Steve Sapato is a professional speaker and corporate trainer with almost 40 years of experience. He has traveled the United States speaking and he also helps people to speak better. Based on that experience, his latest project is called SpeakerTalks Events, which are the professional alternative to TEDx in which speakers get on stage and share their message and expertise to become more visible and get a professionally-recorded speaking reel. He is also the founder of Virtual Speakers where he trains people to become virtual presenters.
In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran talks with Steve Sapato, founder of Virtual Speakers, to learn about the best practices for doing virtual presentations. They also discuss common mistakes speakers make during virtual events and Steve also shares tips on how to capture the audience’s attention and keep them engaged throughout a virtual event.
Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:
- Best practices with virtual presentations and why people get offended when a speaker reads a script during a presentation
- How to prepare for a virtual speech
- The right environment for a virtual meeting and common mistakes people make with their backgrounds
- Steve’s tips on how to know your audience beforehand for virtual presentations
- Creative ways to capture people’s attention and keep them engaged during virtual presentations
- How to get feedback from a virtual audience
- How to be an exceptional presenter in a virtual world
- The people Steve acknowledges for his achievements and success
- Where to learn more about Steve Sapato
- Steve Sapato’s website
- Steve Sapato on LinkedIn
- Steve Sapato’s email: [email protected]
- Elena Rahrig on LinkedIn
Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing.
Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally.
If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing.
A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network.
To learn more, go to Rise25.com or email us at [email protected].
To learn more, book a call with us here.
Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services.
Right Click here to download the MP3
Click here to subscribe via iTunes
Advertise on the Smart Business Revolution Podcast
Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we asked today’s most successful entrepreneur to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.
John Corcoran 0:40
All right. Welcome, everyone. John Corcoran here, the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast. Every week I get so fortunate I get to talk with CEOs, founders, speakers, entrepreneurs, executives of companies and organizations like YPO, EO, Activation, Blizzard lending tree, Open Table, x software, and many more. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And I’m excited today because my guest is Steve Sapato. Now, Steve, he’s been a professional speaker and corporate trainer for almost 40 years traveled the United States, all kinds of different directions several times of these years, and now is really helping people to speak better. Based on that experience. His latest project is called speaker talks events, which are the professional alternative to TEDx where speakers get on stage and share their message and expertise to become more visible, get professionally and also get a professionally recorded speaking reel. He also and this is really interesting, we’re gonna be talking about this in this episode, is the founder of virtual speakers where he trains you to become a virtual presenter, something that is incredibly valuable right now. So we’re going to dive into some of the best practices, and I’m going to try and not violate all of those things that you’re not supposed to do during the course of this interview.
But first, before we get to that, this episode is brought to you by Rise25 Media. Now, look, I don’t need to tell you, the world has changed. We all know that. The next question is, what do you do about it and, you know, one of the things you can do is become a better presenter, because we’re all presenting virtually right now. And we’re gonna be talking about that. But also, in this economy, it’s more important than ever, to be able to connect and build strong relationships with clients with referral partners with strategic partners, even when you can’t be face to face. And so what we do it right 25 is we have 20 years of experience in the b2b space connecting and building profitable relationships with clients, referral partners, and strategic partners. And the way that we do that now is with a podcast, we’ve helped hundreds of b2b businesses, to get more clients referrals and land collaborations with dream clients. So if you want to learn more about that, go to rise25media.com. Or you can also email us at [email protected] Alright, Steve, so I’m excited to dive into this topic with you of virtual presentations. And I should mention, first, we’re recording this in mid August of 2020. The COVID-19 Gold pandemic is by no means resolved, unfortunately, still happening. We’re covering up our faces so that we don’t infect each other from 3000 miles away, you’re in Florida, I’m in California, fortunately. So hopefully, it won’t get transmitted over zoom. And, you know, so while this has been happening, you know, people have needed to, you know, continue to move on with their lives. And people, as I mentioned in the intro, they like connecting with people like building relationships. And people are doing more content, more connection, more presentations, over zoom over video conferences and ever before. And so let’s start with talking about some best practices, and some mistakes that you see people make when it comes to virtual presentations in the business context. And so let’s let’s just up there, start right there. What kinds of things are you seeing people doing? What are best practices?
