How to Prepare for a Keynote Speech

Jeff Cochran


The primary objective of making a keynote speech is to captivate and influence your listeners. To do so, the speech must be highly persuasive and successfully inspire the audience to take swift action. No matter where you are speaking or what you are speaking about, there are a few fundamental components that are instrumental in preparing to give a keynote speech. Refer to the following guidelines in hopes of delivering a compelling and eloquent keynote speech.


Remain in Sync With Your Goal

Maintaining the attention of an audience depends on you pacing and your ability to align with the purpose of your speech. Make your purpose clear and the chances are you won’t need a teleprompter or notecards.


Be Passionate

Speaking isn’t only about providing people with information. People attend a keynote speech because they want someone to move them. Tap into this desire and never hesitate to display your passion when delivering a keynote speech.


Make a Connection with Listeners

Without establishing a connection to your audience, your words will be essentially meaningless. Start by respecting your audience and recognizing you are on stage to please. Establish an authentic connection using stories from the real-life experiences of your audience and relate them to your own experiences.


Tell Stories

Teachers have used stories as a means of communication since the beginning of human history. To this day, storytelling remains the most efficient method of presenting meaning in a truly unforgettable way, and a compelling story is a key element of a successful keynote. Use stories relevant to your own experiences or look for current topics in books or the newspapers. If you want to make your speech memorable, pick an original story rather than an overused one. Avoid repetition to keep your credibility in front of your audience.


Be Confident

Maintaining your composure and confidence is vital to ensuring an audience’s attention. Individuals who demonstrate confident vibes draw people to them, so be sure you walk out on the stage feeling great about yourself. If you are prone to stage fright, take time to address what is hindering you before it’s time to make your speech.


Use Visuals

Visual aids can be excellent when you use them optimally. Incorporate relevant pictures or videos into your keynote speech when appropriate. These visuals can serve as a means of grasping audience attention and of inciting their imagination.


Utilize Humor

Display humor in keynote speeches through powerful stories, particularly within the dialogue. Insert humorous lines within your stories to add some comedy to your speech. A major advantage of placing humor inside dialogue is it that even if listeners don’t get the joke or miss the humor, they will still grasp the nature of your story. This reduces the risks associated with making a direct joke and failing.


Express Your Own Inner Dialogue

Sharing your inner dialogue with the audience is a great way to establish a firm connection and insert humor into your speech. Since your inner dialogue is usually personal, sharing its contents in front of a big audience allows listeners to realize your honesty and authenticity, which can help secure a connection and increase audience engagement. Adding excerpts from your internal dialogue is also an excellent opportunity to add some comedy to the speech. Hearing someone’s internal thoughts can be a funny experience, so try making your thoughts both funny and truthful to make give listeners inset into your personality and make your speech truly memorable.

Leading by Influence: Are You Ready?

Jeff Cochran


With the right amount of influence, an individual can compel others to join a cause, dedicate themselves to a goal, and successfully fulfill a unified vision. Contrary to popular belief, an authentic leader does not have to maintain a position of power. Whether you are a manager or employee, you have the capacity to become a leader if you put effort into it.

A highly influential person is generally one who uses leadership traits and skills such as effective communication, dependability, and the strength of influence to lead others while on the job. In many cases, employees will follow a leader’s example with no regard to what position they hold. Leading by influence can have an exceptional effect on your business’s prosperity. If you are ready to embrace leading by the power of influence, here are some ways you can become a model for leadership in the workplace regardless of your title.



If you are a director or manager of a region in a business, take the time to do some of the duties your employees would normally do. Since people don’t like it when the person giving them orders hasn’t demonstrated his or her ability to contribute, a director who is eager to be hands-on will help encourage employees to be proactive as well.


Remain Positive

Even though no one can be positive 100% of the time, it is important to try to remain upbeat no matter what the circumstances. Positivity can be contentious, and employees are far more likely to respond positively to someone who is kind and demonstrates an ability to maintain a good attitude. Express gratitude toward others by making them feel good about their achievements and rewarding them for making progress toward their goals.


