As we wind down another year at The Keynote Shop, we decided to end it with something fun to let you all know how much we've enjoyed working with you – handing out some awards. We've loved connecting with each one of you this year, but there are some moments, speakers, and fresh talent that stand out as we reflect on 2020. So, here it goes... Our annual awards... Are you excited to see if you won?!
Aaaaaand, the winners are:
Congratulations to our winners! We don't have any tangible prizes to give. You are welcome to the bragging rights though! Happy Holidays and Have a Wonderful New Year. Looking forward to connecting in 2021!
As online conferences continue, meeting planners are finding that having an emcee or moderator is essential for keeping your attendees engaged and the agenda on track. It’s important to remember that not every professional speaker is appropriate for such a task. Select your speaker wisely when it comes to facilitating collaboration with an online group. And, just as important as the right speaker/facilitator is, choosing the correct platform is also imperative. Here are four digital platforms built for small group collaboration.
1.) Miro: Miro is well suited for small groups that need collaborative tools. If your speaker wants to foster an ongoing dialogue with a small group of attendees, give Miro a shot. Miro is a cloud-based tool that helps SMBs host engaging webinars. It includes helpful features like:
2.) Braindate: Let’s face it: few people enjoy networking. But most conference attendees say networking is the reason they go to conferences. However, virtual networking can feel like nailing Jell-O to a tree: it’s an impossible task if you don't have the right tools. Created by e180, Braindate is a structured but fun platform that’s perfect for virtual networking. This app facilitates idea-sharing in a structured way that works like a virtual speed-date.
Attendees can request a Braindate on a certain topic, which the app will then match with other attendees offering help. If you need to facilitate connections and give more value to virtual conferences, Braindate is a great platform.
3.) Pigeonhole: If your speaker wants to go live and poll the audience during their presentation, opt for Pigeonhole. This virtual event platform is perfect for larger groups that need to split into breakouts or collaborative sessions. Pigeonhole includes features like:
4.) Airmeet: Airmeet is a growing platform that’s gained more popularity during the pandemic. Event planners commonly use it to organize remote meetups of small teams. If your speaker is delivering a hands-on workshop, mastermind, or intensive, Airmeet could be a good virtual event platform for you.
Need to foster digital networking? Airmeet is designed for small groups, so it’s perfect for both structured networking as well as small business webinars. It also gives your users more freedom, giving them the ability to choose which parts of the event they attend. Event planners love Airmeet’s free-flow video encounters and other great features, like:
Still not sure if one of these suggestions is right for you? For a full list of our recommendations of the top 10 virtual platforms, click here.
When it comes to hosting an event during a pandemic, businesses and meeting planners are being asked to be more creative. Working with a company like The Keynote Shop is a great place to start. We work with hundreds of corporations, educational groups and trade organizations to create successful and memorable face-to-face or virtual events. We've also earned a national reputation as the go-to talent agent and marketing consultant for professional speakers and meeting planners. Our clients know that every transaction is of utmost importance to us. For more information on The Keynote Shop, call 512-596-5570 today, or click here to contact us.
The 2020 Fall conference season offers new opportunities for our professional speakers to adapt and showcase their ability to engage audiences virtually. But to get the most value from the speaker, it’s important for meeting planners to consider their virtual platforms carefully. While many platforms are capable of hosting from 100-250 people, live streaming capabilities can include thousands. Here are five platforms that are worth considering for larger conferences.
1.) MS Teams: MS Teams looks a lot like Zoom, but it offers more flexibility. This is ideal if you’re working with a speaker who needs to collaborate with attendees, like a workshop, or to conduct group Q&As after the main event. If you’re already using Microsoft Office 365, MS Teams is free. But if you’re not using Microsoft Office 365, MS Teams might be too pricey and unwieldy to make sense for your event.
2.) Cisco WebEx: Cisco’s WebEx software is built for business. It’s built to be video first, which enhances the user experience. The one button push feature makes joining meetings easy for technical and non-technical users. You won’t get as much versatility with WebEx, but it’s a great choice for:
3.) MaestroConference: MaestroConference has the capacity to live stream for up to 10,000 attendees and a long history of high-profile use. Presidential campaigns use MaestroConference for volunteer communications during the busy election season. It’s best suited for webinars where employee engagement is a must.
