02:28 – When you co-author with big names…
03:59 – How necessary are credentials?
05:40 – Just how credible are speakers?
08:19 – Choreography versus playing by ear
11:45 – THIS is mission critical
13:30 – Why people like transformation
16:19 – Introducing Dustin Matthews
19:41 – Taking the pulse of your audience
24:18 – The five key components of communication
25:46 – Come out of the gates swinging
28:39 – Make sure you discover something
33:26 – Let people know what their pain is
40:55 – Where you deliver the meat
52:01 – Why wait till the end for a yes?
56:43 – The big takeaway
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James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today, we are discussing powerful presentations and I’ve brought along Dustin Matthews to help us out. Welcome, Dustin.
Dustin: James, I am thrilled to be here. Thanks for having me on.
James: So Dustin, you have a new book out. NoBSPresentations.com, which I note is co-authored with Dan Kennedy and it will be joining my no BS library, which is taking up a fair bit of shelf space right now.
Dustin: Me too.
James: Obviously, to be in a position of co-publishing with Dan Kennedy, you have built your career to a position where you’ve not only got his attention but have entered into a business deal. So that must be very exciting for you.
Dustin: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been asked, how did you do it? How did you pull it off? And I always say money because if you know Dan, you know that he accepts money and what I mean by that is 13 years ago, I read one of his books and it dramatically set me on a different course in life and it got me really fired up about marketing and business. And so now, 13 years later, to co-write a book with him, I’ve given him lots of money and seminars and I’ve been the great student and been able to bring some value by showing the speaking side or presentation side and so definitely thrilled and excited. It’s been great to be on interviews and podcasts and such. But enough about me. I want to deliver some value here today, deliver the goods.
James: Well, I really do think that is a story. Just about everyone listening to this will have heard of Dan Kennedy and some people may have heard of you. But some people won’t. How much power do you think there is in co-branding with someone who is further up the food chain?
The power of co-branding
Dustin: Oh, big time. And I’ve done this not just in books like with Dan but with events. And so I’ve done this as a business growth strategy meaning teaming up with people that already have a list or already have influence or already have an audience. And I think a lot of business owners can, whether you consider yourself an A-list, B-list, C-list, you’re just getting started, there’s always a way to team up and partner. And so obviously being attached to Dan for those of you that know in the business world, it’s a big thing. And you know, business will come from it. And so I saw this as an opportunity to ride on his coattails quite frankly but also bring value that might not get out to the world because like you said, people don’t know necessarily who I am in certain places of the world and markets. And so if I can get my message out with someone else then absolutely.
James: So I mean I think it’s really interesting with the fact, we’re talking about a book and we came to meet because of an introduction that was made by someone who was engaged by you who gets introductions and they’ve been very successful for you. As I’ve got a book coming out later in the year, I’m paying attention to these things. So I’ve started to save the templates that I’m getting. As a podcast broadcaster, I think it’s really interesting the different people who come through the pathways. But I can tell you having a co-author like Dan Kennedy definitely helps get attention.
If you have a great presentation, how important is it to put things like credentializers in there? You often see in someone’s slideshow they’re going to mention Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, Elon Musk. Are these things important to put in there or are they overdone?
Do you need to put credentials?
Dustin: Well, you know I think about like immediately, James, when you asked me that, I think, well, that’s case studies. That’s proof, that’s sort of implied endorsement. So if you’re sort of saying, you know, Bill Gates speaks and Elon Musk speaks, and so you ought to do it too as a business owner because the most powerful and influential people do, then yes, absolutely. In terms of credentializing yourself, and I want to share this, I’m not a braggadocious guy. I know people that listen in here, listening to this podcast, you know they’ve been to seminars and they’ve been on webinars and you’ve heard the guy that hit you over the head or the gal and says, “Look at me and look at these stats.” That’s just not my style.
“Having a third party introduce you is powerful.”
However, I’m not stupid. I don’t make the mistake of not introducing it. So the way I typically roll, James, is I will have a guy like you introduce me or the promoter of an event or a webinar, a client say wonderful things about me or one of my favorite strategies is to use an introduction video. Because it’s one thing to say it yourself but when you sort of have a third party saying it about you then it’s very powerful. And if you think about it, before you can even sell people on the topic, you have to sell them on why should I listen to this guy? Why should I listen to this next speaker? You have to get them excited and so it is mission critical to have credentials and authority in the marketplace to get people really excited about your message, the whole package.
James: I’ve often assumed that the fact that someone is on the stage at an event means that they probably went through some kind of selection criteria and that they were endorsed by the presenter. Is that the case or is it a mistake to assume that?
Is every speaker credible?
Dustin: Well you know, this is an interesting question. No one’s asked me this question and so you are absolutely right. To most people that are in the audience are like, ‘Wow, if they’re on this person’s stage, he must have done something.’ But I do want to make everyone aware, I want to make the listener aware that you can do this thing called pay to play. Meaning that most, I don’t want to say most because people come from different walks of life, but there are opportunities that exist where if you don’t get the invitation to come speak at a conference, you can always call up the sales department or the sponsorship department and say, “You know what, I would love to give you X amount of dollars if I could speak on stage. Is that a play? Is that possible?” Or, “Can I buy or sponsor a lunch and you direct some of your attendees into that lunch?” And so just because they’re on that stage doesn’t mean they’ve been vetted and I suspect some people have been to events where you know, the speaker wasn’t that great or they were just very egotistical and it came off bad. And so sometimes that vetting process is a little lax.
James: Well that’s really interesting and you know, it might seem like I’ve got these random questions but where I’m really getting to is I know you’ve got a sweet spot, and that’s around the choreography of marketing in general but definitely with presentations and what we’re really talking about here is if you’re going to publish books, if you’re going to speak from platforms, if you’re going to do presentations or webinars, there are so many ways that you can choreograph it to make it something bigger. I mean we’ve just seen a big example of this at the time that we’re recording this. We just saw a huge fight between Mayweather and Conor McGregor. It was more or less a really built up event. But they choreographed it with prefight speeches. There was a lot of interactions and things that were staged to make the tension there and the drama and then some would say the whole fight was an exhibition match that was more or less scripted. And I’m not an expert in the subject matter but I will say that they did choreograph the show to make it probably the most attention-getting boxing match of recent times. If we were to do this in our business and our marketing, what sort of transformation do you think we might see?
