Episode 157 | Posted on

Selling from Stage with Dave Vanhoose

98% of the time when I’m asked to speak on stage about SEO, I’m not allowed to sell from stage. Yet my whole reason for being there is to generate leads that will eventually turn into SEO consulting gigs. You can imagine the dilemma. I need some tools, techniques and tips that will help me to be more effective at generating the leads without seeming to be salesy from the stage because otherwise I won’t get invited back. Enter Speaking Empire, specifically Dave Vanhoose and Dustin Mathews. Dustin’s already been on the show and Dave Vanhoose is our guest in this episode number 157.One example of a technique I learned from Dave was how to give my book away in a powerful way, The Art of SEO, which has a thousand pages. It’s a pretty good giveaway but just giving it away is not that impressive. We want to make people run to the stage to get a copy of the book and I learned a cool technique from Dave on how to do that.

You’re going to learn lots of cool tips and techniques from Dave Vanhoose. He’s an author, speak to sell trainer and Co-founder of Speaking Empire. An interesting fact about Dave, he faced complete paralysis at the age of 29. Thankfully, it was only temporary.


Dave, it’s so great to have you on the show.

I’m so excited and honored to be right here. What I’m going to do is I want to build tremendous value and give some very powerful tools and strategies.

I know you’re going to deliver in spades and it’s going to be amazing. I remember the first time I saw you speak, it was at Traffic & Conversion Summit and you were amazing. You incorporated such techniques that I had never seen before. You had people running to the stage to get cool stuff from you. I want to break some of this down and how you do this magic. Let’s start though with the storytelling because so many people are telling instead of storytelling. They’re talking at people at the audience and they’re not taking them on a journey. If you could tell us a bit about how storytelling fits into a presentation and how it transforms teaching point into something that is so powerful and stays with people.

One of the biggest things that we want to talk about is how to build your signature talk, your webinar presentation or your stadium pitch. One of the bigger things is your story. Stories sell, facts tell. What we want to do is what I call storyselling. Typically, before doing a webinar and speaking, we want somebody to take action. We want them to improve their lives, buy a product or service. One of the biggest things that most people might not understand fully is that people don’t buy your product, they buy you. If they don’t like you and they don’t trust you, then they don’t buy from you. What the story is designed to do, you engineer your story so that you take people on a journey where you emotionally build rapport with them. They like you and trust you and you take them on a journey. That’s the first thing about why you telling a story is very powerful.

In the story, the more vulnerable you can be, the more you can share your failures or your faults, the more people will build rapport with you. When they said Oprah had her highest influence when she was at her heaviest weight, that’s because people are sick and tired of seeing everything perfect and they want to see your true authentic self. In your story, what you want to do is tap into your authenticity, speak the truth and be vulnerable. Then during your story, what you want to take people down is the hero’s journey. There is a system and a process of how to create the story. This is what they do in Hollywood. What I like to do when I tell my story is to take people down a path. I’m going to share a strategy with people that what most speakers do is they do the wrong thing. They speak on the stage. They speak behind the podium.

What I tell people to do is like an imaginary line that you will step. There’s a block. What I tell people to do is when you tell your story, you’re going to want to get off the stage. You can come out. When you tell your story, this is where you want to come and you want to touch people. What touching will do is when you connect with one, you connect with all. You want to come out there and build rapport or in NLP what they call anchoring, you want to touch people, and this makes a big impact. The other thing that you want to do in your story is your story should be a covert way or the metaphor in this story is a journey of how your product or service has changed your life. People buy improvement. People buy transformation. Your story is where you’re going to show the transformation. That’s how I orchestrate the story in the presentation.

People buy results and they want to get results fast. They don’t want the 30-minute ads; they want the two-minute ads.


There are so many little distinctions in all that. For example, my wife, Orion, has learned to use the whole stage left to right. Not my left to right but the audience’s left or right so their perspective is different from mine being on the stage. If I’m telling a story and I’m going into the future or I’m going into the past, I need to head to the right part of the stage, the correct part of the stage. That’s going to be their left to right. Left being the past, right being the future or it’s the opposite for me from my perspective being on the stage. It’s my right for the past and the future is my left.

