Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to be Heard When Stepping Up to a Microphone

In my current business, most of the "talent" at the mic are executives given the role of Emcee or award winners asked to say a few words. As a Sound Engineer trying to control sound while many people step up to speak at a large audience event, I have a few suggestions:

  • Adjust the microphone, as you step to the podium, to about 6" to 10" from your mouth. The sound engineer will handle volume. But, adjust the mic to be the right distance for you!
  • You definitely do not want to get too close to the mic. It will pick up every puff and breath you take and sound terrible. 
  • Project when you speak. Talk with force and conviction. Using your soft spoken little girl or little guy voice will not work.
  • DO NOT tap the mic with your hand to check if it is "live"!! Instead, look at your sound engineer for a signal or sign that says, "yes, you are good to go."
  • If you are holding a wireless mic or wearing a lavalier or madonna mic, NEVER go near a speaker. The feedback will cause hearing loss!
  • Definitely perform a pre-show sound check. I can set levels and sound to be perfect for your time on-stage.
It is the little details that make or break an event for me and our crew. We want to deliver the best event, every time, for every person. Sound may be the most important thing within the experience.

If you want to be the best talent or recipient, consider... there is a crew of people trying to make you look really good in your moment! Our recommendations do make sense.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Relationships is the Key to New Opportunties

Whatever success I have created or enjoyed has come from bring connected to other people. Not from applying to blind employment ads or knocking on unknown doors, but simply being connected and having conversations.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Practice Your Elevator Pitch – It Makes a Difference

Today we shot video of senior executives, owners and CEOs from 24 companies that had been nominated for an annual business recognition program (Association for Corporate Growth-Orange County, Annual Awards Gala). Lots of fun and incredible people!

The set-up: Executives come to a central location where they are able to network with other nominees and sponsors, spend time with the judging panels talking about their company, and sit for a brief video session so we can gather footage for playback during the Gala event.

During the taping session one of the statements the executives were asked to make was, "In 30 seconds or less, describe what your company does". The results were very telling.

  • Executives that did the recording session before participating in the networking or time with the judging panel struggled to be concise and confident in describing their company. It usually took several minutes and multiple attempts before we had video we could work from.
  • Executives that networked and sat in front of the judging panel before being in front of the camera nailed it almost every time, the first time. And, they spoke with passion and confidence.
The difference of course is the the latter group, in the moment, had time to practice. They were meeting new people and had to constantly answer the "What does your company do?" question, and talk about the category in which they were nominated. The former group came in cold.

I am certain the former group thought hard about what to say about their company, maybe even had a prepared script they wrote themselves or received from their marketing people. But, there is no experience like being "on the spot" and answering questions.

My recommendation: Practice, practice, practice. Not just out-loud to yourself in your car or office. Practice in front of people – your staff, your marketing department, your family... ANYONE! Your ability to tell people what you do without the experience turning into an epic could be the difference between interest and boredom. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Job Choices for Well-Seasoned Marketing Veterans'

Being a "well-seasoned" marketer (meaning fast approaching 60 y/o and more than 35 years as a marketer), making a choice on what to do next is narrowed by time, experience and consideration by potential employers. As an incredibly experienced marketer there is no marketing position in my industry I could not perform well – yet most positions are no longer a good match; in challenge for me; the perception of potential employers; or how I'd like to complete my career (whether in 4 years or 15).

The list of choices as I see it are:

  • CMO at large department company (which for me is at a professional services firm)
  • Marketing, Networking or Leadership consultant
  • Professional speaker or author
  • Leadership/firm mentor
  • Create a training program or trainer for an existing training company
  • Sales and/or marketing for a company selling to the professional services industry
  • Freelance marketing contributor (such as writing, graphics, project management)
  • Doing something completely different and maintaining a satisfactory lifestyle
There may be other directions, but to stay specifically within the professional services industry these are the most choices.

Each choice comes with advantages, limitations, skill sets and an individuals desire. For instance, being an account or sales executive has never been attractive to me. No gonna happen. On the other hand, being a trainer or mentor feels like a great fit.

For me, a choice is at hand – what is next? If you have ideas, let me know, or wait to find out which direction I choose.

Graphic Artists are Crazy

I might know. I am one. But, not like, "Wooo Hooooo, la la la la la, put me in a rubber room!!" Go online and look at any portfo...