6 tips to engage and influence with your speaking

You know how it is, you’ve got a talk to give, a challenging team meeting to run, a key presentation to give and you need to choose words that will:

  • Build rapport as fast as possible
  • Engage all the audience
  • Not wind anyone up (always a bonus!)
  • Overcome objections
  • Change minds and influence
  • Inspire participants to take action

How would it be if you had 6 additional tools to use in to your future talks? I’ve been coaching leaders and speakers for over 20 years – helping them to find the words to engage, to overcome objections and to influence; and the funny and lovely thing I have noticed with many of my clients (and myself too) is that when the words feel good .. so do you. Confidence grows and nerves fade. I wanted to share my top tips in a blog – so here goes!

1. Yes Sets

Politician, copywriters and sales people are trained in “Yes Sets”

What are Yes Sets and why would you use? Yes Sets are a good way to build rapport and empathy as you can pace your audience’s issues and desires.

By stating 3 – 4 things that are indisputable, momentum is built and your audience is more likely to give a “Yes” response to your next question or statement which you want to get agreement to.

Example of a “Yes Set”:

    1. You’ve come to the Hilton Hotel in Winchester… and …
    2. …you’re here to improve your public speaking skills …
    3. … you’ve wanted to know how for quite a while how to influence using language skills …
    4. … and now it’s time… you are ready to work with me …

Your turn now, I wonder how soon you will be able to incorporate this in tour next talk?

2. Adding Charisma (NLP Charisma Model KAV)

We experience and absorb the world and communicate through our 5 major senses: Seeing, Feeling, Hearing, Taste and Smell. When we think (or as I call it “when I am processing”!) we re-present or reproduce what we have experienced, using the three major communication senses: Seeing (Visual), Hearing (Auditory) and Feeling (Kinaesthetic).

Most of us use all three of the above major senses (KAV for short) but tend to have a “preferred” or “lead” sense which we use more often.

Whats your preferred sense or senses? The next time you write about an event (try it now by writing a few paragraphs describing your last holiday), look at the words you use and see how many words are Visual, how many are Kinaesthetic (Feeling) and how many are Auditory (hearing based words) use this list to help you.

To work out other people’s preferred sense or senses?  Have a ‘play’ the next time you are having a conversation and really tune in to (auditory!) to the words being used and you start to work out which is their preferred sense.

Ok, so you may be wondering how this can help when drafting and delivering a talk to a group? By using a variety of sensory based language (a good mix of VAK) we build rapport faster, connect at a deeper level with every member of our audience regardless of their primary sense and by doing so we get our message across far more effectively and are far more likely to gain commitment to an idea.

Quizette: can you guess which is the preferred sense in each of the following

  1. What a bright idea, I can really picture that now and can see a way ahead!
  2. Wow that makes a lot of sense and feels really good – I’ll move forwards with that
  3. What she told me really sounded good and I wanted to hear more

Did you get: 1= visual, 2= Kinaesthetic, 3 = Auditory?

Tip number 3 next week: tapping into your audience’s unconscious motivational systems … ooh!

Do you have a talk or presentation to give or board or team meeting, where you need to be at your best with high level influencing skills? need help soon – then book a session now:

Engage and Influence with your speaking - 40 min session
Engage and Influence with your speaking - 40 min session
Got to give a talk, have a challenging team meeting to run, a key presentation to give? Book your session with me now to ensure choose words that will influence and change minds. Dates in February available NOW!
Price: £97.00

Women On the Business Stage

Not again!” I muttered under by breath – a panel of all male speakers at an event, with not a woman in sight!

This was 2011 and I found myself getting quite irritated with the speakers when in fact, I was irritated with myself for having the skills and experince to do something about this, (after all I had been coaching people to have the confidence, self-belief and the skills to speak-up for years) and anyway how often did I volunteer to speak?!

After hanging my head in shame, I put my money (or my energy!) where my mouth was, and founded WOBS. WOBS? stands for Women On the Business Stage. Over the past  years WOBS has evolved into  a 6 month programme for women in business to have the confidence, beliefs, skills and mega support to grow their business (and lives).

That’s the history part and the next face to face WOBS starts in September 2013 but this brief post today is to let you know about a fabulous facebook group called WOBS On-Line which is free to join. logo_small

It’s FREE to ask any question you may have about personal development, business growth, public speaking – you have the question and we’ll do our best to answer it!

“I set this group up so that ALL women in business (or women who want to be in business) have a have place where you can ask questions about your business, maybe something you are stuck with and don’t want to share in the main social media areas, somewhere we can support each other to build on current skill base, tools and knowledge and a place we can give support and confidence.

