Tag Archives: speakers

6 Top Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Keynote Speaker!

6 Top Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Keynote Speaker!

Want to have the best Keynote Speaker at your next event?  Dr. Daren Martin shares how you can assure that happens by asking the “right” questions!  You will also see some of his helpful tips that you can use to evaluate the answers you receive!

Q 1  Do you tailor your keynote to the audience and industry or have a set keynote you use for everyone?

I have seen many canned talks that did not resonate with the attendees of the conference. A little research goes a long way in delivering a keynote that is on point and resonates with everyone present. Every industry and organization has their own language, pet peeves, challenges, and opportunities that need to be taken into consideration.

Q2   Are you available throughout the day or only during the time of your keynote?

It can be a great value add if the speaker is around before the keynote (to familiarize themselves with the group) and after the keynote to connect, answer questions, etc.

 Q3  Are you also available to do a workshop or breakout following your keynote?

Some topics may benefit from a deeper dive with the speaker in a more intimate fashion. I have done this many times and it is a great way to expound on a topic.

Q4   Are your books available at a discount to our audience or for vendors and exhibitors as a possible sponsorship.

Books are a better takeaway than cheap tchotchkes. You can drive traffic to a location by having them pick their book up at the designated spot signed in advance by the author or at a designated time with the author present.

Q5  Do you have a follow up reinforcement piece we can send following the conference?

A meaningful follow up video or handout reinforces the ideas shared in the keynote.

Q6  Are you willing to do a brief video to make available to our attendees about your involvement at the event?

The right video can get attendees fired up about the conference and create energy around the keynote and/or attract attendees to the conference when attendance is optional.

By asking these top 6 questions you can generate a relationship with the speaker and let them know what you as an event planner and decision maker expect them to bring to your audience so that it is a successful and less stressful event!

After 20 years of running his own business and consulting Fortune 500 companies, Dr. Daren Martin uses his international experience to motivate your audience to “Create a Culture of Service.”   Dr. Daren’s thought leadership and change strategies in transforming companies earned him the title “The Culture Architect.”  He is a best selling author of multiple business books, including: A Company of Owners: Maximizing Employee Engagement and the hand drawn/written, Whiteboard: Business Models That Inspire Action, as well as Beached Whale: Learning to Swim in the New Ocean and The Sink: Radical Transformation with One Small Change.  In addition, his new book to be released soon is: Think/WOW: Customer Service that WOWS!  To book Dr. Daren for your next event call
888-766-3155 today.

The Strategic Fit – Building Relationships with Speakers’ Bureaus

The Strategic Fit – Building Relationships with Speakers’ Bureaus

By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM

This is the final piece in a three-part series recapping a conversation I had with Sue Falcone, Founder and CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau on how planners can strategically build relationships with speaker’s bureaus. The Strategic Fit - Building Relationships with Speakers' Bureaus

This is the final piece in a three-part series recapping a conversation I had with Sue Falcone, Founder and CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau on how planners can strategically build relationships with speaker’s bureaus. Part one introduces the value of the speakers’ bureau, and part two talks about event speaker trends.

Christy: What do you do about speakers who speak from scripts and are reluctant or unwilling to adapt the message to an audience?

Sue: It’s essential to make sure every client gets a unique and custom experience. Audiences will not accept “canned” presentations, although once that was the norm.  Every speaker search I do starts with a thorough questionnaire for the speaker and the planner so that I know exactly what is expected from and needed from both sides.  It doesn’t matter how many times I have worked with a client; every piece of business must be earned.  Fresh, relevant material is a must and that means adapting to the audience.

Christy: What do you say to those who think they can’t afford to hire a speaker or to those who would prefer to simply book directly?

Sue: I focus on creating an experience from the initial contact, so fees are not the first thing we discuss. I want to know what the client is looking for and what the goal is for bringing in the speaker. From there, it’s my job to find solutions and secure a speaker they like and need.

As for being able to afford my services, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Always ask if the bureau’s fees are paid for by the client or the speaker as it varies by organization. At Remarkable Speakers! the speaker pays for the booking, so there is no cost to the client for utilizing my services. It is also important to know that the speaker fees we quote are not marked up to cover the fees the speaker pays us.

The additional thing to keep in mind is the expertise offered by the bureau. After listening to what the client wants, I make initial recommendations, factoring in not just the speaker’s content but their style. It has to be a good fit at every level. No one has time to waste, so working with a pro means only seeing speakers who meet your needs, style and budget. Watching clips on You Tube and searching the net for speakers can take hours and may not lead you anywhere.

