I’m blessed to work with clients who want to increase their visibility and take their message to the next level.  They understand that public speaking – or speaking from the stage – allows them an opportunity to reach a bigger audience, have more impact and connect on a deeper and more personal level. 
 
That said, many speakers who haven’t had the privilege to work with Toastmasters, or practice with a private coach or mentor, may feel anxious in front of a room and stop themselves by not sharing their message because of fear of going blank, looking stupid or freezing on stage. I’ve had all those fears and  still take a deep breath and ground myself (as best as possible) before every presentation.  
 
Yes, it does get easier after every speech – and with practice – but it’s always helpful to learn speaker success secrets along the way.  Here are a few I’d like to share:
 
5 Speaker Tips to Take You to the Top

  1. Divide the room into three, and pick one person in each section to look at. This will allow you to connect eye to eye with at least 3 people in the audience, but also give you an opportunity to scan the room.  Think of each of these three people as your friends. They like you.  They want you to succeed. Let them feel that.
  2. Put some energy into your smile. Showcase your personality. Even if you feel like you’re ‘putting it on’,  overdeliver.  Audiences typically have chosen to hear you and want to see that you’re not only an expert, but also enjoy your topic, are informative and in some cases, entertaining. You can be a boring speaker, or an upbeat one. Ask me, I’ll tell you that upbeat trumps boring, any day of the week.
  3. Have a kick to your step. When you walk on stage, come in from the side of the room (so people aren’t looking at your backside, lovely as that may be). Let the audience know you’re enthusiastic about speaking to them. Movement, except jiggling change in pockets, helps a speaker relax and look more experienced as they address the audience from different angles of the room.
  4. Go with the flow.  I once spoke in front of 200 people and the wrong presentation came up on screen. At first I was horrified, then laughed and acknowledged my shock to the audience.  I’m grateful that they laughed too, seeing my vulnerability. The moment of truth came, I showed up fully and got 3 new clients.  Phew!
  5. Give to the audience. Offer to share your presentation. Promote a special offer to connect with them on social media.  Ask for their support  — you’ve got the stage!  This may be the first time you personally engage with them, but it doesn’t have to be the last. Remember that members  of your audience could one day be prospects or clients – and refer you to other revenue generating activities.

Above all, be grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to be in front of a willing audience who is there to hear your message. Practice does make perfect, but you’ll never  know your full potential and power  if you don’t put yourself out there.  

YOUR TURN:

Do you practice a ‘lucky’ routine before every speaking engagement? Care to share?
Who is your favorite at home audience? Your iPhone, kids, or BFF?  
How do you pamper yourself before and after a speech?  

Speak your truth, share your voice, and show up 100%.

RSI ElevatorI’ve been advising clients for years to write about what they know and then include that information – where appropriate and bit by bit – into articles and books. I’m in the process of writing my first book now and will be including content, like this article below, in some form. What I love about articles and writing, is that the material can be re-purposed in so many ways – for blog posts, press queries, white papers, social media content, quotes and the list goes on.

Take a sneak peek (from Peak’s Island) at a new article:

5 Tips to Keep Your Elevator Speech from Getting Stuck Between Floors

As a corporate professional, you’re often asked “What do you do?” by current and potential customers, clients, colleagues and partners. In fact, next to “How are you?” or “Has anyone seen my iPhone?”, it might be the most common question you hear!

However, despite how frequent this question is in the corporate world, I’m always surprised to discover that some professionals don’t have their personalized Elevator Speech down pat. That is, they don’t have a customized, clear, concise and compelling answer to what could be the most important question they’ll be asked all day, all month – or maybe, all year.

Fortunately, creating a winning elevator speech – one that ensures you don’t get “stuck between floors” — is easy, quick and extremely rewarding. Here are the 5 things to keep in mind:

1. Aim High

Trying to summarize “what you do” so that it can be conveyed in about 20-30 seconds is easier said than done. After all, there are many important aspects of your professional life. What do you hang onto, and what ends up on the proverbial cutting room floor? The key to answering this is to aim high. That is, focus on the principles and priorities of what you do instead of the specifics and details.