Have an Open-Door Policy

If your employees or associates are uneasy when approaching you, they will have less respect for you as their leader. Make sure your associates know you are accessible at any times and are willing to address any concerns they have. Being approachable helps cultivate a strong sense of mutual respect and understanding between you and your employees.


Be Consistent

If you tell your employees something and don’t follow through or do the exact opposite, you will damage your integrity. Losing credibility with your employees is extremely hard to come back from, so once you commit to do something, always honor it.



As a force of inspiration, effective communication  helps guide others in pursuit of achievement, so it is essential to be an excellent communicator in order to lead by influence. Enhancing communication skills will enable you to use your inspirational power to motivate others so keep the following notions in mind when expressing ideas to employees and associates:

  • Understand what you want to achieve.
  • Consider the perspective of your listeners.
  • Pay close attention to how they respond.


Use Rewards

Being in a position of power allows leaders to use rewards to motivate others, but outstanding leaders can recreate the notion of coercive power by transforming it into influence no matter what their position is. Handing out rewards, including bonuses and promotions, in accordance with a clearly expressed batch of criteria helps promote productive activity. Maintaining a rewards system also includes adhering to rules and being fair always, which will increase your credibility and establish a foundation of trust between you and your employees.


Be an Example

The referent influences you have, the more others will want to align themselves with your cause.

You can increase your referent influence by being ethical, reliable, and embodying the qualities of professionalism. Illuminate the values of honesty, fairness, respect, and company pride to establish a strong model for others to look up to.

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5 Tips for A Great Business Presentation

Jeff Cochran


Some individuals jump at the chance to make presentations, whereas others detest the task. But no matter whether you love them, or you hate them, work presentations are something most people must do at some point in their professional lives, so iit can be very valuable to learn how to be a good presenter. Before you start preparing to deliver your next business presentation, review the following five tips to help ensure your demonstration is not only effective, but goes as smoothly and painlessly as possible.


1. Develop Content Wisely
  • Create a story. Presentations can linger on and appear pointless when they display scattered information without context or underlying significance. Rather than bore your audience with facts and figures, use a story to express them.
  • Shorten your introduction. A lengthy introduction can be counterproductive to your goal of capturing the audience’s attention, so do your best to limit your opener to a brief sentence or two.
  • Make your presentation short and to the point. The longer your presentation continues, the more you risk losing your audience’s concentration. Make your display as compact and precise as possible without sacrificing important information. To sustain audience engagement, make sure to shorten it to at least half the length you first expected it to be.
  • Use simple graphics. Too many complicated tables and charts do not help cultivate your listeners’ attention. Instead of attempting to dazzle with the use of graphics, animations, or fonts, put the spotlight on only the most important data points.
  • Refrain from using fancy backgrounds. Presentations with fancy backgrounds can easily distract viewers from the main points of your display. Keep their focus in check and use a simple background style with neutral colors.
  • Be simple. Rather than focusing on adding special effects, make your content simple in hopes of ensuring your audience remembers the message you want to communicate better than any other elements of your display.


2. Plan Your Presentation
  • Check equipment carefully. If you must use equipment like a projector or laptop in your presentation to show videos or broadcast your presentation, double check beforehand to make sure everything is working as it should be.
  • Concentrate on your audience. Ideal public speakers maintain their focus on the viewers rather than their notes. Keeping your eyes on your audience will compel them to concentrate on you and the point of your presentation.
  • Eliminate all unnecessary or redundant slides or information before you make your presentation to avoid having to skip over them while you are on front of your audience, which will make you look unorganized.
  • Be timely. Listeners can become distracted at certain times, so try to schedule your presentations around these points in the day. Always avoid making presentations at the end of a work day, before lunch hours, or a few days before a holiday.
  • Have questions prepped. If you are planning on having a Q&A when your presentation is over, prepare a few questions ahead of times to get a head start at encouraging discussion. You can introduce prepped questions with phrases such as “I am frequently asked …” or “You may still be contemplating …”
  • Make a handout. If there is information you want the audience to have during or after your presentation, make a handout to distribute before or after you talk.