Well, I think the primary one is, even before we got into COVID, it was how to properly run a meeting. That’s, that’s vital to your success. And so when I see people starting their summit are starting their meetings. I mean, I’ve said it in many, many business meetings these last few months, and the people have actually have no clue how to run a meeting. And that’s vital. Because if you say, Hey, we’re going to be here for 45 minutes, or we’re going to be here for an hour. It’s just like any speaking gig that we have to give. If somebody says, Steve, I need you to speak for 55 minutes. I can’t speak for 30 and say, Okay, I’m done because it messes up what they wanted to do. And I certainly can’t speak for an hour and 20 minutes, because then they’re upset, right? Because I’m taking way too long. And that’s true with every meeting. So when you get into a meeting, set your agenda, follow the agenda, make sure that everybody in there knows the agenda and don’t be afraid to cut people off. We were talking to her briefly earlier and said, what do you do about the people who you know, you’ve got Seven minutes to talk and then they’re still talking at eight minutes. And my policy is absolutely dead set, which is, you have seven minutes, at seven minutes, I’m cutting you off. Now, I will say Your time’s up. And if you don’t stop in the next 10 or 15 seconds, I will simply mute you, if I’m in charge of the meeting, mute you, you’re done. Have a great day. If you keep talking, you know, like you didn’t see or hear anything, then we will drop you from the screen. It’s really important that people understand how vital the minutes are in this kind of thing now, yep, some people get on meetings, and they hover around and they do this. be succinct. Know your agenda. Know your speakers, know what you’re supposed to accomplish and follow those time restrictions vital to be successful in a meeting. Then when we talk about being able to present, you have to have your stuff in front of you. Don’t be afraid of not reading it, you can read it. Now, here’s the caveat to that. If I’m reading the paper, and I want you to follow the rule, no, no, no, no, you should know what you have to say well enough that what you’ve got to read is just a highlight. You say hey, I know that we have to cover this. And then you’ll glance at your paper and cover that and cover this. To be a great presenter. You have to have practice, practice, practice. And some people say, well see if I go from one meeting to the next week. Good, then you better be real good at the impromptu, you better be real good at following the agenda. You better be real good at keeping other people on the agenda. And you better be entertaining. better know what your face does you better know what your gestures do. You better know what your voice does. Because if you’re on here, and we’re going out, we’re talking. I have a lot of people who tell me, Steve, you don’t understand. All my material is boring. And my signature phrase is, nope, your material is dry. You’re boring. And that’s the way it works. So that’s what we that’s the primary on any meeting. Let’s talk about the point about people reading. I, you know, I’m a former speechwriter. And so I’ve talked to so many people about speeches and what people like and don’t like. And that one thing, hearing someone’s read a script gets under people’s nerves like nothing else. You know, why? Why do you think that people get so offended when a speaker reads. I think it shows lack of preparation and lack of professionalism. I think that’s what they’re looking at. When you hear somebody I mean, I’ve got a great friend. And when she starts off her podcast or her anyway, whatever, per hour long show as she reads the intro, and the intro is only like three sentences long. You shouldn’t have to be reading it. When you get into that it should be boy, I’ve got memorized by the second or third time down. And if you mess up a word or two, no big deal. But if you glance at it, you say, Hey, you know, I’m Steve Dotto. And you’re going to be working with Speaker talks. And you’re going to be working with virtual presenters today. And I just want you to know, and all that could have been written down and all I can do is glance at it to know exactly where I was going. Does it have to be the same script every time? No. So the fact that people read Yep. If you’re eyeing Haley, what’s anyway, Haley, who is President Trump’s spokesperson, press secretary, she has a ton. Now I don’t know she’s got somebody in her ear, what. But she has a ton of information that she pulls out when somebody pulls up a weird question over here, she can pull out a couple pieces of paper, glance at it, and talk to you about what’s in that piece of paper that shows she really knows her stuff.
