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    Four different ways people process your information

     

    Publishing Guidelines: You are welcome to publish this article in its entirety, electronically, or in print free of charge, as long as you include my full signature file for ezines, and my Web site address in hyperlink for other sites. Please send a courtesy link or email where you publish. Thank you. ___________________________________________________________ TITLE: Four Different Ways People Process Your Information AUTHOR: Sandra Schrift COPYRIGHT: ©2006 by Sandra Schrift. All rights reserved Format: 60 Characters per line ___________________________________________________________ Four Different Ways People Process Your Information There are four different ways that audience members assimilate information. They are: visual, auditory, auditory digital, and kinesthetic. While all members of the audience will process information utilizing all four of these approaches at different times, each audience member will individually tend to rely on one of these approaches more than the other three. Visual: These people memorize and learn by seeing pictures and are less distracted by noise than others. They often have difficulty remembering and are bored by long, verbal presentations because their minds will wander. They are interested in how your presentation looks. They like it when you use words like “see, look, envision, imagine, and picture” in your presentation as these words encourage them to make pictures in their minds. Auditory: These people are easily distracted by any noises occurring during your presentation. Typically these audience members learn by listening, Your vocal tone and vocal quality will be very important with these people. Words that work well with people in this category include “hear, listen, sound, resonate, and harmonize.” Auditory Digital: These audience members spend a fair amount of time in their heads talking to themselves. They memorize and learn by steps, procedures, and sequences. They want to know that your presentation makes sense. Words that are effective with these people include “sense, experience, understand, think, motivate, and decide.” Kinesthetic: These audience embers often speak very slowly. They are much more oriented towards their feelings than people in the other three categories. They learn by actively doing something and getting the actual feeling of it. They are interested in a presentation that “feels right” or gives them a “gut feeling.” Words that are effective with these audience members include “feel, touch, grasp, concrete, get hold of, and solid.” Approximately 40% of the population are primarily visual, approximately 40% are primarily kinesthetic, and the remaining 20% are primarily auditory and auditory digital in how they process information.

         
    History of public speaking

     

    There never has been in the history of the world a time when the spoken word has been equaled in value and importance by any other means of communication. If one traces the development of mankind from what he considers its earliest stage he will find that the wandering family of savages depended entirely upon what its members said to one another. A little later when a group of families made a clan or tribe the individuals still heard the commands of the leader, or in tribal council voiced their own opinions. The beginnings of poetry show us the bard who recited to his audiences. Drama, in all primitive societies a valuable spreader of knowledge, entertainment, and religion, is entirely oral. In so late and well organized communities as the city republics of Greece all matters were discussed in open assemblies of the rather small populations. Every great epoch of the world's progress shows the supreme importance of speech upon human action individual and collective. In the Roman Forum were made speeches that affected the entire ancient world. Renaissance Italy, imperial Spain, unwieldy Russia, freedom loving England, revolutionary France, all experienced periods when the power of certain men to speak stirred other men into tempestuous action. The history of the United States might almost be written as the continuous record of the influence of great speakers upon others. The colonists were led to concerted action by persuasive speeches. The Colonial Congresses and Constitutional Convention were dominated by powerful orators. The history of the slavery problem is mainly the story of famous speeches and debates. Most of the active representative Americans have been leaders because of their ability to impress their fellows by their power of expressing sentiments and enthusiasms which all would voice if they could. Presidents have been nominated and candidates elected because of this equipment. During the Great War the millions of the world were as much concerned with what some of their leaders were saying as with what their other leaders were doing. There is no aspect of modern life in which the spoken work is not supreme in importance. Representatives of the nations of the world deciding upon a peace treaty and deliberating upon a League of Nations sway and are swayed by speech. National assemblies from the strangely named new ones of infant nations to the century old organizations speak, and listen to speeches. In state legislatures, municipal councils, law courts, religious organizations, theaters, lodges, societies, boards of directors, stockholders' meetings, business discussions, classrooms, dinner parties, social functions, friendly calls in every human relationship where two people meet there is communication by means of speech.

         
    How to be a great speaker without using powerpoint

     