3. Clarify Goals at the Beginning
  • Present your viewers with the purpose or objective of your presentation at the beginning to help them connect the purpose with the material you talk about during your display. This will increase the chances of the energizing the audience to act.


4. Introduce Ideas With Memorable Quotes or Visuals
  • To increase viewer engagement and make a lasting impact, introduce all separate topics and concepts with a related quote or image. Consider adding a sentence or two about the topic or say it out loud while allowing the image to speak for itself. These techniques not only help to break up the content of your presentation, but it will grant your topic more influence, as a relevant quote or visual will remain in the audience’s mind throughout your display as you introduce related material.


5. Make Your Closing Short and Sweet
  • End your presentation effectively and incorporate a short closing after you complete your Q&A. Use this time to briefly touch on the vital points of your presentation and heighten the emphasis of your call to action.


An exceptional training program concentrating on how to inspire by influence can help individuals gain presentation skills to deliver a winning presentation. Shapiro Negotiations can help teach people to become more influential in presentations and other forms of professional interaction. Learn more about their influence training program to become a remarkable influencer today.


The 10 Most Famous Motivational Speakers

Jeff Cochran


A truly outstanding motivational speaker never fails to inspire his or her audience members with gravitating and compelling speeches. While there are many good motivational speakers in the world, there are only a few who truly stand out from the crowd. These few captivating speakers can seize the attention of crowds to help get their messages across. Here is a list of the top 10 most famous motivational speakers who have demonstrated their capacities to make an impact on millions of lives throughout the world. Each of these speakers has the uncanny ability to get his or her message across in a way that is impactful


1. Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas not only dropped out of high school, he was homeless as well. Nowadays, he is one of the most passionate motivational speakers known. Using his personal experiences to provide guidance to others, widely regarded as blunt advice, but highly credible and truthful. He refrains from delivering sugar-coated speeches and highlights the fact that each person has a different definition of success. But no matter what it may be, he tells audiences that success can take many years to achieve. He stresses the importance of being willing to sacrifice and sustaining true dedication to achieve success in the future.


2. Tony Robbins

At 6 feet 7 inches tall, Tony Robbins has a demanding stage presence, which allows him to grasp the attention of his audience with ease. As an individual who genuinely enjoys helping others achieve their goals and make the most out of their lives, he speaks to listeners with vigor and passion. While many inspirational speakers lack depth, Tony understands the psychology of achievement. He tells audiences that people who create spectacular results take specific steps to establish themselves. He starts his speeches with the fundamentals, including what you want to do with your life and why this goal is important to you. He proceeds to go more in-depth about strategies and ideas to assist you in persevering on behalf of your dreams.


3. Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic was born without any arms or legs, but he never let his condition hinder his ability to seek fulfillment and achieve success in his life. With gratitude and compassion for others, he is an incredibly happy man who speaks about the significance of remaining strong and never giving up on yourself. He believes nothing is truly impossible, and the word “quitting” is not a part of his vocabulary. He emphasizes the importance of not concentrating on what you can’t do in life. Rather, he advises people to concentrate on what you can control and what you can do to move forward.


4. Naseer Khan

As one of the most highly regarded motivational speakers in India, Naseer Khan believes that to achieve, you must believe in yourself. Working as a door-to-door salesperson until he was 18, Naseer lived a humble life as one of nine children in his family. Nowadays, Naseer focuses on inspiring others to exceed objectives through corporate training techniques including employee motivation, confidence building, power selling, and many more.


5. Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar is an author and inspirational speaker whose words have the influential power necessary to transcend time. He has been traveling the world since the 1970s, speaking out for positive progression to foster enthusiasm for change. He specializes in personal development training and coaches many individuals in topics including sales, presentation skills, and more.


