Blog Archives

Copywriting course announced, copywriting advice dispersed

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Is there something ironic about disseminating copywriting advice via video? Who cares? This short, sharp video contains five ways to improve your copywriting. Watch it.

If you really want to bolster your copywriting skills book a place at our Copy Savvy workshop.

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Thought you don’t want audiences to think #5

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Don’t make this girl cry.

Thought #5:

Where is this going?

It’s a boring truth but audiences like structure.

 

That’s one of the reasons why the Internet is littered with listicles – stories such as:

  •  “Six ways to get that raise.”
  • “Four ways to know that she’s in love with you.”
  • “The six bosses you’ll have throughout your career.”

You know the sort of thing.

Such structures enable the reader to get a grip on both topic and length before she even clicks. Your audiences are no different – they feel secure in the knowledge that you’re going to share with them Five secrets of staff engagement.

We are all for free-flowing presentations but they generally take greater skill to deliver and come with higher risk. Simple structures help audiences and may also help you develop your presentation.

Rather than a list you might opt for explaining to the audience that you’ll be answering four key questions:

  1. Why don’t my staff want to come into work?
  2. How do I turn this around in 12 months?
  3. What will this do for my customers?
  4. What will this do for my bottom line?

Once again, you get the idea.

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Bad thoughts and how to avoid them

Get the training you need to be a better presenter at our Presentation Savvy workshop Thursday December 7 2016 in Melbourne. Follow-up coaching and a money back guarantee included.

And download your free PDF eBook Thoughts you don’t want your audience to think.

Thoughts you don’t want audiences to think #4

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Have mercy, be interesting.

#4 “Boring!”

Audiences are generally very forgiving though there is one unforgivable
sin – being boring.

You need to grab an audience’s attention and keep it throughout your presentation. That’s why those first minutes are so
important.

It’s when your audience will devote more of its attention to you than at any other point in the presentation. Don’t waste it.

Be funny, be provocative, be candid, be contrarian, be excited – just don’t be
boring. The worst thing you can do is to look as if you have been sent by your
boss to deliver the presentation on her behalf.

Look like you want to be there – whether you want to be or not. Remember that no matter how dry your topic, how important the content nor how much information you wish to convey everything goes down better when audiences are interested.

Hootville is running a public Presentation Savvy workshop Thursday December 7  for everyone who needs to improve their public speaking whether it be to audiences of 1 or 1000.

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Emcee helms 3rd conference for Disability Services Australia in Sydney

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Ready to master some ceremony

For the third year running Brett will emcee the Disability Services Australia conference in Sydney. The two day event is an investment by the major aged and disability services provider in 200 of its staff who are nominated to attend the event.

It’s an all-too-rare show of concern for workplace culture in a sector that is often stretched beyond such considerations.

Brett will also deliver a keynote about customer service: Manager of First Impressions.

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public speakers – thought that you don’t want your audience to think #3

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#3 Get to the good bit

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Cut to the chase!

We recently watched this TED talk which we suspect is a career highlight of the
presenter Tasha Eurich. As per TED and TEDX talks everywhere, countless hours of preparation physical, mental and spiritual were invested in a very brief, high-pressure presentation.

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Enough with the build up already, already.

Despite having just 15 minutes to speak– on perhaps the greatest platform she will ever get – Eurich wastes the first four minutes before offering anything of value.

That is too long for a 45 minute presentation let alone something as short as this. Inexcusable.

The first three minutes are vital. KPMG partner and high-profile demographer Bernard Salt does not waste a breath before launching into his presentation. He delivers knowledge, humour and an audience-specific reference within 60 seconds. The audience has barely settled in their seats before they have received some value. Bingo!

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Quicksticks!

‘Value’ is a word you hear a lot today in relation to marketing, content marketing, public presentations.

The value you offer has to be clear to you and the audience. Stop with the overviews, the introductions and the thankyous. Forget any apologies for seeming a little stressed / tired /flustered.

Deliver some value. That might be in the form of a story, a fact, a contention, a gag, an audience participation exercise just don’t wait for the big finish.

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Brett goes west to turn medicos into tarts

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Global speakers on global issues.

