Category Archives: Speaking Skills

Why Being a Great Speaker Isn’t Nearly Enough!

In over 30 years of training speakers from all over the world I can tell you that most people who speak as part of their business are motivated by one or more of three primary motivators.

A MESS

Maybe you have what I call a mess; a huge challenge that you have overcome. Maybe it was an injury, an illness, abuse, an amputated limb…something that has shaped your world in a traumatic way and has made you into who you are today.

I know speakers who have overcome massive challenges in their life and their motivation stems from the lessons they have learned along the way which they feel compelled to share with the world.

A MOMENT

Maybe you don’t have a huge mess. Maybe you’re like me; I have had a pretty easy life with no major challenge that I would call a mess. I don’t have a mess. But I do have something else, and maybe you do too.

I have, what I call, a moment. I have a moment in time when I realized what my gift is. I remember a very specific event where I found out that my gift is turning good speakers into world-class speakers and I found that out when I was 25.

Maybe you have a moment too. Maybe you have a moment in time where you realized what your purpose is. Maybe you discovered your gift or your passion and that gift or passion is what drives you. Or, maybe you don’t!

A MISSION

If you don’t have a mess or a moment, then chances are good that you have a mission; a cause that you feel driven to pursue. Perhaps there is a change in this word that you feel compelled to make; a legacy you want to leave. Your cause is to leave some part of this world in better condition than when you arrived here.

Almost every speaker I have worked with; whether they were professional speakers, coaches, financial advisors, healers or consultants; almost every one of them can identify with at least one of these three motivators. Which ones do you identify with the most?

A MESSAGE

From the mess, moment or mission comes the message. Most messages shared by speakers are motivated by one or more the the three primary motivators.

The message will share wisdom, teach technical content, tell tales of exotic travels and share lessons learned along the way.

Speakers have great stories and great content sprinkled with chuckles and emotional triggers to make us laugh and cry. They have slides with jaw-dropping visuals and powerful platform technique all designed to hold the audience’s attention.

Buried within all of that is the speaker’s solution to some issue; their four secrets to this, their five pillars of that, their new system to achieve some result, and this brings us to the problem.

The problem is this…every great speaker has a solution which they share with the audience. So when you get in front of a group of people to speak, being a great speaker and having an amazing solution to some problem makes you look and sound almost exactly the same as all the other great speakers…unless you have something that the others don’t.

THE REAL ADVANTAGE

The one thing that almost always makes one or two speakers stand out is something more than the stories, the laughs and the latest solution; it’s what I call “expert insights”.

The speaker who stands out is the speaker who provides the audience with a snap-shot of the audience’s world from a perspective they have not considered before. The speaker who brings to the audience’s attention a problem they never knew that had, demonstrates the cost of that problem and THEN shows the audience how to fix the problem…that’s the speaker who stands out and gets noticed.

As an expert in your field; whatever that field is, chances are superb that you are far more interested in your solutions than your audience is because they have been bombarded with everyone else’s solutions over and over again. I call it “solution fatigue”.

So when you get in front of an audience to speak about your business, do yourself and your audiences a favor and stop peddling your solution from the platform until and unless you have first brought to your audience’s awareness a problem they never knew they had and help them get present to the cost of having that problem and THEN position yourself as the solution by helping them solve their problem.

Send them off with a new perspective, a new awareness, a new sense of urgency or excitement and YOU will be the speaker they remember.

Steve Lowell, CSP, National President of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS), and sits on the Board of Directors of the Global Speakers Federation.
He is committed to Helping You Stand Out as a Speaker! Would you like to be able to speak in a way that gets you chosen by your highest-value prospects? If you’re interested in finding out more about how to define and leverage your own expert insights so that you can stand out and get noticed as the expert in your field,  go to www.MeetSteveAndJayne.com and schedule a complimentary consultation.

What’s Trending in the Speaking World?

What’s Trending in the Speaking World?