Christy:  Planners are so often in ‘go’ mode that they forget to stop and consult the experts. It’s a good reminder that help is available and that the service providers will likely do a better job than we could. Thanks for that quick reality check!

Sue: I think we can all fall into that trap sometimes! To continue: as for budget: I never apologize or shy away from the cost to book a speaker. Some of the best advice ever given to me that I live by was: “when quoting fees you should be able to do it without blinking an eye. Do it with confidence, facts, and commitments.”

That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for negotiation.  Both sides need to walk away feeling good about the partnership. I can work with both parties to create mutually agreeable terms.  I love the “thrill of the hunt” and closing deals. After booking thousands of speakers I have tons of creative ways clients and speakers can find middle ground.

Christy: My friend is a speaker. Why do I need one of yours?

Sue:  Now, more than ever, everyone thinks they are a speaker, or knows someone who is! I always thank my clients for the opportunity to “earn their business.” Often, when looking for a speaker, initially, people do not know what they want. Even if they have a friend or colleague in mind, it’s a good possibility they still are looking for suggestions. I find that many times after a few questions, the client is not quite as sold on their friend as it might have first appeared.

Knowing the speaker has advantages but does not guarantee it’s the right fit. I ask questions about what they are looking for in their speaker, and does their friend have all need to have a successful event. I share key things to look at; great video clips, an active and engaged social media presence where you can see reviews and testimonials, and what their marketing materials look like to see how fresh, current, and relevant their speaker is. I make sure they think through the ‘why’ around choosing their friend as the speaker.  It’s important to remember that the impact of choosing the best speaker reflects on them.  I want my clients and potential clients to be seen as “rock stars” for choosing the perfect speaker and having a successful event. Sometimes their friend may be their speaker of choice.

To me it’s about helping people make good decisions so even if we don’t book a speaker, I am still thankful for creating a relationship that can be developed for future business. The other opportunity is for me to add a new speaker to my roster as we are always looking for Remarkable Speakers!

A huge thanks to Sue for her time, expertise, buoyant personality and wisdom. I speak to many people each day and few have Sue’s remarkable spirit, candor and enthusiasm. I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I had speaking to her. To continue the conversation, leave a note in the comments section below, find me on Twitter: @SMEChristy or email me: Christy.lamagna@strategic.events.

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.

 

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.

Time to Join a Speakers Bureau?

Recently I was asked by a well known marketing person, “when should a speaker think about joining a Speakers Bureau?”

I didn’t hesitate or blink an eye and said: “when they are already booking themselves consistently for paid events!”

That led to the next question: “what does a Speakers Bureau really do for a Speaker?”

With over 250 different speakers bureaus currently listed in the United States,  most are thought of only as a listing service rather than as an extension of a speakers’ marketing plan. The major benefit is that the bureau handles the billing and contract negotiation with the event planner.

This is why it is so important for a speaker to know how a bureau operates before they sign on and enable someone other than themselves to find and book speaking engagements for them.

Our interview continued with the question: “what should a speaker ask and have in place before they actually reach out to a speakers bureau?”

I agreed to share what we feel is key to a speakers’ success in choosing a speakers bureau.

  • Realize a speakers bureau does not take start up speakers, they have to be consistently booking themselves for paid speaking events.
  • Check with their speaker friends to see which ones they are listed with.
  • Ask them if they are happy with their bureau.
  • Determine how the speakers bureau will handle the billing and event contracts for them.
  • Understand there is no better booking agent than themselves, however a speakers bureau can give them more traffic and increased bookings.
  • Have a business plan where they see a speakers bureau is not a replacement for their marketing plan, it is only an extension of it.
  • Be very cautious about signing with a speakers bureau that wants a speaker  to be exclusive with them.
  • Determine how they are going to do business with a speakers bureau.  A lot of bureaus now do not have a signed agreement in place with the speakers they represent; but look at it this way, shouldn’t a speaker want one? As a speaker they have one with their clients, so why shouldn’t they have one with someone who is representing them to a client?
  • Make sure they have a total package to offer a speakers bureau, which they should already have in place, and includes:
    –   Being a paid professional speaker for at least two years
    –   Fee structure range
    –   Evidence of consistent bookings
    –   Social Media strategy in place
    –   Marketing materials- one sheet, professional photos, professional video clip,
    recommendations from clients,  list of paid clients, updated website, anything that would help a speakers bureau market them to event planners.
  • There is no guarantee a speakers bureau can get them bookings right away- timing is everything.
  • Know event planners seldom look to a speakers bureau for just one speaker, they usually want 3-5 speakers to look at before making a decision.
  • Choose a speakers bureau that has their best interests at heart, and wants to develop an open relationship of mutual cooperation.

