An Opportunity is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Larry Galler

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When you have an opportunity to present yourself and your company in a speech to a room full of prospects, it seems obvious that you arrive prepared to impress your audience. Naturally, you would carefully prepare your talk taking time to craft it (and any visuals that accompany it) and embellish it with humor, quotations, and references to the audience. You would rehearse your talk a number of times, perhaps video tape it or practice it in front of a mirror to work on your “eye-contact, ” body movement, and gestures. You would record it so you can improve your diction, voice modulation, and practice eliminating those annoying “umms and errrs” that creep into our spoken words. That makes for an interesting talk, a satisfied and hopefully impressed audience with new information on your topic.

But lets face it, unless you are a professional actor, public speaker or a rock star, your audience will not run out into the streets screaming your name, nor will they remember much of your presentation as time goes on. To help them remember you, your talk, and your company you have to do more. So you must give them something more than just a well crafted and rehearsed talk about your products and services. Give them something of yourself they can take back home.

By something of yourself, I mean something special you would want your audience to remember. Perhaps it is a “Top Ten List”, a “Special Report” on the effectiveness of your product / service, an inexpensive sample or simulation of your product to demonstrate the benefits. Naturally you would also include a business card, but make sure the contact information is current.

Speaking to an audience of people who might be prospects is a very effective way of increasing visibility, but remember that the speaking part is only half of the presentation, creating positive memory is the other half.

Larry Galler coaches and consults with high-performance executives, professionals, and small businesses since 1993. He is the writer of the long-running (every Sunday since November 2001) business column, “Front Lines with Larry Galler" Sign up for his free newsletter at Questions??? Send an email to


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