Written by Dave Cantin for Forbes.com

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be transformative for businesses, offering opportunities for growth, synergy and increased market share. However, I’ve found that the success of an M&A deal relies heavily on the effectiveness of integration planning and execution.

Integration planning is a process that aims to harmonize operations, systems, cultures and teams from both organizations involved in the transaction. By carefully orchestrating the integration, business leaders can navigate potential challenges and help ensure a smooth transition that maximizes the value of the deal.

Start Integration Planning Early

From my experience, integration planning should commence as early as possible in the M&A process. Waiting until the deal is finalized may result in unnecessary delays and complications. Engaging key stakeholders from both organizations at the earliest stages ensures that their input is considered and potential issues are identified and addressed proactively. Early integration planning sets the stage for a cohesive transition and facilitates effective decision making throughout the process.

As early as possible in the M&A process, I recommend that you establish an integration planning team consisting of key stakeholders from both organizations. This team should include executives, managers and department heads who have a deep understanding of their respective areas of expertise.

Your team will be responsible for coordinating and driving the integration planning efforts. They should ensure that all relevant perspectives are considered, and potential issues are identified and addressed proactively. By engaging key stakeholders from the beginning, their input and expertise can be leveraged to develop a comprehensive integration plan.

This team should also organize joint workshops and assessments. These sessions should aim to foster collaboration, facilitate open communication and encourage the sharing of insights and best practices. Through these interactions, potential challenges, synergies and opportunities can be identified and discussed.

Define Clear Integration Objectives

Defining clear integration objectives is vital to align the efforts of both organizations and ensure a smooth transition. These objectives should be established based on a thorough analysis of the strategic rationale behind the M&A deal. Whether the focus is on synergies, market expansion, cost savings or technology integration, it is crucial to articulate specific goals that can guide integration planning efforts. I’ve found that clear objectives help provide a more effective roadmap for decision making, resource allocation and measuring the success of the integration.

Conduct Comprehensive Due Diligence

I also find due diligence to be an essential prerequisite for effective integration planning. This involves a detailed assessment of the target company’s operations, systems, processes, contracts and personnel. By identifying potential risks, challenges and opportunities early on, acquirers can develop appropriate strategies to address them during integration. The due diligence process should encompass financial, legal, operational and cultural aspects to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the target company.

Once due diligence is complete, plan the near- and long-term business objectives and work that plan. This can be achieved by collaborating with key stakeholders, including executives, managers and subject matter experts from both organizations, to ensure their input is considered.

For example, if operational inefficiencies are identified, develop plans to streamline processes and implement best practices. If cultural differences are apparent, create strategies to foster cultural alignment and employee integration. By incorporating the due diligence findings into integration planning, the acquirer can create targeted strategies to address the specific aspects of the target company’s operations, systems, processes, contracts and personnel.

Communicate Effectively And Transparently

Clear and transparent communication is another critical concern in the integration process. I’ve seen how uncertainty and lack of information can breed anxiety and resistance among employees, leading to decreased morale and productivity. Leaders must proactively communicate integration plans, objectives and progress to employees at all levels.

Regular updates, town hall meetings and open forums are ways that you can create opportunities for employees to voice concerns, ask questions and provide input. By fostering an environment of transparency, you can help employees embrace the changes and align their efforts toward integration goals.

Retain And Develop Key Talent

Effective integration planning recognizes the value of key talent within both organizations. I find that identifying and retaining key employees who possess critical skills, institutional knowledge and leadership qualities is vital for the success of the integration. Implementing retention programs, career development plans and mentoring initiatives can help retain top talent and ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.

And lastly, even though it can be one of the most significant challenges in integration planning, it is imperative that you align organizational cultures. The new company and/or new owners should dedicate resources to understanding and bridging any cultural gaps.

This can involve developing a shared vision, values and norms that reflect the best aspects of both organizations. By doing so, the business will be better positioned to create an inclusive environment that promotes professional growth and motivates employees to embrace the new opportunities that integration brings.

