Editors: Rebecca Morgan & Ken Braly

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From the Editors

What are you doing that’s working?

We are pleased that a number of readers responded to our Topic of the Month (below). But beyond those, this week we had zero — count them — tips submitted.

SpeakerNet News counts on our loyal readers to give us ideas about best practices, in the areas of

  • Sales & Marketing
  • Creating Memorable Presentations
  • Running Your Business
  • Creating Books and Products
  • Technology
  • Travel

Since SpeakerNet News is free, we encourage everyone to pay “dues” of one tip per quarter. September is coming to an end soon; have you sent in your tip for the 3rd quarter? What have you found that’s working for you, in one or more of the above areas?

Teleseminar Info

Thursday, September 20
Grow a Continuously Profitable Consulting Practice
from Your Speeches

with Barry Banther, CMC, CSP

Barry BantherWhen you speak to a group, they typically get 30 minutes to a few hours of you. That is probably not enough to bring about long-term change.

When you follow up your speaking with a consulting contract, you stand a better chance of making a real difference for your client. And boosting your own income.

But how do you leverage a presentation into a consulting gig? Our next program will help you do just that.

Read more about this session at the bottom of this newsletter, then register or pre-order the MP3. Note: Everyone who registers for the teleseminar will get the MP3 recording of the session for free.

Mark your calendar:

Intensive — Giving Audiences the Engagement They Are Demanding

Audiences have changed. Attention spans are shorter. Groups are demanding more involvement, participation, and interactivity, even in keynotes.

How can you integrate activities that leverage the latest brain research to enhance your presentation? How can you add more Hollywood techniques that will engage, without being cheesy? What are some simple ways to add interaction without taking too much time, or disrupting your keynote’s flow?

These programs will answer these questions and more.

  • “Create Brain-Friendly, Participant-Centered Presentations for More Engagement and More Business” with Sarah Michel, CSP
  • “Integrate Powerful Hollywood Movie Trailer Techniques to Emotionally Engage Your Audience” with Nabil Doss (WEBINAR)
  • “Create Interactive Keynotes that Elicit Repeat Business” with Christie Ward, CSP

More details

All SNN single-focused intensive packages are detailed here.

Topic of the Month (TOTM) — Your Input Wanted

Our TOTM is: How do you handle it when an audience member — or even a client — turns the discussion to a controversial political view — whether you agree with it or not?

Send your brief, pithy responses to editor@SpeakerNetNews.com. Please put “Topic of the Month” or “TOTM” in the subject line.

Chuck Reaves

Professional speakers cannot win by discussing politics or religion from the platform. “That’s not an area where I have expertise,” is my usual response.

Jeff Davidson

Acknowledge, remind, and reset using language such as: “Well, that is an issue important to many people and could easily take up the rest of the day. My time here, of limited duration, focuses on xyz and I need to stay on that path.”

Bob Alper

I’m a rabbi and standup comic, and frequently perform with Muslim colleagues as “Laugh In Peace.”

We end with Q and A, and on the very few occasions when someone asks about Israel/Palestine issues, I respond that we follow the model of my local Rotary Club. Some members are pro-choice, others pro-life. We respect one another, and never discuss those divisive issues. Rather, we work together on issues of common interest, raising funds for scholarships and the like. And we enjoy one another’s company, too.

Amy Showalter

Since I work exclusively with grassroots advocacy and political donor audiences, I get a lot of this. I always listen and maintain friendly eye contact so they cannot detect any partisanship on my part, and usually advise them: “Thanks for sharing your feelings. . .since you feel so strongly about that issue, I hope you are taking every opportunity to get involved by contacting your legislators on this issue and most important, contributing your time and money to those candidates who support your view.”

The goal is to make them understand it’s about engagement, not venting.

Laurie Murphy

Find something you can agree with in the comment/question and then pivot away from it as soon as possible.

“Yes, Bob, these are turbulent times. How can we use that energy for good in your training plan?”

“Absolutely, Bob, I can see the passion in many of these topics. Your employees deserve that passion in their personal development, too. Let’s talk about how we can channel that energy into something productive for your group.”