    RESEARCH YOUR AUDIENCE It amazes me how some speakers will show up for a speaking engagement and really not know anything about the audience they are speaking to. Many speakers just get lazy and feel that their message is so important that anyone would want to hear it. They couldn't be more wrong. Your core message may be about the same for everyone, but knowing your audience will allow you to slant the information so that the audience feels it was prepared just for them. They will relate much better to the information and think much more highly of you for creating something specifically for them. Of course, in many cases you were only slanting your information, but I won't tell if you won't. PRACTICE The only way to look polished while speaking is to practice. This is one skill you cannot delegate to anyone else. It is you that is on stage with the microphone and it is you who will look either great or terrible. You are sadly mistaken and egotistical if you think the PowerPoint slides that either you or someone else created will make you a dynamic speaker. There are specific techniques used to practice that don't take much time and make you look extremely polished. One of these techniques is called bits. You practice a short piece of material over and over again. You don't practice it word for word, but just talk your way through it. This way you won't blank out when a distraction happens while you are on stage. TAKE CARE OF HECKLERS The following is my famous asterisk technique; I use it to make sure hecklers don't interrupt my presentation. I get people in the group to identify potential troublemakers BEFORE I get to the event. I phone these people and interview them to give them the attention they are craving. I then mention their names during the speech. This virtually eliminates the chance they will give me a hard time because I am praising one of their opinions. This works really well but don't mention their names exclusively or the rest of the audience that knows these people are trouble may think that you are just as bad. Mention a wide variety of people in the audience. Just make sure the bad ones are included which normally keeps them at bay. USE EMOTIONAL LANGUAGE Boring old facts rarely move people to action. Learning to use words that evoke emotions in people will make a much greater impact when you speak. There are many emotions you can trigger in the audience just by your choice of words. Happiness, anger, sadness, nostalgia are just a few. Knowing your purpose for being in front of the group helps you to pick which emotions you want to tap. When your purpose is known, choosing words to get the desired emotional response is much easier. For instance, if you wanted to take someone back to a childhood experience you might say, "Do you remember when someone did something bad at school and the teacher smacked the yardstick on her desk?" The word Phrase "smacked the yardstick" would evoke an emotional response that many adults can relate to. A younger group may not relate to this phrase since corporal punishment has all but disappeared from schools. You must pick the words that would mean something to your audience. REVEAL YOURSELF Often people have trouble implementing this idea because they like to remain aloof and private. This will hurt their chances of making a good connection with people in the audience. You certainly don't have to reveal your deepest darkest secrets when on stage, but you certainly could tell someone how much you like horses, or how you love to cook . ..anything that will give them a glimpse into the real you will give you a better chance of connecting with them and getting them to listen to you. USE PROPS A prop is worth a thousand words. People can really anchor a thought in their minds when it is connected to an object that relates to the point you are trying to make. You could use large, small, funny or serious props. Always relate the prop to the point you are trying to make and make sure the audience can see it. Sometimes you'll want to hide the prop so people don't wonder what it is until you are ready to present it. USE HUMOR Even Shakespeare used humor in the middle of the tragedies he wrote. Humor is a powerful and effective tool that gives the audience's mind a chance to breath in the face of heavy material. It also makes you more likable and fun to listen to. Humor is also much more likely to make your information more memorable. You don't have to be a stand up comedian to use humor in speeches and presentations, and you don't have to tell jokes either. There are many ways to add humor that don't require any skill at all. You can show funny visuals, tell stories, or read from books or periodicals. Just like with props, make sue your humor relates to the point you are trying to make and you will be much more successful. Each issue of "Great Speaking" has about 20 pieces of humor you can use during speeches. MOVE 'EM TO ACTION If you are going to bother taking up people's time to speak to them, don't you think it would be a good idea to get them to do something positive because of your presentation? Even if they do something negative, it's still better than doing nothing because they will at least get a chance to learn something from their mistake. Regardless of the size of your ego, the reality is that you are there for them, not the other way around. I'm all for you building up your reputation, but if you go into your speech thinking it's all for you, it will show and you probably won't do as well as you would have had you concentrated on the needs of the audience more. BRING SOLUTIONS One of the best ways to make sure the audience loves you is to bring solutions to their problems. If you have done a thorough job of researching your audience, you already know what their problems are. It's your job to bring ideas for them to try. In modern day thinking this is what motivational speaking is all about. No longer is it good enough to get people all fired up where they are bouncing off the walls without a clue as to what they will do with this new found excitement and motivation. Modern professional motivational speakers bring solutions and a plan of action to achieve them. Now those are motivating. PAY ATTENTION TO LOGISTICS The best preparation, practice, and audience research could be ruined if you forget to pay attention to all the details surrounding a presentation. You want to know what is happening before you speak, and what is happening after you speak: How are the people seated? Are they at round tables where half of them are facing away from you, or are there no tables at all? What kind of microphone is appropriate? How big is the screen in the room? Will the people be drinking alcohol? What is the lighting like? All these items and many more affect the overall effectiveness of a presentation. The same exact words delivered with significantly different logistics could be received in entirely different ways. You could even go from a fantastic evaluation to a bomb just because of the way people are seated. It's up to you to know the differences and how they affect a presentation.

         
    How to be a public speaking star with the use of computers

     

    No, you will not be giving a speech using computers. A computer cannot speak for you on stage. No, that is not what this topic is about. I am saying computers can help you get in touch, while helping you search for information. You can use computers to help you write your speech, as well as to help you research effectively, edit your work, check spelling and grammar and moreputers can help you avoid wasting time; avoid never ending revising of your speech. A well-written speech should be typed on a computer. This looks more professional than handwriting. Furthermore, speeches often require research, support, correspondence and so forth. If you have a computer you can e-mail important messages much faster than taking the message to the post office. Furthermore, you can use the powerful Search Engine to find out any information you are searching for on the speech topic. How much better can it get. The Internet has a variety of newsletters, articles, headlines, magazines, newspaper and more that can put you in connection faster with important facts needed to finish your speech. Imagine spending hours at the local library compared to spending a few minutes online. After all, it’s all about saving time and working sufficiently. The Internet also has libraries all over the world with available information that will help you with the research process. Imagine delivering a ground-breaking speech to the public that is saturated with facts you can verify. The libraries often have helpful information and some libraries will literally find the information for you if it is not available in their library. As you can see you are not only saving time you are finding more information than you can deal with while writing your speech online. While writing your speech you can also use spell checkers, grammar checkers and other tools to edit your speech. Furthermore, you are going to love this, you can actually use the Thesaurus to discover new words that might enhance your speech. The computers also give you the ability to research languages, i. e. if you want to point out something in Spanish in your speech, you will have the tools to do so even if you can’t speak Spanish. Not only this, the time you spend writing your speech off the computer will stress you out. If you write, research and prepare your speech on a computer it will save you time, energy and money. One important issue you want to keep in mind while writing a ground-breaking speech on a computer is that the Worldwide Web of Chaos has a bunch of suckers that will drag you into their arena. Stay out! Set your goal and plan ahead of the game and include in plan avoiding getting into computer based nonsense that will hinder you while writing your speech. One thing you want to avoid also while writing your speech is stopping and revising the sentences as you write them. This will only hinder your progress. Instead, write the darn report and read it after you finish. If it makes sense and sounds good, use it, if it sounds disturbing…then you can edit the sentences. As a writer one of the best tools I have is the ability to finish my articles, read them aloud, which helps me to spot out areas that needed brushing or polishing. In the world of editing you could nick and pick through every word and sometimes never find sense in the words, however, a good edit will read the words and define them carefully before considering abolishing the sentences. Thus, they look at structure, characters, grammar, spelling and more to decide whether it fits. Conclusion Overall the point is by using a computer; you can save time which in turn will reduce stress for you.

