Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A crazy thing can happen when you talk about yourself!

When you are what is for sale, you can often confuse the client by rambling on and stuffing up the sale or pitch.

Thought Leaders often have to talk about themselves. I sometimes talk about Matt Church in the third person (second sign of madness). I've been doing this for so long that I have learned a couple of tricks to help me talk about this Matt Church guy.

Stagenames: My name is Matthew but I promote Matt Church. It is not ‘Madonna'or ‘Bono' status, but it helps.

Diagrams: I often rely on contextual diagrams to explain what I do. This way the focus is less on me and more on my message.

Analogy: If I can explain what I do through an analogy it is easier to talk it up than if it is simply me I am talking about.

Future: Always focus on what is coming up as opposed to what you have done. What you have done is bragging, what it is you hope is going to happen is exciting.

Rapport: People buy people. Be gracious, generous and positive in your conversations. If asked about a competitor the same rules apply.

Often as experts and Thought Leaders, we wish for some one else to sell us. This is not always the best option. There is no one better than you to sell you.

Matt Church

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Don't let the turkeys get you down

Most of the time when you are presenting to a difficult or hostile audience you will get questioned on content, so don't use examples… create frameworks for discussion instead.

A well-designed context will help you make your point without creating too much dissent.
Once you get agreement on the big picture you can begin to present your stuff so it supports the established framework.

Here are five tips:

  1. Seek to agree on context, strategy and themes.
  2. When you do present detail, align it to the agreed context.
  3. Be careful of the assumptions you make about your topic.
  4. Name the problem before you address the issue.
  5. Find out in advance the ultimate solution the audience is seeking and connect to that often.
Don't get bogged down in content; get agreement in context.


Matt Church

Friday, August 14, 2009

Feedback is the rearview mirror!

If feedback is the rear view mirror, then feedforward is the windscreen.

When you drive you spend a little time looking back and a lot of time looking forward. I reckon the balance between the two is proportional to the actual size of each, spending more time looking through the bigger windscreen and less time looking through the rear view mirror. This ratio also goes for giving clever, sensitive people feedback.

Instead of the approach ‘lets talk about what did not work?', why not ask the question, ‘so if we are faced with this situation again what would you change?' When you step back through the history, people are more likely to take it personally and get offended. The conversation can often degenerate into a defence of past decisions made.


Have you ever been driving behind someone really slow who is so oblivious to the build up of frustrated traffic behind them? If only they would look in their rearview mirror once in a while and notice what's going on and then act in some way that benefits the whole of traffic. Even if you toot your horn at them and flash your lights some just refuse to see the evidence and effect their behaviour is having on the rest of us. You still need to look at your past...just don't make it the only way you manage or handle feedback.

When you focus on the future people get to move into a creative space inventing tomorrow versus a defensive space justifying yesterday. Use the windscreen and feedforward.


Matt Church

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Energy is the capital of a practice.

I've been ranting for years about the difference between a practice and a business.

Practices (versus businesses) generally have low start up costs and continue to be funded generally from the cash-flow created in the practice i.e. you get a website when you can afford one.

Businesses on the other hand have an initial investment focus and even if you build one by Boot Strapping (low budget start up) it still takes at some point a raising of funds or capital investment to get it to the next level.

In the business model, capital investment is really important.

Because the practice model is cash flow funded, as the solopreneur, the energy you have is the principal thing that makes the capital.

Here are 5 things you could do to raise your energy:
  1. Go for a run
  2. Drink heaps of water
  3. Eat better food
  4. Choose clients that energise you
  5. Park valet parking and fly first class
Just like entrepreneurs need to protect and secure capital for their businesss, solopreneurs need to protect and secure their energy.


Matt Church