As my clients have expanded into greater speaking roles, so have I, and it’s an exciting process to learn and share tips and processes to make a more dynamic presentation.

It’s a given that you have a message to deliver that’s powerful and targeted to your audience. But I’d like to make a few key suggestions to help you go from good to great – so you can deliver a talk that has impact.

These marketing tips can be used for a keynote speech, like the one I’m delivering for #GoBrandYourself week at Fresno State, but also in talks that aren’t designated to kick off an event or end a conference.

Speaking to a group can influence an audience to take action, up-level your branding and create a PR trail that you can’t get engaging one on one.

3 Keys to a Better Keynote (or speech):

  • Do you have a list of questions to ask the organizer or the person that’s hiring you? Get clear on  who your audience really is, what their challenges are and how you’ll share solutions. Questions can be as simple as, “who’s the greatest success story in the room,” or (yikes) “will someone try to undermine me (ie, is there a trouble maker in the room that I need to be aware of)?” There are about 30 questions on my pre-event questionnaire and knowing the answers to most of these in advance of your stage debut will help you – beyond words.  Trust me. Take the time to do your homework.
  • Have you asked if you’ll have your own dedicated A/V technician or are you running solo? From experience, don’t go solo if you have a choice! Ask who your A/V technician will be and an hour before your presentation meet him/her. Bring your presentation on your laptop or other device, plus have it on a flash drive as a safety factor. Also, consider tipping your A/V person $10 before you begin. Tipping doesn’t always work to ensure better service, but in my world it does.  I like to have someone in my corner who has my back (and mic) before I go on stage.  You?
  • If you’re mic’d/miked , be aware that your microphone is always on, until you shut it off. I’ve heard horror stories of toilets flushing and conversations which should have been private while someone was miked.  To ask — will you be using a hand held microphone which is a little more difficult if it’s a long speech, or a lavalier? Ladies, FYI, if you’re using a lavalier, make sure you’re comfortable with your under layers (or jacket off) while you’re getting ‘hooked up’.  No wink intended.

There are multiple platforms for you to share your message.  Speaking is just one avenue, compounded by social media and other targeted marketing.

What’s most important is that you share your brilliance, in any way you can.

Find your target audience, speak from your heart and rock it!

Here’s to your success,

Gee’s and G’s have more in common than you think. And, it wasn’t really apparent until my mastermind buddy from Denver reminded me over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Quite simply, they’re the G’s of Giving, Gratitude and Gentleness.

Giving — When we look at giving rather than getting, there’s a mindset shift that is powerful. And, when we give with intention, the vibration is amplified. Giving without thinking of what we’ll get in return opens the heart and sets the stage for the second G.

Gratitude — It seems to be a no-brainer to be grateful for what we have, though many of us forget about the daily practice. The game changer is when we actually look at our problems and challenges and be grateful for them, for they show us the lessons we need to learn (whether we like it or not).

Gentleness — Business, life, pressure, meetings, deadlines, not getting what you want when you want it and for Goodness sakes, hurry it up! A dose of gentleness first with ourselves and then with others can make all the difference in not only our personal world, but our business environment. No one’s perfect, so stop pretending to be. Gentleness is an act of compassion.

Why so much about the 3 G’s? It’s the holiday season. We’re busy, running around, doing for others and not always ourselves.

Plan some time in your business and your life for the 3 G’s. Give with love, not because you have to. Be Grateful of the Gifts you have and share. And be Gentle with yourself, and others.

Maybe your life will change too.

5 WAY TO GO FROMThere must be a time clock in my body that screams ‘be invisible’ around the 4th of July. It lasts about two weeks and happens when I go to my island house on Lake Winnipesauke. My kids and their friends come to visit, I connect (multiple times) with my favorite internet techs for service, and generally enjoy time off without guilt, remorse or worry.

That of course doesn’t mean I’m not conducting business, or having important calls helping clients with their Grammy® nominations, developing signature speech campaigns for authors, or reviewing social media strategy and training for bloggers. It just means business and life take on a different feel in the summer — while rain storms rock the boat, chipmunks sneak a rub by my feet on the porch, and a sea of colorful beach towels dry on a line.

Scheduled time out is important for rejuvenating PR, Marketing and Visibility. It’s as important to disconnect, as it is to connect. That said, I wanted to share some insight.