         
    How to communicate better with body language secrets

     

    "I don't let my mouth say nothin' my head can't stand." Louis Armstrong Since the 1970’s, learning how to communicate better has had a lot to do with understanding body language. Julius Fast wrote a book entitled, Body Language in 1970. He talked about a new science called Kinesics. It opened the way to more studies and books on the subjects. Today, the term Body Language is very common and understood as an important element of communication. In fact, experts in the field of communication suggest that there is a rule that says that 7% of the meaning of what a person is saying comes from their words. Interestingly, 38% is based on the tone of their voice. 55% of the meaning comes from the body language of the person that is speaking. This rule comes from research that was published in the late 1960’s. Some now think that the percentages from this research might be slightly different. Nevertheless, the bottom line is still the same. If you don’t know the basics of body language, you are missing a valuable tool for learning how to communicate better. We speak body language on a subliminal level, without actually realizing that we are communicating through body talk. 1. Face The most expressive part of your body is your face. When you enter a room if you feel nervous, your expression might make you look aloof or unfriendly. Smiling at the room is a sure-fire way to remove anyone’s doubts about your approachability. Smiling makes us look warm, open and confident. 2. Eyes They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. They certainly give people clues about what we are feeling. A direct gaze towards someone can show interest - direct staring on the other hand can mean an intense dislike. Very little eye contact can show that you are shy. 3. Hands Have you ever watched someone’s hand gestures when they are talking? Open hand gestures tend to make a person appear open and honest. Bringing hands together to a point can accent the point you are making. Wringing your hands or excessively moving your fingers and hands will give away nervousness. It can even make someone look dishonest - are they trying to hide something? 4. Posture If you lean towards someone you are showing an interest in that person. If we are feeling low in confidence, we tend to slouch our shoulders and look down. Men and women use different body language. For instance, women will stand close to each other, hold eye contact with the person they are talking to and use gestures. Men make little effort to maintain eye contact and don’t rely on the use of gestures to communicate. Men and women can learn how to communicate better by observing the differences in their use of body language.

         
    How to communicate in his love language

     

    Are you wondering how to communicate with that new man in your life? Or maybe you are just wondering about the next man in your life? New or old, it’s never too late to learn how to communicate in the language of love. Maybe you’ve seen the tomboyish girl that somehow has men flocking around her. If you stopped turning green with envy for a moment, you’d notice why she was a man magnet. She just sort of fit herself into him, like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle that he didn’t even know was missing. Instead of rolling your eyes at that dazed and happy-in-love look he has on his face, why not look into how she did it? Learn these tips on how to communicate in a whole new way by getting to know his love language and speaking it fluently! We all know that love is built on the solid foundation of communication. When we are in love we are on the same page as our lover. It’s a special level of communication that people in love have. Some call it chemistry, but really, in order to even get to the chemistry stage you need to know his love language. For a clue as to what that might be, we need to understand how he relates to the world around him. Everyone perceives their world with three senses - sight, sound and feelings. Psychologists have discovered that even though we use all three senses, one of these senses is always more pronounced. It doesn’t mean that it replaces the others, but if you pay attention, the more dominant one will reveal itself to you. Asking questions is the easiest and fastest way to learn his language and since asking questions is the most common way to get to know someone or start a conversation, he’ll never suspect. He’s just returned from a business trip. You ask about his trip. Pay attention to his answer: 1. If he’s visual he might say: the weather was terrible. I didn’t get to see the sun once! 2. An auditory guy will talk about sounds: we got the account, which was good. But the hotel I stayed at was too noisy. 3. He is a feeler if he answers something like: I have to admit; I’m not much into traveling alone. I get lonely when I visit new places. Knowing a man’s love language is the key in how to communicate with him in a way that will make him feel that you are the missing piece to his puzzle. You’ll just fit. Of course, one question isn’t going to tell you. You’ll have to watch for a pattern to emerge. Once you do find the prominent sense, you’ll want to speak his language. Talking with your visual man will be all about what you saw on the way over, while the auditory fellow will want to know about the new CD you just bought. It doesn’t matter what your love language is. As long as you know how to communicate to him in his Love Language you’ll soon be the envy of all the other girls. That is, unless you tell them your secret.

         
    How to develop a dynamic story

     

    Story telling is a very effective way to get your point across. Here are some tips to help you develop a dynamic powerful story. • Decide on the purpose for the story. What is the main point you want to make? Slant the telling of the story so that that point is clear. • Create the backdrop. Describe the scene so that the audience can picture it in their minds. What is the time, location, weather? What is going on emotionally, physically, or spiritually? • Introduce the main characters. Help your audience to picture the important characters through detailed descriptions. Become them; describe their relationships, quirks and personality. Add character voices or mannerisms to make them different from your own. • Begin the Journey. What is the task, the goal, and the journey to take? What are the challenges that need to be faced? • Meet the obstacle. To avoid boredom something must happen to get in your way and make it interesting. This could be a person, a self limiting belief, or a challenge to overcome. Exaggeration will add humour. • Overcome the obstacles. What had to be done to overcome the obstacle? What inner resources did you have to summon? Did someone help you? A hero? Or you? Be specific. Break your solution down into a few steps in sequence. This is where the teaching happens. • Resolve the story. How did everything turn out? Tie up the loose ends-what happened to the other people? To your hero? • Make the point. A story needs one clear point to have more points confuses the issue. Write out and memorize the point, work on the words to make it simple and easy to remember. Find “the phrase that pays”. • Ask the question. Make your story personal to the audience. “Has that ever happened to you?” Turn the main point into a question. Push their buttons! • Practice, practice, practice. Tell your stories to anyone who is willing to listen. Get feedback, make adjustments, and tell it again. These steps will ignite the WOW in your audience. Remember the best story you will ever tell is your next story!