What’s great about MaestroConference is the ability to add breakout groups, small group discussions, and explorations within your event. If you have speakers doing panel discussions or workshops, MaestroConference gives you enough flexibility to boost audience interaction. Plus, if your attendees are sick of downloading apps, MaestroConference is a great choice because it doesn’t require any downloads.
4.) Slido: Slido is the platform of choice for Prestigious conferences like SXSW, Web Summit, and Money 20/20 relying on Slido to go virtual. It’s a smart, intuitive platform that allows you to split into large groups for breakouts or collaboration. If your speaker wants to give hands-on learning or design collaborative experiences at scale, Slido is a good option for your event. Slido excels at Q&A, polls, and other features for audience interaction. If you need to create an open dialogue that mimics an in-person meeting, participants love the convenience and engagement of Slido.
5.) Zoom: Zoom is the go-to platform and one of the few that can accommodate up to 1000 participants. Coupled with the capability of up to 49 screens, its easy to see why this platform remains a front runner. Participants can share screens, collaborate on notes, and share and search information as well. In terms of security, Zoom now offers 256-bit TLS encryption for both meetings and shared files.
While the global pandemic has forced businesses and meeting planners to rethink how they host events and guest speakers, these virtual platforms provide numerous options as we acclimate to our “new normal.” For more information about hosting a virtual event or to find the right speaker for your business, please reach out to The Keynote Shop. We work with hundreds of corporations, educational groups and trade organizations to create successful and memorable face-to-face or virtual events. Call us today at 512-596-5570 or contact us here.
This article will be the first in a series where we explore important social, political and scientific issues with some of the nation’s leading keynote speakers and trainers who are all acknowledged experts in their field.
A Nation in Change
There can be no doubt that our American society all of us are finally awakening to painfully overdue discussions on inequality in our workplaces and society in general. More importantly, there is the need for impactful solutions and action. The death of George Floyd, though hardly the first incident of its type, has propelled discussions of race to a place where it cannot, will not and should not be ignored.
The term “Black Lives Matter” arouses great passion. No one, it seems, is neutral. Every member of your audiences, whether your future event is planned to be virtual or face-to-face, has now become aware of the term.
The words are a rallying point, a source of fear, and even a term of confusion. What does it mean to say Black Lives Matter? What about it frightens people? And, more broadly where do we all go from here?
One thing is clear: there is a new energy in regard to diversity that now challenges us. It is so palpable that the keynote speakers we are about to introduce agreed, without talking to each other, that “something feels different.” But what is it?
The Keynote Shop recently interviewed three of America’s most dynamic and powerful keynote speakers and trainers on the topic of: “What Black Lives Matter Means to Me as a Black Woman in Corporate America.”
They are in alphabetical order: Risha Grant, Diversity and Inclusion Expert; Alana M. Hill, PMP, Change Expert and Leadership Consultant; and Sarita Maybin, Motivational Speaker and Communication Expert.
The women were funny, insightful, and openhearted. Our only regret is that we quickly realized it would have taken a book and not an article to fully explore the depth of their combined knowledge.
Why do you think that some people are fearful of the term “Black Lives Matter?”
Risha Grant: “When people hear Black Lives Matter, for some reason it makes them believe that their life doesn’t. One of the biggest things I do in my work has to do with fear. People feel a sense of loss. They ask themselves, ‘If we have to be more diverse, what happens to us? If ‘they’ move into our neighborhood, what happens to our neighborhood?’ If we had more equity, we wouldn’t have to worry about ‘If this person got this, what happens to me?’ It leaves somebody out in the cold and that’s where fear comes into play. People say the system is broken. It’s not broken. It’s doing exactly what it was designed to do - to keep people of color from social mobility. We all have to come up with a system that works for everybody.”
