How to Command an Audience

audience-300x200Happy Monday and it is time to conquer the world!

Believe it or not, I’m an introvert, content to be on my own working behind the scenes.  I work every day to overcome this in my business.  I mean, let’s be honest, being in direct sales you need to be out sharing and talking to people, right?

I never thought I would or could command an audience.  When I think of an audience, I think of standing in front of a large group of people speaking – YIKES!  The knees start to shake, I get nervous and totally forget what I am trying to say.  Without even knowing it, we command an audience…

  • Are you a mom or dad? Your family is an audience.
  • Have a job? Your co-workers are an audience.
  • Own a business? Your employees and customers are audiences.

When I put things in this perspective, it is a little bit easier to swallow.  The list goes on because an audience can be just one person you are talking to.  I love Andy Andrews! When I first saw him a Thirty One’s National Conference, I wanted to soak up everything he said.  The memory may not be great BUT I do read everything he puts out.  Some things stick with me while others I need to re-read lots of time.

He has an actual formula for commanding an audience no matter the size of the audience.

1. You want the audience to view you as a friend.

Do you feel like you need to have an answer for everything?  Are you a “know it all”?  Did you know the way your audience see you can determine how successful you are?   When your audience identifies with you or see you as a friend, they are more likely to be nice and engage in conversation.  Think about the people you enjoy being around. Then consider each situation from your audience’s point of view and make an effort to be friends with them, you will win their hearts.

2. You always want to actively engage your audience.

Do you get distracted talking to people (a group or event one person)?  You must ACTIVELY keep your audience engaged the whole time you are talking with them.  It can be stressful, right?  I tend to lose focus now with the MS and as a result, I tend to lose my audience.  So, I am working on way to acknowledge the distraction or “squirrel moment” so I can get back on track (for me and for them).

When I am talking to a small group (like at a home party), I used to stand in the front of the room – almost frozen in place, afraid to move.  Now, I walk around and talk to people while sharing the products.  If someone responds to something I said, I may walk over and share the product with them or try to engage them further in conversation.

The truth is despite my best efforts, I will become distracted or my audience will so I have to be ready to deal with it before it happens.

3. Communicate “what’s in it for them.”

When it comes to reading, watching, or listening, we only pay attention to things of interest, or those which affect us, or benefit us.  I mean, you aren’t interested in something, how long are you going to continue to listen or are you going to zone out?

Let your audience know what they will get from you (or the conversation).  If you simply tell them—they will show interest. Sounds easy, right? The key is to take the focus off of you and share what THEY want.  I have been doing this at my Thirty One parties but talking with the hostess before hand to get her favorites or the things she thinks might be of interest to her guests.  It has made a BIG difference in the interactions during a party.

The key is to Always keep “what’s in it for them” in the top of your mind. Tell the the value of your information upfront and it will not only keep their attention but it will also help you to focus your message on the key points.

If you want to make an impact, you must learn to engage and interest your audience.

What are your best tips for keeping your audience engaged or interested? Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Are You Spinning Your Wheels?

Throwback Thursday is when I look back on past posts, a time for reflection.  A time to see how far I have come (or where I am stuck).

After working with the AMAZING Britt Bolnick owner of In Arms Coaching, I have learned how important reflection is.  When I first met Britt, I connected with her.  I could relate to her struggles as a single mom since I was one.  I was in awe of how she used those struggles to build an amazing coaching career helping other women.

As a “bag” lady, I see everyone as a customer/ client. I mean who doesn’t need a bag, right? From purses to totes to thermals, we have them all at Thirty One.  As Thirty One returns to their “gifts” roots, the customers change a little bit. I know my customers have been buying gifts all along but now we have a broader base of products and with it comes a broader base of customers. I don’t want to leave any customers behind.

So, are you wondering who your customers/clients are?  Are you struggling to figure out how to get the “right” ones?  Here are some questions from one of Britt’s virtual retreats which might help you figure out your next steps:

1. What isn’t working for you in your business right now?

Think about it.  Put it on paper.  I don’t mean just “no one wants to party”, I mean be specific.  What isn’t working for you?  Not enough time to work your business?  Not enough new customers?  No time to schedule parties?  For me, what isn’t working is the lack of a full calendar for the summer months along with a steady flow of new customers.

