Saturday, January 31, 2009

Speak For Dollars Public Speaking For Sales Increases

Writen by E.R. Rigsbee

Public speaking is a great way to connect with your current and future customers. Present your ideas at a public or a private venue. Presenting to a targeted audience is an accelerated way to stimulate business. Sure, speaking to groups of people can be a frightening prospect, but you do want to increase sales, don't you? Why do so many people have this fright, do you suppose? Perhaps, if the audience doesn't like what you have to say they'll call the police in and have you taken off to jail for disturbing the peace? Just kidding, it's not too likely that will ever happen. So, what is it? Maybe it's an imposter syndrome fear? A fear that the audience will discover one is not as smart as one might pretend to be? No! They already know that. Then what is it?

I believe many are afraid of presenting because of low self-esteem. Let's not confuse brash egotism with quality self-esteem. When you feel good about yourself you are willing to take a risk and be vulnerable. Yes, I said vulnerable! This is when a perceived weakness can become a real strength. Think back and visualize in your mind a presenter, one at which you attended their live presentation. Now that you have the presentation in your mind, ask yourself, "How real were they?" Your answer will most likely be: "They were very real. I felt like they were speaking directly to me." This is because they allowed their self to be vulnerable. You thought they were there for you actually as your guide or mentor.

There are three basic ways to use public speaking to market your products and services:

Speaking to community and service clubs.

Holding information specific seminars.

Doing demonstrations; out in public and in-home party style.

First, we'll look at speaking to your community organizations. This idea is great when you primarily market to your local community, otherwise you'll be doing quite a lot of traveling. Here's an easy way to start: Prepare a 25-minute presentation about the value your industry provides for consumers. Make it non-commercial and non-specific to your product or service. Do this, and you'll receive acceptance.

Your speech will be the most effective if you have an opening grabber to break the preoccupation barrier that most people have. Try something humorous about your business or in your industry. Another grabber can be controversy, but be cautious. Develop a transition to the body and then cover only three to four key points. Keep the presentation body fun, informative and positive. Next, summarize and have a call to action. This is the suggestion for your audience to stop by your place of business to see, hear or learn more. Conclude with a quotation or a short meaningful story. Just relax you'll be a hit.

Contact your chamber of commerce for a list of community organizations. Contact all of the groups on the chamber list. Offer to speak at their meeting. You'll be surprised at how many will accept your offer. Don't try to sell the audience anything at their meeting except yourself. Be a giver a giver of knowledge and business will come your way. Remember to send out news releases to the local media every time you speak. While you're out speaking, look for an organization to join and get involved. Being active in your community is an excellent way to show you're a community partner and to get noticed.

The second way to use public speaking is to hold seminars. Check your newspaper, usually the Sunday paper is best. Look for the ads advertising free seminars—you should find one or two. The common seminars you'll notice are for Wills, Trust & Estate Planning, Real Estate, Health and Fitness, and a variety of other offerings. The plan is to get the prospects in the door. You do this by providing them with a small amount of dynamite information (useful, of course). Then, at the end, offer your products and services for sale or lease.

Record your seminars, and when you deliver what you consider to be a great one make, it into a "for sale" product or use it as an incentive product. Today, you'll want to product both CD and cassette versions. If you want to produce the program yourself, a great company to supply you with all your needs is National Cassette Services, Inc. (800) 541-0551. If you don't want to go to the trouble, sent your original cassette to Janita Cooper at Master Duplicating Corp. 800-228-8919. They'll clean it up, duplicate it and produce the labels and jacket covers.

Some elements to a successful seminar: Advertise your seminar with the local media. Sell people on attending the seminar, make truthful promises of value and benefits for all who attend, let them know what's in it for them. Remember that the attendees are giving of time and energy to get there. Be sure to have some helpers there to take your new customers' money, credit cards, etc. If you are not great at closing the sale, consider partnering with a professional sales person to increase the volume of sales.

The seminar can be held at your place of business or a rented location such as a hotel/motel conference room, park, school, or anything you can think of—be innovative. Wherever it is, make it comfortable for about an hour stay 45 minutes for the information, 10 minutes for your sales presentation and the five minutes just because.

The third way to promote your business through public speaking is through the demonstration method. You can do this in public gathering places like fairs and carnivals, at trade shows and in a private home setting. Demonstrations in public can be as brief as five minutes or up to 15 minutes. Any longer than 15 minutes, you'll have people stop by and move on. At these public demonstrations you'll need to be prepared to answer questions and possibly sell your products. You can probably partner with another person or group to help you do those tasks.

In-home demonstrations can be effective. I remember growing up and going out with my mother when she gave consumer product parties at people's homes. It seemed like every year my mother would switch to a new company. Take my advise stick to one thing and you'll surely make lots of money it's advice nobody gave my mother or advice she never took. Companies like Tupperware are synonymous with this method and it works!

Personal Publicity

Personal publicity will help you to become more secure and confident. People that appear to be of value are the ones companies seek to become integral with their organization. Our economy is dynamic and ever changing. Companies can no longer afford to keep on the deadwood that in an era gone by was possible. Make a commitment to yourself here and now to be a person of value. This means you'll have to bring more value to your workplace. Also, you can more easily find new employment for yourself if necessary.

Many American companies have gone through excruciating change and downsizing. They are looking to their star performers to keep the business afloat. These stars came to the attention of management by intelligently and subtly publicizing their accomplishments and heroic efforts throughout their company and industry. You too, can do this. Yes I understand that it's not your way the problem is that "your way" may create a one-way ticket to oblivion. Many people need someone to give them permission to do something that their parents once told them was not "our way." I hereby give you permission to promote yourself to the world!

As a colleague, Mark Victor Hanson, coauthor of the "Chicken Soup" books, has often told me, "Let your inner knower tell you what to do." Your inner knower can help you to see your true value to the economy in which you participate. Let go of your negative "stuff" on self-promotion and move on to fulfill your potential!

Listed below are three typical reasons professionals and business leaders are hesitant to self-promote. Do these ring true for you?

Feel it's too self-important, pompous, pontifical, pretentious, stuffy, grandiose, ostentatious or stuffy.

Not in keeping with the professional image they want to project.

Believe promotion costs more then the value they receive.

Truly, the only restraint that keeps you from having the public image and stature that many enjoy is the conversation you have with yourself about the additional possibilities for your life. Dislodge those old tapes in your head that have been immobilizing your efforts to get ahead. Launch them right out of your consciousness.

Ways To Get People To Notice You

Promote free booklets/reports on ideas and information related to your business or service. Author a book. You become an instant expert.

Do your own radio show, perhaps a Saturday or Sunday morning public information type. Publish a newsletter.

Stay in touch with clients and prospects by mailing them articles you clipped.

Become an expert resource for local and national media reporters.

Welcome new people to your town.

News releases are an inexpensive way to get your name in print; always include a photo.

Write a weekly or monthly newspaper or magazine column.

Congratulate people on promotions you read about in the local paper and in trade pubs.

Give great public speeches.

Public seminars sponsored by your company or another company with which you partner.

Word-of-mouth happy clients and happy employees talk!

Host power breakfasts for local business leaders.

Get on, or even better, host radio and/or TV talk shows.

Crashing Past Gatekeepers Of The Media To Get Your Foot In The Door

Controversy sells in all forms of the media. Media is drawn to it like insects to a night light.

Relevance to a current event is important. Make your story connect to what is happening now.

Hope, it does not sell as well as controversy, but it does sell. The media is looking for ways to show that progress is being made in solving today's social problems.

Simplification of life, for most, life has become too complex. Show how people can save time, improve the quality of their lives, find enjoyment and fulfillment, and generally be happier.

Overcoming Adversity is a regular media winner. America has always cheered for the underdog.

Show how you have done it and become a media darling.

Partnering with the media can be your secret weapon if used well. Develop relationships with as many local and national reporters and editors as possible. The more you can do to make their life easier the better the chances you'll get coverage.

To Better Connect with the Media, Make a Favorable Impression

Take the Eight "Cs" approach: Be Concise, Candid, Correct, Conversational, Clear, Compassionate, Controversial, and Calm!

Use the name of your company or product rather than saying, "The widget or The Company."

Give your main point first, in a concise, positive, and complete sentence.

Remember that the best defense is a good offence.

Be honest.

Relax and smile.

Make a public interest viewpoint.

Become an "industry" source.

Be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible.

Watch or listen to the show or read the publication beforehand.

Radiate confidence and energy. Energy plus Enthusiasm equals Excitement!

If you really do not know, say "I don't have the answer now" . . . and explain rather than, "I don't know," or "No comment."

Keep your cool.

Believe to the core of your being, that you have something of value to offer their audience.

Things You Will Want to Avoid

Do not repeat negative or "Loaded" words.

Do not say anything "off the record" because there is no such thing in today's media.

Do not make exaggerated claims or predictions.

Do not lie, mislead, or try to bluff because it will come back and bite you in the rear.

