Catch Hiett Ives on the #PirateBroadcast
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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns 0:18
It's always a great day when we can share the pirate broadcast with the community. I want to introduce you to another amazing individual that I have actually known for a number of years. Before we get started, I just want to remind everyone that we're showing up at #LinkedInLocal. We're showing up on #LinkedInLive. We're showing up on YouTube. We're showing up on Twitter through Periscope, and also Facebook. So wherever you want to watch the #piratebroadcast, everywhere, anywhere you want to connect with the community, reach out, make those connections and make sure that you're staying connected with individuals that are going to add value to your day. Also, the fact that we're here, we're doing things, we're moving forward. We're making these adjustments, these connections with the community. If you're not connected to our next guest, you need to be. Hiett has been a Houston native, just an anchor in the community of networking, building, building community from events He's been the guy that you go to if you need somebody to meet at an event. Because of this thing we have going on with a pandemic, live events are not as common as they used to be. Hiett, being the entrepreneur that he is, has shifted gears. He's promoting some other things and producing some results in some different areas. We want to go into that because he's an example of what can be possible and what is possible for others. I just wanted to set the example of Hiett and share his story and what he's doing and what's going on. He's also the author of, That Ain't Not Right. Everybody's twitching in their grammar. That's okay. It's meant to be so, Hiett, good morning. How are you doing?
Hiett Ives 2:35
Good morning, Russ. I'm in fantastic shape. Thank you for having me on borad. I'm now a pirate. I can now say I am a pirate.
Russ Johns 2:41
You're officially a pirate. You've got pirate status right now so thank you so much. With that pirate status, you know who's gonna show up here is our good friend, Ronald Earl Wilsher.
Hiett Ives 3:04
How did he get himself in here?
Russ Johns 3:06
The pirates are open to anyone. How is Ronald today? You know, Ronald and I had the R and R podcast back in the early days, when I was working at the radio station. We used to go in the booth and create that...that's probably still out there on the internet, the interwebs as Ronald would say, out there flying around so we got that going on. Then Gabriel back in the morning, Gabriel and I were on a live stream last night he was kind of experimenting with some different technologies. So welcome Gabriel to the show. Thank you so much. And Paolo.
Hiett Ives 3:50
I was supposed to be having a coffee with Ronald this morning. He is honoring you by not having coffee or having having his coffee event, with me as the subject matter, or us as the subject matter.
Russ Johns 4:03
There you go. Cathi is here. Good morning, Cathi. She says, amazing individual is a great description for this guy. Thank you so much. She must know you. Thank you so much for being here, Cathi. And then Angie, says, good morning, everyone. She's in for Periscope. So that's it from Twitter. Periscope streams over to Twitter. Angie, thanks for being here. I appreciate you. Also, the one thing that we want to talk about Hiett, is you've been doing events. As long as I've known you, you've been going to live events, you've been bringing in the audience, collecting individuals information and helping businesses gain those leads and that information from each client. So, March came along and things have been changing, talk us through the changes that you're going through right now. What direction you're taking us.
Hiett Ives 5:14
Okay, I'll handle it in two verticals. One, business divisions, trade shows, as we know them, or have known them in convention centers, in hotel ballrooms, is not existent probably through at least the first six months or better of the next calendar year. As such, the need for people like me to help at trade shows would seemingly be gone. Well, what I learned is that my success has been through open ended questions, teaching my clients how to ask the right open ended questions, which of course, requires the addressee on the trade show floor, the delegate on the trade show floor to qualify or disqualify themselves? Well, the the trade show business has now gone virtual. There are actually virtual trade shows where the delegates actually, via their computer, walk into somebody's booth and on their computer screen. They are given two options: send me literature or I want to talk to somebody. When they want to say I want to talk to somebody, it opens up a zoom link with a live person from that company. Well guess what? That live person from that company needs to apply the tools and techniques that they use on the trade show floor, in that virtual environment. So what I am teaching people to do is, one, embrace the virtual environment and then, two, adjust how they go after the delegates within that virtual environment. So that's part one. Part two, my skills are broader than just the trade show world. I am an author. I've got two books, one of them is Successful Event Strategies and the tagline of That Ain't Not Right, is The Use and Abuse of the English Language. So I do a lot of editing, writing, editing of corporate b2b literature. I have the ability to listen to somebody and then put it in writing. Put what they say in writing, to the point that they'll put their name against it. One of my earliest mentors, he was my boss at the time, said, write a letter to this person. We edited it two or three times and I knew this person. I said, Bill, you've had me do this so many times you're letting me sign it. And he gave me these these key words, Hiett, the more you can get other people to put their name against something you wrote, the more valuable you are to them.
