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 presenting


Presentation skills–or the lack of them–makes or breaks any classroom experience.
Go ahead. Admit it. The last real estate presentation you attended had you bored to tears,
not eager, in the first two minutes! And, it got worse from there……..and it really got worse
when the presenter said, “We have a lot of material to cover”–and you wished the presenter
would just end it all by throwing a snuggly blanket over all of you…..

Don’t let that presenter be YOU! Here is most important skill you’ll have to master to be one of those exciting salespeople/presenters, not one of the boring ones:

Do something to get your audience (can be one seller or buyer–that’s an

audience) engaged in the first two minutes of your presentation.

  • Ask a question
  • Get the audience up and moving
  • Do an unexpected warm-up (not that tedious ‘tell us your name….’)
Who needs presentation skills?

You may think that presentation tips are only for those famous keynoters. No….they are for any salesperson
who wants to convert a ‘lead’ to a ‘sale’, any manager who wants to train effectively (and have your agents
eager to attend training, and anyone who needs to persuade someone in 3 minutes–you title and mortgage
reps, for instance).
Want to Grab all those Skills to Keep Their Interest and Assure They Learn?

Join me April 29 and 30 in Bellevue, Washington, for my Instructor Development Workshop. You’ll gain the
skills to present with authority and confidence. You’ll learn why most instructors are ineffective–and how you
can stand out from the crowd. You’ll get dozens of methods to teach effectively. You’ll see others actually demonstrating good teaching methods (and you’ll be able to try yours out, too). This course qualifies
instructors to teach clock hour courses in Washington state, and is accredited for 15 continuing education
clock hours in Washington.

Click here for more information.

For you out of Washington state: Why not invite me to teach your association or company leadership the
kind of presentation/facilitation skills that engage and entertain audiences–while they learn.

Are you standing in front of your students to create better performance, or more knowledge? If you are want to train, ita��s very important to clarify for yourself exactly what your role is. Why? Because it will determine the outcomes you get.

I learned this the hard way. After graduating in piano performance, I applied to and had been awarded a scholarship to UCLA as a graduate assistant in the music department. But, after I was at UCLA a few weeks, I became disillusioned, for I found out that the UCLA music department was all about ‘knowledge’, not performance. Professors earned tenure by publishing papers about sixteenth century Elizabethan madrigals–but they didn’t have to be able to play the madrigals…My interest and experience in music had been performance.

Are You After Better Performance or More Knowledge?

I’ve never forgotten that lesson about the difference in the knowledge about something–and the performance of it. Which is more important in what youa��re teaching? What do you want your students to be able to do as a result of your presentation/training? Sure, just like musical performance, you must have some technique to perform. But, also like musical performance, lots of knowledge doesn’t make you a good performer.

If You Want Better Performersa��..

Here are five areas to look at to assure you’re creating performers, not just know-it alls.

1. What percent of your program is instructor focused? That is, the instructor performs. If it’s more than 50%, you have a knowledge-heavy program. Model your program like the piano teacher teaches piano. He talks very little, demonstrates some, and listens to the student play and gives positive reinforcement and re-direction. The teacher knows he taught because the student can play.

2. Do you choose your instructors based on their knowledge and their ability to deliver the message attractively? Start choosing your instructors, instead, on their ability to facilitate performance. They should be able to demonstrate a role play, set up a role play, and draw conclusions. Like great piano teachers create increasingly difficult programs for their students, your instructors should be able to craft ever-increasing difficult rule plays. Think of them like creators of ‘virtual reality’.

 

3. Who is held accountable for the program–the instructors or the students? In most programs, we ‘relieve’ the instructor if he doesn’t get good reviews from the students. The instructor’s the only one accountable. Turn it around. 75% of the accountability should be on the students to demonstrate they have learned the skill. Why? Because, without student accountability, managers get your ‘graduates’ who can’t perform.

4. Is your focus on curriculum? Are you attempting to create value for the program to management or owners by providing more information than the other school? Most training programs could cut 50% of their curriculum and graduate better performers. Instead of focusing on curriculum, create your program as ‘virtual reality’. Have a system that provides a series of “performance building blocks”. Don’t tell them all about playing a concerto. Just tell them enough to let them ‘get their fingers on the keys’.

5. Are the objectives of your program knowledge-based? How do the students graduate from your program? Do they pass a written exam? Managers want a graduate who can perform the activities of a real estate salesperson to reasonably high performance standards. A good training program should identify, teach, observe, and coach performance in several critical performance areas until the student can perform well enough to graduate.

The Right Performance a�?Testa��

As a piano performance major, each term, I had to play a ‘mini-recital’ in the music auditorium for an audience of four–all piano professors. I couldn’t just talk about music theory, or answer a multiple choice exam. I had to play. And, to pass the ‘course’, I had to play to certain set performance standards.A� The more your training program resembles the ‘virtual reality’ of your specific performance, the more valuable your program to the people who hired your students –and you.

 

 

If you’re in management you probably have had to get up in front of 2-2000 people once-in-awhile. And, if you’re like most people, you’re at least a little tenuous. As a long-time ‘trainer of trainers’, and a speaker, I’ve developed some easy methods to gain confidence, relax, and actually look forward to being in the spotlight.

Here are five best tips:

1. Practice.
I know it’s old-fashioned, but, as a pianist my whole life, I know nothing reduces anxiety like practice. If you know what to expect already from your practice, your anxiety level goes way down and your confidence goes way up.

2. Envision success.
Create a picture of your mind about ‘after the event’. See the people clapping for you. See them smiling. Hear the applause and the positive comments. Feel the warmth coming to you like a comforting blanket. Then, if you have a moment of ‘white noise’ in your head, it won’t rattle you forever, because you are keeping the end firmly in mind–and it’s a stunning end!

3. Pretend you’re Johnny Carson
Remember when Johnny did The Great Carsoni with Ed McMahon? Most of the fun was when Johnny fouled up. Those were the biggest laughs. When you practice, and envison the end, you can relax and let the unexpected become reasons to laugh with the audience. (and you won’t worry about being ‘funny’….)

4. Create a great introducction
I learned, as a member of National Speakers’ Association (NSA), always to write my own introduction. I’ve found that listening to nice things about me (even if I did write them!), is a confidence-booster and has a calming effect.

5. Take a class in presentations/facilitation
So much of our anxiety comes from the feeling we don’t know how to prepare. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Taking a course (such as the one I teach, Instructor Development Workshop), gives you the processes and the skills to put together a presentation, workshop, or keynote that always works for you.

Becoming a confident, competent presenter doesn’t happen overnight. But, it is worth your investing in yourself to discover it can be very enjoyable–and meaningful to your audience–for you to share your talents–in a skilled, creative fashion.