2. Be Different

While the corporate world can be a serious place, inject some fun and joy in your Elevator Speech (for example, sometimes I introduce myself as “Rockin Robin”!). The goal here is to help you stand out and be remembered. Plus, it helps you quickly demonstrate that while you take what you do seriously, you don’t take yourselftoo seriously. That’s an attractive trait that sets leaders apart, no matter the industry, field or sector.

3. Add Energy

Obviously, what you say in your Elevator Speech is vital, but so is how you say it. Use action words to make your message energized, upbeat and enthusiastic, and always smile – even when you’re writing your Elevator Speech in an email, or communicating it over the phone. Believe it or not, this will influence your attitude, which in turn will positively impact your delivery in ways that you can’t imagine!

4. Focus on Solutions

Yes, your Elevator Speech is in response to the question “What do you do?” (or some variation). Frankly, however, the real question being asked is: “What do you do, and why should I care?” As such, your answer should focus on solutions. How do you help people? What service do you provide? What problems do you solve? Wrap your answer around the person who is asking, and you’ll instantly make a connection that could prove valuable to you both.

5. Have a CTA

In my experience, the most common problem with Elevator Speeches is that they don’t have a CTA (“call to action”). Now, by this I don’t mean that you should try to sell something. I simply mean that you should invite whoever you’re speaking with to take the next logical step in the relationship. Perhaps you agree to connect on LinkedIn, or to set up a time to chat further, or grab a coffee — the specific CTA is up to you, and will change based on the context. Just make sure you have one. Awkward, confused post-Elevator Speech silences are the enemy!

The Bottom Line

Creating and consistently using your personalized Elevator Speech – in person, emails, social media, over the phone and everywhere else – can give you a distinct advantage, help you stand out from the crowd, and take your career to new heights. After all, you already know the meaningful and important work that you do. Isn’t it time you shared that information with allies and influencers who want to be a part of your story?

If you’re ever stuck, call me.

I have this imaginary client whose name is Jane, and she’s an expert. I love working with her because she plays full out and though she’s scared of jumping out of her comfort zone, she does – letting me know how she feels along the way, alternating silent screams and more verbal phrases, many of which you already know.

I’m writing about Jane, because I’m working with 10 Jane’s and about 5 Bob’s right now – who are actively taking the steps necessary to ‘own their greatness.’ Here’s what they’re learning:

5 Ways to Own Your Greatness

  1. Acknowledge that your greatness is a gift and everyone is gifted in some way. Some gifts are talents, some are lessons that have been earned or learned. I believe that every gift has a message inside. You either open the gift or don’t. My suggestion is to open the gift because what you see can amaze you.
  2. Pony up to the fact that you are great, despite what your family, friends or colleagues may tell you. Eleanor Roosevelt said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” When you were born, chances are your Mom and a whole lot of other people thought you were great – perhaps even more. Remind yourself daily of your greatness and soon you’ll believe it again.
  3. Give yourself permission to be different from everyone else. That’s part of your Promotional DNA which developed gives you your Unique Competitive Advantage (UCA). Find words, feelings and images to describe your UCA and think it, feel it, write it, and speak it. It will be your branding on the inside and on the outside, for the world to see.
  4. Share your message boldly, one step at a time – then by quantum leaps. Make an impression not only at in-person meetings but on social media, events, industry presentations, speaking engagements, and with prospects and clients. One of my favorite sayings is “Freedom Lies in Bold Actions.” Experience has taught me it’s true. You may want to see that for yourself.
  5. Remember you’re great but also who gave you your greatness. Chances are that you were sent here with a mission to accomplish something bigger than you – and if you’ve figured that out the hard way or it was delivered to you gently, on a silver platter, it doesn’t matter. When you acknowledge what you’re here to do and take action, there’s a certain peace involved, and with that peace and acceptance, the flood gates open.

What does this have to do with PR, marketing, sales and communicating? Everything. Your greatness is your message and your magic.

It’s time. The world is ready for you.

YOUR TURN

Where do you hold your greatness?

Are you the world’s best kept secret?

What’s keeping you from being ‘great’ and who is that serving? Better yet, why?