Russ Johns 8:23
Yeah. Well, there's a lesson in that. There's a lesson in that, Hiett, and I want to go back to the trade show floor. Because a lot of the lessons we learn in life are through experience, right? All of those skills, we don't necessarily lose all of those skills, but we transfer them to new experiences. Just like going from the trade floor show to the virtual environment, the skill still exists. You're just transferring that into a new environment. Utilizing the best things that you are using, like being able to translate other people's words into copy and content, and also to actually ask great questions. So there's two skills that anyone can improve on and if they need assistance, can they work with you to get that?
Hiett Ives 9:22
Yeah, and another element of that is, we, as a people, tend to talk in first person, I, we ours, us, we also tend to talk in the past tense. I was this, I did that, she had this or in the future, I will do this. I do, she will do, this. What I do is take things into the second person, present tense, Russ, when you choose to do this is what's going to happen. A lot of the copy you read on websites or blogs on on collateral material is first person. They don't say I, but they say, the XYZ company, which is odd. So what I do is put things in second person, present tense with a call to action.
Russ Johns 10:33
And that creates the ability for them to own it, the individual that you're speaking to. What's the psychology behind that? What's the power that goes along with that?
Hiett Ives 10:48
Okay, well, here's the deal. It's all in the wording. If I said you, Russ, I'm going to teach you something this morning. Russ, I'm going to teach you something in this way, as opposed to, Russ, how interested are you in discovering something about this? How would you respond to this? Russ, I want to share with you four points. Well, they may be the same four points that I I want to teach you, but you as the receiver, you as the listener, you as the reader, you are going to respond a whole lot better when I address you. Russ, it would behoove you to know these four points, as opposed to, hey you, I'm going to teach you these things.
Russ Johns 11:53
Yeah. Hope you listen. (laughs) When you bring me into the conversation, it makes a huge difference.
Hiett Ives 12:08
Russ Johns 12:12
How is that developed now, that you're going virtual? How have the conversations with your clients and the people that you're reaching out to, how has that evolved? How does that show up in the world today?
Hiett Ives 12:35
Well, by the fact that you are no longer eyeball to eyeball with them and can see their body language and sense their demeanor, it's even more important to ask critical questions. The who, what, when, where and how questions. It gets a little more direct and it requires them to divulge something because an open ended question is one that cannot be answered with a yes or no. We are a yes/no society. Too often, we ask the yes/no question and when we get the wrong answer, it's dead. Can I show you my widget?
Russ Johns 13:30
Hiett Ives 13:33
In fact, I have to process asking a yes/no question. I'm more comfortable asking open ended questions. What elements of this situation are most important to you? When was the last time you used this product? Where in your operation does this fit in? Who, on your side of the ledger, works most with this? So it's very easy for me. It literally took me about a year and a half to teach myself to ask open ended questions. When I talk about it, somebody will say, oh yeah, light! And they'll ask what they think is an open ended question. Literally 85% of the time, I'll listen to their whole question and upwards to 85% of the time, I can answer with a yes or no. Then they're asking an open ended question. So it's a skill that you have to practice and implement on an ongoing basis. Quite frankly, I've done it for so long. Now, it's second nature to me. In fact, I love editing and I've taken corporate charters and corporate mission statements that have three paragraphs on them and the real message is, you're buried in the third sentence in the second paragraph. I will pull that up to the first sentence of the first paragraph and all of a sudden, all of the other stuff fits together. So, it's something I have fun with,
Russ Johns 15:27
Yeah, words are a magical thing that you can actually utilize. A lot of people, myself included, use a lot of words to talk and fill space. I was in a meeting one time, I was teaching, I was instructing or teaching a class on safety and one of the executives said, Russ, cut the embroidery get to the point, and it's always stuck with me, it's like when you can use fewer words with more clarity, your message will be so much more strong, it'll be much, much stronger. It's like stumbling over your words and it's not easy. It's not always easy. It does take practice. So that's a great example of how we can improve our Q&A and our ability to understand what other people want, is asking open ended questions and opening the conversation up like that. So what are some other techniques that you're using in the virtual space that we can actually adopt?
