Category Archives: Business Tips

Where Do You Find Good Ideas?

Do you find good ideas in a conference room? Read Seth Godin’s blog for the answer.  http://ping.fm/Iwoh5

LinkedIn More Popular than Twitter?

More people LinkedIn than tweeting http://ping.fm/tpXNJ

Interview with Tom Martin of Business Lexington

Interview with Tom Martin of Business Lexington

Tom Martin, Editor in Chief, Business Lexington

Tom Martin, Editor in Chief of Business Lexington of Lexington, Kentucky talks to Inside The Speaker Studio about his radio background, how he transitioned from radio to print, how Business

Lexington is a “partner in the progress,” how and where they get their news, and a share a piece of trivia that you’ll find quite interesting. This program was recorded in his office at Smiley Pete Publishing on March 9, 2010.

When a Speaker Cancels: 5 Tips for Survival

As a busy meeting planner dealing with last-minute conference details, the last thing you need is for your speaker or entertainer to not show up or cancel at the last minute. Canceled or delayed flights (one of which I’m quite familiar), family emergencies, or scheduling conflicts can create havoc for you and your already busy time line.  There are steps you can take to be sure you are not caught off guard without a speaker.
1. Plan Ahead – A good rule for planning an event is to always have a backup plan.  Be in contact with your convention and visitors’ bureau or conference/hotel management staff.  They often keep files of local speakers or entertainers who can fill in at the last minute.
2.  Tap into Current Resources – Sometimes other presenters at your conference, such as those hired for your breakout sessions can fill in for the empty slot.
3. Request a Replacement – If the canceling speaker is truly professional, he/she will offer a replacement speaker.  They will NOT leave you high and dry.  That is a good way for a professional to get what we call in the industry, “black-listed.”  So, ask your canceling speaker for a possible replacement.
4. Work with a Speakers Bureau – One of the guarantees a speakers bureau offers is to provide you with a backup should your primary speaker suddenly cancel.  Bureaus filter for professional speakers who live by a strict code of ethics.  Bureaus work for YOU, not the speaker.  Some speakers have agents.  These agents have the speaker’s best interest at heart, not yours.  A bureau is your best solution to assisting you with your needs. It is in their best interest to help you with your event, no matter what the budget.
5. Get it in Writing – Be sure to accommodate for these provisions in your contract with the speaker.  A bureau should be including stipulations for these types of changes.  If not, find another bureau.

Remember to breathe and understand that there is help available.  Keep these simple tips in mind and you will feel more comfortable about dealing with the situation should it ever happen to you.

Recommended Reading:
Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Meeting & Event Planning, 2nd Edition

How to Connect with Introverts & Extroverts

Professional speaker and trainer, Anne Murray, teaches people to understand themselves and each other. She joined me today on my BlogTalkRadio Show, “Inside The Speaker Studio” to discuss introverts and extroverts. She defines the differences between introverts and extroverts and if one prefers one over the other. She also talked about how the two types affect our relationship and the kinds of communication behaviors each has. From body language to how we argue. Is one better than the other? Listen to this 30 minute interview to find out.

Warm Fuzzies & Cold Pricklies

Anne Murray writes:

“Why do some people attack your ideas publicly, criticize you frequently, find it difficult to be tactful, insist on their view of what is logical, fail to give compliments, and then expect you to want to work with them? Why do others give compliments and appreciation, support your ideas in meetings, make suggestions for improvement tactfully and privately, look for the positive and then expect you to want to work with them? What about your customers? Are some of them “cold pricklies”, wanting brief and businesslike transactions, while others appear to be “warm fuzzies”, wanting personal interactions before discussing the business at hand?” Read entire article.

Add Value to a Meeting

Brian Tracy writes in his new book:
“The key to success in a meeting is for you to be persuasive. It lets you affect the direction of the discussion and influence the final decisions and conclusions with your input.

To be persuasive in a meeting, the meeting participants must like you. To be liked, you must be likeable. People must willingly support you and approve of your ideas and your positions. The key to increasing your influence and persuading others to support and agree with you is simple: Make others feel important.

There are six things (“the six A’s”) you can practice to make others feel more valuable in a meeting or any other social or business situation. They are essential if you want to speak to win.

1. Acceptance. One of the deepest human needs is to be unconditionally accepted by others. You express your acceptance of others by looking directly at them and smiling, both when they come in and when they say something or contribute to the meeting. This makes the individual feel valuable and important. It raised his or her self-esteem and improves his or her self-image. It also causes the person, at a subconscious level, to want to support you in the things you suggest or say.” Read entire article here.

Get Brian Tracy’s new best-selling book with 2 bonus CDs, Speak on Your Feet and Communicate With Power for only $29.99!

