FAQ

We attempt to address every question you might have when considering engaging Eloqui to advance your communication and presentation skills. If we have missed something, feel free to email or call for a gratis consultation.

FOR INDIVIDUALS:

Who should take Eloqui training?

Individuals come to Eloqui when they are facing stiffer competition in the marketplace—whether they practice law, sell insurance, practice as a CPA, or network to drive business. We frequently hear from our clients that they would like to be seen as the “go to” person in their industry (including being paid for their expertise); have less anxiety when they speak; or advance to the next level in their career.

Which training is right for me?

This depends on your desired outcome. The Eloqui ‘Power of Five’ program (five 2-hour sessions) is always customized to you. So, for example, if you want to be more effective delivering presentations to clients or customers, your sessions are focused on presentation skills—everything from structuring content and PowerPoint, to movement and engagement techniques.

On the other hand, if you are responsible for dealing with the media or hosting a TV show, your sessions will focus on the critical elements for success in this very specific industry. Whether you network to bring in business, or would like to be seen as a leader in your field, Eloqui training is targeted to what you want to achieve.

If I’m a seasoned professional or have already achieved recognition in my field, why should I take your training?

As one of our favorite clients at Amgen (who started his career in baseball as a shortstop in the major leagues) once told us, the higher you go, the better coaches you need.  Most of Eloqui clients are already accomplished, yet recognize the value in an outside perspective. They also want to keep their skills fresh, and are committed to continued growth and development.

We believe when you stop learning, you stop advancing. And like you, we stay abreast of the latest research in our field—everything from how the brain processes information, to how to make a lasting impression when you address an audience.

How do I quantify my investment in Eloqui training?

In our opinion, investments need to have tangible results. Otherwise, the money you spend will be an expense—and expenses constantly need to be scaled back. After going through Eloqui training, our clients win more pitches, advance within their chosen field or firm and are asked to speak on their topic area.

If you are considering hiring Eloqui, we are happy to give you the contact information of clients to talk to about the results they achieved. We also have testimonials from firms who have won major pitches after Eloqui training, and the revenue that was realized as a result.

Your material says you can “shorten my prep time”. Why can you make that claim?

During our training, you will receive templates and guides for structuring your content and organizing your thinking. The goal is to be memorable and engaging—not over-educate your audience or client to prove how smart you are. When speakers strive to become an unassailable expert in their field, they tend to write out their entire speech or presentation, memorize it, and over-rehearse until all the liveliness has been removed. After working across many industries for the last 14 years, we understand that our clients often need to deliver technical information. But we also understand that unless you can persuade your audience to take action, you are missing the most critical component for success.

That is why we train our clients to work off an outline, construct a compelling open and close, and use PowerPoint the way it was intended to be used as a visual medium to support them. Speaking should be creative, engaging and fun—not laborious, anxiety provoking, and overly formal. And since no one has enough time in business, we take pride in shortening your prep time while increasing your success rate.

Can anyone become a great speaker, or is it something you’re born with?

We not only believe that anyone can become a great speaker, we’ve seen it with clients who are shy and introspective, have a more technical bent, and even hate public speaking.

To turn someone around, we start by identifying their strengths, then build on their native skills. We encourage our clients to be authentic (rather than “play the suit”), to inject their perspective when speaking, and to use their whole life experience if they want to be convincing and persuasive.

How do I conquer stagefright?

The clinical term for stagefright is glossophobia, or the fear of being found out for something you’re not. In order to overcome stagefright, speak from your own experience, give your perspective, and talk about what you’re passionate about.

In addition, Eloqui provides exercises and techniques that performers use to manage anxiety. The key is managing your anxiety, as opposed to eliminating it altogether. Buddhist monks are calm but not necessarily the most engaging speakers. You want to be able to think on your feet and convey your excitement over sharing your ideas, as opposed to feeling brain dead, and fleeing the stage in sheer panic!

What is your training based on?

Eloqui trainers are field trained professionals. We have produced, directed and performed on television, in the theatre, and on film. Our trainers have also taught at the college and university level.

We do constant research in the area of brain science to stay current on the latest findings that benefit speakers. We study the psychological principles that affect first impressions, whether you address an audience of one or a thousand. And, we look at how actors, singers, and comics engage with an audience and have translated these performance techniques for the business professional.