Alana Hill: “When people read about Black Lives Matter, they read their own intent. They infer that only Black Lives Matter or Black Lives Matter more or Black Lives are superior. The ‘translation’ isn’t the problem, it’s the inference. We need to break what I call ‘The Echo Chamber.’ There is the tendency people have to surround themselves with something that sounds like them. The echo chambers, such as cable news or social media, aren’t teaching listening. If people don’t literally ‘change the channel,’ they’ll be stuck to listening to only the echo.”
Sarita Maybin: “My specialty is ‘Difficult Conversations.’ The question here is how can we better communicate? I have witnessed the unrest and the calls for justice before. I saw this decades ago, and nothing ever changed. In terms of Black Lives Matter, it seems that right now, people of different backgrounds are coming together. I remember hearing the quote ‘Justice will only happen when the least affected people will be willing to be part of the solution.’ This is the first time where there are a ton of people taking action who are not affected by the negativity as it relates to race or bias or the need for justice. They are looking at the situation with empathy.”
OK, what does the term Black Lives Matter mean to you as a Black woman in corporate America? What needs to happen to change?
Alana Hill: “It means the same thing to me outside of corporate America as inside. That we are equal. We should have a seat at the table. As an expert in the field of change, I know that from a corporate initiative there must be intentionality behind ensuring that equality should exist. Everyone in the organization has to model themselves with intention the way they want their leaders to be. This is where the personal integrity of all of us must come into play. But that’s not the only way. Sometimes it takes ‘shaking the shoulders’ of the leaders to get them to see something. And, lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time shaking shoulders!”
Sarita Maybin: “People of color in the workplace, or in society in general, want validation, not more information. So often what people argue about is wanting an acknowledgement, without the other person saying ‘you’re wrong.’ With Black Lives Matter, people want you to hear them. So often what people argue about is their experience. ‘At least say to me that my experience is valid.’ People want you to listen, so that you say, ‘based on your experience and what you’ve been through, I understand why you may feel the way that you do.’ What is needed right now is more understanding, more compassion and more caring. Communicate that you care.”
Risha Grant: “In corporate America, it used to mean that I couldn’t show up fully as myself. It used to mean I needed a ‘supporter’ in order to grow. Even having conversations with people at work, women of color had to talk differently, so they didn’t appear uneducated. Or they had to wear their hair differently to conform to a ‘policy.’ I have been on my own for a while now. I have gotten to a place where I can live authentically and people see that. For me, Black Lives Matter is about empowerment, so I can show another black woman the way. Everyone is in a different place on their diversity and inclusion journey. We can look at all the policies we want, but it has to be addressed on a micro level. We must have a personal responsibility to do better and be better.”
Then what is it we can all start doing in our workplaces on a personal level to reach a point of greater awareness in order to find meaningful solutions?
Sarita Maybin: “Part of the problem of having the difficult conversations is to see ‘the elephant’ in the room. Up until this time the elephant has been hidden; people have denied its existence. We are experiencing an awakening. Instead of asking someone ‘How are you doing?’ Ask them in your own way, ‘What’s giving you hope right now? What positive things have you seen happen today? What experiences would you like to see people take away from all of this?’ The ultimate question for yourself is to ask, ‘What can I do to lessen the load for someone else?’”
Risha Grant: “Ask yourself, what is it about diversity and inclusion that makes you uncomfortable – and why. Ask yourself, ‘Why am I feeling the way I am feeling?’ Get out of your comfort zone. Identify where your personal biases are. If you can do that, the artificial barriers we all put up can come tumbling down. Remember there is no ‘them,’ only us. Diversity is not a problem, we’re the problem. It is incumbent on all of us to fix it.”
Alana Hill: “This is the first time that I feel people are listening, but for things to change, we need real allies and advocates. There is a realization that change is not somebody else’s problem, it’s ours. The fact that we have white people saying Black Lives Matter is HUGE. It’s no longer divisive. It’s an awareness. Therefore, be someone's ally, be someone's advocate. We must have compassion and empathy and respect for everyone’s experiences. It is not a one-way street. When we elevate a co-worker, we can’t help but to elevate ourselves.”