Dustin: Massive. Hard to put a number, James, but massive. And here’s the thing, you don’t have to embrace this idea of choreography if you don’t desire consistent results. So, you know, some people will say to me, “I can’t be scripted,” and I understand that. But if you look at like this fight and it’s going to be one of the biggest fights of all times in terms of revenue, Vegas is already setting records for the amount of money being bet there, and so choreography really leads to a more consistent result. It leads to more money if we take it in terms of the fight.
And if you think of it as a marketing sequence, if you just get up there and wing it, you’re going to get probably some results especially if you have a great fan base. However, when you really take into account and when you really sell people on why they need to show up and why this is important then you can see a lot bigger results. You can see more buyers, you can see higher prices. You know it’s funny, I wrote a book on presentations. Really, I’m a marketer and so yes, I happen to speak, podcast, stages, Facebook lives, all the new media that’s coming out. I can’t wait for when VR comes out. And you know, we as business owners have to figure out how to leverage it to deliver our message so we can get people excited and buy our products and services. And so it’s only going to get more and more.
And so I think of the message that you want to present but I also think, like getting back to that fight, James, I’m so glad you said that, I don’t know if you saw but there was a four-city tour up until the actual event. So they went around, they took the show on the road just like seminar guys and previews and lunch and learns that are out there. They took the show on the road to build up the buzz for this audience. And so that’s just a classic example of what it can do for you.
James: Yeah, and I think the way they make it work for the talent is that even the loser is going to get 100 million pounds or some sort of number like that I read and I thought, well that’s how you get someone to say, “Yeah, I’m going to stand in the ring and smash my head a bit.” It doesn’t seem even that long. I’m sure it’s very long when you’re standing in the ring but they seem like very short rounds from the ones that I watched.
So you’re more or less saying choreography equals more consistent results and you’ve said that if you’re prepared to prepare and not wing it then you’re going to be able to engineer more consistent results than if you just get up there and play by ear. And I must say, it’s my observation that many entrepreneurs are flying by the seat of their pants, certainly in the area that I’ve been specializing in which is taking business owners from six figures to seven figures rapidly. They are often lacking fundamental disciplines, and I’ve seen people go really pro and get prepped.
One example that stands out for me is Ezra Firestone. Most people listening to this will know Ezra because I also have a podcast with him called ThinkActGet. And I’ve watched him go from less than a million dollars a year to 25 million dollars a year over the last few years and it’s been a real treat. But what I have noticed, he’s really leveled up in his professionalism and he’s now running these pro events and running masterminds and podcasting. He always prepares the show notes before the show with the podcast. He puts in the effort. But he engineers the results as if he wants to deliberately get a good result.
So I’m going to lean on you in a moment for a framework for presentations because I think if we decide that we’re ready to commit to choreography and that we are going to plan in advance, frameworks I’ve found to be very, very helpful. What about you?
How helpful are frameworks?
Dustin: Oh mission critical. And James, I want to just point out an example. I know the community is well aware of product launches and so you know as a business owner or a marketer, you can do a webinar and make money right away. However, when you put three or four videos, as trite as that is now, and it’s been used for quite some time, but when you provide value to the audience or to the community by giving them like three videos, giving them massive value and then you invite them to a webinar, when you choreograph, when you add more value, and really I want you to think about like this is a conversation about value, when you add that value there then it makes it a lot easier. And so frameworks are mission critical because I get it, we’re business owners, we’re entrepreneurs, and you know, if you get out, you speak or you do Facebook Live or whatever it is where you deliver your message, you’ve got to implement quickly. And so I found frameworks to be powerful because we can execute a whole lot quicker.
James: Yeah. So we really covered off on the difference between an amateur and a pro, which I think is the first chapter in your book coincidentally. Firstly, let’s do the bit where we would have bored people for half an hour at the start of this show with your 10-year backstory all the way from living on a park bench on a maxed out credit card to now, the usual story. But let’s skip all of that. I just made that up by the way. I don’t know if you did ever live on a park bench with a credit card but an awful number of speakers seemed to have that story. Why is that?
Dustin: Well, in any powerful presentation, there needs to be a story of transformation. I mean let’s look at Hollywood. Let’s look at blockbusters – Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars. There’s always this figure or character and they go on a journey. You can google the hero’s journey if you’re really into it or maybe you know about it already. And so you have to tell some sort of story of transformation. We love the underdog. We love to see people go from where they are to where they’re at now and oftentimes, sometimes, people can’t relate to you living in a mansion or you having all the toys. They actually more identify when life was crappier. They like to see that transformation. And so I want to say this, like you don’t have to be so cheesy. James, have you ever seen the SNL skit with Chris Farley, the motivational speaker? Did you ever see that?
James: I may not have seen that.
Dustin: That’s.. You know, I was broke living in a van down by the river. Do you remember that one?
James: No, but I’ve heard that story many, many times.
Dustin: If you haven’t seen it, I suspect there’s some people out there that might have not seen it. So Google it. It’ll make you laugh. It’s a spiff on a motivational speaker and so it’s really over the top. It’s really cheesy, kind of like you identified. And so no, you don’t have to be Chris Farley. You don’t have to be the guy broke under the bridge in his car. However, you do have to tell some story of transformation. People like to see that, what your business was like before, here’s what it’s like after, and the big part where I see a lot of people miss out, they forget to link it to their product. And so, you know like you, you profiled OwnTheRacecourse, right? And so your business was something before you created this crazy process and then afterwards, here’s what it looks like now because you created this amazing system of content creation. And so it’s important, that’s part of your course, that’s part of your story that you link it to something that you discovered or a process you invented because people love to buy the process, the system, the formula.
