Selling Your Community, Mastering Presentation Skills


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2012 IEDC Annual Conference Session by Allison Larsen of Chabin/CompetitiveReady and Suzanna Buck of University of Houston

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  • Does this look like your schedule? Or some variation there of….Many meetingsPresentations every day – at least more often than most professionalsYou are in the public eyeWhat you have to say is importantMaking a good impression could be the difference between success and failure of your communities economic developmentGoal for this session: practical tips and tools to help you do your job more effectively – especially in “Selling Your Community”
  • Let’s start with this premise…there is NO perfect PresentationYet, always seeking improvement of skills is a tenant of the economic development professional
  • 1. Start with the content you were expecting for this session on best ways to sell your community2. Dig deeper into presentation skills for all situations3. See examples from our peers with robust review discussion4. Wrap up with practical take-awaysLet’s begin with Content…The insights I will share about content for selling your community are as a result of working with Chabin’s sister company, Austin Consulting – international site selection firm.I have seen first-hand on site visits and at conferences how some communities stand out and how too many sound exactly the same in selling their community – Our goal today is to give you tips to STAND OUT and be memorable in a positive way.I will cover 2 key areas for “Selling your Community” content:1. Framing a compelling message – understanding your audience and messages that STICK2. Essential tools for “story telling” in economic development
  • Really understand what keeps them up at nightFor instance: Airbus suppliers are probably seeking USA companies that they can joint venture or partner with so they don’t lose their standing as a supplier as Airbus plans for supporting new Mobile AL plantA Walmart supplier may be concerned about how they will meet sustainability requirements to continue selling to their largest customer – if they lose Walmart as a customer they may go out of business.Their spouse is upset about the increasing crime rate in the community and is making the company owner’s life unbearableCompany is afraid of losing innovation advantage because young professionals, especially brilliant engineers won’t move to their town and move where their competitors are located.Consider their situation for site visit prep:the first thing on there mind might be as simple as “Which way is north?”, “Where am I?”How many places have I toured this week already?Cut down list – short timelines & reduce extraneous options
  • Good tool to work on aligning solutions, assets and advantages your community offers to your client/targets
  • Explain chartValue Proposition = Why you community is the location of choice for INDUSTRY, COMPANY, and SPECIFIC PROJECTWhy prospect would be foolish to look elsewhere - convincing andrelevant case based on alignment of what community offers to what they needNot talking about a branding tag line – this changes based on audience- i.e. What’s in it for them? A fundamental sales principle“We have land” is only a proof point2.Reference IEDC article - i.e. Get input and help developing your message(s)Local employers are the authentic voice of your community – engage them for input and spokespeople; tell their stories to prove your value propositionIllustrate point:In essence you are running a campaign for your community. Just like campaigns need platforms (and details to explain their plans for what they will do when elected) so do you need proof point to support your message platform. Can’t promote your community for what you are not.Example from breakfast this morning that illustrates precisely how effective a good message can be for instilling a positive and memorable message.Mayor from Aztec New Mexico – located 3 ½ hours from Albuquerque; 7 hours from Denver – You could say… “middle of nowhere”I learned about assets for burgeoning natural gas industry; their connection to global economy through their unique community college program – students from Nigeria there now; about innovative entrepreneurs creating parts and equipment that is sold globally because of their unique capabilities for this sector.
  • SIMPLE – illustration of importanceOn The Daily Show, John Stewart interviewed President Clinton about his speech at Democratic Convention. Clinton made a point to explain why he spent so much time on simplifying the facts of the economy: When people are scared, uncertain, threatened – clarity of information, especially for complex and emotional issues, is vital.TANGIBLE – Does the message create a concrete image that can be proven?IMPORTANT – Does the message matter to your target audience(s)?CREDIBLE - Do others believe the message in context of your community?KNOWN FOR - Does these message DIFFERENTIATE your community (in a positive way)? Does the message LEVERAGE what you are known for?Test with local stakeholder, local employers, external contacts, such as site consultantsTransition:Now that you have relevant content – particularly a distinctive “Why for your community”, let’s talk about the two most essential tools for “Selling your Community”
  • Maps! Maps! Maps! Glorious Maps!Maps are a terrific tool for telling your story. Many economic developers have added a map to their business card to assist with one-on-one presentations to better understand the area they represent.Be sure to use a vicinity map – i.e. challenging if you are not Texas, California or Florida, for example to be a recognized state – give a bigger perspective for your location mapOtherwise you might look like a square or rectangle out of perspective.This is true for county or regional organizations – the outline of the geography you represent is meaningless without contextEVEN MORE IMPORTANT FOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING
  • Explain how best part of community orientation occurred informally around a map on the wall. Really set the stage for understanding during more in-depth community orientation of assets for the project we were representing
  • Jim Gandy utilized aerials combined with active illustrations using a smart board to highlight assets and development areas as he made the presentation.You may not have fancy “smart board” but you can do the same thing on a very functional map that client can take with them
  • Benefits of using case studies to illustrate your core messagesBusinesses like to hear about other businesses and their experiences more that “economic development” speakBusinesses are you most authentic voice of what it is like to do business in your communityTherefor, case studies are the most effective to proof your message and convince client this is not your first rodeo – you do what you say. But case studies don’t have to be only about how you help companies – it’s about WHAT they are doing in your community (ie shows signs of success and global competitiveness in your community.All shapes and sizes – vary in length and detail.Key elements:Speak in their language and their terms (i.e. importance of industry knowledge)Frame the story with Situation, Action, ResultAction = solution or service your economic development program provided or something they did (i.e. company innovations are very interesting content for case studies)Result demonstrates benefits of community – in essence you are saying, if you come here, expand here you can enjoy similar success
  • Suzanne
  • Allison
  • Allison will introduce volunteer and tee up scenarioAudience: Developers who typically are involved with urban development involving housing, retail/commercial and office. Setting: More formal – presentation to developer session designed to inform potential responders to the RFPScenario: Renew Moline is the public-private economic development partner of the city of Moline for development and redevelopment of the city’s downtown riverfront.Over the last 6 years, the city acquired 15.5 riverfront acres of industrial property, torn down the building which was on it, remediated the property, put in public improvements and raised the property out of the 100-year flood plain.The city has asked Renew to execute a request for proposals and the selection of a master developer for this site which is located immediately adjacent to a new campus for a 4-year public university and in close proximity to downtown.