We came away from these interviews with greater understanding, hope, and compassion. We cannot go back to “business as usual.” But we can go forward.
Why The Keynote Shop For Your Next Speaker
At The Keynote Shop, we help meeting planners find talent with the "WOW Factor." These outstanding thought leaders have what it takes to make your upcoming live or virtual event a success in the areas of communication, diversity and inclusion and navigating organizational change. To Secure Alana, Risha or Sarita for your next event, or for information on any speaker in our extensive directory, contact Gina Davilla: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Keynote Shop has earned a national reputation as the go-to talent agent and marketing consultant for professional speakers and meeting planners. Our clients know that every transaction is of utmost importance to us. Our ethical focus is always on ensuring the highest standards of professionalism and trust. We work with hundreds of corporations, educational groups and trade organizations to create successful and memorable face-to-face or virtual events. For more information on The Keynote Shop, call (512) 596-5570 today, or click on the link below: https://www.thekeynoteshop.com/contact.html
Just as knowing which professional speakers to use for virtual keynotes is essential to success, knowing the best strategies for recruiting sponsorships will be paramount to your ability to meet your revenue goals. Here are four tried and true tips to help you create innovative and valuable virtual sponsorship packages.
Know Your Sponsors and Target Audiences
Corporate sponsors have specific and varying needs when it comes to sponsoring events, and that information is crucial when developing a virtual event sponsorship strategy or revising your pre-COVID-19 strategy. Here are a few strategies to consider:
Leverage Past Sponsor Relationships.
When creating your virtual sponsorships, working with your loyal sponsors will be key to shaping your packages. Have a conversation with your past sponsors at different monetary levels to get a feel for what they need and want in their sponsorships. Not only will you get great insights on how to develop your tiered virtual sponsorship structure, you are also showing that your organization values their input and support. Building a strong rapport will also come in handy when upgrading them to higher sponsorship levels.
Research Potential New Sponsors.
Corporate sponsors have goals and social responsibility programs that they need to consider when sponsoring an event. The key is to find those sponsors and properly verbalize that your event will help them reach their goals.
You can start researching companies that have a strong presence within your industry, plus similar events or organizations that closely match yours for ideas. Work with your colleagues, board and committee members to leverage personal relationships for introductions.
Another strategy to consider is looking for sponsors who may not be in your industry, but their target market matches your attendees. Sponsorship marketing expert Meg Fasy of FazeFWD provided a great example of this in a PCMA webinar. She explained that Drybar sponsored an event because their target market matched the event’s attendees, which in this case were mostly millennial and Gen X women. Properly articulating who your attendees are and how the event aligns with a potential sponsor’s target market is crucial to this strategy.
Create Unique Virtual Sponsorship Opportunities.
Be creative with your sponsors and design unique opportunities that either match their past monetary level or increases their level of support to create memorable virtual experiences. Try some of these to add a fun and interactive element to your virtual conference:
Know Your Event Goals
Developing S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) event goals will help you design a strong and effective sponsorship strategy for a virtual platform. Once you have established goals, you can then figure out how sponsorships can help you achieve those goals.
If you have net revenue goals, you can create a strategy to reach and exceed them. Using insights from your conversations with loyal sponsors, you can create tiered sponsorship level packages at a variety of price points. Betty Vrcek, former Community
Development Specialist for University Hospitals has raised more than $2.1M in event sponsorships. She provided the following example of how you can map out your sponsorship strategy:
“Using a chart to create a road map on how you can reach your revenue goals will help you create strategies and track your progress as you are soliciting for sponsorships,” says Vrcek. “Your chart should be a living, breathing document to allow you to adjust your strategies as you get closer to your event.”
Know Your Virtual Platform
Knowing what is important to your sponsors will not only help you develop attractive sponsorships, but can also help you evaluate and choose the right platform for your event.
Virtual platforms vary drastically with the features they offer (or don’t offer), such as:
Some platforms were designed with strong sponsorship recognition at the forefront, while others were built for heightened attendee experience. Knowing what your sponsors want and the capabilities of your chosen virtual platform will help you develop the most attractive sponsorship packages.