James: Probably for me, it’s OwnTheRacecourse, which has been a favorite product or concept idea that I’ve had great success with over the last five years. Actually, we just released a new update for OwnTheRacecourse after five years and people are loving that. We did cover story a lot on our podcast. I’ve got dozens of presentations or podcasts on the topic of speaking, presentations, etc. The ones that stand out for me, we did a little preview in episode 477 with Clint Paddison about storytelling and more recently, we did episode 528, which was Be the Guide Not the Hero and How to Explain Your Story Better. So if you’re interested in discovering that story, there’s more on that topic. Now back to us, let’s do the very short version, Dustin. Why should we be listening to you about presentations? Let’s hear your brief bullet-pointed credentializer, if you like. What would you have me introduce you as if you were walking out on stage? “And here’s Dustin Matthews…”
Dustin: Well I actually have a whole script. I would actually have you introduce me, introduce an intro video. So if you want to take it up a level, so number one, James, your event. People know you, your audience, they’re excited. I would have you introduce the intro video because you are the center of influence. You are the people they have rapport with and then I will let the video do the bragging on it. So to answer the question, I want people to know that despite all the accomplishments, writing the book with Dan, helping a company reach Inc. 500, working with A-list people, celebrities, athletes, all that sort of stuff, when I first got started, I didn’t want to do this. And so meaning, I found a legal loophole when I was at university to actually get out of public speaking. And I think it’s funny because in life, you know, the path of an entrepreneur or just the path of life in general, we have these opportunities in life and sometimes we run away from them and sometimes we step out of our comfort zone and take it on and so eventually after running from this thing of speaking and being in front of others, I eventually did it and answered the challenge and now I run a company called Speaking Empire that helps entrepreneurs and business owners put presentations together.
And so what I would tell you is I’m a student of the game. I would tell you that I love direct response marketing. I would tell you we know how to put together powerful presentations that get people into action and that’s the big distinction here. It’s not just motivational or just telling a great story. But how do you get your audience to respond, give you money, opt into your list, buy your product and service. And that’s what I want to bring.
James: Yeah, that’s nice. You know I’d probably go a little contrarian. I wouldn’t play a video of you at my own event. And that’s just because my audience, they’re very savvy and any hint of over orchestration, it’s like it starts to feel…
James: Yes. It feels a little bit, I don’t know, it’s a bit American. And I don’t mean to offend our American listeners but there is a different, subtle taste differences in different markets but in here in Australia that would sort of start to get them, ‘Oh, here we go. Too polished.’ I’ve had that sort of feedback – too polished, too slick. That would be the word they use. So I’d be cautious of that. I loved how you introduced yourself. That’s very Aussie, actually, the sort of offhand, yeah, built a business to 14 million. That resonates with our market. I’m not sure if you’ve spoken in our country or in the UK, have you noticed differences if you have?
Dustin: No, not yet. I have spoken in Amsterdam and Moscow but got the same thing, like one of the comments, my partner and I were speaking and my partner is Dave and he’s very flashy, very forward. He is the guy that would beat his own chest. And so he got a lot of feedback, ‘Oh, that’s too American.’ So I understand what you’re saying.
James: My Australian listeners are going, ‘Yeah, you tell him.’ And the Americans are, ‘I don’t understand what this is all about.’
You need to gauge your audience
Dustin: Well James, you bring up a good point. I want to jump in here because every marketer knows, every business owner understands if they’ve been studying, you’ve been studying marketing, you need to gauge your audience, you need to research them, you need to find out. And so if you are speaking the way that you do as you talk to the promoter, you talk to the event organizer, you talk to the webinar hoster and you say, “Hey, what’s the ins and outs of the audience?” And so we would have never played that video because I would have asked you, “Hey, what’s the play here? How do I build rapport? What are the things that I need to say?” And not from like, ‘Oh, I’m trying to manipulate them.’ But like at the end of the day, I want you to hear my message and so if I played a video on your audience, your audience would tune me out, and that would really suck for them and it would suck for me. And so I would ask. And so that’s a great distinction just applied to speaking on a stage. Go research your marketplace, your audience.
“Go research your marketplace.”
James: Yeah. I remember we had one speaker several years ago played a video of more powerful people introducing him and endorsing him straight out of the gates. It was interesting. It was just like watching people watching the screen. But they weren’t moved by it. So I thought, that’s interesting. But I do hear anecdotal evidence from friends of mine like Joe Polish for example. He raves about his intro video causing huge transformation of sales. So yeah, I guess I’d have to review my choices now when I speak in the United States.
The event that I spoke at that you were at, I started out my presentation with the hand-drawn illustration that I drafted on the airplane of me sitting on the toilet first thing in the morning with my pants down. And that’s how I started my presentation. It’s funny how a lot of people come up to me years later and say they remember me speaking at that event and I’m sure they’ve seen a lot of speakers and a lot of events.
Dustin: It is funny. What’s funny about that is like you know at the end of the day, we have to grab attention, you know. So when it comes to delivering a message or just getting people’s attention like we have to grab attention and you did it that way. In America in some environments, you do it with an intro video. You can also do it with a gripping story. The biggest thing I want to share is a lot of the stuff that I talk about here is direct response marketing stuff and it’s just applied to speaking or webinars. And so I think that’s the big value is like, how can I take this and apply this or what do I already know and how can I bake that into something I’m already doing?
James: Well that’s what I like about this conversation. We’re having a marketing conversation. I mean it’s great that you’ve got the book and of course we’re talking about the book and we’ll give a framework any minute now. That’s an open loop for our listener if they’re paying attention. I have written it down. The reason I’m talking around side subjects is because it really does affect me and it affects a lot of people who are moving through that pathway.
