Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Archive for Career Success

In the last blog, I named 3 things that bad hiring costs you.

There are some of those line items that are hard to quantify–but are very real. If you’ve ever hired an agent who lied to you or others, or undermined you, or talked behind your back in the kichen–you know there are very real costs to your culture.

Another real but hard to quanitify cost: Have you ever had good agents leave because they weren’t challenged? Because they felt you were hiring poor agents, and dragging down everyone’s production? If that only cost you one productive agent, it’s a lot!

What are your numbers? What does it cost you for an agent who failed? Have you ever figured it out? Let me know. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor, I would ask managers this question. Generally, they figured the cost of a bad hire was $10,000-$30,000. What’s yours?

eBook Cover(2)
Grab Your Selection Blueprint and Gain a System

Are you wasting time interviewing those who fail? Do you want to have a systematic method of selection (just as you tell your agents to use with sellers and buyers!).  Or, do you need some guidance to figure out those you don’t want? Get Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners and make better hiring decisions.

Ready to use and immediately downloadable!

Here’s why just hiring more may not be best for you. This month, I’m focusing on hiring–and termination. Why? Because they are the most important activities you can do. And, they determine the profitability and culture of your company.

Do you know how much poor hiring practices cost you? Most brokers don’t realize they are doing irreparable damage to their companies by hiring those who aren’t going to go right to work and keeping those who won’t work. Here are the 3 biggest consequences to poor selection I see.

1. Stops you from hiring great producers.

Likes attract. How can brokers hope to hire that great producer when they have more than 10% of their office as non-producers? I can see it now. Sure, I’ll come to your office. I’m a top producer, and I just love to be dragged down by those non-producers. It will be my pleasure to waste my time with them. Not.

2. Kills your recruiting message.

Do you have a training program? Do you use it to recruit? Here’s the real message: We have a training program. All our new agents go through it. We don’t get any results from the program, so it really doesn’t work. But, join us. You can’t possibly show how successful your training program makes your agents because your training program can’t possibly get results from poor people in and no actions and accountability required.

3. De-motivates your agents to provide referrals to you.

Why would one of your good agents possibly refer someone to you when your good agent doesn’t see those you hired starting right out and making money fast?

As the Market Shifts: It Won’t Cover Up an Inadequate Selection Process

In a fast market, accidental sales buoy up poor agents and make them look as though they were actually selling enough real estate to be a median agent. When the market shifts, so do the agents ‘ mirage of decent production. With that shifted market, brokers need to hire with purpose (using a stringent, professional interview process). Then, they need to put agents right to work with a proven start-up plan.

Please Tell Me What You Think

What do you think a non-productive agent costs the company? In my next blog, I’ll give you some line items that will probably double what you think a bad hire costs. Let’s see what you think first. Poor hiring practices really, really hurts brokers, both financially and emotionally.

Here’s what you need to know about training, from my piano teachers.

Special Blog for Anyone Who Trains and Coaches

Recently, one of my coaching clients (an owner of a real estate company) asked me, “Why do some trainers and coaches get great results and others don’t–but seem to be working as hard?”

Great question, huh? In fact, if we trainer/coach types knew that answer, we could build our systems so that we assured great performance! So, I went back to my ‘former life’–that as a musician and piano/flute teacher, and thought, “Why do some piano teachers create great performers–and others don’t?”

Why Use Piano Teachers as the Analogy….

I use the analogy of the piano teacher, because it’s easy to hear differences in sloppy and great performance. I’m sure you’ve heard 2 people play the same piece of music. One plays it accurately and one just kind of slops through it. Or, some piano teachers’ students drop out, unmotivated to practice, while others stay motivated, challenged, and achieve high performance–even if they don’t seem to have great talent.

Five Proven Components for Great Performance

From having taken piano lessons since age six, gaining a degree in piano performance, and having taught piano at the grade, high school, and college level, I’ve had an opportunity to see the great and the not-so-great–both teachers and performers. Here are the five components I’ve discovered make the biggest difference in great performance.

1. Great piano teachers screen their students in and screen their students out.
They don’t let just anybody take lessons from them. Trainers and coaches: What’s your ‘screen in’ process? Do you have one? Do you have a list of questions you ask? In our coaching company, we have a prescribed list of questions we ask potential clients (and we unfortunately have to turn down some). I even have a Coachability Assessment I provide potential clients. Click here to request your copy.