For more information on virtual platforms, take a look at our recent blog post, “The 10 Best Virtual Event Platforms for 2020 According to Hundreds of Event Planners.”
Know Your Pricing
Pricing your virtual event sponsorship packages can be more difficult than in-person event packages because you are essentially moving from “tangible” to “intangible.” There are several factors you should consider when pricing your sponsorship packages.
In a recent ASAE article, Natalie Zundel states “We are all way-finders now. There are no handy roadmaps, instructions, or how-tos for handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Association fundraisers will have to break new ground to prove successful.”
The Bottom Line
Not every sponsor is virtual sponsorship candidate.
The best keynote speakers take the time to know their audiences, and the same is true for your success in aligning virtual sponsorship partners.
Companies who haven’t had the budget for live events are now seeing virtual events as a new opportunity to partner with organizations and increase brand awareness.
How To Get Professional Speakers For Your Virtual Conference
The Keynote Shop has earned a national reputation as the go-to talent agent and marketing consultant for professional speakers and meeting planners. Our clients know that every transaction is of utmost importance to us. Our ethical focus is always on ensuring the highest standards of professionalism and trust. We work with hundreds of corporations, educational groups and trade organizations to create successful and memorable face-to-face or virtual events.
For more information on The Keynote Shop, call (512) 596-5570, or Contact Us today!
The Best Virtual Event Platforms for 2020
There are so many ways you can digitize your event. What’s the best approach?
Instead of bombarding attendees with yet another Zoom meeting, professional meeting planners have to go digital—the right way. Event planners need dynamic platforms with ample horsepower to engage attendees in a way that mirrors the stimulating impact of live conferences.
Ditch the platforms that aren’t working and think outside your Zoom account. Consider your meeting goals, connectivity requirements, and content needs to find the perfect platform for your next virtual conference.
The 10 Best Virtual Event Platforms
Which virtual platforms are worth their salt? The members of Conveners, an organization for conference excellence, weighed in with their thoughts. Ten platforms stand out as superior virtual conference solutions—see which one works best for your event.
Cisco’s WebEx software is another popular option. You won’t get as much versatility with WebEx, but it’s a great choice for:
Meeting planners love using Pathable for its customization. It includes helpful features like:
MaestroConference has capacity for up to 10,000 attendees and a long history of high-profile use. Presidential campaigns use MaestroConference for volunteer communications during the busy election season.
What’s great about MaestroConference is the ability to add breakout groups, small group discussions, and explorations within your event. If you have speakers doing panel discussions or workshops, MaestroConference gives you enough flexibility to boost audience interaction.
Plus, if your attendees are sick of downloading another app, MaestroConference is a great choice because it doesn’t require any downloads.
Airmeet is a growing platform that’s gained more popularity during the pandemic. Event planners commonly use it to organize remote meetups of small teams. If your speaker is delivering a hands-on workshop, mastermind, or intensive, Airmeet could be a good virtual event platform for you.
Need to foster digital networking? Airmeet is designed for small groups, so it’s perfect for both structured networking as well as small business webinars. It also gives your users more freedom, giving them the ability to choose which parts of the event they attend.
Event planners love Airmeet’s free-flow video encounters and other great features, like:
Prestigious conferences like SXSW, Web Summit, and Money 20/20 rely on Slido to go virtual. It’s a smart, intuitive platform that allows you to split into large groups for breakouts or collaboration. If your speaker wants to give hands-on learning or design collaborative experiences at scale, Slido is a good option for your event.
Slido excels at Q&A, polls, and other features for audience interaction. If you need to create an open dialogue that mimics an in-person meeting, participants love the convenience and engagement of Slido.
While Slido accommodates masses of people, Miro is better suited for small groups that need collaborative tools. If your speaker wants to foster an ongoing dialogue with a small group of attendees, give Miro a shot.
Miro is a cloud-based tool that helps SMBs host engaging webinars. It includes helpful features like:
Let’s face it: few people enjoy networking. But most conference attendees say networking is the reason they go to conferences. However, virtual networking can feel like nailing Jell-O to a tree: it’s an impossible task if you don’t have the right tools.
