November 5, 2022

Monitor the chat... or don't use it



I was in a workshop on cybersecurity while attendees flooded the chat with links to random "cybersecurity" products.

Oh, the irony.๐Ÿ™„

It was literally impossible to determine if any of these links were safe (I certainly was not going to click one to find out), and yet, the hosts of the workshop were not paying any attention...

๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

…even as they were explaining safety measures for our businesses, including avoiding malware.

On top of that, there were SO MANY comments and questions in the chat, it was difficult to identify and reply to the legitimate posts.๐Ÿ˜ต‍๐Ÿ’ซ

So I gave up and hoped for a recording.

๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™๐ŸพPeeps, if you're hosting a remote training on Zoom, please have someone monitor your chat. You don't have to spend money on a professional producer; a friend or colleague who's familiar with Zoom will be fine.

If you can't, and especially if you expect a lot of attendees, then ❌DON'T❌ USE❌CHAT.

Set up your training as a webinar instead of a meeting and use the Q&A feature instead.

It's frustrating and off-putting for your audience to be spammed during your presentation and for you to do nothing about it!



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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

October 2, 2022

Don't wait for things to happen. Make things happen.



Don't wait for things to happen. Make things happen.
I read a post recently that said "It makes me sad that nobody invites me on podcasts, I have so much value to offer."

Sometimes it feels like you're at the world's mercy. Like everyone is invited to the party except you. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

But you do have control over at least one thing: your own actions.

When I'm not getting speaking inquiries or my previous clients don't need me at the moment, I have actions I can always take.

1️⃣ I make offers. I tell people what I do and invite them to find out more. This can be in the form of social media marketing where I post links and calls to action, or it can be in the form of reaching out to people who've inquired in the past and letting them know that I have a program that might be a good fit for them.

2️⃣ I research and apply for speaking engagements. There are a LOT of conferences and podcasts out there and most of them have some sort of application process. You can Google ""speaker rfp" or "speaker request for proposals" and find many many options. You can also Google "podcast guest application." (My Speaker Proposal Hacks Pack can help once you find the ones you want to apply for!)

3️⃣ I create my own programs and products. You don't have to develop a whole podcast or a whole conference. Record videos or audio sharing value and expertise and put them out to the world for free, or create your own products that people can buy.

My business is a mix of corporate training, conference speaking, 1:1 coaching and self-paced DIY programs. I never put all my eggs in one basket and I don't sit around waiting for someone else to invite me to their thing.

I'm not saying it's easy. And I'm not saying that putting myself out there creates instant business. I feel sorry for myself sometimes; it's human nature!

Entrepreneurship is a long game. Know that when opportunities "fall into your lap" it's often from the relationships you've created over time.

Just last week I received three training inquiries:

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸผOne from a previous training client

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸผOne from someone who's followed my work for a long time and has found a possible speaking slot for me

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸผAnd one from someone I spoke to months ago and now has an opportunity I might be a good fit for.

I also received three coaching inquiries:

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸผOne from a previous client who has a new speaking engagement that she needs help with

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸผOne from someone I've been connected with for years who just now needs my help

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸผAnd one from someone I don't know who found me on Google.

There are factors at play like fees, budgets, topic fit and timing that mean maybe not all of these will work out.

But it demonstrates that taking action—playing the long game, building relationships and making yourself visible—does work. If not immediately, then eventually!

Next time you're sad that you haven't been invited to the party, go ahead and find another party and ask for an invitation! And while you're at it, plan your own party and YOU make the invitations! ๐Ÿ’Œ 



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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

Do not assume your message makes sense



Here at the NAACP, we've been busy ramping up our vital GOTV efforts. This week is our last EOQ deadline before election day, and our last chance to fuel our voter mobilization operations before our volunteers are out in full swing.
Do ๐ŸšซNOT๐Ÿšซ assume that your message makes sense.

This fundraising email I received makes a couple of assumptions:

1️⃣ I know what GOTV and EOQ mean. And no, these acronyms were not explained elsewhere in the email.

2️⃣ I've read previous emails which might clarify these acronyms, so it's not necessary to do it this time.

I cannot emphasize enough that it is ALWAYS your responsibility—as a communicator, writer, marketer, content creator or presenter—to make your message as clear and simple as possible for your audience. Every time.

If they don't get it, it's not their fault.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸผReminder: Adults have big fragile egos.

People often won't raise their hand in your presentation to ask you to explain something, because they don't want to look foolish.

As unfortunate as that is, YOU (the communicator) must understand that if you don't make things clear, and your audience doesn't ask (or Google), you've lost them.

Funny story: A friend of mine contacted me a few years ago, perplexed about an email she had received from her local Toastmasters club. She'd been thinking of joining and had contacted a club with questions.

"...I wrote to them asking what the requirements are, and the guy wrote back that it's open to Toastmasters who've earned a CC. Really helpful. Not. What's a CC? Does it mean anything to you?"

When I explained the acronym, she wrote back:

"How 'competent' is a 'communicator' who answers a query from an interested newbie with an abbreviation that means nothing to them (me) without explaining it in English?"

How competent, indeed?

I'm picking on NAACP and Toastmasters here, but everyone is doing this (ESPECIALLY nonprofits), assuming your audience understands your words, acronyms, jargon and lingo.

They don't.

And they feel stupid asking.

So just๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผkeep๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผit๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผsimple๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ.

(Also... acronyms, jargon and lingo are BORING. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป)



____________________________________________________
Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

September 18, 2022

One perfect lime



One perfect lime. The only lime our tree produced all year.

To be fair, it's a dwarf lime tree in a pot. So we don't expect dozens of limes.