I mean like me, people are starting out. They’re doing their affiliate thing on the side while they still got a job or they might be in the early stages of having an agency where they’re dealing with business owners and then getting supply from wholesalers and then keeping a margin. That’s what I would call a middleman model. Perhaps they’ve got software as a service or they’ve done a course on having their own software business or they’re doing Amazon or an e-commerce type of play. So I have all these people in my community but without question, pretty much all of them could benefit from sharpening up their public performance. They could be doing webinars. They can be doing videos. I do a lot of videos on my website. Certainly an enormous amount of audio. We publish a lot of podcasts, that’s my number one channel. And as you said, people coming through that pathway, by the time they get to my offer, they already know me and have a good feel for if I can help them or not and if they trust me or not because we’re always delivering so much value.
So you take the three video idea from Product Launch Formula and then say, “Well OK, if that works, why don’t I deliver 500 videos over the next 10 years and build up an enormous bank of resource?” And then of course, things like publishing a book. These are all power moves that I think could benefit most people who are listening to this. And so when you get someone like you and me who have experienced some of these things, it’s great to sort of dig into a few of the side doors and see what’s there for us. But I will ask, I’m going to ask you now if we can talk about the five key components of any communication. So if we’re talking about across any platform, whether it’s if you’re standing on the stage or if you are doing a webinar, what would be the five key components of any communication that would be a useful framework for us to prepare in advance?
5 key components of any communication
Dustin: Well here’s what’s interesting, James, people do these automatically. And as they say, there’s very much power in understanding what the components are. So these may sound basic but I’ll unpack them here. So in every presentation or any influential communication, you’ve got an intro, you’ve got stories, multiple stories; you’ve got an offer, not to be confused with “Hey, I’ve got these products to sell,” or “I’ve have got these watches for sale,” not going for the product sale yet. So I’ll explain that in just a second. Then you’ve got your body, and some people say, “Well that’s where the value is. That’s where the meat or where the content is.” But I say the whole thing is value and content. And then finally, you’ve got your close. And close can be all sorts of different things, like our product sale, opt in, give me money for charity, that sort of thing. So those are the five components of a presentation and I think we’ve got some time to unpack all of them.
James: We do.
Dustin: Are you ready?
James: Yeah. Let’s go for it. And remember, our listeners are pretty sharp. So give them the meaty version.
1 – Intro
Dustin: OK. Good. So intro. We sort of spilled the beans on intro. We identified in some markets place having an intro video is powerful. What’s even more powerful is having someone introduce you. So let me give an understanding or appreciation of that. If you look in society, no matter what country you’re from, the most powerful, influential and most highly paid people in our society are royalty, they’re athletes, they’re celebrities. And so when they go to events, very rarely, and even rock bands, very rarely do they just come out first and start speaking or doing their thing.
So like if you go to a basketball game, right? They turn off the lights in the dome. And you know there’s this big fanfare, at least here in the US, where they introduce the players. The queen of England doesn’t come out. There’s always the dukes and the duchesses and stuff. She has to be properly introduced and presented. And if you think about your favourite rock concert, it’s not the Rolling Stones that come out right away. You’ve got two or three warm-up acts. And so I take a look at that and I’m not saying these people are better than us. I just try to model what works in society. And so as we identified, an intro video could work. What’s more powerful is if the leader, so back to you James and your event, is to introduce you because there’s this sort of transfer of power. Like you said, that if they’re on James’s stage, well he must have vetted them or there must be a reason why.
And so it’s implied. It’s not always there. And so what I like to say is when you do your introduction, you have the leader introduce you so that they pass the torch. Now you’ve obviously discussed a whole another area as you can shock them. So when you were at Underground 10 and you showed the picture of you on the toilet, that immediately grabbed someone’s attention. And so like they have nothing but to pay attention to this guy because where is he going with this story?
And so the introduction really is all about just setting the tone because people judge a book by its cover. And so you’ve got to come out of the gate swinging. So what strategy are you going to use? The video? Are you going to use a shocking story? Are you going to open with a question? And so those are some of my favorite ways to open a talk in the intro.
James: They all sound fantastic. And you are right. I mean I was taught when I was doing some speaking training, you definitely hand whoever’s introducing you the way you’d like to be introduced and say, “This is how I want to be introduced,” and never introduce yourself. I think that’s a great golden rule there. And you know, I was just having fun with you before making you introduce yourself there. I do structure my podcast differently because you only have to listen to five or six podcasts and you get exact same intro spiel from when they’re doing the rounds or you know, some podcasts have the exact same questions for every single show. I think it’s offensive to bore people to that extent. So I like to mix it up a bit.
2 – Story
Let’s talk about stories. As I’ve mentioned before, we have covered story to death on our podcast. I think what we do know is we should absolutely use stories. A lot of the trainings that I do are just story after story after story because I believe they’re fantastic for teaching, they’ve been drilled into us from the time we’re a child. As a culture, we’ve stood around the campfire and had stories before we had MacBooks. What else can we add about story?
Dustin: I won’t beat the dead horse. I think you have amazing resources that folks can check out. The big thing that I see people do is if your goal is to sell something, and it’s my thought, my belief, and I think many people will agree, any time you get up in front, every time you deliver a message, you should always get your audience to act. So as an example on this podcast, it’s like go subscribe, go share. We’re always telling our audience to do something because without action nothing happens.
And so with that said, when you tell your story, and I already touched on it, you need to link it to your product. So if you’re going to sell something, whether it’s your product, it’s your methodology, it’s your philosophy, what I would love for you to do is talk about the struggle, talk about the transformation and in that transformation, you discover three universal principles. And I know that might sound a little cheeky or a little hypey, or hasn’t that been done, but there needs to be some sort of discovery, like what did you learn? What did you piece together that started as the crux or the soup of what you do now to make people successful? And so that’s what I’ll say about story. Just make sure that you discover something in that story and you tell the audience that.
James: We had an interesting discussion on episode 528 with Eric Hinson from Explainify and his main point was, ‘Hey, be the guide, not not the hero,’ to explain your story better. I wonder if you’ve seen that concept before where often people are making themselves the hero, but perhaps if you’re a coach, author or expert in some way, you might be the guide in the story.
