Category Archives: Time Management

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.

Part 2 of “The Secrets of Managing Your Time: from the Experts!”

wow1I knew this was an important topic for all Entrepreneurs and those that dream of being one, but was overwhelmed with the response to the advice shared last week from the talent found at “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency!  Glad to hear we are sharing solutions to this issue of having enough time to do it all!

Did you know Americans work more hours than any other country in the world?  Is having your own business the answer to being able to choose your own hours and be your own boss? Looks like there is still an issue on how one has the time to accomplish everything!  Our experts are ready to share some more valuable tips that can possibly change your life forever!

Alfred Poor, Speaker, Best-seller Author and Technology Expert shares how he manages his day so that he has time to accomplish all he needs to do!  “I break my day into 90 minute segments with a 15 minute intervals between. That gives me times of head-down concentration, with breaks to make phone calls, answer emails, and post on social media. I also provide time for planning at the start and end of each day so that I can keep an eye on the big picture, as well as on the deadlines that might be looming around the corner. I also have a note posted on my desk that asks: “What do I want to accomplish TODAY?”

Alfred, a graduate of Harvard and sought after speaker on college campuses and technology events, is a full-time professional speaker and author with an international reputation. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, as well as thousands of articles in print and on-line. He brings energy and humor to his highly-interactive presentations. Traveling from Pennsylvania, looks like Alfred’s advice is working in his professional and personal life.

Coming from across the country from where I am located is Julie Austin, speaker, award-winning author, inventor, and innovator. Julie is from the fast-paced lifestyle of Los Angeles, and shares: “My one tip on time management would be to make out a to-do list the night before. That way you can hit the ground running first thing in the morning! I do anything that requires ‘heavy brain focus’ first thing in the morning, make all calls before 5, and do anything, like shopping or cleaning after hours when you don’t really need ‘peak’ brain performance!”

Julie believes “how you beat your competition is through innovation.” As an inventor/innovator who “turned, $5.00 and a lump of clay into an International, NASDAQ winning product, “SWIGGIES-the Wrist Water Bottle by Hydrosport,” Julie appears all over the country sharing the techniques she learned as a former gatekeeper of an International Academy Award-winning production company, commercial actor and TV host. She is featured in the books “Patently Female” and “Girls Think of Everything,” and has a best-seller “The Money Garden” available now.  “Why hire Julie?  If you don’t your competition will!”

Heading back to North Carolina on our time with the experts today, we find PJ Sawvel, award-winning communicator with a passion for helping people turn their words into vehicles that drive profits, productivity, and professional development. She shares: “I begin my day by asking two simple questions. What’s one thing I can do today to move my business forward?  What’s one thing I can do today to move my family relationships forward? Then I make sure I do those two things! Additionally, I schedule my physical exercise and spiritual meditation at the top of every day because that’s the way I take care of me! When these three things are taken care of–God, family, and business–then the rest takes care of itself!”

PJ Sawvel as a former top producer in real estate, insurance, and the brokerage markets–is an accomplished face-to-face communicator. In the mid-1990’s, she changed lanes and became an award-winning investigative reporter, founding president of a grassroots non-profit, and now author of the 2014 Global E-Books Gold Media winner, Under the Influence: The Town That Listened to Its Kids. These roles have given her the rare insider’s view of the connections that exist between intentions, words, and the target audience–and the subsequent results. She is a sought after keynote speaker, and workshop and breakout session presenter.

We have one more tip that is sure to let us see what taking care of our time now can do for our future!

Rachael Wonderlin is a nationally recognized expert in the Dementia Care field. For as long as Rachael can remember she has wanted to care for aging adults. Even though Dementia in some form affects 1 in every 3 seniors,  this can be a very difficult topic to discuss. But not for Rachael! She has a world-wide following on her blog and is a contributor to the Alzheimers Reading Room where she shares all aspects of the aging process and Dementia. With so many challenges in her work life, and personal life for her time, Rachael shares: “I am an A Type personality, so I enjoy being busy. I am into old-fashioned-to-do-lists. My work items items I keep in a special notebook, and my personal to-do list I have on my phone. Keeping them separate really helps!”

