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    9 Tips to Get Speaking Opportunities for Women Business Leaders

    February 12th, 2013

    Women Business Leaders Should Look For Speaking Opportunities

    Having the opportunity to speak in front of a highly targeted, interested group of prospects is a very effective way to grow your personal brand and business. Even if you are speaking for free, the opportunity oftentimes outweighs a fee when it comes to the potential for new business and establishing yourself as a thought leader.

    Here are 9 personal tips to generate speaking opportunities:

    1. Start with blog

    Your  blog can become a great tool to open doors to speak. It provides a the platform to hone your subject matter, draw interest and appeal from your best agency prospects.

    People want to work with people that they know, trust and like. Your blog can become the face of your business, the gateway for  new business opportunities. It can also be a springboard for speaking opportunities.

    2. Create a Speaking Page

    Roxanne Joffe speaks on topics related to leadership, business development, and social media. She has been speaking publicly for more than 10 years and has keynoted more than 50 events.

    A few suggestions on what to include on your blog’s Speakers Page

    • Clearly define your expertise and your niche
    • Provide a description of topics and presentations you can speak on
    • Create your “speakers bio”
    • Speaking Engagement.  List events where you will be speaking, no matter how small (I would also suggest adding your speaking engagements to your blog’s side bar) Speaking Engagements
    • Provide testimonials.  I’ve discovered that LinkedIn is an excellent way to generate testimonials
    • Be sure and provide your contact information
    • Educate and you won’t have to sell

    3. Shoot Video

    Video is easily shot, embedded and/or linked through your blog.  It’s not that difficult create, and make a big difference in generating new speaking engagements.

    4. Record Audio

    You can also record video through a number of different programs to upload or link to your blog. Someone recently introduced me to a program that easily records interviews called wetoku. You can also use a service as simple as FreeConferenceCall.com.

    5. About Page

    I would suggest creating an About Page for your blog that would provide a fuller profile of your experience beyond your speakers bio.

    In addition to these tips …

    6. Make the Most of Your Presentation Time

    Success breeds success

    It goes without saying, you need to make a good presentation. Here are a few presentation tips to think about:

    • Focus on your audience. Don’t sell. Help them, entertain them, inform them and inspire them.
    • Prepare and rehearse your presentation.
    • Make eye contact and be engaging.
    • Use listening notes. Facilitate questions.
    • Make your session interactive with your audience.
    • Get a look at the presentation room as soon after you arrive as possible. It always helps to be aware of your surroundings and adjust your presentation accordingly.
    • Set-up your equipment as early as possible before your presentation time.
    • Have a back-up plan if you have technical issues. I always upload a copy of my presentation to an online source, have downloaded it also to a thumb-drive, make sure I have all my adapters, pluggins, etc.
    • If at all possible spend time in other conference sessions. Be part of the conference community.
    • Provide enlightening personal stories and illustrations.
    • If you use PowerPoint or Keynote, don’t read the slides! Instead use them illustrate your points. Nice photos/graphics.
    • Bring plenty of business cards.
    • Provide your contact info at the end of any slide or video presentations.

    7. Use Social Tools

    In addition to your blog, use social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to help promote the event at which you are speaking. This will be a huge help to the event organizers, will make them even more appreciative for your participation and will be a benefit to you by the positive referrals.

    Often event organizers will also provide you with a discount for your readers.

    Also use social media, prior to the event, to meet and engage with those who will be attending.

    8. Don’t Forget to Follow-up

    Taking the time to follow-up with attendees is an important part of process of gaining additional speaking and new business opportunities. Providing a personal email to those you collected business cards from and providing a link to your presentation in SlideShare would be helpful tactic to use as a follow-up.

    A personal handwritten note would also be a nice follow-up.

    9. Enroll in a Speakers Bureau

    Many Women Business Leaders have found that  enrolling in a speakers bureau has generated a good number of additional speaking opportunities in addition to their blog, writings, interviews and referrals.

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    Lessons for Women Business Leaders on Delighting Your Customers and Creating Brand Advocates

    August 20th, 2012


    photo credit: jiazi via photo pin cc

    I am a recipient of under-delivery, and I hope to turn my disappointment into some sharable lessons about customer service. I love the concept of excellence and over-the-top delivery articulated in the Ritz Carlton brand. When I choose to stay at a Ritz hotel, I have a particular set of expectations.

    Last December, I stayed the night at The Ritz in White Plains, New York, celebrating my niece’s 14th birthday. While preparing to check out of our luxurious room, I broke my toe on a protruding bathroom ledge. I preferred to deal with the issue on my own, and the hotel management team was so excited to have a non-litigious guest — they radiated gratitude and relief as they watched me sign a release. In this celebratory moment, I was asked if I prefer wine, soup or fruit. Making my choice, I was told that whenever I stay at a Ritz, for the rest of my life, I would have fruit in my room.

