Regular readers of this blog as well as those who follow me on Twitter will know that I am a big believer in social serendipity.
Intrigued as to what an “impacttologist” was, we agreed to meet at the Hospital Club in London.
Later in 2016, I asked Martin if I could interview him on camera about his work, and he agreed. The 9-minute interview below will be of interest to anyone in sales or leadership that wants to have a greater impact when they present, and as a result, become more successful.
Following that first meeting, Martin and I became firm friends, and I also became a client. As someone who speaks for a living, I wanted to have a professional cast an eye over my delivery style and provide detailed feedback on what I could do to improve.
I’ve used Martin a number of times now to review my presentations on video and provide detailed and at times very candid feedback.
In a later post, I will show the “before / after” of my presentations and outline areas where Martin had a demonstrable impact on my presentation delivery and impact with my message.
So what is an “Impacttologist”?
In the interview, Martin explains that an Impacttologist is defined as somebody who looks at the behaviours of some of the world’s most influential people to understand what it is that they do that creates their impact.
He looks at how do they convince, how they influence and how they motivate people, by understanding their tools and techniques and then he shares them with clients.
Martin explains that his work is different to a “pitch doctor” that looks at sales and marketing pitches, in that while pitching is a small moment in people’s time and there is pressure to do it really well. Martin explains that he only gets a small amount of time with people to work on these skills before their pitch to be able to help them create the behaviours and tools and techniques to create that impact.
Behind that, there is a great deal of theory and understanding and plenty of tools and techniques they can use.
How do you become an Impacttologist?
Martin did not become an impacttologist overnight, he has been in sales leadership and training roles for 30 years and for the last 14 years he has been running his own training and development consultancy looking to understand what are the tools and techniques of influence or impact.
He studied a number of different disciplines, and a number of different ways of influencing people under the headings of sales, negotiation, presentation, and leadership.
One of the things that stood out and where Martin could add value was the idea of a person’s personal impact – how they as individuals come across and all the things that lead into that area of personal impact.
Can Public Speakers benefit?
One area I was most interested in was could public speakers like myself benefit from the services of an impacttologist.
Martin explains that when people are up presenting, this is a time when they are at their least confident, post nervous, and least likely to come across as well as they possibly can.
What Martin does is to boost their confidence and give them tools and techniques to handle this, and also give them specific tools and techniques that will raise their game, and raise the impact they have, and increase their chance of success.
5 key tips to increase your personal impact.
- Planning and preparation
- what is your specific goal?
- what do you want your audience to think, to feel, or do as a result of your presentation
- how do I achieve that result?
- How do you open?
Your opening is crucial and the one moment to make a good first impression.
Research has shown that it takes 22 good second impressions to get over a bad first impression.
- The ending – your call to action.
Too many presentations end with a very flat note like you are falling off the edge of a cliff.
- Don’t be behind your slide – prevent “slide surprise”.
We’ve all seen it where the slide goes up and then the presenter talks about the slide on the screen. Martin argues that for greater impact you should think about how you move from one message to the other and give a clue of what is next before you move to that slide.
- Visual aids.
Slides that take away from the speaker can decrease your impact. Martin suggests presenters using PowerPoint get to know the “B” key – pressing BB when showing a slide will turn the screen blank, and the presenter becomes the central focus.
Can anyone use the services of an impacttologist? Martin says yes, if you role is convincing and motivating other people.
Senior sales and leadership positions or people who want to build strong relationships with customers outside their organisation.
These people will get the most benefit and return on the investment in terms of time and money.
Note there are two T’s in impacttologist.
What are you doing to ensure you have the maximum impact with everything you do?
UPDATE! In May 2019 recorded a podcast with Martin that explored the “Future of Communication”.
You can access the episode here or search ”Actionable Futurist podcast” on your favourite podcast app.