Eloqui co-founders are published authors. Our book, Own the Room: Business Presentations that Engage, Persuade, and Get Results was published by McGraw-Hill in 2009 and has become a business bestseller. Own the Room joins the Speaker Survival Guide and Briefly Speaking, as well as countless published articles (see our website) to support and clarify our methodology.

And Eloqui has trained hundreds of corporate executives, teams within companies like Mattel, Fisher-Price, and TD Ameritrade, and individuals who simply wanted to improve their communication and presentation skills.

In your opinion, what are the greatest obstacles to becoming better communicators?

Most professionals believe it is their job to educate, rather than persuade their audience. With this perspective, speakers tend to deliver too much information, ramble, leave their perspective out of their presentation, or avoid speaking altogether, especially if they do not feel they have sufficient expertise.

Professionals also tend to copy others in their field, which can have a negative effect. Just because it is traditional to start a talk with phrases like “good morning”, “thank you for having me” or “what I’d like to cover today” doesn’t mean it is the most effective way to begin. Far from it. These polite generalities don’t have the necessary traction to engage an audience, and can increase, rather than decrease speaker anxiety.

And when a lot is riding on the outcome of your presentation or communication, most speakers will fall back on the default—what is safe, what they’ve done before, or what is the expected. Being safe does not set you apart, and unfortunately, lessens your chances of success.

I don’t like selling, but I need to. What can you teach me?

We don’t like outmoded selling techniques either. Most are transparent, condescending, and don’t achieve the desired outcome. Better to form strategic alliances with like-minded professionals, go out of your way to serve (e.g. bring out someone else), and speak about what you enjoy. During our training, we identify our clients’ differentiators, teach them the techniques to active cueing and listening, and together construct and rehearse presentations that position them as the ‘go-to’ person in their field. This is a far more effective way to build your business.

You’ve convinced me, but what specifically should I do to become a better rainmaker?

Start small. Take an Eloqui half day public workshop—like “How to Set Yourself Apart” or “How to Close”. These half day business workshops are held in LA every month and typically include a mix of professionals from the field of law, accounting, financial, insurance, and consulting.

If the workshop is beneficial, come in for the Eloqui “Power of Five” program which is five 2-hour sessions customized to you. All of the sessions are digitally recorded, and you will receive a manual.

For the greatest value, sign up your team of 6-10 individuals for a training, so that everyone expresses the same message, but in their own voice. In a safe environment, you will receive feedback both from the trainers, as well as your colleagues. An added benefit is the team building aspect of these interactive, engaging sessions.

The Eloqui signature program is called “Own the Room” and includes three group sessions of 4-hours each and one phone consult. Frequently, companies will add a fourth session to cover more modules—or bring us back on a quarterly basis to go deeper into the areas of most concern. These in-depth sessions could be on how to construct and deliver memorable client anecdotes; how to shorten the curve of being considered a trusted advisor; and team presenting or hand-off skills to win pitches or answer RFPs.

Another option is to sign up for one of the more focused trainings, e.g. Networking Skills, Media Training, or Leadership Skills.

What kind of investment can I expect to make if I engage Eloqui?

Half day public workshops cost $500 per person which includes participants’ ability to email or call after the workshop for coaching advice…

The “Power of Five” program for individuals costs $3,500 – $5,000 depending on location…

The “Own the Room” group training costs $1,500 – $2,000 per person… And other trainings are priced according to location, experience of the trainers, and whether or not multiple trainings are booked.

I live outside of LA. How do I get trained by Eloqui?

Many of our clients travel to LA in order to work with Eloqui. In that case, we condense the program to best accommodate them. For example, on day #1 the training would last for 3 hours (instead of two). The next morning on day #2, the training continues with another 3 hours… Approximately 2-3 weeks later, the individual returns for another 6 hours, structured the same way– over an afternoon and the next morning. This training delivers 12 hours (instead of 10) which is necessary to absorb all of the elements effectively.

Eloqui trainers are also constantly on the road, traveling on-site for group trainings, keynotes and when multiple individuals from within a company need to be trained.

Do you write my speech or develop the content for out pitch or beauty contest?

No. We are not speech writers—but we do have alliances with excellent speech writers, graphic designers and PowerPoint pros if you would like these resources. However, we constantly guide our clients through the process of structuring their speeches, organizing their presentations and the best use of PowerPoint. Plus, we will review multiple drafts to make sure they sound like you, and are as effective and engaging as possible.