Do not discuss your personal finances.

Do not lose your temper. If you do, the host will make a monkey of you. I once saw Ted Turner lose his temper on Donahue and Phil made Ted look like a . . . Well, you know.

Do not wear checks, plaids, stripes, or large prints before a camera because you will look terrible.

Do not look for the "on camera" red light. Instead, talk directly to the reporter or interviewer.

Do not nod affirmatively to a question with which you disagree. Instead clearly show that you are not in agreement with the interviewer or other guest.

Do not be defensive.

Do not use jargon that few will understand. Rather than appearing bright, you will appear smug or arrogant.

Do not leave your humor in the waiting room. Humor is one of the best ways to win over the audience.

Do not try to be someone you aren't. Your insincerity will show through like a red flag.

Do not forget to say "Thank you" to the show's host.

If You Want to be Asked Back

If you show up in person, DRESS TO IMPRESS.

Be prepared.

Always be in time for the interview.

Your materials should be up-to-date.

Smile before, during, and after the interview, even if you are not in-studio.

Arrive early so you don't appear rushed, but not so early that you're in the way.

Listen intently to the host.

Answer question asked, even if you do move a little off their subject.

Answer to the point and be concise.

Answer with enthusiasm.

Do not answer a question with a question, a simple yes or no, or "yup."

If you're unfamiliar with a question, simply say so.

If you don't clearly hear the question, ask them to please repeat it.

Call the host by name and thank them briefly on air.

Send a postproduction thank you note to the host and producer.

You have just discovered the tools to get to the media. If you made the commitment I asked for earlier all that is left is to go into action. Don't get derailed moving from the idea phase into action. Your own perception of your worthiness is what will block or empower you into action. If you didn't make the commitment, what can I say, but good luck? It is how you say it and how you do it. Share your ideas in public and gain increased stature for yourself and your business. It is a fun way to boost your business.

To access helpful additional information from Ed Rigsbee at no charge, please visit Also be sure to visit

Ed Rigsbee, CSP is the author of PartnerShift, Developing Strategic Alliances and The Art of Partnering. Rigsbee has over 1,000 published articles to his credit and is a regular keynote presenter at corporate and trade association conferences across North America. He can be reached at 800-839-1520,

Friday, January 30, 2009

The 6 Components Of An Effective Presentation

Writen by Taylor Hunter

One ingredient common to top salespeople is the ability to consistently deliver effective presentations. An effective presentation moves a customer from their current position to a position of action.

Effective presenters use the following Methodology Selling™ techniques to move customers to action.

1. Preparation – Establish a very clear vision or goal. Ensure your thoughts and ideas are clear as to how you will move the customer's position from where they are now to a position of action.

2. Educate And Create Interest – The audience needs to focus on you the presenter not on themselves. Inform the audience as to why you are there and the purpose of your presentation. Understand the customer's needs and pain. Clearly define your resolution to their dilemma. The first few minutes of the presentation are vital. These few seconds can determine the success of the presentation.

3. Clear Presentation – Present in a clear simple manner. Avoid using this venue as an opportunity to show the audience how much you know. Keep it simple and focused. Present points one at a time and make sure each point is understood before moving on.

4. Listen To Your Audience – Listen and watch for the prospects response. Determine if hot buttons have been pushed.

5. Touch Their Emotions – Remind the customers of their needs and their pain. They need to feel their pain to want to move away from it.

6. Action – Give the customers the solution or tools to make the change. Empower them to move away from the pain and move to action.

The founder and president of Taylor Hunter and Associates, Taylor Hunter has 20 years of diverse Sales, Sales Management and Executive experience. An impassioned interpreter of the selling process he has focused on fine-tuning the core basic elements of sales success during his career. A strong advocate of sales training that targets the core sales skills needed for success. Taylor Hunter created Methodology Selling which has served as the foundation for his noteworthy sales success. Methodology Selling is a proprietary sales approach trademarked by Taylor Hunter and Associates.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Power Words

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

In a study by Langer, Blank, and Chanowitz, researchers found certain word choices could influence people to act against their own self-interests. The researcher would approach a copier where a long line of students stood. She would try three different word choices at different times to see how the other students would respond to each request. She didn't change what she was asking, only the word choice. When she said, "Excuse me, I only have five pages. May I use the copy machine because I am in a rush?" 94 percent complied. When she said, "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the copy machine?" 60 percent complied. But when she said, "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the copy machine because I have to make some copies?" 93 percent complied. The magic was in the word "because." Even when she used an obvious reason, for example, just to make copies, she had a higher compliance. The word "because" is very powerful. "Because" prepares the mind for a reason. Even if the reason is not legitimate, it is still a reason.

Perhaps one of the most valuable words to learn how to use is "you." When you use the word "you" instead of a more general word like, "people," there is a stronger sense of identity. Your listener will be more tuned in to what you are saying.

On the other hand, the one word that will impede your ability to persuade is "but." "But" negates everything you said before it. We all know the drill, "I love you, but…"or "I want to help, but…." The word "but" puts the brake on persuasion. Practice your vocabulary and use the word "and" in your persuasive communication instead of "but." Another simple change is to use the word "can" instead of "could." For example, say "Can you carry this for me?" instead of "Could you carry this for me?" Similarly, it is better to use "will" than "would" and better to use "try" than "do."

Often in day-to-day living we find ourselves in circumstances where we need to direct, delegate, or even order. Usually our assignments are just short sentences, such as "Can you please do this or that?" You can create unity and alliance and lessen defensiveness when you use "let's" in place of "you," even when that individual, not you, is really going to be the one carrying the duty out. For example, "Let's be sure and get this out in the mail today, okay?" It's such a simple thing, yet you will find it works wonders. Make a habit of using the word "let's," and you will find more cooperation.

Following are some simple guidelines to keep your speech and verbal packaging on the right track.

*Don't use jargon or technical language unless you are sure every member of your audience understands the meaning.

*Don't use profanity or slang. In general, using profanity damages your credibility.8 Be sensitive to whatever language your audience might find offensive, profanity or otherwise. Avoid name-calling and other forms of abusive language.

*Speak in everyday language. You want your audience to relate to you and to feel as comfortable with you as possible. Use language that will make you seem familiar and easy to follow.

*Keep your language simple and clear.

*Keep your sentences short. Use as few words as possible unless you are painting the picture--just one idea at a time.

*Use words that will engage the audience. Use "you," "we," "us," and even "I" if you are relating a personal experience.

*Don't use vague and abstract words. They muddle your meaning and confuse your listener.

*Don't talk down to your listener by using pompous and pretentious words. Be direct; don't bluff or beat around the bush.

*Use verb-driven language. By using verb-driven language, you will arouse a greater sense of action and motivation. Using these kinds of verbs will make your statement more convincing because your audience will engage their emotions, consciously and subconsciously. Verbs that are abstract or overused do not communicate excitement.

With so many words in the English language to pick from, you must be very particular about which ones to use. Some will grab attention more than others. The following sixteen words are commonly used to effectively sell a product:

Benefit Money Easy New* Free* Now Fun Proven Guarantee Results Health Safe How to Save Love You/Your

Among all those on the list, the word "free" always gets attention anytime it is used. Suppose you were in charge of designing and wording the fliers your company is planning to send out in three weeks. Which phrase would you use?

1. Half price!
2. Buy one--Get one free!
3. 50 percent off!

Each of the three denotes the exact same offer, but the second phrase is the most effective. In fact, studies have shown that phrases using the word "free" outsell other phrases stating the exact same thing, only in different terms, by 40 percent!


Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. It is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you've seen some success, but think of the times you couldn't get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade.

Go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale! Take your test now at

Kurt Mortensen teaches over a hundred techniques to give you the ability to effectively work with every customer that walks in your door. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. Kurt Mortensen's trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available! Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How To Write An Artist Statement

Writen by Molly Gordon

Your artist's statement can be a moving testament to your creativity and integrity. The expression of this commitment will vary, but the effectiveness of your artist's statement stems from the authority with which you write it.

Think of your artist's statement as a nourishing stew. The rich flavors and inviting aroma will feed your spirit and summon wonderful people to your table. You'll want to make sure your stew is made from the freshest, finest ingredients and that it has been simmered and seasoned with care. Do this, and you will be proud to share your creative vision -- your authority -- with others.


STEP ONE: Assemble the Ingredients.

1. Take five minutes and think about why you do what you do. How did you get into this work? How do you feel when work is going well? What are your favorite things about your work? Jot down short phrases that capture your thoughts. Don't worry about making sense or connections. The more you stir up at this point, the richer the stew.

2. Make a list of words and phrases that communicate your feelings about your work and your values. Include words you like, words that make you feel good, words that communicate your values or fascinations. Be loose. Be happy. Be real. Think of these as potential seasonings for your stew. You don't have to choose which ones to use just yet, so get them all out of the cupboard.

3. Answer these questions as simply as you can. Your answers are the meat and potatoes of your stew. Let them be raw and uncut for now.