Created by e180, Braindate is a structured but fun platform that’s perfect for virtual networking. This app facilitates idea-sharing in a structured way that works like a virtual speed-date.
Attendees can request a Braindate on a certain topic, which the app will then match with attendees offering help. If you need to facilitate connections and give more value to virtual conferences, Braindate is a great platform.
If your speaker wants to go live and poll the audience during their presentation, opt for Pigeonhole. This virtual event platform is perfect for larger groups that need to split into breakouts or collaborative sessions.
Pigeonhole includes features like:
Final Thoughts on Virtual Event Platforms
The pandemic changed how we think about events.
No single platform can tick all of the boxes. Merging a number of these platforms together can help create an engaging virtual event experience for your attendees.
Not all professional speakers transition well to a virtual platform. We know the speakers that do. That's why we exist—to make your event as valuable and painless as possible.
The Keynote Shop
Our mission is to be your meeting partner so that booking speaking talent through our firm is more than a transaction. We strive to serve as your concierge to help facilitate the best experience possible for your participants. To that end, as we work through these challenges together, you can count on us for information sharing, ongoing research into topics of significant importance to the meetings industry, and recommendations for speaking talent that we can wholeheartedly endorse as virtually fluent.
By Billy Riggs
A recent article in Education Week Magazine (by Sarah Schwartz, May 15, 2019) reports that the most profound emotion that educational in-service speakers evoke in teachers is… wait for it… disrespect. Wow! All that planning, work, and money invested by school districts in Professional Development days is often not only wasted, but transformed into a net negative. Teachers feel like they’ve been slapped in the face. This outcome doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been conducting teacher in-services for more than two decades and frequently hear afterwards: “That was the first in-service of my career that actually helped me, or that I even paid attention to.” One teacher even commented that her usual habit (and silent protest) during professional development sessions was to take out her phone and play “Angry Birds” the whole time, but that she never even thought about doing so during my presentation. The Education Week article was actually emailed to me by an educator who wanted me to see it, commenting, “Yours was the best I’ve ever heard.” Why are most in-services a waste of time or “agony” as one teacher told me?
Mandatory seminars and credentialed speakers rarely touch on subjects of interest or import to educators. Instead, they pontificate on subjects irrelevant to their work or too esoteric to be of any practical use in the classroom. Others deliver information that most of the teachers have already known for many years. Moreover, they often violate the very best-practices they preach: using poor grammar, speaking to their slides, not reading their audiences, standing motionless while talking in a monotone, spinning hypotheses without ever applying them to real life, etc. Worse still, they commit the cardinal sin of being boring. (If a boring teacher doesn’t teach the students anything, how can we reasonably expect a boring speaker to teach the teachers anything?)
Professional Development training must – at the risk of stating the obvious – accomplish two things:
About Billy Riggs: Billy Riggs has been called “The Dr. Phil of Magic,” and “a psychologist masquerading as a comedian and magician.” He was voted one of America’s Top Five Most Entertaining Speakers in a 2014 nationwide poll of conference attendees. As a highly skilled orator Billy moves audiences to action with his message of hope and inspiration. Add in his talent as a master magician, illusionist, and spellbinding entertainer, and he delivers a presentation that audiences will remember long after the event ends. Billy’s presentations change lives, improve attitudes, turbocharge sales, and inspire exceptional service. Through television, radio, books, videos, and live keynote speeches Billy continues to spread his message and currently more than a million people on five continents have benefited from his work. Billy starred in his own television special, “The Magic of Attitude.” For fees and availability for Billy, email Gina Davilla at email@example.com.
By Mike Hourigan
As a keynote speaker who talks to audiences about negotiation skills, one question I often get is “At what point in a meeting does the real negotiation stuff take place?” My answer is, “Yes.”
By the one-word answer, what I mean is negotiation skills can start even before the actual meeting, on the plane prior to the meeting, or in a taxi or Uber to the hotel. Let me give you a true, real-life example from my career.
