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Archive for January, 2010
FriendFeed is a great way to share articles, videos, status updates and a ton of other important information with collegues and prospects. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is a bit like the Home Page updates on Facebook that you see when you login. Everyone that you subscribe to will see all of the recent activity you have done on any of 56 services that you work with.
When you send a Tweet, bookmark a site on Digg, upload a YouTube video, post a blog, or join a group on LinkedIn your subscribers will be notified in a feed stream in real time that has a link straight to the source. You can watch videos right in the FriendFeed stream and click out to blog posts. It is especially helpful in getting your bookmarks on Digg, Reddit and Delicious seen and voted on.
In one click, you can add all of your Facebook friends that have a FriendFeed account to subscribe to yours. I grabbed up 1300 followers from Tom’s Facebook friends in 5 minutes. Now, no matter what site I update for him, the FriendFeed updates automatically and all 1300 followers are notified. Used in conjunction with Ping.fm, you can use Ping to update all of your social sites at once, then the updates feed from each of those sites to your FriendFeed account. You can get a lot of views in short order of tons of your social marketing. Plus, you get to stay in touch with thousands of others from your FriendFeed home page.
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No, you don’t have to go on-stage in a gorilla suit, although you could if you wanted to. A costume can be anything from a flashy tie, to a feathered hat, to a full blown shiny Marca Polina outfit (the feminine Marco Polo) complete with an illuminated magic wand, that my friend Sally Walton wears when she talks about the magic art of “Communicating Across Cultures.” Costumes add a flare and excitement to your presentations and certainly help to make them more memorable.
If you don’t like to wear costumes, get the audience members to wear them. Better yet, get the “big shots” to wear them and you will probably be the hit of the meeting. I was doing a customer service talk for a pizza franchise and I had one of the senior managers march into the meeting wearing a filthy, doctor’s lab coat with ketchup all over it (fake blood). I had another senior manager come in with a crisp, new lab coat. I asked a simple question, Which manager would you like operating on you? Of course, all the junior managers yelled out that they wouldn’t let either one of these people operate on them. Everyone was laughing and joking around, but the point was made. They must keep their employees looking clean and neat because nice customers won’t want to be served by grungy food service workers.
Costume characters can be hired to hand out fliers at your event, entertain, and generally create an air of fun and excitement. The local heart association has a “blood drop” costume they use when they are soliciting funds. There are literally hundreds of costumes available through costume shops or via mail order. Just make sure, as always, the theme of the costume matches the theme of your presentation or event.
To add some humor to your public speaking engagement you can make fake newspaper articles and headlines and book covers by using your computer software and printer.
To mock up a newspaper article, simply find the column function of your word processor and set the column width to approximate a real newspaper. It does not matter that your are not holding up actual newsprint because you could have simply cut the article from a newspaper and had it photocopied. If you want to actually use a real newspaper, you could go through a lengthy trial and error process trying to shade a piece of laser paper to approximate the color of your newspaper. I guess you could also find some actual newsprint that would feed through your printer.
The easiest way is to simply paste or tape your headline or article on one of the inside pages of a real newspaper and then open the paper so you can read the paste up, but the audience can not really see it.
Humorist and parody writer David Glickman gave me this really funny idea . He uses his color inkjet printer to duplicate the black box and yellow letters that are on the front of all the Dummies series of books. He then pastes his new title over the one on an actual Dummies book. The rest of the cover is so busy that people only focus on the big black box. From a distance you can’t even tell it is a mockup. I just used this techniques for a big cable company. The title was, Digital Cable TV Maintenance and Installation for Dummies. It is not too funny to you, but to the targeted audience it was hilarious. You can also mock up fake telegrams and letters from well known people who are not at the public speaking event.
As I sit here freezing to death after my brief shuttle ride from the
hotel I’m reminded that I broke my own rule of not going north for any reason in the
winter. Why I broke this rule, I really don’t know. I don’t like snow. I don’t like slush.
And I don’t like the cold. I must be getting senile.
Being the upbeat guy that I am I decided to see how I could turn this
situation into a positive. That’s when I came up with the revelation/idea that is
destined to change the world and is about as “green” as you can get.
My idea is for the United States to purchase the northern part of
Mexico. How much could it cost? A couple hundred billion or so? Who cares? Whatever the
price tag it will be worth it when you hear the rest of my idea.
After we make the purchase and attend the closing (this won’t cost much
because so many real estate attorney’s are hurting for business) we shift the entire
northern United States to the south. Can you imagine how much natural gas, oil, coal,
electricity and wood we would save? It would more than pay for the purchase.
Also, our population growth would stabilize because people would be able
spend way more time outside instead of accidentally spawning way too many kids in an
effort to keep warm using body heat.
I suggest you begin immediately contacting your local congressperson to
move this idea forward.
Note to speakers from Tom: Do you see how you can come up with
bizarre/memorable/funny material for your speeches just by forcing your mind to look for the
bright side of any situation. Oops. They’re boarding now. I’m heading south.
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