Speak to Win

The Studio Adds Video

One of the most important tools a speaker can have is video. The other day I received a beautiful looking media packet from a speaker with impeccable credentials. I reviewed his onesheet, testimonials, and topics and felt he could be easily placed among my growing client list. Along with this packet was a video. I quickly slipped it into my DVD player and anxiously awaited a dynamic speaker. I waited . . . and waited . . . surely the voiceover introduction would be done soon. But I waited some more . . . next came testimonials . . finally, I see the speaker. But he’s not talking. He’s just moving around on a stage with a voiceover telling me how great he is. Well, if he’s so great, LET’S HEAR HIM TALK! Meeting planners really don’t care if speakers are CSP, CPAE, or CMP. You could be an LMNOP or CRT for all I care. The bottom line is How are you in front of an audience? Are you motivating? Will you provide effective and memorable content? Or will you just be an over-priced sack of ego? A professoinal video displaying your talent is not only necessary, it’s a must. It doesn’t take much, but does take time and creativity. To help out our meeting planners we have added a YouTube site to The Speaker Studio. They are video vingnettes that short, sweet, and to the point – edited by The Speaker Studio to showcase how a speaker looks and sounds in front of an audience. Check them out at www.TheSpeakerStudio.com/videos.html. You can also find them on our blog at http://www.insidethespeakerstudio.com/. Or go straight to YouTube to view them at http://www.youtube.com/thespeakerstudio

There are many do-it-yourself software programs to help you cut editing costs. One such package is Magix and is inexpensive software for creating your demo videos. Click here for more information

Check out Digital Video For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))
by Keith Underdahl by For Dummies Paperback
List Price: $24.99
Our Price: $10.23Buy Now

Improve your ROI

By Susan Coates, The Speaker Studio

Every year meeting and conference planners are required to grow their conferences. They are expected to draw more attendees and/or generate more revenue. But how? Especially when the budget hasn’t increased? Obviously costs need to be cut. But where?

Increasing attendance requires exciting and educational programs. Most conferences seek a high-profile speaker or celebrity to be the draw. But does that really work? Celebrities are expensive and if they’re not professional speakers or have quality platform skills, can be a real disappointment for your group. Then, next year, it will be even more difficult to attract attendees. Finding a speaker with excellent delivery skills that has quality material suitable for your audience’s needs can still be a big draw for your conference. How?

Folks need to get excited about your event. Your best form of advertising is to get others talking about the speakers, and that starts with your committee and/or board of directors. Find out where your speakers are going to be presenting between the time when you hire them and when they will be presenting for your group. Invite those board members or committee members see “live” presentations of your speakers. The speaker, the bureau, or The Speaker Studio has resources to help you find where these speakers will be – at a location near you. For example, World Champion Speaker, Ed Tate, will be speaking in Blue Ash, Ohio on April 26, 2008. If you want to see him “live,” give us a call. Watch a short video of Ed Tate HERE.

Another way to promote your speaker is to survey your attendees prior to the event to find out exactly what they’d like to hear or learn. Then have The Speaker Studio conduct a customized interview with the speaker addressing some of the issues discovered in the survey. Then post this interview on your website or use in your marketing materials. The interview will not only energize your potential attendees to register for your event, but will pique their interest to hear the answers to the other survey questions as well. Check out other promotional interviews conducted by The Speaker Studio at www.TheSpeakerStudio.com/podcast.

Many conventions have giveaways such as mugs, ink pens, stress balls, etc. I don’t know about other conference attendees, but I avoid picking these up because I already have too many at home and certainly don’t need another keychain. What I need is solid information that I can take home and use in my business, my career, my job. Negotiating with a speaker on product is the most beneficial bonus you can offer your attendees. Most speakers have them – books, CD’s, DVD’s, etc. I will actually pay more for a conference or seminar if I know I’m taking home quality materials that will help me in my everyday life. There are multiple ways to negotiate product. We can help.

With the rising cost in hotel sleeping rooms, conference space, and air travel, it is getting more and more difficult to create a memorable meeting without breaking the bank. Creativity is the tool and The Speaker Studio is here to help.

Working from a closet??

“Every morning I wake up at 4:30, brush my teeth, and head to the office wearing pajamas.” says Marilyn Grabowski of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. “I don’t travel far – my desk is in my bedroom’s walk-in closet. My husband, Tom, and I started our 12-employee firm, Atlantic Infra-red (atlanticinfra-red.com), in 2002 out of our home in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. We own five trucks equipped with infrared technology, which we use to restore asphalt surfaces, mostly on heavily traveled roads. Our revenues hit $1.2 million in 2006. Read entire article.