I want to go on the speaker circuit. Do you find an agent for me and book the gigs?

We encourage you to go on the speaker circuit, or at the very least to be paid for your expertise—especially after you’ve given a number of free talks. Finding an agent is different. First, you will need to put together clips of your talks, your bio, and photo. You will also need to have a specific niche, area of expertise, or spectacular accomplishment to attract an agent. Although we can point you in the right direction, and edit your demo reel, we do not endorse or locate an agent for you.

What is the greatest value of Eloqui training?

We pride ourselves in delivering practical skills with immediate application. Whether you want to learn elevator speeches that set you apart when networking, increase your hit rate when pitching for new business, overcome anxiety, or be perceived as a leader in your industry—our coaching and training delivers the desired results. And don’t just take our word for it. We’re happy to send you the contact information of clients who have used us again and again over the past 12 years.

Does Eloqui have any other value?

We support our clients and know that to change behavior, it is imperative to take risks, be supported, and build on your success.

To demonstrate our support, after you have taken an individual or group training, you can call or email an Eloqui trainer at any time, for no additional charge. Clients use this service to review their elevator speeches, important pitches, opens, closes or tag lines.

FOR GROUPS

Why should my company bring in Eloqui?

When you are facing increasing competition from other players in your space… Or have recently lost an important pitch… Or there is a change event, like a merger or downsize and need to get everyone on the same page with your  messaging, that is when Eloqui can make the greatest impact to a company.

Most companies deliver presentations to clients and customers—whether pitching for new business, or motivating your team to improve their numbers. If these presentations have received poor reviews, critical business could be at stake.

Across the board, we see companies reducing head count to stay competitive. With the remaining staff, it is even more imperative to focus on their “soft” skills to match their technical expertise. And with enhanced communication and presentation skills, successful leaders are developed from within your organization.

What size company do you work with?

The size of your firm is insignificant. Eloqui training focuses on small groups of 6 to10 individuals, whether your company is a start-up or Fortune 500 company like our clients at Mattel, Fisher-Price, or TD Ameritrade. What is most important is that each participant has as many opportunities as possible up on their feet to learn and absorbing new techniques, and to receive feedback from their peers. However, we do not recommend mixing different skill or experience levels.

Does Eloqui deliver the same programs for every company?

Eloqui customizes group trainings for each company. We always interview our clients first to assess their needs, before recommending a program or an agenda.

Our most successful program is called “Own the Room” which includes three group sessions, followed up with an individual consult. Even this training is tailored to your objective and modules are included (or not) based on what you would like to achieve.

Other frequently requested programs feature networking or sales skills; structuring and delivering PowerPoint; leadership development; and how to train-the-trainers within your company.

What can I expect will be covered in an Eloqui group training?

Eloqui group trainings deliver practical skills that can be immediately applied to presentations and communications.

For example, a training on structuring a presentation includes identifying an intention, choosing a “role” that best suits your intention, reading your audience, how to open; techniques for organizing your material, incorporating PowerPoint and how to close.

Eloqui trainings may also include how to construct and deliver compelling client anecdotes, overcome anxiety; physically move in a space; read and interact with clients and customers so they feel heard; and engagement techniques to better connect with any audience.

What sets you apart from other communication and presentation companies?

Eloqui methodology is based on the merger of art and science. The “art” comes from the experience of Eloqui co-founders Deborah Shames and David Booth and their extensive experience in the Entertainment field as Director and Performer.

The “science” is the research into the field of cognitive science, especially in the area of the brain for how decisions are made, content is embedded into long term memory, and credibility of the speaker is established.

Eloqui marries this research with the latest findings from the field of psychology around impression management, or what is the blink that the audience will have and how do you engineer the perception you want to be successful.

Eloqui trainers are all field trained in business, so they understand what professionals face in very competitive environments, whether it is presenting technical content or persuading clients to buy-in to their proposals.

But don’t just take our word for it. We’re happy to send you the contact information of clients who have used us again and again over the past 12 years!

What kind of investment can our company expect to make if we engage Eloqui?

The “Own the Room” group training costs $1,500 – $2,000 per person (depending on location). This fee includes three ½ day group trainings, a phone consult, all materials and each individual receives a DVD of their exercises.