         
    How to get the most out of your speaker investment

     

    : In a perfect world, you would have an unlimited budget to hire top speakers for your next meeting or convention. Since it's not, here are some tips on getting the most for your meeting dollar. Let me tell you about a project I worked on with the American Payroll Association that could be a model for you -- or at least expand your thinking about ways to use speakers. APA's Executive Director/CEO, Dan Maddux had a week of speaking and seminar slots to fill. Instead of assigning each slot to a different speaker, Dan chose to maximize the contribution of a few top people, using three of them in three different ways. That's how Dan made 1 + 1 + 1 = 9. Three speakers used three ways equals nine slots filled. Here's how such a move can save your organization and money and let you "trade up" to speakers you otherwise couldn't afford. Save on Hotels and Airfare Cutting the number of speakers might or might not reduce the total nights lodging needed, depending on your schedule. However, you'll definitely save on transportation -- for instance, three round-trips versus nine. Speakers May Reduce Fee I can't promise you that all speakers will do extra presentations for the same rates -- they won't. But the speaker you hired last year might have been more flexible if you had only thought to ask, "After your keynote, could you do a breakout session?" Or," Could you emcee?" "Could you moderate a panel?" Even, "Our chairman is a bit nervous. Could you coach him on speaking?" Speakers may give you a better price for three consecutive days at one hotel, rather than three separate dates months apart. For example, for the Florida Realtors Association, I asked, "After my luncheon speech, would you like me to do a seminar on speaking skills?" They said, "Well, the agenda is already slotted in, but we'd love it if you would emcee our Top Producers' panel, the first breakout session after lunch." For the California Interment Association, I was scheduled to present a two-hour seminar after lunch. I said, "What else is going on? Would you like to me to do a spouse program?" They said, "We've never had one, but we've invited spouses for a breakfast get-together." I added a 45-minute program that same morning. The only difference to me was that I had to go to the hotel a few hours earlier. Like most speakers, I want my clients to know I am there to serve them, not to pick up my speaking fee and run. It's Easier to Get Sponsors Trading up to big-name (or bigger-name) speakers makes it easier for you to get sponsors. Whenever people say, "We can't afford you," I always ask, "Do you have sponsors to help pay for your event?" Who would sponsor your event? Consider approaching the exhibitors at your conventions, or whoever sells to your members or who wants good PR with the people in the audience. List these "angels" prominently in the program. I always make a point of giving sponsors a good plug in my presentations. For example, after my opening story for the American Cemetery Association, I quoted the founder of my corporate sponsor, Service Corporation International. Then I gave examples to reinforce my points by reading from their newsletters, and my walk away line incorporated their name. I always let sponsor know, "Don't worry, they won't have any doubt who paid for me," and make a joke about it in my speech. Three Invaluable Bonuses Having speakers on hand throughout your event gives you far greater flexibility in scheduling. Continuity can establish a powerful connection between audience and speaker, getting your message across in a way that a wide variety of speakers couldn't. Dan Maddux says, "We found that when we triple-booked those speakers, they become even more popular, really getting to know our people who always want them to stay around longer." Continuity, during an event or from year to year, means your speakers are able to notice and volunteer to help your organization in special ways you may not have thought of. How It Works Recently, 1,674 members of the American Payroll Association attended its Sixteenth Annual Congress in Nashville. Dan chose as keynote speakers Art Linkletter, Susan RoAne, Willy Jolley, Al Walker, and me, Patricia Fripp. He had little trouble getting sponsorship to help pay for these keynoters because of the success of his past conferences. The Congress was scheduled to start on a Monday. Dan came up with the idea of offering an extra pre-Congress program on Sunday, "For Women Only." This isn't as sexist as it may sound because seventy-five percent of APA's membership is women. Dan figured that many could take advantage of cheaper Saturday night airline tickets, saving their company's money, so they might be open to an extra day of education and fun. He called this extra program "Women on the Ladder to Success: Career Strategies for the Millennium," and used six presenters. Three were from within the Association and industry, including the current president. Three were professional speakers who were also scheduled to speak during the main Congress. Each of the professionals gave two talks at this separate Sunday session. I did "Women in the Workplace, the Evolution of Career women" and "Are You a Wonder Woman or Superman in Payroll?" (In a custom-made Wonder Woman costume I had made 20 years ago. The fact I can still wear it deserves applause!) Susan RoAne spoke on "Taking Charge of Your Accomplishments" and "Women Who Make Things Happen: Traits of the Savvy and Successful." Diane Parente's programs were "Your Passport to Image Credibility" and "Looking Your Professional Best Without Spending a Fortune." Then, at the kick-off Monday session for the full membership, Susan was the keynote speaker with "Schmooze or Loose: How to Gain the Verbal Edge." She also presented a program for the vendors, "How to Make the Most of the Trade Show." Diane Parente delivered a breakout session on "Image, a Powerful Tool," and gave Dan's Board of Directors one-on-one consultation as a bonus. (17 in all.) I delivered the Congress's keynote speech, "Insights into Excellence," presented a marketing seminar for the vendors, "How to Nurture Relationships Once You Leave the Trade Show," and, as a break-out, conducted a workshop on "How to Sell Yourself and Your Ideas." Having booked the Sunday before the conference, Maddux thought of a way to use his talent pool for a Speakers' School on Saturday. Last year this program had been a success, but with a smaller audience of their speakers who talk on tax law changes, it had not justified a hiring a keynote caliber presenter to teach it. As I was already going to be there for several days I was excited at the prospect. I suggested we invite his association members scheduled to give programs during the congress. He also invite the APA leadership from the State chapters who have to speak at their meetings and get no formal public speaking training. As far as I am concerned the more the merrier. I charge the same whether my audience is five or 5,000. After the session I helped the President and Woman of the Year totally rewrite their talks. They have now requested I train them at least 3 months before next yearнs convention. Synergy Makes Good Sense Dan says "Using proven professionals in several slots so they develop a rapport with the audience is a better investment than bringing in a different speaker for each slot. In our case, two of the speakers, Diane and Patricia, had been so successful as keynoters the previous year that the audience was looking forward to seeing them again. This gave us the advantage of repeat role models, because our presidents turn over every year. The added fact that Patricia, Diane, and Susan had worked together before, and are best friends, gave us even more bang for our buck. We could never have put a dollar value on that kind of synergy. "I need my speakers to deliver a message and be powerful role models. Patricia, Diane, and Susan are all self-made women over fifty, looking good, feeling good, and they've built their careers themselves. This is an important message for our Association audience." More Bang for Your Buck Dan Maddux was able to negotiate with his speakers for a lot of extras. Many professionals figure that, as long as they are there anyway and being well paid, their time belongs to the client. Therefore, they are happy to take on extra tasks. The next time you are planning to hire a speaker, consider using him or her in multiple ways. It doesn't hurt to ask if the speaker would be willing to:

