Monthly Archives: December 2009

The 6 Steps to Mastery


One of my favorite mentors during the beginning of my personal development career was a guy by the name of Matthew Ferry. I’ve learned many amazing concepts about the law of attraction, the universe, synergizing, and several others. However, one of the most concepts I’ve ever heard was the six steps to mastery.

1. Formulation

  • Create a clear vision for your goals
  • Make a decision as to what you want
  • Create a step by step plan
  • Look into who needs be involved with you
  • Make an announcement about your intention to anybody and everybody (the universe)

2. Concentration

(Since habits take time to create… this stage will take you close to 90 days before you can move on the next)
  • Start taking action (get to work)
  • Work with your plan (modifications or small changes)
  • Get the ball rolling
  • Consistency is what will be the decisive factor to take you to the next phase [critical]
  • You’ll be doing a lot of work and see little to NO RESULTS
  • This phase is compared to you being a hamster on a wheel

3. Momentum

(This stage can take you anywhere from 2-6 years before moving on to the next)
  • This is the phase where you’ve learned a few tricks allowing you learn effectiveness
  • You finally start to see some results
  • The following phase begin to inspire you, Stabilization

Momentum KILLERS:

  • No system or lack of structure
  • Ego (Dam I’m good! Check me out now!)
  • Momentum killers can take you back a phase as they slow down your growth

4. Stabilization

(You can end up spending many years in this stage… or the next stage will just happen “all of a sudden)
  • Repetitious Boredom you find yourself not caring as much as you use to when you prospect for new business
  • You finally have systems in place that allow you to become automated
  • You have a strong structure with statistics and predictable numbers
  • Consistency*
  • Organization and constant planning
  • Empowering other to manage your systems (delegation)
  • Big results happen in this phase

*Don’t change things that are working
*Don’t experiment unless there is a reliable system in place.

5. Breakthrough

(After a breakthrough, you will go back into stabilization mode…. this will happen over and over again for many years)
  • Sudden or unpredictable bursts of results
  • Everything begins to speed up
  • You must stay calm and simply deal with the power and velocity
  • Your communication skills becomes one of your most vital tools (staff, customers, affiliates)
  • Be certain everything around you is supported and organized
  • Your breakdowns will become opportunities for you to go through break throughs
  • After you have your breakthrough, you must go back into stabilization

6. Mastery

(Nearly impossible. only a handful or small percentage of people reach this phase… you can refer to the 10,000 hours rule as an reference to how often someone really achieves this level)
  • Excellence is achieved
  • Do nothing and have everything occur
  • Everything delegated
  • The business has a life of its own
  • Everything is done by people who are better than you

Set Backs

(setbacks are inevitable. Here are the causes and consequences)

1. Breakdowns

(Having breakdowns is the only way to have a break through. Success usually happens right before everything seems as if it’s maxed out. However, If you don’t have a breakthrough, you don’t experience the spontaneously amazing results and go back to working in the stabilization phase.)
  • You aren’t doing the things that got you into the momentum
  • You stop following your routines, schedules, and processes
  • You become distracted by things that may seem like they are important
  • You stop following your plans and begin to break promises

2. Disasters

(Disasters will take you back by two phases as they ultimately sabotage your systems.)
  • Managing emergencies instead of processes
  • Stopped doing the plan a while back
  • Stopped following a schedule, routine, or rituals
  • Started lying or hiding the truth about daily activities
  • Lack of communication

Achieving the phase of Mastery would be every entrepreneur’s dream. Are you will to do whatever it takes? Which phase would you consider your in right now, and why?

The Three-Step Close That Attracts Clients Like Crazy

Nine out of ten business presentations end with either an unimpressive “Thank you” or a feeble “Are there any questions?” Both are ineffective when it comes to persuading your audience to buy your products and services.

