Posted By: Mike Moore, Averetek /
Attendance for monthly partner update calls is at an all-time low. And it’s no wonder. Channel partners, like everyone else, have many priorities competing for their time. Why should they spend an hour with you once a month or even once a quarter? Why not just wait for the recording? We’re all so used to Netflix binge watching and other on-demand content that there’s very little need to gather together for live experiences.
But when people do gather together, live, there’s an opportunity to share energy and that’s the number one thing you should be trying to do with your partners.
You must use a style that works for you or choose a spokesperson who has the right style for a dynamic and interesting partner call. You can find some great examples of different styles among popular YouTube creators.
Check out this Q&A with Marques Brownlee (6.5M subscribers) and Justine Ezarik (5M subscribers). Both Marques and Justine are friendly and conversational in their delivery. They play well off each other and they use humor as they present various tech products. They're very natural which makes the audience comfortable. You can tell they enjoy the subject-matter they are discussing. While they may have done some prep for this video, the conversation doesn't seem rehearsed.
For partner communications, we often get paired up with other presenters based on job roles. My advice to you is to choose presenters who are good spokespeople, not just because they have a big title. We've all heard from execs who aren't good presenters. While it's hard to tell them they aren't good, altering the format and content of a partner webcast might give you an opening to be able to introduce another presenter in their place.
Sharing Energy and Passion
Another tech-oriented creator, Sara Dietschy (363K subscribers) is similarly conversational but also a bit quirky. She’s clearly being herself and letting her natural personality come through which is something we should all aspire to do. And she clearly loves the tech products she reviews. Her passion and energy are infectious.
Who are your most passionate spokespeople? You'll likely find the most passionate spokespeople in your field organization. Since they spend all day with customers and partners, they usually have a great energy and understanding of features, benefits, objections, and solutions. Giving them access to your partners will benefit everyone, especially since your channel partners need to be passionate advocates of your solutions. If partners can pick up and energy and a good talk track for your solution, they can spread the word with their customers and prospects. This can also be a great way to recognize field team members. Presenting on a national or global partner call can be a great career spotlight moment.
A Bit Nutty
My favorite YouTuber, Casey Neistat (10M subscribers), has a wide variety of styles that he employs, depending on what he’s doing in his daily videos, also known as vlogs. Quite often, he’s somewhere between quirky and zany which seems to work for Casey and his subscribers. His channel has 2.3 billion views.
Like the others, Casey is another example of someone just being natural. It's just that Casey's version of natural may not be the same as yours. Too often, people feel the need to stick to the status quo, speak in corporate speak, and just generally follow the rules. We should all try to be a bit like Casey and create our own rules.
Gary Vaynerchuk (1.5M subscribers) has gone from making videos for a family wine business to become one of the most sought after social media and marketing experts through his use of YouTube and other social media. He shares his views on work, life, and entrepreneurship through video, often using colorful language that he's obviously comfortable with but viewers might not be. His language isn't the only provocative aspect of his videos. His messages are often about breaking with conventional wisdom, living for oneself rather than your parents, dropping loser friends and surrounding yourself with winners, etc.
My personal style doesn't allow me to go this far, at least with language. I think you can be provocative in your message, when it helps drive your message or action, without using colorful language. Skip the clip below if you don't want to hear a few f-bombs. But ask yourself, how can I be edgy in a way that works for me and my mission?
Whatever style works for you, you must share energy through your delivery. Especially since many of you are talking about technology topics to both technical and non-technical audience members, you must use your presentation to get people excited. Don't try and deliver training at the same time you're trying to energize people. Share energy now and invite people to a more detailed training on the topic as a next step. If you did your job energizing them, they'll be motivated to attend the training session.
You should also take note of the power of video. Hearing someone's energy is quite different than seeing it. Most web conferencing solutions support video. You should get in the habit of using video for each and every partner call, and your internal calls, for that matter. Seeing you will make a big difference and your partners will appreciate it.
Finally, there really isn't a need to have a live partner call anymore. You can accomplish what you need to do - communicate with your partners - and allow them to play the content on-demand. The key to offering on-demand content is being available and responsive to questions since live Q&A is sacrificed in an on-demand world. Consider hosting regular "office hours" sessions to deal with any Q&A or to receive feedback.