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How To Control Attention While Speaking

Sunday, February 12, 2023

How To Control Attention While Speaking

Important Note: This is just a small part of my newest ‘Q&A with Dan Kenedy’’. To get the rest, you should be a part of my NO B.S. Newsletter membership, particularly before this article goes to print tomorrow - yes, you read that right.

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Jim Edwards: Dan, one thing I saw you do years ago (and I was like, Dang, look at this dude—he’s got balls the size of soccer balls!) was when you used an overhead projector and you would put something up and show it briefly then turn it off. I couldn’t stop paying attention. It was a really cool technique to force people to pay attention.

Dan Kennedy: Yeah, I did that all the way to the most recent speech-to-sell I’ve ever given. I had to switch finally to the ELMO, the Visualiser, which is not as good as the overhead for this. But the purpose, of course, was to frustrate a little bit. If there weren’t some people complaining, you didn’t get it right. But it was also more broadly about control. When you sell from the front of the room, it’s all about taking control of that audience. If you leave a PowerPoint image up on the screen while you talk, you never have them focused on you. Whereas if I turn it on and off, moving them from screen to me and back again several times, I am accumulating control. With everything you do on a stage, you want to accumulate control.

When the time comes to tell people to fill out order forms and hurry to the back of the room—and if they are X, get in the left line…if they’re Y, get in the right line—it should not be a sudden, abrupt change to them. It’s a continuance of them having turned control over to you. The old overhead projector was better because the screen went dark. With the ELMO, the screen stays lit white. And covering it with a dark piece of paper, that’s all ponderous. But still, I used the ELMO right up until the last time I gave a presentation.

The biggest thing you sacrifice from selling live, when selling on Zoom or otherwise, is the live audience inside four walls. You sacrifice a lot of this. You are not exercising and accumulating as much control, and you don’t get the energy of the audience building up, feeding on itself, because you’re talking to one person sitting somewhere alone. You don’t have any of the techniques that are used about how you set up a room, how you seat people; they’re of no use to you. Humor becomes harder, mainly because people laugh in concert. Excitement becomes more difficult because it is contagious. The most easily excited people excite others who, in turn, excite even those who started with their arms folded and swore they weren’t going to get excited. You don’t have the ability to translate that via Zoom or by any other distant mechanism, and you lose the stampede at the end. The stampede probably causes 30% of the sales, and so you sacrifice all that.

If you have an unlimited supply of audience members who might buy, then things like the cost savings of not doing live presentations help to offset this. If, however, you do not have an unlimited number of buyers, this becomes problematic. It means you have to do your best to compensate for it by other means. You’ve got to be really good. For example, if you were getting by as a 7 with live audiences inside four walls, you better figure out how to be a 9. Because a 7 is going to get you the results of a 4, and that’s unavoidable.

One of the ways you compensate: you don’t walk away from what works. But you have the opportunity to do certain things that you can’t really do in a room. What you do onstage—the structure of that presentation, the ratios of information to stories to case history to testimonial and demonstration, if you have it—you don’t walk away from any of that. But you might take advantage of some of the things you could do that you can’t necessarily do live in a room; for example, you can cut to, and continue as a voiceover on, and have participants that are completely controlled.

It’s harder with Zoom than it is with video, but you can do demonstrations. You’d think about all that, right? You need a much higher level of proof because you don’t have the rising enthusiasm of the audience.

You really need to use testimonials that are spectacular, well chosen, well presented. With some of my clients, we make sure we have followup selling organized pretty aggressively to make up for what doesn’t happen during the session. And instant, like starting right now. Because you’re starting out with a set of disadvantages.


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This is only a small taste of the full Q&A on “Speech to Sell”. It also includes strategies & tactics on how to gain control of your audience and so much more, it’s all in my March Newsletter, and if you’re a member, we’ll be printing your copy for shipment next week.

Which means, if you’re not already a member, you have until Monday morning to jump in before the March letter goes to print - otherwise you’ll miss this issue.

All of March is dedicated to help you learn secrets to selling anything from ANY stage when you follow these proven tips which includes…

- Speaking To Sell
- 6-pages of Q&A with Jim Edwards on Selling From The Stage Applied To Zoom And Online Presentations
- A ‘Fax from the Past’ discussing “You Don’t Have To Be So Harsh”
- Member Spotlight showing everything in life is Marketing
- Examples of Magnetic Marketing in action by Darcy Juarez
- Copywriting Secrets By Jim Edwards: “Open Loops: The Key To A Captivating Presentation Or Sales Pitch”
- And closing with Secrets From A Swipe File: Reverse-Engineered Marketing Examples From The Founder Of The Internet’s Most Extensive Swipe Archive by Mike Schauer

The March newsletter is going to the printer on Monday, so depending on when you’re reading, this is your last chance to get your copy on your desk.

And I guarantee you won’t find a bonus offer like the one we provide for the NO B.S. Newsletter, with over $19,997 of pure money making information, my gift to you.

Don’t miss this March print date – we’ve crafted it to meet your needs to ensure business momentum and prepare you to become a true Renegade Millionaire.

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