2. Great piano teachers set expected standards (minimums) during the screening process–not after the lessons start!
Those standards include: Amount of practice each day, recitals attended and played in, going to lessons, etc. What do you expect of your clients? Make a list of at least 5 standards now–and get the ‘mutual expectations’ agreement in writing prior to letting them into your program.

3. Great piano teachers figure out the ‘competency levels’ they want their students to attain–and when they expect them.
How good do you expect your students to get in that one-month training program you’ve been doing? Do you even measure skill levels? Which skill levels to you measure? How? Do you have your students practice their listing presentations until they reach the level of competency you believe the real client expects? What an eye-opener! Make a list now of 5 skills and the level of competency you want your students to attain in your training program. You’ll see your outcomes go way up just by doing this.

4. Great piano teachers get better performance because their excellent students motivate other good students to excellence.
Have you ever gotten yourself into the situation where you felt like you were way above the other people in your group? This isn’t an ego thing–it’s just a ‘I don’t belong here’ thing. Likes attract. Good performers motivate other good performers. Excellent performers stay. Are you creating a self-motivating group–or, are you creating a situation where your good performers will leave for a team that is ‘more like them’? This goes back to those ‘screen in’ and setting competency principles. I know we all feel challenged when people don’t appear motivated. Here’s one of the secrets to fire them up!

5. Great piano teachers provide lavish praise–when deserved.

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

If you have competency levels, you have a way and a reason to praise. Your students/clients know when they have reached those levels–and can expect praise, too! In fact, strong students/clients will ask you for praise. Write down the 5-10 methods you use to appreciate and praise good performance. If you can’t get to 10, figure them out.

But, what about the method? The specific coaching, the training? Yes, the method is important, but the coaching/training techniques above are much more important. I’ve heard some great performers and some poor performers all playing the same kind of music from the same method. At the same time, great methods should have some ‘built-in’ features that assure the trainer/coach is achieving these 5 principles.

Principles, Systems, Coaching–Putting it All Together

From talking with prominent trainers, managers, and coaches, we’ve pinpointed a need for all those training and coaching today to get the coaching they need to turn out great performers. Check out Leadership Mastery Coaching.

Here are 2 sales strategies that don’t work anymore–although they still are being used by your agents!

I just did an interview for Florida Realtor. They’re doing an article on the things that don’t work anymore in real estate sales. I thought that was a fascinating subject, and  I came up with several sales strategies that we need to drop out of our ‘toolboxes’. Here are 2. (next few will be in future blogs).

  1. No database/contact management

It used to be–we kept our leads on pieces of paper or index cars–if we kept them at all! And, we got away with it, because real estate was more of a ‘next business’–even though that’s never the best way to run it! Even now, the majority of agents don’t have a contact management system–and many don’t even have their leads and clients in a database. Why is this important? Because the agents who DO capture and keep their clients will beat out the others who rely on memory–or, worse yet, just use a ‘next’ mentality.

Managers: When do you suggest an agent start capturing leads in a database? When do you suggest they start using contact management, and create their ongoing marketing plans through it? Do you have an accountability system for these? (assuring they DO create that database in their first week in the business, and start using contact management to manage their contacts and marketing plans).

2. Love ’em and leave ’em mentality

I chose this next because it goes perfectly with the ‘no database’ mentality. I read that only about 1/3 of agents ever go back to the client they sold a house to! So, they concentrate on getting a new client. Yet, studies also show it costs 6-9 times more to get a new client than to keep an old one! What does this mean? That agents are wasting a lot of time trying to find more strangers to convince to work with them than to keep in contact with current/past clients and get referrals (much easier to do and much less expensive).

Managers: What does this mean to you? That your training needs to expand to client retention. Do you have  that in your training? Do you consult with your agents regularly on their client retention plans? Do you teach them that client retention is as or more important than client acquisition?

Let me know what you think agents need to quit doing to thrive in this real estate climate.

A New Resource to Inspire and Motivate Your Agents

I just took many of the sales and inspirational ‘quotes’ from my book, Up and Running in 30 Days, and put them into this ‘little book’. In it, I show 80+ sales principles with short explanations. They are the principles agents need to succeed–along with lots of motivation and inspiration.

