Archive for March, 2009

Tom Antion: Love Humor For Speakers

Love Notes:

=> When a newly married couple smiles, everyone knows
why. When a ten-year married couple smiles, everyone
wonders why.

=> My wife told me I should be more affectionate. So I
got two girlfriends.

=> The honeymoon is over when the husband calls home
to say he’ll be late for dinner and the answering
machine says it is in the microwave.

=> Men who have pierced ears are better prepared for
marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.

=> How do most men define marriage? A very expensive
way to get your laundry done.

=> Love is blind but marriage is an eye-opener.

=> The most effective way to remember your wife’s
birthday is to forget it once.

=> Cosmetics: A woman’s way of keeping a man from
reading between the lines.

=> Words to live by: Do not argue with a spouse who is
packing your parachute.

=> Boring husband: Honey, why are you wearing your
wedding ring on the wrong finger? Bored wife: Because
I married the wrong man!

=> First Guy (proudly): “My wife’s an angel!” Second
Guy: “You’re lucky, mine’s still alive.”

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Tom Antion: Why Choose First Class Travel

Today, when airlines offer more economy seating and more cut-rate fares, some customers and industry watchers predict the end of first class travel.
After all, many of the most luxurious methods of travel in the past – including the once-famous MGM jet and the Concorde – are no longer offering service. It’s too early to mourn the end of first class travel, though. At a time when it seems that low-cost air travel and trips are de rigeur, some companies are working harder than ever to provide high-quality first class travel experiences. Many more business, executive, and even pleasure-seeking travelers are choosing to travel first class.

There are many reasons why customers choose first class travel arrangements. Many note that the exceptional service and small extras – such as blankets and better food – ensure a pleasant trip experience. On a longer trip, these small extras allow passengers to arrive in good spirits and in a relaxed mood, ready to begin their day’s business or their vacation without undue hassle or fatigue.

Many business passengers find that first class travel arrangements help them make the most of their trips and help to project a professional image. For many passengers traveling for pleasure, first class travel is a pleasant luxury that adds to the quality of a trip.

If you have always avoided first class travel because of the cost, it is time to look at your high-end travel options again. Airlines, boats, and trains are all offering better-class travel experiences at almost all price levels. There are upgraded travel packages that offer some of the perks of first class travel at a fraction of the price, for example. Look around and talk to your travel agent – you might be surprised at how much sense first class travel arrangements make.

Tom Antion: Serious Q & A Session

One of the biggest mistakes I see presenters make during public speaking engagements has to do with the handling of question-and-answer sessions. The presenter does a good program, has a powerful close, opens the program up to questions, answers them well, and then fades off the stage into oblivion.

The lack of a second powerful close after the question and answer period could negate much of the impact that was created throughout the program. Make sure you have two good closes whenever there is a possibility of a Q & A session.

Trick: Purposely omit material that you know will evoke certain questions. When the questions come, give a preplanned answer that appears spontaneous. They’ll think you are a genius.

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Tom Antion: Creating Scarcity

Well not in copywriting and not in sales. Yes, it can happen sometimes, but a good copywriter can create it with specific words and situations.

Let’s consider some situations where there is true scarcity and then we’ll look at some situations where we create scarcity.


Here are some examples:

· Beatles reunion concert

· Van Gogh paintings

· Brains in the corporate world (especially my list management company)


· Everything else

Just think about it. How much do you think tickets for the Beatles concert would be? $500.00 .. . . sure if you want to be in a remote auditorium to watch a simulcast and you don’t mind having lousy seats. $1,000.00, . . . $5,000.00 . . .. Who knows how high it would go. Scarcity is the reason.

It’s the same thing with rare paintings, artwork, rare coins, etc.

Most of the copy you see written regarding scarcity has been created.

· “Our allotment was only 12 of this model,”

· “Only three to a customer,”

· “Only 12 left,” are all generated and concocted scarcity techniques.

They just happened to forget to say the allotment was for this week and next week they get 12 more. And why is there “Only three to a customer?” Is it because the seller is only worried about being fair? There are “Only 5 left.” This conveniently omits the fact that the seller can order more any time.

