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Archive for the ‘Public speaking’ Category

GWACC Women’s Networking Event Draws a Crowd

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 7, 2015

The Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce recently sponsored the Women to Women Networking Event at the Westwood in Garwood, NJ. This event, the second this year, was a great opportunity for women to network and visit with 20 different vendors. I was honored to be the speaker for the event and really enjoyed sharing my tips for how to create simple elevator speeches that help hook prospects.

A big thank you to all of the wonderful vendors and those who attended this event.

I would also like to thank the Chamber Women’s Committee for all of their time and effort. This event would not have been possible without them and their continued dedication to helping women achieve their personal and professional goals. Committee members include: Mariella Foley (Round Table Wealth Management), Maria Fuentes (Northfield Bank), Barbara Murphy (Sir Speedy), Irene Katz (Coldwell Banker,) Arielle Cassidy (The Juice House), and Susan Devaney (The Mavins Group).

As a GWACC member, I am continually impressed by the friendliness, professionalism and genuine willingness to help exhibited by the Chamber’s staff and board members. Big props to Chris Devine of Wells Fargo (Chamber Board Chairman) and Gene Jannotti (Chamber Executive Director) and all the GWACC staff members!


Speaking at GWACC

Sharing my tips for simple and memorable elevator speeches.

The gang's all here

The gang’s (mostly) all here! Joining me from left to right: Barbara Murphy, Gene Jannotti, Irene Katz, Maria Fuentes, and Mariella Foley.

Chris D and Mariella Foley

Chris Devine, GWACC Board Chairman, chats with Mariella Foley.

Brett_Dan_Loraine at table

At the Advantage Marketing table, with Dan Yost, my marketing intern. Chatting with us is Brett Malak of Brett Malak Lighting Design Inc.

Barbara and Jim Murphy

Barbara and Jim Murphy at the Sir Speedy table.


Posted in Marketing, Networking, personal branding, Public speaking, trade shows, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

6 Keys to Selling to the C-Suite – It Starts with Personal Brand & Thought Leadership

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 13, 2013

keys to the c-suite

Personal branding and thought leadership are among the 6 keys that can help you sell more effectively to the C-Suite.

Selling to the C-Suite has changed dramatically in recent years. It’s no longer about knowing – and golfing – with the right people. Buyers expect more (and different) things from sales and service professionals.

I recently participated in the webinar, “Selling to the C-Suite: How to Win the CxO Sale.” The presenter, Ago Cluytens, RAIN Group’s EMEA practice director, drew from his experience as a Big 4 management consultant and former CxO to talk about the most effective ways to sell to executives in today’s market.

Ago offered many insights and I encourage you to access the event recording for the entire presentation. I want to share with you his “Six Keys to the C-Suite,” because according to Ago, these factors make the difference between making calls and being called in for a meeting with senior executives.

  1. A personal brand that positions you as a person of equal worth. Blogging, speaking, guest blogging and other similar tactics can help you create a personal brand.
  2. Access to relationships and networks of trusted allies.
  3. A reputation as a thought leader and prominent expert.
  4. The ability to link what you do to the senior exec’s strategic plans and objectives.
  5. A connection that transcends business – be interesting outside of work.
  6. Belief and confidence that you truly belong in the (board) room.

It’s no surprise to me that personal brand and thought leadership are high on Ago’s list. These factors make you a known quantity – someone that senior execs have gotten to know, like, and are beginning to trust. In my experience, speaking, blogging and writing articles lead to phone calls from prospects and discussions about how they want to work with me, not if we are going to work together. Sure makes the sales cycle shorter and easier.

How are you building your personal brand and thought leadership position? Has it helped you shorten your sales cycle? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, personal branding, Professional service firm marketing, Public speaking, small business, Thought leadership | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Start Getting Paid for Speaking Engagements

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 12, 2012

Get paid for your speaking engagements

Get more out of your speaking engagements when you follow these tips

In Speaking that Connects: Decent and Excellent Are Not the Same, guest poster Eileen Sinett shared 10 best practices that can help you use public speaking to create a buzz around your professional service firm or small business. But did you know that you can get even more out of your speaking engagements? You can get paid to speak!

It all starts with your mindset, says image consultant and motivational speaker Janet Cargill, “Position yourself from the get-go as a professional speaker. You need to be able to say, ‘I am a professional public speaker and I need to be paid’ and believe it about yourself.”

When Janet started J. Cargill Image Consulting, she did not have any public speaking experience. She belonged to the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO) and was asked to create an initiative for women called “How to Build a Reality Closet.” After doing this workshop numerous times for various groups, she realized, “I could go on doing free speaking forever. But I had to draw the line because it was a lot of time and effort for me.”

So Janet adopted a different approach. She began considering each engagement individually and asking herself: is this engagement worth it? How many people will be there? What do I want to get out of my talk?

She also started setting expectations up front with the meeting organizers. “It goes back to your mindset. Don’t hesitate to ask right at the beginning, ‘What is your budget for this?’” says Janet. “If it’s a nonprofit, they’ll hem and haw, then you can negotiate and often can get an honorarium to cover your expenses.”

It also pays to think of compensation for your speaking engagements in broader terms. “It doesn’t always have to be a financial payment,” says Janet. “Is your target market going to be in the audience? It can be an excellent opportunity to be seen as an expert by your target audience, and get ‘warm’ introductions to them.” You will want to ask the organizers in advance for attendees’ contact information, so that you can follow up after the meeting with those who look like ideal clients.

Richard Nathan has used the “target market” approach with his public speaking engagements. Richard is President of IT management consultancy Tailored Technologies LLC, and speaks on IT efficiency and software assessment. “Accounting firms are a target market for me,” says Richard. “When I speak to CPA societies, I’ve not only gotten positive feedback, I’ve gotten client engagements.”

Another money-making idea is to bring your books or articles to sell. “Set them up in the back of the room and if you’ve given an excellent, relevant talk, you’ll find your audience eager to buy,” says Janet.

If you don’t have a book, consider offering attendees a discount coupon or product sample. These can help you continue the conversation with relevant prospects after the meeting. When I gave a talk for the NJ Professional Coaches Association, for instance, I offered a discount on marketing coaching calls, and gained several new clients for my Westfield, NJ, consulting practice.

As you gain speaking experience, as Janet has, you will want to set your sights higher. “Now I’m looking for larger organizations that can pay the larger speaking fees,” she says.

A final tip: if the speaking engagement is just not right for you, turn it down but don’t leave the meeting organizers hanging. Build goodwill by offering them names of other potential speakers. For example, I was asked to present my blogging workshop to a coaching association based in another state. The association was not able to reimburse my travel expenses, nor be flexible on the date or time of the presentation. It just wasn’t the right engagement for me, so I graciously declined and offered the names of other marketing consultants who may have been a better fit for them.

What do you think? Tell us how you get compensated for your speaking engagements.

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Posted in Business, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, Public speaking, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Speaking that Connects: Decent and Excellent Are Not the Same

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 24, 2012

My colleague Eileen Sinett is an expert at helping professionals develop as public speakers. In this post she shares best practices from her book, “Speaking that Connects”. If you are a professional who wants a marketing advantage, says Eileen, become as skilled a presenter as you are an expert in your field.

by Eileen Sinett

public speaking

Create a buzz about your business by following these public speaking tips from expert Eileen Sinett.

The best way to create a buzz about yourself, your business or your product is to get in front of a group and talk about what you know.   And because public speaking can influence many at once, it is the marketing tool of choice for many businesses – better than video, pay per click, or a blog post.  Public speaking provides a dynamic and energetic connection between you and your existing and potential customers or clients that no other medium can touch.

Of course this is only true if you are a speaker who is:  (1) comfortably authentic (true to yourself and not oozing anxiety), (2) focused and clear (you know how much or little to say) and (3) engaged and connected (aware of and able to navigate the invisible thread between you and your listeners).

Many business owners and professionals have told me that they do speak publicly– to rotary groups, Chambers of Commerce, trade organizations, etc., and have done a decent job.  But decent is not excellent, and it is excellence that drives a competitive advantage for you and your business.

To reap the marketing benefits of speaking publicly, you will want to capitalize on these best practices:

1. Begin your speech without words. Experience three seconds of silence! If you think this is crazy, think again.  All communication begins from silence.  On the page, it’s white space or margins; with speaking, it’s not speaking. Look (without saying anything) before you speak.  Like a conductor of an orchestra, you are in charge and set the tone. Allow yourself a few seconds to connect inwardly as you look out at the crowd.  Your listeners will appreciate this “verbal white space.”

2. Know how you will start.  Learn, (not necessarily memorize) how you will start your talk.  Try on a new way of opening, i.e., a rhetorical question, striking fact, or personal story, rather than the usual, bland, “I’m So and So and I’m going to talk about “X.”  Reveal yourself through an anecdote or short story that allows the audience to know you as a person and bridge this story to your focus.  Commit to practicing this opening at least once, aloud, sometime before your presentation to minimize “start-up” anxiety!

3. Stand still for your first two or three sentences. You will look in control, maximize your image and presence and project strength (even if you feel nervous).  Reducing movement at the beginning of your talk also helps your audience to listen with focus. (By the way, standing still does not mean standing stiffly at attention.)

4. Build your talk around 3 ideas and limit your speech to 20 minutes. The average person remembers 3-5 ideas plus or minus 2.  By batching your concepts in threes, you facilitate and sustain audience interest.

5. Embrace less is more, when it comes to visual aids.  Reduce text, read less and be less slide-dependent.  Be able to overview your presentation highlights without a single slide!

6. Hear yourself as you speak!   You will become more conscious of what you say and how you say it.  As a result, your self-awareness, presence and connection will grow.

7. Stop worrying about your hands! Let them be! Focus on your passion and your hands will gesture in a way that is natural for you.

8. Control-Alt-Delete any negative self-talk. Eliminate any judgmental inner chatter to create space for something neutral or positive.

9. Refrain from running “off-stage” if you ask for questions and you don’t get any (a very awkward moment indeed). Start the question-ball rolling by saying something like, “Sometimes people ask me…” Then answer that question and ask the audience again if they have any questions (usually they do).

10. Have the final word! After the Q & A, close your presentation by reiterating your key message – what you want the audience to most remember.  These will be the last words they hear, so make them clear and concise and deliver them with confidence!

Continue the conversation. What else can a speaker do to connect with his or her audience? Please tell us in the Comments section below.

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Eileen N. Sinett, author of “Speaking that Connects,” is a coach-consultant and keynote speaker whose knowledge spans several cross-functional disciplines: the speech arts, communication sciences, psychology, career management, and training and development. She is committed to promoting confidence and clarity in speakers worldwide, enhancing personal and business relationships through communication improvement, and raising the bar on speaking performance with her unique presentation training brand, Speaking that Connects,

Posted in B2B marketing, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, Public speaking, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

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