Integration planning is a critical aspect of M&A deals, as it sets the foundation for a successful transition and maximizes the value derived from the transaction. I believe that by starting early, organizations can navigate the complexities of integration and achieve a smooth and successful transition. With careful planning and execution, businesses can leverage M&A opportunities to drive growth, create synergies and achieve long-term success.

Elevate Your M&A Success with Dave Cantin, Expert Business Finance Speaker

Looking to maximize your M&A success and drive long-term growth? Book Dave Cantin, a renowned motivational business speaker for your next speaking engagement. With his expertise in business finance, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship, Dave will guide your audience through the intricacies of integration planning and execution. Take the first step toward a seamless transition and increased market share. Contact us now to schedule Dave Cantin for your next event and unlock the keys to M&A success today.

Explore More Articles by Dave Cantin on Forbes:

Entrepreneurial. Spirited. Philanthropic. Dave Cantin has never been one to think inside the box. And clearly, his entrepreneurial life path has been anything but ordinary.

Dave Cantin explained that, in 2017, he created the second largest merger and acquisition deal in the automotive space in U.S. history. “Second to Warren Buffett, today what is [Buffett’s] Berkshire Hathaway Automotive Group,” he said.  Suffice it to say, he was skilled at the task.

That very same year, he also launched the Dave Cantin Group (DCG), a national firm headquartered at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City with locations across the country. DCG offers an array of services, focused predominantly throughout the automotive industry.

Read full article here.

Book Dave Cantin for Your Next Speaking Engagement

As a featured entrepreneur in New Jersey Man Magazine, Dave is a dynamic and engaging motivational business speaker with expertise in business development, automotive retail, and leadership. Contact us today to book Dave Cantin for your next conference, seminar, or event and give your audience the gift of his insights and motivation.

Reflections on a Conversation with Former Cox Automotive CEO, Sandy Schwartz

By Dave Cantin

As an entrepreneur, one of the things that I look for in every conversation is how people carry themselves, their leadership ability, and especially how it carries through a conversation or a meeting.

I’m continually amazed by the drive of the people I meet in the automotive industry. I truly believe it is the greatest industry in the world, full of professionals that are full of resilience and tenacity at a level you don’t find anywhere else.


Today, I want to talk about all the unique flavors we bring as individuals to this “automotive tenacity” . If you’re in a different industry, you bring your own flavor to the distinct superpower of your industry. 

You don’t have to be a CEO. You can be starting your career, but you always have an incredible amount to teach and learn from those around you.

I want to talk specifically about the contributions to this automotive tenacity made by one incredible individual, Sandy Scwartz, who I had the privilege of interviewing this past summer on the Dealer News Today Podcast.

Before we start, a point we will circle back to later. The best way to learn anything (including “superpowers” and new ways of being), is two fold:

First, by teaching what you know to others, it becomes a more deeply ingrained part of you. 

Second, by openly listening to the contributions of others, your perspective will constantly expand.

I truly believe this is one of the best ways to ensure that personal growth continues as a daily and lifelong journey; to constantly share and invite others to share their best with you.


Over the summer of 2020, I had the privilege of interviewing Sandy Schwartz twice on the Dealer News Today podcast. The second appearance was to announce that he was stepping down as the CEO of Cox Automotive to become lead executive of Cox Family Offices, after 35 amazing years that left an indelible, positive mark on the automotive industry.

But that’s a story for a different day.

Today, I want to talk about the first time Sandy came on the show. It was a moment in our country’s history that will be remembered by all who lived though it—June 25th, 2020. The pandemic was still relatively new, though we were beginning to grow accustomed. Then our country broke into a moment of new and resounding calls for racial justice.

It was at this important moment that Sandy came on the show. His incredible leadership shined through from the start. It led me to see that Sandy sheds a unique light on this “automotive tenacity.”

In our society, we so often think of professionals who make it to the top by being cutthroat, by being able to take the emotions out of hard decisions. 

But Sandy is different.

