• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

webinar

Check the link. An error can lock out your audience.

Check the link. An error can lock out your audience. 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Dafna Gold Melchior – one of our wonderful speakers – recently posted this on LinkedIn. With her permission we’re sharing this message:

“Check the link. Double check the link. Otherwise you could discover that your esteemed guests were sent somewhere else…

I delivered a workshop last night, on behalf of an organization. 150 people signed up via a production company, which sent them an invite with a link. I was in the Zoom room early, checked sound and share screen with the helpful tech person.

At a few minutes to the hour, we started wondering why no one was joining… Turned out the production company had mistakenly sent the wrong link…

By the time I too was sent the (wrong) link my audience had received, there were 8 people left (5 with cameras off). So three lucky people received my workshop, and I assure you I gave them my all, as I would have with 150 participants.

I’m sharing this to spare you the same frustrating experience. I beg you, have those who handle logistics on your behalf check and re-check the link.”

Follow her advice.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Webinar attendees pinpointed one thing new speakers need

Webinar attendees pinpointed one thing new speakers need 441 232 I Need A Speaker

This week, I had the honor of being a guest on a webinar hosted by Samantha Kelly for Women’s Inspire Network (WIN). Based in Ireland, WIN is a networking group for female entrepreneurs.

It’s a lovely group of women who are motivated, passionate subject matter experts – qualities of great public speakers. During the webinar, host Samantha and I talked about why and how people can use public speaking to elevate their brands. As we spoke, the chat continued scrolling as attendees made comments and asked questions.

What happened next surprised me a bit. The conversation drifted toward the one obstacle that prevented many of these women from taking the stage – their self-doubt. It was a surprising revelation because these women are brilliant, accomplished individuals with important messages to share. Also, they have a huge potential audience.

Our conversation changed once again, and this time the direction wasn’t surprising. Attendees acknowledged one another’s skill sets and expertise, then encouraged each other to take the first step with public speaking. That one element – encouragement – was all it took to give these women the confidence to do it.

I shared an anecdote about a very powerful speaker I know. The speaker is a woman who overcame difficult circumstances to reinvent her life and succeed. Speaking from the heart, this woman tells her story in a way that’s relatable and impactful. She may never have had a class on public presentation, but she has the qualities needed to captivate and inspire her audience.

We all have stories to tell or expertise to share. I Need A Speaker was founded to help new voices be heard, so I’ll encourage you now to take the next step and discover what you can accomplish.

Go for it. Be heard. People want and need your message.

 

Photo credit: Samantha Kelly

Speakers and event planners: What’s on your holiday wish list?

Speakers and event planners: What’s on your holiday wish list? 2560 1647 I Need A Speaker

Holiday sales offer money-saving opportunities to get the supplies you need to do your job well. As you prepare for the holidays, consider adding these work-from-home products to your wish list:

  • Standing desk
  • Ergonomic chair
  • Carpeting or an area rug to absorb noise
  • Headphones or wireless earbuds
  • Microphone for better sound quality
  • High-quality, stand-alone webcam
  • Laptop stand so your webcam is at eye level
  • Wireless keyboard
  • Phone tripod if you connect by phone
  • Ring light or other video lighting
  • Video or audio editing software
  • Appropriate art work and decor for your setting
  • 2021 planner (if you’re old school)
  • Surge protectors
  • Power bank
  • Mobile hotspot
  • Houseplants (studies say you’ll be more productive!)
  • Fire- and water-resistant safe for important documents
  • Shredder
  • Healthy snacks
  • Water bottle
  • Desk organizer (you’re on camera; keep it neat!).

Check online reviews for recommendations, and always check for promo codes before you purchase. Many speakers and planners will continue to work from home (or work from anywhere). Let’s do it comfortably!

Once upon a time …

Once upon a time … 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Shawn Achor and Brene Brown are two of my favorite authors and speakers. It’s not just because of the information they share. I like these speakers so much because of the way they share information. They tell engaging stories. They pull me in, and they make me want to hear more.

Before pen was ever put to paper, stories have been passed from generation to generation verbally. Ancient civilizations used stories to explain what they could not understand.

As humans, we are wired to tell, enjoy and remember tales. Great speakers know this, and they successfully weave stories into presentations to engage audiences, illustrate key points, and help listeners retain information.

When speakers tell stories from the heart, they connect with audience members in a special way. Speakers become more relatable, approachable, and memorable. In essence, they become more effective.

What story will you tell?

Nine ways to improve your online presentations

Nine ways to improve your online presentations 2560 1709 I Need A Speaker

With the rise of virtual meetings, many presenters have been asked to deliver remarks via Zoom. How can you be your best while presenting remotely? Plan well, as any good speaker would … and follow these nine tips.

  1. Keep your camera at face level, allowing you to look directly at the camera without looking down your nose or tilting your head upward.
  2. If your background doesn’t project the image you’d choose, swap it for a virtual background. Search “virtual Zoom backgrounds” online, and you’ll find a variety of free, downloadable images that range from silly to sophisticated. Use one that suits the occasion, topic, and audience.
  3. Ensure your background is as quiet as possible. You can’t prevent a fire truck from barreling down the street, lights and sirens engaged, but you can try your best to keep noises at a minimum.
  4. For best audio quality, consider using a headset with a microphone or a clip-on microphone in addition to your computer. Inexpensive models may be purchased online for less than $20 and will improve your audience’s experience.
  5. Be sensitive to time limitations. Many people are reporting “Zoom fatigue” from the number of online meetings they attend. Respect your audience’s time – as well as that of other presenters – by staying within your requested timeframe.
  6. Engage your audience when possible. This keeps attendees interested and supports their retention of information. Take a poll, conduct a brief activity, or have your audience complete a brief task.
  7. Dress appropriately! YouTube has a variety of “fail” videos revealing that some Zoom presenters failed to follow this rule.
  8. Remember that your setting may be more casual than your workplace, but you still want to appear professional. Enunciate and speak at a comfortable pace, so your audience can follow along easily.
  9. Have fun! Make the most of your opportunity to share information and engage with your attendees.
Tell Me, Don’t Tease Me!

Tell me, don’t tease me!

Tell me, don’t tease me! 922 922 I Need A Speaker

Recently, a friend of a friend dropped me a message to watch a webinar. He was pleased to recommend it and did so earnestly, sure that if we both watched it, we would come away enlightened and inspired. I settled into my couch, flipped open my laptop, and tuned in with great anticipation.

The speakers began with a lengthy introduction, recounting their entire life histories. Ten minutes later, they began describing the type of person for whom the webinar was best suited. Ten minutes after that, I closed the laptop.

As a speaker, it’s important to recognize that your audience’s time is valuable. The people who chose to hear your presentation are eager to hear your message, not a sales pitch for another message.

Background information and context are important. Let them support your message, not obscure it.

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