    • Deliver one or two "breakout sessions" or a spouse program along with the keynote at the same half-day fee.
    • Introduce other speakers.
    • Emcee the event that they are part of.
    • Help association Presidents of Board of Directors with their own presentations, either in advance or while the speaker is there.
    • Say a prayer at a meal.
    • Moderate a panel.
    • Sign autographs.
    • Appear in the sponsor's booth to make their sponsorship more of an investment.
    Like most of my comrades in The National Speakers Association, I want to be memorable and to give full value for your meeting dollars. For the Hamilton Bank in Philadelphia, I even leaped out of a spaceship, wearing a Wonder Woman costume. (Getting into the spaceship was a little more complicated, but that's another story.)

         
    How to hire the perfect keynote speaker

     

    :

    • Establish the date, location and budget of your event. These factors will play an important role in determining the pool of keynote speakers available to you. Your date, for example, will affect which keynote speakers are available, whereas your budget will limit whom you can and can’t afford to hire. In order to save on the cost of the keynote speaker’s travel, you may want to consider the distance between where he or she resides and where your event will take place.
    • Determine the type of presentation you want and the time of day when it will take place. Some speakers are skilled at delivering workshops, while others excel at providing keynotes. After-dinner speakers should incorporate humor into their talks, where morning speakers should be energizing.
    • Clarify why you want to hire a keynote speaker. Some common reasons include the desire to:
      • Educate
      • Motivate
      • Shift behavior
      • Initiate a change effort
      • Raise funds
      • Promote a cause or organization
      • Entertain
    • Consider which keynote speakers have been successful in the past with your group or a group similar to yours.
    • Call your friends and associates. Asking for references can be a great way to narrow down your search. BigSpeak can locate any keynote speaker for you whether you see them on our roster or not.
    • Establish who the core decision makers are regarding a keynote speaker and tap into their vision.
    • Consider the demographics of your audience. Do you need a keynote speaker who will appeal to a general audience or one who will interest a specific demographic group (e. g., an all-women’s group)?
    • Avail yourself of BigSpeak!’s agents’ expertise. We have helped thousands through the process of choosing just the right keynote speaker for their event and are happy to lend you our ear and ideas. What’s more, our services are free. We are motivated to get you the best keynote speaker for your event because our aim is to keep you coming back to BigSpeak! for all of your keynote, training and consulting needs.

         
    How to impress others when you speak

     

    People expect more of a speaker that just words. Here's how to stand out. 1) Be the message. You must exemplify the principles, values, and ideas that you talk about in order to have credibility urging others to adopt them. 2) Think like the audience. Present your ideas from the viewpoint of how they will find them most useful. Realize that things that work for you, may depend upon your situation. Thus, customize new techniques to the world that your audience lives in. 3) Be original. Create your own cartoons and humor. Tell your own stories. Use your own activities. Stealing from others is unethical, illegal, and just plain wrong. You can be sued by the author (or cartoonist) for using copyrighted materials, such as cartoons from the newspaper. And you could find that your presentation follows one with the original versions of material that you planned to use. 4) Create a safe environment. People learn best when they feel safe to experiment and try new ideas. Treat everyone with respect. Never damage anyone in the audience, even if this person seems to be disrupting your presentation. 5) Be ethical. Cite references for published information. Obtain a license and pay royalties if you must use copyrighted materials. Realize that other speakers (authors, cartoonists, humorists, entertainers, etc.) depend upon their materials for their livelihood. 6) Let people discover and experience new ideas. Adults learn by applying what they are being taught. It makes learning more permanent and enjoyable. 7) Be authentic. That is, be yourself, without pretense, without gimmicks, and without theatrics. People can recognize a fake easily. And when they find one, they leave. 8) Leave the audience impressed with themselves. Create opportunities for people to be funny, clever, or correct. Feed the audience set up lines that lead them into being the stars in your program. Ask question that let them show off what they know. This facilitates adult learning by making people feel special, which opens their minds to new ideas. 9) Keep it simple. People benefit most from techniques that they can use now. 10) Speak to them about them. Everyone finds their own story the most interesting. If you tell your story, then take them with you by including them in your story. Help them experience what you felt, discover as you learned, and celebrate as if they had won.

