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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Unusual Speaking Experiences - Opening Keynote

Prior to my speech to a group of managers in Bangkok, Thailand, I was told that audience members would periodically be leaving the room to take cell phone calls. To my surprise, every single member of the audience, at least two or three times each, left during his presentation to take calls. So for the entire session, people were constantly coming and going as I spoke.

On short notice, I was requested to speak in Zurich to Swissotel's general managers from their 16 facilities around the world. Because I had departed the previous afternoon from Los Angeles and arrived in Switzerland that morning, I only had time for a 30-minute nap before I had to get dressed, come downstairs, and address the group. The speech went exceedingly well, and apparently no one knew the difference!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hiring the Right Speaker - Opening Keynote

Speakers bureaus have been an effective way of identifying and retaining the right speaker for your upcoming meeting since the time of Mark Twain. Yet, many meeting professionals have still not tapped into the power of using speakers bureaus to identify the right speaker with the right topic at the right price, thereby saving a ton of work.

One of the common myths that prevail today, which has kept some meeting organizers from employing speakers bureaus, is the pervasive belief that somehow it is more costly to retain a speaker through a bureau than by trying to contract with a speaker directly. In rare instances this may be true, but among ethical speakers and ethical bureaus, which represent 95% of each industry, the fee of retaining a speaker is the same whether you contract with that speaker directly or book the speaker through a reputable speakers bureau.

For example, if a speaker charges $8,500, that $8,500 is the same to you whether you pay the speaker directly or you pay the bureau. The bureau takes a percentage from the speaker, hence the speaker is paying the bureau’s fee, not you.

Why would a speaker ever want to be booked through a bureau when ostensibly he or she could consummate bookings directly? The short answer is that many speakers do not wish to engage in marketing; they do not have the time, energy, or resources and haven’t developed a long-term client base, as a good bureau has done. The fee that the speaker pays to a bureau to be booked with you is well worth it for the speaker. He or she gets to lower overhead and spend more time on presentation skills, subject matter development, and understanding of your industry and your audience members’ needs.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Close a Speech with Gusto - Opening Keynote

On April 26, 1961, Roger Maris of the New York Yankees began his successful run at Babe Ruth's single-season home run record with the first of 61 home runs. Maris connected in the 5th inning against Detroit pitcher Paul Foytack. What makes this fact particularly significant is that the Yankees had already played 20 games in the 1961 season.

So, it's not how you begin a campaign, it's how you end. Likewise even if your presentation starts off less than stellar, if your impact builds and builds, and you close with a flourish, you will still win the day.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Juicy Speech Anecdotes - Opening Keynote

109 years ago, the five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:

    1. Pneumonia and influenza
    2. Tuberculosis
    3. Diarrhea
    4. Heart disease
    5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30 !!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Only 6% of all Americans had graduated high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Work with a Speakers Bureau - Opening Keynote

Why Would You Want to Use a Speaker Bureau?

* because the agents are dedicated professionals and among the tops in the field.

* because they work with only the best speakers who do a consistently outstanding job at every speaking engagement.

* because they are efficient, responsible, flexible, and stay highly attuned to your needs.

* and, when their bureau representative will meet with you on site at your location.

* and when they've been in business for +10 years and serve meeting planners effectively.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Meetings with Decorum - Opening Keynote

The Indianapolis Public School system has warned parents not to cheer when their child's name is read out at this year's high school graduation ceremonies. A letter from the superintendent reminded families that attending a graduation ceremony is a privilege, not a right, and warned that up to 30 police officers would be present at each ceremony to ensure good order. Graduation "is a joyous time, a proud time, and a formal time," he write. "It is not a party. It is not a pep rally."

Amen. I've personally witnessed graduation ceremonies that have turned into pseudo-popularity contests with raucous cheering for some students.

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Sunday, May 08, 2016

Speakers to Count On - Opening Keynote

What Makes for a Speaker You Can Count On?

* The speaker bills the client only for agreed upon reimbursable expenses and within three days following the event.

* The speaker never engages in inappropriate language, off-color jokes, or unprofessional behavior, either on or off the platform. The speaker pledges to you the highest standards of professionalism at all times.

* The speaker recognizes that trust is the essence of all effective long-term relationships and pledges to approach each situation by listening, reflecting, and seeking to follow the path to the highest good for all concerned.

* The speaker maintains consistent fees, whether booked by you or himself. The speaker absolutely never raises client fees for bureau-generated engagements. The speaker follows your direction regarding all product and ancillary service sales, keeps you informed as to purchases made, and promptly submits any agreed upon commission of the gross amounts of such sales.

* In addition to being excellent on the platform, the speaker serves as your emissary with the meeting planner, all meeting planning staff, and all attendees at all times.

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