I’m not saying any of the above statements are untruthful or unethical (sometimes they are). The statements are simply appealing to basic human nature. When something is scarce, people want it more, they buy it faster and pay more for it. If you want people buying more of your stuff faster and paying a high price for it, then you may want to implement scarcity into your business model and most definitely into your copy.

Work some phrases like this into your copy:

· We only have space for 12 participants

· These are the last 5 available.

· We only have 2 available dates open in June

· I can only take on two new consulting clients

· We have only 4 appointments left

· Bridge line space is limited.


I am not suggesting you lie. I’m suggesting that actually limiting your availability can get you a much higher price for your products and services and make them even more in demand.

Next month we’ll mix a little scarcity in with “urgency” to really slamdunk the people that read your copy. . . .Now of course I can only sell 12,000 more memberships to this website before it reaches capacity, so don’t unsubscribe or you probably won’t be able to get back in for any amount of money. . . . Yeah right! hahahahahahhaha

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Tom Antion: Learn Material Easily Using Bits

A bit is a section of material that is so related that it makes
it easy for you to memorize.
Each point flows naturally from one
to the next so you can deliver the information without notes (if
you know your material).

Until I learned about bits, I never thought I could be a
professional presenter because I’m not great at memorizing long
talks. I discovered that no one memorizes long talks. They have a
mental or written outline consisting of key words that trigger
the individual bit in their minds. Pros use this concept to be
able to deliver long presentations without the use of notes.

Becoming less dependent on notes has several advantages. When you
stand before a group and deliver information without using notes
your credibility automatically rises. The audience thinks, “Wow!
This person really knows the material.” Since you won’t be tied
to a lectern or forced to hold notes, you can get physically
closer to the audience, or actually enter the audience on
occasion. The closer you are to them, the better you will
connect. When you leave the script at home you can talk naturally
to the audience rather than read to them. You will also be more
confident because you no longer have to worry about your notes
getting lost.

Using bits has another big advantage. We are busy people. It’s
tough to find a spare hour or day to practice a full
presentation. Bits can be practiced when you have a few minutes
here and there. You will be more likely to practice your material
(and we all need practice) if you can practice a three or five-minute chunk rather than the whole

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Tom Antion: Numbers

Most businesses have numerous uses for numbers, both written and
Some numbers are funnier and more interesting than others.
A number like zero has other names that are funny that aren’t
even numbers.

Goose egg, nada, nil, zip and zilch are all funny ways to express
the number zero. Even zero is funnier than the word none.
Although none is funny when you talk about the two chances of a
hostile takeover as slim and none. A hundred dollar bill is a C-
Note, a five-dollar bill is a fin. If someone is outrageously
rich, they could be a zillionaire.

If you want to exaggerate a little bit, or if you have some tough
news to deliver that involves numbers, add a touch of levity to
help soothe the sting.

One common rule of humor that does not apply to numbers is
In all other types of humor you should conserve the
number of words you use. Normally you want to use the fewest
words possible to get to the punch line. When using numbers in a
presentation, pronounce them using the longest version possible.
This gives them more punch. The digits 1,500 should be recited as
one thousand five hundred, not fifteen hundred. The time of 8:15
should be a quarter past eight, not eight fifteen. 6’2″ should be
six feet two inches not six-two.

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Tom Antion: Right Click!

In Windows 95 or later you can “right click” (use your right mouse button instead of your left) to bring up a menu called a “context menu.” This is a tremendous time saver and will save you many wasted clicks over time.

A context menu means that whatever shows up in the menu changes depending on what you have clicked on. Go ahead and try it right now. Go to your desktop using one of the shortcuts we discussed in a past issue. — Oh you don’t remember?

Well, look at the lower left of your keyboard at the Windows key which is usually next to the control (Ctrl) key. Hold it down and then hit your “D” key once. You should instantly be taken to your desktop. Hold the Windows key down again and hit “D” once and it will take you right back where you were.