By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM

Event strategists always start with the end in mind. They know the core principle in strategic planning is that all actions and decisions must support the event goal. When it comes to choosing speakers, it can be easy to get distracted by celebrity status or choose topics that may be personally interesting but not right for your target audience. Engaging the professional skills of a speaker’s bureau allows you to add an expert to your team at no cost to you, saves time and will potentially introduce you to people and topics you may not have otherwise found.

When it comes to choosing speakers, it can be easy to get distracted by celebrity status or choose topics that may be personally interesting but not right for your target audience. Read on to discover, what’s trending in the speaking world?This is the second in a three-part series recapping a conversation I had with Sue Falcone, Founder and CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau (you can see Sue’s smiling face in the photo shown above). Our goal was to explore how planners can strategically build relationships with speaker’s bureaus. If you missed the first installment and want to see the first article, please click here.

Christy: What changes are you noticing when planners call to book a speaker?

Sue: At one time, my relationship was exclusively with planners operating in a silo, meaning there were no other people for them to run ideas by or to get suggestions from. Now planners are part of a much larger team. Having more people making the decision translates to needing to provide more options as each person has an opinion or vision on the topic and/or presenter needed. I once shared three potential speakers for consideration before someone was selected. Now I find myself presenting up to eight candidates before a decision is made. As a bureau that is focused on helping clients meet their goal, it’s crucial to adapt to their changing needs and timeline to provide the best service possible.

Christy: What is one thing everyone should know when booking a speaker to get the best fit?

Sue: As is the case with all things strategic, the goal is the key. First, I need to know what the speaker is expected to accomplish. Then I find out what the necessary audience takeaways and outcomes are. Not everyone can put their goals into words, so I created a detailed questionnaire to help the process. Sometimes people know how they want the audience to feel after hearing the message but can’t articulate what the message itself should be. We specialize in finding and delivering what you ask for and sometimes even what you don’t know how to ask for!

Christy: I’ve noticed lead times to plan are getting significantly smaller. Are you seeing that too?

Sue: Absolutely! We are getting requests with very short time frames for the search to be done yet the same level of quality is expected.

Christy: In an ideal world, how far in advance should planners start looking for a speaker?

Sue: After the event goal is established and a budget is confirmed, the speaker search should begin. The speaker is often the main draw, so the process shouldn’t be rushed. To do the job correctly, it takes a lot of time to search the options before we can propose the perfect match. We need to find speakers who match not just the topic’s parameters but are also a good fit for the audience/corporate culture, have the right personality, attitude, and of course, price. We need it to be the right fit on all counts or it doesn’t work.

Christy: Are you finding speakers are becoming more flexible in tailoring their topics to the audience?

Sue: I’ve booked over 3000 events and work to make each experience custom to the client’s needs. That includes making sure speakers are willing to adjust their content based on who will be listening to them. Today’s audiences consume tremendous amounts of content daily and are incredibly savvy. They will not accept “canned” presentation. One size does not fit all.

Christy: It seems that this is part fact-based and part intuition in terms of pairing speakers to audiences. Is that right and if so, how do you make that work?

Sue: When first contacted to provide a speaker, I gather detailed information from the client, so I have the background I need. Like I said, it’s not just the topic, the personality and style have to be a good fit. I do my homework in advance and get a sense of who the hiring organization is. I get a sense of their culture, their expectations, what has and hasn’t worked for them in the past and what their goal is. That way when I pick up the phone, I know who I’m looking for and what we need to achieve.

Additionally, my speakers must complete a comprehensive questionnaire before signing with me. This gives me a wealth of information at my fingertips, which saves time, avoids confusion or miscommunication and allows me to be the best at what I do.

Thursday, Sue and Christy finish their conversation, during which they discuss, among other things, how to build a partnership with a bureau.

CEO, Sue Falcone, recognized the need for a speakers bureau that would represent professional speakers, and provide the perfect speaker for clients who sought the best for their events with a personal “hands on” custom touch.

From a former corporate executive, to becoming a professional speaker and author being hired, and creating a distinctive and unique speakers bureau representing speakers for hire, she gained the experience and expertise needed to give a full service experience.