John Corcoran 08:43
Yeah, that takes a lot of organization. Actually, I saw a few weeks ago, there was a picture, one of the photographers had had seen her Briefing Book, and she came out with a briefing book that had tabs down the side. So that as someone started to ask about any particular topic, she could immediately flip to it. And, you know, look at her talking points and then answer it. And I think, you know, I think that’s a great way, especially for someone who needs to be able to respond on the fly to a variety of different topics.
Steve Sapatom 09:13
Absolutely. And that’s, it’s vital that you as a speaker, or presenter, don’t get caught in the I’m reading because reading does come across differently. I could pick up a book here, and I’ll just, you know, it could come across as people do not live on bread alone. People need food for the spirit, as you know, you know, I’m reading that even if you’re not seeing me on camera. So if you said hey, people don’t live on bread alone, people need food for their existence. You know, I mean, I already picked that up and carried it through. You can do that. If you prep properly for your talk. So many people think they can just get on camera and pull it off and it’s hard to do.
John Corcoran 09:49
Let’s talk about that. Because when it comes to practicing an actual speech, you know, typical advice Are you know, Maybe if you’re going to give an actual speech to go down to the room where you’re going to speak, to actually stand on the stage walk in front of the podium, you know, know where everything’s located, you know, that’s the kind of advice you get. What other ways are different for preparing for a virtual speech or virtual presentation in terms of practicing?
Steve Sapato 10:19
Well, first of all, I want to understand when I first started speaking, 40 years ago, one of the reasons I started was because I saw other people speaking, they said, I can do that, right. I’ve been trained as a salesperson by IBM, I’d been in high school theater, you know, and, and I said, I can do that. What I didn’t get was if you’re going to be hired, like now, if I’m hired for a $10,000 keynote talk, I spent two months preparing for that talk, not that talk in that talk in that talk, too much preparing for that talk, you have to know your stuff, you have to know how good it is and, and that it hits the mark. And they’re using the right words, the right verbiage. You got to know your pace, you got to know and I don’t want to say Toastmasters type stuff because Toastmasters scripts out where your hand goes on when it goes. But as a professional speaker, you have to be much more natural than that. But you have to do all that. And so when you’re preparing for a virtual talk, it’s the same thing here, we notice how my hands are up here. Now in real life, my hands would never be right up here by my face. But that’s one of the things you have to learn to do, or in front of the camera, which is when do you bring your hands up? Right, when I want you to see that I’m snapping my fingers, that I bring my hand up, I don’t need to bring my hands up most of the time. But especially for emphasis, if I want you to know something, I have to bring my hands up into the camera. So all of that is still part of what you have to practice. So I have my clients that I have right now. We do online stuff, they have to send me something at least every other week, if not every week on assignments that I give them. And we talk about how their gestures have to come and what they have to do. Now, I prep them both ways for the online, and I have to prep them, because six months from now, they might get called to do on stage. So they have to do a full backup and let the camera take them full body, in their living room wherever they might be, and how they move. Right how they move from point to point on the stage. When you come back to virtual, you’ve got a box, but you have to move in that box sort of captures people’s attention. Again, if all I did was sit here and just talk to you. And I didn’t have a great voice, I would kind of monotone you’d get tired of listening to. And so it becomes my job to use my face, my hands and all the gestures. And it’s practice, practice, practice, do everything. I’ve had a photographer, my last event, and it was interesting that we got to have a conversation. And he said, as a professional photographer, it’s always tough to get people just to do a headshot type thing. He says because people aren’t comfortable. And I said is that why they always stick their tongues out when they’re doing like selfies or party he goes, so many people aren’t comfortable with themselves on camera in a picture, that they do that funny face, and they stick their tongue out or they you know, the exit what one of those things has bunny ears and bunny eyes pop out. And that’s because people aren’t comfortable. You want to get noticed, you want to become visible, you want to get the promotion, you want to be more successful, you want people to see you as a success as a confident individual. Get comfortable on camera.