He still has the guts, the savvy, and the business mind it takes to make it to the top level of the automotive industry. He can take the emotion out of a decision when he has to. He’s unique because he combines all that grit with a seemingly bottomless well of generosity and positivity.

For an example, when I asked him, “What have been some of the greatest challenges you’ve experienced as the leader at Cox Automotive during these times? ”

. . . Someone else might have sighed and started with a heavy voice, “Well . . . ”

But not Sandy. Without hesitation, he said— 

“I’m gonna answer that, but first of all, I have to tell you my greatest joy, because I think before we get into challenges, there are good things that come out of this.”

That’s not to say he doesn’t recognize the challenges. He’s deeply sensitive to them. Sandy comes from a space of such genuine positivity, that in facing any challenge, those around him are not exhausted or defeated. They’re uplifted and inspired.

By the way, that ‘greatest joy’ was witnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of everyone in the automotive business through these unprecedented challenges. There’s that tenacity again!

Later, he mentioned a mantra he’d been touting, “It’s time to be human at your core!” 

In these times, it’s certainly important for us to be in touch with our humanity, but I have a feeling this has been how Sandy has operated his whole life, long before the pandemic.

Actually, I know it is. He talked about a slide he often uses in presentations, of a field where a little league game is being played, surrounded by sponsorship signs. And the sponsors are all automotive dealerships. He shows that image as a reminder, saying—

“We are deeply ingrained in communities. We help them build fields, schools, and so it’s really important that we realize we have a responsibility, not only to our great industry, but also to the communities that we all serve and we’re a part of.”

He embodies this in the way he led Cox, noting that having each of the 25+ different companies under the Cox Automotive umbrella working separately is good… but the “special sauce” is in how they work together.

“It’s less important to stand each one of them up as a separate business, and way more important to make sure they’re working towards something that will make the dealer more profitable.”

He ties this into the way he operates Cox Automotive, saying, “We’re a for profit company, but that’s not what it’s about . . . We do not win without dealers being successful.”

Sandy is an extremely savvy businessman. I don’t want to gloss over that. He led one of the biggest and impactful companies in the automotive industry (and the world) through many phases of key development. He said—

“Shame on us if we backslide at all. We’ve got to be forward thinking in what we do.”

He also sees far beyond profits, to role our businesses play in the lives of our customers and our communities.

And that attitude, to “be human at your core” can be a much more powerful approach to business and life than being “cut throat” all the time. Being human wins allies, commands respect, and can, as Sandy proves, live hand-in-hand with powerful decision making.


Finally, I want to mention Sandy’s response to the current moment in racial justice. It was the biggest lesson I got out from the interview—

The importance of listening.

“What I’ve done more than anything, which is hard for me to do, is listen,” he said, “Right now is not a time for me to espouse all my views. What’s important is for me to listen, to understand how people are feeling, to understand what they see, to understand what they feel.”

We so often think that to be powerful, we have to get up on a soap box and make ourselves heard. But there is incredible power in the act of listening. It has the potential to connect us all, make us all better as individuals, and make any group greater than the sum of its parts.

Which brings me back to my original point. 

The way that we guarantee nonstop personal growth is by both sharing the best of ourselves with others, and by listening and allowing others to share their “super powers” with us.

Sandy is a seasoned veteran executive leader. It shows in the way that he operated Cox Automotive and the way he helped so many people navigate through a time of crisis. He didn’t hide from it. He said, “Let’s face it head on. Let’s deal with it.” 

And my greatest takeaway from the interview that day was—

We need to do a better job listening. 

—and that’s the key to success.

Book Dave Cantin to Build a More Authentic and Successful Business

Book Dave Cantin for your next event and give your audience the gift of his unique perspective and industry expertise. Dave is a seasoned motivational business speaker who can captivate your audience with his stories of overcoming obstacles, building successful businesses, and staying true to his values. With a focus on being human at your core and building strong relationships, Dave’s message is both inspiring and practical, offering valuable insights and strategies that your audience can apply to their own lives and businesses. Don’t miss this opportunity to bring Dave Cantin to your stage – contact us now to book him for your next event.

