Oct. 18, 2012
Vol. 10, Issue 20
This is such a great time of year for me. So many women’s events are happening, with all of the planning from months and months ago coming to fruition. I’m happy to report that women’s events are alive and thriving around the country from small town events to big metropolitan center expos. The formula for success is pretty uniform — give women fun, information and resources, a little shopping, and perhaps some vino, chocolate and permission to relax and eat anything they like for a few hours.Voila! Oh, and free screenings are also very popular at health events.
Meantime, we’re booking spring events — especially April and May dates. Oh, and let’s not forget about February, heart health month. It’s not too late to get an informative and entertaining speaker for a heart health event. For some excellent choices, you can look up Heart Health under EVENTS or TOPICS in our Speaker Directory. Now, I need to warn you that is going to bring up a lot of choices. Please feel free to call or email me to help narrow your search. I’m here to help – as usual it doesn’t cost you anything additional.
Speaking of help, today’s article is about decision-making tools. Are you using all that are available to you?
Catching the Vision
Have you ever been really enthusiastic about a speaker, but you’re on a committee, and while you know the speaker is a great fit for your group, you’re having a hard time getting the rest of them to see, let alone embrace, your vision?
The demo video you’ve shown them just isn’t cutting it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: speaker demo videos are an imperfect marketing tool. You can read about that on an earlier blog. When it comes to determining what any particular speaker will bring to your event, the video from someone else’s event is limited by many factors. The same goes for words on a website or in a brochure. In both formats, time and space limitations demand brevity, and let’s face it — the emotional response that a speaker may elicit is challenging, if not simply impossible, to capture on film or paper. (NOTE: This is not meant to contradict the first thing I tell speakers who call me about representation, which is that they need a good video, or several good video clips. And talking to speakers, I’m going to stick with that advice, with the caveat that we use the demo video as a starting point in speaker selection, not the Holy Grail).
Working with a committee adds an additional level of complexity. A psychologist recently told me that she has noticed that when committees are making a decision, they tend to meet in the middle, and that means that things gravitate toward being average (Not always, of course…sometimes everyone can agree on a favorite). At each end of the spectrum, however, there are outliers who are really good and different, or on some ends, really bad and different. Committees tend to be anxious, and they go for the average because people are afraid of getting in trouble or being blamed for a decision that might not match their expectations. It’s called risk aversion.
So, how can you get them to see your vision? How can you get them to step out of the safety zone and go for the gusto — assuming it’s the really good and different choice? First of all, let me say that if you’re working with me, as your speakers bureau, I’m here to be your connector and interpreter, not a layer between you and the speaker. In fact if you’ve worked with me, you know that after you make your choice, I always put you in direct communication with your speaker to discuss your objectives and make all of your arrangements.
In the selection process, I give you recommendations based on the criteria you give me. I bring the depth of my experience with speakers and events to the table. Because I’ve worked with them and seen many of them in person, I’m happy to share my personal experience, as well as references. But when it comes to the committee, I’m often left sitting outside the door. Nonetheless, here’s what I observe.
I think we’ve become too dependent on videos and websites. When it comes down to making the final choice, I think we need to reach into our toolbox and dig out an old-fashioned item, the telephone. Yes, the telephone. Or, how about that shiny new tool, Skyping? A simple conference or Skype call between you, me, the speaker, and any stakeholders you choose to include, gets everyone on the same page. The speaker gets to learn firsthand your objectives and concerns. You and your stakeholders get to hear firsthand the energy and ideas she has to offer as she responds live to your questions. Everyone sees the vision together. Everyone gets to be in the conversation and the risk is dissolved because we have widened our vision of what is possible.
Some of you have received my free report, “Demystifying Speaker Fees.” Based on your feedback, I realized that the name wasn’t telling people enough about what’s in the report, so you’ll notice on the website it’s been re-named, “Brilliance on a Budget: How to find and hire the right speaker at the right fee.”
One of the topics that’s covered in the report is why speakers like to work with a speakers bureau — 10 reasons to be specific. But if you’d rather listen than read, check out the short video. Our own Pat Wynn Brown, recorded this — sharing why she likes (and actually prefers) working with The Speak Well Being Group. I’m delighted by her comments, and I hope you are too. As always, Pat is entertaining.
Chicken New-dle Soup
Cooler weather has arrived and it’s soup season at our house. One of my favorites is homemade chicken noodle soup. Since I’ve gone gluten free, this is one of those favorite foods that requires a little re-thinking. We’ve come up with an easy substitute for the noodles that I really like — celery cabbage. My husband is a big fan of celery cabbage, also known as Napa cabbage. He uses it a lot in Chinese cooking. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s more like crunchy lettuce to me than cabbage. I cut the crispy stem into bite-size strips, and add those when the broth has come to a boil, and a few minutes later, add the leafy part cut into bite-size strips — a vegetable version of noodles!
Okay, here’s my recipe, in a casual format. Saute a couple of tablespoons of onion, a couple of carrots chopped, a couple of mushrooms chopped, and a little garlic, in about 2 Tbsp olive oil. When soft, add chopped, cooked chicken (mine is usually left-overs), or for a variation, chicken sausage. Cook a little bit. Add chicken broth — about a quart. Add salt and pepper to taste and a dash of balsamic vinegar if you like. When it comes to a boil, add the Napa cabbage stem strips. A few minutes later, add the leaf strips, and I like to toss in a handful of frozen peas toward the end. Serve and enjoy!
Until next time, I hope you’re having a splendid fall event season. Enjoy every minute of it for your well being and those you love.
For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!
The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they know how to connect with women and give them life-changing information served on a silver platter of joy, camaraderie, with a side of sauce (spicy, of course).
Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me endless joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.