Negotiation Tactics on an Airport Shuttle Bus
Several years ago, I was part of a complex set of negotiations between two companies. For confidentiality, I’ll refer to the companies as “Company A” and “Company B.” The companies chose a hotel in Los Angeles for the meeting site. The negotiations were scheduled to begin on Thursday morning, and with luck, we would get everything accomplished by Saturday afternoon. I had an afternoon speech in Chicago and arrived in LAX at about 9:30.
By the time I caught the hotel airport shuttle it was 10:00 p.m. Much to my surprise, a woman sat across from me who had a tag on her attaché case for Company B. She had flown in from Vermont, in fact, and she looked absolutely exhausted. I introduced myself and asked her why she was getting in so late? She explained that she went to see her daughter play in the regionals of a major soccer tournament in Vermont.
"How did she do?" I asked to be friendly. Her daughter’s team won, she smiled. Then she volunteered that the finals were going to take place on Saturday afternoon in Virginia, and unless a miracle occurred at our meeting, she wouldn’t be able to make it back on time due to all of the agenda items.
How important was that piece of information to me as the person leading the negotiations for Company A? It was critically important.
Before the Meeting Started
Now we come to Thursday morning. Before the meeting started and while we were informally talking and introducing ourselves, I asked the group if they might be open to a minor change.
I reviewed my friendly conversation with the woman from Company B. Not to embarrass her, but with a feeling of pride, I told everyone that the woman’s daughter’s team was playing for the national soccer championship on Saturday morning. I said that I wouldn’t mind at all if they wanted me to rearrange the schedule so that we could discuss all of the important items first. In that way, she could leave for the airport on Friday at noon and see her daughter play.
"Sure!" Was the response.
So, now they know that we, from Company A, are nice people, but more important from my perspective is that in a positive, friendly way, we gained control of the agenda. I gave them a gift by rearranging the schedule and allowing her to leave to see her daughter play. We gained the ability to negotiate and navigate the important meeting points upfront carefully.
In volunteering to change the schedule, the woman on the Company B negotiating team became loyal to me. I want to stress; it was not “manipulation.” There was nothing at all sinister about it, but it allowed us the luxury of being able to fully discuss the major issues to the benefit of both sides without rushing.
By the time she left for the airport, the major negotiation points of the meeting had been discussed, we could clean up the minor points on Saturday, and of course, we could send her off with our best wishes. I also made a new friend.
The central point is that in the give and take of negotiation, and in understanding how to improve your negotiation skills, remember that everything counts, and that includes having an awareness as to who is on the bus.
Oh yes, her daughter’s team won and so did everyone else at the negotiation.
About Mike Hourigan: Mike Hourigan is a refreshingly unique keynote speaker, change management expert and author who empowers the country’s top companies to navigate constant change with real-world wisdom. Decades of corporate experience have allowed Mike to develop a completely fresh approach to team building, sales management, and customer service training. Mike has spoken to over 1,300 audiences including McDonald’s, Harley-Davidson, Disney, GE, Marriott, Aetna, ExxonMobil and Kaiser Permanente. Watch Mike’s video preview on Negotiation, or contact Gina Davilla for more information on Mike’s fees and availability at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Scott Burrows
High-producing sales pros have one important trait in common: the ability to maintain the expectation of a successful outcome, despite gloomy market feedback, the overwhelming pressure of organizational expectations, a failed credit approval for a critical contract, or even the disappointing loss of a major company client.
But how do you teach what might seem like an inborn trait to your entire sales team, where personality, talent and backgrounds vary so widely?
As outlined in my book and keynote program, “Vision, Mindset, Grit,” I teach companies and individuals how to drive results using the same mental focus that helped me reinvent my life after a catastrophic accident left me paralyzed from the chest down and diagnosed a quadriplegic. The skills I learned during my own recovery process helped me overcome the dire prognosis of my doctors. These skills can help teams stay focused, resilient and engaged - even in the most overwhelming of circumstances.
