A Clear View: The Clearpoint Agency Blog

10 Tips for Public Speaking Success!

Posted on October 18, 2012

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

Researchers tell us that the fear of public speaking is one of the top 10 fears that people express. An entire industry has sprung up to help speakers deal with this anxiety, including US-based organizations such as Toastmasters International or POWERtalk International and the Association of Speakers Clubs in England, as well as many academic training courses in presentation skills that help people reduce the fear to manageable levels.

We think all these resources are great, but some speakers just need to boost their confidence a bit more by ensuring their content is worthy and that they know the basics. We work with many clients to help them develop better presentations. The ten tips below are ones that we have found will help you master the art of public speaking and be interesting to your audience.

1.Is your topic compelling?Is your topic worth the time it takes you to put it together and the time for your audience to sit through? Put it to the test by asking a couple of colleagues to give you honest feedback on whether your topic reaches your goals to entertain, persuade or educate. Does it have impact and timeliness; does it identify or create controversy and put forth a clear position? Be sure to assess the attention value, topic prominence, conflict, uniqueness and worthiness for your audience.

2.Know your audience.Customize your examples so that the analogies really speak to them and make obscure points clearer. In some cases, you may even want to conduct research or do a survey of your anticipated audience so you can be sure you are hitting their hot buttons.

3.Research but don’t plagiarize. It’s always a good idea to make sure you are up to date on the topic you’ve chosen, so check the Internet for information, articles, or news coverage that may have come out about your topic recently. But be careful not to accidentally steal someone else’s ideas. If you are using a particular reference for credibility, be sure to source it.

4.Use specifics to create believability. What is the biggest criticism you hear about political speeches, for example? It’s usually that they are full of platitudes, but too vague and short on substance. Don’t make the mistake the politicians do! Use facts and figures to support your premise, but remember to be selective. If you overwhelm your audience with too many numbers, you will lose them.

5.A picture truly is worth a thousand words. Maybe you are using a PowerPoint®, but don’t make it boring with text bullet point after bullet point – add some art! No Powerpoint? Ok, what other visuals could you use that will make an impression? Photos, interesting art, props, charts and graphs help to make a speech more interesting and memorable.

6.Master the flow. Keep your introduction short and pithy. Give some information that people might not expect. You have only a few minutes to capture their attention so use it wisely; let them know why this topic is relevant to them. Then deliver your information clearly with life and enthusiasm in your voice. And be sure to pause before you make your final point or conclusion. Don’t make them guess that this is the important stuff! Signal it by recapping the key points and then emphasizing the end – with impact!

7.Your body language has impact, too. Stand or sit straight and tall so you can present with authority. Keep your voice well-modulated. Make sure your clothing, makeup and appearance fit the occasion and do not distract from the topic at hand. Gesture naturally, as you would in a group of close friends. Most important of all, make eye contact with your audience. Let everyone in the room know that you are speaking to them.

8.Practice, practice, practice! Many people think that once they have developed the topic and written out their notes, they know it well enough to just deliver it on the fly the day of the engagement. And perhaps you are one of those lucky few who really can do this. But if you’re not, or if this is a new topic that you haven’t delivered before, take the time a couple of days before, to work out the kinks. You’ll be glad you did!

9.Don’t forget to publicize your speaking engagements! Don’t just send a calendar item to the events editor. Research appropriate reporters for the news topic and let them know about the engagement, including a few key points that might interest them in writing a story. Put a news release out over a wire service, too – you would be amazed at the pickup you’ll get, which will help with search engine optimization of your website, too.

10.Don’t play hard to get! After you have completed your delivery, be available to the members of the audience for a few minutes. Some people would rather speak to you in person to get more information or your card than to follow up by phone or email. If you have media interview requests, make yourself available soon for an interview to maximize your exposure.

Best of luck with your next speaking engagement. If you think you need more training, we are here to help you.

To get the recognition you deserve, contact us at Clearpoint Agency, www.clearpointagency.com

This post was contributed by Beth Walsh, Clearpoint Agency Vice President

Posted in Blog, Public Speaking | Leave a comment

Get Busy Blogging: 10 Reasons to Blog

Posted on September 27, 2012

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, you want to consider a blog. Blogging is a great marketing tool that along with social media will increase your online presence and enhance your company’s brand. Here are 10 reasons why you should use blogging to target your audience in a meaningful and creative way. Succesful blog

1. Become an expert. Remember, by running a business you already are an expert in certain areas. Stick to writing on topics you are already comfortable with and have knowledge about. This way you can define your niche, provide insightful information and become an expert in the area.