After many years of making business presentations, I discovered the most effective close consists of three parts: a question and answer session, an invitation (call to action), and the closing statement, respectively. Here’s how they work:

1. Question and answer session

Most business presentations have a question and answer (Q & A) period at the end of the talk. Unless your presentation is interactive, this is the time your audience may ask questions. The Q & A section of your presentation should mark the beginning of your close, not the end.

How many times have you seen a speaker ask “Are there any questions?” only to look out into an audience of blank stares and what feels like an eternity of silence.

For this section to be successful, you must have audience participation.

To prevent an ocean of blank stares, use one of the following techniques to get your Q & A session rolling. First, have a friend in the audience prepared to ask a question the minute you open the floor to questions. It’s a good idea to know the question ahead of time so you’re ready with an answer; however, it’s not absolutely necessary. Another approach that works great is for you to lead with a question you’re typically asked. Start by saying, A question I’m typically asked is . . .

Both methods will give your audience time to formulate their questions and prevent an awkward silence. Afterward, thank your audience for their questions before moving to your invitation (call to action).

2. Invitation (Call to action)

Even though most of us have often been advised to create a call to action at the end of our sales presentation, many professionals leave out this step when making a presentation to a group. Every presentation we make whether to an individual or a group of people is a sales presentation.

Therefore, we must have a call to action to get the desired results. It’s during this step that you’l tell your audience exactly what you want them to do. Be clear and concise. Also, during this step you’ll want to collect their business cards. The primary purpose for giving a business presentation is to generate new business and so, to be able to contact audience prospects later, you’ll need to know who is present. The best way to find out is to gather everyone’s business card. At first glance, this might not seem like an easy task. But it is.

This is when you give something to get something. Everyone loves free stuff. One approach to collecting attendees business cards is to give away a free book. Select a book that’s appropriate for your presentation. Ask your audience to take out a business card and pass it to the front of the room. Tell your audience you would like to put them on your mailing list for future free articles. If they don’t want to be on your mailing list, ask them to fold their card in half so you’ll know not to add them. Then have someone in the audience draw a winner. This is a simple and fun way to give something to your audience and get their business cards. Better yet, you now have their permission to follow up.

Another technique to gather business cards is to give everyone an article you have written on your subject. Tell them to bring you a business card after the meeting and you will give them a copy of your free article. Other ideas include inviting them to a free seminar, workshop, teleclass, or consulting session. Some speakers pass out forms for their audience to fill out in order to receive something in exchange. Although this might work for some, it may be too much work for others. Whatever your call to action is, keep it fast and easy.

3. Closing Statement.

This is your final word. Decide what thought or feeling you want to leave with your audience and make sure your closing sentence resonates that thought. The most powerful closing sentences are statements of declaration or famous quotes. For example, if you were an executive recruiter talking about the hiring process, your closing statement might be, That is how you hire the right people and keep them! Or you might use a quote such as, Too many people use recruiters the same way a drunk uses a lamp post to lean on, rather than to shed light. Whichever you choose, make sure that it’s appropriate for your presentation and your audience.

Write it out and memorize it so you won’t forget it. This is your last chance to persuade your audience and make a lasting impression. Don’t throw it away by ending with a polite thank you. Instead, make your ending as strong as your beginning. Finish your presentation with power and confidence. Make it positive, exciting, and memorable. Always end with a bang!

As you move from step to step in the closing process, be sure to make smooth transitions. Let your audience know you’re moving to the next step. For instance, at the end of your Q & A session you could simply say, If there are no more questions I would like to invite you to . . .You have smoothly transitioned your audience into the call-to-action portion of your close. This will help your audience follow your presentation and keep their attention. The longer you keep their attention, the better the odds for selling your products and services.

By following this simple three-step strategy, you’ll be able to create a powerful close with an active Q & A session, a motivating call to action, and a captivating closing statement that will generate new business, instantly.

Arvee Robinson, is a Persuasive Speaking Coach, Master Speaker Trainer, International Speaker, and Author. She teaches business owners, service professionals, and entrepreneurs how to use public speaking as a marketing strategy so they can attract more clients, generate unlimited leads and grow their businesses, effortlessly.

