Friday, February 27, 2015
Advantage, Early Bird - Opening Keynote
One simple habit that leads to success according to Michael Masterson, interviewed in Bottomline Secrets, is to get up early! "'Early to rise'" he says is not an absolute mandate for success (Thomas Edison was a night owl), but most successful people I know get to work before their colleagues. Getting to work early provides you with quiet time that can be profitably spent before the rest of the world starts working. "
"Arriving early also sends a strong message to colleagues and bosses that you are on top of your game. Early birds are viewed as energetic, organized and ambitious. People who arrive late and leave late look as if they're not in control
Sounds good to me.
Labels: ambition, arise, early, effectiveness, focus, late, productivity, sleep, success, waking up
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Wasted Time: Multi-tasking - Opening Keynote
Multi-tasking: time saver or time waster? You've got a big conference coming up, so you double-up on tasks, and why not: multitasking
is promoted as an
efficient way to meet the complex demands of our modern
society and accomplish more in the same amount of time. But is it really?
you ever attempted to work on a document while
cruising the Internet or talking on the phone? You don't
accomplish much, and time mysteriously disappears.
Labels: achieve, focus, multi-tasking, time management, waste
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Prepare Supporting Materials - Opening Keynote
The best speakers have all their supporting materials readily available: Undoubtedly, before your scheduled event, you'll need a biography, an introduction, a write-up of the presentation, and perhaps a photo of the speaker. The seasoned pro has such items and others readily available. These aren't things he or she has to go round up; top professional speakers offer such elements online so that you can examine them at will
When these materials are not readily available, it may a sign that something is amiss -- a speaker without a portfolio is like a firefighter without a hose.
Labels: events, planning ahead, presentation, professionalism, speakers
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Basic Audience Needs - Opening Keynote
Since my first paid presentation in 1983, I’ve learned a great deal about what audiences need, want, and expect, which primarily boils down to four vital ingredients
* to be informed,
* to be entertained,
* to participate in some way,
* and most of all to be inspired to take action.
Over the course of 32 years, remarkably, these four basic needs prevail.
Labels: audience, conferences, keynote, meeting, presentation, seminar, speaking, workshop
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Free vs. for Fee Speakers - Opening Keynote
Free vs. Fee Speakers
By Ed Rigsbee, CSP
When is it cheaper to hire a professional than it is to hire free speakers? The answer that many meeting planners would instantly offer is, never. I had an eye-opening conversation with the executive director of an association based in the eastern part of North America. If you answered the opening question the same way, hopefully, this will open your eyes
The executive director said to me, "Ed, I discovered it was cheaper to hire you to speak for two days at my meeting than pay the travel and lodging expenses of the four free speakers that I was thinking of using." For many years now I have been conducting multi-day for single-fee programs, and still, his comment was truly an eye-opener for me.
In an effort to be accurate, I should share some additional details with you. First, the meeting venue is Maui, Hawaii and some of the free speakers would fly from eastern North America. Second, I offer multi-day programs eliminating the need for additional speakers.
Deliver Value vs. Fill the Void
Do the people responsible for particular meetings want to offer usable take-home value for the meeting attendees or do they simply want to fill a void? Last spring, a meeting planner hired me to present at her national fall meeting. Since I live in the Greater Los Angeles area, she suggested that I might want to attend her coming Western Regional meeting that was to be held in Los Angeles.
I took her up on the offer and arrived early enough to hear the keynote speaker, a local college professor of marketing. Following the keynote, I said to the meeting planner, "I thought your members were in industry." She responded, "They are." And then went into long discussion about how disappointed she was that the professor was so off-target for her group.
The Real Cost of Cheap
What percentage of the attendees from the above mentioned Western Regional meeting will rush to attend that same meeting the next year? What percentage will wonder if they again want to listen to an off-target college professor, who thinks he is addressing retailers but in reality is addressing industrial fabricators? How many potential following-year attendees did the professor lose for that meeting planner? Would this situation make your meeting appear to be shoddy or inferior?
Supplier companies love to send their representatives/salespeople to speak at conventions, as it is free publicity-even if they have to pay their own way. Sometimes the meeting attendees are lucky in that the supplier's speaker will be motivating while offering usable content. Sometimes they aren’t so lucky, especially when the supplier's speaker does not take the time (like the college professor mentioned above) to either understand the needs of the audience or plan an honest presentation. Too often attendees only get a sixty-minute commercial. After a sixty-minute commercial, what percentage of attendees will break down the doors to attend the following year?
