Archive for May, 2009

Tom Antion: More Speaker Humor

=> “You are such a good friend that if we were on a
sinking ship and there was only one life jacket….
I’d miss you heaps and think of you often.”

=> How many psychologists does it take to change a
light bulb?  None, the bulb will change itself when it
is ready.

=> You’re as young as you feel but seldom as important

=> Did you ever notice that intelligence tests are biased
   toward the literate?

=> I called up a temp agency looking for work and they
   asked if I had any phone skills. I said, “I called you
   didn’t I?”

=> Some people always give 100% at work:
   12%  Monday
   23%  Tuesday
   40%  Wednesday
   20%  Thursday
   5%  Friday

=> My receptionist hated her job. She kept answering the
   phone, “Hello. Can you help me?”

=> Its hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.

=> Hard work will pay off later. Laziness pays off now!

=> The latest survey shows that three out of four people
   make up 75% of the population.

=> If at first you don’t succeed. No one will be surprised.

=> People used to just look for a free lunch. Now they want
   it delivered too.

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1. Send news releases about new products and services, contests, awards, open houses, speaking engagements to the media, and post them online where consumers can find them. The handy checklist “89 Reasons to Send a News Release” is yours free when you subscribe to my free ezine, “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week” at

2. Write “how-to” articles for newspapers, magazines, trade publications and newsletters, and for online article directories, and offer lots of free advice. It helps establish you as an expert. See Special Report #6: How to Write How-to Articles That Position You as an Expert.

3. Get onto the speaking circuit. Speaking to community groups and trade associations is a wonderful way to “create the buzz” about your business.

4. Create a website chock full of free advice, articles by and about you, story ideas about your business, and an electronic media kit.

5. Write an ezine. A free electronic newsletter helps you sell your products and services to an international audience and costs almost nothing compared to expensive direct mail campaigns. With permission, you can send the ezine to reporters who cover your industry. See Special Report #38: How to Publish a Profitable Electronic Newsletter

6. Get to know reporters. Offer yourself as someone they can call on for background, commentary and story ideas. Call and ask, “How can I help you?”

7. Start your own TV show on your local cable TV company’s public access channel. Air time is free. You pay a minimal amount to rent the camera equipment.

8. Look for photo opportunities. Local newspapers, TV stations, weekly shoppers, trade publications and other media are always looking for interesting photos. Call the media with ideas, or submit your own photos.

9. Blog, and post comments at other blogs. Bloggers, unlike journalists, love to link to each other, and getting in front of one influential blogger can really create a buzz online.

10. Participate in online discussion groups and offer lots of helpful advice. Reporters lurk here, and if they’re impressed with your messages, they might contact you for a story. Use a signature file in your email that explains what you do and how you can help solve people’s problems. Link to your web site.

Above all, be patient and persistent. The key to savvy media relations is understanding how to dovetail your wants and needs with those of the media.

Publicity expert Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, publishes “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week,” a free ezine that shows you how to generate thousands of dollars in free online and offline publicity. Subscribe at and receive free the handy checklist “89 Reasons to Send a Press Release.” Contact her at  262-284-7451  or at

Tom Antion: Link Em Up

The latest Georgia Tech survey shows that more people find web pages from links than from search engines. Respondents to the G.T. survey could choose multiple answers. 88 out of 100 found websites from links and only 82 out of 100 found websites from search engines. Also, search engines are beginning to rank sites, in part, on the number of links coming into the site. What does this mean to you?

You must pursue links to your site if you want to maximize traffic. Get out of the mindset that you must protect your site with a shotgun. Trade links with every respectable entity that you can. Also, links are much more reliable than search engines anyway. You can have a good ranking in a search engine one day and disappear the next. If you have a link relationship, it will likely be there for a long time with no maintenance whatsoever.