An Interview with Dave Cantin

We hardly need to hear it again. 2020 was quite the year. And as we get farther into 2021, it’s clear we’re not out of the woods yet. But it’s worth looking back on the past year in the automotive industry, which despite the challenges, tells an unexpectedly inspiring story. The industry showed fortitude, tenacity and perseverance, while providing many practical and motivational lessons we can take into 2021.

What Made the Automotive Story Unique in 2020?

2020 began as a strong (but mostly predictable) year in Automotive. Then, as in most industries, everything came to a halt as COVID-19 hit in March.

The automotive industry stands out for the way it bounced back in two major instances: first the initial onset of the pandemic, and then the deficit of new inventory. Following a very difficult March and April, May and June were some of the best months in automotive history. Dealers quickly learned to serve customers safely, both in person and through increased online sales.

Yet, as inventory flew off the lots, production from the manufacturers was way behind.

Dealerships got scrappy. Many had proactively bought inventory from other lots. Others upped their game around CPO vehicles, or artfully rode the wave of shifting supply and demand.

As we enter 2021, the pandemic continues, but dealership sales, vehicle manufacturing, and mergers & acquisitions have remained steady. With vaccine distribution underway, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and we’ll emerge stronger than we were before.

What does this story look like for a leader in Automotive M&A?

Dave Cantin got on the phone to look back on 2020 and ahead to 2021. He reflects through two lenses: one as an expert in the Automotive Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) market, and one as a human being on a constant journey of personal growth.

This interview was edited for publication on this blog.

What has been the state of the automotive acquisitions market through 2020—before, during, and after shutdown, leading up to the start of 2021?

We entered 2020 anticipating one of the greatest years in history, due to many factors, one of them consolidation. The bigger private and public companies were buying as many stores as possible, and we saw a lot of momentum from Q4 ‘19 pushing into Q1 ‘20.

Then the industry shut down on March 13th, and everyone who was considering investing millions of dollars woke up and said, “Wait. How do I consider buying when I have to focus on maintaining what I already have?”

In this situation, there’s no book to read, there’s no podcast to listen to, nobody to call and ask what to do, because none of us has ever been in this situation. We were all working one day at a time to figure it out.

DCG decided that it was our moral obligation to be there for our clients. In March, April, May and June, we really focused on maintaining our relationships, doing everything we could for our clients, not for DCG.

Come July we decided, “OK, let’s turn it back on.”

A lot of our deals Q3 and Q4 came to us because of what we did during Q2, because we understood that we needed to be there for our clients.

DCG finished 2020 with incredible results, better than we expected pre-pandemic. We’re going into 2021 with more pending acquisitions than we had through all of 2020. That tells you how explosive the industry is right now.

Besides low interest rates, are people who are buying and selling dealerships during the pandemic approaching the process differently, or is it mostly ramping up the same way it was before?

There’s nothing that’s the same, so you could take that word ‘same’ and throw it in the garbage.

When people say we’ll go back to normal… What’s normal? Change is part of life. You always have to adapt. Those in the automotive industry who think they can go back to the way that they operated in January, February, March of 2020— they have another thing coming.

Moving forward, dealers are positioning themselves to understand what consumers want— there’s a new way of servicing your car, of buying a car, of marketing, of bringing a car in for service.

The greatest word I’ve been hearing over the past six months is communication. There’s a new way to communicate with your consumers, and those who are not properly communicating with the consumer are not going to retain that consumer.

The dealers that understand the change are the ones who are going to be in the M&A market buying more stores, because they are embracing this new business model of how to communicate and how to approach the consumer in a safe way.

I also think consolidation, over the next three years, will continue to rise. The dealers that were considering, before the pandemic, to sell within five years are now probably looking to sell within the next five months to a year. This past year has really sped them along.

Going into 2021, is there still an opportunity for first-time dealership buyers like general managers, or are those days over?