John Corcoran 13:30
And, you know, one thing that you’ve done well is you’re fully in the center of the screen, your face is close to the camera, you’re looking directly into the camera. You know, there’s so many people that you connect with. And they’re, you know, the cameras over here, you know, and they’re down in the bottom of the corner of the screen and you can see their you know, their whole window and it’s blinding light from the sun, you know, they haven’t thought through those sorts of pieces. Yeah, and that’s Yeah, the environment is vital. You know, I actually pulled up a green screen here today for the first time I ordered one and put it up, and it didn’t cover the back roll on my camera on zoom. It might but on the stream yard that I normally use it didn’t so I decided not to use it. For my purposes, at least here I might lose it out in the other room. But you have to look at your background. You know, I mean, if you have if you see I’ve got pictures right over there. I got all kinds of those are personal pictures, right? And a lot of people get distracted by personal pictures or if I’ve got a ceiling fan here. And when that ceiling fan is running, that can be the reflection.
John Corcoran 14:33
Oh yeah, the reflection there you’re like or sometimes even on the screen. I’ve had conversations where I know my wife gets nauseated, if a ceiling fan is anywhere in her line of sight.
Steve Sapato 14:44
That it’s true. You have to think of your audience all the time. I’ve got a new book coming out. It’s called shut up and succeed. And it’s all about how you have to think of your audience. All the time, whether it’s my wife is my audience, whether it’s John is my audience, whether you folks are my audience, I have to always be considerate of the people in my audience. So like I said, what if somebody gets motion sick, right? I mean, some of the movies that are out now they have that point of action, where the camera goes running through the bushes after these people. Yeah. And I can’t wait, I have to turn away, like makes me motion sick. Yeah. And so you have to be aware of what your audience really wants from you. And that’s vital. That was a really good point.
John Corcoran 15:30
And, you know, one thing, it seems like every speaker, and maybe you’re one of them, every speaker has a story of, you know, not knowing their audience well enough, you’re probably too good to have a story of that. But I’ve heard professional speakers tell a story of, you know, they went in, they did a speech, and they didn’t know some key facts like that the audience knew, like, like the president of the company, who just introduced them had had an affair, and everyone knew about it, but they didn’t know about it. And so oftentimes you hear you know, Speaker say, you got to get to know your audience. So beforehand, you go, you talk to people, what are your tips for virtual presentations, getting to know your audience?
Steve Sapato 16:10
Well, and that’s this, it’s a lot tougher now. Because typically, if I’m going to do a keynote, I will go to the cocktail party the night before the cocktail party where I can get to ask everybody to talk to everybody. They don’t know the speaker tomorrow, I don’t introduce them as myself as a speaker for tomorrow. I introduce myself as just somebody who was invited. And I find out who’s the jokester. What’s some of the best jokes and what are some of the best stories? Who can I not joke with, right? And so you find out Hey, what do you think of the CEO who’s going to be introducing me tomorrow? What do you think of them? And they’re like, oh, man, they’re sticking them. And you go meet them. And it turns out, they’re really nice people. And you ask them, you know, like, hey, Joanne, can I May I call you? And she goes, Oh, absolutely. You can call me Joanne. Great. So when you walk out on stage, you can say, hey, thanks to Joanne for introducing me this way. Right? And everybody in the audience goes, wow, he knows Joanne right. Or he knows Mrs. Schmidt. Right. And yeah, it’s like on a first name basis, so you just raise your credibility. When you’re doing virtual, it’s important that you talk to the person hosting before the event and find out who they invited, right? Sometimes you might even get names, hey, what do they do? How do they do it? If you’re going to be marketing yourself, or products, it’s one thing if you’re just going to be giving information, like if somebody said, Hey, Steve, I want you to come on and just talk about being a virtual presenter, I can talk for seven minutes on being a virtual presenter, and hopefully those people will then reach out to me as the expert to learn more. But if I’m going out there to market my product, so I want you to buy my course on virtual presentation, then I be able to say, Hey, you know, like, again, I’ll use Joanne Hey, Joanne, you know, you’re a such and such, and you probably need to talk to the people all the time and and get them one over to your side. And she’s like, Oh, yeah, you know how you do that now, right? Then you take 30 seconds, listen to how she’s not doing it now. And you say, you know, we probably should get together, bah, bah, bah. But because I can signal single them out. It’s one thing that I can reach out to a lot of now if there’s 124 people in it, maybe finding out who the top people are that everybody would know, like, they’ve been on the last Seven Summits that this person has given. So everybody knows John, everybody knows Bob, everybody knows Carol. And so I might say, hey, Carol, this is what we’re doing. You agree with that? And Carol, and she goes, Yeah, you go see now you’ve won Carol to your side and 10 people who love Carol. So the virtual presentation part is all about still knowing your audience. And learning how and certainly not saying anything that could offend them or upset them? You know, I mean, politics is probably the one thing politics or religion, I would you stay away from, like the plague. And you know, you wouldn’t want to bring that stuff up in a virtual presentation, no matter what you’re doing.
