Monday, December 15, 2014

Speaking Tip: Be YOU-nique!™

Let's take a trip back in time:
"Purple!" Mr. Big Name Speaker exclaimed, examining my brand new media kit, my first attempt at a professionalspeaker's marketing tool. I idolized his status and thought at first he was expressing delight. But then he said, "Professional speakers don't use purple. Corporate America is not purple." He smiled indulgently. I thought he was going to pat me on the head. "If you're going to make it in this business, you're going to have to conform. First thing you need to do is re-do your media kit in gray, burgundy, or navy blue. Just not purple." He said it the way he might have said, "diarrhea."
That was more than 25 years ago and my media kit is still purple.

Rule #1 Be You-nique

Don't let anyone tell you you shouldn't do something, just because no one else does it. Find your style, or as Larry Winget says, "exploit your uniqueness!" 
Look, listen, learn; adapt never adopt; find your USP (unique selling proposition) and use it to your advantage. Mr. Big Name Speaker also kindly advised me to "tone down" my wardrobe. "A black or navy blue suit and pearls would be perfect," he said. 
Hah! Well, you see how that turned out!
Yes, I'm outrageous, and that doesn't work for everyone. And maybe I've lost business because of it. But I'm alright with that. I am who I am and it's more important for me to be authentic than to be someone I'm not, just for the sake of the almighty dollar. 
Find your USP, and then go with that, however different it may be. Be authentic. And the almighty dollars will come.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Speaking Tip: We Learn Best When We Laugh

"Shtick" is good!
It makes your audience relax and have fun, and it's been proven that we learn best when we laugh; our defenses are down and our endorphins are running wild. It may not be your style to be outrageous (like moi!), but audiences respond best to presentations with humor, interaction, fun and stimulation for all the senses. And they want content with clear messages that come with specific how-tos that can be readily implemented.
A speaker who sprinkles her speeches with stories will captivate and hold the audience's attention longer than those who just postulate theories.