• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

The Business of Speaking

Is it okay to speak for free?

Is it okay to speak for free? 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

One subject that is often debated is rates. We do agree that women should be paid the same rate as men. Speakers know there is value to our presentations. And most people say they prefer paid opportunities. But we don’t always agree on whether speakers should agree to present for free.

According to the feedback we’ve received from speakers, there are occasions when people might be willing to appear at no cost:

  • Presenting at his or her alma mater
  • Presenting to support a cause that’s important to him/her
  • Presenting for a fundraiser
  • Presenting in local venues to help build a speaking career
  • Presenting to test an idea or strategy
  • Presenting to gain experience
  • Presenting to add the event to a speaker’s resume
  • Presenting to stay active during retirement
  • Presenting to get visibility when seeking a job or promotion.

These are all reasons we’ve heard for people to agree to participate in a speaker event at no cost. We’ve also heard from speakers who rationalize that these opportunities are their livelihood. We see both sides and understand that determining rates – or gratis appearances – is an individual decision.

What is your opinion? We’d love to hear from you! E-mail us at info@ineedaspeaker.com and share your thoughts. With your permission, we may share your point of view in an upcoming post or newsletter article.

Photo credit: Pexels

Go where people are looking for you

Go where people are looking for you 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Some speakers tell us that they have their own website where people can get information on booking them for a speaker event. If this is you, that’s great. We hope you continue that.

But wouldn’t you also want to be found by people who don’t know about your website?

 

Photo credit: Pexels

“We are a community of storytellers”

“We are a community of storytellers” 2560 1676 I Need A Speaker

The Golden Globe Awards inspire a lot of buzz. What won best picture? Who was she wearing? While it’s fun to chat about those things, my favorite part of the event was Jane Fonda’s speech.

As this year’s recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in film, Fonda referred to the industry as “a community of storytellers” and delivered a passionate plea for diversity.

Wait. Storytellers and diversity? I had no idea that I Need A Speaker has so much in common with the glitterati!

Like Fonda, I also believe that ” … stories have a way — they can change our hearts and our minds, they can help us see each other in a new light, to have empathy.”

Later in her acceptance speech, Fonda noted: “Stories, they really can change people. But there’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves … a story about which voices we respect and elevate.”

It’s inspiring and refreshing to hear other people support our values. I Need A Speaker was built to share stories in the interest of mutual understanding. It was built to help people discover the human similarities in all of us. And it was built to proudly amplify new voices.

We’re listening.

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Ask us anything! We’ll answer your questions in future blog posts.

Ask us anything! We’ll answer your questions in future blog posts. 1709 2560 I Need A Speaker

We hope you enjoyed last week’s Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge! If you haven’t completed it, just review the blog posts for your updates.

Today we’re asking your input for future blog posts. What are your questions about public speaking and event planning? Submit your questions to marketing@ineedaspeaker.com, and we’ll answer them in a future blog post.

For regular tips, visit the home page of our website and sign up to our newsletter!

Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge: Day Five

Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge: Day Five 2560 1700 I Need A Speaker

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final step in the I Need A Speaker Five-Day Challenge! Over the past five days, you’ve fine-tuned your message, considered your audience, learned from others, and developed a compelling speech outline. I bet you know what’s next …

DAY FIVE: PRACTICE

There is an old joke about a man who asked someone for directions while in New York City. “Excuse me,” the man asked a stranger who seemed to know his way around. “Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” The stranger replied, “Practice, practice, practice!”

Silly, but true. And it’s the same with public speaking. To get where you want to be, you’ve got to practice.

When you’re ready to debut your work, ask a trusted friend or colleague to watch your presentation. Have them share honest, constructive feedback.

Ask if the reviewer could easily follow along. Find out if they felt an emotional connection. Were you perceived as relatable? Was your presentation delivered with authenticity, value, and effectiveness?

Listen to the feedback with an open mind. Afterward, develop a plan to strengthen your weaknesses and celebrate your successes.

 

We’re so proud of you! Keep up the great work!

Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge: Day Four

Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge: Day Four 2560 1700 I Need A Speaker

Woo hoo! You’re almost there! If you’ve been participating in this challenge since day one, you’ve had a chance to fine-tune your central message(s), consider your audience, and learned from other speakers you admire. Today, let’s do some work on writing an engaging speech outline.

DAY FOUR: CRAFT A COMPELLING SPEECH AROUND YOUR MESSAGE

Let’s work on crafting a compelling speech using powerful elements.