What is your favorite tool? Why?

What is your favorite material? Why?

What do you like best about what you do?

What do you mean when you say that a piece has turned out really well?

What patterns emerge in your work? Is there a pattern in the way you select materials? In the way you use color, texture or light?

What do you do differently from the way you were taught? Why?

What is your favorite color? List three qualities of the color. Consider that these qualities apply to your work.

4. Look at your word list. Add new words suggested by your answers to the questions above.

5. Choose two key words from your word list. They can be related or entirely different. Look them up in a dictionary. Read all the definitions listed for your words. Copy the definitions, thinking about what notions they have in common. Look your words up in a Thesaurus. Read the entries related to your words. Are there any new words that should be added to your word list?

6. Write five sentences that tell the truth about your connection to your work. If you are stuck, start by filling in the blanks below.

When I work with__________ I am reminded that___________.

I begin a piece by______________.

I know a piece is done when__________________.

When my work is going well, I am filled with a sense of _____________.

When people see my work, I'd like them to ________________.

STEP TWO: Filling the Pot.

Write a three paragraph artist's statement. Keep your sentences authentic and direct. Use the present tense ("I am," not "I was," "I do," not "I did.") Be brave: say nice things about yourself. If you find that you falter, write three paragraphs about an artist whose work you admire. Then write about yourself as though you were an admiring colleague. As a rule, your artist's statement should be written in the first person. Refer to yourself with the pronouns "I, me, my." If this blocks you, write in the third person, then go back and change the pronouns as needed when you get to Step Four. Use the suggestions below to structure your statement. Write three to five sentences per paragraph.

First paragraph. Begin with a simple statement of why you do the work you do. Support that statement, telling the reader more about your goals and aspirations.

Second paragraph. Tell the reader how you make decisions in the course of your work. How and why do you select materials, techniques, themes? Keep it simple and tell the truth.

Third paragraph. Tell the reader a little more about your current work. How it is grew out of prior work or life experiences. What are you exploring, attempting, challenging by doing this work.

STEP THREE: Simmering the Stew.

Your artist's statement is a piece of very personal writing. Let it simmer overnight before your reread it. This incubation period will help give you the detachment necessary to polish the writing without violating your sense of integrity and safety. While your statement simmers, let your mind wander over the ingredients you assembled in Step One. Allow yourself to experience the truth of your creative experience. Marvel at the wealth of seasonings and abundance of vegetables you have at your disposal. Enjoy the realization that your work is grounded in real values and experience. If you think of things you might have left out of your statement, jot them down, but leave the statement alone.

STEP FOUR: Taste and Correct the Seasonings.

Read your statement aloud. Listen to the way the sounds and rhythms seem to invite pauses. Notice places where you'd like the sound or rhythm to be different. Experiment with sounding out the beats of words that seem to be missing until they come to mind. Do this several times until you have a sense of the musical potential of your statement. As you read your statement, some phrases will ring true and others false. Think about the ones that aren't on the mark and find the true statement lurking behind the false one. You may find that the truth is a simpler statement than the one you made. Or your internal censors may have kept you from making a wholehearted statement of your truth lest it sound self-important. Risk puffing yourself up as long as your claims are in line with your goals and values.

By now your taste buds are saturated. You need a second opinion. Choose a trusted friend or professional to read your statement. Make it clear that you are satisfied with the ingredients on the whole, but you'd like an opinion as to seasoning. You alone are the authority for what is true about your work, but you'd like feedback on clarity, tone, and such technical matters as spelling and punctuation.

STEP FIVE: Summon the Guests.

There's little point in concocting a fabulous stew if you don't invite anyone to dinner. Every time you use your artist's statement you extend your circle of influence and build new branches of the support network for making, showing and selling your work. Enclose a copy of your artist's statement whenever you send a press release, letter of interest to a gallery or store, or contact a collector. Send it to show promoters and curators. Enclose a copy with shipments of your work so it can be displayed wherever your work is exhibited.

STEP SIX: File Your Recipe!

Save all the notes and drafts that you've made. You'll want to revise and update your artist's statement from time to time to reflect changes in your work.

Molly Gordon, MCC, is an internationally recognized business coach helping small business owners, independent professionals and artists to do business in a way that feeds their souls as well as their bank accounts. Visit her site to learn how to write a compelling artist statement in six easy steps. While on the site, don't forget to join 12,000 readers of Molly's Authentic Promotion® ezine, and receive a free 31-page guide on effective self promotion.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Choosing A Company Shirt Vendor

Writen by Lance Winslow

Where can you choose a company shirt vendor? There are many catalogs out their with more than competent companies selling logo'ed attire for small, medium and large businesses. Online there are many great companies too which have low costs for shirts and then put on your logo and send them to you. Many small businesses wish to do business locally; is this a smart choice for a company shirt vendor?

If you attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting and meet a local silkscreener, you should use their service if they: Can match the price using good quality shirts like Fruit of the Loom or Beefy-T within 10% of an online company or catalog; are willing to sets up 'the screen' free and are willing on becoming one of your customers in your business as well. Remember, you can pay about 10% more locally and still break even because you will save the UPS charge. Also, you might be able to save up to one-half the cost of the shirts by trading for your products or services, so think of that too. Also remember that a silkscreener is usually a fantastic networker; they have to be to stay in business. They do business with many small and large image-conscious companies. These companies who buy tee shirts for their employees can potentially be your customers as well, think about that. The local businessperson can bring you referrals that a catalog will not.

If you go with a local silkscreener and they do a good job and their prices are equal or lower than that of catalogs or online logo'ed shirt companies you will surely refer them also and they know that as well. You might also think of the service aspect if you work locally, service is a big issue when you need something special, they are more apt to go out of their way. Catalog and Online Logo'ed shirt vendors may have access to larger inventories and styles if you need something special in a hurry, but the shipping costs may also cost you dearly?

If you do attend local events in your community and advertise your company it is advisable to have a few button down shirts with logos as well. If you have a couple of personal shirts you can spare, we recommend that you print logos on them in the same positions as the polo shirts. This is a big advantage of a local silk screener, you can take them nearly any shirt you own and have it logo'ed too. Such nice dress type shirts can be worn at Chamber of Commerce meetings and civic functions. If you're in the grocery store wearing a shirt with the logo, remember to have at least ten business cards with you at all times. People will see the logo and will want a card or two. They will stop you and ask you for one. Have you thought about your choices for shirt and business attire vendors? Think about it.

Lance Winslow

Monday, January 26, 2009

How Storytelling Can Grow Your Business

Writen by Cathy Stucker

People love stories. We love to hear about other people, and stories help us to learn, remember and put to use new concepts. Aesop knew this. His fables help us to learn life lessons through tales about others, without having to learn them the hard way.

In modern times, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen also understand the power of stories to teach, motivate, and inspire. Their "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books continue to sell in the millions of copies because they tap into our primal need to connect with others through storytelling.

What can stories do for you and your business? Stories can educate customers about a need they have and how you fill it, subtly demonstrate your expertise, create empathy, suggest new uses for your products, train new customers and employees, and motivate listeners to take action.

I recently observed several group presentations by an insurance agent. He knew many of the people in the audience, and prior to each presentation he would look for someone who had made a claim under their policy and ask them to tell the audience how the benefits had helped them through a difficult time. If there was no one in the audience to do it, he would tell about someone who had used the policy and what it had done for them. The stories the agent told were effective, but hearing the claimants themselves was incredibly powerful. Hearing someone talk about the uncertainty of illness, the expenses they faced which were not covered by other insurance, and what the benefits meant to them was moving. I'm sure he sold lots of policies!

Where will you get stories? Stories from your own experience can be effective, and they are unique. You may also get stories from customers, employees, friends and others. The media can be a source of stories. Stories that are familiar because they have been told through the media can establish a commonality between you and your audience, or among members of your audience. Stories unique to your experience provide a personal touch, and can be surprising because they are not known to the audience.

Another possibility is creating composite or fictional stories. This may not be acceptable in some circumstances. For example, several newspaper columnists have been fired for making up stories, or creating composite characters, and passing them off as absolute truth. However, if your primary purpose is to educate or entertain, and you are not presenting them as news, you may take some liberties with minor details of your stories or take bits and pieces from multiple stories and combine them into one composite. Remember that it is important to maintain credibility, so don't do anything that would deceive your audience.

Once you have your stories, where will you use them? Tell them when you are in one-on-one meetings, in group presentations, and when making speeches. Write them down and include them in articles, brochures, sales letters, on your web site and in other written communications. Record them on audio or video and use them in commercials. Use them when training new employees to teach them about your company and its culture. Publish them in your client or company newsletter to reinforce emotional ties.

Stories are a powerful tool which teach and motivate by making an emotional connection with your audience. Use them wisely and well.