6. Jim Rohn

Known for his moving speeches that stimulate the mind and inspire the soul, John Robin has helped thousands accomplish their goals. His legacy continues to impact the lives of many individuals worldwide in their endeavors to establish meaningful goals and pursue personal development.


7. Iyanla Vanzant

Once a welfare mother, Iyanla Vanzant is now an Emmy award-winning, New York Times best-selling author, and one of America’s most adored motivational speakers. With a straightforward approach, Iyanla uses her energy, passion, wit, and sense of humor to deliver a message focused on using love, acceptance, and perseverance to live your ideal life.


8. Vikas Jain

Vikas Jain is an author and worldwide motivational speaker known for his exceptional keynote speeches. Specializing in developing motivational sales training, he has created unique employee training programs on a variety of topics including leadership, team building, youth motivation, entrepreneurship, and more.


9. Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma is one of the most world-renowned motivational speakers on business leadership. As a best-selling author of several books, he travels the world to give moving keynote speeches at companies and organizations committed to developing dedicated leaders.


10. John Assaraf

John Assaraf has spent the last 25 years on a quest to achieve his goal of helping others understand their capacity to utilize their innate talents to live their best lives. As a student of human consciousness and behavior, he holds the belief that everyone can use cognitive tools to retrain the brain to concentrate on specific motivating principles.

Common Elements of a Premier Leadership Course

Jeff Cochran


Besides a generous investment return, properly designed and implemented leadership courses have a plethora of advantages for a business, including:

  • Improved productivity levels
  • Comprehensive understanding of how to encourage team prosperity
  • Increased levels of employee activity and team engagement when directors understand how to manage people efficiently
  • Higher levels of positivity among employees
  • The creation of a work environment centered around the process of learning through collaboration
  • More informed decisions in accordance with techniques and problem solving rather than simply responding to issues without a clear plan
  • Demonstrated leaders who can serve as models for all employees and budding managers to follow

While all companies have different needs and must orchestrate a leadership program that can properly meet the specific requirements of their organization’s culture, there are several fundamental components of the best leadership courses. Here are a few aspects you should look for to ensure you select a high-quality leadership program to facilitate a prosperous environment for your company.


Small, Centralized, and Supportive Leadership Groups

When a business opts to begin a leadership training course, it is always best to start small. Start the process with a small group of individuals who are in leadership roles at the company already. As time goes on, this initial group will serve as the base of the program. Maintaining small groups allows each person to receive the consideration needed to enhance skills in sales. Small groups are also more effective at promoting a culture of teamwork and support among associates.


Employ Several Means of Learning New Leadership Ideas

Each employee in a leadership training course is an individual, which means there will be a range of ways each person absorbs new concepts and communicates within the group. The best courses involve an established multi-media education program that incorporates all styles of learning. From virtual communication and documented written materials to in-person meetings, providing several modes of learning new ideas will offer employees increased flexibility and variety throughout the process, which will also help encourage active engagement and participation.


Defined Objectives and Concrete Milestones

All individuals enrolled in the leadership program should work with a mentor one on one to organize a list of short- and long-term objectives. There must also be a viable way of measuring achievement as the individual continuously strives to tackle each goal. This will keep all participants on track and engaged in the leadership program throughout its duration. Defining goals and documenting achievements will also help individuals break down the new concepts they are learning, which will help them retain novel ideas and incorporate learned skills in the aftermath of the program.


Retention Courses and Programs

When a business invests time and money revamping its leaders’ skills, there will be an immediate improvement in job performance. However, to retain these skills over time, employees will need to receive direction. An exceptional leadership improvement training course will involve taking the proper measures to retain valuable leaders. Once employees have completed the leadership program, they must continue to get support and engage with their small groups on a regular basis.