These little books make great ‘congratulation’ and Christmas gifts! Order 5 Big Ideas at $25 plus shipping. See more here.

What do you do if someone won’t get into action?

This month, I’m featuring tips to get your agents–and you into action better–and faster. Why? Because real estate is a ‘performance art’, not a knowledge pursuit!

(Note: Watch for my new little book, it’s literally a ‘little book’, with the quotes I’ve coined (or copied, I’m sure), over the years. The quote above is from the book, too). Oh, the name of the book: Big Ideas (in a little book). By the way, the book is a great gift to your agents–and will give you 80+ quotes for meeting discussions, too.

Real Estate Sales IS Challenging!

I’ll bet your agents didn’t know how challenging real estate sales were until now. To cope with those challenges, our creative subconscious may be coming up with ways to convince us to avoid getting into action. We might even start believing your subconscious! One of the most common reasons is the old “I can’t do that because I don’t know enough.” Or, maybe your subconscious has convinced you that you’re not organized enough to get into action, or that you’re not perfect enough.

Getting Ready to Get Ready

Ned, an agent in my office, acted in a way that is an example of creative avoidance. In the business eight months, Ned had made only one sale. However, he was in the office regularly and appeared busy with paperwork. He attended law courses and was well-informed on financing. One day I saw Ned collating maps. I asked him what he was doing. He explained that he was putting together a series of maps for a buyer’s tour. I thought that was exceptional; buyers would really want to know the whereabouts of the homes they were seeing. (Today, Ned would be using apps for that–and spending lots of time getting the right apps and exactly the right ‘maps’……..)

Unfortunately, Ned had used his strategy with only six buyers—all the buyers he had put in his car in the past eight months! He had spent his time on this nifty map system, but had not talked to enough people to get them into the car—or have the opportunity to appreciate the map system! Which is more important to your goal attainment—talking to people, qualifying them, and showing them homes, or working diligently on a map system in case you find someone who wants you to show them homes?

How People Get into Action

How do you “get into action”? How do your agents get into action? In a wonderful book, The Conative Connection, Kathy Kolbe explores the ways different personalities get into action—not how we learn, but how we get into action. Some people barge ahead and worry about the details later. We start badly, but, because we’re tenacious, we surprise people by how good we finally get. Unfortunately, our supervisors often remember only how bad we were when we started. We must be tough-minded and keep at it; we must retain an image of ourselves as “finished products,” because others will not see us that way. Other people observe the action for a long time. Finally, when we feel ready to perform well, we get into action. We start slowly but well.

Slow Starters May be Deceptively Competent!

Because of our slow start, we don’t get much positive reinforcement from our supervisors (or coach or manager), who note our lack of progress compared with others in the office. If slow starters are tenacious and believe in themselves, they become very good because they practice perfectly. Kolbe points out several “get into action” styles. This book will help you pinpoint your “get into action” style as well as the barriers and challenges various types of ‘action starters’ face as they start their real estate careers.

Help Your Agents Embrace Embarrassment

Go ahead—be embarrassed. There is no way to be experienced until you get experience. No agents like to take risks, be embarrassed, or have buyers and sellers guess that they are new in the business. But face it—everyone has been new in the business. Just go ahead and get those first few months over with. You will be embarrassed every day—many times. As a new agent, my most common statement to buyers or sellers was “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” In music, little could stump me—but in real estate anything could stump me! Still, I muddled through it, and you will, too.

* Big Idea: Your ability to get into action and risk being embarrassed is one of the attributes of a successful new agent (or manager!).

Why not take your time? I’ve interviewed prospective agents who told me they really didn’t want to sell real estate right away. They wanted to learn everything they could. Then, after six or eight months, they would feel ready to sell real estate. It doesn’t work that way! I wish I could tell you that agents can successfully launch real estate careers by taking lots of time to “get ready.” However, if you take all the time in the world, you will fail. Why? Because lack of success is a great de-motivator!

. To remember and emulate good performance, we need to perform right after we have heard, seen, and practiced that performance. Learning something in a class and letting that skill lie dormant for months just guarantees poor skill—and high stress.