Dustin: Yeah. You know what immediately popped in my head James, because I don’t like to overthink, like usually my gut, I’ve got it, it comes, it’s baked into me. And so the first thing that popped in my head was Russell Brunson. And so Russell back in the day bought this thing from Frank Kern called The Underachiever Formula. And so it wasn’t that Russell was the underachiever. They were selling this idea that you know, you can make money from home. I was in the business opportunity space and you can be an underachiever, which means you don’t have to put a suit on. You don’t have to do speaking. You don’t have to go work on Wall Street or you know, do the things that most people tell you to do to be successful. And so in that particular case, we helped Russell write a webinar presentation, which he then automated and it wasn’t his personal story. He was reporting on what Frank had discovered because he was telling Frank’s story. And so he was the reporter. He was the guide.
James: That is so Russell Brunson. God bless him. I mean his whole message is take someone else’s funnel. It’s classic that he’s taking someone else’s story. Way to go, Russ.
Dustin: That’s what I think about. I mean he bought it. So like he owned it. Frank was done with it and so rather than like, have to think about, he’s like, I’ll just use Frank’s story. And so that’s what immediately popped in. And so I have seen that be effective, especially too if you’re more corporate. So I get some people listening in may have a job and may be corporate or show up in an environment where you can’t be so forward or American sounding, just to have fun with this. And so it’s less about you and it’s more about the transformation of the company or the division or the franchise.
James: Yes. Well that’s it. I mean as humans, we tend to sort of have a default setting of selfish. That was an interesting distinction. So OK. Story – you’re having that struggle, having the transformation. That’s where a lot of the teaching comes via the metaphor. We place ourselves in that story and a good one is super absorbing. And you get taken on that ride and it’s exciting and also entertaining for the audience. So that’s where I think stories have been very powerful. My book’s got lots of stories in it. It’s sort of an introductory book but it’s talking about things that happened as I was going through my career that I observed and that taught me something valuable. And then I’m passing these lessons on to the reader. And it’s really a book that I would write for my sons and my daughter to say, “Hey listen, here’s sort of the pathway that I’ve learned some things from that I think would be good at your stage in life.” So that’s the starting thing.
3 – Offer
Let’s talk about the offer but not the close offer. I think you specified that you’re building up this offer. What does that mean?
“Make your audience aware that they have a pain.”
Dustin: Yes. So this is a good question. So when you speak or write an email, again I don’t want to be stuck in speaking here because I want this to apply to everybody and I want to motivate you to get out and speak more, two things. And so when you do deliver a message, let’s say it that way, what you should consider doing is making your audience aware that they have a pain. And so one way to do that is to point to statistics. One way to do that is to point to relevant media. So if they all read CNN.com or whatever the news site is, you’re citing it, and so a lot of the times, us speakers or us communicators, business owners, we think that the audience knows what their problem is. We think that they know what their challenges and a lot of people, they have a taste of it but they don’t really know how deep it goes.
And so I’ll turn up the pain here. So what I could say if I were a health coach is, “Hey listen, you know, according to the American Medical Association, two out of three people over 40 are going to be afflicted with heart disease.” Well if I’m over 40 in that audience, then the pressure just went up a lot. And I’m not saying like I can accept that or not. But what happens is it’s like, well maybe I ought to pay attention a little bit more. And so the big thing here is you ought to educate your audience, build value, let them know what the challenges are in the marketplace or what their personal pain is or a combination of both and don’t leave them there because then what they want you to do is then make an offer, and the offer is your solution.
And so just like in your story, you found a process, you discovered something. Now you talk about what that solution is. So you developed this, I’m using you James, and again, you developed this crazy content system and you call it OwnTheRacecourse, own the racetrack. And so that is your process. That’s your methodology. I can’t take that away from you. I can’t go create my own and try to steal it. Like you own it, you distinguished it. And so now, you’ve come up with this system, you’ve come up with this process that people can buy into at a high level. So before we can get them to buy our product or service or book, they have to buy into our philosophy. They have to buy into our thinking.
James: Yeah. Perfect. So you’re basically getting a little bit of mindshare that you’re lodging yourself in there and taking that position. And I do talk about that in OwnTheRacecourse where I didn’t even come up with the whole idea of content marketing of course, and I didn’t come up with making videos or blog posts. My whole take on it is different than what was there before. So you have some people take a position of be everywhere. Other people are saying, be raw and constant. And I’m saying, hey, you know what, just build an asset. Like we’re having this podcast that lives on my website but also in iTunes and people will no doubt find out about it from an e-mail or Facebook or a YouTube video or a tweet or an insta. So they’ll find out about it from the syndication, which I call the octopus method. But it’s interesting, that lodging that pain. So offer is a strange name for that category. I guess I would have called that something like the realization or something.
Dustin: Absolutely. This was invented by my partner Dave. And one of the challenges he had is a lot of folks that we had initially come into contact with, they want to teach, they want to teach, they want to teach. One of the big things that he was trying to communicate is you have to sell. And so a lot of people when they do speak, they try to vomit on the audience. In a good way, like deliver massive value. But sometimes, you walk away and you’re like, ‘Wow, that was a lot of value. I don’t know where to start,’ or ‘OK, I’ll get to that later.’ And so the reason why he called it that was just to remind people like you’re here to sell the idea, you’re here to get them excited. You have to make an offer. And so it’s sort of a nod to planting the seed that there’s a sale coming as well.
James: Yeah. Have a chat to Dave, I think he could redefine what selling is. Most people don’t understand this. But here’s my take on it – a sale is simply a process of change from the current situation to a better situation. So that’s why I would ban words like close, etc. Terribly destructive. Better to just think of the whole point of view, doing a presentation is to transform someone from where they’re at to somewhere better and to give them an opportunity to continue that journey. So if that’s the case, then giving them too much content or stuffing them, overloading them, making them think too hard and wearing them out is going to fatigue them. You’re actually going to put them in a situation where it’s hard for them to take action or to move forward. They won’t be able to see it because they’re paralyzed with just too much info. So it might be easier to say, “Hey, you know, if you just focus on helping people see, help them think but not too much, help them see with more clarity, it’s like shining a light on the room that’s dark.” You know, you can see the objects and they can see that that’s now possible to navigate across to the other side of the room and get out the exit door. If they could see that during that presentation and then they are offered a pathway through that next door, then they’re probably going to take it.