“Without vision, even the most focused passion is a battery without a device.” ~Ken Auletta
The conscious mind is actively engaged in the goal setting process, but is easily distracted (once every 10 seconds), unable to focus on more than one thing at a time, and falls short when it comes to putting ideas into action. In order to set your creative thinking process into an actionable state, you must engage the subconscious mind to create a belief system that supports and aligns with your sales goals that will readily impel you to take action.
Creative visualization is an effective method to reprogram your subconscious mind to align with your strategic goal plan - and most importantly - when your current circumstances seem counter-intuitive to achieving that outcome. In the same way athletes utilize this for enhanced performance, you can train your mind and body for success by first conditioning it to the possibilities.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't -- you're right.” ~Henry Ford
Even the most strategic and actionable goal plan will fail if your thoughts are centered on what can and will go wrong. Many sales people waste precious time ruminating on a lost sale (residing in the past) or working toward their goal in a lack mentality out of fear of future disaster. Staying present daily with small consistent goals can keep your energy focused, elevated and impactful by helping you zero in on concrete actions in alignment with your goals that move you into success.
“The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs.” ~Vance Havner
It’s important to understand this next key element is strengthened and sustained by your vision and mindset, which greatly reinforce your ability to stay focused on the end goal and transcend the need for instant gratification. Recent psychological studies have shown that the quality of GRIT is the highest predictor of success, even over natural talent, skillset, luck, latent ability or extraordinary I.Q.
But what is grit? It is your willingness to remain patient while disciplining yourself to persevere and stay resilient in the pursuit of your goals when you are knee-deep in the trenches and nothing positive is showing up. It’s the relentless pursuit of both your short and long-term sales goals as you continue to work long hours, face and overcome rejections, and most especially, when all else beckons you to give in, quit, or worse - maintain the status quo.
People with grit:
I hope you are inspired knowing sales mavericks are not just born, they are developed. Some may show up naturally utilizing vision, mindset and grit from life experience and easily implement these into their business model. DO know that success is available to all, even when the odds seem insurmountable, and most importantly -- at any age, from any background and regardless of past experience.
About Scott Burrows: Scott Burrows is a motivational business speaker and author whose inspirational overcoming story is a hero's journey that helps teach companies how to navigate change and rise to the challenge of an ever-changing marketplace. A former kickboxing champion and star athlete, Scott not only astounded his doctors after a tragic car accident, but later went on to reinvent himself as a top sales producer in the insurance and financial industry, earning a coveted spot in the prestigious Million Dollar Roundtable. Today, Scott speaks to organizations, entrepreneurs, associations and Fortune 500 companies around the globe about his timeless principles of Vision, Mindset, and Grit. Watch Scott’s preview video or contact Gina Davilla for more information on Scott’s fees and availability: email@example.com.
As we wind down another year at The Keynote Shop, we decided to end it with something fun to let you all know how much we've enjoyed working with you – handing out some awards. We've loved connecting with each one of you this year, but there are some moments, speakers, and fresh talent that stand out as we reflect on 2018. So, here it goes... Our first annual awards... Are you excited to see if you won?
Aaaaaand, the winners are:
1.) Most Creative Meeting Planner: Lisa Boon
Lisa is the Event Planning Manager at Retail Confectioners International. Lisa definitely wins this award after selecting a chocolate “artist” as her keynoter of choice for a company event.
2.) Speaker Guaranteed to Get the Most Laughs: Mack Dryden
Mack is a Corporate Comedian who has been delighting audiences for years with his relaxed stage presence, hilarious stories, and uniquely engaging delivery.
3.) The Freshest New Talent of 2018: Cara Brookins
Cara Brookins is a bestselling author and professional speaker. One fun fact about Cara: despite her lack of construction training, she built a 3500 square-foot house with her four kids by watching YouTube tutorials. True story. She offers audiences vision, mindset, and focus presented in a whole new context.
Congratulations to our winners! Since this our first year hosting these esteemed awards, we don't have any tangible prizes to give. You are welcome to the bragging rights though!
Happy Holidays and Have a Wonderful New Year. Looking forward to connecting in 2019!
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