* Big Idea: 99 percent of what we learn we learn by doing.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being “I jump right into action”, how would you rate yourself in getting into action?

Let Me Help Your Agents Get Into Action with More Confidence

It can seem like every day in real estate is a new challenge! I know–I remember those days well! Why not get the best start (or re-start) possible? Take a look at my innovative online, training/accountability program, Up and Running in Real Estate. There’s a coaching component, too, so you can track your agents’ successes and coach them along the way. Check it out here.

Here’s what the Beatles and Bill Gates reveal about reaching goals.

This month, I’m writing about how we can increase our performance and results–using methods that we normally don’t discuss in real estate. This blogs are a reflection of my new keynote, “You CAN! 5 Secrets from Weird Sources that Will Get You to your Goals.” In this keynote, I investigate the performance skills I learned as a career musician–along with other ‘weird sources’. I show exactly how you can apply these secrets to your business and life to gain exceptional performance.   (and I use the piano to demonstrate!)

You know that the Beatles attained pop music mastery. You know Bill Gates did the same with technology. But, did you know what they have in common-and that you may have, too?

Before I tell you that, let me share something that happens to me often.

You’ve heard the old chestnut, Practice Makes Perfect. I certainly know that as a musician. But, how well do we apply that principle to our business lives? Is this something that is a key to our attaining our goals? I think so. Read on.

The Commonality between the Beatles and Bill Gates

In his fascinating book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell studies performers-from Mozart and the Beatles to Bill Gates. The commonality he found was that high achievers spent an average of

Ten thousand hours practicing and honing their craft to get to mastery

In other words, it isn’t talent, it isn’t just circumstance (although Gladwell points out being at the right place at the right time is important, too)-attaining exceptional performance is just slogging it out, practicing your craft, logging in ten thousand hours.

The Beatles–Having to Work Seven Days for Eight Hours a Night Was the Beset Thing that Could Happen to Them

When I read that the Beatles played in Hamburg 8 hours a night, 7 days a week-for 2 years, I instantly felt tired! I know what it’s like to perform in bars for hours! (I played piano in bars to put myself through college–what an education!) But, the Beatles said that experience was key in making them the performers they became. In an interview, John Lennon said, “We got better and got more confidence. We couldn’t help it with all the experience playing all night long…..we really had to find a new way of playing.”

Bill Gates-Practically Living at the Computer Lab

Gates describes his early years: “It was my obsession….I skipped athletes. I went up there at night. We were programming on weekends.”

Isn’t There a Shortcut?

For those of you who have never attained high performance, you don’t–and can’t-realize the importance of practice. You think that it’s just a matter of talent or luck. But, haven’t you known extremely talented people who just extinguished themselves like a flaming rocked? Haven’t you known people with all the advantages who just didn’t attain what you thought they could-or should? Of course.

Are You Willing to Put in those Ten Thousand Hours to Excel?

From the many examples in Outliers, and from my own experiences as a pianist (I have a degree in piano performance and a master’s degree in music theory), I know that practicing your craft provides the only true competence and confidence. You don’t gain mastery by talking about it. You don’t gain mastery by someone trying to motivate you. You don’t gain mastery by dabbling and calling it ‘good’. It’s practice. So, get out there, and practice and perform. Rack up those ten thousand hours, and you will achieve your goals. If the Beatles and Bill Gates didn’t take shortcuts, we shouldn’t try it that way, either. Isn’t devoting enough time to your goals important enough to you to feel the joy of attainment-of mastery?

Help Them Start on the Road to Mastery Now

What’s the secret to gaining mastery? Starting–and starting with an accurate, proven process. That’s how I created Up and Running in Real Estate–the online training, coaching, and accountability program for agents under 2 years in the business. It’s created to start people practicing, getting into action fast, and getting feedback to keep getting better. Check it out. 

 

Jun
19

What We Can Learn from Mr. Rogers

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What can we learn from Mr. Rogers?

I’ll bet we would all agree that today the world is more divisive than ever—in every way! So, we can’t move forward. We’re spending all our energy defending our thinking…..even when we should be looking at it critically—and honestly looking at other points of view.

What does that mean for us, as businesspeople (and us people in general)? That perhaps the energy we’re expending in one direction isn’t giving us the kind of pay-off that we ultimately will find most rewarding (and not just monetarily). Although I have some general conclusions here, I also have some exercises for managers to use with their associates to help them reach their potentials.