This was a valuable interview experience for both of us.  We came away knowing most professional speakers and event planners still see the value of a speakers bureau, and want to work with those they “know, like, and trust.”   It is a great way to add increased bookings and marketing to a speakers’ business model.

Sue Falcone is the CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau. She has come full circle in her experience of being a former Corporate Executive that hired speakers, to becoming a sought-after speaker and author being hired, to now representing some of the most Remarkable speakers on the Planet for you to hire.  Sue is a well respected thought leader in the industry of professional speaking.

 

 

 

“How Passionate Business Storytelling Makes a Message Unforgettable” by Kelly Swanson

Your StoryI was speaking to a group of hotel managers in a program on how to motivate their employees to provide better customer service. In the opening, I pointed out that according to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 34.1 percent of American workers are engaged in the workplace.

And then I told them a story. It was about a woman I had heard singing as she worked in a hospital, and how I had heard her voice all the way from the parking lot. “Some sweet morning, when this day is over, I’ll fly away.” They were loud, staccato, jubilant notes of a life well lived.

When the automatic glass doors to the building opened, I could see her standing there holding her mop as if it were a beloved dance partner, as if her faded cotton dress were made of the finest silk. I watched her all throughout the day as she touched the lives of many. In the cold antiseptic corners of that hospital I saw pain find healing, watched sorrow meet comfort, and saw hopelessness find hope all wrapped up in a faded cotton dress and comfortable shoes.

That day, a woman full of blessings who smelled of bleach showed me what service looks like—and it didn’t come in a list, but in an attitude. The program continued on, and at the end I asked my audience who among them could remember what I had mentioned earlier about the poll and the percentage of employees it indicated were engaged in the workplace. Two hands went up. Then I asked if anyone could remember the song the woman in my story was singing.

Almost every hand went up. Nobody could remember the fact, but everyone remembered the story. That showed me how facts aren’t tied to emotions—but a story is. It is the greatest tool we have to connect and engage. Are all stories equal? No. I’ve watched speakers tell stories that captivated the entire room, and I watched them tell stories that put everybody to sleep.

Just having a story is not good enough. Apply the following tips to your stories and watch what happens. Understand how and why story works. Once you understand the psychology behind stories and their impact, it gets easier to write the ones that are most effective for you.

It starts with an understanding that listeners don’t take action without first having a visual. Therefore, their thoughts are not stored as words, but as images. For your data to have a lasting impact, it must be wrapped in an image for the listener to truly connect with, store and access later. The story does all the work. The point drives it home. Story trumps data.

Stop looking for a good story!  So many speakers ask, “Is this a good story?” That’s the wrong question. Don’t go looking for a “good” story. Look for one that your audience will connect with. An experience they can relate to. Then work on making it a good story.

 

kellyswansonKelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, author, and trainer on the art and business of storytelling in business. She has spent fifteen years entertaining, motivating, and teaching audiences how to harness the power of their story to connect, influence, and get results.  To book Kelly for your next event click here: http://goo.gl/DFvROG

The DNA of a Great Speaker!

telling our storyAmong the top characteristics that make a great professional 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 speakers 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 speaker that will tailor their presentations to your needs.

Whatever the occasion or topic, with our award-winning speakers, 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 we are ready to meet your needs!

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency

“Get What You Pay For?”

yougetwhatyoupayfor

How many times have you heard: “you get what you pay for?”  I can remember my Grandmother saying that over and over again.

We are not sure where the quote actually came from, but I am finding more and more people want value, a positive experience, and service. Isn’t that what everyone in business promises to provide and deliver in a cost effective, excellent and timely manner?

I encounter this at times: “Sue, I love your company and the speakers you represent, but we can’t afford you!”  Ever heard that, or said it to a someone else, maybe even me? When I hear it, I have to first think, “what are they really saying” before I respond. I have found in my many years of sales and marketing that usually it is not about the money at all!

People and companies can always find the money when their deepest desires are met! However, when hearing that statement how many of us will take the time to ask, “tell me more about why you feel that way?” to see if we have even uncovered their deepest desire, or addressed it clearly enough? Or do we just smile, feel rejected or even say: “you get what you pay for” and walk away?

Building a business is all about relationships, knowing your target markets, and being willing and confident enough to do the best you can, overcome objections, and handle rejections well so you can move on no matter the choice of others!

Challenge for you: how do you handle objections and the feeling of rejection? It’s key to your success!