Rachael is a former child film actress, and although she loved acting in commercials, video, and film, she wanted to focus on her education and the calling she had early in life of caring for aging adults. While in college she did not give up her passion for performance. She comes alive in front of an audience, and now with the topic of Dementia as her platform, she is able to speak and educate her audiences in a fun, comical, and engaging way. Rachael has a new book coming out soon from  John Hopkins Press:  What to Remember When They Forget.

With the varied lifestyles, careers, and personal abilities we all have, time is very valuable and precious to each of us! One of our other speakers, Carol Andrews recently shared this: “Put a premium on your time. You’ll never get back what you’ve wasted!”

Better prepared to face the issue of time management in your business and personal life?  We would love to hear your comments, and how we can help you and your audiences in the future.

Sue Falcone

Sue Falcone

The Secrets of Managing Your Time as an Entrepreneur: from the Experts!

wowEntrepreneurs around the world are seeking answers on how to handle a major issue: how to have the time to do what they love; and also have a personal life! I recently was asked this question at a conference I attended, and knew this needed to be addressed in more detail by the experts!

I sought out some of our speakers, trainers, presenters, entertainers, coaches, and authors, that are represented here at “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency. They are successful entrepreneurs and business owners with very different fields of expertise and business models; but I knew they had learned secrets along their journey that hopefully they would be willing to share! And share they did!

We each have the same amount of time: 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week, and normally 8,760 hours a year. In making a choice to have your own business instead of working for someone else, one clear thread ran through all the experts’ comments: you need to have a positive entrepreneurial mindset, and create a plan that allows you the freedom to have a blended and balanced lifestyle. Your success is not based on how many hours you spend at working, but rather having a plan that allows you the freedom to choose what is most important and how you spend the hours to accomplish your plan.

Award-winning Global Entrepreneurship Speaker and Professor Gary Palin shares this:
“Balance is key! Take the time to have a family walk, including your dog, every day.”

Professor Palin speaks and trains all the right ways to operate your business plan for success, but he knows you must intentionally take the time daily to spend with your family and, in his case, the awesome dog- Spirit, a Rhodesian Ridgeback.  He is an ‘in-demand’ global speaker on all areas of Entrepreneurship, and when he travels Spirit misses him I am sure.

Kelly Swanson, motivational speaker, comedian, award-winning storyteller, and the author of “Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale?” shared in her business she has to have:
1.   A clearly defined business plan for the year with areas of top priority and focus.
2.  Be able to turn that plan into daily/weekly/monthly action steps based on priority and deadlines.
3.  Whenever something comes across your desk/email ask yourself: is this a priority and does it have to be done now?
4.  Daily ask yourself: what is best use of my time today? Stick to it.
5.  Learn to say NO to things that distract you from your top priorities.

Kelly is a Wife and Mom of an 11 year old son, and her business is a “family” business. She lives what she shares and has fun doing it all! She is an excellent blogger, and author, and is a sought after keynote speaker for events across the country.

Barbara Hemphill-known as the “Paper Tiger Lady” offers these tips: “I spend the first hour of everyday in quiet time reminding myself of the “why” for my business. What is it that is important enough to accomplish in my life that makes me willing to do the three most important things in my business today to be profitable?”

Barbara is an internationally recognized Organization and Productivity Expert, Speaker and Author. Her recent book Less Clutter More Life is to help people “accomplish their work and enjoy their lives” by not only handling the paper and digital clutter, but also addressing the emotional and spiritual clutter.  She is a sought after speaker who travels across the country sharing a practical message of change.

Can you see from these successful Entrepreneurs some ways that you could change what you are doing now concerning having enough time to do it all? I want to always be a “long-life learner” and I learned some things here that I am beginning right now!

Hope you will come back next week, as we share some more time management tips from the experts who are successful at making it happen! Are you looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? Save time, stress, and money by taking a look at our speakers found here at www.simplysuespeaks.com 

Sue Falcone

Sue Falcone