Brett de Hoedt, speaker and emcee at large will cross the continent to persuade the 650 or so young medicos at the Global Health Conference in Perth that if they really want to save the world they’ll need to engage the media.

His keynote title? Embracing your inner media tart.Find out about this and his other presentations.

Many event organisers complain about a lack of attendees. There’s always something to explain the low numbers. Well this event is run by full-time medicine students who have an overworked and impoverished target audience yet the event goes gangbusters year after year, even when located in a rather remote location. Go figure.

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Black and white is always flattering.

Organisers even created a fetching sketch of Brett for the program.

It is likely to be just one in a series of modern touches that will leave Brett feeling old.

 

 

Public speaking – 11 thoughts you don’t want your audience to think

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Too few public speakers make the most of their opportunity and very few in Australia take any public speaking training. It’s easy for public speakers to think that their presentation went well as very few audience members express their true feelings. Event managers are often more concerned with punctuality and logistics than content, so presenters can live in a bubble.

However if we delve into the minds of audience members we’d often find thoughts like those featured in this series:

Thoughts you don’t want your audience to think.

Whether you speak to conference rooms or board rooms, to policy advisers or prospects, avoid these thoughts by attending our upcoming our public Present Savvy workshops or book your own today.

Thought #1: “Duh!”

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Tell them something they don’t know.

There’s a fine line between explaining what needs to be explained and teaching people to suck eggs. Many public speakers are worried about bringing the audience along with them so they explain everything from the ground up. They give background, they show organisational flowcharts, they treat audiences as students rather than fellow professionals. Don’t do this.

A client of ours recently ran through a presentation that she was planning to make to a room full of nutritionists. The thrust of the presentation was about how a low socio-economic school compensated for the poor nutrition kids were getting at home through their breakfast plan and other means.

Our client opened up by explaining the link between good nutrition and good student learning. You know the deal – as a well fed tummy provides the ability to concentrate so students get the most out of each and every class. That’s fine but she went on to explain this in great depth and at some length in the context of a 30 minute presentation.

I gave her feedback that a room full of nutritionists do not need to be told of the benefit to students of a healthy diet. They already get it. The nutritionists really wanted to learn about her school’s program so they could steal ideas and recreate its success.

Be careful not to tell your audience what they already know. It takes only a couple of minutes for an audience to sense that you are underestimating them. This is usually interpreted as a sign of disrespect and they disengage accordingly.

Of course you may have to cover some old ground or find some common understandings but liberal use of phrases such as: “you already know this but…” or “I hardly need to tell a room like this that…” show that you understand and respect them. It also makes audiences feel smart.

Hootville is running a public Speak Savvy workshop Wednesday November 11 for everyone who needs to improve their public speaking to audiences of 1 or 1000. 

Thought #2: “Is she ever going to shut up?” 

Public speakers need to find a way to involve their audience whether they want to or not.

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Make them believe you care about them.

I like to have some degree of continuous interaction with an audience which can take the form of short, sharp questions such as:

  • Has anyone else here experienced that?
  • Anyone here in violent disagreement with what I just said?
  • Has anyone read that book/seen that documentary/used that software?

Your audience can respond via a quick comment, a show of hands or with a low murmur. It’s a small way to show that you give a damn about your audience and you just might learn something from their response that you can reflect in your presentation. You must find a way to let people in your audience participate. Q & A at the end isn’t enough.

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A book your audiences will love.

Serious about being a better speaker? You should be. Better speaking = better career.

Download our free PDF eBook Speak Savvy and book in to our workshop Present Savvy.

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Emcee for Australia’s national disability employment conference selected

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Emcee Brett de Hoedt will master the ceremonies at the Disability Employment Conference in Sydney August 18 to 20 2015 in Sydney.

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Emcees should inject levity and extract interesting contributions.

It will be his eighth consecutive turn in this role at this conference.

“They either love my work or don’t know how Google: ’emcees + Australia’,” says de Hoedt who speaks and emcees events across Australia.

The event brings together 130+ organisations, dozens of exhibitors as well as speakers including SBS Insight’s Jenny Brockie, Senator Mitch Fifield, former federal disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes, South Australian Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent and maverick economist Stephen Koukoulas.