SimplySue_Logo_iPad

Sue Falcone
Owner: Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Have “T-shaped” Work Skills for the Future?

tshapedOur workplace is changing at a fast pace, but have you heard much about the “hot topic” of becoming a “T-shaped” person?

When you hear “T-shaped” what picture comes to mind first? Does deep and wide pop right away? The recruiting industry has started looking extensively into the skill sets that will be needed in the future workplace. They are finding more and more they need people who can do bigger things and think more broadly. The work of the future needs people who have the depth of expertise and skills represented by the vertical part of the “T”, while the crossbar of the ” T” represents the amount they are willing and able to collaborate and share!

Quite a different look, than our normal way of thinking about our work as an individual isn’t it? “T-shaped” people are well-rounded and versatile. They are able to contribute and take on a variety of roles without being “assigned” them as in the workplace now! This will open new mindsets, and focus on how people will be compensated, promoted, and given development to be able to transform organizations!

The skill sets needed to be a  “T-shaped” person are: adaptable/versatile, communicate effectively, multi-cultural awareness, entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial, team player, problem solver, self-motivated, disciplined, critical thinker, collaborative, service focused, and have a mindset of being your own CEO. Sound like an impossible task to make these changes?  Do they look familiar when reviewing the past success of major companies? What were once the so called “soft skills” are now becoming the “hard skills” that we must have!

Our professional speakers and trainers here at Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency are ready to help you,  your companies, and organizations step into the future workplace!  Having the mindset of an entrepreneur while working for someone else is not the norm we are taught in our high schools, and universities.  Nor are the sought after skills when formulating your “Business Plan” either!  Contact me soon and let’s see how we can serve you!

Are you excited about the future workplace? I am! Being a “T-shaped” person is part of what it will take to move our country into our destiny of continued greatness!

Keeping it simple,

sue

 

Sue Falcone-Owner and Booking Agent
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency
www.simplysuespeaks.com (new website under construction)

How May We Serve You?

globalglobeHope you are having a great Summer of 2015! We are “rockin” and I love what I do and who I get to do it with!

As “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency, we always want it to be about you first and “How May We Serve YOU?”

We bring the “WOWfactor experience to any event, by providing the best #WOWtalent on the Planet!”

We want your audiences to have a memorable and unforgettable experience, and You to be seen as a “Rock Star” for choosing “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency!

We currently are creating a new look for our website to be launched soon, a newsletter that will rock your world, and a more visual Social Media presence!

We are on our way, and “Oh, the Places We’ll Go” ready to help us? Contact us today to see how easy it is to #bookaspeaker for your upcoming event!

#SmartWomenPartner&GrowRich!  I’ve joined forces with WomenPartner. org to highlight the value of using LinkedIn as a source of lucrative cross promotional partners. Our activities will be documented in the free special report “What Women Are Missing When It Comes To LinkedIn” to inspire other women to partner.  Please read our joint post to get a feel for what we are doing and check out my special offer.  Let’s partner to monetize LinkedIn. Ask how you can be a part of our collaboration to get help with filling your seats, coaching hours, books sales, etc. http://tinyurl.com/nbw6mr8

Sue Falcone
Sue Falcone

Happy May Day!

murielThis week “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency received the greatest award and gift of a lifetime! I received a poem written by the well-known poet, Muriel Hoff, about our company!

Meet Muriel! She is an awesome lady I met through a community event we hosted.  She is 92 years young, and has published 3 books of poetry, won numerous awards, and is working on her fourth book-perhaps her memoirs! Her life evolved from being a “legal secretary” to Wife, Mom, Grandmother, Leader in her community, and an accomplished writer and poet. She is very active, attends events, and loves to have people all around her.

When I visited with Muriel this week I saw her eyes light up when she said: ” I was thinking of you this week, and the great solutions you are offering with the great talent you represent, and I wrote this for you. It’s not much, but hope it will encourage and keep you going!”

When I looked at the short piece of work she handled to me, I realized the effort and thoughtfulness that had gone into making this for me!  Muriel does not use a computer, she chooses to type on her old Smith-Carona typewriter. But she does have a copier by her typewriter, so she can make copies of her work without having to use carbon paper!

I was honored to receive this poem and thought you might enjoy reading it too!

I can book you a speaker
anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

Our speakers are bright,
they will light up your life.

We can fulfill your every need.
Yes indeed, yes indeed, yes indeed!

I am sure our Talent we represent here at “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency can live up to this poem, and know I will keep going to find those events where they can “light up your life, anytime, anywhere, anyplace!”

Thanks, Muriel Hoff for making everything in my life so worth it!

Sue Falcone
Owner: “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency