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 speaking

Here’s how not to have an out-of-control classroom!

In an earlier blog, I gave you some tips to controlling audiences. There’s no reason your class attendees should feel the class is out of control. After all, it’s up to us to keep that class interested, interesting, and moving. Here are more tips to do just that.

  1. Limit the general discussion. You are behind time (You did time your class and put your time frame on your outline, didn’t you?). You see 5 hands raised and you need to move on. Here’s the phrase:

We have time for 2 more questions.

2. Stop the chatty Kathys. There are a few techniques you can use that work.

Walk away from Kathy so she can’t catch your eye and/or wave her hand in your face.

Ask each person to write it down first. (stops the hand jerking into the air!)

Ask the person to tell another person, not the whole group.

Ask for feedback this way: What did you hear {your work partner} say that you really liked?

Quit teaching only from the front of the room. Be sure you can walk down the aisle, and, if you have a mike, it allows you to do so. Making eye contact and respecting the learners in all parts of the room is graceful and effective.

Handling Really Tough Situations

Sometimes, once in a great while, someone just has a meltdown. If that happens, take a short break. Take that person out of the class (never, ever address a concern in front of others, or try to rival a stand-up comedian, the sarcastic but always funny Don Rickles. You aren’t and you’ll lose). Use this dialogue when you get that person alone:

“I’m feeling badly {be sure and use the word feeling} about what’s going on in there. What can I do to make this a good learning experience for you?” Or, “We need to move ahead and can’t seem to do so. What can I do for you so we can move ahead together?”

When all else fails, personally and privately invite that person out of the class.

Who is Important?

The learning of the majority of the class is what is important. It’s up to you as training/facilitator/presenter to gain and use the skills that assure a great course experience. In my opinion, it’s not the ‘student’s fault he/she is successful at disrupting the class (most of the time!). It’s the inability of the instructor to artfully use the strategies above to defuse the situation.

Keep honing those skills, and thank you for dedicating your experience to our industry!

P. S. Don’t forget to gain 42 Innovative Presentation Methods that increase your effectiveness, click here.


Tips, Tricks, and Just Plan Great Strategies for the Real Estate Trainer

It’s harder than ever to provide effective training today. So, we need all the new strategies we can get! The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide helps you through all types of situations, and provides dozens of ideas for you to use. See it here. 164 pages/4 audios. $129.95 plus shipping. Click here to find out more.

Managers: Are your sales meetings knocking their socks off? If not, help is here! Organize your presentation with the three steps here, and watch your agent count go way up for your sales meetings and training presentations.

Who Is a Presenter?

Wea��re all presenters: Any time wea��re in front of two or two thousand, our goal is to persuade the audience to our point of view. However, most of the time, we just get in front of people and say whatever we think of first. That lack of attention to presentation organization leads to some big presentation mistakes, and costs us a�?salesa��. Instead of stumbling through a presentation, why not organize it to grab their attention, persuade them to your way of thinking, and motivate them to action?

Grab Their Attention in the Opening

Have you thought about your opening?A� Are you hiding in your office because you dread doing that sales meeting? When we havena��t organized our presentation, we come up with some really boring, off-putting openings, like:

I wona��t take much of your time, but

We have a lot to cover today

We wona��t get through the outline

I know you dona��t want to listen, but

Ia��m not really prepared

You just open your presentation book, point to the pretty pages, and say, a�?herea��s a keyboxa�?A� (Ia��m not kidding. Ia��ve seen ita��.)

Great openings, yes? Yet, wea��ve heard them dozens of times. You dona��t have to settle for whatever comes a�?naturallya��. Instead, make your openings





A Middle that Educates your a�?Audiencea�� to your Point of View

In the middle of your presentation, add those stories, statistics, and visuals that support your point of view.A� By the way, as you create that presentation, jot down your point of view.A� What do you want to persuade your agents to do?

Why use Visuals?

There are two reasons to use visuals in your presentation:

We believe what we see

We retain the information much longer

As you organize your presentation, ask yourself:

What are the main, and frequently, unspoken objections my a�?audiencea�� will have? How do I educate them to show them the reasoning behind my point of view?

The Ending: Back to the Beginning

Have you thought about your wrap-up? Or, like many presenters, does your ending sound like this?

Well, thata��s all. What do you think?

Wea��re out of time. Thank you. I hope youa��ll list with me

I dona��t have time to close.

I couldna��t get to much of the material, but you can read it

In fact, even the most professional presenters frequently have trouble with their endings. One of the main reasons is that they run out of time. Another is that they havena��t thought the ending through.

How to Do a Stunning Ending

Crafting an effecting ending is the second most important part of your presentation. (The first is the opening). To craft a great ending,

Go back to your beginning opening theme

Summarize the benefits of going ahead with you/take action

Motivate your a�?audiencea�� to take action

A Great Presentation is Crafted like a Pop Song

As a musician, I know that all pop tunes are constructed with this format:


This is known in the music business as the ABA format. Think of your favorite pop tune: Hum the beginning. Think of the end. Theya��re alike, right? Ita��s the middlea��known as the a�?bridgea��a��that is the humdinger. It wanders all around. Your persuasive presentation should be crafted like that pop tune:

AA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� A compelling start (think Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, etc.)

BA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� An interesting, developed middle, with stories, statistics

AA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Back to that theme, with a motivating ending

Now, youa��re all set to craft a great listing or buyer presentation, great recruiting meeting or sales meeting, or awesome product/service presentation to any audience.

P. S. Practice!

Many more tips on presentations and presentation skills are in my new resource, Knock Their Socks Off: Tips to Make your Best Presentation Ever.


10 High Pay-off Training Tips

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How many of these 10 high pay-off tips do you have in your training now? Too many times we provide training because it helps us attract people to our company. Thata��s getting only a partial benefit! If you apply the 10 tips for training below, you will see your training pay off in increased productivity, lessened expenses, and much higher customer satisfaction and retention levels.

1. Clarify what you want the student to doa��during class, and after class.

2. How well do you expect the student to do that activity? Establish competency levels.

3. Make training a process, not an event. It takes 6-8 times of hearing something to begin to retain it!

4. Space your training for a�?spaced repetitiona�?. Skills cana��t be learned in one marathon session. If your objective is to develop skills, you must create layered, spaced, repetitious workshops.

5. There must be rest and reflection between practices. Scientists have proven that skills are not retained unless there is at least 4 hours between skill-developing sessions.

6. If ita��s skills training, three quarters of the time in class should be practicea��not teacher lecture.

7. Culturize as you train. The training should be from your point of view, your method of action, and your opportunity to create a strong culture within your training modules.

8. Get feedback from the skills training in your meetings. It reinforces the skills and encourages others to take part. Take your skills to a higher level with additional masterminding.

9. Use a facilitation approach, not a lecture approach. Instead of delivering the information via lecture during class, have the students read articles, interview beforehand, listen to audios, etc.

10. Expect accountability. The student should be highly accountable for practicing the skills and for competency learning.

How many of these 10 high pay-off training tips are you already using?

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.