We have a standing joke in our organization: “The person with the marker makes the most money.” Funny, but also true.

When people see you present in front of the room at an opportunity meeting or training, a special dynamic happens on your team: it’s a rite of passage that signifies you are progressing into the leadership ranks. Naturally, your team members feel a sense of pride for being a part of your team. Moreover, their level of respect for you rises, allowing them to edify you even more, which in turns makes you more effective as a sponsorship line leader.

There is one caveat you must watch out for, though, and that is knowing the fine line between being an inspirational presenter and crossing over into “superhero no one can duplicate” territory. Becoming a local presenter should be an intermediate step, on the way to seeing your people become presenters themselves and take your place, eventually replicating the process with their own people.

The Presenting Barrier

You don’t need to have presenting skills when you get started in network marketing. In fact, demonstrating this skill set too early may actually slow down your duplication. Here’s why: the universal principle behind network marketing is not whether the business model works, but whether it duplicates.

Most people don’t come into the business with the ability to present, and many are actually afraid of presenting. This is why, over the last couple of years, I have evolved into the belief that you should never conduct one-on-one presentations. Let me explain:

Take me as an example: with my belief level, experience, credibility and presentation skills, I’ll bet I could sponsor 98 percent of the prospects I would do a one-on-one with. Yes, it would work—but would it duplicate? Hardly.

Out of my ninety-eight enrollees, perhaps five or ten could duplicate me and learn to conduct a compelling one-on-one presentation. But what about the other eighty-eight?

A similar but even more extreme situation happens if you bring candidates to opportunity meetings where you are the presenter. Seeing you on stage, they develop the belief, consciously or subconsciously, that says, “In order to do this business, I need to find qualified candidates, then invite them to a 60- to 90-minute, witty, charming and compelling presentation that I need to give.”

Most people are scared to death to speak in front of large groups. If their first exposure to your business is one where they feel they must do this, you will lose a lot of prospects, and this will inevitably slow down your duplication.

Compare this to what they might be thinking if you bring them to a presentation that someone else, not you, conducts: “In order to do this business, I need to think of qualified candidates, then invite them to a presentation that someone else gives.” Huge difference.

To illustrate how important this distinction is, let me give you some numbers. I have now sponsored 113 people into the program I’ve been working for the last three years. None of them has been the result of bringing them to a one-on-one presentation, and none to an opportunity meeting where I was the presenter. In every single case I used a third-party tool or brought them to a presentation that someone else was giving. Using third-party resources (such as conference calls. three-way calls, DVD’s, CD’s, websites, etc.) will always help your duplication results.

Learning to Present

Does this mean you never have to present? No, but let your presenting skills develop naturally as you progress into the business, and do it in a way that doesn’t hamper your duplication process.

Hosting home meetings is a good way to start. The best scenario is to have a video that can be the main part of the home meeting. This means you can start by simply welcoming people and facilitating the video presentation. Your next step could be to conduct a small part of the home presentation yourself, such as the product or the business opportunity section.

You can get used to being on stage by offering to do testimonials at your regular opportunity meetings. You can also present a short five- or ten-minute segment at one of your local training sessions. What you will find is that doing short segments dispels the fear and makes you gradually more comfortable on stage.

One of our programs that has been very successful is called Presenters Schools. Conducted by the local leadership council in each market, these offer training that gets people ready to conduct opportunity meetings.

The sessions take place in someone’s home so participants get a chance to practice different sections of the main presentation each week in a non-threatening, casual environment. Each week you practice a different section, and so does everyone else. Then the council votes and lets you know when you are “certified” on a particular section, at which point you no longer need to work on that one and can go on to concentrate on the others. Eventually you get certified for the whole meeting.

Our arrangement is that no one can present at the opportunity meeting until they are certified by the council at the Presenters School. This ensures that we have only great presenters at our opportunity meetings. This kind of training is also a great way for you and your team to get used to presenting in a fun, supportive environment, so that when it’s your time to get up on the main stage at an event, you’ll be relaxed, dynamic and compelling.

If you don’t have a Presenters School in your area, I suggest you start one. Learn how to become a great presenter, and do it in a way that fosters duplication. It’s a powerful formula for success!

RANDY GAGE has been called “the Millionaire Messiah” because he
believes that we are meant to be rich, and it is a sin to be poor.
He is a tireless champion of network marketing as a vehicle for
people to create prosperity. He is the author of
How to Build a
Multi-Level Money Machine and fifty other training tools translated
in fifteen languages. In addition to being a world-renowned trainer,
Randy is a highly successful network marketing leader and
a faculty member of Networking University.