John Corcoran 18:56
Right. What about what you are seeing in terms of fear of speaking, you know, as they, as they say, you know, it’s one of the biggest fears out there, a lot of people are deathly afraid of getting on stage. Do you? Are you finding that? It’s easier for people in this virtual world we’re in right now.
Steve Sapato 19:17
Um, I found a I’m looking at my flickering screen. It’s my screen flicker, do you?
John Corcoran 19:25
It was a little bit, yeah,
Steve Sapato 19:27
I’m trying to not have a fan on or anything. I’m trying to figure out what’s hot, what’s not the camera on my computer going out? But um, yeah, when you talk about fear of public speaking, you know, that used to be? Well, now, the days of the selfies and the days of Tick Tock and the days of Wow, that’s really changed. What they are afraid of is being stupid on screen. So if they’re trying to give a presentation, that’s when they really start to reach out and look for help. And it’s really important. I mean, there’s lots of people who are still afraid of talking on screen and I tell those people All the time, go do a Facebook Live, just go do it. Right? Yeah, yep, you’re gonna make mistakes that’re erasable, you don’t have to save it. So if you’re on for a minute and a half, and you make all kinds of mistakes, only those four people who saw you on Facebook live in that minute, the half will know that you screwed that up, go out, get the experience, right. In terms of the people who are still afraid, it’s just a matter of confidence. So you bring them on sometimes. So I’ll bring them on with me to speak. I say, hey, and Carol, what do you think of that? And, you know, Carol’s like. But, but after, you know, when you’re talking about their expertise, it helps. You know, they’re not just up there trying to give a talk. They’re just talking about their extra Carol, what’s the best way to do SEO, you know, on a website, and Carol goes, Oh, well, then, and then she’s off and running for like three or four minutes, then you say thanks a lot for your expertise. And then when they’re done, they’re always like, Well, that was easier than I thought you can, yep. If you stick to your expertise, and that’s the giant challenge with speaking virtually, if you’re leading a meeting, don’t try to tell Bob, who’s the expert on SEO, about SEO, ask him about SEO. If you’re talking if your expertise is how to run a meeting property, you say my expertise isn’t how to run a meeting properly. That’s why they brought me here. So please, you know, follow my guidelines, we’ll all get along fine. Everybody goes home. So they’re experts in that. So it’s really important that when we talk about fear of public speaking, that most people are comfortable getting on making faces to the camera doing their tic tocs. And jumping around and dancing between you try to nail them down to be more serious that they start to get afraid, because they’re afraid you’re going to look at them. As opposed to the class clown type thing, you’re going to look at them go. Well, Steve doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. And you’re always going to get that I was just on a podcast with somebody earlier. And it was really funny, because we were both speakers. And I said, Have you ever had the people come up to you afterwards and go, you know, you’re not that greatest speaker, I can do better. And when the first time I got that I went, Wow, that was pretty mean. And then you realize that all they were looking for is, hey, I want to become a speaker to but I don’t know how to approach the speaker, you know,
John Corcoran 22:06
or they look came out and kind of in an awkward way.
Steve Sapato 22:10
Yeah, yeah. You’re like, you know, and that’s what you have to do. You have to take the good with the bad and people are going to take potshots at you. Right.
John Corcoran 22:19
Right, right. I want to ask, you know, there’s people who talk about zoom burnout. And you know, right now it’s been five, six months into this pandemic. And people are, you know, you really, it’s really hard to capture people’s attention a lot of times these virtual presentations, especially if they’re multi hour long, what are some creative ways you’re seeing people do presentations that are capturing people’s attention? Is it you know, being interactive? Is it adding a poll to your presentation? You know, I’m hearing stories about companies and I participated in some events where they mail you something beforehand, physical in the mail, that’s part of the presentation, what are some, you know, creative solutions you’ve seen?