Some speakers are just plain stupid about this. Their site sits there with very little or no traffic, yet they still are scared to death they might lose a potential customer to another speaker by trading links. Well, do not worry about losing them, because they will probably never find you in the first place unless you have a good and consistent search engine plan and a link program. If you want to see an example of what I mean, visit If you think my attitude on this is in your face, wait till you see what I have to say at If you want to see my linktrade program visit

Tom Antion: Use A Demonstration

Tom, I have to pass this on. Some years ago I was teaching a
large group in business and professional writing. I wanted them
to realize the biggest error in most business and professional
writing so I had each person blow up a balloon and then stick a
pin in it. (Amusingly that was a very difficult task for balloon

When all 65 folks stuck the pins in at more or less the same time
the results were loud pops! The point to the exercise, of course,
was to show how little one had left when one took all the hot air
out of one’s business writing. All seemed to get that point. What
I personally didn’t understand was why, after all that unusual
noise, nobody came to see if we were okay.

NOTE FROM TOM: This same exercise can be used to simulate an
indoor fireworks show. Of course, there is no fire and smoke but
it sounds like it. Also, you can have the people stomp on the
balloons which makes for a fun visual.

Speakers: Learn To Make $5500 Every Time You Speak!

Tom Antion: Getting Referrals

You can be a really great platform speaker and still not get
people to refer you for other speaking engagements.

I don’t know why that is. I suspect that people just get busy
thinking about their own lives and problems and — can you
believe it? — They just don’t dedicate themselves to telling the
world how great you are.

One way to encourage people to spread your name around is to
offer them an incentive in the form of a referral fee. When money
is involved somehow people remember your name more.

I offer up to 20 percent of my speaking fee as a
commission/referral fee if someone calls up and says, “Joe, saw
you speak and said we have to have you at our next convention.
Are you available . . .” This means that Joe did my selling job
for me and all I have to do to close the deal is check my
calendar book and send the contract.

I offer 10 percent if someone calls because of Joe and makes me
jump through all the normal hoops to send press kits, demo
materials and keeps me on the phone for hours to see if I’m the
right fit for their audience.

In the first case, Joe either had the clout or did such a great
selling job for me that he deserves more money. In the second
case Joe didn’t have the clout and didn’t do a good enough
selling job, so he gets a little less. Either way Joe and I both

A colleague of mine and professional speaker Bill Cates wrote the
book “Unlimited Referrals.” I suggest you get a copy for tons of
other ideas on getting people to refer you.

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Tom Antion: Use All The Senses

Audience members assimilate information in three different
. Some people hear the information, some see the
information, and some feel the information. Although most
individuals switch their emphasis frequently, one style
usually predominates for a given individual. The styles of
information transfer are called respectively auditory,
visual, and kinesthetic.

For you to connect with the most audience members, you
should include information throughout your program that
appeals to all three of these styles. People that are
primarily visual assimilators may be daydreaming throughout
the portions of your presentation where you are using only
words to convey your information. They will perk-up when you
use a visual aid such as an overhead, flip chart, or prop.

People that are kinesthetically oriented are looking for
those words that describe feelings and that evoke emotions.
They will also wake up and come to attention if you have
them come up on stage with you and you shake hands with them
or put your hand on their shoulder (not in Asia). Auditory
assimilators might just love to hear you talk or they might
like to hear a recording of JFK or some type of music.

When you plan your program so that auditory, kinesthetic,
and visual elements are interspersed throughout, this will
increase your chances of connecting with all the audience
members and decrease the chance that old Mr. Sandman will
come knocking on their heads.

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Tom Antion: Ladies On TV

Hi Tom: I enjoyed your recent newsletter, and had a comment
about a man keeping his tie straight during a speaking
engagement v2n8.
A similar topic applies to women.

At one of my former places of employment, part of the new
employee orientation was sitting through several hours of
a customer service presentation on video tape.  In addition
to being a painfully unanimated speaker, the presenter wore
a suit with the biggest, loudest scarf around her neck and
over her shoulder.  All of us poor souls in the room watching
were left with no recollection of the content of the
presentation, but a indelible image of the infamous scarf!
As you know, not only should the length of a speech be
appropriate for the audience, but the speaker should make sure
that their appearance is not distracting.

Thanks for all the great tips.
Karen Puckett

Tom’s reply: Thanks Karen for your input. Also, keep in mind
that the beautiful scarf you referred to might be perfect if
you were on a big stage in front of a large audience. Always
keep your delivery medium in mind.