Hiett Ives 16:48
Well, it's interesting. When you're on zoom calls, and you've got 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 people, I was on one last night that had 25 people on it. If you want to concentrate on a specific person or get a feel for that, you can watch their actions and reactions to questions. I was on a zoom call where the host mentioned a skill that I have. I saw one of the people in the audience light up like a Christmas tree, so I quickly took a note and followed up with them after the fact. When you are observant in the virtual world, people tend to have their guard down. They're not at the poker table. They're there at their coffee table, and they sometimes forget to put their poker face on or keep the poker face on. So you can actually glean more about somebody and how they're thinking by watching them answer a question or react to a statement made on a virtual call.
Russ Johns 18:23
So just observing that and making that connection at a later date or in the future would be much more productive in a virtual environment overall.
Hiett Ives 18:37
It is what we have now and it looks like we're going to have that for some time to come. So let's utilize the skills that we have and apply them to the medium that we've got, knowing that within that tedium, people are still sitting in their home, in their living room, in their wherever. They're not at their office. They don't have their office face on. They don't have their office, I want to say mentality. If they're not sitting at the corporate board room table, with that, uh-oh, I've got all of these people in here and I've got to keep my poker face on here.
Russ Johns 18:37
I can't show all my cards today.
Hiett Ives 19:34
Well, they think they're being non-committal, but just the environment that they're sitting in, I won't say makes them vulnerable, but it gives you a better chance to, perhaps, dig a little deeper and observe a little closer.
Russ Johns 19:55
Yeah. So the rule is, pay attention. I want to pay attention to a few more people because Eileen is here, she said good morning. Howard Kaufman. Good morning. Hey, I owe you a phone call today. Howard says, what is interesting right now is the economics of a virtual tradeshow versus having it at a location with a trade show floor. It's similar to what is happening with the university business model having to move online. A lot of overhead that is being deleveraged, but how do you justify to the participant that the value $ is equivalent? That's an excellent question. I would love to have you share your thoughts on that, Hiett, because you go to the booths and you pretend like you're not interested and when you're really interested, but you don't want to talk to somebody and Hiett comes up to you and asks you an open ended question and pretty soon, you're a client. That's a different experience than jumping on a zoom session and having a cup of coffee.
Hiett Ives 21:21
Yeah, and and for those that have charged for these things, in the past, that are not charging now. it's maintaining that value added. And then getting people to realize that there is a cost in making these things happen, even on a zoom meeting and the organization, they'll still need the financial underpinning to move forward. So I think something that's going to evolve here is the associations that have, in the past, done live lunches, if we have to stay virtual much longer, that would, in many cases, become part of their income. And that's no longer coming in so, they're going to have to charge nominal fees. I am working with one organization that puts on events that literally, they charge nothing or a nominal fee on the front end and said at the end, give what you feel...the value that you think this event has given to you. In many cases that they've used this approach, they've actually gotten more donations, more support on the back end, than they would have had if they had charged a flat fee.
Russ Johns 23:00
So that's a model that people can attempt, invest in some quality content, share it out and ask for people to place their value on it.
Hiett Ives 23:13
Yeah, and and this particular operation out of Seattle, that shows you how to word that and how to approach that, to get the people who have been used to doing it inside the box, to think outside of the box. Not only think outside of the box, but react positively outside of the box and actually support the cause with the operation or the function more than they would have had they been asked to give a flat fee.
Russ Johns 23:53
I like that. I like that. I want to ask one one question that I think is one of the challenges of the virtual events is, there's this term, being dropped around on social media now is zoom fatigue. I've been doing this almost a year now, five days a week showing up. It's interesting to watch it evolve because I don't pitch anything on this #piratebroadcast, and I don't necessarily sell anything. I don't have sponsors. I don't have anything else. However, people do get tired of sitting in front of a zoom session for extended periods of time. So how do we break it up? To keep it interesting, keep it lively. Keep a virtual event going over and making sure that people are interested in attending. Is there something that you've learned along the way in this journey, in the last six months, that have allowed you to kind of see how to use language and how to use the message to make sure people attend and are excited about showing up on your events?
Hiett Ives 25:15
I'll use my Toastmaster. I've been a Toastmaster longer than most of my audience here this morning has been on the face of the earth. But tomorrow morning at 6:45am Houston time, I will join a zoom call of approximately 20 people and we do a Toastmasters meeting, just like we do it live. When you follow the sequence as people know it, we have three speakers, we have three evaluators, we have table topics, we have the awards and it's over and it's in the same timeframe. Now would we enjoy being with each other and hopefully, sometime, in the foreseeable future, that will happen. But I guess my answer is, the more you can keep it as it was, the more likely they are going to come back and continue to be a part of it.