I don’t think the days where GM’s become owners will ever expire. Part of the American dream is climbing that ladder. When I was a general manager, I used to pull into the dealership every day—first one in, last one to go home—as if it was mine.

When you work towards something, believing it is manifesting it.

That’s part of what America is built upon— that opportunity for every individual.

I think if you take that away in any industry, America goes backwards. I don’t foresee it ever going away, and I still see every day in this industry, general managers with the opportunity to either buy in as executive managers with a percentage of ownership, or one day succeeding and taking over their dealerships in full ownership.

Are there certain brands to look out for in acquiring a dealership in 2021? Any brands with exciting new tech or electric vehicles?

Look at Hyundai and Genesis. They’ve come a long way in development and now enable driving with no hands on the wheel. Just a phenomenal technology.

Tesla, obviously. They’ve been on a run, doing a great job. Elon Musk is such a savvy guy who really understands what the consumer wants and how to build it to the next level.

General Motors is investing a lot of R&D into electric vehicles and they’re going to continue to do so. Toyota too, starting with the Prius and continuing to invest a ton of R&D. Lexus is also doing a fantastic job.

I think we’re going to see every manufacturer carry their weight with the electric car, and it’s something to watch over these next 10 years.

One of the greatest things to watch will be, who’s going to make the first battery that goes 1000 miles.

I think part of America is still scared of that 300- to 400-mile radius. Once that first battery comes out that will give you 1000 miles on one charge, you’ll see the market boom.

Right now it’s a lot of the West Coast with electric cars. You’re going to see drastically more of them on the East Coast and in the Midwest. They’ll be more on the top of consumers’ lists once the distance and reliability are there, and people feel more comfortable.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about what you learned as a business leader as a human being in 2020?

Where do I begin? I’ve learned more in the last 12 months than in my entire lifetime. There has obviously been a lot of tragedy throughout this pandemic, but it has also given many of us the opportunity to sincerely reflect.

For me it’s been the ability to create balance, to realize you don’t always have to be on the go. You don’t always have to balance 50,000 things to accomplish your goals.

Over the last 10 months, people have spent more time with families. We’re going back to eating dinner together every night. I think that’s something that people almost got away from with technology, cell phones, video games… They consume us. These last nine months have provided an opportunity for us to peel back the onion and get to know who we are as spouses, who are as children, as siblings, as friends.

Sometimes, when you’re going 150 miles an hour in life, you never get the opportunity to turn around and say, Is this right for me? Is this the best choice I’m making?

Everyone’s ultimate goal is to live their best life. Well, what does that mean? It doesn’t always mean more. It doesn’t mean being financially wealthy, having big homes, fancy cars, and designer clothes. What it ultimately means is our health: our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. And everything we do—our jobs, our families, our time we have for ourselves—goes into that.

I’m gonna tell you what I told my 10 year old son this morning. I don’t want him to just remember the last ten months. I want him to reflect on what he learned over these ten month that’s going to benefit him for the next eight years, for the rest of his life.

Finally, what are your goals and predictions for 2021?

2021 is for everyone to not just start over but to be their best in every single area of life— to be a better father, son or daughter, a better spouse, a better employee or employer, a better individual. Everyone in the United States and around the world has experienced a tragedy in this pandemic, and I think it’s taught us to be more passionate individuals. So my prediction for 2021 is that we’ll see more passion and compassion in people.

America is the most resilient country there is. We’ll find a way to bounce back. Everyone’s got the tenacity to figure this out. Consider the automotive industry. They went from selling 17 million cars, to a complete standstill, to then completing the greatest year in automotive history. That’s the momentum we’re coming off of right now.

As a whole, we’re going to get out there, become a stronger country, become a stronger culture.

And ultimately we’ll say this has been an experience we’ve learned from.

We’re going to get some good out of this pandemic–and I hate to use the words good and pandemic in the same sentence–but if everyone reflects and says What could I get out of this? … if they focus on the positive and not the negative, then positive things are going to manifest.

