Develop and Exploit Your Own Style
Your personal style when you do your seminar is critical to your success. You need to develop a speaking and presentation style that identifies you as the person you want to be.
Most important is that you don’t violate the rule of being yourself. Your style is composed of a number of different elements. These include, but are not limited to: the way you deliver information, the way you dress, and the way you respond to people.
My speaking style is very direct and somewhat confrontational. My style will sometimes get people angry. Be careful not to be overly confrontational; people have to like you to want to buy additional products or services from you.
I have learned one universal law as it relates to style over the years — people must LIKE you. If they don’t like you they won’t listen to you. If they don’t listen to you, they won’t buy from you. But remember, no one can be universally liked. Hey, some people hated Ghandi!
I have a trademark style of dress. I’m never the one with a suit. I’m the one dressed in dress slacks withvery colorful “Coogi” sweaters, the only name-brand product I’ve ever worn in my life. I love them. They happen to be very expensive. Since I’m known as an extremely frugal guy, this may seem somewhat inconsistent.
I bought my first Coogi sweater in Australia for less than half of what I’d have had to pay in the United States. I still own only three of them. I rotate them so it doesn’t look like I’m always wearing the same one. But this has become part of my style.
Another element of style is how accessible you choose to be. Some speakers like to remain extremely accessible during breaks, before and after seminars, and even via email. Others like to cultivate the feeling of the aloof expert with whom you must make an appointment. There is a case to be made for doing both. I like to play the accessible expert because, frankly, I like people. Many well-known consultants do not, or at least appear by their behavior not to do so. Frankly, I feel badly for them.
Again, don’t violate the rule of being yourself. Don’t try to be gregarious if you’re not. Create your personal style from the cards you’ve been dealt.
As a result of the style that you select to use (either consciously or unconsciously) some people won’t like you. This is inevitable. People tend either to hate me or love me. I actually prefer it that way myself. The more direct and “in-your-face” your style, the more apt this is to happen.
After you select your style, don’t try to change it unless you have good reason. If most people like you, you’re probably in good shape. There will always be a certain number of people who just can’t stand you. You know what? That’s life. Live with it!
My seminar delivery is very fast and rapid fire. I do this because it’s my style. I also do it because I find that if you go just a little faster than people can understand, you’ll end up selling a lot more product. Follow my lead on this one. Move quickly because of all the great material you have to share with them.