  • Before switching to Janet’s presentation – review questions with groupAllison will facilitate group inputSuzanne will be expert contributor for feedback – i.e. get some feedback from group and turn to Suzanne to comment on presentation example and group feedback
  • Allison will introduce volunteer and tee up scenarioPlace: Sneak Peak event for VIP’s of new art gallery opening up Downtown Setting: Chatting with two local business owners about summer vacations with glasses of wine in hand Scenario: Our conversation is interrupted by an elderly gentleman and introduces himself as the single longest property owner of a building downtown and then ask, “So what’s your opinion of this Main St Promenade initiative they’ve got started?”  Note about the initiative: it was started by a group of business owners and building owners. The older business owners don’t particularly care for it and do not want anyone to mess with Main St.   
  • Allison will facilitate group inputSuzanne will be expert contributor for feedback – i.e. get some feedback from group and turn to Suzanne to comment on presentation example and group feedback
  • Selling Your Community, Mastering Presentation Skills

    1. 1. International Economic Development Conference Houston, Texas September 30, 2012
    2. 2. 7:00 am EDC Board Meeting – update on activities9:30 am Client Visits Community – pitch community for projectNoon Rotary Meeting – presentation on local economy2:00 pm Prospective Investor Meeting – pitch your organization’s value3:30 pm Workforce Development – present Employer Survey Results5:30 pm Young Professionals Networking Event7:30 pm City Council Meeting - Company Incentive Package
    3. 3. No such thing!
    4. 4. I. “Selling Your Community” ContentII. Fundamental Presentation SkillsIII. Sample Presentations from PeersIV. Key Take-Aways
    5. 5. Dreams What’s on their mind Desires Needs Problems QuestionsFears Catches their attention
    6. 6. Message Distiller Answer their problems/fears What can you say that will address one of your audience’s key problems, needs or fears? Answer their Angle it desires/dreams What can you say What can you say CORE thats trendy, newsthat will address one making or that fits a of your audience’s MESSAGE theme that matters key desires, dreams to them? or hopes? Make it Authentic Set it ApartWhat can you say that sounds What can you say that sets youespecially authentic coming from apart – that will make youryou, based on how they see audience say, “Nobody elseyou/your reputation/your ethos? can say that”? Source:
    7. 7. Based on the target audience determine: Value Proposition Key Messages Unique points of difference Proof Points
    8. 8. SIMPLE – Is the message easy to understand?TANGIBLE – Does the message create a concrete image that canbe proven?IMPORTANT – Does the message matter to your target audience(s)?CREDIBLE - Do others believe the message in context of yourcommunity?KNOWN FOR - Does these message DIFFERENTIATE yourcommunity (in a positive way)? Does the message LEVERAGE whatyou are known for?
    9. 9. Situation Action Result
    10. 10.  STICKy Message  Tools  Understand what the  Maps client needs  Case Studies  What assets in your community/region align to client needs  What’s distinctive
    11. 11. I. “Selling Your Community” ContentII. Fundamental Presentation SkillsIII. Sample Presentations from PeersIV. Key Take-Aways
    12. 12.  Meeting with a prospect company or site selector - goal to influence decision-maker to choose their community/influence decision- maker to keep branch location in their community 90 second networking (1 on 1)“presentation” more informal but opportunity to sell community Webinar/video conference – any special tips? Short videos and media interviews
    13. 13. To Report To Explain To Persuade To Motivate Convincing theUpdating Inspiring Detailing audience the the how to toaudience audience carry out a purchase on a to take process or somethingproject or some procedure or to event action accept an idea
    14. 14. The OpeningThe BodyThe Ending
    15. 15. Topic: Encouraging employees to use the company fitness center Quotation Do you agree with Mark Twain: “I’m pushing 60; that’s enough exercise for me”? Question How much do you think the average employee exercises each week? Situation How much weight would you lose if you did an additional 30 minutes of aerobic activity every day? Story Here’s why I believe in exercise: three years ago, I lost 55 pounds.Startling Fact Sitting for six or more hours a day increases your chance of death within 15 years by 40%. Visual (Show a video of the new fitness center.)
