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Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

Giving Thanks: An Inspiring Toast For Your Holiday Meal

In Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Holiday, Public Speaking, Toast on November 22, 2010 at 9:35 AM

It is a gift when you are able to stand and deliver warm, heartfelt words at a gathering of friends of and family. To speak in a manner that makes makes those around you, smile, press against their spouses, hug their kids, and laugh. Maybe you will even bring out a happy tear or two.

As you prepare for your holiday, whether it is at home or elsewhere, take time to reflect on your family and friends, and why you love them. Look around for all the wonderful blessings around you. Think about the holiday and put those thoughts into a short outline.

  • Keep it to three points or less.
  • Practice saying it.
  • Speak slowly and look around the room as you talk allowing your gaze to meet the eyes of each person at your table.
  • Keep it light, keep it postive, and focus on the beauty and abundance around you.

You will amaze your family and friends with a heartfelt toast Thursday that will be remembered for a long time.

© 2010  iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

Signs Of A Deadly Presentation

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Public Speaking on November 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Speaking Tip # 60

I knew I was in trouble as I walked in the room. The speaker had not said a word yet my expectations were low and getting lower.

The room was dry and sterile – nothing inviting about it. It was dimly lit with the ubiquitous blue image on the screen signaling an impending PowerPoint. The room was hard to find – there were no signs to direct me and I was irritated at the cost of parking my car. I noticed the room was devoid of refreshments – including water or coffee. I thought longingly of the last cup of coffee sitting in the carafe at home and the bottle of water on the front seat of my car.

It was one minute to start time and I was already watching the clock. The presenter had shot himself in the foot before opening his mouth.

I contrast this with a workshop I attended a few days prior. An email provided me with directions, a map, and other basic information. When I approached the building there was a sign outside directing me to the workshop. I was greeted by an enthusiastic instructor who warmly welcomed me, directed me to a spread of food, offered me a nametag, and took time to introduce me to another person she felt I would “click” with. The room was bright and cheerful and the food delicious.

Yes, it does take extra time, effort, and sometimes money to make your audience feel like a guest rather than a number. However, one of these instructors had turned me off before he started speaking. The other had won me over to her side.

Here are some hints to help you:

  • Use directional signs from the parking all the way to the room
  • Send a welcoming note explaining logistics, parking, and time needed to get from parking to the room
  • Greet guests at the door
  • Provide refreshments (no one learns when they are distracted by an empty stomach)
  • Provide nametags to encourage interaction
  • Have guests enter a well-lit room with the Power Point off
  • Consider aesthetics (e.g. using an attractive meeting room, tablecloth on the snack table, flowers, music, art, or posters on the walls)

 Everything you do sets the expectations of the audience and affects their attitude. How they feel will affect how open they are to receiving your information. It is true; the devil is in the details.

© 2010  iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

Choosing A Camera To Make Video For My Website

In Attracting New Clients, Delivery, Public Speaking, Tools and Gadgets, web video on November 15, 2010 at 6:44 AM
Video on your web-site is the rage and for good reason.  It increases the likelihood you will be found by Google (and other search engines), drives people to your site, and puts a face to your business.  Many people take the do-it-yourself approach in an effort to cut costs.  This can work for you but having the right equipment is essential.
 
I asked videographer Alan Fitch for guidance on choosing the “right” camera for the job. Here is his response:
 

“There are plenty of consumer cameras that record good-looking images. Where most cameras fall down is in the quality of the audio, which is typically tinny sounding, distorted, very faint, or all of the above.

If you are looking to create a do-it-yourself video for website distribution, you should use a camera that has an external microphone input along with a separate microphone. This will require some looking around, as most consumer cameras rely on the on-camera microphone – not something you want to do if your video is going to reflect your business. A decent lavalier (lapel) microphone can be purchased from Radio Shack, and will make a tremendous difference in the quality of the video.

Let me emphasize the importance of understanding how your online video is going to reflect both you and your business. This is kind of a no-brainer (I can hear readers saying, “yes – I know that”) but you’d be surprised how many people discount the effect that production quality has on client perception.

If you have a cottage business, and your clients are home gardeners, for instance, then a “down home” video with a shaky camera and thin sound will be less likely to disconnect viewers from you. No problem there – they love the content and don’t care about the delivery.

But if you are a professional, then your video, like all your marketing materials, needs to reflect that professionalism, and you need to make every effort to see that it does. The content needs to have value, you’ve got to grab attention in the first 10 seconds, and you have to do it in such a way that the “container” you’re delivering it in doesn’t distract from the message or bounce the viewer right off your site because it’s so bad.

It’s better to have no video at all, than to have one that fails to portray you and your business in the best light possible.