Steve Sapato 22:04
Actually, all of those are really good. If you’re talking about a business presentation, then absolutely, you have to have a way to keep your people engaged. What do you know, I call myself if you go to Facebook, I’ve got an engaging speakers group. And it’s really vital that you understand what it takes to keep someone engaged. So if I was doing a presentation, my whole presentation would be about asking them questions. You know, when I said before, is the materials dry, but you’re boring. And you can take any material and make stories out of it. I was a real estate appraiser. for 20 years, I could teach classes on real estate appraising by asking the questions and telling stories, so that they understood that the answer to this was XYZ, right? And you didn’t have to be boring. And just like you say, read the material. Yep, you got to cover all this, but covering that is not memorizing or reading it. And so the same thing happens if you’re in a corporate setting, trying to keep your people engaged, then First of all, you have to talk to them, you have to ask them personal questions like I would always be going, Hey, john, what do you think of this idea? And you might say, Oh, that’s a good idea. You know, blah, blah, blah. And I go, great. And then I go, Karen, what do you think so that, you know, you never know when somebody’s going to call on you? Right? You ever have that in school where, you know, she says, I’m going to call on six students? And you’re like,
John Corcoran 24:23
I’m not one of them?
Steve Sapato 24:25
I don’t know. I don’t know the answers. But it kept you on your toes because you were like, oh, and you were actually hiding or doing something else. So in that city, if you’re always engaging your staff, it’s vital. And don’t like you say, Don’t prattle on, talk through for minutes. And then have somebody else say something, ask somebody else questions. If you’re going to talk for 1520 minutes, you’re talking way too long. So if you’re talking about summits and online webinars, that type of thing, then you better have a niche like you said, I’ve, early on I participated in some of these where they had 124 people on this six hour, you know, event. And it was like, gosh, because first of all, the people had 20 minutes to get to their talk and they would prattle on I don’t know of a better way to say it, except they didn’t get to the point. What’s your point? What do you have? You want to sell me something, sell me something. But I didn’t come here to listen to you talk about all this other stuff. Yeah, I came to listen to the expertise. And so find your niche. And then if you’re running one of these, make sure you say, hey, from what do we get 435 my time from 430. Until 530, we’re going to have people that have to be necessarily Steve Sapato, or john Corcoran, we’re going to have two people talking about how to that other, write the niche, how to make the best cup of coffee ever. I might show up for that one, right.
John Corcoran 25:53
So it sounds good.
Steve Sapato 25:54
Yeah. And understand that if every hour you said this is what I’m doing, then I get to pick which we do that. When we did big speaking events. If I’m not the keynote speaker, I would hope that I would be picked for one of the breakout sessions. And so the keynote speaker came on at eight o’clock in the morning, talked to nine o’clock in the morning. And then they had a couple of things from the business do this. And then from 10, o’clock to 11 o’clock 1130 were breakout sessions, and you got to pick from 20 different people who were speaking, what’s their topic, you looked at him. And if you pick if you said oh, I want to see this. So there’s only 40 seats. Sometimes you’d have 60 people wanting to get into that room, and they’d stand around. And then the other guy who didn’t title his who didn’t hit the niche, niche, right? He’d have eight people. So you’re sitting there with 60, they’re sitting there with eight, right? Just the way it is you have to know how to title, how to bring people in, how to hold their attention, how to entertain them.
John Corcoran 26:51
Mm hmm. You know, I’ve been to presentations where, you know, it’s 10 or 20 people, and everyone’s muted, and it’s hard to get feedback from the audience. And then I’ve also done presentations, where it’s a much larger community. And even if you ask people a question, there’s so many comments that it goes flying by, it’s hard to get feedback that way. So how in this virtual world that we live in? Do you get feedback from the audience? Because you seem like the type of person who, when you’re giving a speech, you’re looking at people’s faces, you’re getting feedback in real time, or you’re asking them questions, getting feedback, real time, so you’re getting a feel for whether something’s landing or not. So how do you get feedback in this virtual world grin?