We might feel disappointed about "only one lime." But on the other hand, this lime made last night's dinner absolutely perfect.

I doubt our little lime tree was disappointed in its efforts. Look what it made! This lime sat patiently on the tree, waiting for its moment to shine. And shine it did!

As a self-proclaimed "chillpreneur," I sometimes get down on myself for not doing more. Not being more. Not shining more.

I like to take things slow and easy. I'm not about the hustle. I'm about creating a lifestyle that keeps me healthy, happy and sane.

But to a client, I might be the "one perfect lime" that comes along at just the right time: doing, being and shining exactly as much as someone needs me to.

Last night's dinner was vegan fish taco bowls with Good Catch
plant-based fish sticks. 

The lime appeared as both juice and zest, in cilantro lime rice and chipotle mayo, and squeezed over the separate elements of the dish, the radishes, arugula microgreens, cilantro, and avocado.

The meal was delicious and the lime was the star! ๐ŸŒŸ

Right lime, right place, right time. What more could I ask for?



____________________________________________________
Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

September 3, 2022

Who decides what's "inappropriate?"



She complained that I said "pee."

Once upon a time, an audience member e-mailed me to say that my language was inappropriate and to demand that I send an apology to the audience of 22 women.

(For context, I was explaining that your attendees need breaks during a long workshop or presentation or they'll be resentful when they have to get up to pee and miss some of your content.)

Also, I didn't say "resentful." I said "pissed off." She was offended by that, too.

If I had known the Ministry of Ladylike and Appropriate Language was going to be at my presentation, I would've...

…still said "pee."

I reviewed the evaluations and had a conversation with the president of the organization, one of my 1:1 clients. I had thoroughly researched the group when I accepted the engagement.

She and I concluded that this was the opinion of one person and not of the entire group. My client wasn't offended and apparently, neither was anyone else.

But it did bring up questions. How exactly can you KNOW what's going to offend someone? WHO decides what's "inappropriate?"

She was offended, but was I offensive?

Ideally, some words, attitudes and behaviors would always be considered universally inappropriate (think hate speech or the most vulgar curse words). And it would be easy to know what would offend people.

But we know for a fact that many people are not in agreement over what even constitutes sexist, racist, ableist, ageist, homophobic or transphobic language.

When I shared with my speaker friends that I had never had a complaint about offending someone, one of my colleagues said,

"You pressed the button...but she already had it installed."

Each of us presents on different topics.

Each of us has a unique personality and way of expressing ourselves.

Each audience is different and full of individuals.

The reactions we hope for vary from topic to topic, from attendee to attendee, from speaker to speaker.

Sometimes we're surprised when the reaction we get isn't the reaction we expected!

P.S. If you think my language was inappropriate, there's no need to share your feedback. I processed this incident years ago.


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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

July 28, 2022

Stop thinking you have to know everything



Things no one expects you to know (without at least some research):

1. How to pronounce "floccinaucinihilipilification"
2. How to make Kung Pao chicken
3. Every word in the Constitution of the United States
4. What's causing that pain in your lower left abdomen
5. How to fix your own dryer

So why is there so much discomfort around not knowing "business things?"

As an entrepreneur, it can feel like you have to know everything about everything.

But you don't have to become an expert in every aspect of your business.

If your business isn't marketing, you'll have to learn a few things about marketing (or hire someone to do it for you).

If your business isn't bookkeeping, you'll have to learn a few things about bookkeeping (or hire someone to do it for you).

If your business isn't giving presentations, you'll have to learn a few things about effective public speaking.

Except this isn't something you can pay someone else to do!

If you're an entrepreneur, your big why, your one-of-a-kind skills and talents, your area of expertise... you alone can bring that to the world.

You don't have to become a speaking expert to build visibility, awareness, networks, reputation, and lead your people competently and capably.

But speaking is a unique skill that you should be cultivating if you're the face of your organization.

If you don't know how to do it well, that's okay.

If you have some experience, but you're not getting the results you want, that's okay!

If you've been doing it for a long time, but haven't leveled up your skills, that's okay!

Nobody expects you to be an expert.

At the same time...

Your audiences, employees, volunteers, board, stakeholders, and peers do expect a certain level of proficiency, and a level of conscientiousness, effort and thoughtfulness.

And they do expect a level of connection and engagement that's not just lecturing, reading from bullet points, or throwing together a few points at the last minute.

Stop thinking you have to know everything.

Do own and embrace your responsibility to be an effective communicator for understanding, influence, inspiration and relationship-building, and for expressing purpose, vision, values and goals.



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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

July 16, 2022

They're never going to be ready for you



Nobody is ever ready for the people who are going to make the biggest impact.

Nobody is ever ready for the outspoken thought leaders with the nontraditional ideas and the bold presence.

They may be craving EXACTLY what you have to offer, but they don't know it yet.

That's the whole point of standing out as a changemaker.

My friend Precious Williams posted the other day "Remember when we all wanted to look, sound, and act successful and polished? Remember when we felt we had to fit in to be successful?" And she asked "Are they ready for the next version of you?"

My reply was "They're never ready, but I'm here anyway."๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป

I'm guessing no one is ready for what they're going to experience when cutting-edge peeps like Joanne Lockwood, Dr. Tina Opie, Madison Butler, Pegine Echevarria and Precious walk into a room.

If they're ready for you, it's too late. You're already one of the crowd.

If they're ready for you, you're already blending in. You're already "safe."

So to me, the question is really "Are you ready for them NOT to be ready for YOU?"

Put yourself out there anyway. You're forging a path and paving the way for others to come behind you.

Someone has to be in front.

It's you.


____________________________________________________
Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

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