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"Your Verbal Logo"

by Gary Lockwood

Here is a brief synopsis of the following article (843 words):
What do you say when someone asks, “What do you do?” In this
faced-paced, mile-a-minute world, you have only a few seconds to
get your message across. Mini-messages are ideal for networking
meetings, trade shows, interviews, investor meetings, sales calls
or anytime where you need to quickly promote your business.

Developing your Verbal Logo

The next 30 seconds may determine whether you get your funding,
make the sale or establish your point-of-view!

In this faced-paced, mile-a-minute world, you often have only a few
seconds to get your message across. Most modern television and
radio commercials are no more than 30 seconds. Where could
you use an effective 30 second commercial message about your
business? These mini-messages are ideal for investor meetings,
networking meetings, trade shows, interviews, sales calls or any
situation where you need to quickly promote your business.

How do you develop these messages effectively? Think in terms of
“sound bites”. Prepare your brief message just like a speech, with
an opener, the content and the closing. Let's examine each of these
in more detail.

The Opening

The purpose of your opening is to grab attention. You must assume
that your audience is generally as busy and preoccupied as you are.
So you need to first get their attention with a question, “grabber'”
words, humor or an interesting visual.

Using a question as an opener causes the listener to stop and
think. "Do you want to change the world?" "How many new pros-
pects do you want today?" "When do you want to feel good again?"
Once you have their attention, your message can help them answer
the question.

Grabber words are designed to startle, shock or at least cause
your listener to want to listen to what's coming next. The first
sentence of this article is an example.

A funny comment or an eye-catching visual are always effective
ways to get the attention of your listeners in a hurry. Obviously,
any of these openings must be relevant to your message, or
they will confuse your listeners.

The Content

Once you have their attention, relate your main message. Since you
usually have only three or four sentences, you need to craft this
message carefully. The most effective message is the one that
states what your business can do for the listener. In other words,
talk about the benefits to be received by using your product or
service. Don't say "I'm a dentist". Say " I improve the health and well-
being of my clients. Healthy teeth help you look good and feel good".

The bottom line is that your listeners don't care what you do. They
care about what you can do for them. Talk in terms of results,
feelings, benefits, outcomes, ideas. Imagine your listener with a
sign on their forehead that reads "So What? What's in it for me?"
Remember, you only have 30 seconds. There will be time later to
explain how you do these great things.

The Closing

Here is where you ask for action. As a result of your 30 second
commercial, you want your listener to do something or think
something. Ask:
"When can we meet?"
"Give me your business card".
"Call today".
"When you think of shoes, think of The Shoemaster".

Also appropriate is your catchy tag line. The closing may be the
only part of your message that your listener will remember. What
do you want them to remember?

So, there it is. Your miniature speech takes only 30 seconds. And
it has a beginning, a middle and an ending. What can you do to
make all this come out sounding and looking smooth, confident
and compelling? Prepare and practice. Prepare by writing out your
message, thinking through the key elements and deciding exactly
what you want your listener to be doing or thinking at the end of
your message.

Practice by saying your message aloud. Rehearse this brief
speech. Saying it aloud causes you to pay attention to the sound
and cadence. Practice in front of a mirror and you will see the
gestures and body language that make up such a large part of the
communication. Remember, it's not just what you say, it's how you
say what you say that makes the difference.

For your 30 second commercial to really be effective, you must act
like you mean it, sound like you mean it and look like you mean it.
How do others realize that you really mean what you say? They
notice your enthusiasm, your mannerisms, your tone of voice,
your posture.

Part of your preparation is to be consciously aware of your non-
verbal communication. If possible, video yourself giving your
message. Replay the tape several times. Once to listen and
observe the overall effect of your message. Watch it again without
sound. What are you telling the audience by your posture, body
language, facial expressions and your gestures? Do you look and
act like you really mean it?

Replay the tape again with your eyes closed. Listen for distracting
sounds such as "uh", "ah", "ya know" or sighs. All these things
subtract from the effectiveness of your main message.

In our MTV-world of excessive sights and sounds and experiences,
make your point and get your message across in a well prepared,
well rehearsed 30 second commercial. Think of it as a brief speech.

Mix preparation with inspiration and you'll get a standing ovation.

© 1999 BizSuccess All rights reserved. No duplication

About the Author...

Gary Lockwood is Your Business Coach.
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