By Gino Blefari
This week my travels found me in Santa Barbara, CA for the 2017 Berkshire Elite Circle Conference, honoring the Top 50 brokerages in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network. It was an experience to be remembered, a celebration of some of our network’s finest leaders and a chance to gather actionable insights from the wisdom of not only these wise real estate innovators but also our keynote speakers, and my good friends, Tom McCarthy and Carmine Gallo. Both Tom and Carmine presented on the topic of … presenting, and delivered straightforward, sharp advice related to the subject.
I believe presenting is such a large part of any business—not just in real estate with listing presentations but for anyone involved in any business. You must always present your story, your product and your brand to others and do so in a way that captures their attention. Given the significance of presentations, I want to share some of my favorite takeaways from everything Carmine and Tom said.
First, key points from Carmine:
- The aim of every presentation must be to inform, educate and inspire.
- On the topic of threes, remember the power of three: Every good presentation should have no more than three major points. Anything beyond three and your audience will tune out and remember little to nothing about what you’ve said, no matter how powerful.
- Don’t think about a presentation as presenting; think about it as storytelling. If you can tell a story instead of deliver the straight facts and figures, your entire delivery will be all the more compelling because of it. As Carmine said, “Stories are the data within the soul.”
- Storytelling is innate. Think about the literal meaning of a “fireside chat.” For centuries, humans have gathered around a fire to share stories. Famously, Richard Branson ends all his meetings on Necker Island around the fire and credits these casual discussions as the source of some of his employee’s most creative and persuasive concepts. As he wrote on his official Virgin blog: “Telling a story is one of the best ways we have of coming up with new ideas, and also of learning about each other and the world.”
Next, key points from Tom:
- Energize your audience with your presence, your power and your warmth. As you speak, bring it from the heart. There’s not much worse than an inauthentic presentation. Feel it and your audience will, too.
- Connect with your audience by moving with purpose. As you pivot from one direction of a conference room or stage while presenting, look someone in the eye. There are few things more powerful than direct eye contact as you speak. If you are on a stage, stay forward and never step behind a podium. Podiums will only separate you from your audience and create a physical disconnection between your presentation and those you’re trying to move to action with your words.
- Show up feeling like a winner; you’ll carry that confidence out onto the stage. (As I say, the power of a positive mindset!)
So, what’s the message? The next time you’re asked to present, remember these tips and also remember that good presentation takes practice. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t nail it the first time because there will be a second, third, fourth time to get it right and win. As Branson once said, “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” And as I’ll add, just make sure when the next bus is there, you’re ready to ride.