People are going to find a way to prosper from this, so my ultimate prediction is that we will bounce back as a country. We will bounce back as an industry. We will bounce back as individuals, as Americans, and worldwide. And we’re going to get through this.

Book Dave Cantin to Take Your Automotive Business to the Next Level

Contact Dave Cantin today to learn more about how his industry expertise and business acumen can help you achieve your goals. With a proven track record of success in the automotive industry, Dave and his team can provide the guidance and support you need to take your business to new heights. Don’t wait – get in touch now and book Dave Cantin to get motivated and start building the future you’ve always envisioned.

Operational excellence is a philosophical term that describes the various actions that go into improving your business, whether those involve delivering outstanding customer service, creating a positive working environment for your employees, or fostering a culture of teamwork. Below, you can discover five of the absolute best tips for creating operational excellence in your own dealership so that you can build your legacy. 

#1 – Plan Your Work

You would never set out across the country without some sort of map, whether you prefer a traditional roadmap or GPS from your smartphone. It’s important to think of your dealership in much the same way. You may know where you want to go, but if you don’t have a plan for getting there, you’re going to run into traffic, roadwork, and other issues that could have been avoided. Create a clear plan for your operations, including a long-term roadmap that will help you realize your ultimate vision. 

#2 – Communicate Clearly 

One of the most important things you can do to achieve operational excellence in your dealership involves not only communicating clearly yourself, but encouraging others to communicate clearly, too. Things like implementing an “open-door policy” in which your employees can come directly to you with questions or concerns about things that are happening within the company is a great first step. You might also choose to hold weekly meetings and encourage discussions about the week’s events. 

#3 – Measure What Matters

If you think of operational excellence in the same way as athletic prowess, there’s only one real way for you to measure your abilities: keeping score. If you want to know how your dealership is doing, you must be able to measure your success via some sort of scorecard. Make a list of your KPIs (key performance indicators) and understand what goes into each one. Then, create the best possible method for measuring those KPIs and ensure that everyone knows exactly how they are performing by making the “scorecard” accessible. 

#4 – Implement Quality Control

In an auto dealership, quality control is all about making certain that your employees are working hard to meet the KPIs you’ve set without sacrificing quality. For example, if you expect your employees to sell X cars in a month, your employees should be able to meet that goal without resorting to black-hat tactics that might sacrifice your dealership’s reputation. Offering surveys to people who visit your dealership and regularly tending to online reviews is just one way of controlling your dealership’s quality. 

#5 – Reward Good Results 

If you want operational excellence, it’s important that you reward it when you have it. When you appropriately reward the good things that drive excellence forward, those behaviors are far more likely to be repeated. For example, if employees exceed their KPIs, offering them some form of recognition in front of their peers is by far one of the best ways to continue to encourage exceptional KPIs in the future. 

At the end of the day, operational excellence in a dealership is all about ensuring that you and your employees are taking the right steps to drive the best possible customer experience in every single interaction to convert more of your lot’s visitors into happy and loyal buyers. These five tips can go a long way toward helping you achieve that goal. 

Ready to Inspire Your Team and Drive Operational Excellence in Your Dealership?

Book Dave Cantin to speak at your next dealership event and give your team the tools they need to succeed. As a seasoned automotive entrepreneur, motivational business speaker, and expert in operational excellence, Dave has the experience and insights to help your dealership thrive in today’s competitive landscape. With a dynamic speaking style and a gift for engaging audiences, Dave can motivate your team and inspire them to achieve their goals. Don’t miss this opportunity to bring Dave Cantin to your dealership – contact us today to book him for your next speaking engagement.

Succession planning involves recruiting and developing individuals to fill key roles within companies as employees leave an organization, and that includes your own successor when the time comes for you to retire. Here’s what you need to know about succession planning and finding the right person or people to carry on your legacy. 

Planning a Successor for a Privately-Held Dealership

In a privately-held dealership, your goal will most likely be passing your legacy on to a family member – usually one of your children, or perhaps a niece, nephew, or even grandchild. Though this would certainly be ideal in almost every case, it is not always a feasible option. You may not have children, or your children may have no interest in owning an auto dealership once you retire. 