    16. 16. Criteria Direct SequenceIndirect ChronologySequenceCause/Effect/ Order ofSolution Importance Elimination of Alternatives
    17. 17. Finish on a strong, upbeat note:• Summarize main points• Add a personal appeal• Make recommendations• Discuss next steps
    18. 18.  Personal Knowledge/Experience Audience and Situational Knowledge Sources and Research • Interviews- Internet • Histories- News Visual Support Managing your speaker impressions • Use to the advantage / benefit of the speaker and audience~
    19. 19.  Kinesics - gestures, body movement Tactilics - touch Oculesics – eye movement & focus Paralanguage – vocal variations Proxemics - space Chronemics - time
    20. 20. • Individualism• Time Orientation• Power Distance• Uncertainty Avoidance• Formality• Materialism• Context Sensitivity
    21. 21. Teleconferencing BrochureFace-to-Face Meeting Blog IM Phone Call Newsletter Videoconferencing Microblog Voice Message Flier RICH LEAN Online Meeting Video Report Email Vlog Text MessageIn-Person Oral Presentation Components | Barriers | Mediums | Ethics
    22. 22.  Use video to engage the audience, illustrate a point, and make an emotional appeal Integrate videos into the presentation Practice using the video in your presentation room Planning | Organizing | Team/Online | Visuals |Delivering
    23. 23.  Before- check lighting- volume- area- distractions During- watch body gestures- vocal affects- noise issues After- review all elements (your audience and you)
    24. 24.  Consider shorter presentations because people may lose attention more quickly Keep the audience engaged Practice with the technology Plan a backup system Components | Barriers | Mediums | Ethics
    26. 26.  Physical noise Message problems - poor organization, acronyms, jargon confusing language Presentation problems - nonverbal effects
    27. 27.  Inattentiveness - personal needs/concerns, excitement, distraction Receiver apprehension – uncertainty Challenges of audience diversityEliminate„isms‟(ethnocentrism, sexism, racism) and trigger words
    28. 28.  Previous negative experience Limited time Limited money Indifference People will listen, learn, and remember a message only if it relates to their needs, wants, or wishes.
    29. 29.  Overall speaker impression - commitment, adaptation, purpose, freshness, ethics Substance - worthwhile message Structure - clear, orderly design Presentation - simple, direct, concrete language; natural, enthusiastic, responsive delivery
    30. 30.  Inadequate  Problems with Channels information  Incompetent Information Overload Communication Poor-Quality  Ineffective Goal Setting Information  Communication Anxiety Poor Timing  Cultural Barriers Lack of Feedback or Follow-up
    31. 31. InitialMedia Statement- Emergency Response/ Press Release • Media is the liaison with the public • Treat Reporters fairly • Cooperate Professionally • In a timely manner • Show your enthusiasm
    32. 32.  Name & Role in the Situation Major Concern- Major Purpose • Safety of the People and the environment Short Description of Situation • Use caution with names and details Refer to Communications Expert/ Appreciation to Participants • Anticipated follow-up Politely Excuse Yourself
    33. 33. No SpeculationEspecially if there is danger/potential causeNo Industry Jargon or AcronymsNo AngerNo, “No Comment”Use Negative body language
    34. 34. No Statements on company history, policy or futureNo Statements Inferring Negligence by AnyoneNo Casual Conversations or Interviews
    35. 35. On the spot adjustments • History to the event/ occasion • Expansion / details to the occasion • Questions to/from the Audience • Story of familiarity
    36. 36. I. “Selling Your Community” ContentII. Fundamental Presentation SkillsIII. Sample Presentations from PeersIV. Key Take-Aways
    37. 37. Janet M. MathisExecutive Director Renew Moline Moline, IL
    38. 38.  What was the most positive aspects of the speakers presentation? Did the speaker clearly identify the objective, and provide a format for their presentation? Did the speaker speak with purpose/ conviction? Did the speaker provide resources/ outside credibility to the presentation?
    39. 39. Dave Quinn, CEcD Executive DirectorBastrop Economic Development Corp Bastrop, TX
    40. 40.  What was the most positive aspects of the speakers presentation? Did the speaker clearly identify the objective, and provide a format for their presentation? Did the speaker speak with purpose/ conviction? Did the speaker provide resources/ outside credibility to the presentation?
    41. 41. I. “Selling Your Community” ContentII. Fundamental Presentation SkillsIII. Sample Presentations from PeersIV. Key Take-Aways
    42. 42.  Messages that STICK Maps! Maps! Maps! Stand out = memorable case studies Prepare- Practice- Perform Polish & Shine Presentations Speaking without Saying A Word
    43. 43. Suzanne Buck Allison LarsenInstructional Assistant CompetitiveReady Professor Chabin Valenti School of Communication (509)972-0833University of Houston @allisonCHABIN 101 Communications Bldg Houston, TX 77204-3002 (713)743-2874