Mr. Rogers to the Rescue

The solution to our divisive world may be with a person who had a long-running children’s show—Fred Rogers. First, who was “Mr. Rogers”? Best known from his children’s show, which ran from 1968 to 2000, Fred Rogers was so much more—a minister, a musician with a degree in music composition, and chief puppeteer of his show. I’ve been thinking about his legacy, because there’s a new movie about his philosophies: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Mr. Rogers’s Big Lessons for Us

 Morgan Neville, Academy Award winning filmmaker, is the creator of the Mr. Rogers’s film mentioned above. From studying Rogers’s lessons, Neville boiled it down to one thing: radical kindness. “He talked about grace all the time … As a minister himself, he saw the idea of grace is the undeserved goodness bestowed on you by God. In other words, being good to someone whether or not they deserve it, and whether or not you’re going to get anything back. You just do good to other people, for the sake of doing good. And that is essentially what Fred was preaching all along.”

Question:

Big Lesson from Mr. Rogers about Attaining Mastery

As a coach, first in music, then in business, I see potential in people that they sometimes don’t see in themselves. What I can’t tell, though, is their ability to stick with it from beginner to mastery. As a musician, I know that only practice makes perfect. (And perfect practice makes your performance truly perfect—getting to mastery). You just don’t sit down at the piano the first time and play a Beethoven sonata well!). Yet, too many times, I see people settling for ‘first time performance’ as their standard.

What Mr. Rogers Says about Learning and Practice

For years, I’ve given a little book as a gift to clients, referrals, etc. This book is The World According to Mister Rogers. I love it because, as a musician, it has quotes that I know to be true. Here’s one that’s so appropriate because it reminds me of what new real estate agents (and new managers) sometimes think:

When I was young (about eight or ten years old), I was trying to learn so many things all at once, things like the piano and organ and algebra and cooking and typing, and I even started to take clarinet lessons. But, I just didn’t practice the clarinet, so I didn’t learn. I think I wanted to learn by magic. ….But magic doesn’t work with learning, not with anything really worthwhile.

Note to managers: Lead a discussion on the difference between ‘first tries’ and mastery. Brainstorm some methods to attain mastery. Brainstorm the stumbling blocks to getting better. Create some ‘next steps’ for those who want to get to mastery (get a coach, become a mentor, take a ‘how to train program, become a trainer, become a coach)

Help to Practice Perfectly and Get Farther Faster

There are several unique ‘learning strategies’ imbedded in my online training/coaching/accountability start-up program for agents under 2 years in the business. I didn’t learn these ‘learning strategies’ in real estate–I learned them as a practicing classical/jazz musician. They work to get better performance faster–and motivate us to go right back and do it again! Check out my unique program, Up and Running in Real Estate. There’s even a coaching component so you can be involved with your agents–without spending thousands of hours at it! Check it out here.

Why not assure more of your new agents are successful fast?

This month is ‘training’ month. So, I’m writing blogs to help you train your agents to more production. In this blog, we’ll focus on your would-be agents–you know, the ones you’re interviewing right now.

Why Not Put Them to Work While They’re in Pre-License School?

Why aren’t your agents getting prepared to sell real estate while they are in pre-license school? Okay. I know. Until they are licensed, they can’t do the things licensed agents can do. But, they can do many things. And all those things get them ready to hit the ground running. At the end of this blog, I’m providing you my great checklist, 30 Things to Do Right (In Pre-License School) Now to Hit the Ground Running.

What The RE Schools Say about Preparing Agents to Sell Real Estate

Dearborn Real Estate Publishing has published my books for a long time. They work with real estate schools, and publish many books to help pre-license students pass the licensing tests. They just started doing a survey with real estate schools. The 2018-19 survey just came out.

You know that from hiring these people! In fact, I think we managers and new agents would say that pre-license courses do little to prepare people to sell real estate. And, in truth, that’s not the job the Departments of Licensing expect them to do.