Looking for a Quality Speaker? Put Your Money Where THEIR Mouth Is!

Looking for a Quality Speaker? Put Your Money Where THEIR Mouth Is!

By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM

All event strategists know that content is king, so when we bring in outside speakers we need to do our homework and recommend wisely. As is the case with all things event strategists do, their actions yield the highest quality results that align with the event’s goal. In this instance, an accredited speakers bureauAll event strategists know that content is king, so when we bring in outside speakers we need to do our homework and recommend wisely. As is, the case with all things event strategists do, their actions yield the highest quality results that align with the event’s goal. In this instance, that means reaching out to an accredited speakers bureau and leveraging their expertise.

For those who are not as calibrated in their process, an internet search for ‘motivational’ or ‘professional’ speakers may start the process. Perhaps a visit to YouTube for clips of speakers is the preferred route, with an obligatory click on cute puppy videos along the way. For some a query to colleagues gets the ball rolling.

While both methodologies may result in booking the same speaker, not all paths are equal. For those who opt to do the legwork and cut out the middleman, the road is longer, uphill and full of bumps. Speakers’ bureaus are like Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus; at your disposal, designed to make your job easier, staffed by professionals and not fully utilized or understood.

It is critical to remember how we are offended when other people think they can do our jobs. Let’s not be guilty of that same mistake by imagining that if we can search the internet we can find a speaker just as well as a professional can.

To better understand why a professional speakers’ bureau really is the way to go, I interviewed Sue Falcone, founder and CEO of, “Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau.” Here’s the first of three excerpts from our in-depth and enlightening conversation.

Christy: Why should I use a speakers’ bureau rather than find a speaker via Google or references?

Sue: I believe that communicating what speakers’ bureaus really are, and the value they bring is key to being able to be the “go to” resource for securing the best speaker for an event. Here are three questions we ask perspective clients:

  1. Do you want to save time, money and resources?
  2. Do you want peace of mind with less stress knowing your speaker is going to be remarkable and you will be a rock star for choosing to work with a speakers’ bureau?
  3. Did you know that speakers’ bureau fees are paid by the speaker – not you – so therefore all the time and services a speakers’ bureau provides is free to you?

Christy: Is it more expensive to use a speakers’ bureau?

Sue: Cost is the biggest concern about the perception of using a speakers’ bureau. Many bureaus structure the pricing so their commission comes out of the speaker’s fee. Speakers are willing to pay the bureau out of their speaker’s fee to cover the representation, negotiations and follow up work.

To note: some bureaus do charge a fee, so ask up front whose responsibility it is to cover booking fees.

Christy: What is the difference between one speakers’ bureau and another? Are you all selling the same thing?

Sue: Many speakers’ bureaus have become “speaker listing bureaus” rather than ones who actively work to secure events for all speakers they represent.

Christy: What should an event planner – or a speaker – look for as differentiation in a bureau?

Sue: I have a screening process and require the speakers I represent to sign an agreement as to how I will represent them, and what we agree to do. Knowing they are marketable and are booked through my bureau they not only represent themselves, but also my company.

Did you enjoy Looking for a Quality Speaker? Put Your Money Where THEIR Mouth Is!? Check back in on Thursday, May 10th for part 2.

CEO, Sue Falcone, recognized the need for a speakers bureau that would represent professional speakers, and provide the perfect speaker for clients who sought the best for their events with a personal “hands on” custom touch.

From a former corporate executive, to becoming a professional speaker and author being hired, and creating a distinctive and unique speakers bureau representing speakers for hire, she gained the experience and expertise needed to give a full service experience.

Speakers Don’t Always Know What to Say!

“Joyce, please report to Mother Superior” (my name was still legally capitalized then). I was in the eighth grade getting ready to graduate. 