Following group trainings, Eloqui recommends quarterly intensives to solidify content. These intensives dive deep into topics, and include how to be perceived as a trusted advisor; construct and deliver client anecdotes; team presenting skills; and structuring presentations for the greatest impact. These ½ day sessions are priced at $3,000 each.

Other trainings are priced according to location, experience of the trainers, and whether or not multiple trainings are booked.

Frequently, Eloqui is engaged to work with individuals who have taken group trainings and now would like to bump up their skills to the next level. The “Power of Five” program (five 2-hour sessions) is $4,000 per person.

What is the value of bringing in Eloqui before a pitch, beauty contest or responding to an RFP?

Our clients have a 90%+ success rate in winning contracts after working with Eloqui.

When you have an important pitch or presentation coming up, we recommend bringing us in before constructing the pitch book, PowerPoint, or dividing up content. We will shorten your prep time, make you more engaging, and train your team in hand-off skills to deliver the critical impression that you work well together and will do the same for their company.

Our unique approach will set you apart. And when everything is on the line, do you really want to do what every other candidate is doing– or be seen as just like your competition? We pride ourselves in giving our clients a competitive advantage to increase their hit rate and consistently “best” their competition.

How can you prepare our pitch team, if you don’t know our company or industry?

It is not necessary for us to know your industry. But it is essential that you communicate your differentiators successfully to win the business. However, in over 12 years, we have trained in most industries, giving us a close-up view of professional service and retail firms of all sizes.

We begin by clarifying your company’s intention and then make sure everyone on the pitch team shares the same intention. Then we divide up the content, so that everyone knows their area in depth, yet doesn’t have to shoulder the entire content.

Based on this shared intention, we assign roles—from Facilitator and Visionary, to Trusted Advisor and Mobilizer.

After interviewing the key players, we construct client anecdotes or case studies. We review your PowerPoint or pitch book and make sure it supports the verbal content. Then we train hand-off skills, which are derived from theatre techniques and deliver a positive impression of how you work together.

And we also address individual challenges, everything from overcoming anxiety and probing for specifics, to active cueing and listening skills, so the potential client feels heard and their challenges are brought out and addressed.

My team is spread out across the U.S. Can they be trained by Eloqui?

Typically, Eloqui is brought in to conduct trainings when companies have already scheduled an off-site, yearly meeting, or retreat.

Our trainers are mobile, and used to traveling to where you are! It is more cost effective for us travel, then to send your people to LA or San Francisco, where we are based.

We have found that in-person training is superior to webinars or teleconferencing. Once systems like Skype have been perfected, group trainings can take place anywhere, but for now, in person is best. However, follow-up consults are conducted over the phone or through email.

Another option is to send up to eight attendees to the quarterly Eloqui seminars in Santa Fe, New Mexico. These Advanced Communication Workshops are hosted by the Inn at Loretto or Eldorado Hotel.

After Eloqui comes in to conduct group trainings, what’s next?

We are available to be on retainer, so that whenever your team has an important pitch, or increased responsibility, we can best serve you. For a minimal monthly amount, you can call on Eloqui trainers to review presentations, coach your team through those anxious moments, and provide feedback on everything from openings and closes to intention and talking points.

Depending on your need, we recommend quarterly intensives. These ½ day trainings dive deep into topics introduced in the group trainings. They can include sessions on how to pick the right role; construct and deliver client anecdotes; team presenting skills; and/or structuring presentations for the greatest impact.

What is Eloqui’s added value?

We support our clients and know that to change behavior, it is imperative to take risks, be supported, and build on your success.

To demonstrate our support, after you have taken an individual or group training, you can call or email an Eloqui trainer at any time, for no additional charge. Clients use this service to review their elevator speeches, important pitches, opens, closes or tag lines.

As our network is quite extensive, we strive to make appropriate introductions to build our clients’ strategic alliances.

Are you ever brought in as keynote speakers?

Yes. Our interactive presentations stimulate thinking, provide practical tools and are considered mini-trainings for groups as small as 20 and as large as a thousand. Eloqui speakers are often asked to lead off a conference to set the frame and tone for what’s to come, or close a conference to keep attendees riveted in their seats. Feel free to ask for a description of the various topics we speak on that can be tailored to you.

Eloqui speaker fees range from $750 to $7,500  for a 1-2 hour, interactive presentation.