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Nicosia Knows How To Deliver Message

Joe Nicosia, the president of Allenberg Cotton in Memphis, Tenn., has probably never thought about running for public office. But, if the thought ever crossed his mind, it wouldn’t necessarily surprise a lot of folks. This Dartmouth-educated man knows how to deliver a message better than anyone we’ve seen in the cotton industry. His recent presentation at the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show in Memphis had to be seen to be appreciated.
For those of us who have attended this event for many years, we’ve been treated to his market updates on a regular basis. But don’t call them speeches. They are more like spontaneous, freewheeling presentations that are informative but never dull. Nicosia apparently doesn’t like to stand at a podium. Instead, he opts for putting on a wireless microphone so that he can have the freedom to walk back and froth in front of the audience while simultaneously hitting a clicker to change the slides on two large screens.
He doesn’t read from anything. He simply talks in a non-stop manner and intersperses his comments with entertaining anecdotes. His command for economic facts and figures borders on the amazing. He can give projections and estimates in a matter of seconds. And he never bores an audience.
Some economists like to hedge their bets and not stray too far out on a limb. Nicosia, however, is bold in his predictions and will quickly admit when he’s wrong. That has a way of winning him a lot of friends when he’s talking to a room full of producers hanging on his every word.
The Memphis merchant also likes to paint a big picture of where global demand might be headed in the next five years. In other words, he expands on his economic projections and easily shows how trends can turn into reality.
One of the secrets to public speaking is the ability to communicate with an audience and mix in just enough humor to keep the message interesting. Nicosia does that perfectly…especially when he shows a funny slide to support his comment. Obviously, it’s good business to build a rapport with a producer/ginner audience. In the long run, it’s a win-win for both sides. The producers gain some valuable information from a respected merchant who is president of the largest cotton merchandising in the world. Nicosia, meanwhile, helps reinforce ties with important customers.
At his recent speech at the Gin Show in Memphis, he concluded by telling producers to plant every acre to cotton, if possible. He called it the greatest opportunity they’ll have to make money on this commodity.
I am willing to predict that everyone in the room agreed with him. He was so persuasive that I would’ve voted for him if he’d been running for Congress.
He spoke for nearly an hour, and it seemed like about 20 minutes. That’s how quickly the time flew by for a man who knew how to connect with several hundred farmers and ginners.