SKUFood has been focused on bringing you insights into industry terms over the last year. We have been working behind the scenes on bringing a new feature to the newsletter with guest contributors from people we are proud to work with in the industry. They have new perspectives for you and we are excited to share some in the upcoming weeks.
I met Ted Flitton when we were doing the Learnsphere Supply Chain 123 program with Food and Beverage Manitoba. Ted’s public relations background is valuable to food producers and processors. So many people have a great story to tell. There are opportunities out there to share the why for your business. Ted’s ability to bring bring the right parts of the story to the forefront and make them resonate is great to experience.
Dominate your next capital raise, partnership meeting or business presentation with this simple public speaking strategy.
“You have a fundamental disconnect between your brain and your mouth.”
Ouch! That’s how my university broadcast performance coach ended our last post-newscast debrief. The class assignment was simple; for one month, write a script for a five minute newscast and present it every hour on the campus radio station. For me, the task was next to impossible. I stuttered, stammered, got tongue-tied, missed entire words, lost my place mid-sentence as I read my script. I froze several times. I choked.
I was frustrated, embarrassed and fearing my dream of becoming a broadcast journalist was dying in front of me.
Fast forward a few years later and I regularly and successfully spoke on the radio as a contributor, then later as an editor of a daily radio news program. Later I spoke to the media on behalf of employers and clients as a paid spokesperson. Many of these interviews were very difficult and challenging as the companies I represented were often the face of negative publicity. Since my time in university, I have participated in more than 5,000 media interviews. I now use my communication skills to help companies grow, solve problems, deal with crises and ask investors for money.
So how did I turn my communications fortunes around? Here are my five biggest quick wins to nailing your next deal pitch, media interview or one-on-one meeting.
Persuasion - your audience needs hard numbers and data. It also needs stories of everyday triumph.
- numbers, percentages and ratios explain progress on goals, but they don’t show action, devotion, care and innovation in the face of adversity.
- persuasion requires knowing how to balance numbers, percentages and ratios with anecdotes showing smart, devoted people taking responsible action on behalf of their employers.
What’s your larger story? Tell that through stories, numbers, anecdotes and stats.
- information and stories need to be organized into a compelling story of growth, triumph, transition, etc
- adopt a strategic story-telling framework that lays out the problem you solve for people
- popular storytelling frameworks include problem, solution, resolution or “what, so what, now what?” or where we are, where we’re going and how we’ll get there.
Optimize and strengthen your words and thoughts with professional tools and strategies.
- a message matrix organizes your communication: a tic-tac-toe -style chart of twelve squares that organizes key messages - the most important things you need to say with supporting facts, figures and stories (see my website for an example)
- use the 27 9 3 approach - each speech or presentation should have only three key messages of less than 27 words each. “Diamonds are forever” and “wash your hands” are examples of compelling short messages.
Get feedback to improve.
- asking other people for feedback can be tough, but smart communicators ask others about ways to improve
- time your answers - can you explain a powerpoint slide in less than thirty seconds? How about the next slide? Trouble communicating compounds and time begins slipping away.
Practice!! A lot.
- radio and TV journalists read their scripts aloud before going on air so they can hear mistakes the eye doesn’t catch
- this is where we notice that fundamental gap between the brain and the mouth
- my family and I routinely practice our speeches during dinner
Need help? Want to practice your upcoming presentation or meeting? Book some practice time with me by emailing me at .
Ted Flitton is a highly strategic public relations and communications consultant. He's currently helping a food processor prepare to launch in a grocery chain. He is also raising capital so a pharmaceutical company can fund the development of new therapies. Ted is a popular instructor on social media and communication strategies at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
The bread price fixing case that emerged many years ago is a prime example of how easily consumer confidence can be eroded. Canada Bread has been added to the federal government's ineligible and suspended suppliers list which bans them from bidding on government contracts for 10 years.
Where is Peter Speaking?
We have been working hard to put together a new video to promote the work we do speaking at conferences and events. Hope you enjoy the video!