We Lose Lots of Time Because They are Not Prepared to Start the Business

You know the drill. We hire that new agent. We spend the first 1-2 weeks with them getting the ‘orientated’. We have checklists to assure they get their keys, join the Realtor association, etc., etc., etc. How long do you estimate it takes the new agent just to get those orientation checklists finished? 2-4 weeks? In some cases, they never finish them!!!!! Not only that, they probably think that finishing those checklists assures they are going to be successful agents. Ha!

When Do Your New Agents Start Lead Generating?

My studies show that new agents want to make a sale their first month in the business. But, when do you think they start lead generating? Do you know? I believe they put off the inevitable as long as possible, hoping ‘there’s another way!’ In fact, the more ‘get ready to get ready’ work you have them doing as licensees, the worse their habits become and the less money they make!

A Different Method to Get Them a Check Fast

Instead of waiting until they are licensed, why not get them prepared to sell real estate while they are in pre-license school? They can do things like

  • Decide on the database/CRM they want to use and learn how to use it
  • Populate their databases with 100-300 potential clients
  • Prepare an email/hard copy note/letter to all those in their database saying they’ve joined_____________ real estate company

30 Things to Do While in Pre-License School

In fact, as I was writing my new eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I started thinking about how we could really prepare agents to sell real estate–lots of real estate. That’s how I came up with this checklist. Click here to get it.

How to Recruit with the Checklist

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Offer this checklist to all your new licensee candidates
  • Offer this checklist for your Career Nights
  • Offer this checklist in your ads (newspaper, Craig’s List, Facebook, etc.)

I’m Taking It a Step Further

In the next few weeks, I’ll be launching a pilot program to train would-be agents in the basics and get them ready to sell real estate. I’ll be telling you more about it soon. Wouldn’t it be great if you could hire someone you were 90% sure would be successful selling real estate–and was prepared to work to do so?

Save Time! Give Those Interviewees the ‘Scoop’ Here

Would-be agents have a million questions (!) and can take many hours of your time. Instead of answering over and over, give them this eBook and you’ll be able to get to an in-depth interview faster–and discover the talented ones, too! Check out What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, now in its 2nd edition. Save time and hire great ones!

If you teach: Do you know the process to break people into small groups and run a successful small group exercise?

In less than 2 weeks, I’ll be doing my unique version of Instructor Development Workshop. * (May 22-23 in Bellevue, Washington). One of the most challenging, yet most effective teaching method, is using small groups. These can be task force, case study, and role play. I say ‘most challenging’, because these small groups frequently go wrong. Why? Because the facilitators don’t know how to organize, run, and summarize them correctly. So, recently, I added this 12-point checklist to use to assure your small group exercise will go as you want it to go!A� Grab the 12-point checklist at the end of this blog.

*This course fulfills a qualification for you to teach clock-hour approved courses in Washington state, and it includes 15 real estate clock hours.A�

Why Not Just Talk Your Way Through your Class?

In a word–because it’s boring!

In my Instructor Development Workshop, I demonstrate several creative methods. We try them out, and then you try them out in a sample teaching situation. Rather than ‘winging it’ by trying out these methods on ‘real people’, you have a chance to watch me and then take part in several teaching situations.

Application to Your Course

Another new feature I’ve added to my Instructor Development Course is more application of these teaching methods to your course. Unfortunately, most courses aren’t written with instructor direction. In fact, they’re not even written as courses. Instead, they’re ‘streams of consciousness’. It’s very hard to take all those words and make them into a teaching course!

So, I now have you bring a module of the course you want to teach–or are teaching–to our Instructor Development class. We spend some time deciding which teaching methods would fit into that section of your course. You walk away with a much better grasp–and concrete skills–to make that course come alive!

Join Me for a Unique Instructor Experience

Even if you’ve taken other instructor development courses, I promise you’ll get new strategies–for teaching, for presenting, and for course creativity. Plus, we have a lot of fun doing the course, too.

Grab my 12-point checklist for running those small group exercises here.

Join Me for Instructor Development in May!

Why not polish your presentation, teaching, and facilitation skills, gain 15 clock hours, and have a great time at it? I’d love to work with you to do all these things. Click here for more information and registration. See you May 22!

Polish your presentation skills: three quick, effective tips to make all the difference in your impact.