So that’s what I would say, that don’t worry too much about having to sell or you know, making it look like some kind of horrid, choreographed manipulation. The reality is it is a choreographed manipulation but there are good manipulations. Surgery that will save your life is a good manipulation. Someone who plays a beautiful piano song is manipulating the keyboard for something amazing. So make your presentation work by helping someone see that they’ll be better off to take the next step, which might mean not bombarding them with too much information and just giving them enough of an idea that they should take this step. Motivating them to walk through that door is more important than them getting stuck in that dark room.
Dustin: Absolutely. I completely agree with you and I think it’s just lexicon. It’s naming of it. And so whatever helps them, because we operate from that, is really that a presentation is all about just delivering value to them, like you said, it doesn’t mean overwhelming them but it’s like, how do we get them into action? Because if they don’t take an action then nothing happens. It doesn’t always mean they have to buy our product or service, but they should take some sort of action so their life can be better.
James: It’s like this podcast really. We’re just shining a light on some aspects of presentations and webinars and speaking and getting podcast gigs, like we’ve covered a lot of stuff, and we’re probably in what you’d call the body here with this five-step framework.
Dustin: That’s right.
James: We’ve got something tangible. But I will absolutely be certain that as a result of people listening to this podcast, they will go to NoBSPresentations.com and buy the book because that’s exactly what I did. That is a logical step. If you’re collecting Dan Kennedy books, you’re going to do that for that reason alone because of the powerful co-branding. But if you like what we’re talking about here and you think Dustin’s got some great insights, then that’s another reason. But you’ll see the chapter outline on the page, it’s very, very compelling. So tell me about the body. Is this where you deliver the meat?
4 – Body
Dustin: This is it. And James, you’re like the classic example of this. You’ve created words. You’ve taken words that already exist and called it like the octopus method. And so here’s what I want people to consider – in your body, whatever you do to make a client successful or maybe you’re an inventor, whatever you did to create the thing that you created, like if you think of your infomercial, there’s always some weird science where there’s always some patent pending thing coming out.
And so people love systems. They love processes and they love step by step. So what I want you to do is come up with three steps, five steps, whatever it is to make your client successful or that helps people have a better life. So let’s take an example. Let’s say I’m a weight loss coach and I say, “Your five steps to success are drink more water; look at the fork twice before you eat it, stick it in your mouth. Three is get a smaller plate. You know, and four and five.” Well I’ll check in with you James. Have you heard of that before, like drink more water or get a smaller plate? Have you heard that out in the marketplace?
James: Yeah. But I dismiss all that. I say like, step one, get your DNA done and find out what your loaded gun is before you decide how you’re going to pull the trigger in life.
Dustin: That’s fair. That’s fair.
James: But I know what you’re saying. Not to ruin your metaphor. Yes. Let’s say I’ve heard of having a smaller plate and drinking more water. I’ve definitely heard of drinking more water. I heard someone say chew your food until you’re finished it before you have the next mouthful. Like a Weight Watchers type thing.
Dustin: That could be like step four. So whatever your methodology is, I’m just using this as one that people can relate to. Kind of like you said with content marketing. You didn’t invent content marketing. It was already out there. So how do you make yourself unique? And so what I would say is come up with your four to five steps. Don’t just say, ‘Oh, do this, do this, do this.’ Come up with steps that really help people see what to do. And then I want you to name it, which you’re the master of. You’ve come up with this. And so you know, if we were selling this weight loss thing, we could call it the Instant Weight Loss Formula. And so now if we went and trademarked it, we now own that. Well maybe you say to me, I’m not so good with the words. Well, call it the Mathew’s method. Call it something.
James: Well that’s like Clint Paddison. He’s got the Paddison program, and he helps people overcome their rheumatoid arthritis. And it’s amazing, this thing. He’s building an entire revolution around this. Even doctors are getting on board this. So I know exactly what you mean. It’s a genius idea.
“Go out there and brand yourself.”
Dustin: Absolutely. People buy this. You know, the South Beach diet. They buy brands. They buy names. They buy systems. So go out there and brand yourself or brand your philosophy, your methodology. And if you feel so inclined, go get it trademarked because you know when I see a trademark, whether it’s the TM or the R, there’s curiosity. It looks more real. How about for you James? Does it look more substantial when you see a TM or an R behind something?
James: I think so. For example, I have trademarked my surfing website and I’ve trademarked SuperFastBusiness and I’ve trademarked SilverCircle because these are assets that I want to build and keep, and I’ve learnt my lesson the hard way in the past. So that’s like the common reason to trademark something. When someone starts trademarking their IP, it starts to trigger a little bit of, I don’t know if you have the expression now, but it can look a bit wanky. I know you’ve got some registered and trademarked things so I know what you’re talking about, you’ve got brand response and irresistible offer architecture. But it just triggers a little bit of like, OK. Well for me. OK, this guy is familiar with the idea to unpack IP, name it and brand it. I don’t know.
I know that certainly publishing it and owning that mindshare space for it is a really good reason for people to not bother trying to take it on. You’d have to be insane to come out in the marketplace with OwnTheRacecourse now after I’ve been pushing it for five years. Actually I don’t push it. That’s the wrong expression. I published it but my customers ran with it. Interesting back story, I published a new product every single month inside my membership for a couple of years and of all the products I published, there were just a few that just went crazy. People went nuts for OwnTheRacecourse. They went nuts for Lunatic Millionaire and then there’s this other one called Traffic Grab. And that one just went wild. That was probably my most successful information product that I’ve ever published. It just took off, all the big names bought that product. So sometimes the name’s catchier than others. So I’d say let your market tell you that it’s good before you spend the money, because it can also get expensive.