Create an outline as your starting point:

  • Attention-grabbing introduction (stories and anecdotes work well)
  • Transition to central statement and preview of main points
  • Three to five main points, supported with credible sources and smoothly linked
  • Transition to summary/conclusion
  • Memorable conclusion (most effective when referencing introductory story)

As you write, focus on delivering value to your audience. If this is informational, are your word choices appropriate for the audience members’ level of knowledge on the subject? If this is motivational, have you included a call to action when necessary?

Use active verbs and descriptive language.

Infuse the presentation with appropriate emotion and enthusiasm.

Name your sources.

 

Check back tomorrow for the last step of our five-day challenge. Know someone who might benefit? Pass this along!

Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge: Day Three

Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge: Day Three 2560 1700 I Need A Speaker

Welcome back to the five-day public speaking challenge! We hope you’re feeling as inspired and energized as we are!

By now, you’ve had a chance to fine-tune your message and think carefully about your audience. Today we’re going to focus on role models.

DAY THREE: LEARN FROM THE BEST

Watch speakers whose work you admire and take notes on their organization, delivery, and ability to connect with the audience.

How do those speakers connect with their audience using verbal and non-verbal language?

How do your role model speakers bring energy and enthusiasm to the presentation?

What kind of language do they use?

How, if at all, do the speakers use visual or audio aids?

Do they incorporate storytelling in their talks?

Do the speakers infuse their remarks with appropriate emotion?

How do these speakers make you feel?

Now consider how you can apply the most effective techniques to your presentation.

 

Check back tomorrow for the step four of our five-day challenge. Know someone who might benefit? Pass this along!

Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge: Day Two

Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge: Day Two 2560 1700 I Need A Speaker

Welcome to the second day of the I Need A Speaker Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge! Hopefully you have fine-tuned your message (day one lesson) and are ready to tackle the next step.

DAY TWO: IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE

Think about who you hope to reach and what result you seek.

Ask yourself these questions: Who is the best audience for your message? What change do you hope to create? What matters to the people you hope to reach? What are your audience members’ values? How, if at all, must I adapt my key messages for various audience types?

Check back tomorrow for the third step in our five-day challenge. Know someone who might benefit? Pass this along!

Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge: Day One

Five-Day Public Speaking Challenge: Day One 2560 1700 I Need A Speaker

I Need A Speaker is here to help you achieve your public speaking goals. We believe that a powerful message and a passion to share it are the foundational elements of an effective public speaker.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional who engages audiences regularly or a newcomer to the (virtual) stage, there is always opportunity to examine your approach and make changes as needed.

Are you ready to polish your presentation skills? If so, join us for this challenge – and become a better public speaker in just five days!

DAY ONE: FINE-TUNE YOUR MESSAGE

What do you want to say? Ask yourself what takeaways you want your audience to recall. Next, finalize your central message(s).

Write it out and test it on potential audience members if you can. Use results-oriented language to express your message in a compelling, attractive way.

For example, rather than writing something like “Why It’s Important to Build a Strong Team,” consider language like, “The Five Keys to Building a Cohesive, High-Performance Team.”

What result do you deliver?

Check back tomorrow for the second step in our five-day challenge. Know someone who might benefit? Pass this along!

I’ll tell you what I want – what I really, really want!

I’ll tell you what I want – what I really, really want! 1709 2560 I Need A Speaker

Whether you’re having an in-person or virtual event, one thing that never changes is your audience getting excited about giveaways. We all love the swag and gift bags. What’s the difference? Swag is usually branded, and gifts are focus on value, rather than brand recognition.

I researched what conference and meeting attendees are hoping to receive in 2021.

Having a virtual office party? Attendees are thrilled to receive:

  • Cocktail and mocktail recipes/kits
  • Apparel
  • Personalized items
  • High-end office supplies, like leather journals and luxury pens
  • Food baskets

For a corporate event or meeting, it’s best to provide:

  • Eco-friendly items, like reusable shopping bags and water bottles
  • Snack and beverage boxes
  • High-end office supplies, like leather journals and luxury pens
  • Virtual gift cards for coffee shops, restaurants
  • Tech items: wireless charging pads, earbuds, Bluetooth speakers, flash drives
  • Small live plants that thrive well indoors (think succulents, snake plants)
  • Wellness items (resistance bands, free weights, meditation app membership)

Limited budget? Send:

  • Virtual greeting cards
  • Handwritten notes
  • Electronic gift cards

If you’re sending something via postal mail or a shipping service, you’ll have to ensure that you have accurate addresses for your attendees. Check with the shipping vendor to find out the best time to send the packages to ensure that they arrive on time.

Communicate clearly if you want attendees to open the package at a specific time. For example, if you’re sending live plants, you’ll want those opened upon arrival. To set up a shared experience, ask attendees to be patient and wait until the event begins.

Customize your experience with great, relevant content and fun giveaways!

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