OK, So you’re at your desktop. Right click in any blank area and you will get a submenu. I’m in Windows XP Professional and my menu has the following choices.

· Arrange Icons by

· Refresh

· New

· Properties

The “Arrange Icons by” choice and the “New” Choice have submenus. You can tell there is a submenu if you see a little black arrow next to the choice.

Now try something different. Open your word processor (I use Microsoft Word) to a document with text in it. Right click in a blank area of the document. Here are the choices I see:

· Paste

· Font

· Paragraph

· Bullets and Numbering

· Hyperlink

· Synonyms

Now highlight a piece of text and right click in the highlighted area:

My context menu gives me two more important options that I use all the time 1.) Cut and 2.) Copy These options were visible in my previous menu, but they were “grayed out” i.e., not usable since I did not have anything highlighted to cut or copy.

Before I learned about this, I would have to highlight a piece of text, then move clear to the top of the screen to click on “Edit,” then “copy.” Then I would go to where I wanted to paste the info and click to put the cursor there. Then I would have to go back to the top of the screen and again click “Edit,” then “paste.” The context menu is so much faster and less hassle. (I’ll show you a cool way to move text in the tips below)


Context menus are also a big time saver when dealing with files and folders. Let’s say you have a couple versions of a file and can’t remember which is the newest. (This is another trick I use all the time). Right click on the file. A context menu will appear with quite a few choices which you can explore on your own. Usually at the bottom is one called “Properties.” Click on this and you will see all kinds of details about the file including when it was created and when it was last modified. You’ll instantly know which file is newer without even opening them.


I run into this all the time because I sell lots of Ebooks. When someone gets the link to download their ebook if they left click on it, it opens but they can’t save it. The proper instructions (which they hardly ever read) is to “right click” and then click on the context menu choice “save target” or “save target as.” Then they can save the PDF file to their hard drive.

So, start getting in the habit of right clicking whenever you want to do something to a file or folder or text and explore the quick ways to do whatever you want to do on the context menu.

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Tom Antion: Backwards

I was just at a meeting where a brilliant speaker made the
classic mistake of making a point backwards from the audience’s
point of view.

He used a pole as a prop and held it horizontal to the ground to
simulate a time line of human life. He touched the pole on the
end to represent childhood then ran his finger along the middle
of the pole to represent adulthood and touched the other end of
the pole to show where old age would be.

The problem was, he started at the wrong end of the pole. From
his perspective everything was perfect. He started childhood to
“his” left and finished with old age to “his” right. From the
perspective of an English speaking audience (the members of which
read left to right) this was backwards. If you were sitting in
his audience, you saw old age where childhood would have been
and vice versa.

This mistake falls in the category of what I call a brainstopper
(Vol 2 Num 8 )When
you do something or say something that causes and audience
member’s thought pattern to stop, he/she doesn’t hear what you
say next. In this case the backwards display of time would have
audience members thinking about the wrong order instead of the
point the speaker was trying to make. I could even see some
people in the crowd whispering to each other about it when he did

Think from the audience’s point of view when you make a similar
display that has a logical sequence. You will have to reverse the
display from your point of view for it to make sense to the

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Tom Antion: Opening Tips

 Tom Antion

=> Make points that folks agree on first. Never create
controversy early, unless you are doing it for dramatic

=> Never tell a long involved story unless it is HIGHLY
TESTED. If it bombs, you will have a tough fight to win back
the audience.

=> Never tell any story or joke that has a remote chance of
offending someone. After you warm up the audience, you may
be bolder.

=> Somewhere in your opening you must tell the audience why
you are there. They need some selfish reason to listen to

=> Using humor in your opening tells the audience that yours
is going to be a fun presentation. It tells them that they
might actually enjoy it. Don’t disappoint them by telling an
opening joke and boring them the rest of the time.

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Tom Antion: Tom Is On Wikipedia

Check out my Wikipedia Listing

Here’s the link:

Technorati Tags: Wikipedia,Tom Antion,Thomas Antion

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