    So, as I travelled to my next family reunion in New York, my hotel of choice was the Ritz Carlton in White Plains. My husband and I checked in after a stressful travel day. Although we were hungry and tired, I convinced my husband that we should wait to eat, as there would be a wonderful fruit basket waiting for us when we arrived. We were greeted with this message: “Welcome back. Thank you for choosing the Ritz Carlton.” Imagine our disappointment when we couldn’t find the fruit – was it perhaps hidden in the mini bar? No fruit to be found yet my toe continues to ache in cold weather.

    Given my experience, here is the advice I have to offer when it comes to customer service:

    Brand promise: Ensure that the brand promise is echoed through every activity. Make sure that the entire staff understands the nuances of what your company stands for and makes decisions based on this promise.

    Action rather than words: Rather than state that you are going to do something special – just do it and then you will have the opportunity to talk about it. Surprise your customer in a good way.

    Keep meticulous records: The more you know about your customer the more you are able to delight and super-serve. Beyond keeping records, develop a system to tap into the information that you are collecting without having anything fall through the cracks.

    While this isn’t an exhaustive list, I am sure that you all have many more lessons to share. I have written about the importance of customer service before, and you’ll find more tips in my blog, “3 Ways Women Business Leaders Can Create Brand Super Fans.”


    13 Steps Women Business Leaders Can Use to Mitigate a Crisis

    July 29th, 2012

    Women business leaders likely have an advantage over their male counterparts if ever confronted by a corporate crisis.

    Many readers will no doubt recall a moment in their lives when their very own mother had to face and solve a crisis. Women business leaders with families have probably already faced and solved myriad family crisis.

    Most important in any crisis situation is to short-circuit denial. It’s a human trait when disaster strikes to go straight into “this cannot possibly be happening to me.” Or “if it is happening, it cannot be that bad.” Or, “even if it IS that bad, no one will ever notice…” The faster you move beyond this denial, the faster you can put in the right fixes and that makes all the difference to how the crisis unfolds, and how you will be remembered.

    Here are 13 of Davia Temin’s the most important Crisis Management rules.

    1. Don’t hedge. Just because you may have gotten away with something before–or know of others who have–do not assume that you will do so now. Assume that–eventually–all will be known, and design your actions accordingly.
    2. Control yourself. Control your emotions. Just when your emotions will be going wild, you must conquer them and think strategically and smartly.
    3. Don’t retreat. Keep your eyes on the outside. You will be tempted to withdraw into your inner world, but keep focused on the exterior reaction. You’ll make better decisions and it could help privately as well.
    4. Move quickly. Move quickly to assess the situation and damage, and to not only publicly strike the right note, but to start doing the right things.
    5. Hone your message. Figure out what the right note–message, tone, words, delivery mechanism–is.
    6. DO NOT LIE. Never make a public denial when it’s a lie–there is no better way to be hated.
    7. Know your crisis. Each crisis is different–the particulars matter. So never just copy the responses of others, though you can learn from those who have done it well.
    8. Keep your humanity intact. Limit your liability–but not your humanity–in how you respond to a situation.
    9. Check your moral compass. Use the opportunity to reset your moral compass (i.e., listen to your lawyers, but not to the exclusion of your conscience).
    10. Do the right thing. If you must, take your medicine–apologize, make reparations–and then put in lasting, game-changing solutions.
    11. Don’t disappear. Become a visible and real part of the solution–no matter what it takes.
    12. Align with the good guys. Begin to be identified with best cases, so that your own “worst case” is forgotten over time.
    13. Don’t ever do it again. Never, ever, ever make the same mistake again.

    Summary

    When a crisis strikes, the reparation of your reputation begins with the steps you take at the outset of and throughout the resolution of the crisis. If you do the proper things, you will mitigate the tarnishing of your brand.

    First and foremost, do not succumb to the human frailty of self denial. Be intuitive, be forthcoming and transparent and above all DO NOT LIE.

    Read  Davia Temin’s complete article, Reputation Rehab.

    Davia is CEO and president of Temin and Co., a global reputation and crisis management, coaching and marketing strategy consultancy working with corporations and institutions on some of the largest and most headline-grabbing crises of the day. Her website is teminandco.com, and you can follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/DaviaTemin. Here she gives no-nonsense advice on handling crises large and small.