Copyright Cathy Stucker. As the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker can help you attract customers and make yourself famous with inexpensive and free marketing ideas. Get free tips, articles and more at

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Killer Presentation

Writen by Manik Thapar

Speaking to large groups involves learned techniques and practice, practice, practice. If you haven't stepped to the podium, you can. If you have been a featured speaker, you can get better.

"A good presentation is about the topic--not you," says T. Stephen Eggleston, founder of The Eggleston Group in Alexandria, Va., and director of Internet Technology for Kobrand in New York. "Get rid of everything that doesn't contribute to the message."

Tuck away the stomach back-flips and get busy on your presentation. Here's how:

Begin with the obvious: Know your subject. Some speakers overlook this basic point and quickly come unglued during the question-and-answer period. The audience assumes you're an expert with knowledge to impart. As the featured speaker, you should assume that your audience is informed, curious and bursting with pointed questions.

If a small amount of research will help you, imagine what a moderate amount will do.

Know your audience. You wouldn't make the same presentation about a new software package to engineers, accountants and top managers. The engineers want to know about the tool's whizzes and whirrs--what it can do for them and why it beats competing products. The accountants want to know what it will cost and how it will save them money. Top management wants to know how it will boost productivity and give the company an edge over the competition. So adjust your pitch as needed.

Develop a theme for your presentation. The topic of discussion may be complex, and its ramifications may not be fully apparent, but you've got to sum it up in a few short sentences. At the beginning of your presentation, you must tell the audience: 1) "You need to know this because...," 2) "Knowing this will help you to..." and 3) "Here's what you need to know..."

After defining the focus of your presentation, you're ready to draft an outline. Remember, you don't want to read a script to the audience because doing so is a snoozer and an insult. To connect with the audience, you must be animated and enthusiastic about the topic.

For some, notes scribbled on 3-by-5 index cards are enough, while others need more detail when outlining. Don't try to memorize your presentation, because even if you don't sound like a robot on a bad hair day, you're bound to stumble or skip a portion, and going back to the missed material will be awkward and disjointed.

The presentation should be simple and direct. It includes an opening, body, summary and closing.

"Some say you should always begin with a joke or an anecdote," Eggleston says. "It's not a rule, and if it were, it should be ignored."

The opening sets the stage for what's ahead. State the purpose of the presentation and quickly summarize the main points to be covered.

The body of the presentation covers the nits and grits of the topic in detail. Break the issues into discrete parts that the audience can easily understand. Each subsection should make a single point.

Keep the summary short. This is where you underscore the presentation's theme and key points.

After a question-and-answer period, thank your audience for their attention and hand out any material that wasn't vital to the presentation. In general, material handed out during the presentation is a distraction and will weaken the impact of your talk.

Remember two critical points when preparing a presentation.

First, take Henry David Thoreau's advice and "Simplify, simplify." It's your job as speaker to translate complex details into simple, direct sentences.

Second, follow the advice of broadcast editors everywhere: "Tell them what you're going to say, say it and then tell them what you've just said." Repetition needn't be repetitious. Reinforcing central points of the presentation depends on your skill as a speaker and takes practice. Getting it right is the difference between an effective presentation and wasting the audience's time.

Slides can be a key element of a solid presentation. Keep in mind that slides are bullet points--not paragraphs. If you have to say, "I know you can't read this, but …" you've flubbed it. In most cases, limit each slide to two or three key points expressed as succinctly as possible.

If a member of the audience nails you with a question you can't answer, don't be afraid to say, "I don't know. I'll have to look that up and get back to you." Thrashing around for an answer--any answer--will be obvious to the audience and instantly kill your credibility.

If you're confronted with a heckler who won't shut up, say, "Let's talk privately at the conclusion of my presentation. There are others with questions I must get to now."

The foundations of a solid presentation are the same whether you're speaking to a service club or a giant like Exxon Mobil, eBay, and JPMorgan Chase.

Finally, remember that no matter how detailed your preparation, things can still go wrong.

"You never know what will happen," Eggleston says. "The extension cord for the projector won't be long enough, there won't be a plug or the bulb will burn out. So no matter how carefully you've prepared your visuals, always be ready to sing a cappella."

Manik Thapar (MBA)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ten Quick Tips For Outstanding Presentations

Writen by Ed Sykes

It's that time again…the monthly meeting. You break out in a cold sweat just thinking about it. Whether you present to your managers or your employees you are saying to yourself:

What if I mess up?

What if I repeat myself?

What if the audience doesn't like what I say?

What if I forget a part of my speech?

What if I look nervous?

It's okay! You're not the only one feeling this way. The Book of Lists states that the #1 fear is speaking in public. This fear is greater than the fear of death.

Well, I have the answers to your fears and can help you become an outstanding presenter. These 10 tips will help you become more confident making presentations that achieve results.

1. Start with an End in Mind
Ask yourself, "Why am I speaking?" "What do I want the audience to do after listening to my speech?" This will help you focus on the message you want to share with your audience. It will help you focus on who is your audience, the key points, and what you want your audience to do after listening to you.

2. Keep It Simple
Keep your presentation simple by learning to "speak to express instead of speaking to impress." What I mean by speaking to impress is when you see speakers using $5 words for $2 situations during speeches and they look uncomfortable doing it. Another example of this is when presenters overuse PowerPoint. Your audience will soon lose interest in what you are saying.

Also keep it simple with the structure of your speech. An opening, body with tree major points, and a closing will help you connect with your audience. Just be sincere, concise, and simple in your presentation and you will always connect with your audience.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Master your presentation by practicing. Here's the secret to practicing…first read your speech to yourself 2-3 times. This allows you to work out the majority of the rough spots in your presentation before you start rehearsing.

Then rehearse in front of a mirror or even better a video camera or tape player. Also try to rehearse in front of someone whose opinion you value.

Then practice as close as possible to your speaking environment as possible. For example, if you will be speaking behind a lectern, practice with your notes on an ironing board.

4. Visualize Success
Before going to sleep the night before a presentation I take time to visualize the success of the presentation. The key to making visualization work for you is involving as many senses (sound, touch, sight, smell, etc.) as possible in your visualization. Have you ever had a dream where it seemed so real you awoke in a cold sweat (You don't need to tell me what the dream was)? It was because you used all your senses and that dream became so real to you that you needed to escape from it.

Visualize yourself giving a successful presentation where you see yourself as a confident presenter, hear yourself handling questions, etc. Visualize successful presentations so that it becomes real.

5. Eat the Elephant
I ask the timeless question, "How do you eat an elephant?" Piece by piece. The same answer applies to presenting to a group. How do you present to a group? Person to person. Break the group into individuals.

"How do I present to a large group?" is one of the biggest questions people have when giving presentations. Get personal. Whenever possible, I will make sure I arrive early to the room I'm presenting in and plant myself by the entrance. I will then greet as many people as possible that walk through the door. I will shake their hands and let them know I am glad they came. Here's a tip for guaranteeing a positive audience:

* As you greet, look for pleasant, upbeat people. Then say something like, "I'm especially glad you made it today. As a matter of fact there's a sit in the front row with your name on it. Please enjoy!"

The audience member will usually chuckle and you started the personalization process. Also this allows you to stack all the friendly audience members in the front rows. It's always nice to see friendly faces in the front row.

Remember, when giving a presentation, it's not about your needs or concerns. It's about the audience's needs or concerns. Make it personal and eat the elephant!

6. Nail Your Opening
It's the first words your audience hears. Know your opening like the back of your hand. Know exactly what you are going to say. Once you get started and gain some momentum you will start to gain confidence for the rest of your speech.

It helps to pause for 3-5 seconds before you are about to start your presentation so that can focus on what you are about to say.

7. Nail Your Ending
It's the last words your audience hears and reminder about you. You can have a great opening and body and have a bad ending and your audience your always remember how you ended.

Ask your audience to take action, think about an idea, etc. so that they understand why they are there.

8. Backup if You Forget
If you forget what you are about to say or lose your place in the presentation do the following:

* Stop speaking. Take two steps backward. Then take a deep breath. Collect your thoughts. Smile. Take two steps forward and proceed with your presentation.

* Go back and repeat the last sentence. That will help trigger what comes next in your presentation.

* If you really go blank, ask an audience member what was the last sentence you said. Also, if they have handouts of your speech, you can ask the audience what is the next subject we will discuss. You will be surprised how many people will volunteer this information to help you. This will give you time to collect your thoughts, involve the audience, and go forward with your presentation.

Note: If you forget a piece of information, collect yourself, and then go forward. Never say, "I'm sorry." Unless the audience has a copy of every single word of your speech they will never know you forgot something.

9. Realize Nervousness is the Tool of Great Presenters Believe it or not, all presenters, whether professional or occasional, are nervous when presenting. The difference is the best presenters use nervousness to their advantage by turning nervousness into positive energy. Here are some tips to control nervousness:

* Whenever possible walk from the back of the room to burn some of the nervous energy.

* Slow your breathing

* Stretch

10. Get Excited
Get excited so that the audience is excited about hearing your presentation.

Some of the ways you can become excited is:

* Remember what you say is important and can make a difference for your audience.

