The Spoken Word

by Craig Witt

The spoken word is quite important in real estate, but how do you master such areas as presentation and tone? Craig Witt of EXIT Realty explains.


What if adding public speaking to your skill-set could double your income? Would you invest the time to become a specialist, where people actually ask you to come and speak to their people? They claim that he or she that speaks…leads. If this is the case, why do so many have a fear of speaking?

It’s the old “rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy” reference. Not everyone is a born public speaker, and not everyone is born a leader; it can however be a learned behavior. Just as Malcolm Gladwell explains in his book Outliers, hard work is critical to success, but 10,000 hours of working on skills, or practice, seems to be the key.

I often find myself hypercritical of presenters now; studying their demeanor, style, presentation and overall preparedness. Some presenters are very comfortable and natural on stage while others really have to practice and rehearse.

It all boils down to your style and how you effectively transfer what you know to the audience, in a way that is easily understandable and engaging at the same time. As I was once told by our South Central Divisional President Bob McKinnon, get it out of your head, and into your heart. Simply put, don’t overthink it, speak from your heart and express your passion.

I can recall my first experience speaking at a BNI group meeting back in 1999. Among a small group of business owners, we were asked to stand up and introduce ourselves and tell the group what our business was and ask for referrals. At the time I was a partner in a growing construction company. I can still remember my heart racing, palms sweating, rehearsing what I was going to say in my head and watching the others. I watched anxiously as it came closer and closer to my turn.

Once I finished, I instantly started wishing I had said this and that, and oh I forgot to mention that. I decided at that point that I needed to practice so I didn’t have that feeling again; I was driven to perfect speaking, or never do it again!

When I joined EXIT Realty, I quickly learned that public speaking was going to be a part of my position as a franchisee and Regional Owner. I reached out to Bob Mckinnon and took his Ambassador Training for public speaking. I learned basic fundamentals and committed to learning everything about our company so I could tell others in a way that was understandable; and I wanted it delivered with passion. You cannot sell until you have been sold, therefore you must believe first, and then share your belief in a genuine way.

So, how can this double your income? Might I suggest you promote yourself as a Realtor? Prepare a presentation about yourself and what you do; not to boast, but rather to educate others on what makes you different and valuable to your customers. Invest time and practice your story by speaking at social clubs, title and mortgage company meetings, or anywhere that you can promote your business.

After all, this is a business, you’re in charge, and it’s up to you to tell your individual story. Get it out of your head and speak from your heart. Want to know more? Contact me and I will share my story and my not-so-secret advice.

Craig-W-EXIT-Corp-Photo-Resized-SmallCraig Witt is the president of the North Central Division of EXIT Realty Corp., which includes Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

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