Dustin: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. The thing that you want to hang your hat on, or like you said, if a product takes off, you should consider doing that but you’re right, if it prevents you from taking the action then don’t do it. But do come up with something, a brand, so people are like, ‘Yeah, I loved all that content stuff. Yeah. OwnTheRacecourse.’ That’s the thing that they’ll remember whether they buy from you or even if they don’t buy from you. They’ll remember like, ‘James, yeah. He’s the racecourse guy.’ And so like you take up mindshare in their head and so the big thing I want to add in here and then we’ll move on to the close or to the conclusion of your presentation…
James: I’m going to call it a call to action.
Dustin: There we go. Call to action. I was dancing there a little bit.
“People love step by step.”
James: I know, I’ve scared you. I’m not here to change you, Dustin. But if I transform you like one percent, it will have been fun. Aside from selling a few books, you’ll actually maybe even enjoy the discussion. The way I was taught, the end part is to basically, to assess, what would be the next best thing to do from now? Like what is the next step? People love step by step. In my sales methodology, it’s simply, “Here’s what I recommend the next step is.” That’s where you put the call to action. And that’s not the close of a sale. That’s the opening of the relationship and that’s the start of many, many more business opportunities.
When people used to hand over their Mercedes-Benz as a salesperson to the customer, they would consider that the end and they’d get their commission. I would consider that the beginning, the start of our relationship. So it’s funny how we can have a different viewpoint on the exact same technical process.
Dustin: I agree with you, like conceptually I’m all there with you. It’s just the terminology. And so we often say that. Here’s the big thing I want to communicate into the body before we move into our next section here is, when I tell you drink more water, right? Like let’s say that’s our step for weight loss – drink more water. Well you may have in early 2000 or the late 90’s said, “Oh I tried that water diet and you know what, it didn’t work.” And so what’s challenging is, I’ve got two kids now, two boys. Dexter is three years old and he’s at the point where he says no to me. And so I think about that. I just assume that everyone in my audience says no. And so how do I win them over? The way to do it is if I tell them drink more water, I got to back it up now with the statistic, a case study or a testimonial. Now I’m not a big fan of testimonials. I’m more in favor of a case study. So if I were to say, “You know James, just like you, back in early 2000s, he was skeptical of this whole diet thing, and I said, ‘Listen James, just go with me for seven days. I want you just to consume double the amount of water that you’re doing now. That’s it. Just for seven days. Can you guarantee me that?’ He says yes.
Well I call them up on the eighth day and he was hooting and hollering. He was not thrilled but on the eighth day I said, ‘Listen James, how much weight did you lose?’ And he said, ‘3.7 kilos or 3.7 pounds.’” Now when I tell you that, you’re like, you’re that guy in the audience or on a webinar with your arms crossed and you’re like, ‘Well, maybe I really didn’t drink as much water as I thought.’ Or, ‘Maybe I should listen to step two and see what else he has to say.’ And so after you tell somebody a point, you want to make sure to give them a case study or testimonial so that they really understand it and they see the value and see the benefit. Does that make sense?
James: Sure. And if you combine it with story, that can be powerful too, right?
Dustin: Absolutely. And that’s how I think about testimonial. Like testimonial is, ‘Wow, look at me, here’s a video.’ Instead a case study to me is more of the story. It’s more of you know, I would have gone more if I had more time but I would have told you about James. I would’ve told you that he loves to surf. I would have told you what his life was like before. I would have told you what his life is like now after he dropped 3.7. And so telling the story, that’s what I mean when I say case study.
James: Right. Yeah like the beginning of this year, in the beginning of February, I was 98 kilos. And by the beginning of March, I was 90 kilos. I lost 10 kilos. Now that’s 22 pounds.
James: Yeah. And basically I did it by actually stopping doing something. I didn’t have to do anything extra. I didn’t have to do any extra exercise or take any special food. I just stopped something and lost 22 pounds.
Dustin: I love it.
James: Yeah. So that would probably evoke a reaction in an audience. What was it?
Dustin: Of course. They’re on the edge of their seats.
James: Yeah. OK. So I get it. The body is where we deliver the system or the process and make it compelling enough that people will continue in. And by the way, I agree with you. Having kids is by far the best way to develop your ability to persuade because they are extremely resilient, persistent and amazing machines.
Dustin: They are. It’s amazing.
James: They do get easier by the way. Just for peace of mind. How old is your kids?
Dustin: Three and then nine weeks, my second.
James: Right. It totally gets easier. By the time they hit about 22, it’s all good.
Dustin: Oh great. 19 more years remaining on one and 21 on the other.
James: If we’re having a communication, like in this case we’re having a podcast and the way that someone could be better off, that’s how I’d phrase it. The way that someone could be better off, you’ll call that the close, I’ll call it the way that someone could be better off…
Dustin: Is call to action.
James: Yeah. I’d say in this case, if you’ve enjoyed our discussion, head over to NoBSPresentations.com, grab the book. It’s a good read. It covers a lot more topics in depth than what we’ve been able to talk about in this episode. And I imagine if you read it and apply it like all the other no B.S. books, you’re going to be better off. So that’s a simple scenario in this case. What are your tips around how we would go about this step?
5 – Close
Dustin: Well the big thing James I say, whatever you want to call it towards the end is that call action, is you shouldn’t wait to the end. And so listen, people aren’t stupid. They know when they get an invitation for your free steak dinner to come to the steak house to hear the financial planner pitch or the invitation to your free webinar. They know a sales presentation is coming. They know that there is no free lunch. And so why battle that? So very astutely, it’s just programmed in your nature. You let people know we’re talking about a book. And so you planted the seed right from the very beginning. What some people try to do is they try to wait to the very end and what ends up happening is there’s this pressure that builds through the whole interview or builds through the whole presentation and the audience is saying, “He’s going to sell something. He’s going to sell something. I know he is. I know he is. When is it coming?” And then the speaker is like, ‘Oh my gosh. I’ve got to close. I got to remind them. I got to remind them.’ And I say, “Listen, to your point, this is about building value. It’s about helping them, illuminating the way and the path.” And so let them know right out of the gate. And it alleviates the pressure.