My first thought was, Who told? and my second thought was, How much did they tell? (laughing)

I was always getting others to do daring or sometimes, slightly dangerous things with me, just to see if we could do them. The thing is, since I looked so completely innocent, I pretty much never got busted for them, and my classmates never told on me for some reason. Just lucky I guess!

Anyway, between homeroom and the Principal’s office, I had to get my face and expression right. Surprised innocence worked with just about everybody except Mommy… she was never swayed and always knew when the antics were the result of my influence (sigh).

“Yes Sister,” I replied and rose from my seat, headed for the door. She smiled at me. Oh boy, this is not good I thought. Sister and I had a mutual dislike fan club of two… This is going to be so bad… trickled through my mind as I left the classroom and started down the hallway.

I reached Mother Superior’s office and stood in front of the clerk. “Hi Joyce,” she said with a smile. “Go right in.” “Thank you,” I replied and knocked on the office door, waited for the response and stepped into the room.

You know those moments where everything seems to shrink into a long tunnel and you only see a part of the room or area? When it feels like the room and the people in it come zooming toward you, only you know in some part of your brain that they aren’t? …I was having one of those moments. I watched, mouth getting dry; hands getting clammy, as Mother Superior and our Parish Pastor seemed to zoom in for a close up. Oh gosh! Wait, Mommy isn’t here, it can’t be expulsion yet, I thought. Breathe, Joyce. Just breathe.

“You wanted to see me, Mother Superior?” I said breathlessly.

“Yes, Joyce. We did. Please sit down,” she replied.

I looked up at her beautiful brown face and thought, as I always did, that she should have been a mother for real instead of a nun. I loved this woman… at least I did before today!

Doing the only thing I could do, I sat. Gone was the surprised innocence. The only defense I had for this inquisition was confession. Mother Superior, I could pull off. Father Regan, not so much. He could see through ten feet of reinforced steel, let alone one 13-year old girl!

Father leaned forward in his chair. “Joyce, as you well know, graduation is in a few weeks.”

“Yes, Father,” I replied. Then waited.

He glanced at Mother Superior, then back at me. They both were looking way too serious for my comfort level. Whatever it was is it going to keep me from graduating? I thought frantically. I was ready to confess to everything I’d done throughout elementary school… the broken window at the Rectory, the food fight in the auditorium, using the holy water to wash blood off of Vinette’s scraped knee, trading communion wafers for candy, all of it! I just couldn’t not graduate. Mommy would kill me!

Clearing his throat, Father said, “We have never had a speaker at the graduation ceremony; however, in your case we are making an exception and would like you to deliver the class response before I confer the diplomas.” He stopped and looked expectantly at me.

Wait, what!!!

Give a speech? At graduation? Me? Why?!

“Joyce?” Mother Superior asked. “Did you understand Father?”

“I think so,” I managed to whisper. “You want me to make a graduation speech.”

“Exactly,” she smiled. “You will be the perfect person to address the class and parents and express all of the thoughts, experiences and emotions of the day.”

So it was, that on graduation day May 30, 1971, I gave my very first speech… and received my first standing ovation. More important, I discovered that I could make a difference in the lives of others. I discovered my mission!

Dr. joyce gille gossom-Powerful Communicator, Keynote Speaker, Author. No, this is not a misprint! Dr. joyce gillie gossom has spent her life going against the grain and blazing new trails for others to follow!  At the age of 16, joyce felt so connected to the poetry and style of e.e.cummings, that her mother let her legally change her name to all lower-case letters; which is frequently met with resistance!  joyce says: ‘if you are looking for a dramatic, entertainer, I am not it!”  What joyce is: since her first speech as an eighth grader to now delivering keynote addresses and facilitating workshops and retreats for corporate executives and educators; passionate about making a difference in the lives of others and inspiring her audiences to ACTION! To book Dr. joyce for your next event click here:  Book Dr. joyce gille gossom

 

As I SEE It!

I’ve Got Something To Say!

In the 11th grade, Miss Hilda Horn, my speech teacher, asked us to prepare a speech for presentation for the next day’s class. When giving out the assignment, she specifically stared at me in my seat in the back of the classroom.