2. What do you want SO badly for your business or work you’re NO LONGER willing to settle for NOT having it?

We all talk about our “why”, and for some it is stronger than others so it keeps them motivated.  For others, a vision board helps to keep them focused.  Make a list of the things you want in your business – just keep writing, let the feelings pour out.  When all is said and done, you can sum it up in a sentence or two.  For me, it is an action plan for consistent sales, parties which will bring me new recruits and expand my business.

3. What would the ripple effect be OF you having it? How would it affect your life, relationships, even your health?

It is like Andy Andrews says in “The Butterfly Effect”, one action creates a ripple effect changing not only your life but the life of others.  So, for me the ripple effect would be: If I grow my business with an increase in sales and recruits, it would mean a higher consistent paycheck every month. This would allow me to pay off my credit card debt.  Paying off my credit card debt would allow me the freedom from stress. Less stress would allow me to smile more which would make hubby happy which would help our relationship/ marriage.  In addition, less stress would allow me to focus more on maintaining my goal weight which would make me feel better.  Less stress would also help to keep health issues in check.  Expanding my business would allow me to give back to the community (it is about what the money can do).  Therefore, an expanded business = happy, healthy & wealthy Hope.

What is your ripple effect?

I love my Thirty One business. I love it pays my bills every month. I love I get to meet new people and share the gift of Thirty One with them. I am transparent with you when I am struggle because having your own business whether a storefront or direct sales isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. There is some rain along the way. You need to be willing to work past them to move forward.

What about you? How would you answer these questions? Be truthful with yourself. You know what isn’t working in your business. Own it so you can figure out the best way to move past it. I would love to hear from you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Things Leaders Wish They Learned Sooner

The Little Things

Happy Monday morning….. I have been on a high since earning the Leadership Incentive Trip from Thirty One diligently trying to grow personally and professionally.  I have just started reading a NEW book by Andy Andrews called The Little Things.”

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been told to focus on the big picture because when I do, it would lead me to success and happiness.  So you can imagine my surprise and curiousity when I heard successful people really focus on the little things.  Here is the one question asked of some “high achievers”, you may be surprised by their responses:

If you could go back in time 10 years, what “little thing” would you tell yourself to start paying more attention to? Why?

1. Talk to Yourself Instead of Listening to Yourself by Jon Gordon, Bestselling Author of The Energy Bus Jon Gordon - The Little Things

This is a GREAT book… Too often we listen to ourselves and hear all the complaints, self-doubt, fear, and negativity that lead to unhappiness, failure and unfulfilled goals.  Yup, Been there done that and have lots of t-shirts to prove it.

But instead of listening to the negative we can choose to feed ourselves with the positive. We can fuel up with words, thoughts, phrases, scripture and beliefs that give us the strength and power to overcome our challenges and create an extraordinary life, career and team.

Just keep running, stay positive, talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself and make sure you celebrate and raise your hands in the air when you’ve reached your destination!

2. Ask for Help (and Be Willing to Receive It) by John Jantsch, Founder of Duct Tape Marketing John Jantsch - The Little Things

This is a tough one for me but with the help of a coach/friend Eryka Peskin I am learning to ask for help and receive it graciously.

The truth is business owners like to push through and figure everything and to some extent, this constricts a lot of growth. What’s funny about this is people want to help and to some extent when you don’t allow them or ask them what they think or what they would do in your shoes, you turn the tap off. I think a great deal of this comes from the desire to be seen as having it all figured out and few things are more harmful to growth than that. Ask for help, be helpless, and activate the helpfulness in others.

3. Embrace Everyday Encounters by Michele CushattKeynote Speaker 

Thus, in answer to your question, my “small thing” is to learn to be less consumed and worried with plans, schedules, and important connections, and more attuned to everyday encounters.