Managers, trainers, salespeople, and even a�?real peoplea�� present frequently in front of one–to hundreds of people. Unfortunately, most presenters (yes, you become a presenter when youa��re selling!), arena��t trained with the best presentation tools. Instead, they just a�?wing ita��. So, we in the audience (or your clients) are frequently bored silly. It doesna��t have to be that way. Take a look at the three tipsa��tips Ia��ve learned first as a musician, then as a speaker, in front of hundreds of people. These tips will make your next time in front of a few a��or manya��enjoyable, memorable, and equally enjoyable for your audience or client.

Three Powerful Presentera��s Tips

Death by Lecture

  1. Don’t lecture for more than 10 minutes. Adults just don’t have that long an attention span (too much on our minds!). Change it up. Use various “alternative delivery methods”–methods to teach other than lecture. In myA�Instructor Development WorkshopA�course, I help students learn these teaching methods by modeling them so they can observe me teaching. Then, we de-brief on what we did. Finally, each student teaches a short module using creative methods, and the rest of the students provide feedback. (We really only learn when we do something).A�DoingA�greatly increases confidence–and competence.

Question: If youa��re in sales or management: Are you talking through your listing or recruiting presentation because you know a lot? How long will it take until the person in front of you gets a�?glassy eyesa��?

Do Something Else Before You Talk too Much

2. When you want to change adults’ perceptions, beliefs, or knowledge, don’t just start talking to them.A�You may be setting up an adversarial relationshipa��and youa��re too predictable! You may just cause them to shrink more into their beliefs, and to defend those beliefs (have you observed students who live to argue with the instructor?)

How to tackle the ‘old belief’ challenge:

Prepare students or your clients to learn something new. For example: Use a ‘true-false’ or ‘multiple choice’ to start the presentation, or to check learning. I do this in myA�Instructor Development Workshop courseA�in the middle, and ask students how they would have answered at the beginning of the course–and then contrast that with their new perceptions and learning. It creates lots of ‘ahas’ with them, and further cements their learning experience.

Tip: If youa��re in sales: Use a fun true-false survey for sellers to use prior to meeting you. It can have lots of fallacies and misinformation, and will set up your presentation to help sellers get the real facts and make the best decision for them.

Quit Relying on the ‘Screen’ to Talk for YOU!!!

3. Don’t just read from the PowerPoint on the screenA�(and, just as onerous, provide the student with the PowerPoint as the “outline”.) If an instructor does that, I feel I want to just take that outline and leave. I can read, thank you! Too many presenters/trainers rely on PowerPoint to do the teaching. Instead, invest in a a�?pointera�� that allows you to make the screen blank. Remember: YOU are the presenter, not your Powerpoint!

Tip: If youa��re in sales or management: Dona��t just drone on from your presentation manual. (thata��s your Powerpoint in this instance.) Instead, Use questions, handouts, pauses, and summaries to give your presentation contour and interest.

Use that Right Brain of Yours

Effective presenting is much more than just talking. It should be creative. Use all the “attention strategies” at your disposal (that means to get them into your repertoire).

Suggestions to get creative:

Use props, stories, various audio-visual aids, and handouts to control the audience “contour”. I learned this as a musician playing for dancing. You direct how you want the audience to dance by the music you pick, and you ‘contour’ the whole experience (slower to faster, then back to slow). As a great instructor/ facilitator/presenter, you can direct your audience (clients) in an awesome learning experience. It just depends on the skills you bring to the table.

Tip: Adapt your creativity to your presentation to clients. They’ll appreciate your innovative approach and you’ll become memorable–not just another voice!

Ita��s Worth the Effort

A�Most presenters/trainers arena��t in it for the big bucks (where are those big bucks, again?). Theya��re in it to assist others. Gaining and practicing presentation skills helps us give back better. The bonus: Deep appreciation from our audience or your client. Wea��ve even been known to change lives for the better! No amount of money can provide that sense of accomplishment.

Carla’s next innovativeA�Instructor Development WorkshopA�is coming up May 22-23, 2018 in Bellevue. Washington.A�Click hereA�for specifics.

Resources to Present More EffectivelyA�

Take a look at Carla’s comprehensive training resource,A�The Ultimate Real Estate Trainera��s Guide,A�and her presentation resource,A�Knock Their Socks Off: Skills to Make Your Best Presentation Ever.A�A�See all her coaching and training resources atA�www.carlacross.com.