What percentage of your other suppliers would also be outraged? How excited will they be the following year to belly up to the table and again pay more than their fair share for the meeting? Fair Share? Yes, suppliers always pay more than regular members. Associations justify the higher charge since they "get business" there.
Could the above combination of situations cost you 10 percent of your attendees the following year? And again cost you another 10% of the reduced number the year after that? And what about the following year? Could this be the reason for the downward spiral many associations are currently facing?
Saving with Professionals
Professional speakers live and die on their reputation. Please do not confuse celebrity speakers with professional speakers. Celebrity speakers get paid gobs of money to speak at a meeting, not because of their eloquence, but because of the average person's desire to be in the same room with them-to experience them live. Their job is exclusively to attract people to the meeting.
When I talk about professional speakers, I'm talking about the people that earn the lion's share of their income from speaking at meetings or conducting trainings and their related books, tapes, etc. These are the people who generally interview and research the issues and needs of their audiences and tailor or customize their proven material for each unique audience. These people are experts in their field or experienced sorry tellers or humorists.
These are also the people your attendees expect at their meeting. These are the speakers that deliver solid take-home content while also creating a motivating environment. They have to be exciting, motivating and funny-or they don't eat!
Keeping in mind all that has been mentioned above, why in the world would you settle for a free speaker? Especially, when that choice could be the most expensive. Don't your meeting attendees deserve the value they expect?
* * * *
Fellow speaker Ed Rigsbee, CSP is the author of PartnerShift, Developing Strategic Alliances
and The Art of Partnering
. Visit www.rigsbee.com
Labels: audience, business objective, conference, meeting, money, professionals, Rigsbee, speakers, value
Saturday, January 17, 2015
80/20 Rule in Meeting Management - Opening Keynote
The Pareto Principle -- the 80/20 rule
-- can be of great help in coping with a long list of tasks to be accomplished especially in regards to planning and conducting a meeting. The mind boggles at long lists and many people become discouraged before they start. Or they begin with the easiest, leaving the most difficult for the last, and never quite get around to them. It helps to know that most of the benefit to be derived from doing what is on the list probably is related to just two or three items.
Select those two or three, allocate a block of time to work on each of them, and concentrate on getting them done. Don't feel guilty about not finishing the list, because if your priorities are valid most of the benefits are related to those two or three items you selected.
Labels: lists, organizing, Pareto Principle, planning, priorities
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Conquering Audience Resistance - Opening Keynote
Noted speaker, author, and High Point University president Nido Qubien has observed that "Barriers resulting from audience resistance fall into two categories: external factors that cause people to tune you out, and internal factors that prevent them from giving you their complete attention
1) External Barriers
People often form first impressions on the basis of external factors, says Qubien. "If the first impression is negative, you won't get the person's attention. Look for characteristics of dress, speech and actions that may be turning people off. If your dress is too casual, frivolous or distracting, you may be losing listeners. If your voice is strident, shrill or guttural, people may find you unpleasant to listen to. In certain areas, regional accents may turn people off. If you speak with a pronounced regional accent and are doing business in a region where that accent is not commonly heard, you may have to look for ways to overcome this barrier. You may want to work on acquiring a more generic accent. Or you may want to spend some time cultivating the person's confidence."
2) Internal Barriers
"Internal barriers to communication may stem from a lack of interest in what you're saying or a lack of understanding," he says. "If you discern a lack of interest, find some way to lead your listener to identify with your message. How does it concern your listener personally? What bearing does it have on the listener's job, income, health, family, or security? Once you establish that point of identity, you'll have attention."
In conclusion, "People have a way of erecting defense mechanisms and emotional barriers when they feel threatened by what you are saying or by the way you are saying it," notes Qubien. "Studies have repeatedly shown that people, like other creatures, feel protective of their territories. Invade those turfs, or act in a threatening manner, and you will be sure to turn off their attention. When your task is to deliver an unpleasant message or to persuade your listener to take some unpleasant action, look for ways to neutralize the negatives and to reassure the person who feels threatened."
Labels: attention, defense mechanisms, focus, High Point, impression, Qubien, quotes, resistance, tips