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Tom Antion: Interplay

I love to interact with the audience. It is much easier now that
wireless microphones are so readily available.
I can go right
into the audience, I can sit in one of their chairs, I can sit on
an audience member’s lap if I want to (by now you should have
realized that I am inclined to be totally irreverent if I know
the audience can handle it).

You don’t have to be as wild as I sometimes am to get the job
done. You can calmly go into the audience with a wireless
handheld microphone. Let the audience members ask their questions
directly to you while you hold the mic to their mouths so that
everyone else can hear. (Don’t forget to bring the microphone
back to your mouth for the answer.)

Another technique I use frequently is to speak directly to one
audience member. It goes like this, “Sharon, this is just between
you and me.” Whenever I do this, I can see out of the corner of
my eye everyone else killing themselves to eavesdrop on Sharon
and me. They feel like they are getting to hear something secret.

One-on-one interplay is also good when you are teasing or doing a
little roast humor on someone in the group. “Joe, lots of people
believe that you are one of the top sales managers in the
company. . . . Lots of people believe in the Easter Bunny too!”

I’ll go right up to someone in the audience and touch them on the
shoulder while I’m talking (don’t do this in Asia). I might say
(reading their nametag to get the name) “John here may have the
highest sales volume, but if his net income is no good, John is
not a happy guy.”

Some speakers make up skits and give the audience members easy,
but funny, parts to play. This is just an advanced form of role-

Don’t be afraid to get right in there and get your audience
involved, physically, mentally, and emotionally and you will be
on your way to becoming a NO ZZZZZs presenter.

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Tom Antion: Bloopers

Bloopers are clumsy mistakes that are usually made in
The television show “TV’s Bloopers and Practical
Jokes” and many blooper books are indicators of the interest
we have in other people’s goofs. Here are two from “All
Time Great Bloopers” by Blooper Snooper Kermit Schafer and
one from “More Press Boners” by Earle Tempel, and how you
might use them in a presentation.

=> A while back I heard about a DJ on WIOD in Miami, Florida
who said, “This is Alan Courtney speaking. Don’t forget,
tonight at nine, our special guest . . . (pause) . . .will be
. . . I forgot.” Well, I haven’t forgotten why we are here
today . . . or (For an introducer) I couldn’t possibly
forget who is here with us today.

=> Mayor Daley of Chicago was being interviewed on TV
following the riots during the Democratic convention. The
mayor stated, “The police in Chicago are not here to create
disorder, they are here to preserve it.” I hope I don’t
create or preserve any disorder in my presentation today.

=> From The San Leandro, CA News: I saw a notice in the
newspaper the other day. It said, “Industrial Boulevard is
empty because it is a road to nowhere. Work is underway to
extend it.” If we keep developing the obsolete widget. We
will be on the road to nowhere too.

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Tom Antion: Doors

One of the biggest sources of distraction has to do with
something every meeting room has and that is a door.
squeak, they slam shut, and they allow people to walk in the
audience’s line of sight. According to Tom’s Law of
Presentations, these three things are only allowed to happen
at the exact moment of your best punch line or most dramatic

Doors are very easy to deal with if you can gain access to
the room early. The first thing I do is check to see if the
doors squeak. If they do, I call maintenance or find a
little oil can and oil the hinges. If it’s an old hotel,
this probably hasn’t been done in 30 or 40 years. Then I let
the door swing shut on its own. This tests the closing
mechanism. If it is hopelessly weak and allows the door to
slam shut, I either ask for it to be adjusted (which no one
ever knows how to do) or I have someone stand at the door to
open and close it for latecomers. The latch of the door can
make lots of noise to, so you simply tape the catch
mechanism shut.

Door location can also be a pesky problem. Sometimes the
room is set so there is a door behind or very close to the
stage area. If someone would enter this door during your
presentation, it would be very distracting.

You can usually tape up a “Please Use Other Door” sign to
help with this. When you know you have any kind of door
problem, try to alert the planner or recruit people from the
organization to police the doors for you.

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