Why was I in a speech class in the first place? Someone told me it was easy and I liked to talk. Sounded like a perfect match.

The next day I gave a speech on How to prepare a hot dog. Everybody laughed. It was funny. It was meant to be funny. But Miss Horn, in that voice that says, “You have crossed the line,” sternly requested that I stay after class. It would be just the two of us. That was not a comforting thought.

Miss Horn was and remains my favorite teacher. She was stern in a friendly way. Physically, she was a large woman and she could be imposing. But, she liked me. She thought I had talent. After that class she told me so. She suggested that I could make a difference in the world, if I applied myself. Exercised my talents. She made me think. She planted seeds in my head that sprouted and grew. She inspired me. Two weeks later, I was writing for the school newspaper.

Today, I love speaking before an audience. I connect, inspire, motivate and entertain.

Thom Gossom Jr. sees how his life has unfolded, as an actor, writer, corporate exec, 30-year business owner, athlete, Dad, husband, son, uncle, godfather, and friend to many, the stories of his life are lodged into his head. When he stands in front of an audience he partners with them, taking them for a ride. Whether it’s The Film Of MY Life (Inspirational), The Moments of our Lives, (Inspirational), I Never Had an Entourage (Educators), The Billion Dollar Man, (Fundraising), Diversity, Access and Inclusion and Leading through Transition with Dr. joyce gillie gossom, I’ve been lucky. I get to do what I love and I’m good at it. Thank you, Miss Horn.  To book him for your next event click here:  Book Thom Gossom Jr

 

 

How to Master Public Speaking- Infographic by Lydia Bailey- Mastersprogramsguide.com

Thanks to Lydia Bailey- Content Creator with  Mastersprogramsguide.com  for finding me as she was doing her research for this great Infographic, and then reaching out to me to share it here with each of you!  Let us know what you think! Just drop us a comment!

You can do this!
“Simply” Sue Falcone

How to Master Public Speaking
Source: MastersProgramsGuide.com     by Lydia Bailey – Content Creator

The DNA of a Great Speaker!

telling our storyAmong the top characteristics that make a great public speaker is the ability to tell a good story. Think about some of the best speeches you’ve ever heard, what sets them apart? The numbers and statistics? The lesson? Probably not.

Very likely, the thing that stands out in your mind after a memorable speaker’s presentation is a great story or two. The speaker has the ability to create lasting images in your mind. Visually painting a picture by connecting the story to the message drives home the focal point and makes a terrific impression on the audience.

Telling a story invites the audience in. It makes them comfortable, both with the speaker and the message. Of all the tools in a speaker’s toolkit, it is by far one of the most powerful.

Great speakers weave life experiences throughout their message, creating a rapport with the audience, and giving life to the topic. Stories help the audience relate and creates a message that will live on long after the speech is over. That’s success through great story telling.

Our talent here at “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency have the ability to do just that – tell a great story. It’s part of their DNA and makes for a riveting presentation with some serious #WOWfactor!

Whether you are looking for an inspiring and entertaining keynote speaker, engaging media personality, interactive conference speaker, mesmerizing seminar presenter, critical thinking corporate trainer, forward moving executive coach, entertainer that will amaze you with their talent, content driven commencement speaker, best-selling author that captivates your audience, or a challenging retreat speaker, we will match you with the perfect talent that will tailor their presentations to your needs.

Whatever the occasion or topic, with our award-winning talent, you can be sure that the stories will be memorable and unforgettable; and you will be seen as a “rock star” for choosing our agency to bring a #WOWfactor experience to your audiences!  Less stress guaranteed for you too!

We are honored to earn your business and look forward to serving you soon! Contact us today and we are ready to meet the needs of your large or small company, association, university, college, small business, non-profit, or government agency.

To serve you better our website here is undergoing a major renovation!  While under contruction for the latest listing of our current talent we represent and their videos, please contact us at www.linkedin.com/in/simplysuefalcone.