I have been lucky to have been able to access some very high quality and high value business and personal mentoring over the past 10 years and I know not everyone is able to access such resources … I would like to share as much as I can here with you and that way I also get to continue to learn and develop as you ask questions within the group”

Here are a selection of the questions that have been posted and answered since the group started in May 2013:
• Any advice on how to market my most recent business venture
• Does anyone know how to put a ‘contact me’ form on Facebook please?
• QUESTION…about Direct Mail campaign postage costs.
• Does anyone know of a word press web designer who is reasonably priced.
• I can get a bit stuck in terms of who I am talking to in respect of copy etc – any thoughts?
• Has anyone here been to any of the 4Networking groups?
• Membership sites: alternatives to Jigsawbox
• Using boost facilities on facebook for business pages
• Anyone used dropbox
• How do I set up a free dropbox account
• How do people get speaking gigs
• Thinking of joining LinkedIn – does anyone have any hints or tips for me please x Many thanks x
• Help with Aweber sign up etc
• Logo advice
• Can anyone recommend good and easy to use short video editing software?

There’s no catch (I was also totally fed up with catches!) join us here and find out for yourself

How to Win Over a Negative Hostile Audience

17 years ago when I returned after maternity leave to my job as Head of HR my boss called me into his office and said these words “Claire, we’d like you to take on Staff Training & Development as well as HR”

I almost fainted,  I knew this would involve the dreaded “Public Speaking” – speaking in front of groups – something I had never, ever, wanted to do, plus in the past I had anxiety introducing myself when I attended a training course let alone run one myself!

One of the first groups I was due to train was our trades staff, which at that time were 100% male, worked outside and liked it that way and at that time received less pay for attending training .. so there I was in front of 12 burly, overall clad men, arms folded (them not me!) and this was the last place they wanted to be –  anxious? you bet!

How did I turn 12 angry men into a group who thanked me for a great morning’s training?

How to Win Over a Negative, Hostile Audience:

  • Get to really know (and if you can to also love your content) – if you don’t care what you are presenting how on earth will you turn an audience onto it?
  • Get into the shoes of your audience as much as possible and think about what might be in it for them (WIIFT) why should they listen to you? A motivated mind is an interested one. It’s very hard to be negative and motivated – try it!
  • Anticipate what objections your audience might have for being there and use  a “pre-frame” in your introduction. By this I mean use the anticipated objection (which in this example is “this is a waste of my time so what the hell am I doing here”?!) like this: “Some people have started this session thinking that this was a complete waste of their time … and by mid morning break have come up to me and thanked me …  I have tried very hard to make today as relevant as possible  … so please bear with me and if you can put these thoughts to one side … you can always pick them up again later! ”  I often use appropriate humour (part of my presenting style) and I have also added and “if we get to the end of this session and you were right all along, and it has been a complete waste of your time … then the beers are on me”.
  • When delivering the session use different methods so each learning style is accommodated (you might find this useful: 4 Questions you need to answer when designing any talk)
  • Care about your audience, really care about them; demonstrate your respect for them: use names, involve, ask questions and listen
  • Oh and always make sure there are plenty of refreshments too!

That was 17 years ago and since then I have mentored and trained 100′s of people from all sorts of jobs and businesses to not only feel confident to speak in front of groups of people but to also enjoy and inspire others to take action too …

Contact me to find out when my next SIYV Winning Over Reluctant Audiences – Course Outline Workshop is, or invite me to run one for your business.

STOP PRESS! Course date 25th April 2013 

Not Just About Gender

It’s universally accepted that increased efforts needs to be made to improve the gender balance in business and politics; at the current rate of progress it will take 40 years to achieve something approaching gender balance in boardrooms; quite astounding since it’s nearly 40 years since discrimination on the grounds of sex was made illegal with the Sex Discrimation Act 1975.

We may agree from a social justice point of view that an increased effort needs to be made to improve gender balance, but we also know that the majority of businesses will only do what increases profits … why wouldn’t they?

What’s changing is that we now have evidence that gender balance pays, it’s good for bottom line business.

When I talk to my fellow chairmen, I am heartened that they are prioritising gender balance in their organisations, not only because it is the right thing to do, but more importantly because they recognise the benefits for their businesses and for society of drawing from the widest talent pool available and of building the strongest leadership teams we can” Marcus Aguis, Chairman, Barclays.

Bottom Line Studies:

  • Report by McKinsey found that gender-balanced companies have a 56% higher operating profit compared to male-only companies
  • Ernst & Young looked at the 290 largest publicly-listed companies and found that the earnings at companies with at least one woman on the board were significantly higher than in those that had no female board member
  • Report by Catalyst, the US research organisation:

Return on Equity: On average, companies  with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those  with the least by 53 percent.

