Feb 5, 2009, Vol. 7 Issue 1
Here it is February already and I’m just getting out my first e-news of the year. It was an unscheduled sabbatical. My scheduled news was to tell you about a new look and new features of our re-designed website. But with all of the details that seem to be inherent in the process, we had to just keep adjusting, trusting it would all happen in good time. That, and we’ve been busy with your inquiries. That is a very good thing!
So, at long last, I have news. The updated, upgraded website is up and more than ever, I realize it’s a work in progress. I hope it serves your needs and you’ll tell me what you think. I actually started the process leading up to these changes last year when I did an analysis of our speaker line-up and realized that over half the speakers on our website roster were available for keynote fees of $5,000 or less. So, I’m taking the leap and posting fee ranges, as well as giving you some new search criteria, which I hope you will love, along with additional information to help you in your search for the speaker who is the exact right fit for your event.
Of course, since it is February, I hope you’re planning your red wardrobe for Friday, Feb. 6, the official National Wear Red Day, or if you’re reading this Friday, you’re wearing red. Go Red for Women’s Heart Health!
Behind the Scenes: Website Work in Process
A website is a wondrous thing – complicated and simple all at the same time. Some things I think would be difficult to do, are amazingly simple for my web designer. All I have to do is ask. Others – photo glitches and copy fix-its seem to take on lives of their own – clear the cache, clear the cache! It’s definitely a process of discovery, or at least regarding it as discovery saves my sanity. And then letting go, and letting it be. We can always make changes . . . now there’s a realization. One thing a website is not, and that is set in stone.
As I mentioned in the intro, when we did an analysis of our speaker roster, we realized that over half of our speakers are available at keynote fees of $5,000 or less, which has been a reasonable budget in our marketplace. This actually goes back to our roots, because when we started serving the women’s event market over 10 years ago, our most popular speakers were in the $2,500 – $5,000 range. And, in order to keep serving those clients, we have constantly sought new talent in that budget range. We did a lot of research to determine the fee categories and decided to divide out the $2,500 – $3,500 range. We are very proud of the excellent speakers we offer in this fee range — they’re great — up and coming or tried and true. We have also kept broadening our selection of speakers within topic categories, at all fee levels, to serve the wide variety of desires of our clients. And we keep tabs on the celebrity speakers in our marketplace – ask and we’ll tell!
Along with fees, clients are increasingly interested in geography. That works for the speakers, too – driving distance instead of airport anxiety — so we’ve added the speaker’s home state to her speaker page, and you can search from the home page by state, as well.
My hesitation about publishing this information, especially fees, is that while they are certainly an important part of client selection criteria, there are many reasons fees may vary, including geography. Please be sure to read the Fee Info at the bottom of every page, and always inquire about exact fees for your event. These are fee ranges, and that means the fee falls WITHIN that range, not that the speaker’s fee ranges from the low to the high end of the category.
It is our intention to have video clips on the speaker pages but that is truly a work in progress. We haven’t been too concerned about it, as we have learned that some of our clients have limited web access from their workplaces, and we are always happy to send you DVD’s anyway, as well as direct those of you with access, to clips on YouTube or speaker sites. While demos remain the standard for showcasing speaker talents, I want to remind you that they have their limitations – they are often just a snapshot clip from one event, and may not be on the particular topic you are seeking. If we have a longer, more extensive DVD, we’re happy to mail that to you. Better yet, you can call and let us share our research and personal experience about the speaker.
There’s new information (and pictures) on all of our website information pages – Who We Work With, How We Work, Who We Are, and Success Stories links. This is a work in progress also, but for speakers we’re already featuring on our website, you’ll find expanded speaker topic information on most speaker pages. And the true work in progress is the speakers we continue to get to know and, with our clients in mind, add to our roster, day by day. Stay tuned for new faces!
As much time as I spend preparing information for my web designer, I also spend talking with speakers, interviewing them, checking references, watching videos, and keeping up with my speaker’s news and my own google alerts. A website is an information and marketing tool offering remarkable connectivity, capabilities and opportunities for creativity. I just want to assure you that for me it’s not a substitute for the human connection. There is no way to tell you all I know about a speaker and her capabilities on a speaker page. If I could do the simplest of websites, it would just say, call me. I hope that comes through on the website and in this blog. We welcome your feedback on how and if the website changes serve you – we can always change things. Please call me at 503-699-5031 or email Barbara@speakwellbeing.com . Thank you very much.
Lights, Camera, Action
For Doctors, Nurses, Healthcare Workers
Okay, for the next issue, I have something really intriguing to share with you from one of our outstanding heart health speakers. She’s created an experiential program that makes it fun and effective to practice improving bedside manners and patient relationships. She’s combined her experiences as a patient with her skills as a trained sketch-comedy writer and Emmy winning actor, to facilitate a creative approach to a tough topic. The result: “A Crash-Cart Course in Me Doctor*, You Patient Skills.” (*Nurse/Healthcare Practitioner, etc.) See our next issue, Feb. 19, 2009.
Playtime: Grandma B. — in the Swing
It hasn’t been all work and no play this past month. We had a mid-January visit from the granddaughters, Gigi (9) and Hope (7) from Colorado along with their Mom, Sudi (Dad stayed home to keep the economic fires burning). We did it all – 4 days of kid fun. I got to be Grandma B. One of the first things we did, was walk up to the park, with P.C., our dog. While he was sniffing around, my husband got on the swings, and I thought . . . Hmm . . . I want to try that. As you know, if you’ve been with us awhile, I had both knees replaced last year. Hope got on the other swing and we were flying high, back and forth – smiles, from all of us, miles wide. What fun! Besides the kid thing, I got to discover that swinging is great physical therapy for these healing knees!
I love being Grandma B., and I got to share one of my favorite things with the kids – baking and decorating cut-out sugar cookies. For me, the process is the fun. We made them with stained glass centers –melted candy in the heart centers. The girls needed no guidance from me. With frostings and sprinkles galore, they were into it, aprons and all. If you want to know more, let me know. I’ll send you the how-to’s for the Grandma B’s sugar cookies and the stained glass effect.
Until next time, and take care of yourself, honor yourself and play, swinging, baking or both, for your well being and those you love. I hope you’ll check out our new website look, too!
PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.