In this case, you may have other options aside from keeping the dealership in your family. Perhaps you have a lifelong friend who has helped you manage and run your business for many years, or maybe one of your employees who has been with you through thick and thin understands the ins and outs and is willing to take on the responsibility. In either case, it can be incredibly gratifying, particularly if the person or people you choose share your passion and your business values.  Another option available to you involves selling your dealership to a third party and investing the funds you receive to help carry on your family legacy for many years to come.  

What Succession Planning in the Auto Sales Industry Should Entail

When you’ve narrowed down your choices for your successor, the next step involves making certain that the transfer of ownership flows smoothly. Ultimately, the factors you should consider will vary depending on the successor you choose. 

Deciding who will take over your auto dealership when it is time for you to retire might seem like a stressful endeavor, but with the right information – and with the ability to think critically, even when it comes to friends and family – there is little doubt that you will make the decision that is best for you and your family. 

Book Dave Cantin to Take Your Automotive Business to the Next Level

Contact Dave Cantin today to learn more about how his industry expertise and business acumen can help you achieve your goals. With a proven track record of success in the automotive industry, Dave and his team can provide the guidance and support you need to take your business to new heights. Don’t wait – get in touch now and book Dave Cantin to get motivated and start building the future you’ve always envisioned.

Speaking to an audience can be terrifying for some, but for others, the feeling of truly connecting with people who share your passions and those who need the information you can deliver is almost euphoric. Below, you will find five tips to engaging with your audience so that when you speak, you speak with impact, fervor, and passion. 

#1 – Start Your Talk Off with an Interesting Story

Numerous surveys and studies have shown that people have very short attention spans and pay attention to speakers for about eight minutes before they start to daydream or otherwise stop paying attention. Regardless, you can captivate your audience and hold its attention for much longer if you start your talk off with an impactful story. You might try surprising your audience with something they don’t expect or telling them a heartwarming personal story as long as it relates to the message you are delivering. 

#2 – Make a Promise (and Keep It)

Next, make sure that your audience is aware of exactly why they are about to sit and listen to you talk. What is it that your speech or talk is going to deliver? What can your audience take away from what you are about to say, and how can they put it to use in their daily lives? “When you leave here today, you will be prepared to increase your revenue by as much as 50%” is a great example of a clear and concise promise that your audience can focus on throughout your presentation.

#3 – Enunciate and Be Concise

Your words can be some of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal, but that’s only true if your audience can understand them. Make certain that you carefully enunciate your words, that you use terminology your audience is sure to understand, and that you avoid going off-topic and rambling. These things are surefire ways to lose your audience from the start, so keep them in mind. 

#4 – Get Your Audience to Interact with You

When you’re speaking to a group and you want your words to truly mean something to them, the worst thing you can do is lecture them. Some ideas include having short question and answer sessions during the event, singling out members of the audience to give you information, such as a name or state of residence, and even organizing group discussions that make your entire talk interactive from start to finish. 

#5 – Use Calls to Action

If you were writing a letter to persuade someone to give you a million dollars, your goal would be to convince that person of the reasons why you deserve to have that money and what you plan to do with it. When you deliver information during a talk or speech, you need to think along those same lines. Use calls to action to give your audience a reason to act on what you say. 

Engaging with your audience is critical to ensuring that you can deliver your message accurately and truly make a difference in the lives of those listening to you. These five tips will help you do just that more powerfully, with impact, and with passion that your audience will feel.

Contact Us to Book Dave Cantin

Whether you’re hosting a conference, seminar, or workshop, Dave’s insights and expertise will leave your audience inspired and empowered. From team building and sales strategies to personal growth and development, Dave has the knowledge and experience to deliver a presentation that will resonate with your audience and help them achieve their goals. Don’t miss this opportunity to book Dave Cantin for your next speaking engagement. Contact us today to learn more about Dave’s availability and how we can work together to create an unforgettable event!