* Every opportunity to present is a chance for you to succeed.

* Every time you speak you become better than the last time.

* Presenting will expose me to countless opportunities I wouldn't have by not presenting.

So the next time you have the opportunity to present apply the above techniques. You will have fun while presenting on a whole new level.

Ed Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building. You can e-mail him at, or call him at (757) 427-7032. Go to his web site,, and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint, and receive the free ebook, "Empowerment and Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Presence And Charisma

Writen by Richard G. Petty, MD

Why is it that some people are always noticed, and others seem to vanish away into the woodwork? Why do some individuals become "people magnets," who can persuade others with a few choice words? The answers to these questions are of importance to anyone hoping to advance in life and to have satisfying relationships. They are Presence and Charisma.

I have met many people who have this "presence" or "aura." In the Eastern world it is often thought of as another manifestation of "Qi." Closely related to "presence" is charisma: a compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. In the ancient world charisma was thought to be a divine power or talent, and the word comes from the Greek word kharis meaning "grace" or "favor." There is a small scientific literature on this phenomenon of charisma, which often flows from having a strong presence. There are clearly many types of charisma: Political, sports, performance, business, spiritual, literary. scientific and so on. The only two people whom I've met who knew Einstein told me that people would usually all stand up when he entered the room. Charisma is more than just a personal characteristic; it can also be conceptualized as the way in which certain groups interact with each other.

Clearly some people have presence and charisma. The question is whether they can also be developed. The answer is yes, they most certainly can be. Presence is created by an overall impression constituted of posture, eye contact, stillness, silence, self-confidence, competence and serenity. People with a strong presence are often a little mysterious, in the sense that they tend not to reveal much about themselves or their accomplishments. I have also felt if very strongly in people who have worked to develop the subtle systems of their bodies. One of the most potent examples was a Korean Ki-Master who spoke not a word of English, but whose presence could be felt the moment he entered a packed room. Work on your subtle systems will likely cause you to be more still and serene and to have a better posture.

There are a number of things that you can do to improve your own charisma:

1. Create a strong first impression by developing your presence
2. Develop a good impression when you speak
3. Be a good active empathic listener who connects with other people and asks pertinent questions
4. Be supportive of other people and their aspirations
5. Be persuasive
6. Be resilient and adaptable
7. Expand your vision of what is possible
8. Practice thinking creatively
9. Use humor
10. Be committed and courageous
11. Initiate persistent action
12. Instill hope in the people around you

Dr. Richard G. Petty is an internationally renowned integrated physician, academic and researcher, and an innovator in the field of personal development. He has been Scientific Chairman and Trustee of the Prince of Wales's Foundation for Integrated Health and he has presented his dynamic lectures, speeches, seminars and workshops to more than a quarter of a million people in 44 countries. He writes a daily column at Dr. Petty can be reached at 770-492-3330, and through

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Communicate Like A Ceo

Writen by Dana Bristol-Smith

The most dramatic exercise that we conduct in our High Impact Presentations workshop is called CEO for a Day. We promote each of our participants to CEO of their companies. We then ask that they each craft their opening message to their executive team and deliver it. What is dramatic about this activity is that our participants rise to the challenge and present themselves more powerfully and persuasively, as if they are the CEO.

I've learned from conducting this exercise numerous times that sometimes all people need is to be given permission to project their best and most confident selves. And they do!

CEOs are the people that we look up to (most of them anyways). Granted, not all of them have excellent communication skills, however, many of them do.

Marcus Buckingham in The One Thing You Need to Know says this about leaders: "The leader's role is to be able to paint a vision of a future that is better than where we are today and inspire others to work toward creating it."

I believe that communication is the foundation for good leadership.

How is your "leadership" communication? Do you project confidence and credibility though your communications?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself, to see if you have a solid foundation of communication skills to help you be seen as a leader in your organization.

1. Do you project optimism to those who work with and for you?

2. Do you acknowledge other's contributions out loud?

3. Do you paint the picture of a better future with a clear vision?

4. Do people feel encouraged and inspired after your meetings or presentations?

5. Do your team members know what you expect of them?

6. When making a request are you specific?

7. When communicating with senior executives, are your clear, concise, and direct?

Carmine Gallo, of Gallo Communications Group, is a presentations coach and writer for Business Week Online. Carmine has taken a look at CEOs and explored their communication and presentation styles. He has examined some of the most well-known leaders of our time. From Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz; Intuit founder Scott Cook; personal finance guru Suze Orman; Apple CEO and founder Steve Jobs; founder Jeff Taylor; as well as many others.

Business Week Online has put together an online slideshow that's worth taking a look at to see how these well known CEOs lead and inspire others through their communications.

Here is the link:

If you are interested in more information, Carmine's research comes from his book 10 Simple Secrets of The World's Greatest Business Communicators available at

What I'd like you to take away from this article is that it's up to you to project your best, most confident self when you are standing up at the front of the room or leading a meeting. Others look to you for your opinion, how you feel about a particular topic, and your recommendations.

Are you able to, as Marcus Buckingham says:

"Paint the picture of the future that's better than where we are today and inspire others to work toward creating it"?

About the Author

Dana Bristol-Smith is the founder of Speak for Success, an organization that works with companies that want their people to communicate with confidence and credibility. You can reach Dana at: or by phone at 760-726-5272. To sign up for the free monthly Speak for Success Ezine please visit:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Audiencefriendly Presentation Style Habits In Three Easy Steps

Writen by Susan Trivers

You have presentation style habits that automatically appear when you are speaking in public. Where did these habits come from? Most likely you picked them up from watching other people give presentations, or they are carry-overs from your own conversational style. They tend to be so automatic that you aren't really aware of them.

Many presentation habits are not audience-friendly. They prevent you from connecting with the audience; they bore the audience, or they make it hard for the audience to pay attention to you. If the audience feels remote and bored, it calculates a low Return on Investment for attending the presentation and will not follow your call-to-action.

The list below describes the poor habit and the audience-friendly habit you can use instead. These are habits my coaching clients frequently need to replace with better habits.

Poor presentation habits            Audience-friendly presentation habits  
  • Talking towards screen or slide Talking about media while facing the audience
  • Lack of eye contact with the audience Connecting with individual audience members for 2-3 seconds at a time
  • Reading bullets Explaining the information in your own words
  • Announcing or reading slide titles Opening each topic with an interesting and attention-getting statement
  • Boring transitions between presenters Value-add transitions between presenters that keep the story flowing
  • Audible "next slide, please" Hand gesture or nodding to indicate you're ready for the next slide
  • "Uhs" and "ums" between every thought Silent pauses while you're thinking
  • The best speakers analyze their presentation habits and make a plan to change their poor habits, one by one. How can you do the same?

    Once you know your content fluently you can begin the analysis of your presentation style habits. Have a colleague video tape your presentation. Your helper should record your opening and 5 minutes following it, then about 5 minutes in the middle, and then the last 5 minutes. Short stretches spread out over the whole presentation will give you enough material to work with, but you won't be overwhelmed with trying to analyze the whole thing.

    Use these three techniques to add audience-friendly habits to your presentations:

    1. Look at the video clips. Identify which of these poor habits you have. Be specific. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to make a general evaluation such as "I look terrible."

    2. Create an affirmative plan for change. Select one habit to improve. In order of importance, 1) start with habits that ignore the audience, such as lack of eye contact, and facing the slide/screen as you speak; 2) improve your oral content, so you say things in your own words; 3) work on substituting silent pauses for "uhs" and "ums" and using gestures/nods instead of "next slide, please."

    Your plan to improve eye contact could be to select two different people to look at during your next practice. Exaggerate at first, perhaps by actually counting to 3 or 4 while making eye contact, so you really get a feel for it. Ask your audience if they could tell who you were looking at. Practice again with other people.

    The goal is to look at each individual in a group for 2-3 seconds several times throughout your presentation. When you're speaking to a large group, you will want to make eye contact with a number of different people throughout the room.

    3. Once you have added one audience-friendly habit to your presentation style, move on to another one. Taking your habits one at a time and creating a strategy for change for each one is more effective than trying to change many things at the same time.

    When you Put the Audience first, and focus on how to increase the Return on Investment of every audience member, every time, you will find it easy to replace your poor speaking habits with audience-friendly ones.

    Susan's expertise is coaching speakers from all industries, in all types of companies, and for every reason, so their presentations provide high value to the audience, and the presenter's standing is elevated. Call 703-790-1424 for your coaching appointment today.

    Susan G. Trivers has helped hundreds of people learn great presentation habits, and coached them to use their new habits to replace poor ones. In fact, people she has helped have won over $7 billion worth of new business, giving them an extraordinary return on their invenstment.

