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7 Ultimate Strategies To Become Influential In Your Industry

7 Ultimate Strategies To Become Influential In Your Industry

Do you want to become influential in your industry or career? When people talk to others about the business you’re in, is yours the name that comes up as the expert in the field? Do others seek out your advice and follow your recommendations?

If you want that to be the case, you are going to have to work on a few different things that will skyrocket you to becoming an influencer. Every single leader in business has done these things, and by following the examples of the successful people that you look up to, you can become the person that people want to know and want to learn from. Here are seven things to do to become more influential within your field.

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1. Speak Out

You are never going to get noticed if you don’t speak up. You could have the most important thing in the world to say, but no one will hear it if you don’t make yourself heard above the crowd (both literally and metaphorically). You need to make sure that you find a forum to express yourself. Don’t let social pressure or individual criticism stop you from expressing your uniqueness. The people who stand out above the crowd are going to be the people that others want to follow and be influenced by.

2. Put Your Own Spin On Things

Just because some topic has already been discussed, doesn’t mean that it can’t be freshened up — you just have to do it the right way. Find out what sort of topics in your industry are growing stale and find a brand new way to look at them. Make people see the value in these old ideas and your fresh, innovative take on them as you consistently add value to the conversation.

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3. Learn To Speak in Public

Want someone to be influenced by you? Then get in front of them and teach them something valuable. When you’re a public speaker, even if you aren’t good at it to begin with, people will start to respect and notice you. As time goes on, you’ll get better and more confident when speaking to crowds, and that confidence will begin to bleed through into the rest of your interactions. It’s hard work, but leadership and becoming influential starts with getting noticed, making the circuit, and having your name recognized. It’s hard for haters and progress-interrupters to pull you down when you’ve built yourself a soapbox and established yourself as an expert — so get started!

4. Make Something Amazing And Learn From Kickstarter

You’ve probably heard of the crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter. People go on Kickstarter to raise money for their particular project or goal. You’ll notice that almost every single Kickstarter success actually has had something pretty amazing to show the people before they started, but you’ll also notice that what made these Kickstarters successful was the community they developedLearn from Kickstarter — they’re one of the greatest examples of the power of social proof, but they also demonstrate that quality wins out. These people made something first, and then the support they found on Kickstarter helped them make more. You can do the same thing with whatever industry you are in. Make something amazing, get others talking about it, and people will begin to listen to what you have to say — becoming influential 101.

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5. Give Value to Others Without Regard for Whether You’ll Get it Back

When you start off on your journey to become influential, you’re not going to be receiving much from others. That comes later, after they have seen you in action and have developed some respect and admiration for you. So, in the meantime, give to them as much as you can, especially if you don’t get anything back. You’re building a relationship, and while this tip in particular can feel drudgy and unimportant, the payoff at the end of the road is always worth it.

6. Become Influential By Teaming Up

A true leader’s strength comes from their ability to let go. Don’t be afraid to team up with others. You might want to be a leader and influence others in your field, but you don’t have to do it alone. Let me repeat that — you don’t have to do it alone.

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Often, learning when to delegate can let you become influential faster and more efficiently by letting you focus on doing what you do best, and letting go of the rest. When you work with others, you begin playing off each other’s strengths and compensating for relative weaknesses. Not only does this make your product far better, it encourages others to engage with you productively. When people see that you are willing get to work and get your hands dirty, they’re far more likely to cooperate with and look up to you — it’s just human nature! Working with a team on a project is an awesome opportunity for you to develop your leadership abilities. If you take the lead naturally and your teammates allow you to guide them, you’ll learn a great deal about influencing people and even more about how to deal with crises.

7. Remember Who Helped You On The Way Up

Finally, don’t forget about those people who helped you on the way up. These are the people who believed in you and helped you from day one, when they had no idea what (if anything) you could do for them. They might not expect a thank you, but you should take the time to acknowledge them anyways. Loyalty is a precious commodity in this world, so guard it closely. Becoming known as a person who remembers those who helped out will encourage others to help you in the future. Never pass up an opportunity to to pay it forward when you have an opportunity to do something to help someone.

Featured photo credit: johnhope14 via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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