3 Explosive Ways to Grab Your Audience’s Attention and Keep it!

Speakers can open their presentation using one of a host of methods. So why do most non-professional speakers begin their speech with those attention-grabbing words, Ah, I am so-in-so, ah . . . um? Beginning your speech with filler words such as ah or um immediately tells your audience that you are an untrained speaker. In a flash, you’ve lost credibility as a speaker, or even worse, as an expert in your field, and your audience has taken a mental exit. You might as well be talking to an empty room.

Why do speakers self-sabotage their speeches by beginning this way? It’s simple. It’s because they haven’t clearly defined or prepared their opening. Consequently, nervously, they search for what to say next and fill in this awkward gap with a filler word, ah or um. Your goal as a presenter is to grab your audience’s attention and keep it. Although there are numerous ways to open a presentation, I have found three methods to be the most effective, especially when making business presentations.

1. Enrolling questions

One of my favorite ways to open a presentation is with enrolling questions. Asking a question of your audience immediately gets them involved. Ask questions that are pertinent to your audience. Use close-ended questions, those questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no signified by a raised hand. The beauty of asking enrolling questions is that they engage your audience in both a physical and a mental activity. Stimulating these two activities often creates a higher likelihood that you will keep your audience’s attention throughout your presentation.

Prepare your questions ahead of time and practice raising your hand to eliminate any potential awkwardness in front of your audience. Below is an example of enrolling questions an executive recruiter asked a group of business owners:

  • How many people here want to hire the right people?
  • How many people here want to hire the right people and keep them?

The rule of thumb when asking enrolling questions is that you must enroll 100% of your audience. Rule 2: Always ask two questions. Why? Because one question alone is not as effective as asking two. So how do you ask these two questions? There are two different ways. If you know for a fact that your audience will be enrolled with the first question, the second question can be a building question.

For example: How many people here need to talk in order to sell your products and services? How many people here would like to talk less and sell more?

If you’re not sure your first question will engage the majority of your audience, with the second question you ask the opposite or the complement of the first. For instance: How many of you like chocolate? How many of you don’t? Or How many of you have children?How many of you don’t?

By asking two questions you have a better chance of engaging 100% of your audience and keeping them engaged.

2. Statement of declaration

A statement of declaration is a powerful way to begin any speech. A statement of declaration is simply an announcement with meaning. This statement can be a starting point from anywhere in your speech as long as it relates to your topic. What I love about this method is that this type of statement usually jerks anyone who may have mentally left the room back into their seats.

Once I heard a speaker begin his speech with I’m late, I’m late, I’m late! He said it with such emotion that the audience could actually feel his frustration with being late and waited to hear more. Another memorable statement of declaration used by a young college student was, I’m tired of being a grunt! The entire audience fell silent because most of us could relate to that statement in some form or another. It grabbed our attention, big time.

The rule of thumb when making statements of declaration is to say them with strong conviction. Say it like you mean it.

3. Staggering statistical statement.

A staggering statistical statement is one that includes statistical information. This information is usually measured by a percentage, a number, or a dollar value. For instance: 80% of communication is nonverbal! Fifty thousand Americans suffer from diabetes! Or Our country has an all-time high deficit of sixty billion dollars! When using a statistical statement as your attention grabber, do your homework. The information has to be 100% TRUE. If not, you will lose your credibility and your audience.

It doesn’t matter which of these explosive attention grabbers you use to begin your presentation, as long as you use one. Experiment with using the three different types to see which one works best for you and your speech. Remember, your opening question or statement must be relative to your topic and appropriate for your audience. Memorize it, practice it, and own it. If you grab your audience’s attention in the beginning, chances are you’ll keep it until the end.

Arvee Robinson, is a Persuasive Speaking Coach, Master Speaker Trainer, International Speaker, and Author. She teaches business owners, service professionals, and entrepreneurs how to use public speaking as a marketing strategy so they can attract more clients, generate unlimited leads and grow their businesses, effortlessly.