    Learn more about Susan's communication consulting and coaching at Sign up for her monthly newsletter, Create Magic in a Minute, download complimentary samples of her ebooks, and log on to Trivers Communications Group's Resources and Tips at

    Copyright©2005 Susan G. Trivers

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    The Mother Of All Prize Fights

    Writen by Lenn Millbower

    "Our education system ignores the role of emotion in learning and decision-making." Antonio Damasio

    I don't understand prizefighting. Why anyone would – whether a thriller in Manilla, a rumble in the jungle or happen' in the hood – want to watch two human beings pound each other senseless is beyond me. And yet there is one prizefight that fascinates me. I look for it. I revel in it. This one is not between individuals. It is rather within each of us. And it is truly a matter of life or death.

    In This Corner

    Occasionally a study comes along that makes me stand up and take notice. As you faithful readers know, I have for years championed the idea that Emotion creates Memory and that effective learning requires that the facilitator Evoke Emotion. That tenet is in fact one of my eight Learnertainment® principles.

    A new study was reported in the August 6, 2006 USA Today The study was conducted by the Benedetto De Martino of University College London. He and his colleagues found that emotion rules decision-making.

    Quoting the article directly:

    "The brain images revealed the amygdala, a neural region that processes strong negative emotions such as fear, fired up vigorously in response to each two-second (on average) gambling decision. Where people resisted the framing effect, a brain region connected to positive emotions such as empathy, and another that activates whenever people face choices, lit up as well, seeming to duke it out over the decision."

    Also quoted in the article was neuroscientist Antonio Damasio of the University of Southern California. He stated, "People who lack emotions because of brain injuries often have difficulty making decisions at all. The brain stores emotional memories of past decisions, and those are what drive people's choices in life. What makes you and me 'rational' is not suppressing our emotions, but tempering them in a positive way."

    As I reported in my book Show Biz Training, regions of the right hemisphere are concerned with the negative aspects of emotion where other regions in the left hemisphere are more likely to process positive emotions. Fortunately for educators, the negatively focused right hemisphere is also easily pleased and distracted by entertaining content.

    The implications of this information for learning are huge. If these experts are correct, and I believe they are, people cannot learn in the absence of emotion. And, given that emotion is always present in the healthy person, and indeed determines what decision that person makes, then emotion cannot be ignored in the classroom. It follows that it is incumbent on all learning professionals to put forth a positive emotional environment in learning. Stimulating content, enjoyable moments, eye catching visuals, warm and emotive auditory cues are all vital tools for soliciting these moments.

    Come Out Fighting

    Entertainment techniques are extremely helpful for learning because they encompasses the application of emotion, comedy, props, suggestion, music, multiple perspectives, storytelling staging and acting. For, when the brain's negative seeking emotive center aren't positively engaged, then, as this study suggests, the negative emotional impulses, which are always present, will fight for and win supremacy. Learning professionals should pour all their energy into insuring that positive emotion is in their corner. For, considering the stakes, this truly can be called the mother of all prizefights. It is our very own battle in the brain.

    Lenn Millbower, BM, MA, the Learnertainment® Trainer is an expert in applying show biz techniques to learning. He is the author of the CLOUT Trainer Assessment tool, Music as a Training Tool, focused on the practical application of music to learning; Show Biz Training, the definitive book on the application of entertainment industry techniques to training; Cartoons for Trainers, a popular collection of 75 cartoons for learning; Game Show Themes for Trainers, a best-selling CD of original learning game music; and Training with a Beat: The Teaching Power of Music, the foremost book on the application of music to learning. Lenn is an in-demand speaker, with successful presentations at ASTD and SHRM; a member of NSA, a creative and dynamic instructional designer and facilitator formally with the Disney Institute; an accomplished arranger-composer skilled in the psychological application of music to learning; and the president of Offbeat Training®, infusing entertainment-based techniques into learning to keep 'em awake so the learning will take!

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Online Brochure Printing

    Writen by Max Bellamy

    Companies on the Internet offer various services that are just a click away. While online, you can purchase almost anything, and you can get tips and advice on almost all topics under the sun. Given this, the Internet has become a very important source of information for individuals and businesses because they can find the things that they need to fit their personal or business needs. One important service that both individuals and businesses can find online is that of online brochure printing offered by printing companies. Looking for these sites is fairly easy, as they can be found after a very simple query.

    How it works

    When you go to these websites, you only need to follow a few simple steps to order your customized brochure online. The first thing you need to do is to pick from a selection of templates that you want to use for your brochure. It is also in this step that you can choose to customize your brochure by uploading photos or by picking the graphics that you want. The next step is to choose the quantity and other options, such as the paper you want to use.

    After doing this, you will be sent a proof that you need to approve, and after you do this, you can now ask for a quotation of the price based on the quantity you want. These prices usually will include applicable taxes that you have to pay. Once you have decided to buy the brochures, you can now add them to your online shopping cart.

    The next thing you need to decide on is the shipping and the mode of payment. Some companies require you to give them your credit card information while others allow cash on delivery. Before they print your brochures, they will send you the final proof for your approval. Once you have approved it, all you need to do is to wait for your brochures to arrive.

    Online brochure printing is a convenient way to answer your printing needs because of the simple process through which you can order them. Given the ease with which this can be done, it can be expected that online brochure printing will be used by more individuals and companies in the future.

    Brochure Printing provides detailed information on Brochure Printing, Brochure Printing Services, Full Color Brochure Printing, Color Brochure Printing and more. Brochure Printing is affiliated with Travel Brochures.

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    7 Myths That Make Meetings Miserable

    Writen by Steve Kaye

    Myth 1: Executives belong in meetings.

    Although the demands of business cause executives to attend more meetings than other professionals, executives need to avoid meetings. Top management is responsible for vision, strategy, plans, and communication. That means executives should spend most of their time thinking, learning, planning, and communicating. Inefficient, ineffective meetings waste the time of the company's most valuable employees.

    Better: Ask probing questions when invited to make sure that your presence will add value. For example, "What are your goals for the meeting?" "How will I contribute to achieving those goals?" and "How can I prepare for the meeting?" After all, you want to contribute to an effective meeting if you decide to attend.

    Myth 2: Holding a large meeting is impressive.

    Actually, holding a large meeting is expensive. It can also be impressive if it is conducted properly, which means that it will be as small a possible.

    Better: Invite only those who can make meaningful contributions. The likelihood of holding an effective meeting diminishes with groups larger than ten or twelve.

    Myth 3: Structure inhibits spontaneity.

    This is true if your goal is to obtain random outcomes over infinite time. While this may occasionally produce spectacular results, such as winning a lottery, you can achieve predictable results faster by applying structured activities. These help people make methodical progress toward results. Otherwise, the group is attending a party, instead of working in a meeting.

    Better: Use structured activities to keep you in control of your meeting and make progress toward results.

    Myth 4: People are too busy to prepare agendas.

    Since there is always time to repeat a task, fix a problem, or make an apology, there must be time to take the steps that avoid such dilemmas. Overall, preparing an agenda saves time and money.

    Better: Prepare an agenda or, if you are too busy, ask someone to do it for you. Then send the agenda to the participants so that they can prepare for the meeting.

    Myth 5: Minutes are unnecessary.

    This is true for any meeting where people wasted time producing nothing. Effective meetings produce results that are worth documenting. Minutes serve to track action items, record decisions, and inform others. If you are planning a meeting with no results worth documenting, ask yourself why that meeting is necessary.

    Better: Record key ideas, agreements, and action items during the meeting. Then convert these notes into minutes.

    Myth 6: Meetings should last a long time.

    While this may be true for some meetings, most meetings can be conducted in less than an hour. Long, casual meetings lull people into lethargy. In general, people are able to focus on a task for 30 to 60 minutes. Then their attention fades and they take mental holidays to think about other things.

    Better: Plan meetings where you spend time and resources in proportion to the value of the results. That is, an effective meeting should be designed to earn a profit. Also, plan short breaks every 50 minutes.

    Myth 7: The effectiveness of meetings is a low priority.

    This is true if you seldom hold meetings. Of course, if you have more than two employees, you need meetings to make decisions, reach agreements, and develop solutions. Effective meetings are a critically essential activity in running a business. They harness the combined wisdom of your staff to invent products, increase sales, improve productivity, plan strategies, and create success.

    Better: Learn how to plan and conduct meetings that make your business a success.

    Certified professional facilitator and author Steve Kaye helps groups of people hold effective meetings. His innovative workshops have informed and inspired people nationwide. His facilitation produces results that people will support. And his books "The Manager's Pocket Guide to Effective Meetings," "Meetings in an Hour or Less," and "117 Tips for Effective Meetings" show how to hold effective meetings. Call 714-528-1300 or visit for dozens of articles, tips, and ideas.

    Saturday, January 17, 2009

    Be Famous Host A Seminar

    Writen by Tracey Lawton

    Imagine hosting your own seminar. Whether you dream of hosting clients for the weekend, prospects for a few hours, or colleagues for a lunch-hour workshop, let's make this year the year you realise that dream! Planning and hosting a seminar, workshop, or other event's not nearly as hard as you might expect. And today I'd like to share with you the five secrets to a flawless event.

    Decide on a format

    Remember, your event doesn't have to be in-person. You could conduct it virtually--over the telephone or Internet. You could offer webcasts and live chats, an email list for lengthier discussions, or you could use an online meeting space.

    Besides deciding whether your event will be in-person or virtual, you'll also need to determine how long the event will last, what you'll cover, and how you'll cover it. Will you host guest speakers? Will you offer discussion panels? Or will the event be primarily lecture-based?

    Go with your gut on these decisions. What makes the most sense for your audience? What format do you prefer? How can you best deliver your information?

    Decide whom to invite

    Will you advertise the event? Open it only to your select clients? Offer it to a targeted list of prospects?

    It may seem strange to decide on your audience before narrowing down your topic, but by picking out your ideal audience first, you'll be able to zero in precisely on their interests.

    At this stage, also decide how many people you're comfortable hosting. Are you picturing a small, intimate group of 20 people? Or do you see yourself speaking before hundreds?

    Decide what topics to cover

    Next, you'll need to really get at the core of your topic. Sure, you're going to focus on your expertise. But what, precisely, about your expertise will you devote the time to?

    This decision has a lot to do with your goals. Do you want to convert prospects to clients? Dazzle your current clients? Build relationships with colleagues?

    Obviously, you'll want to choose your topic a bit differently for your prospects than you would for a group of clients. Each audience will have different concerns and slightly different interests.

    Get the right support

    There's a ton of planning involved with creating a workshop or seminar. You'll need to find the perfect venue (or technological support, if it'll be virtual). You'll need to find hotels for guests to stay at, arrange special rates, and plan special activities during down time.

    You'll want to accommodate special guests in a way that makes them feel truly appreciated. You'll want someone creating a log of each activity, and perhaps recording and transcribing the event so you can offer copies to participants.

    In short, you need a partner who shares your vision for your event. Someone to handle all the details while you're raring off, full steam ahead, on the big picture elements.

    You can easily hand off these details to a virtual assistant who'll work in the background to ensure your entire event goes off without a hitch.

    Close the feedback loop and do it again

    You're going to love holding your event. You'll shine in the spotlight, your participants will have a delightful time, and you'll all have an extraordinary experience.

    Once the event's over, make sure to ask participants for feedback. Ask them for what they loved, and what they didn't. Find out how you can improve next year's event.

    And get ready for an even better event next year!

    About the Author: Tracey Lawton is a certified Master Virtual Assistant with many years of experience, helping busy solopreneurs operate an efficient, organized, and profitable business. Visit to subscribe to her Newsletter full of tips for operating a more productive business and receive Tracey's 'Is Your Current Office Set Up Holding You Back?' special report absolutely free.

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    A Carousel Of Color

    Writen by Ty Boyd

    If you remember black and white TV, you are dating yourself. Perhaps even carbon-dating yourself. But I remember sitting in rapt attention when color TV came to town. Your audiences will do the same if you add some color to your presentations.

    Color - in terms of presentations - is mostly about the voice. Humans have a remarkable sound system, but most people don't use 10 percent of their vocal ability. Vocal color is a guaranteed method of gaining - and holding - the attention of your audience.

    There are four elements of voice you can control: breath, projection, vocal variety and diction. Let's look more closely at diction.

    No matter where you were born, you can improve your diction without losing your regional charm. Think Dr. Ruth. Not accent-free diction, but she is understandable and memorable.

    Here's an exercise that I learned early in my broadcast career that helped improve my diction, or the clarity of my speech. We were taught to spit out certain sounds, to create an explosion of sound. Practice emphasizing these letters the next time you prepare for a presentation:

    B as in boy. C as in lurch. D as in need. G as in dig. J as in judge. K as in sack. P as in lap. And T as in boot. If you allow these sounds to erupt forth with a little extra force, you'll be sharpening your diction and adding color at the same time.

    So, practice your diction and start moving from black and white to color.

    Ty Boyd, CEO of Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, is in the Broadcast Hall of Fame and the Speakers Hall of Fame. He has taught presentation skills to Fortune 1000 executives in more than 40 countries. His Excellence In Speaking Institute celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2005.

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Humorous Motivational Speaker What To Look For In A Speaker

    Writen by Doug Dvorak

    The process of becoming a professional humorous motivational speaker really never occurred to me. I was going along with my life paying attention to the normal stuff, family, work, and friends. And then it was suggested that I attend the Players Workshop of The Second City, one of the oldest and most prestigious improvisational comedy schools in the world, located right in my own backyard, Chicago. This is where I decided to embark on a professional humorous motivational speaking career.

    Being a humorous motivational speaker and trying to motivate people is a difficult business, influenced by a myriad of psychological and environmental factors which alter from person to person, from company to company and from manager to manager. Then try to add humor to the equation and you have the need for a professional humorous motivational speaker. Many humorous motivational speakers are members of the National Speakers Association and have access to other humorous motivational speakers to share ideas and try out their new material.

    If you have managed people you know that there is always a need for some fun and frivolity in the workplace and this is where a humorous motivational speaker can help increase employee morale and retention. Some Managers are incapable of adapting their management style and behavior to cater to the differences in people to be able to motivate all those whom he or she is responsible for. This is where humor is a tool to provide you with a competitive advantage in the marketplace and a humorous motivational speaker can add value to any company meeting or function.

    It is extremely important to consider how we interact with others and the impact the humorous motivational speaker will have on the behavior and values of employees and others. Some humorous motivational speakers seem to have a track record of success, but a glance under the surface reveals that they are not as effective as their video/DVD or web site may suggest. However, other humorous motivational speakers seem to have a tried and true formula for success that connects with the employees and the audience and they are highly regarded by all who attended their session. Many professional humorous motivational speakers make a point of studying their client's organization in-depth, prior to the program to ensure they are communicating in the parlance of the organizations language and culture.

    Motivation and humor do go hand-in-hand, some psychologists and humorous motivational speakers are attempting to determine precisely what people laugh at, and why. And while scientists have been investigating humor since at least the 1960s, only recently have they brought the data together into encompassing theories of humor, says University of Western Ontario psychology professor Rod Martin, PhD, author of "The Psychology of Humor: An Integrative Approach" (Academic Press, 2006).

    "There is a lot of research out there—I found over 4,000 articles, peer-reviewed journal articles, on the psychology of humor—but it hardly ever gets mentioned in textbooks or scholarly books," Martin says. This is why humorous motivational speakers need to be considered for your next company meeting or event. I would welcome the opportunity to personally speak with you about my customized humorous motivational speaker services. My humorous motivational speaker workshops are always high content and high energy.

    Thank you for allowing me to share with you my thoughts on inspirational and motivational speaking. Cordially Yours, Doug Dvorak 847.359.6969 –

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    Why Does My Overhead Projector Keep Blowing Lamps

    Writen by Mark Boehm

    Over the past 25 years I have had the unique opportunity to talk directly with many of the professionals and instructors who use Overhead Projectors as an integral part of their profession. The stories they have shared with me have given me direct insight to some of the most common problems experienced by owners of today's and yesterday's Overhead Projectors.

    I would like to share this unique compilation of information with a series of articles derived directly from some of the most common questions and complaints that I receive from my clients in the Audio Visual Industry.

    The first thing that comes to my mind is the question that I am asked almost every day; "My Overhead Projector keeps blowing lamps, what could be the problem?"

    Most of today's Overhead Projectors use projection lamps that require 82 volts to operate. Because the AC outlet that you plug your Overhead Projector into is 120 volts, a special electronic component is required to create the 82 volts needed to operate the projection lamp. This electronic component is called a diode (rectifier).

    When the diode (rectifier) of your Overhead Projector becomes defective, it allows the line voltage of 120 volts to go directly to the 82 volt lamp. This additional voltage is too much for the projection lamp to handle, when the user turns the overhead projector on, the projection lamp will burn out in a matter of seconds due to this excessive voltage. In some cases the end user will place several new lamps into the Overhead Projector before they realize that the problem is not a defective projection lamp.

    If you have a basic knowledge of Electronics or basic wiring the diode is something that most end users can replace themselves, otherwise this problem should be handled by a professional service technician.

    Mark Boehm is the president of M-B Electronics He has over 25 years of experience in the Audio Visual and Electronics Industry. You can contact

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    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Presentations To Planning Commissions For Car Washes

    Writen by Lance Winslow

    If you are planning to present to the planning commission in your community your plans for a carwash there are a few things you should know. There will be complete nut cases who show up with bogus environmental claims and totally bizarre reasons why you should not build your carwash.

    It is truly amazing when you go into a community and you've been asked to by the economic development association and the president of the Chamber of Commerce and the mayor himself and then you find yourself battling to stay above water after you've made an investment in the community and are bringing jobs.

    Nevertheless if you fail to bring a good presentation to the planning commission for your carwash that project will be attacked or it will be curtailed to the point where are you cannot make a profit because they put too many stipulations on the building of your carwash. Even worse they may postpone the planning commission meetings and you will get in a loop discussing the objections of one person from the EPA or Sierra Club over a little issue, which is completely irrelevant.

