deliver a 60-second presentation. The presenter will rattle off a long laundry list of products or service they provide. You will often notice that they are in a rush. This really becomes apparent when the timekeeper starts to flag them with the 10 seconds left signal and they abruptly stop, then close out their presentation without asking for a referral. Cramming is analogous to try to stuff 10-pounds of rice into a 5-pound bag.

A simple way to fix this problem is #1; prepare by creating several commercials of varying lengths and #2; stay focused on a single subject. Trying to tell your audience everything you do in 60-second is like trying to fill your drinking glass and forgetting to stop pouring once its full. Don’t come across as if you’re reading a disclaimer; take your time by using strategic pauses and only talk about one product or service in any one 60 second presentation. Focus will improve the power and clarity of your message. It will also make it much easier to stay within the 60-second time frame.

Common mistake #2 Not asking for a referral

It’s quit common to see networkers focus their message entirely on the feature and benefits of their product or service. They will give a wonderful example of how they are different and better than the competition and forget to tell us who they are looking for. The easiest way to help your audience find you a referral is to tell them exactly who you are looking for. Telling your listeners what you do for a living won’t get you there! To fix this mistake do what Steven Covey calls “begin with the end in mind”. When creating your 60-second presentation, start with the “persons name or profile” you will be asking for. Then create the rest of your presentation with all the parts of your 60-second commercial. Make sure that all the other elements in your presentation leads your audience to bringing you that referral.

Common Mistake #1 Forgetting to empower your listeners

Never make your audience do more work than they want to do. If you’re asking for a referral, remember that 90% of your audience just wants to recognize your request when the opportunity presents itself. However, this is not enough to help your audience take the next step. You want them to introduce you personally. You must tell them how to get your foot in the door. You have to give them specific conversation starters to get you into their (clients/friends), conversation otherwise; they will not act on your behalf. Your referral partners need to know exactly what to say and what to do other wise they will do nothing.

My current 60-second presentations ends with, “Give them my card and ask when I can call.” I also like to ask my listeners to mention any specials I currently have or to talk about how my product/service help someone else in their industry. Other things you can say include directing your referral partners to give out your brochure, website address or to set up a lunch date for the three of you. By being specific and telling your referral partners who to look for, what to do and say, you will greatly increase the chances that your referral partners will act on your behalf. Not being specific will most likely ensure that your audience does nothing. Empower your listeners and get more referral.

This article covers the last five common mistakes from my top 20 list. The 20 common mistake covered in this series constitute the bulk of the most common mistakes made by both beginners and seasoned word of mouth veterans. To avoid making the mistakes listed in this article follow these fixes. Make sure you’re mentally and emotionally present when attending a networking event. Avoid using acronyms; most people don’t know what they mean anyway, and it’s a fast way to lose your audience. Prepare a focused 60-second presentation covering only one subject. Focus improves your message and increases your chances of getting a response. Always ask for a specific referral and always use empowering phrases that tell your audience how to get your foot in the door.

I hope this series has been useful to you and your business. If you can think of other common, (or some not so common) mistakes made during 60-second presentation let me know about them. Be sure to leave your comments and tell me your thoughts.

That’s my opinion, I welcome yours.

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