The second thing I’ll say is that you shouldn’t wait to the end to ask for a big yes. You should be getting sequential agreement. This is a big concept that Dan talks about. You should be getting sequential agreement throughout. So when you tell your story, when you tell your process, people are nodding. Or if you’re on a webinar, they’re typing into the chat box because they’re engaging. And so you should be getting yeses all the way through out and then the very easy way to transition into your offer is say, “Hey friends, how many of you would like me to share the same course that has changed my life, that has changed some of my colleague’s lives, that have changed the lives of the people I have introduced you. How many of you would be interested in knowing more about that?” And so naturally when you do this the right way, people say yes. They want value. They want to know what the next step is. And so that’s a real easy way to transition into the close where you make that irresistible offer.
James: Yeah. That’s certainly one way to do it. I wouldn’t say how many because it’s an impossible question to answer because someone listening to that will say, “I don’t know. I don’t even know how many people are listening to this. How could I answer that question?”
Dustin: Oh, I was thinking of a stage.
James: But even from stage, it’s still a mistake from stage because let’s say there are 500 people in the audience and the speaker says, “How many of you would like to have a better life?” So I’m there in the audience and I’m looking around. I think there was 499 other people. How the eff can I answer that question? It’s a daft question compared to, “Put your hand up if you’d like to improve your life.”
Dustin: Got it.
James: It’s exactly the same as writing a sales letter. When you’re writing a sales letter, are you writing it for your 16,000 email list or are you writing it to one person?
Dustin: You’re absolutely right, directing it right to the person.
James: So it’s no different from stage is the way that I was taught by someone who is a bit underground and doesn’t speak. Well, he speaks a lot but never teaches, and it’s such a common mistake. But I like this idea of offering the next step, offering help or a clear path to the next solution. And there is no need to let that pressure build up, as you said, I think we mentioned your book as the first sentence in this podcast. I think someone listening to this will know that by having guests on, it keeps value delivery mechanism and people will find my coaching, eventually come along and buy SuperFastBusiness membership. I have a lot of people joining me who have been listening to the podcast anywhere from the first time through to seven or eight years. It’s absolutely fascinating. They say you know that seven contacts thing, what about 400 contacts or 300 contacts? Like eventually, if someone is the right person who you can help, they’re going to get there even if they take their time about it.
So look, I think we’ve come up to the point now where I think we’ve discussed quite a few items. We’ve talked about the five key components of any communication. I think that was a really good framework that we can use. We will publish this episode. There’s a full transcription. We’ll also have a framework within that that can be downloaded as a PDF you can fill out. I do recommend that book, No B.S. Presentations. I think it’s fantastic for you, Dustin Matthews to be associated with Dan Kennedy and I’m sure this is a small step in a large journey for you with where you’ve been and where you’re going.
The key takeaway
And I want to thank you for sharing so generously all these ideas. We’ve talked about so many things and especially I think the key point, if there was one takeaway from this entire episode, I’ll ask you this in a sec, but I’ll give you time to think about this. But for me, it would be, how could your business look if you were to choreograph things a little more than you’re currently doing? If you could go a little less winging it to a little more preparation and planning, what could you achieve if you take advantage of these frameworks and the media channels of the stage, the podcast, launches, videos etc.?
I’m going to ask you now, Dustin, what’s your parting tip for someone listening to this episode? What should they do now aside from go and get the book? What should they do or make sure that they action to get the absolute best impact from listening to this? Because someone, you know, putting aside more than an hour or around about an hour for this show has probably got a few useful ideas jotted down. What would be the one thing?
Dustin: Well, I’ll say this, and James, it’s more than just how can they do a presentation. I want to give them just a big takeaway in life and it’s this idea of momentum. And so you know, whatever your goal is, whether it’s create a presentation by all means, like I am thrilled if you want to do that or go out and publicly speak. But let’s say it’s weight loss or find the love of your life or you know, go out and build your own race course, whatever it is, I want people to consider taking one action a day and one action a day is go listen to the next episode of SuperFast Biz. Go read an article by James. Go interview an expert. Go to Google and do research.
Whatever your goal is in life, I just want you to take one small action a day because at the end of the year, you’ll have taken 365 actions and what I found is it won’t take you a whole year oftentimes to achieve successful results because you’re building momentum. So just take one small action a day towards your goal. And that stuff starts to compound and you’ll get there a whole lot sooner. Don’t do what I did in college or university and stay up the night before or try to get the paper done the day before it’s due. Leverage this idea of momentum and continue moving towards your goal and you’ll be amazed at where you end up.
James: It’s so true. In my highest level program SilverCircle, all I ask from my students, these are the people who I’ve got the closest access to and have the most complex situations, I only ask them to achieve one thing in the week between our calls. Just one thing. That’s all they have to do. Even if they do that 50 times a year, 50 one things over a year can just make an enormous difference. And I just want to point out we were doing that before Gary published his book called The One Thing, and that’s a classic example of that, the body section there, owning a process or system. I probably should have moved faster on that sort of idea.
I got there by myself from reading about the Pareto principle and Richard Koch’s work. I sort of figured out, hey you know what, 64 percent of the results are getting us from just 4 percent of your inputs. So let’s just focus on that. This is really just there’s just one thing there that’s going to have by far the most impact. So that’s a useful tip. Thank you for coming on the show, and I wish you the greatest of success in your ventures, Dustin.
Dustin: Thank you, James for having me on. I was really, really challenged and I had fun at the same time, and I love the energy that you bring not only into the show but to your audience, to your community.
James: Thank you. Well, that’s it for this episode. If you enjoyed it, share it, leave a comment. Give us a rating on iTunes. That would be fantastic.
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