Have a wonderful Fall and Winter event season.

Sue Falcone
Sue Falcone-Booking Expert and Owner of “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency

10 Presentation Trends for 2014

Post ReBlogged via diresta.com

2014In 2014 presentation skills will reign supreme. Leaders and entrepreneurs will need to be more visible across different media platforms. Speaking is the new competitive advantage and the bar has been raised. Here are the trends in presentations that I predict for 2014.

  1. Broadcasting skills – Whether you’re an entrepreneur or employed by a company, expect to have your 15 minutes of fame.Today’s presenters need broadcasting skills.Media training will become a vital success skill even for those who do not speak to the press. I’m currently coaching a client to lead quarterly webcasts. Five years ago this senior executive wasn’t doing any broadcasting. This client has since been filmed for executive promotional videos. Video presentations will increase in popularity. I useeyejot.com to send quick video emails. Videos can be very effective or very detrimental if you have weak presentation skills.
  2. Mobile presentations – Mobil technology is exploding and the number of apps is growing. This will require adjustments in the way we communicate. Slide shows and websites must be adjusted for mobile devices.The key word in presentations is portability. On a personal note, I now videotape my coaching clients on the ipad. The quality is as good as a video camera and it’s easier to transport.
  3. Increased Need for Speaker Training – The need for excellent presentation skills will increase.due to the competitive nature of the market. Products and services can quickly become commodities and in order to be persuasive, presenters will need to know how to capture and hold the ear of the listeners.
  4. Self marketing presentations – Personal branding will become even more important. In a crowded market place where good jobs are at a premium. Job candidates will have to master marketing and selling. That means understanding what makes them unique and how to position themselves, their message, and their value with clarity and impact. Lack of confidence will be the deal breaker. Speakmarketing will be a growing factor for small business success. Presently, I’m coaching  small businesses to developwebinars to grow their businesses.
  5. Storytelling – Telling stories will no longer be the domain for the talented few. Leaders will be challenged to learn the art of storytelling to develop trust, express their vision and to lead their teams. And storytelling skills will be the differentiater in the job interview.Certain companies such as Pepsico, have a culture of storytelling. The best interviewers will invest in public speaking coaching to learn to tell their story instead of presenting their resume.
  6. Authenticity – Audiences are more sophisticated and less tolerant than ever. They want to know who the speaker is as a person.Do they walk their talk? Audiences will value  presenters who are real versus a just-the-facts approach. I was asked to coach somebody who had a well-crafted PowerPoint deck but delivered it like a talking head. Listeners are thinking “Who are you?”
  7. Increased Audience Interaction – The key word is connection. In a society where there is less time for socializing and more stress, people want to have an experience and participate with the speaker. Watch for increased live polling, tweeting, live streaming,and audience participation. Technology will level the playing field as speakers can now use inexpensive polling software on their mobile devices.There will also be an increase in virtual presentations. I’m coaching more clients remotely due to technology tools.
  8. Less Fluff More Value – Motivational speakers will always be popular as long as the human soul craves uplifting messages. But today’s presenters need more than a string of ‘feel good” stories. They must be able to provide value, tips, strategies, action steps, a different way of thinking along with those stories. Audiences are more demanding.
  9. Shorter Keynote Speeches – The 18 minute TED-like talk will become more commonplace. This is already happening at conferences. Instead of the one to three hour breakout sessions, event planners and audiences are opting for a series of shorter talks.
  10. Continuity – The old transactional model of giving a one hour presentation and then return to business as usual,  will give way to the idea of continuity.The message will continue after the event or meeting with additional contact and add-on resources. Despite the fact that younger audiences are leaving facebook, social media will continue to be an important communication channel for staying connected. However, people will consider the return on their time and become more focused and narrow in their social media communication.

All of these trends can be summarized in one idea: Public speaking is more important than ever. The need for excellent presentation skills is not going away. It will only increase in 2014 and beyond. Just as with technology upgrades,presenters will upgrade their public speaking skills or risk becoming obsolete.