Please share your answers below.

RSI Shower PRIf you’re in sales, PR, business or a field where you have to communicate and influence someone, there’s a common problem we all have — the ability to share our story without losing someone’s interest. Ever think it’s possible to shower your personal and business brand without getting someone wet?

Here’s my take on it:

Talk yourself or your business up, but know when to stop. If you’re at a theatre and paying for a monologue performance, you know what to expect – one person carrying the show. That’s not the way it works anymore, or has for some time. We’ve been taught to be polite, but honestly – it’s boring, irritating and alienates conversation and opportunity for connection. It’s a two way street in life, love and business, and if you’re not getting that message, you’ll get it in ways that don’t serve you. Give room for dialogue, not monologue.

Engage, Express, Excite. PR, business building, networking, sales and even dating should follow the ‘3 Big E’s‘ strategy — Engage, Express and Excite. Communication involves the give and take of engagement, expression and excitement. Naturally, there are other factors, but when we can engage an audience, tell our story, and excite them, we’ve got a willing audience who wants to hear more. Ever go on a date with someone who doesn’t engage you, express themselves, or excite you, at least with their words? We’re not going anywhere else with this. B O R I N G .

Be consistent in your desires, but don’t be too overzealous. Your over-desire will fight you all the way. Ask and you shall receive, yes. But ask too much, want too much, or demand too much fights a basic universal law, the Law of Paradoxical Intent. Sandra Anne Taylor, who’s a great author and prosperity expert talks about how if you’re desperate to make something happen, you’ll push it away and turn your original intention into failure instead of success.

I’m an advocate about mindful and purposeful promotion and self-promotion, where there’s a benefit to all sides, and there most often is – otherwise we wouldn’t have business.

I’m also an advocate of getting out there, sharing your gifts and strutting your stuff, in a cool way, because if you don’t, you’re doing a disservice to the people who need you.

I’m not into too much blah blah that I didn’t ask for or a monologue I didn’t pay for. But that’s just me.

Next time someone’s showering you with their brand and getting you wet, you have the choice –to take out your umbrella, or move. Remember, you have the control to let what you want in – or out – of your space or head.

YOUR TURN

What are your tactics for exiting when someone is carrying on with their monologue?

Besides engage, express and excite, what other words would you use when we talk about communicating?

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you turned it away?

Please share your answers below.

3 POINTERS (1)What would March Madness be without 3 Pointers? Not an opportunity to play full court press!

To play our best, we need to present our best and there’s no better way to do that than by speaking in front of an audience.

Here are my 3 Pointers for Landing a Speaking Gig: 

  • Find speaking opportunities that fit your expertise, but be open to who the audience may be.   If you’ve designated Google as your electronic best friend, you can run a search with key words on industry conferences, websites, magazines or trade associations that co-align with your specialty.  You’ll find more information that you can imagine if you poke around and follow a trail. Remember you don’t have to fish in the same pond as everyone else! Consider speaking at association meetings where you’re an expert among others who want to learn from you. You don’t have to give a keynote. In fact, you’ll stand out from the crowd in a breakout session!
  • Look for Conferences in your area (and industry) that are 2 – 3 weeks away. Know of a conference or expo that is around the corner – and you either missed an opportunity to submit a proposal, or it snuck up on you? (I hate when that happens). Call the organizers and let them know that you would be available as a speaker if there was a cancellation. You might actually save the day filling up a speaking spot, and get a chance to capitalize on the PR wagon – yours and theirs!
  • Ask and you will receive.  Think of 5 people who you trust in your industry or community and pick up the phone. What are the 3 most valuable events they know of?  Where would they go that’s priceless?  You can also go to LinkedIn groups and ask the same. If you’ve got overlap, you’ll know those are the winners.  Also, whenever you speak, ask other speakers where they’ve been.  Typically, meeting planners and organizers don’t use the same speakers year after year, so it’s in everyone’s best to share; (it also great for bonding).  Lastly, you can check in with your local convention bureau. They usually have a listing of events and can recommend suggestions of where you might speak, or at least – who you may want to connect with!

Set yourself up for a number of 3 pointers and string them together for success.  Just remember to focus, shoot and then run like heck to the next opportunity!

Your Turn

What are your best suggestions for landing a speaking gig?

Are you more successful finding conferences and/or speaking gigs with on line event listings (like www.AllConferences.com) or by recommendation of those who are like-minded in your industry?

What’s your best strategy for turning audience members into raving fans and customers?

 

RSI PR CoachI’ve been coached by a few fabulous coaches in the past five years and individually they’ve made a tremendous difference in my life and business. And, collectively, they’ve blown me way with their wisdom, guidance, practical advice and vision – to not find myself, but create myself!

You see, I have a vision for who I want to be, but frankly, it’s a world apart from the greatness my COACH sees. The best of the best have laser focus and insight to see your potential, much more than you’ll ever see. They don’t carry all that ‘old stuff’ and resistance that you do. Stuff like, ‘I can’t do it’, I stink at that, I don’t know the right people, I don’t have enough time, I don’t know how to do it – and, shall I go on?

But it’s not just killing those demons and saying ‘Sayonara’, a great coach offers ideas, solutions and has the experience to help get you where you want to go, and how to get there. With PR, that could mean help with media exposure, press relations, speaking gigs, social media positioning, and more. And, all together that means elevating your brand, increasing your recognition and leadership status in the marketplace, and ultimately increasing SALE$ – given the odd chance you’d like to make some money.

A PR coach offers real life practical advice and positioning on what works and what doesn’t to get noticed, customized for your particular situation and your goals.

Here are 3 Reasons You Need a PR Coach in 2014:

1) You see others in your industry who are getting media attention and mention everywhere, and you are sick and tired of this not being you; Plus, you’re way better than they are;

2) You don’t have the time, know-how, promotional zing or savvy to create effective pitches, press releases, media kits or use social media to influence your target market, or influencers you want to influence. Plus, it would take forever for you to figure it out;

3) As much as you hate to admit it as a recovering perfectionist and control freak, you just can’t do it all and be good at everything. You know that PR is important, and if there’s something you can do to make 2014 the best year ever, you’re willing to give it a try.

Where do you need the most help with PR?

If you had to choose one, would you want a stronger media kit, editorial plan for press releases and target mention, or the chance to be pitch perfect?

Are you more the spot coach type (consulting for specific problems) or would you prefer a longer relationship for three to six months to co-create a plan on how PR can help you increase your image (and opportunities).

I’d love to know your thoughts!

RSI Press KitIf you’ve taken the leap to become press worthy, first of all, Congratulations! It’s essential that you’re prepared to showcase who you are and your accomplishments, as well as be armed to present your expertise and story in a way that is professional, organized and interesting.

Every reporter has an audience they are catering to, and your expertise may be just what they’re looking for. It’s important that they know you’re the real deal!

A press or media kit (electronic or otherwise) can be as simple or as complicated as you choose. Content can also vary depending upon your industry, the type and amount of press you’ve had, where you’d like to be featured as an expert and how much information you’d like to share.

Electronic press kits, which are typically the most common, can be designed to incorporate the look and feel of your brand. Most often, they are located as a tab or link on a website, and that link can be shared when the press contacts you, as well as when you reach out to be interviewed. A media kit can also be saved as a PDF file, to be used as an attachment.

A media kit isn’t built overnight, so getting publicity and published articles should be part of continuous PR and promotions plan. Whether you start with a strong media portfolio, or are building one from scratch, the basics are important. Typically, experts aren’t featured on CNN or NBC from the get-go. They build their profile, just as they have built their expertise, taking advantage of every opportunity.

Here are 5 Essential Components of a Press Kit

1) A professional headshot is an important part of your media kit. Your photo should be recent — within the last three years — and it should look like you! If it doesn’t, there’s a potential trust factor at risk.

Presenting your photo to the world is part of the integrity of who you are. Look like you say you do. Your headshots should be used everywhere you brand yourself professionally, so make it a point to invest in them wisely. Depending upon your industry, lifestyle photos can also be added to your press kit. They add another dimension to your profile – your personality, which gives your image a life of it’s own.

2) You’ll also want to make sure you have an updated short and long bio. A bio should be written to not only say who you are and what you’ve done (aka a human do-ing) but also portray a picture of your essence. A reporter wants to know that you’re not only accomplished, but also human. Add some personal and fun facts to your bio. I have mentioned at different times that I was a beekeeper, had a dog Lucy, loved to travel and Greek meatballs were my specialty. Not all at once, mind you. The media is looking for a human interest side to stories.

3) For credibility, it’s important to also include examples of published articles, links to past media experiences, speaking engagements, and so on. If you’ve been interviewed in the media, or written about, include the link. It’s proof you’ve ‘been there and done that’. As you grow your media profile, you can edit your portfolio to include more powerful and recognizable brands. If you have none, start getting noticed with responding to HelpAReporterOut.com requests. I’m happy to share with you a format that works, time and time again.

4) Show that you’re connected on social media. The media loves to share. By providing working links to your LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Facebook page (if appropriate), you’re showing that you’re part of several networks with millions of viewers.

Make sure that your profiles are media ready and fine-tuned for the discerning eye. Whether you’ll be interviewed for the press or not, it’s important that your branding is consistent on all platforms. Take the time to complete on-line profiles, update missing information and delete any ‘offbeat’postings. Use this time wisely for a PR check-up.

5) Provide clear contact information. Make sure that you give the press an easy way to reach you. Typically, reporters respond by email, but if there’s a deadline or more information is needed, they’ll contact you by phone. Make sure they have your cell phone number and that your voice mail message, as with all social platforms, are ‘brand on.’

There are, of course, additional items that can and should be added to a media kit depending on the expert, what their specialty is, and where they want to be featured. Other items might include interview questions and answers, testimonials, speaker profiles, press releases, background sheets, credentials and so on. What’s important is that when you’re contacted, you deliver the same expertise and deliverables as in your press kit. There’s a learning curve for sure, but with practice you’ll be a pro in no time.

YOUR TURN

What does your photo say about you? Need an update?

If you were a reporter checking you out, what would be their impression?

What fun or interesting facts would you add to your bio that shows your personality and human-ness?

Thoughts? Share below.

In a world with over 7 billion people and an internet that never sleeps, I’m guessing there must be at least a million experts who can comment with some authority on ways to increase visibility and offer positioning advice for success.

There is no one formula that works, and every entrepreneur, professional or business owner has to create their own promotional mix that they can commit to, to get the results they are looking for.

The bottom line in both cases is:

If you don’t create a visibility or promotions plan, and ‘work it’ to get your brand, products or services out there, chances are that you won’t build the recognition, leadership position,  or ‘buzz’ that you’re looking for to increase your rates, expert status, or income.  

Here are 5 Ways to Increase Your Visibility in 2014

1.       Choose 3 – 5 Vehicles as the Keys to your Promotion Strategy

Whether you choose Google +, your blog, LinkedIn, video marketing, Twitter, Pinterest, industry-specific websites, or any other vehicles, pick 3-5 and make them the centerpieces of your promotion strategy over the next year. Remember to populate them with engaging and original content that is first and foremost relevant to your target audience. Give them a reason to like, trust, respect, and ultimately, partner with and/or refer you.

2.       Deliver Workshops and Lectures

Don’t worry about not being paid – you’ll be paid a hundred times over with new business opportunities that may come immediately afterwards, or weeks, months or even years after. Just be sure that whatever your share is congruent with your brand, adds value, solves a problem and offers solutions. And if you’re one of the millions of people who dread public speaking, this is the perfect opportunity to face that fear and finally conquer it!

3.       Showcase Your Brand

Make it a point to put your name and website url not just on your business card, but on all collateral material – as well as when you post comments on other people’s blogs, if you’re answering an Op-Ed or publishing a white paper. Be sure to take advantage of every opportunity to promote your business in personal and business settings. The more often you share your brand and what you do, the greater your chances are of success.