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    5 Ways Women Business Leaders Can Embrace Their Femininity

    July 22nd, 2012

    Women who are running  businesses should detach from feminism and embrace their femininity.

    My daughter started her career in a high stress male dominated industry. We were reflecting on how a woman can succeed in this environment  without becoming masculinised. Women who are running  businesses should detach from feminism and embrace their femininity.

    The truth is that women have been liberated. We no longer need to spend our energies proving that we’re equal. We own our own companies, we assume leadership roles and we don’t have to wear ties to work.

    Here are 5 ways to create this balance while getting respect from both males and females:

    1. Don’t pretend that you’re one of the boys – you’re not. But at the same time don’t play the “us girls” game.  Work at your individuality as a person. Use your unique leadership strengths when dealing with an issue.
    2. You shouldn’t dress provocatively but you also don’t need to wear a burka.  You have a wonderful opportunity to express yourself  and your femininity.  Make sure that you are dignified and professional and let your gender work for you.
    3. It’s OK to talk about kids, make-up and hair but please consider your audience – these discussions may be boring to whomever is listening. Be yourself but remain sensitive to the situation.
    4. Respect both male and female employees. Disparaging remarks about men set a feminist tone and put a line in the sand when there may not have been an issue to begin with.
    5. Watch out for “womens only groups” why would you want to segregate ideas and talent. Position yourself as an entrepreneurial leader rather than a proponent of  “Women rule”

    You have a real advantage as a woman running a business – don’t blow it by  wearing workboots and snarling at men, rather walk around in your stilettos with strength and conviction.

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    30 Tweeting Tips for Women Business Leaders

    May 8th, 2012

    As the owner of a strategic marketing and communications firm, the biggest Twitter fear I hear as my clients pursue a social media presence is this: “What should I Tweet about?”

    Personally, I enjoy Tweeting and blogging and posting to Facebook for myself and my company. But, as a woman business leader and business owner, I’m not surprised to hear this question. One of the challenges with Twitter is the 140-character limit. Many find this to be the most daunting aspect … how do you say what you want to say in 140 characters or less? For me, that’s not a problem. But I’ve been at it for a while. If I think back to when I first started, I think it was mostly an issue of just doing it. Once you get into the habit, it becomes much easier.

    My advice is to give it a try and look over this list of “30 Things to Tweet About,” from blogger Sorav Jain for inspiration:

    1. New announcements from your brand
    2. Teaser previews of offerings you are working on
    3. Related interesting news from the industry
    4. Trivia related to your product: history, technology, anything!
    5. Ask for suggestions: people love to help someone out
    6. Events you are holding: this informs as well as gets you attendees
    7. Events you are participating in: this shows you are active
    8. Witty one-liners: this can be (appropriate) jokes, daily wisdom, or just about anything else
    9. Helping people find opportunities: Helping people solve problems is the best thing you can do to promote your brand
    10. Popular events: tweet about the upcoming sports events, festivals, etc
    11. Unexpected developments: Was Gmail down today? Tweet about it!
    12. Regular industry news: yup, this doesn’t hurt if mixed in
    13. Sales announcements: Tweet about any sales announcements you might have
    14. Job openings: Tell people about open positions, both with your brand and at other places you know
    15. Ask for customer feedback: Invite people to share their experiences with your brand
    16. Participate in the relevant hashtags, and get more visibility
    17. Set up and announce tweet chats based on brand-related hashtags
    18. Follow people and make acknowledgement via tweets
    19. Thank people who have recently followed you
    20. Post the latest updates from your blog along with the link
    21. Direct people to other social media channels you own by tweeting about them
    22. Search on your brand name and respond to tweets that are about you
    23. Create Twitter lists of industry-relevant analysts, well-wishers or customers, and announce the lists publically. This sends a positive message to the mentioned people
    24. Participate in trending topics and viral hashtags to rope in some attention. Ensure your opinions are related to your brand
    25. Tweet-greet your followers daily. Saying small things like “good morning,” or asking about their health goes a long way in forging ties
    26. Tweet and tag your best employee of the week. This keeps the staff motivated and gives them a platform
    27. Announce weekly deal, tweetpon (coupon), etc., and evaluate its viral reach to understand how influential your brand is
    28. For B2B brands, find out analysts on Twitter and build up conversations with them. Twitter is the best place for making your opinion heard
    29. Give daily twitter tips on usage of your brand’s products/service or on the basis of the industry expertise. Tips sell well on Twitter
    30. Make regular #FF Friday Follow recommendations or announce fan of the week with some incentives or freebies to the winners

    Many of these tips are extremely helpful and will provide you with ideas for months. I’m always looking for more tips, though, so give me yours and I’ll add them to the list.