Steve Sapato 27:30
Actually, it’s a lot easier than most people think. So first of all, if I’m going to be doing any kind of a summit, where I’ve got 12 to 50 people on, I better have somebody else who’s looking for that, you know, at the bottom, I don’t know if we’ve got it here. Let me look.
Unknown Speaker 27:52
We got to chat.
John Corcoran 27:55
And reactions, okay. But chat. So if you click on that, then a sidebar will open. Sometimes there’s just a raised hand, right. So if you look there, there’s a raised hand so you can see it on their screen. And so you as the presenter have to be looking at. And that’s one of the disadvantages. If you’ve got more than one, I think they can fit 20 to a screen now. Something like 20 people can fit on a screen, any more than that they go to a separate screen. So if I was on one where there were 124 participants, wow. And so you had to scroll over, scroll over, right? So somebody else should be reading the chat where somebody says, Hey, I have a question. Right? Or I have a question about and you set, if you set the expectations right from the beginning, right. And anybody who comes 1015 minutes late loses out, they’re just out because they didn’t, they don’t know how to ask the right questions. They don’t know how to raise their hand. But sometimes it’s a matter of, hey, if you have something to interject. And I’m going to ask all the participants to keep your interjections to one minute or less, if you talk more than one minute, I’m going to mute you and go on, we clear that everybody should be going like this, right? And so if you’ve got 24 people sitting in the square, you say, so if you’ve got something that you want to ask, raise your hand, just do this, I’ll see your hand, raise your finger, just sit there with your finger up for a second. And when I look over, I might say, Okay, got just you, and then go on with my stuff until I’m ready to invite you in to speak. And then I unmute you. Like you say, I’ve been on some of these wherever they don’t mute anybody. And everybody’s got their microphones open, and it’s hard and you want to go. And so, as the organizer, you have to understand your job and your job, because everybody doesn’t read the chat. A lot of people never look at the chat. So you have to make sure you say, hey, look at the chat or go here to the chat. You guys see where the chats are. So when you start the whole thing, you’ve got it all laid out. So then people know, hey, if you’re gonna you want to ask a question on the chat, put it over there. Steve will be reading it off as we go. And we’ll get to your questions because he’ll be writing them down. So we’ll make sure we try and get to all the questions that come up. We may not but we’ll try to. If you’ve got an immediate question that needs to be answered. Just raise your hand, raise your finger, putting like That, right? And please, I will ask you, I’ll say, Steve, you’re going to be up in about 30 seconds. And then when I’ll finish my comment, then I’ll click unmute. And I’ll go, Steve, you’re up. Steve should be ready. He doesn’t have to go, Oh, I forgot what I was doing there. I can’t wait to unmute. No, none of that. Come on, let’s get it together. The other part of being on these summits or being on these webinars or events, is that you’re always prepared. You’re dressed. Right. Right. You’re not coming slobby you’re paying attention. I gosh, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched experts, you know? Are you taking a nap? Steve, what are you doing there? I can’t tell if you’re awake or not. And people expect you to recognize them and maybe want to do business with you later. I don’t want to do business with somebody who’s not interested in what’s going on. If you’re done with this session, leave puts the thing over that says I’m not available right now. Right? Yeah. And I don’t recommend that either. Because so many people slide that over, like they’re going to eat or drink coffee, or whatever they do. Do it right here. You know what, when I’ve got a cup of coffee, I want you to know, I’m still paying attention. It’s really vital that John knows, he has my attention and how better to show him. He has my attention than to ask him a question. You ask questions, you show your interest, you also show your knowledge, then we don’t ask him a stupid question that everybody knows the answer to and you’re trying to show off? That’s not what I’m talking about. If I have a specific question, you know, on how Rise25 really brings together podcasters, then I will ask him that question. And then I’ll go Thanks a lot, john. I really appreciate your response.
John Corcoran 31:38
Yeah, that’s great. Anything else I really had bounced around a lot there. But before we wrap things up, I just wanted to give you the opportunity. Is there anything else we haven’t talked about in terms of virtual presentations, best practices or mistakes to avoid that we haven’t talked about?