4.       Volunteer at Community and Industry Events

Volunteering isn’t just good for the world, it’s also good for you.  And, being of service in your own backyard helps your community as well as presents an opportunity to network one- on- one with fellow business owners and C-level executives. Choose community or industry events that resonate with you and volunteer with an open heart.  You’ll feel rewarded and be of service to a cause that’s important to you as well as make a difference.

5.       Be a News Source

There are free press opportunities every day that can increase your company’s visibility if you know where to find them. One of my favorites is HARO (HelpAReporterOut.com). Sign up for their complimentary service and you’ll receive emails on a daily basis from reporters, researchers and talent scouts who are looking for experts like you – to share their opinions on various platforms. Being published or on the air is an instant way to build credibility and leadership position within your industry, and add content to your all-important press kit.

The Bottom Line

Lastly, I urge you to do yourself what could be the biggest favor of your professional life and ditch attitude of waiting until your marketing is “flawless” before you get out there and start making waves. Yes, you want to make a great impression and build strong relationships, but if you keep holding back until the stars perfectly align, then you’ll be waiting…and waiting…and waiting. Don’t be an obstacle to your potential: take the plunge. It will be worth it.

YOUR TURN:

What will you do differently this year to liven up your PR/promotion plan?

What’s on your list to try – to be more visible in your industry?

Do you have any tips you’d like to share, so others can benefit from your success?

How can you be more charismatic in your presentation?

Questions for thought…as we increase visibility in the New Year.

 

I’ve never been a techy kind of gal, but appreciate technology and the bells and whistles of innovative products and services, especially ones that make my life (and business) easier!

This week, I’d like to share two websites and platforms that piqued my interest:

The first is www.paper.li. It’s a forum where you can create an online newspaper in minutes, and automatically find and publish articles as well as photos and videos from the web. I’m in the process of test driving it now, and what I love is the collection of information based on what my preferences are. This customized ‘stream’ could be used to reach out to my audience and deliver insightful news, data and stories about PR, visibility, branding, speaking, getting your message out there, and so on. I’m thrilled to have heard about this from Janet Powers at the Women’s Tool Box, of which I’m a supporter.

Next on my list to try, is the free app builder at www.AppsBar.com. Although I haven’t had the time yet to create my own app (perhaps over the Thanksgiving holiday I will), my contact Rebecca told me they have 500,000 users already. They’ve also been awarded the People’s Choice Stevie Award in 2013 for the new tech company of the year. I love that there’s a step by step process for non-geeks like me. I laugh knowing – for real – that my teenage nieces could out-app me in record time!

Everyday there’s something to learn. If I can implement a new strategy or share it with someone who can benefit from my findings, I’m happy to share. Isn’t that the point of a collaborative environment.

Fess up! What techy treats are you hiding on your smart phone or other savvy device that will help the small business owner or entrepreneur?

Whether you spill the beans or not, send me a note when you build an app or start an online newspaper geared to your audience. I’ll probably be impressed.

People and ideas generally amaze me. I love that about life.

Happy Summer! I’m writing this from my island house on Lake Winnepesauke and splitting my time between taking a well-deserved rest with family and friends, working with clients and speaking from the stage at various events across the country.

My next stop is in Baltimore, MD (Aug 2 – 4) for Mara Glazer’s www.thenextbigbuzzevent.com where I’ll speak about ‘How to Create a PR Map and Generate a Buzzz!”

This event is for women entrepreneurs (and a few good men) who want to learn how to build celebrity status, fine tune their offline and on line marketing skills and perfect their social media strategy.

As a speaker and sponsor, I have a couple of complimentary tickets available, so if you’re interested, you can click here. (This event is now over.)

Another opportunity that I’d like to share is for a scholarship for three (3) women who are interested in making a difference in this world.

Mara and I have teamed up to send three women to the Big Buzz Event in Baltimore. I can’t say enough about stepping up to the plate when opportunity knocks. If you know someone who’s interested in applying for this scholarship and being a Buzzworthy Biz Babe, please send them my way, They can write to me directly at Robin@RobinSamoraInc.com or, they can click here about how to apply.

It’s almost the end of July – a time for music festivals, beach, grillin’ and just plain chillin’.

I hope you’re doing just that.

From my back yard to yours, be well and enjoy this beautiful weather,