It’s a process that I call stage anchoring. That’s a very powerful technique in what you’re taking me down the road is to go over some advanced material, which is fine. What you want to consider is when you’re on the stage, what you’re suggesting is that there is subconscious communication. In subconscious communication, what we can do is anchor down certain spots of the stage that have meaning. Typically, people read left to right. The left part of the stage is the past and the right part of the stage is the future. When you’re telling your story and you start with the past, then you want to go to the left side of the stage. When you go into the future then you want to go to the right of the stage. This is a very powerful technique. What I’m trying to teach you here is how you communicate more effectively. There are two parts of the mind. We’ve got the conscious and the subconscious. The subconscious is where we should want to communicate because all buying decisions are based on emotion backed by logic. What part of the mind do you think is the emotional mind, is it the conscious or the subconscious?

It’s the subconscious.

Absolutely. What I’m teaching is subconscious communication, which is called stage anchor.

How do you get people to engage with you from the beginning? It’s like you have them in the palm of your hand before you even start talking. I was mesmerized watching you do your craft from the stage. Could you share a little bit about that audience participation and you owning the frame?

There’s a process that I do. When I present onstage, I don’t teach you how to become a presenter or a professor. What I teach is how to become a presentainer. Presentainer is a technology that I’ve invented and presentaining is a way to own the stage and emotionally move your audience. There is what I call speaking mechanics, meaning there’s a way to throw a football. There is a way to swing the bat. There are mechanics. What the NSA and all the speakers teach you to do is to get up on stage and start talking and tell your story. What I do, which you’re bringing up and you might not be aware of, is I get up onstage and I do the power of pause. When you do that, what happens is the audience has a tendency to lean in. You’ll grab the attention and your presence. When you do this, they’ll be hanging on to every word. They’ll be finishing your sentences. This is a very powerful technique. I have a class called How To Become a Presentainer, which your beautiful fiancée has taken where she learned this and we drilled these techniques. We get up on the stage and the very first thing we do is the power of pause.

It gives the audience an opportunity to take it in what you’re saying. It adds an underline to whatever you said so that they know it’s critically important.

There’s a famous musician who said music is in the silence. It’s a very important process or technique that a lot of speakers are very unaware of, of how to use the power of pause.

What would be an area where a pause is often not used by a speaker but they should use it?

During a close. I’ve written over 500 presentations over the years for hundreds and hundreds of speakers, salespeople, authors and thought leaders. The clients I work with are selling something or offering up a book, a mastermind, a product or a service. What they’ll do is talk too much during the close. They’ll overtalk the close. Instead of giving people time to make the decision, to take action, they totally mess up the whole close. That’s a big problem. When I get to the spot of the climax of the close, the only pushiness is the pause or the silence. You want to take time to stop talking, let people make a decision and go over if they’re ready to take action. This is a big challenge that I have to change people. It’s like golf. I feel like I’m a golf instructor. People are playing bad golf. They’re swinging the golf club wrong and they’re slicing the ball. What I have to do is fix the mechanics and this is a big mechanic thing that I need to fix.

Stories sell. Engineer your story so that you take people on a journey where you emotionally build rapport with them. Click To Tweet

I see so many speakers who sell from the stage and they’re not that sophisticated with this. They talk the audience out of the sale by overselling it or overtalking. The same thing that happens in one-on-one meetings where the salesperson doesn’t stop and wait for the person to respond, to give them the offer, the price or the main benefit. Then they’re uncomfortable with the silence so they chime in with something else and then chime in with something else. It’s a big mistake.

It happens a lot. People think that they need to keep talking. The power of pause is a very powerful strategy to give people the time to make a decision, to create that silence so that they can take a step that they need to step.

There’s something that I’ve seen certain speakers who are excellent at selling for stage such as yourself, such as Lisa Sasevich. One technique I’ve seen specifically with Lisa is the opposite of the power of the pause or silence is keeping the mic on after she’s finished her speech. She’s selling something in the back of the room and people come to swarm her asking all sorts of questions. She tries to keep these questions focused around the product that she’s made an offer on or whatever the deal is, whatever that special offer is with the limiters. She does that very purposefully. She wants everybody to almost listen in to these conversations she’s having with people, helping to break down any barriers to the sale and deal with all the objections. Is that something that you also teach your students?

