Close

August 12, 2009

Hyperbole can diminish your chances of getting a professional speaking engagement

Beware of exaggeration – it could cost you business.

I've read 40 biographies, advertising and marketing blurbs from speakers. In every one of them I believe they overstate their case. I see things like, "I've transformed thousands of lives"; "Spoken to more than a million people"; "I'm a best-selling author (in South Africa, a best-selling author sells 4000+ books and those are paid for books … not workbooks that you hand out at your course)"; "After my course you'll make thousands of dollars" and so on.
 
How do these speakers know that they have influenced millions, spoken to 100s of thousands?
 
It's a big thumb suck, isn't it? And, of course, they'll get away with it because who will ever ask them to produce their invoice book?
 
But, do they really get away with it? Because when it comes to influencing and persuading people to buy, hyperbole and guessing doesn't cut the mustard.
 
When people are seen to be rounding up or averaging out, especially in multiples of 10 (thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions …), they are seen to be lying. This could have a serious impact on the sale, couldn't it?
 
When it comes to persuasion, it is better to be precise or to under state your case. People who are precise are seen to be credible and trustworthy.
 
Examples:

I've spoken to 98 audiences since starting my speaking career in 2001.
Based on research, you should increase your sales by 21.5% over the next three months if you attend my course.
I've spoken to 47 568 people in the last five years.
I've spoken in four countries and 12 states in America.
Currently, I've sold 3 257 books.
 
Go on, get real and cut down on the hyperbole and watch your business soar through the stratosphere. Mmm, I meant to say, "… watch your business increase by 3%".

The Business Generator, Jacques de Villiers is a motivational speaker, sales trainer and writer.

One Comment on “Hyperbole can diminish your chances of getting a professional speaking engagement

Phillip
August 13, 2009 at 9:20 am

Hi Jacques, this is so true. Thank you for the valuable advice – I will definitely make use of it.
Regards
Phillip de Wet
COID Support
http://www.coid.co.za

Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: