What Matters Now: free ebook

Internet Guru Seth Godin has compiled and released a free ebook containing thoughts and ideas from some very big thinkers. He says

Here are more than seventy big thinkers, each sharing an idea for you to think about as we head into the new year. From bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert to brilliant tech thinker Kevin Kelly, from publisher Tim O’Reilly to radio host Dave Ramsey, there are some important people riffing about important ideas here. The ebook includes Tom Peters, Fred Wilson, Jackie Huba and Jason Fried, along with Gina Trapani, Bill Taylor and Alan Webber.

Just pop over to his website to download, no registraton required, just hit the download button. It is worth the read.

How to Triple Your Back of the Room Book Sales Every Time You Do a Public Speaking Engagement

Guest post by Tom Antion

I’m darn good at selling at the back of the room. In fact, just this month I did three speaking engagements at multi speaker events and I outsold all the other speakers put together. What’s unique about this is the way I do it is not obnoxious and high pressure. Today I want to give you a low pressure technique that can give you way more sales than when you nervously wait till the end of your talk to suggest people buy your book.

What I want you to do is put a copy of your book on the chair of every attendee at your event. You will put a note in the book that says something like, “You don’t have to buy this book. We are just going to use it during the presentation.”
Yes, I know this is a scary thing to do. I know you’re thinking, “What if everyone just walks out the door with all my books?” Relax . . .this won’t happen. People are generally honest.

You will pick the two best parts of the book and read them from stage as you are teaching a related point. You might use the three best parts if you are speaking for several hours.

Here’s what will happen. You’ll sell three times as many books and you’ll hardly have to even mention it’s for sale. Just put a box in the back of the room at your table and mention that you’ll be at the table if anyone wants to take the book home with them it will be 20 bucks (or some round number). Also, tell them you will personalize it for them.
The idea here is that instead of just “selling” your stuff, show the value of it and you’ll sell way more than you ever have before.

Tom Antion is a professional speaker with over 2700 paid speeches to his credit. He is the founder of the largest public speaking membership site on the Internet, and the author of the best selling professional speaker course of all time “The Wake ’em up Video Professional Speaking System

Book Review – Speak Up!

Speak Up!  A woman’s guide to presenting like a pro. By Cyndi Maxey (CSP) and Kevin O’Connor (CSP).

Speak upThe folks at St Martin’s Publishing kindly send me a review copy of the book. so here are my thoughts.

When I started reading it, I quickly realised that it is not just a book on presentation skills for women, but it is also on how to present yourself as a women. So, in addition to learning how to speak with credibility, be memorable, use PowerPoint, know your audience and speak with conviction, you will also learn how to make connections, network with colleagues, and communicate with executives.

Speak Up! address three areas, namely preparation, presentation and professionalism. It is made up of 40 short chapters, each of which ends with a brief summary of the key points in the chapter. This makes it easy to delve into a particular chapter, and in a few minutes find solutions to a particular problem. Alternatively, since it is an easy read, you can simply read it from beginning to end, and then keep it as a reference.

The authors,  Cyndi Maxey and Kevin O’Connor are both Certified Speaking Professionals, which means that they have plenty of experience on the platform. This comes through in the practical advise and tips in the book.

Speak Up! mentions some of the natural of advantages of being a women, and discusses how to take advantage of them. For example, women are (typically) more emphatic listeners than men, which can help you to have a deep understanding of the needs of your clients.

There are two underlying themes in the book. The first that a person that has strong presentation skills will stand hand and shoulders above the crowd. This rings true to me, since I believe that you cannot get ahead in life without effective communication skills. The second theme is that a woman can operate in a (still) largely male business world, and yet still be authentic to herself.

While the book focuses on the issues that a woman typically faces when giving presentations, most of the lessons are equally relevant to both women and men. So, for the guys reading this review, read the book. It will help you to become a better presenter, and it will help you to help women that you work with to become better presenters as well!

Do I recommend the book? Yes most definitely.

The book is available at most book retailers, including Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, or from Cyndi’s website. The cost is $14.95.

Finally, watch out for an interview with the author on my blog. It should be published in the next few days.

How quickly does an audience judge a speaker?

I have just finished reading Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. Simplistically speaking, the book is about how we make snap judgments and decisions in the blink of an eye. The book itself is very interesting, and well worth reading, however it raised an interesting question.

How quickly does an audience judge a speaker?

My suspicion is that the audience have decided whether to listen to you or to switch off within the first 30 seconds of your presentation. So, the challenge is how are you going to grab their attention in those first few seconds? Here are three ideas:

  1. Start with a powerful question (have you ever?.?)
  2. Start with a powerful statement (in 5 years time, 1/5 of this audience will have been laid off?).
  3. Let them know what is in it for them (today you will learn three ways to increase sales?)

Here?s what not to say:

  1. I am so happy be here (clich?)
  2. I am going to tell you (rather use ?you will learn? ? speak to the audience)
  3. When I wrote my speech this morning (shows a lack of preparation)

The trick is to keep your introductions sharp, and to grap the attention of your audience as soon as you can.

Enjoy the book.

Book review – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

I have just finished reading a remarkable book – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – by John Maxwell.

This is really quite an amazing book. It is written in 21 chapters, each of which discusses a different aspect of leadership. The laws that he describes are simple, understandable and easy to apply.

In Toastmasters, we often say that “facts tell while stories sell.” This book is a perfect example of that expression. It is filled with stories taken from all over the world which illustrate the laws of leadership. Amongst others, he draws on his own life, American history, sport, Churchill, Napoleon and even our own Nelson Mandela!

Just three of the laws are:

  • The law of process – leadership develops daily, not in a day
  • The law of connection – leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand
  • The law of empowerment – only secure leaders give power to others

The book is very easy reading, yet filled with powerful lessons. If you have not read it, I highly recommend that you find a copy and read it. It will help in your business, friendships and relationships.

Make a name for yourself

Here is a great little book that I discovered – Make a name for yourself. 55 Strategies to Fast-Track Your Professional Prowess, by Scott Ginsberg.

The author, Scott Ginsberg is quite a remarkable person. He has been wearing a name badge for the last 7 years, and this has resulted in several books, and how is now a professional speaker, author and trainer.

Scott describes himself as “that guy who wears a nametag 24-7 to make people friendlier”. It started as an experiment over 7 years ago, and he has been doing so ever since. He has turned his idea of wearing a nametag all the time into a business, whereby he helps people to connect and to achieve professional success.

The book is very simply written, and it provides some wonderful ideas on how to understand who you are, and how to make the best use of your resource to achieve success.

“In 2002, unsure of how to approach starting my own company, I sought out as many success resources as possible. From reading books to scouring the Internet to interviewing; successful people, I was determined to learn the patterns that enabled so many others to make a name for themselves.”

I have no doubt that by following his ideas, you will make a difference to yourself. Some of his ideas are:

  • Get up an hour earlier
  • Keep daily appointments with yourself
  • More books, less TV
  • It’s not what you know
  • Speak up or get shut down

And my personal favorite – the Best Swimmers are always in the Pool. In this chapter, he speaks about learning by doing, and best of all – It was given to him by a Toastmaster (thanks for the punt)!

I was very interested to see that while he is selling the book, you can also get it for free. I would love to see what the response to this approach it (and yes, I have download the book and I am going to buy it, it really is a gem)

You can get the book in three ways:
1) buy it from Amazon
2) buy it from his website
3) download it for free from his website!