That’s a great technique. Imagine and picture this. The majority of speakers I teach what they call the Pied Piper Close. In the Pied Piper Close, at the end of your presentation, people don’t walk to the back. They don’t even run. They dance to the back of the room. When you follow the presentation blueprint that I’ve created, people will run to the back. What most speakers do the wrong thing is when they’re done speaking, they stay on the stage. The speaker needs to go to where the point of the sale is. If you’re speaking on the circuit, there’s a sales table at the back of the room. What the speaker does is since the speaker has the power, when he’s done speaking, he needs to go to the back of the room. He needs to go behind the table and behind the salespeople. What I like to do is because when I’m closing, there are so many people running to the back of the room. What I’ll do is I’ll go behind the table and I’ll get up on a chair so that everybody can see me.

This is the best way to do it. I’ve tested all the different ways. What you do is come behind the table and get on the chair. You have your mic still on because you’re then continuing, encouraging people and getting people in action. What I like to do is I’m talking and I’ll say, “I’m going to turn off my mic in three seconds for only the serious people.” What can happen is I’m talking to the loudspeaker and then people can stay at their chairs and listen. What I would like to do is to get them to the back table so that they can make a buying decision. What I do is I turn off my mic to force people to come to the back to listen to me. That way, we have an opportunity to then enroll them into whatever we’re offering.

It’s like fear of missing out. It’s like, “What am I going to miss? What magic pill or whatever am I going to miss by sitting in my chair and not going to the back and hearing what Dave has to say?”

I have thought and trusted all these different techniques. I’ve done over 5,000 presentations. I’ve been in this industry for over fifteen years. I’ve tested all the different closes and all the different ways, and this is from my experience what works the best.

Let’s talk about how to train these people to start to run to the back before the sessions are even over with. You get people to run to the front not just leisurely walk, but climb over people and run at full speed to the stage. Do you want to share a bit about that?

What we’re trying to do is we are to present the message, present an opportunity to help people become aware. By helping them become aware, we want them to take action to change their lives. One of the things that we have to do as speakers is we’ve got to get people into action. Small commitments equal big commitments. During my whole talk, I don’t close at the end. I’m closing my whole presentation on small agreements. There are five things that I’ll do. If you follow these five things, your presentation will have much more excitement, much more engagement and the energy of the room will be high and you’ll double your sales. The human brain can only focus on something for about seven minutes. Every seven minutes you have to resell people into your presentation because they could get distracted.

There are five key strategies in my Presentainer system. Number one is we’ve got to get people to raise their hand. What we’re doing is conditioning them like Pavlov’s dogs. He rang the bell and got the dogs to salivate. We’re getting to raise their hand. Number two is I get them to write something down. You’re going to want to write this down. What was in there and you heard it because you’ve studied it, that’s an embedded command. An embedded command is a ninja or a secret command put into words that the subconscious mind will hear. You can write this down now or later. You’re going to want to write this one down. I’m using language patterns.

One of the things that we have to do as speakers is we’ve got to get people into action to change their lives.


I hear that all the time when I listen to Brian Tracy’s recordings. He’s so awesome at this. There are so many techniques that you could use from an NLP perspective. I do have a couple of episodes on NLP. One is with Nick Cownie and the other one is with Mike Mandel.

After you get people to write them down, the third thing is to get everybody to stand up. Number four, repeat after me and then number five, turn to your neighbor. We want to drill these things throughout the presentation. That way during your presentation, you’re like, “Yes, Dave.” They’re following directions. At the end of your presentation when you tell them to stand up and make a bold step to change their life, they will do that.

Is this something that you learned from other mentors? Is that something that you found from a lot of testing and doing a lot of presentations? How did you come up with the seven-step process?

I was very blessed because I own my own company. I wanted to master the art of the pitch. I wanted to master presenting what I call Presentaining. Back then I just presented, I professed, I would speak. Now over all the years of doing this, I use this new technology I invented called Presentaining. The question that you asked what I’m doing is I’m influencing throughout my presentation. It is much more powerful. That’s a little taste of what this is.

Presentaining is about entertaining and presenting all together. It’s that story selling that you do throughout so that there’s not some awkward transition to the pitch two-thirds of the way in your presentation.