4. Watch for What Excites You by Chris Guillebeau, New York Times Bestselling Author of The $100 StartupChris Guillebeau - The Little Things

I’d tell myself… Pay more attention to the way things make you feel. Feelings aren’t everything, of course, but noticing when something fills you with the right combination of excitement and nervousness can be a good sign in knowing when to take a big risk.

5. Learn the Right Way to Listen by Ray Edwards, Entrepreneur and Direct Response Copywriter Ray Edwards - The Little Things

Instead of walking in a room with an attitude saying, “Here I am!” I’d walk in with an attitude that says, “There you are!” I would smile at strangers—who doesn’t love getting a big smile from a total stranger? I would listen because I want to hear what people are saying, not because I was preparing to speak. I would stop trying to get God to bless what I was doing, and instead try to do what God was blessing.

6. Don’t Let the Wrong “Little Things” Hold You Back by John Rampton, Entrepreneur and Speaker John Rampton - The Little Things

If I could go back 10 years I’d tell myself to take more of a chance on myself. I always let the “little things” hold me back from my true passion. Little things like money, security, my girlfriend at the time, etc hold me back from becoming the person I knew I could be. Pay more attention to that little voice inside you that you know you should follow but don’t always listen too. It’s usually right, but it’s the little things in life that hold us back.

Now, It’s Your Turn…

What “little thing” would you tell yourself to pay attention to if you could go back 10 years?

As for me, I would stop letting the little things hold me back – lack of money, waiting for the perfect time and follow your dream.  Share your story with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Getting Unstuck

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Are you stuck?  Maybe in the same job, you don’t like?  Maybe financially unable to pay down debt, just maintaining the status quo?  Maybe it is trying to get off those few pounds of winter weight BEFORE the warmer weather finally arrives?

You can get unstuck in just THREE simple steps.  If you are like me, you are wondering why no one ever told you this before, right?  It almost seems like the “magic wand” to getting unstuck.  Andy Andrews is AMAZING.  If you haven’t read his books, get busy because you will be motivated in a way you have never been before.

When you hear success stories about other people, do they feel unrealistic?  The truth is there is a way for you to get unstuck and start living a life you want to live…

Here is Andy Andrew’s 3 step process:

1. Identify where you want to go.

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First, you need to know what your end goal is so you know where you’re going. Think about it…. if you could wave a magic wand and make your life look like anything you want, what would it look like?

  • Where would you live?
  • What would you be most excited about?
  • Who would you spend most of your time with?
  • How would you feel when you wake up in the morning?
  • What problems and fears would no longer weigh down your thoughts?

Remember NOTHING is impossible so answer them honestly. This is how you will identify your target.

2. Align your life with your key talents.

The path you choose in life needs to be aligned with your talents because they reveal what you were made to do.

If your dream is to be a professional singer but you the gift of voice or pitch, it won’t happen. Get the picture of how to pick your path based on your key talents.  Believe it or not, the right path will begin to open up and become clearer than ever when you are using your key talents.

Not sure what you are talented in?  Everyone has talents – most have multiple talents.  Here are two things which hold you back from identifying those talents:

1. It’s much harder to evaluate our own talents than the talents of others.

Overconfident people tend to inflate their talents which don’t match up with reality, while people who lack confidence tend to massively overlook or undersell their talents.  Discovering your talent will begin to increase your level of belief in yourself.

2. We tend to have a narrow definition of talent.

Maybe you don’t think you have “cool talents” like running fast or singing great. What I have found, is one of my talents is making people smile when they are struggling which can help to make a huge differences in their lives. My biggest fear is “how will earn an income from it?”, but the truth is when I stopped worrying about it and started making a difference, things slowly started to happen.  I am working on building on it and making it the foundation of my career.

3. Discover the skills you can develop to complement your talent.Think of your talent as your main asset.  Then add your skills to the mix and they will help to make your talent  stronger.  Skills can be learned and you can incorporate just about any skill into your life.  It is important to identify the right skills to complement your talent.

If you’re a great singer, you’ll probably want to hone your stage presence.  As for me, I am finding my writing is am important skill – this blog.  So I am working on my writing skills.  I am also working on ways to make a difference each day in someone’s life.