Russ Johns 26:19
What about consistency? Is consistency, like you said, you showing up every week? You're doing the same group. You're doing the same process, so it's very familiar to people and people like the familiar, I have to believe.
Hiett Ives 26:37
Yeah, consistency and keeping it as close to what they remember. They didn't have to circle back around. One group, Christian Business Fellowship, here in Houston, we have now gone back to live meetings and getting people literally off of their couches and, driving the 20 minutes, 30 minutes to the event that they were able to, tune into five minutes before it starts for the last two months. We may have to rebuild the big and of course, there are still a percentage of the audience out there that is fearful of getting out and refused to get out. So, we're going to have an evolution here. just by the time we get used to doing it a different way. We're going to have to figure out how to re-integrate to what we used to do, because, quite frankly, that's, I think, what we all want, We are communal people. We are people that enjoy each other's company and we will stay forced apart for a period long enough to achieve the goal, but once it's achieved, it's hey, let's get back to where it used to be.
Russ Johns 28:13
Yeah. We are people, we're a community that likes community. So it's absolutely true. I just wanted to give a shout out to Cathi and a couple of other people here in the room. Sarathy says, it's about how it's said. 1. Id, ego and superego. Ivan Pavlov v Erik Erikson. 2. Humanistic therapy, Carl Rogers or Rogerian. 3. REBT also has involvement. 4. Gestalt is a bit different, so not added here. REBT here, is suited. I'm not exactly familiar with all of those, Sarathi, but I appreciate you bringing that to the table. Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy is also different. David Mumford says, good morning pirates. I saw you on on a couple of Gabriel's shows yestterday. Thank you so much for dropping in. It's Rafi. Hi, David. Good morning. And this is the thing about the pirate broadcast. Sarathy says, Hi David. Good morning. These people are connected. People have made friendships through here. Sheri says, most times the audience faces the presenter, so seeing cues is limited to the back of their heads. This is a great example of ways to observe opportunities. I love that. I love coming in and bringing that to the table. Sheri thank you so much for pointing that out. Cathi Spooner says, good morning. Also, Ed Stephens says,new follower here. Thank you, Ed. Appreciate that. And then slaptagz is here. I'm rethinking hunting for construction safety virtual events. There you go. Now, we've got that going on. Wendy, she's up in Seattle today and says good morning. Thank you so much, Wendy. Appreciate that. Then Sarathy says, I'm noticing a lot of post COVID changes in interviewers behavior more than the guy who has been recruited. it's the guy who recruits just like Philip Zimbardos' Stanford Prison Experiment. It's just a thought. Maybe it could change with time. Guess the way we reflect and react to questions and answers matters. It's not always PMP or management view or questionnaire way for improvement, too. Employers need the job done, but here in India, they want to just capture what's in it for me, so the recreation...and then he cuts off. But the point, I think he's trying to say, Hiett, is, we have to start reaching out and like you said, ask open ended questions that bring them in there and allows people to enter the conversation, not be excluded from the conversation or just answer yes or no.
Hiett Ives 31:35
Well, in general, I've developed a TED talk, a presentation, a keynote address, the five open ended questions who, what, when, where, how, who and when you use those, any one of those five, then listen to ask the question and then listen, you're going to be a whole lot, way ahead of the curve and that's in interpersonal relationship, sales relationship and trade show relationship. So, I am applying those five points and I talked about how to use them and when to use them and so on. I am sharpening my pencil and honing my presentation to make it more applicable Yes, open ended questions and within that broader context, these five open ended questions and within that five, the three who's gonna do what by when? When you ask those three and get the answers to who's gonna do what by when. I won't say you got it made, but you're way far ahead of the game.
Russ Johns 32:55
Yeah. Well, thank you so much, Hiett. I really appreciate you joining me and it's amazing to reconnect.
Hiett Ives 33:01
Russ Johns 33:03
Thank you so much for being here on the #piratebroadcast and becoming a pirate in the pirate community. You're now officially a pirate. So if you're not connected to Hiett, please connect with him, reach out, start a conversation. If any of this interests you or you have a virtual event that you need assistance with or support with, I know ,Hyattyou probably have a couple of things you can share with them and where do people find you?
Hiett Ives 33:32
At HiettIves.com and it sounds like the hotel but it's heittives.com or 832-372-6900, that's 832-372-6900
Russ Johns 33:52
Well, thank you everyone as and as always, #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday. Take care, everyone. Thanks, Hiett.
Hiett Ives 34:07
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