You’ve probably heard other speakers. They get up there and they teach and at the end, they try to sell something and people are pissed off. If I’ll see other speakers get up there on stage and try to sell and everybody leads a seminar like, “This is a pitch fest.” He is like, “I felt dirty.” What’s powerful is that a great salesman doesn’t sell anything. People sell themselves. He takes people through a process using non-resistance where people then make the decision themselves. A great salesperson is when they sell, people don’t feel like they’re sold to. This is the art of Presentaining. Presentaining is you’re entertaining people so much that they want to buy whatever you have at the end of your talk. You don’t have to be a pushy salesman. You don’t have to force people and sell, people just naturally do it. That’s the beautiful thing that you’re pulling out of me is, “Dave, how do you elegantly present the message and an opportunity where people have learned something and they leave empowered, feel happy and were entertained?” That’s presentaining.

How long is this Presentainer course? I haven’t gone through it myself, but my wife has gone through it and she loved it. It was transformational for her. She also won the best storyteller and best close at Presentainer. She was super stoked about that. Is this a one-day, two-day, three-day? How long is this and what do you get at the end of it?

It’s a beautiful training and Orion was an incredible person. What I found is that if you go to courses, they teach you information and then you have to go home and try to figure them out. What I like to do is something different. I like to have people leave with it done or the skill set done. Presentaining is ten hours a day for four days drilling these techniques. At the end of it and you could probably suggest, she left a different person. I remember she won the award for physiology changed, her communication level changed, her private life has changed from that event. Did you notice anything different in her?

Everybody has a message in life. Step into your power. Step into your greatness. Click To Tweet

Yes, she has more confidence, more presence, more stagecraft and more power.

I remember even calling you at that event in tears. It was very powerful. This is my big why. My big why is to empower leaders to empower the world. Orion is a leader. She is very powerful and she is an amazing person. She has a message. What she didn’t have were the mechanics. She didn’t have the techniques and we needed to drill those. That’s what Presentainer is. It’s about four days of what I call acting school. If anybody wants to become a presenter or a Presentainer and influence more people and create more confidence, then this is a highly recommended course for anybody.

There’s a critical difference between learning something and getting it, understanding it mentally but then getting it in your muscle memory is a whole other thing. That’s something that you continue to practice throughout those four days until it gets in people’s muscle memory.

If I look backwards, my degree was in sports medicine and I studied body language, body movement. Most people don’t know this. I was a professional football trainer that it’s a known fact that it doesn’t take until halfway through the football season when the athlete is in optimum condition. If a football player played ten years, half his career he’s playing under par. What we do in football is we do two-a-days. We would break half then practice in the morning and then we break and take a practice at night. This is what we call bootcamp and preseason bootcamp. We have to condition the athlete to prevent this because it causes a lot of injuries. 80% of the injuries in sports are created in the first half of the season. The second half of the season, the majority of the injuries are gone. That being taken, I took the same thing into teaching speakers. What we put together is a four-day training what I call a bootcamp where you drill over and over again, like in football where unconsciously you catch that football without thinking. This is what we have to do. To take the tools and the mechanics we have to drill them so that way you leave with those techniques ingrained in you.

You go from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence to unconscious competence by getting it in your muscle memory through all that drilling?


Let’s talk a bit about the Power Day because you alluded to this and that is you’ll create presentations for some of your clients. There’s also a do-it-yourself Power Day but it’s most powerful if they’re flying in and they’re doing the Power Day with you and you’re creating the presentation for them. Are you still doing those?

I have my staff do them here. Over here at Speaking Empire, we’ve been busy. We’ve been writing so many PowerPoints and presentations. We’ve written hundreds and hundreds of presentations. I took a couple of years off, but people are begging me, “Dave, can you write my presentation?” A lot of the top guys know that this speaking business is like the acting business. A professional actor doesn’t write their own script or direct their own movie. Just like a lot of authors don’t write their own book. They have a ghostwriter. Just like a lot of singers who don’t write their own songs. At Speaking Empire, we help people write their presentations. There is a way to write a presentation correctly. We still do that over here.