Shapiro Negotiations offers some of the best leadership training programs in sales, negotiation, and influence. Each program is tailor-made to provide participants with innovative leadership skills specific to their area of expertise. Give us a call to learn more about our company and the leadership insights you can gain through any of our training programs.

The Best Sales Training Programs: What to Look For

Jeff Cochran


Training employees and salespeople to be high-quality sales experts is not a simple task. While there is never a one-size-fits-all solution to equipping individuals with the desired sales skills, there are several aspects that are always incorporated into the most thriving sales training programs. Here are the top six qualities of the most prosperous sales training courses and programs to look out for when selecting a sales training program.


1.  Active Direction

An outstanding training program begins with a person dedicated to the cause. Known as a program leader, this person is usually the director of professional development, a business growth specialist, or a training organizer in the company. No matter what position the person holds, this individual is spearheading the training and development of his or her fellow employees.

Training managers are responsible for organizing, designing, and implementing all training actions within the company. An excellent training program director is open-minded and committed to helping fellow employees develop the skills necessary to help them achieve their professional potential. These individuals are also eager to learn how to become better employees themselves and consistently work to enhance their own skillsets and abilities in their field.


2. In-Depth Company Needs Evaluation

The success of all sales training programs depends on the introduction of necessary skills and ideas to employees. When beginning the process of sales training, the program leader must have the capacity to determine the essential needs of the company. At this point, a training manager must demonstrate the ability to take the time needed to comprehend the past, present, and the projected future development of his or her company.

An individual can execute a needs evaluation with comprehensive research, interviews, and distribution of surveys. This will allow the training manager to determine the defining points of the program and identify vital company needs.

A break between existing performance and necessary or optimal performance is known as a training gap. The ideal training program can help organizations determine their deficiencies and better adhere to their obligations in the future.


3. Arrangement in Accordance With Company Goals

When the company’s needs are known, the training manager must organize a plan concentrated on addressing issues within the business and assisting with organizational objectives. When adhering to this approach, employees and managers are far more likely to comprehend the purpose of the sales training as it relates to the prosperity of the organization.

Because no one wants to do something without understanding the purpose behind it, the influence of the training on the company is an important part of an effective sales training program. Establishing and communicating a clear purpose will make all the difference when it comes to inciting motivation and increasing productivity levels.


4. Prioritize Adhering to Consumer Needs

These days, consumers are more skeptical and advanced than ever before, meaning sales professionals and program trainers need to come up with more innovative solutions to being persuasive and selling products. This entails the establishment of high-quality, customizable sales solutions to meet a plethora of consumer’s needs. To flourish in the modern competitive environment, outstanding sales programs teach employees to adjust to a customer-focused perspective, meaning that selling is not simply about prospecting, persuading consumers, and closing a deal. Rather, it is about attending to the needs of consumers as a whole.

The best training programs teach employees to operate based on consumer needs with an approach centered on truly listening to input and providing a program in accordance with those desires. Advanced sales training programs focus on the importance of communication and listening to obtain vital insight into consumer desires and establish the credibility between an organization and its consumers. State of the art training programs will also encourage employees to think of themselves as professional consultants who provide potential clients with ample information and offer solutions to problems the client has yet to encounter.


5. Encourage Expertise

A major element feeding the growing refinement of modern consumers is the easy access they have to research items and solutions themselves. To be successful in this sophisticated environment, sales professionals must understand that potential clients have probably Googled his or her organization prior to the first meeting, along with the organization’s competition. Modern sales training programs must make their employees into experts to adapt to this increasingly advanced environment. The optimal sales training programs will give participants the skills and strategies instrumental to conducting research to gain essential insights into consumer profiles. This will give them the tools they need to properly prepare for business meetings and maintain a confident demeanor when engaging with potential clients.


6. Training Reinforcement

Thriving sales training programs not only teach new sales skills and techniques, they reinforce the lessons over time. Leading sales training programs involve immersive activities throughout the process of training and an intricate aftermath plan to help strengthen the skills taught.