    The important thing is to find out all the objections and handle them at the business presentation to the planning commission and find out exactly what that Sierra Club '60s hippie lady is going to come up with first. Consider this in 2006 and save the spotted owl, desert turtle and unborn gay whale?

    Lance Winslow

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Effective Public Speaking In Business Presentations

    Writen by Doug Staneart

    Right or wrong, people form a perception about how competent you are by how you present yourself when you stand and speak. They also form perceptions about the company you represent based on your performance. In fact, public speaking is an easy way to set yourself apart from your competition, because when you stand up and say what you want to say, they way that you want to say it, you are doing what 95% of the people in the audience wish they could do. A person who is confident in front of a group gives off an air of competence, whereas a person who fumbles might leave a negative impression.

    When I was in college, I had an internship with a major oil company, and at the end of the summer, I had to present a summary of my internship to a group of department managers and vice-presidents. I was the youngest person in the room, just 20. Many of the other interns were graduate students who were much more comfortable in front of a group. When I spoke, I could feel the sweat beads on my forehead, and I could see my hands shaking. The butterflies in my stomach were uncontrollable. After the presentation, I asked myself, "If I were the decision-maker in that room, and I only had one permanent position to offer, would I choose me?" I had to answer "no." Over the next few years, I trained with some of the most successful public speaking coaches in the country. Since then, I have spoken before thousands of people, and coached hundreds of managers, executives, and other leaders on how to present more effectively to groups. Below are some of the key public speaking tips that I have found that really work.

    1) Realize 90% of nervousness doesn't even show. The audience usually can't see the butterflies, or shaky hands, or sweaty palms. The problem occurs when we start thinking about these symptoms rather than focusing on the audience and our topic. By human nature, most people are focused on themselves not on you. Focus on them and two things will happen: 1) they will like you more, and 2) much of the nervousness that you feel will go away.

    2) Add some enthusiasm to your talk. Your audience will never be more excited about your talk than you are, so give them some energy, and they will give it back to you. Walk about a half step faster. Smile. Let your gestures and voice emphasis come naturally. Don't over do it, but give more energy than what you normally would.

    3) Limit your talk to a few key points. Narrow down your topic to either one key point for a short talk, or thee key point for a longer talk (a talk longer than 30-minutes.) Ask yourself, "If my audience only remembered one thing from my talk, what would be most important thing for them to remember?" The reason this is so important is that the human mind likes to think of only one thing at a time. For instance, think of the Statue of Liberty. What do you see? You probably see a picture in your mind of the statue. Now think of a pink elephant. Again, you probably see a picture in your mind, but the important question is…where did the statue go? Your mind can only truly focus on one thing at a time. As you add additional points, each previous point will become diluted. The more points your presentation has, the less focus the audience will have on each individual point.

    4) Tell stories. Don't tell little white lies, but do tell anecdotes and personal experiences. Stories build rapport with your audience, and they give you more credibility. Your audience will remember your stories a lot longer than they will remember your talking points. I heard Les Brown, a famous motivational speaker, years ago, and he told a story about how a man in his hometown went around the town square holding two baby dolls and squawking like a chicken. Kids in town made fun of him, but Les found out that this man's house had caught on fire, and his two baby girls died in the blaze. The man attempted to go in and save them many times, but the heat was too great. When his brother-in-law showed up, he verbally assaulted the man calling him a chicken for not going in to save his girls. Ever since then, the man has not spoken a word -- instead he just clucks like a chicken. I heard this story years ago, and I can't remember the specific point Les Brown was making on stage. I do remember the "chicken-man," though, and I frequently think about how I should get all the facts before passing judgment on people. Les Brown's stories have longevity, and your stories will have that type of impact as well.

    5) When in doubt, speak from the heart. Let your audience see the real you, and you will have a great speaking performance.

    Doug Staneart is President of The Leader's Institute,, leadership and public speaking training. He can be reached by e-mail at or toll-free at 1-800-872-7830 x-100.

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Vacheron Constantin A Genius In Watchmaking

    Writen by Nick Lagonsky

    For many centuries Switzerland was the house of genius watch manufacturers that created timepieces of various forms, shapes, designs and complications. These complicated timepieces have written many pages of the watchmaking history and today the story of Swiss watches continues.

    Some of the world's famous brands create watches that represent a fusion of work of art and technical innovation. Collectors all over the globe strive to bring a piece of history into their homes. Today the Swiss watchmaking business exports more than a half of the world's mechanical watches and continues to expand in all of the five continents.

    The oldest among them all is Vacheron Constantin. A brand that has its roots in the middle of the 18th century created some of the most complicated, and by the way some of the most expensive, timepieces in the world. The designers from Vacheron Constantin every year launch their creations that have hundreds of parts placed inside a small case of a watch.

    One can find a lot of marvelous timepiece in the brand's collections with many amazing innovations like: minute repeater, power reserve indicator, perpetual calendar, and many more. The creations of Vacheron Constantin are made of silver, gold or platinum and its movements are covered with sapphire crystals so the wearer could enjoy the work of the mechanical self-winding movement.

    Some of the most amazing watches with timeless design are called skeletons because they all have a see-through case covered with sapphire crystal. It allows seeing the mechanism of the watch working on the inside. Take for instance the Malte Tourbillon Skeleton.

    The watch has an astonishing design. Its case is made of pink gold or platinum has like all the models entitled "skeleton" the case is transparent. The timepiece has a Vacheron Constantin Caliber 1790 12x12 ½'''mechanical winding movement. Malte Tourbillon Skeleton is able to display hours, minutes, small seconds, and date and power reserve. The frequency of the watch is 18800 A/H with a 45 hours power reserve. The watch is also 30 meters water resistant.

    Another masterpiece of the famous Vacheron Constantin that needs a special attention is called Mens Vacheron Constantin Skeleton Minute Repeater. It represents a limited edition having a case made of 18 carat rose gold, brown leather strap and of course the mechanical movement which can be seen through thanks to the transparence of the case.

    The watch is a marvelous metal creation because on demand the wearer can make the small hammers inside the watch to strike a pair of gongs and chime the hours and minutes.

    And finally a beautiful timepiece that should be taken into consideration and highly appreciated is the Vacheron Constantin Tourbillion watch made of 18carat rose gold case. The timepiece represents a limited edition; it has a leather brown strap, a tourbillon movement which can be also seen through and an indicator of the power reserve.

    The model is considered one of the men's most crafty creations. The regulated organs of the timepiece's movement are situated in a carriage that rotates on itself with a perfect regularity, thus eliminating the effect of the earth's attraction that can have an impact on the watch's accuracy.

    Vacheron Constantin designs watches for people that are passionate about precision and unique timeless design, but at the same time have several hundred thousands of dollars on their account.

    An expert in the sphere of hi-tech and unusual watches. The smartest watch in the world, The Earth in your watch, Wrist watch remote control, etc.

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Lamp Sockets Why Are They Going Bad So Often In My Overhead Projector

    Writen by Mark Boehm

    Over the past 25 years I have had the unique opportunity to talk directly with many of the professionals and instructors who use Overhead Projectors as an integral part of their profession. The stories they have shared with me have given me direct insight to some of the most common problems experienced by owners of today's and yesterday's Overhead Projectors.

    This is the second article in a series of articles that will be written from a professional Electronics Technician's point of view in regards to some of today's most common Overhead Projector problems.

    A question that I am asked quite frequently is; "Why do I seem to be endlessly replacing the lamp socket in my Overhead Projector?"

    This is by far one of the most common problems among all of the users of Overhead Projectors today. The cause of this problem is very simple in fact and could be avoided very easily. What happens in most cases is that the projection lamp is not being fully seated into the lamp socket. Because this is an electrical connection, the pins on the projection lamp must be completely seated into the lamp socket. If the projection lamp is only partially seated into the socket the arching between the lamp socket contacts and the projection lamp pins will take place.

    The cause of this arching causes the contacts of the lamp socket to burn and score. Over a very short period of time this arching causes irreparable damage to the lamp socket in which the only choice is to replace it. In some severe cases I have seen the contacts in the lamp socket and the pins of the projection lamp electrically welded together due to this arching.

    The best way to prevent this from happening in your Overhead Projector is to make sure that the Projection Lamp is fully seated into the lamp socket when replacing the projection lamp. It may feel like you are pressing on the projection lamp to hard, but unless you feel a slight click when seating the projection lamp into the lamp socket, you most likely have not seated the projection lamp properly.

    If you have a basic knowledge of Electronics or basic wiring the lamp socket is something that most end users can replace themselves, otherwise this problem should be handled by a professional service technician.

    Mark Boehm is the president of M-B Electronics. He has over 25 years of experience in the Audio Visual and Electronics Industry. You can contact M-B Electronics at 800-872-9456 or at

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