Here are 5 Ways to Go from Invisible to Visible and Still Enjoy the Summer:

  1. Plan PR and marketing campaigns and tasks in advance with your team. This sounds like a no brainer, but if we don’t communicate, how will we everyone know what’s going on? Put marketing and social media on auto-pilot as best as possible, schedule conference calls or video skype appointments early or later in the day, and get-er-done while getting tan.
  2. Challenge yourself to read email only twice a day. If you’re a recovering perfectionist or work hound, it may be difficult to do. But try it. You’d be surprised at how many people are working less, but still in touch at the office. In fact, announce your policy in advance of a vacation, and to those who are resistant, repeat often.
  3. Be accessible by cell phone and text more often. Being flexible in how the media, your clients, prospects and colleagues contact you gives them comfort in knowing you’re there, and you won’t let them down. As much as I love to talk on the phone, sometimes island reception isn’t all that wonderful, but a text always gets through.
  4. Review your swipe files and brainstorm/write new concepts at least partially. You’ll be surprised at the good ideas you have while on vacation, or driving a boat or talking to someone who seems interesting. It’s summertime here in New England and CEO’s as well as well-heeled prospects all dress down. Remember, we meet people for all different reasons, and they just could be the conduit for your next promotion or biggest sale of the year.
  5. Don’t forget about pitching to the media. It doesn’t matter if it’s 85 degrees or not. There’s always an opening for a good story, a comment on what’s happening in the news, a contrary opinion to what’s going on in your industry or an opportunity to connect with a reporter who has an open spot in his/her editorial calendar now, or 3 – 4 months out. Say hello. Send a postcard. Be seen, heard and known.

YOUR TURN

Is being MIA a guilty pleasure for you? Why?

How do your prolong your summer schedule, without losing momentum in your business?

What are your secrets for balancing home, family and business — especially when it’s vacation time?

Please share your answers below.

I’ve been living on an island for over 30 years, and despite the challenges, I love summers here.

I just wish my cell phone got frequent flier miles. I’d use them to go surfing in Puerto Rico next year.

Surf’s up big time in Puerto Rico, and if any of you are surfers, you know what a learning curve there is in the beginning, let a lone the paddle, paddle, paddle past the impact zone.

It doesn’t matter if you’re learning to surf or experimenting with new business strategies, the secret is getting through the impact zone “a series of crashing waves or obstacles” that meet you along the way, and overcoming them, challenge by challenge.

As a newbie surfer, and seasoned entrepreneur, I couldn’t help but notice:

5 Ways Surfing “the Waves” is Like Business

  • You have to do it, to know it. You’ll never know what it’s like to start a business unless you’ve been there. You can read 100 books, take a class or brave it solo, but there’s no manual telling you what to do.Similarly, there’s no one way to surf the waves, just different techniques. Business and surfing can be scary, exciting and exhausting all at the same time, but attitude and perseverance will save you from drowning.
  • Be prepared to paddle, even if you’re exhausted. It takes time to paddle past head-high waves, but the sooner you’re able to break through, the faster you’ll get to a resting spot. In business, you’ll paddle through and pick up speed depending on the urgency at hand.Since the ocean and business often show no mercy, learn to push when you need to and guard your valuable energy.
  • Be ready on a dime. When you see a perfect wave, you have to be ready: in position, in the right direction, watching other surfers and yielding to those in the line up.When it’s your turn, you paddle like there’s no tomorrow, and hopefully, lift off. It can be a thrilling ride, even though it may be a short one.

    In business, being prepared for action is critical for success. Confidence comes from preparation and knowing what to do — even if you hit a wave.

  • Maintain your cool. It can be frustrating to learn how to surf, let alone face multiple challenges in the water. Waves are relentless. You’re never learning fast enough. You fail often.Although surfing and business can be tense, you have to learn how to breathe through the tough times, then relax. An uptight body in the water sinks faster. An uptight body in life gets stressed out and gets sick. Keeping cool under pressure is a learned art, and can save your life (and business).
  • Respect the powers that be. My surf instructor told me the ocean is a mighty force and my surf board is not my friend — and I had to learn to deal with both. Being swept to shore with a board and leash tied to your ankle can be humbling. In business, it’s humbling to make mistakes and take a hit.If you’re lucky, mistakes will become learning opportunities to move you to the next level. Respect knowledge, ability and experience, but don’t forget to respect your own power. You hold the key.

Robin Samora Inc.’s marketing and branding division Let’s Make You Shine is funding a scholarship to enable three women to attend the “Mom Gets a Business Conference,” which will take place on April 26 in New York City.

Boston-based branding, promotions and PR company Robin Samora Inc. announced today that it is funding a scholarship in partnership with the upcoming “Mom Gets a Business Conference,” which will take place on April 26 in New York City.

Robin Samora Inc.’s scholarship will be awarded via the company’s marketing and branding divison “Let’s Make You Shine,” and will enable three women to attend the conference who, due to financial reasons, would otherwise be unable to go.

“As an entrepreneur and a mother who has successfully built an established branding, promotions and PR company with a national reach – and raised two amazing kids along the way — I know all about the challenges of balancing career aims, personal goals, and the countless responsibilities of being a mom,” commented Robin Samora Inc.’s principal Robin Samora. “It’s an honor to help three deserving women attend the Mom Gets a Business Conference, and enable them to access advice, insight and knowledge that will turn their woman-owned business dreams into a reality – one that aligns with their role as a great mom, rather than competes with it.”

“We’re proud to showcase Robin Samora Inc. as an organization that supports women as they endeavor to improve their life and create freedom and financial stability, while honoring their goals as individuals and mothers,” commented Patty Lennon, founder of the Mom Gets a Business Conference, which will be held on April 26 at the 3 West Club, on 3 West 51st Street in New York City.

For more information or media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or
Robin(at)RobinSamoraInc(dot)com.

About Robin Samora Inc.

Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston based branding, promotions and PR company blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades
of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the-way niche back roads.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the MED (Minority Enterprise Development) Day in Boston, learning more about the benefits of being a WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) in the state of Massachusetts. I was thrilled to be certified to develop coaching and branding strategies, and find additional ways to grow my business!

At the convention, I met a radio producer who interviewed me about a year ago. His show was called Radio Entrepreneurs, and we talked about setting up a time to discuss Let’s Make You Shine.

Knowing I would be on-air as soon as next week, I revised a list of Radio Interview Do’s and Don’ts that may be useful for your own media training:

Easy Guidelines for Creating A Powerful Radio Interview

  • A picture is worth a thousand words, but your listener can’t “see”. Speak in terms of vibrant images and make sure to use details. Think of ways to describe what you’re talking about so your audience can “see” for themselves.
  • Start with a bang! Talk about something you find interesting, so your listeners will too! Don’t build your talk brick by brick, start strong. Making a positive impression straight from the gate can be a deciding factor in whether the listener tunes in, or out. You want them tuned in and tuned on!
  • Don’t fib. Today’s audience can tell when you aren’t being authentic. A sensitive subject? Learn to sway gracefully, but still hold integrity.
  • Please don’t bore your audience to death. Stand up when you talk – put your game face on and enjoy your time on stage as an expert. If you’re sleep talking, they’ll be walking. They snooze, you lose.
  • Have an important conflict and afraid reschedule? Think twice. If you’re feeling OFF, you’ll most likely come across that way. Better to be 100% IN than 60% OFF. Be media ready.
  • Do some R & D on the station where you’ll be featured. What’s the format? The host’s style? Make it a point to know the culture of the station as best as possible, before your interview.
  • Put yourself in the listener’s shoes. What makes you an expert? What’s happened in your life that can be used as example? What challenges have you overcome and what can you teach others? What’s your story and why would someone want to listen? Be memorable.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the radio host; in truth, they’re just like you and me, with a different job. Not crazy about a question they ask? Learn about the Art of Transition in Radio, and how to get from one sensitive subject to the next without being rude or self-centered. (Interested? Email me for a few subject transition tips).

And finally, be yourself when you’re on air. That’s all you are, have been and ever will be. If you’re an entrepreneur or professional looking to get more visibility and the media knocks on your door (or you boldy seek it xo), be prepared. Go for it. Chances are you’ve got everything to gain, and not a darn thing to lose.

I’m a strong believer in giving back, even in ways that may seem somewhat offbeat or unrelated to the casual observer.

Case in point. This month, I’ve had the pleasure of sponsoring a 4-week Self-Defense program for women in my community, and worked closely with both my local hospital and Police Department to make it happen. An odd partnership you may think, if you look at this from straight on. But from my viewpoint, Let’s Make You Shine and this course did have one thing in common: empowering women, in a big way.

Week two, and the softest spoken women, the most unexpected teenagers, and fellow sisters who could have been your “aunties” or neighbors, have risen to the challenge of putting power in their punch, exercising their vocal chords, and bonding with a group of strangers preparing to defend their most valuable asset, themselves. They parried and blocked, without fear, and celebrated with a sense of dignity and accomplishment, that they can be powerful, even at 5’2.

Financial advisors may tell you to invest in the stock market, big pharmas or natural gas, but I remember advice with impact, from about five years ago.  “Invest in you” was the message. And, it was loud and clear – so I took the time to invest as well as protect me, in many facets of my life.

Four police officers and twenty-five women are a part of the Let’s Make You Shine RAD Self Defense program this November and December. RAD is a series of stances, “ready commands” and information that every woman should know, regardless of her age, so she can feel safe, and live in her fullest power.

This same inner strength, coupled with focused action and advanced technique is similar in many ways to how an entrepreneur might navigate a business.

The power of a punch, and where your energy is focused. The power of thinking on your feet, and  making it through unexpected challenges. The power of being prepared, and letting no one interfere with where you want to go, be, do or have.

There are no guarantees in life, but I like knowing that I’ve got what it takes to live a big, full life, and that no one’s going to stop me.

For me, empowering women, children, or a troubled friend is just the right thing to do. And what a bonus it is, when your community supports you. Easy.  Just as life should be.

A huge thank you to all of my communities, near and far, for your unwavering support. Stay safe on your travels, and enjoy the blessings of Thanksgiving.

Today I’m writing about the Power of Goodbye, and the courage it takes to give and receive this energy. One that triggers growth, and makes room for greater things in life to come to you, despite temporary challenges, and thoughts that things will never be the same. And frankly the fact that you will never be the same.

(Big sigh here) and a note to let you know that – that’s precisely correct.

As much as we can try to control our outcome, it’s a direction – and not a definite. When we realize and have faith in the fact that our path is part of the journey to where we want to go, do or be, it becomes easier for us. There’s no pushing involved, no forcing, no manipulation or “willing” something to happen.

Amazingly, I’ve found that if we don’t make changes when we need to, changes still happen anyway. Like it or not, we’ll be forced to deal with the outcome.

Goodbye isn’t always voluntary, but necessary for our growth. Our next step. A contribution that we might have been holding back. A gift we know deep in our hearts, but are afraid to act on. For reasons known, and sometimes buried.

With the change in season, the leaves turning color, and my new wood stove burning, I’ve taken some time to reflect on the Power of Goodbye, and the power as well to say Welcome.

The Power — and Courage — to say Bring it On.

I’m ready for the next step.

Are you?

Be grateful for both the challenges and the treasures. They are all here to teach us something.

It’s been a busy week here in Los Angeles, where I’ve been at a four day meeting for the “Millions Within.”

A couple hundred entrepreneurs, with businesses ranging from just the idea stage to seven figures got together to learn about being marketable and what’s stopping us from our greatest success. It was a powerhouse opportunity to learn, be humbled by our innermost desires and fears, inspired by passion, and the longing for great change.

It’s always enlightening to re-visit some of the roadblocks we have to becoming our greatest selves in business, and our highest selves to serve our life purpose. I am continually amazed at the high level of energy, commitment and intensity of entrepreneurs who want to make a difference – and find it fascinating to see who will give up when it becomes uncomfortable, and who will welcome being uncomfortable (or bring it on) because they know it’s the only way to grow. No “if’s”, “ands” or “but’s.”

For myself, growth is only possible by stretching beyond my greatest fears and limits, and facing what’s known as the “terror barrier,” an invisible stop sign that’s there to keep me safe. It’s a must to go beyond, and I cringe when I see or feel it coming. And before each breakthrough, there seems to be another roadblock, to keep me at my same level. No choice but to bust through.

Having a coach helps you get through these challenges and obstacles, and keeps you focused, in line with where you want to go, even if it’s terrifying, and you want to give up in the worst way. Trust me, I’ve been there.

The good news is you’ll know you have success when you have a result. It doesn’t have to be the end result. It’s the journey, not the destination, because in all reality, there is no finish line. It’s invisible. We make it up so we’ll feel better.

My circumstances and successes may be different than yours, but they’re no less important. My results are directly proportionate to my efforts, as are yours.

Think of that next time you want to give up because you’re tired, or frustrated, or angry because you need to alter your course – because success isn’t always easy.

Make your action count with a plan. Get the help you need, and don’t stop.

Success is right in front of you.

Have the courage to follow
your heart and your own intuition.

Today’s Words of Wisdom comes from Paul Martinelli’s daily quote. I resonate with it because it challenges some of the thinking we were brought up with. Did any of you hear the words, “Use your head!” when you were growing up?

I’ve used my head, I’ve used my heart, and I’ve used both. Truthfully, when I use my heart, I’m happiest – even if I’m not feeling courageous at the moment .

Your gut reaction is a non-verbal signal to take the time to listen.

If you’re quiet enough, there’s a message. Perhaps even a symphony — of ideas, possibility and solutions presented without an editor’s mark.

No red pencil allowed.