         
    How to improve communication skills and your personal style

     

    Here are six tips for improving your communication style: 1. Knowing how to improve communication skills will come easier once you become aware of your own communication style. Each person has a unique way of communicating. Listen to your own speech. What sorts of words do you use? Which sort of body language and what tone of voice are you using? Now, think of someone who, in your opinion, is a good communicatorpare your style to theirs. You’ve just taken an important first step in how to improve communication skills. 2. Now that you are aware of your own style, study the style of those around you. How do the most important people in your life converse? How do they say things? Look for approaches you can model and make your own. 3. Adjust to the other styles of communication. Don’t think it is too late to change your way of conversing because it’s been years. You had to learn to communicate in the first place and you can unlearn certain behaviors or change them. Sometimes we get stuck in a communication rut. A father once was having a hard time with his teenaged daughter. She was growing and he thought she didn’t tell him what was going on in her life. They were in a heated discussion when he asked, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Her answer was that she had, but he was too busy lecturing her to hear her. He learned that adjusting his style to his daughter would involve listening first before jumping right into solving the problem. 4. To build rapport, during a conversation try and match the other person’s movements, posture and verbal style. Don’t do everything they do, but mirror one or two things. For example, if the person gives mostly short answers to questions, you follow suit. Or, maybe they talk at a slower pace than you usually do-slow your speaking speed to match theirs. This may sound simplistic but it is a very potent way to make someone feel very relaxed and comfortable in your presence. 5. The way you communicate at home may not be the same as in a different environment. Make sure you change your style to suit the different setting. Some comments you might want to tell your best friend, in private. Other things can be shared in a group setting. Learn how to improve communication skills by altering your style for the appropriate setting. Many of us know someone who offers far too much information in a group setting. 6. Don’t criticize others for communicating differently. If we all communicated in the same way, we’d soon be bored with each other. Getting a good grasp of your communication style and finding ways to accommodate other peoples’ styles, is a good way to improve your communication skills.

         
    How to promote your keynote speaker

     

    : Here are some tips from the National Speakers Association (NSA) on how to promote your keynote speaker:

    • Tantalizing Titles Get off to a strong start by assuring the session has a catchy title, advises Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) Chris Clarke-Epstein. "Start with a short, spiffy and clever title followed by a subtitle that explains the benefit of the session." Successful brochures contain titles that capture attention but also immediately answer the question, "so what?" The subtitle should contain phrases such as "how to," "10 tips," "master five steps," etc. Most importantly, make sure the session matches the description. "Hold speakers responsible for delivering what they promise," says Clarke-Epstein.
    • Work Your Web Site and Create a Buzz with E-Mail Familiarity breeds attendance, and your association's Web site is a great tool to introduce your professional speaker to your potential audience. NSA member Jeff Blackman, JD, CSP, offers the following tips to help you make the most your association's technologies. Post a detailed description of the session and the professional speaker on your site. Photos of the speaker in action are a good addition. You can also ask your keynote speaker to provide you with audio or video excerpts from a previous presentation to promote the program before the event. Be sure to provide your members with a link from your site to the keynote speaker's Web site. "Members can learn more about the speaker or obtain additional content before and after the program." When your event is over, Blackman also suggests posting audio or video excerpts from the session to reinforce the program's key points and educate members who were unable to attend. If your association has an online book or tape store, feature your keynote speaker's materials prior to the presentation. If you have a chat room or bulletin board, consider slating some time for your members to chat with your presenter. A professional speaker will use this opportunity to get to know your member's concerns and questions and will customize his or her speech accordingly. Your members will appreciate the opportunity to learn and participate. E-mail is another easy and inexpensive way to promote your event and your keynote speaker. Use it to remind your members to register. Send them links to information and online registration forms. Generate a pre-program buzz by sending an e-mail questionnaire to your members. The responses should go to the keynote speaker, who can reveal the findings during the presentation. Add a personal touch by having the presenter send a "welcome" message to each of your attendees.
    • Word of Mouth One of the best ways to promote your keynote speaker is to get other members talking about them, according to professional speaker and former Olympian Vincent Poscente. Find out where your keynote speaker is going to be presenting between the time when you hire them and when they will be presenting for your group. Invite members of your board of directors or event committee to see the presentation when your speaker is in their city. Consider having the keynote speaker address your chapters. Often, a professional speaker will negotiate fees when you book them for a number of presentations. Chapter newsletter editors often need additional material for their newsletters, so look into submitting an article on or from your presenter. Send them flyers to distribute at local meetings. Chapters are often the heart of an association, so don't overlook their potential to spread the word about your presenter.
    • The Write Stuff Chances are your presenter has written many articles on the subject at hand. You can also ask the keynote speaker to craft a customized article for your group or have a member of your staff conduct an interview. Not only do these articles make a great addition to your association's publication; they might also be a good fit for the publications of other industry-related associations you are building relationships with. Provide links to the articles on your Web site as well. This builds the keynote speaker's credibility and offers value-added information for your members. If your keynote speaker is published, use the professional speaker's book to build excitement for the presentation. You can give attendees the book when they register. For added panache, have a book waiting to greet members in their hotel room along with a welcome letter from your president. "Books can even be personalized…depending on the size of the group," says Blackman.
    • The Media: Get Ready Gather everything you need to promote your keynote speaker to the media. Request that the speaker provide you with photos. They can be black & white or color, either head shots or action shots. Have the photo scanned and saved as a TIFF file. For Web publishing, 72 dots per inch will be fine. For print, save the image at 300 DPI. The keynote speaker should also provide you with a short biography and a brief write-up on the program including key points, what the attendees will learn and why the he or she is qualified to speak on the topic. Prior to the event, send a short news release to the calendar editors at local daily newspapers and industry-related publications. Invite key editors to attend the event and make sure they get a copy of the program and other promotional materials. Contact local print and broadcast media to arrange interviews for your speaker and your key association leaders.
    • The Media: Get Set Find out when your keynote speaker is going to arrive and when they are available for interviews. Keep a close eye on the news the week of your event. Is there a way to tie your speaker's expertise into a current news peg? For instance, if your keynote speaker's area of expertise is technology, perhaps they can talk about the latest hacking scandal. If you want local media to cover the speech, you must determine the news angle and pitch it hard. Think about what events would generate good photos or visuals for television cameras. Make follow-up calls to make sure the journalists have the information you sent them. Find out if the speaker has a publicist or PR firm and if so, partner with them on generating publicity. You want to get exposure for your association as well as the event, so give your speaker some short key messages to prepare them to discuss your group.
    • The Media: Go! On the day of the event, messenger packages to key media. Write a media alert telling them who, what, when, where and, most importantly, why their audience needs to know about your event and your keynote speaker. Add some goodies such as the keynote speaker's book, a video, a program and your association's press kit and stuff it all in an attractive portfolio, preferably one with your association's logo. Finally, be prepared for the media when they arrive on site. Have one of your staff or a trusted volunteer free to squire them around. Introduce them to the subjects they need for interviews. Have a good place in mind to conduct the interviews and take photos--try to get your association's name or logo in the background.
    • The Party's Over Professional speakers know that a program is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process. They will often offer to send an e-mail to attendees with some value-added links to additional information. Your members should be able to benefit from the presentation long after it is over, and your association should continue to gain exposure as well. Look for anecdotes from your members about how they were touched or motivated by the session. How do they plan to implement what they have learned? Select the best photos and combine them with after-the-event news releases for ongoing exposure.