One of the things that we do when we do one of these Power Days is we start with not the first slide but with the end in mind. We write the offer first. Great marketers know to write the sales letter, they write the offer first or the order form first, then write it backwards. The same thing we do in building your presentation, we write the offer. What’s beautiful about the Power Day is you have me and my professional team pull out of you what is your specialized knowledge, what is the tools, what is the strategy. We write the offer first. After we write the offer then mathematically using my formula, we build a PowerPoint presentation. When you have somebody else building it for you, then you can get into a creative state where you are manifesting and you’re having the team build it for you. I’ve written presentations for people like Russell Brunson, Robert Allen, Tony Robbins’ son, people from that show, Shark Tank. I wrote Daymond John’s presentation. These professional speakers come to us because they want the best presentation written by a person who is considered the best in the field and that’s Speaking Empire.

If you want to write a movie, you want to have Steven Spielberg. You want to have the best director to pull it out. The beautiful thing about coming in for Power Day is that we can help you write that presentation. If you want to write your own, we have to show you step-by-step of how to build the pitch. One of the things that you want to do when you build the pitch is every single thing affects the close. The color of the PowerPoints, success loves sequence. There’s a certain sequence of the presentation; the testimonials, how you build on, the architect. Every single thing affects your outcome of the PowerPoint. Over the years of us doing these thousands and thousands of times, we have crafted of how you build the perfect pitch.

When you’re building a pitch, you have to keep in mind that every single thing affects the close or the outcome.


Where do the testimonials best fit in then in the perfect pitch? Is it before the bonuses or before the price or after the price? Let’s say a Daymond John PowerPoint or Jairek Robbins’ PowerPoint, what would be the place where the testimony is going?

What I teach when I told them is that typically if you’re speaking, there are objections. People in the audience will say, “I don’t have the time. I don’t have the money. This won’t work for me.” The best way to overcome objections is through social proof stories. What I’ll do is architect and engineer seven success stories, put through the PowerPoint to overcome the seven biggest objections. If we don’t overcome the objections then people will do what?

They’ll not do anything.

That’s how I orchestrate them. What I do is what I call planting seeds. I will weave in the PowerPoint. People don’t buy information, they don’t buy education. They buy results. You want to make sure that you have seven results, transformational success stories, in your presentation.

That is so important to understand that people buy results. Not the fact that you have a 500-page book, a 100-page eBook download, an entire set of worksheets or five hours of online course material. They don’t want that. They just want the result. If you can reduce the amount of stuff that they have to consume to get that result, that’s even better. If it’s a five-page PDF instead of a 100-page and they get the result. With that, they’re sold. They’re on it.

It sounds like you’re a very good entrepreneur and a very good salesman. Very successful people know that people buy results and they want to get results fast. People want done-for-you. They don’t want the 30-minute ads. They want the two-minute ads.

I’ve got a hypothetical situation here. I’d love for you to apply your expertise in this area around sequence and the pitch to a hypothetical situation. That’s not so hypothetical, it’s me. Let’s say that I’m wanting to convince a whole roomful of people, hundreds of people to be on my list and to start down my funnel and eventually become an SEO consulting client. They would get things like SEO audits, keyword strategies, link building strategies and those deliverables from me as a consulting client. You don’t start by selling that because that’s like saying, “Hi, nice to meet you. Would you like to get married?” You move them down the funnel.

In this hypothetical situation, I want to get a roomful of people who are there to learn some tips and tricks around SEO, to not just get enough snacks of good tips and tricks that they’ll be able to take those and implement them in their business and I never hear from them again. I want to give them real value, massive value and I want to move them along to take action. Here’s the trickiest bit is I’m not allowed to sell onstage in this hypothetical situation. Most conferences that I speak at don’t allow selling from stage. What would you recommend?

A beautiful thing is we’re using what we call education-based marketing to get customers. If you’re out there speaking, sometimes you’re allowed to offer and sometimes you’re not. What I like to do in this situation is I’ll create a blueprint or a checklist. I’ll create CliffsNotes for my presentation. I’ll say, “I’ve got this amazing gift to all of you. It does this, it has the benefits of this and it’s valued at this. How many of you would love to have this? Text this number.” Then all of those people who opt-in will opt-in to our database. We could use a follow-up sequence to then convert those leads as customers. If you’re not allowed to sell, what we also do and it’s what I teach, I’m speaking at Dan Kennedy, at the end of my presentation, I’ll do the strategy sessions. I will figure out who really wants to work with me. I will plant seeds and then at the end, I will set up a strategy session or some kind of an assessment. Then they get signed up. I will take a look at what their biggest challenges are and what their problem is. From there, if they fit into the right system, then we can offer up our product or service. It’s a two-step sales process.