So ask yourself…

  • What skill would allow me to impact more lives with my talent?
  • Is someone with a similar talent using it to do great work? What skills do they seem to possess?
  • Who do I have to become to live a life in perfect alignment with my gifts?

Keep asking yourself these questions.  As you build your foundation, the answers will change.  Believe it or not, you will become more valuable than you could ever imagine.

A word of caution: It’s important to keep in mind that no pathway in life is straight—no matter where you’re going or where you want to go, you have to be flexible.

Consider the bumps along the way as an essential part of the process instead of setbacks.  Don’t let “Negative Nellie” zap your energy and steal your dream.

What ways are you developing your skills and using your talents? Tell me in the comments!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You An Effective Leader?

leaders

Deep down I believe we are all leaders.  Now, for some it may be a little deeper than others.  You know there are people who leading seems to come naturally, right?  Then there are others who struggle with doubt in their abilities to lead.  Which one are you? Or do you fall someplace in the middle.  I will admit, depending on the situation I can fall in either category.

The truth is, the only qualification for being a leader is “you make decisions which influence other people”.  Yup, it is as simple as it comes.  Since we are all leaders, we might as well work on being a great ones, right?

The key to becoming a great leader is not to focus on becoming “a great leader”  but to focus on whether or not you are someone worth following.  This can apply to anywhere you are a leader – our home, your job, your community or in your own business.

Every since Andy Andrews was a speaker at Thirty One’s National Conference, I have been diving into his books and his ideas.  He says there are THREE key qualities of someone who is worth following and they are:

unknown 1. They are truly transparent
This seems to be the new “buzz word” in the business world.  Being transparent means you always take ownership of your mistakes and shortcomings in front of the people you’re leading. You don’t pretend to be perfect and you admit when you’re wrong.  I am definitely transparent!

A truly good leader will also know the difference between a mistake and a bad choice.  Do you know the difference?  A mistake is something accidentally done, but with good intentions. A bad choice is something purposely done.  I tend to make more mistakes than I do bad choices although when it came to my addictions I would have to say it was more bad choices.

Knowing how to handle the consequences of both by being transparent builds your followers’ loyalty.  When people understand your thinking and see you are human, they will want to follow you.

images   2. They know how to get back on track
Leaders along with their followers make mistakes and poor choices.  A great leader will know how to get not only themselves but also their followers back on track when they are negatively affected by a mistake or bad choice.

Leaders can shift perspective back to the big picture when things go wrong.  Leaders remain calm in the face of confusion and crisis.  When we are transparent, followers feel safe coming to us with their own mistakes and bad choices.

6a00e54f8c25c9883401157249b1b2970b3. They take advantage of teachable moments.
To remain a leader and help people grow, great leaders take advantage of opportunities to teach.  Don’t we do this as parents?

How many times have we let our “bad mood” handle a situation inappropriately?  The end result is not good and usually leads to a screaming match, right?  How often have you used a moment like this to be transparent with your kids.

As a single mom who was a recovering addict, I needed to acknowledge my bad choices and ask forgiveness.  If it was just a mistake, a simple apology worked to make things right.  If I made a bad choice, I didn’t wait to be transparent.  I easily shared what was happening with me and the fact it was no excuse for how inappropriately I had acted. I will admit, many thought I shared way too much with my young daughter BUT it always strengthened our relationship. The valuable teaching moments rarely occured at convenient times.  So, it meant stopping what I was doing, checking my emotions, and taking a sharp detour. Great leaders seize teachable moments, whether they’re inconvenient and uncomfortable.

It is easy to focus  on ourselves when we think about effective leadership but it can be overwhelming at time.  So, shy not shift from a “ME” perspective to an outward focus.

Ask yourself:

  • Who stands to gain from my improved leadership?
  • How will my leadership help those following me?
  • How would a steady, calm presence of leadership make those around me become more effective?

Picture those people in your mind—your family members, your co-workers, your employees, or whomever else you might be leading. They will give you all the motivation you need to become someone worth following.

Who do you follow?  Picture one of those leaders from your own life, right now.  What did they do to make you want to follow them?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!