– Return on Sales: On average, companies with the highest  percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least  by 42 percent.

– Return on Invested Capital: On average,  companies with the highest percentages of women board directors  outperformed those with the least by 66 percent.

 I assume that if you are already aware of the bottom line benefits (above), you are already assessing where you are in your business and taking the required action!

Back to the title of this post “Not just about Gender” whether you are motivated by social justice or bottom line business results (or both) the facts are, that if you have a business where ALL staff at all levels, ages, sexuality, race, abilities, (The Equality Act 2010) are able to be themselves, they feel valued, their contribution is recognised, feel safe to make mistakes and learn you are well on your way to blowing your competition out of the water!

Business now all have the same access to technology, there is very little to differentiate between competitors in the market place .. its your people, your team – they are difference that will make the difference.

My challenge to you is:

  • take down that dusty mission & vision statement
  • tear up your policies
  • stop thinking there are 5 steps to achieve anything for example Gender Balance
  • think bigger .. think about what YOUR BUSINESS STANDS FOR – and the gender balance etc will flow from that

and then:

  • act as if there are no rules – and instead:
  • agree “What Does Your Business Stand For?” a bit like a manifesto …
  • what do you value in your people and your Business? e.g. authenticity, respect, difference and individualism, healthy challenge at all levels, equality (just some of mine)
  • now look at what you do and how you do it (policies & procedures), write these so that they flow from your ‘manifesto’
    • your key people policies: recruitment, development just 2 examples
  • and check: do your actions, do the actions of your team embody these values

I have worked as an Equalities Consultant and Trainer for 15 years and seen all too often great sounding mission statements and policies but all too often this isn’t reflected at all levels.

Businesses seem fixated to make it as complicated as possible – it really isn’t.

If you would like to work with me to ensure your Business has Balance Contact me for the easy way and together we will:

  1. Uncover your Business Values and What Your Business Stands For
  2. Review Key Policies: do these flow from what you Value
  3. Staff Communication and Development

The Business Case for Gender Balance (three main reasons for helping women to break the glass ceiling)


Evidence is growing that gender balance is good for business.

Call me a cynic but I think we all know that most businesses (especially those with shareholders) are interested primarily in the bottom line i.e. £££’s – so until now there has been very little incentive to look at the gender balance of an organisation.

At current rate of progress (as at 2012), it would take another 40 years to achieve something approaching gender balance in boardrooms.-  just not good enough is it!

According to an on-line (link removed),  there are three main reasons for helping women to break the glass ceiling in company boards:

  1. The economy: getting more women into the labour market is an important contributor to improving Europe’s competitiveness;
  2. The business case: a growing number of studies show a link between more women in senior positions and companies’ financial performance. For example, a report by McKinsey found that gender balanced companies have a 56% higher operating profit compared to male only companies;
  3. Europeans support better gender balance. In a new Europe-wide opinion poll, 88% of people say that, given the same competence, they think women should be equally represented in top business jobs.

How is your Balance?

Alongside my coaching and mentoring I have worked as a equalities consultant for 18 years, and have a 3 pronged approach to addressing this challenge in organisations.

In brief this is:

  1. Assess the gaps in the Gender Balance: levels, salaries etc
  2. Review Policies: equality analysis of key poloices
  3. Programmes specifically designed for Women in Business to ensure they are set up and supported for success “Women On The Business Stage”

Contact me to book a Skype or phone (02392 255232) call to discuss your Business Gender Balance challenges and solutions too!
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Who is Your Ideal Client?

Meet my Ideal Client!

Yes, that’s right it’s a fruit cake!

You may be wondering what my clients and fruit cakes have in common.

My clients are full of fabulous goodies and goodness – in other words they know loads about what they do, they are full of information and skills that can help and transform the lives and businesses of others.

But much like a fruit cake in cake shop window they find it hard to be noticed amongst all the loud, bright sugary tarts and buns – the tarts and buns catch the eye … and it can be easy to overlook the humble fruit cake.

Thats where I come in!

My clients range from, consultants, coaches, holistic therapists and experts – I call them the difference makers; mostly (but not all) are in the wellbeing industry.

If you find yourself nodding yes to one or more of the following statements then I can help you – read on for my new year offer:

  • you know that the sooner you clarify your message the sooner you will be attracting more of your ideal clients
  • you are frustrated that you are not getting your gifts and skills out to a bigger audience and helping more people
  • You want to be able to speak clearly and confidently about what you do and and the benefits of working with you

Help is at hand … If you are just not clear what to do next I have created 6 places where we can connect via Skype and discover whats holding you back from getting really stuck into 2013.

6 places – no obligation and no charge.

Book your call now via this link to my diary

Very much look forward to speaking with you.