Let’s say that you only have twenty minutes to speak versus a full hour, how would you change your presentation to get the desired result of getting opt-ins or hand raisers in a twenty-minute presentation versus a full hour?

The longer you can talk, the more you can sell and the more you can raise your prices. When it comes down to less time, you’ve got to rethink your strategy. If you’ve got twenty minutes and you don’t have a lot of time, every single word, every single socket is like a year for me. Every little single thing is so important. This is where you’ve got to nail the pitch. You’ve got to be on. When you write your pitch, you’ve got to make sure that you’re only putting things in there that will further the sale. A lot of people put a lot of things in their presentation, teaching, fluff and all these different things when they can get it where they will go much faster. You’ve got to come out of the blocks fast.

Truly at the end of the day, what we're all here to do is to serve and empower others. Click To Tweet

The beautiful thing that most businesses struggle with is getting customers. By using your system, which is to drive leads using SEO into then get those leads to a webinar or to an event, what we want to teach people is education-based marketing. It’s building value, entertaining people or what I call presentaining people. Then from there, they become customers. If you’re in business or if you want to start a business you’ve got to master how to get a customer. This is the most powerful way that I’ve ever seen which is through speaking. One of the biggest things is I’m all about serving and empowering people. I want to challenge your audience to step into your power, to step into your greatness. Everybody has a message in life. My gift is to pull that message out of you so that you can change the world and make the world a better place. Truly at the end of the day, what we’re all here to do is to serve and empower others. I want to thank you for letting me be on here and doing what I love to do, which is to empower speakers and leaders, to teach them the art of presentaining and to help them so that we can all come together and help the world.

Thank you. You have not just the Presentainer training that you do but you have an entry-level event as well. Do you want to share a little bit about that?

At Speaking Empire, we’re here to serve. If anybody’s interested in learning more about how to become a Presentainer, how to speak or how to launch their speaking business, you can go to Speaking Empire. We’ve got some good free tools and strategies there to help you. We can help you so that you can go out there, speak on the circuit, speak around the world and have more fun.

When is your next event that you’re teaching?

We have the Group Power Day workshop where we help them write their PowerPoints. We have Build The Box where people come in and they leave with their box, their content course done. Then we’ve got our marketing workshop. We’ve got our funnel workshop where we built people’s funnels. We’ve got events going on all around the world. I’m speaking in Tokyo, Japan and Mexico. At Speaking Empire, we’re very blessed we’re an international company. Somewhere around the world, we have an event going on somewhere.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

Important Links:

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

☑ Master the art of “storyselling”. Create a compelling story where I can take my audience with me on a journey. Remember that stories sell, facts tell.

☑ Tap into my authenticity by speaking the truth and allowing myself to be vulnerable. My audience can only truly connect with me when I’m relatable.

☑ Get off the stage. Don’t just stay in the podium but aim to touch people and build rapport.

☑ Build my story in a way where I can tell the journey of how my product or service transformed my life without sounding aggressive or pushy.

☑ Use the power of pause during a close. Don’t overtalk but give the audience a time to make a decision and take action when they’re ready.

☑ Don’t stay on stage at the end of my presentation but go to where the point of sale is. Dave recommends going to the back of the room and getting behind the table where people can make a buying decision.

☑ Carefully craft my perfect pitch. Pay attention to small details. Every little thing has a significant effect on the outcome of my presentation.

☑ Understand that there are five key strategies in becoming a presentainer: get people to raise their hand, write something down, stand up, repeat after me and turn to their neighbor.

☑ Join Dave’s class called How To Become a Presentainer and utilize powerful techniques that will elevate my speaking and speaking business.

☑ Participate in Dave’s various events such as Group Power Day workshop where I can enhance my skills in writing PowerPoint, Build The Box, marketing and funnel workshop.

About Dave Vanhoose

Dave Vanhoose is an author, world-renowned speak to sell trainer, financial freedom developer, and combines the world of entertainment and speaking with a patented system called presentainer.

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