“You are right about that, Bob. There are contentious issues that employees are bringing into the workplace. As a leader, how do you use that energy to move your goals forward and not divide your team?”

Bill Conerly

Politics comes up a lot since I speak on the economy. Although I have strong political views, I keep my comments focused on what will be useful to business leaders (my audience). Praising or criticizing the president does not give the audience an actionable step to take back in the office. So whether they like it or not, I return to my forecast, the chances things could go differently from my forecast, and what action steps audience members can take in light of this view.

Leah Carey

In my experience, someone doing this in a public discussion is usually looking for one of two things: a fight or to be listened to. In either case, engaging on the topic is usually futile because it leads to long diatribes and bad feelings. My response is to validate that I heard them and find some non-controversial common ground, then find a connection (however tenuous) to get us back into the content I’m presenting. “I understand how frustrating it is that (validate that I heard them). I agree that (find common ground). Like I said a few minutes ago, (get back on topic).”

It’s not foolproof, but it’s worked for me more times than it has failed.

Sharon Ellison

I say very directly and gently, “I have great concerns about the level of animosity across the divides in our country and understand the urgency millions of us have with regard to a range of issues. At the same time, my work needs to be accessible to everyone, so in order to keep the integrity of my work, I choose not to address these issues with clients.”

It may be a little longer than you want. My intention is to make sure the person knows I’m understanding of the urgency people are feeling prior to my refusal to discuss the issue. Otherwise, the person may conclude that I am not concerned about what is happening and feel alienated from me.

Patrick Lee

Since I appear and speak as Thomas Jefferson, whenever someone asks about immigration or the current political climate (or the president), I reply, “Questions like that make me so appreciative that my time on this earth came to an end on the 4th day of July, 1826, and that I am relieved of those issues!”

Though I never intended it to, it always gets a laugh and often applause.

Steve Sewell

I like to acknowledge the conversation and keep the conversation going smoothly and quickly by saying, “Thank you for your part of this conversation. Do we have others who might have something to say?”

In the beginning of my open dialogue time, I remind people that “No one likes to be broadsided with attitudes and personal agendas during open comment times. Let’s keep our comments short and on task. I promise I will, too.”

SNN Offer
SNN’s “Book Marketing Report—What Really Works” features success tactics of those who’ve recently published a book, covering which marketing techniques work in today’s market and which don’t. This brief e-report shares proven tools for increasing books sales in our profession and in today’s challenging market.

SpeakerNet News Teleseminar Info

Thursday, September 20
Grow a Continuously Profitable Consulting Practice
from Your Speeches

with Barry Banther, CMC, CSP

Barry BantherYou love to create long-term results with your clients which is why you consult as well as speak. You know you could do a better job at embedding consulting examples in your talks, and asking probing questions of those interested after the speech. But you don’t have the right language and are not closing deals as often as you’d like.

The most profitable consulting practices are built from a strong speaking platform. In this session, you will learn how to identify your platform (topic, audience), market your practice from the platform, and leverage speaking to earn higher consulting fees.

You will learn:

  • What to do before, during and after the talk to get more clients
  • how *not* selling results in more deals
  • how to use improv techniques to close more sales
  • how to harness the power of getting prospects to tell their story
  • why your scarcity is your strength
  • how to multiply yourself
Register or order the MP3 recording.
Note: people who register for the teleseminar will get the MP3 recording of the session for free.

Date: Thursday, September 20
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern, 6 pm Central, 5 pm Mountain, 4 pm Pacific
 (Enter your location here to get your local time)
Length: 60 minutes
Cost: $25

Special Limited-Time Offer:

If you would like more ways to turn a speech into greater income, we’re suggesting the MP3 recordings of several earlier programs to complement this program:

  • “Monetize Your Expertise” with Barry Banther CMC, CSP
  • “Cultivating $100,000/Year Clients(tm): How to Stop Chasing Single Speaking Events and Start Creating Wealth” with Brian Lee, CSP

With your order of this live or recorded session, at checkout you will be offered these recordings.

SNN Offer
Get industry leaders’ wisdom delivered every two weeks. Special $4.95 introductory offer. Get each new SNN teleseminar recording with our SNN MP3 subscription service. speakernetnews.com
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