Steve Sapato 31:56
I don’t think so I’m just on the virtual presentation stuff. It’s really important that you separate yourself from the crowd on how you are going to be an exceptional presenter in today’s COVID world. Getting a virtual certification on being a great presenter, a virtual presenter, is going to be really vital a month from now, three months from now, five months from now, because even next year, we’re going to be doing a whole lot of stuff virtual because now, all the companies realized I don’t have to spend any money to send you on a plane to a hotel, we’re gonna do it all over glass,
John Corcoran 32:34
it’s gonna last even longer.
John Corcoran 32:37
Yeah, cuz a company’s gonna, they’re gonna put money in their pockets. So you showing your boss that you did the extra work that you did the extra effort and got certified as a presenter is going to talk volumes for you.
John Corcoran 32:
And where can people go to learn more about that? I’m jumping a little ahead. But where can people go to learn?
Actually just just drop me an email right now we’re putting the certification together, our classes will start in September. So they should call me or write me at Steve at Steve Sapato.com. Or if you drop me an email, I’ll send you my phone and we can have a whole conversation.
John Corcoran 33:04
Okay, [email protected] S-A-P-A-T-O .com and Alright, I want to wrap things up the question I always ask, which is, Steve, let’s pretend we’re at a virtual presentation, much like a virtual Oscars or a virtual Emmys or something like that. You’re receiving an award for lifetime achievement for everything you’ve done, up until this point. And what we all want to know is who do you think are the mentors? Were the friends in addition to family and friends? Who are the coaches? Who are the business partners? Who are the people that you would acknowledge in your remarks?
Steve Sapato 33:35
Wow, that’s really deep. I mean, it really is because I go back decades. an English teacher, let’s go back to high school, an English teacher who I was failing English, there were three of us in English class who were going to fail English, which means you wouldn’t graduate high school. And she said Mr. Sapato, Mr. So, Mr. So and so you want to pass you have to pass English in order to do this, the only way you’re going to pass is if you go take extra credit. We’re like, oh, man, he she said, and the only way you’re going to do that is go down and try out for the school play. Right? And she said, So everybody’s going to go down the track for the school play, raise your hand, if you’re gonna go try out and the other two guys Raise your hands and I sat there like this. I’m like, I’m not trying out for a play. That’s stupid. Right? She said, misters a bottle. I’m going to call your mother. I went, Okay, I’ll go dry out. Right. And that actually changed my life in one respect, because I went down, got a little teeny Park. Before the play happened. I got a secondary, you know, like second to the lead type part, and really got comfortable with speaking in front of people. I mean, I was like everybody else scared to death when you first started, especially as a senior in high school. From there, I move forward and went to IBM, that sales training, which was really good, but it wasn’t until age 29 when I started an Amway business, and that Amway business miserable for Failure of a business except that I got the best training from people like Earl Nightingale, Zig Ziglar. Tom Kenny remembers timeslot anyway, all these wonderful speakers that they used to bring in, I don’t know if they still do or not, but used to bring in and talk on stage. And that fired my jets for being a speaker. But I also learned a ton from them. I learned all kinds of wonderful things from these amazing speakers who wrote great books. you bought the books, you read the books, you listened to their CDs, you listen to all their stuff. And that’s what we get to do now for free on podcasts, and all this other stuff. So I think when you get into talking about those kinds of things, and then recently, my coach, Elena Rahrig, R-A-H-R-I-G, has really helped me focus more in terms of who I want to help and why I want to help them. I’m 71 years old, I’ve made money, I’ve lost money, and I’ve had enough money. And all I want to do now is help other people have enough money, learn their careers, grow their businesses, and help them create the success that they want.
John Corcoran 36:06
That’s great, isn’t it? Yeah, that’s great. Steve, where can people go learn more about you? stevesapatoseminars.com. stevesapatoseminars.com is the best place. You can certainly write to me at [email protected] and both those places. I’ll be happy to answer questions or work with you.
John Corcoran 36:23
Alright, great. Thanks, Steve. Thanks so much.
Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at smartbusinessrevolution.com. And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the Revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution podcast.