To discuss your speaking or emceeing needs call Brett 0414 713 802.

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Books for marketers: Talk Like TED

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Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo. Recommended: for speakers who take the craft seriously and TED talk devotees.

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The foul-mouthed bear? Ted Turner? Big Ted?

There is something a little irksome about Carmine Gallo’s book Talk Like TED. Perhaps it’s the shamelessness of writing a book that is entirely dependent on the efforts of others, perhaps it’s the blind faith the author has in the TED talk formula or the repeated plugs for his own speaker coaching skills.

Still, if you want to improve your speaking or are fascinated by the globocult that is Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) this book is for you.

TED talks have redefined what Westerners expect of public speakers. We want work-perfect presenters who win our hearts with personal stories, wow us with slick visuals and walk the stage looking good every step of the way.

In many ways this has lifted the bar for non-TEDsters, though it has created a template that some of us might wish to ignore.

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When TED Talks, people listen.

Gallo knows the formula inside and out. This comes from watching every TED talk, timing it, transcribing it, breaking it down into its constituent parts and interviewing many of the (less famous) speakers. He has even plotted their hand movements.

Surely we didn’t really need to have Al Gore’s presentation presented in a two column chart with his words on one side and a description of his hand movements on the other. Surely he hired an intern for all this bollocks?

The result of this industriousness is a book that promises to “reveal the nine public speaking secrets of the world’s top minds”. Oh dear. Undoubtedly there is wisdom to be gained.

While Gallo may be a great speaking coach he is a writer in need of an editor. Talk Like TED has a convoluted format. Not only are there nine “secrets”, there are groups of secrets within each secrets, there are many quotes from the greats, TED notes, subheadings, and breakout boxes.

There is an absolute acceptance that the TED talk formula – and it is a formula – is the definitive way to present to groups of people. Nowhere does Gallo seriously suggest that you do things your way or acknowledge that those of us who are a little less famous, who speak in spotlights a little dimmer, may not have the same options available to us. To Gallo, the more YouTube hits you have, the better the speaker.

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Public speaking tip: launch new iPhone. Wish we’d thought of that.

Gallo Carmine has history – his previous work was: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Clearly he too has a formula, knows when he’s on a good thing and sticks to it.

Few of us are philanthropist rockstars, hero pilots, silicon valley CEOs or bloody Malcolm Gladwell but we can heed Gallo’s advice to tell a story, to be brief, to incorporate levity, to deliver one killer statistic, to ensure that we teach people something they did not know.

The book also provides plenty of insights into what goes into creating and delivering an 18-minute Ted talk. It’s a cult we tell you! Run!

Ironically, for a book that praises TED’s brevity Talk Like TED is repetitive and far too long. Like so many books it cherry picks neuroscience, talking about attention spans, recollections and visual processing. Whatever!Just be interesting and of value we say.

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A book your audiences will love.

Still, if you want to improve your public speaking Talk Like TED is a worthwhile read that will give you food for thought and some specific ways to lift your game. To Gallo’s credit there are dozens of pages of notes footnotes. Or maybe that was the intern.

Why not book our new Present Savvy workshop for the TEDwannabees in your life?

You can also do worse than download our free e-book speak savvy which is free, short, practical, and yours within minutes.

 

freakonomics books for marketers

Read it. Think it.

And read our rave review of Freakonomics – a must-read for marketers everywhere.

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Breaking news breaks fast so break into a run

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We know you are not a media outlet and we know that you’re understaffed but when BIG news relevant to your organisation breaks you need to tell your supporters ASAP.

Last week saw some big news that was unexpected and – for lizards and those who love them – positive: the delay of the Adani coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

First in, best dressed.

First in, best dressed.

It was with interest that we compared the response time of two leading environment groups – ACF and Greenpeace. (Left)

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Dr Sinclair we presume.

News quickly gets old. Readers will always appreciate you keeping them informed – especially if you tell them first. On this occasion ACF Paul Sinclair (left) wins by the best part of an afternoon over Greenpeace. Kudos Dr Sinclair.

 

 

 

 

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