I hope this helps.”

Alan Fitch of Visual Story Media has been connecting businesses with clients through video since 1987.

If you feel a do-it-yourself video works for your business, then take time to work on your script, set up lighting, buy a good camera, and use an external microphone. If you feel you need to present yourself in a more professional manner, iSpeakEASY can help.

iSpeakEASY is here to help you. We provide Professional Performance Speech Coaching plus Professional Videography to create compelling video for your website. We will even post and optimize your video right on your site for you. It’s fast, effective, and affordable.

Click here for information on how easy it is for you to get professional video for your website.

Click here for a video testimonial from a satisfied client.

Click here for a sample video.

Click here to learn how video can help your business.

Would your Networking group or organization be interested in a free presentation  on “Creating Effective Web Video”? Call 415 342-7106 or write ethan@ispeakeasy.net for details.

 

We make it easy for you to look your best.
 
Click here for upcoming workshops.

Alienating the 2%

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Credibility, Delivery, Public Speaking on November 11, 2010 at 8:11 AM

By Seth Godin

“When a popular rock group comes to town, some of their fans won’t get great tickets. Not enough room in the front row. Now they’re annoyed. 2% of them are angry enough to speak up or badmouth or write an angry letter.

When Disney changes a policy and offers a great new feature or benefit to the most dedicated fans, 2% of them won’t be able to use it… timing or transport or resources or whatever. They’re angry and they let the brand know it.

Do the math. Every time Apple delights 10,000 people, they hear from 200 angry customers, people who don’t like the change or the opportunity or the risk it represents.

If you have fans or followers or customers, no matter what you do, you’ll annoy or disappoint two percent of them. And you’ll probably hear a lot more from the unhappy 2% than from the delighted 98.

It seems as though there are only two ways to deal with this: Stop innovating, just stagnate. Or go ahead and delight the vast majority.

Sure, you can try to minimize the cost of change, and you might even get the number to 1%. But if you try to delight everyone, all the time, you’ll just make yourself crazy. Or become boring.”

You can read more of Seth’s work on his blog.

10 Compelling Reasons To Add Video To Your Website

In Business Networking Groups, Credibility, Delivery, Increased sales, web video on November 7, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Telling your story via web video makes a big difference in your business. It makes your website more human, more accessible, and more appealing. When engaged in your other communications channels, your videos will improve the effectiveness of those as well.

Here are ten top statistics from research findings of recent industry studies. I think you’ll agree that these statistics make quite a compelling case for web video to tell your stories!

1.      “Brands using online video have seen lifts of 20% to 40% in terms of incremental buying, with conversions that are twice the rate of other media.” (1)

2.      21% of retail web video viewers make a purchase online. (1)

3.      26% of retail web video viewers visit a store. (2)

4.      21% of retail web video viewers request more information. (1)\

5.      Video landing pages generate four to seven times higher engagement and response rates than static image and text landing pages. (3)

6.      Well-optimized video is fifty-three times more likely than text to appear on the front page of Google. (4)

7.      68% of the top 50 Internet retailers use web video. (5)

8.      71% of Internet users watch video. (1)

9.      65% of all videos are viewed between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. (1)

10.  33% of middle managers under 50 view work-related videos every day. (1)

Quality video on your website can help your business. Low quality video will drive prospects to your competitors.

Quality video:

  • Has a single clear message
  • Includes a call to action
  • Is recorded with professional cameras, lights and sound equipment
  • Is edited
  • Includes graphics that give your name and contact information

iSpeakEASY is here to help you. We provide Professional Performance Speech Coaching plus Professional Videography to create compelling video for your website. We will even post and optimize your video right on your site for you. It’s fast, effective, and affordable.

Click here for information on how easy it is for you to get professional video for your website.

Click here for a video testimonial from a satisfied client.

Click here for a sample video.

Click here to learn how video can help your business.

Would your Networking group or organization be interested in a free presentation  on “Creating Effective Web Video”? Call 415 342-7106 or write ethan@ispeakeasy.net for details.

© 2010 iSpeakEASY – All rights reserved.  This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY: We Help People Profit From Their Words.

You are welcome to link to this page. If you wish to reprint or repost this article, please email us for permission. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

 

Thank you to Dave Neelsen of StoryFirst for allowing us to use his list.

SOURCES:
(1) Chris Crafton, CMO, eCorpTV.com, reported by Target Marketing at a Philadelphia
Direct Marketing Association networking and breakfast meeting.
(2) BIA/Kelsey User View study data, February 2010, reported by Turnhere.com.
(3) SearchEngineWatch, February 2010.
(4) Forrester Research, January 2010.
(5) Internet Retailer, July 2010.