         
    Improv comedy for speakers

     

    Public speaking. For some, the mere thought of getting up in front of a group of people and presenting a speech is more terrifying than heights, snakes, or even death. Imagine how terrified those people would be if they were asked to get in front of an audience and speak with nothing prepared in advance – no script, no speech, no nothing. Sound crazy? Well that is what Improvisational Comedians do every day. Improvisational (or “Improv”) Comedy is a form of theater where a group of actors take the stage with nothing prepared in advance and use audience suggestions to create instant comedy. If you have ever seen the popular television show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” then you have seen Improv Comedy. The skills that allow an improviser to create instant comedy can immensely help any speaker to be more comfortable and powerful from the platform. Here are three reasons why, if you want to be a more effective speaker, you must learn how to be a great improviser: 1) Improv Comedy, at its core, is about self-expression. An Improviser has only himself on an empty stage. Every idea he puts forth comes from inside of him. The best improvisers realize this and trust their instincts and let their ideas flow out. Similarly, the best speakers realize that the audience is there to see them. Rather than hide behind other people’s ideas or style, they are 100% themselves as they speak. Many speakers make the mistake of taking acting classes to be more “dramatic” as they speak. The result is a speaker that looks fake and wooden. Audiences don’t want “dramatic;” they want natural. Practicing improv comedy techniques can help you be much more natural. 2) Improv Comedy is an interactive format. Improvisation may be the only art form where the audience is present at the time of creation. As a result, the audience’s needs, wants, and mood can be taken into account to direct the content. Great improvisers feed off of a crowd’s energy and build content the audience appreciates. The performer pays attention to the audience and makes subtle adjustments as she goes. Speakers would do well to adopt this approach. Most speakers prepare their speech in a vacuum and deliver it exactly as practiced. However, every audience is different. If a speaker pays attention to the audience as she is speaking, she can also make subtle adjustments to increase her effectiveness (adjusting pacing, energy, volume, etc) If you do this, not only will your speech be more powerful, but you will also develop that coveted “rapport and connection” with the audience. 3) Things will go wrong. A speaker who relies solely on what they’ve memorized will be easily thrown by the distractions that invariably happen. If time gets cut, or a cell phone rings, or a heckler demands attention, the speaker will have no response. To an improviser, distractions are just one more tool to use to make their point. A key improv attitude is to “go with the flow.” As a speaker, this attitude will allow you to be unflappable from the stage. You will be deemed a true professional, and audiences will admire your ability to handle interruptions. These are just three simple ideas that are a powerful way in which improv comedy can make anyone a more powerful speaker. There are many more ways related to all aspects of speaking: content, delivery, storytelling, style, humor, etc, but these three are the perfect starting point. If you have never done or used improv, then consider taking a class. Not only will you learn useful skills for speaking (and life), but it will be the most fun class you’ve ever taken!

         
    Meeting promotion and publicity checklist

     

    : 1. Review previous years' promotional budgets 2. Determine objectives and scope of program 3. Determine audience(s): membership, potential exhibitors, an industry or trade, general public. 4. Develop theme and corresponding graphics. Considerations should include purposes of individual pieces: who will receive them, tone to be conveyed, how they will be produced, how many colors will be needed, what layout format is required at each stage (from rough to comprehensive), and how much is budgeted for them. 5. Develop a schedule for the campaign. 6. Set promotional budget based on characteristics of membership, features of the venue, time of year, strength of program, and costs of attendance. 7. Develop promotional materials according to tested criteria: short and forceful sentences, convincing explanation of benefits to attendees, clear emphasis on important elements of meeting, and easy means of registering. 8. Plan for all items needed for the campaign to carry theme forward, taking into account costs of special effects like embossing or die - cutting; quality, grade, weight, and finish of paper; number of ink colors used; time for production; and quantity required:

    a. pre-meeting letters and announcements b. preliminary programs c. registration and housing forms d. promotional pieces for both exhibitors and attendees e. invitations f. follow-up mailings g. final agendas/program books h. badge inserts i. tickets j. on-site registration materials k. signage l. newsletters m. lists of registered attendees
    9. Solicit a minimum of three competitive bids for all printing, checking samples of paper stock, samples of work for other meetings, references, and explanation of other services each firm can provide. 10. Select printer(s), taking into account whether need is for "quick" or commercial quality, demonstrated ability of a single printer to handle all needs, availability of necessary equipment for jobs, and ability to meet deadlines. 11. Agree with printer on schedule into which extra time is built, and monitor deadlines for rough layout, submission of copy, preliminary approval, completed layout, final approval of blueline, and delivery of job. 12. Promote at previous year's meeting. 13. Release promotional pieces, press releases, and related materials in accordance with schedule, with news releases preceding membership promotional mailings. 14. Target local, national, international media as appropriate by type: trade papers, newspapers and periodicals of general interest, radio and television tailored to market. 15. Overall, control promotional costs through following measures:
    a. Obtaining firm written bids for services b. Providing clean, competently proofread copy to printers c. Using standard paper sizes where at all possible d. Using same paper stock for many pieces e. Piggybacking print items using same color f. Using standard PMS ink colors g. Reusing graphics h. Avoiding unnecessary special effects i. Avoiding perforations in favor of dotted-line cutting guides j. Coordinating printing times k. Setting and enforcing firm policy on overtime l. Minimizing number of copy changes
    * Courtesy of Professional Convention Management Association

         
    Microphone technique

     

    Although it sounds strange to you, to hear your own voice over the P. A, in fact it doesn’t sound any different to the audience than if you were talking to them in normal conversation. The trick here is to be Yourself, if you haven’t got the skill to project a warm friendly personality at the functions where ice breaking is required then being an entertainer isn’t for you. The trick is to find a balance, most people would simply hire the gear - saving around 50% of a D. J’s booking fee and throw a NOW Cd on - if human input and personality wasn’t important to them. At some functions, if they pay for an entertainer and get a human jukebox who doesn’t own a mic and just sits there playing music then they occasionally feel cheated!. I can’t stress the “BE YOURSELF”, advice enough, don’t put on a radio style zany DJ voice - that will sound false and doesn’t fool anybody. If you are lucky enough to have a D. J training you, or are a young person helping an older mentor D. J then DON’T be tempted to become a clone of him or her. Adopt your own mic style (not a false voice), use your own tag lines but don’t rely on the same cliche’s 20 or 30 times a night - this becomes boring and predictable. Don’t rely on “that was”, “This is” introductions all night. At some functions going out with a Radio Mic and creating banter with your audience is a great way to break the ice at the beginning of difficult, non formal functions - and a good way of enouraging them onto the dancefloor early on. You can relax the mic work and the frquency of them - once the dancefloor is filling. Of course there are always going to be functions where you need more mic work than the last, and other functions where it is going to be little mic use, but the key is to develop a style and strength and confidence in your mic working ability and not to rely on non stop music alone to do the work for you. Just be yourself, and talk normally into the microphone. The thing to work on is to speak confidentally and clearly and try to pace yourself. Speaking too fast will make what you are saying sound garbled, speaking too slow will make you sound like you are addressing a bunch of village idiots . Pretty soon, with a little time and practice you’ll develop your own individual skill and style and that is the most important aspect, don’t try to copy anybody else or put on a different voice, it will sound false and make learning and maintaining the technique a lot more difficult. If being a comedian is not you, then avoid the jokes unless you are good at this sort of thing , forced comedy can sound false and you may find yourself laughing alone, after all the Client has booked a Mobile Disco and not a stand up comedian!. One of the best pieces of advice I was given my the D. J who trained me, was to “Stick at doing what you are good at and have been booked for, and if in any doubt then leave it out”. Spontaneous one liners are another matter, if something amusing happens, then share it - use the mic to get requests, make a fuss over other people celebrating birthdays / anniversaries - people like to have their 30 seconds of glory and hearing their name mentioned, over the mic My advice to those nervous about public speaking for the first time, is not to be frightened of the mic or avoid using one - its your closest and most useful ally, at all functions. Don’t talk all over the track, learn to pace yourself over the outro of the previous track and any intro of the next track - don’t gabble - talk clearly into the microphone as if you were talking to a friend. With time you should be able to familiarise yourself with how themore popular tracks end and finish, this way you can talk upto the vocal, similar to how they do on the radio - stopping your banter at the moment the vocal on the next track starts. Don’t rush to perfect this or gabble to do so, it all comes with time and practice. Keep it simple to start off with. Start with the easy stuff first, just introducing tracks, and buffet announcements. Once you’ve built up a bit of confidence, you’ll move on from the ‘That was….. this is….’ routine. Try and include your audience, invite requests, make them feel welcome. Even if you are having a difficult gig don’t take it out on the audience and try and look like you are enjoying yourself, even if it’s not going to plan. Don’t worry about making mistakes on the Mic, we all do from time to time, but don’t draw attention to it, or dwell on it it’ll just make it worse - besides making mistakes shows that you are human and not a pre-programmed jukebox Keep key information on the gig, such as the Bride & Grooms’ names, Best Man Name etc on a piece of paper on the mixer, so that you can casually glance down if you have a sudden memory blank, but don’t write your links down as a speech, otherwise it will sound like you are reading from a script and less natural. Remember that once the dancefloor is full, you can ease off the mic a little, but keep doing the requests and don’t forget that it exists. Learn to find the balance, too much talking can bore the pants of your audience, too little mic work can make people think that you aren’t earning your keep!. There are functions where you have a full Dancefloor and it would be obtrusive to chat all over the music when people want to dance, equally there are more formal functions where there isn’t the room or inclination to dance, and so a bit of light hearted banter to break the ice and the empathsis on the entertainment side of being a DJ is required rather than just continuous music All of this will take some time, don’t expect to develop a mic technique overnight just take it one gig at a time.

         
     
         
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