BNI Education Slots

BNI Education Slot: Start With ‘WHY’… why do you do what you do?

A few weeks ago, I went on a public speaking day course, where they teach you tips and tricks on how to do public speaking.

Now, that doesn’t just apply to speaking in public environments such as this, it could imply to say doing 60 seconds, or doing a 10 minute presentation, or even doing a sales pitch to someone or speaking to your staff, or, if you’re an employee, speaking to managers.

These tips work for any sort of environment where you’ll be speaking in a public environment. Now, on this course, one of the things they talked about, and they focus quite heavily on, was your “why” – why you actually do what you do. Now, that’s something I’ve encountered on other courses I’ve been on. Zoe’s quite familiar with it through the incentive course, Tony probably knows quite a lot about it as well being a business coach, but most people won’t have encountered their “why” before – why do you do what you do, why is it important, why should you know that?

To give you a little bit of background, I’m a member of other networking groups as well, and one of the networking groups I went to a while ago, they had a roundtable discussion about doing one-to-ones.

So they do one-to-ones the same as BNI does one-to-ones. One of the things they were talking about was you shouldn’t do lots of talking about yourself, talking about your family, talking about your dog, your hobbies, your car, that sort of thing. It should be about business, about contacts, and one woman actually said – and I quote – it should be ‘get your contact books out’, and I couldn’t have disagreed with them more if I tried.

It’s not about getting your contact books out in a one-to-one. I’m not about to introduce somebody to contacts I’ve got who I’ve just met, or somebody that I don’t know particularly well through a one-to-one. You need to know them better, and that’s why your “why” is particularly important.

Now, I’ve seen a lot of public speakers over the years, and one of the very first public speakers I saw – I won’t tell you the chap’s name, but he was really good – everybody in the room was massively enthralled by what he was saying, and about three quarters of the way through this talk, he talked about his “why”, and it got very, very personal, very passionate. He actually dropped to his knees on the stage and he talked about how he had refused to help a woman because he couldn’t help everybody do something she wanted to do, and a child died, and everybody was in utter silence listening to what he was saying. I thought that is so powerful, and I wanted to know more about what this guy did. We actually went on a course that this guy ran as a result of that. It was brilliant.

The more public speakers I’ve seen since then, the more I’ve noticed a lot of them have had the same training; whether it’s been from a particular mentor or it’s come from a book, they’ve all had the same training because their speeches all follow the same pattern. They all do the “why”, the particular point, and it’s always quite personal and sometimes gets quite emotional, and this works.

It works to convert the people that are listening into people that want to know what you do and enquire about your services or sign off whatever you do, and again, as I said, this works with any kind of public speaking. It works with pitchers, it works for sales, it’s important that you do what you do, because you might be thinking “I don’t really have a why, all I want to do is earn more money”. Why do you want to earn more money? So you can have more freedom, you can spend more time with your family. Why do you want to spend more time with your family? It can all trace back as to what it is you actually want to do.

So to give you an example of something that might be a “why” – this isn’t my “why”, but it is true – when I was young, I didn’t have a particularly good relationship with my dad. He worked very hard, he was gone in the morning when I woke up, so he went out to work about five, six o’clock in the morning. He came back usually about six o’clock at night. He also volunteered to sit on industrial tribunals, so sometimes he was gone till eight, nine o’clock, sometimes past midnight. So I could go two or three days without seeing him, and I didn’t particularly have a good relationship with him. I didn’t think he particularly liked me to be honest, and I didn’t really like him when I was growing up, and I didn’t want that situation to be the same with my kids, which is why I wanted to do my own business and have time for myself – so that I could choose my hours basically. And what we do through online marketing is to help other businesses have that same control over their time – that’s an example of a “why”.

As I say, it’s not my personal “why”, but it is a one, so what I’d like you to do this week is think about your own situation and what your own “why” is. Why do you do what you do? Trace it back – is it because you want to have more holidays? Why do you want to have more holidays? Is it because when you were younger, you went on lots of holidays, or you didn’t have lots of holidays and you want to change that for your own kids?

And then maybe once you’ve analysed what your why is – I think Zoe already knows what hers is because we’ve done this exercise before through the incentive course – once you know what your why is, you can then incorporate that into your own situations, your own sales pitches talking to customers, talking 60 seconds of BNI, 10-minute presentations, and it really helps differentiate you from somebody else that does the same thing that you do. So, an IFA is an IFA is an IFA, but why Richard does what he does will make you different from someone else.

We all know Cliff’s got huge passion for his wood – I knew someone would laugh! When Cliff speaks, his passion for wood properly comes through. So, think about why you do what you do, and try to trace it back to your core function. Why it is that you get up in the morning, what gets you out of bed? I guarantee it’s not money, because money is just a route to something. Then, try to incorporate that into your business life going forward, and that’s it.

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