2. Share with the world. Okay, you’ve already found your niche and want to share your ideas and opinions with your readers. Even better, you can promote your company’s culture and tell your customers about the latest fundraisers you’ve had or fun holiday parties you’ve attended. Another big component is providing tips to your current and potential customers.

3. Expand your social media channels/platforms. Hosting a blog doesn’t require being tech savvy or knowing HTML code. There are free user-friendly platforms like WordPress and Blogger that will let you do that without knowing HTML code. They offer themes that allow you to customize your blog to best fit your company’s brand. Consider adding your blog to your website to make it easy for customers to find and boost SEO.

4. Cross promote your brand. Having multiple social media channels will help enhance your brand. With an established blog, you can’t miss on sharing your new posts via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms you use. Cross promotion is important because using several social media channels will help you reach the most audience. Keep in mind that depending on demographics and other factors, certain audiences may have preferences to a particular social media channel.

5. Interact with your audience. Your readers and followers will be interested in the insight you provide on your blog and it is likely they will comment on your posts. Responding to these comments is a great way to interact with your audience, be it customers, employees or partners. This will make your blog more human and will eventually enhance your brand even more.

6. Measure results. As any other social media channel, blogging platforms provide an analytics section where you can browse the traffic and views you get as well as search terms, click throughs and so on. This is a good way to experiment with keywords and include more terms that will lead users to your blog, or even better, to your company website.

7. Educate your audience. Let’s say you are launching a tech-heavy product or offering specialty services that need a deeper explanation. Writing a blog on it will be a great way to educate your customers on the specs and details of your products and services. You can use it almost as an FAQ, but in a narrative form.

8. Attend special (VIP and invitation-only) events. Once you have a solid following and a good online influence, you could receive perks like invitations to fun private events, pre-opening parties, or even speaking opportunities. Attend these events to further promote your brand.

9. Increase your Klout score. There has been a lot said about the Klout score, but it still remains the main indicator that calculates your overall social media influence. Writing a blog will definitely help increase your Klout score and make you a specialist in the topics you want to be known for. In fact, some those special events mentioned above require a Klout of 45 or higher.

10. Show diversity. Don’t think that the blog is another responsibility for the marketing manager. To keep it fresh and current you will need to post entries often. Here is where your resources come in place. Once you have your topic schedule, ask different employees to help you depending on their background and expertise.

This post was contributed by Antonia Genov, Clearpoint Agency Account Coordinator

 

Posted in Blog, blogging, Branding, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media | Leave a comment

Review of “Social Boom!” By Jeffrey Gitomer

Posted on October 05, 2011

Clearpoint team member Lexy Haynes reviewed Jeffrey’s
Gitomer’s book “Social Boom! How to Master Business Social Media”. Here’s what she said.

Hi friends, first, an overview: Social Boom! covers just about everything social. Ok, not everything, but the biggies: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and even tips on writing. It’s a thorough review of the social media landscape and what you should do as a business person on each of the top platforms.

I thought it was a great book, definitely worth a read. If you’re a novice in business social media it might be a bit overwhelming, but just remember, small steps are better than no steps at all.

I’d call Social Boom! fairly high level, with helpful tactics. It was full of relevant and usual
information, including both precise “how-to” as well as “why-to” information. The book has several chapters written by guest authors including some favorites of mine such as Mark Schaefer and Mitch Joel. It was refreshing to hear tips from multiple industry leaders.

Here are a few key points I found especially truthful and useful, as well as some nuggets to pique your interest:

  • Business social media requires an investment: your time.” At least an hour a day. Thank you Gitomer for being open and honest about this! It is so true.
  • “…with business social media, I can personalize it, and humanize it…” Be human, and be real. This is one point we often have to remind our clients – while it is business, it’s still social media. No one is going to like your Facebook page or share your information if you’re cold, boring and fact-laden. People like people.
  • “Start (or restart) your business social media outreach with purpose, plan and design. And start (or restart) it with an understanding of what you want to achieve.” I find this especially insightful. Too many people start social media without a real vision of what they want to achieve…those are the profiles with
    meaningless fluff that give social media a bad name. Take Gitomer’s advice and
    have a plan.
  • “Start with information, and then add insight.” Yes! Don’t just forward
    information, provide your personal take on it and make it more useful to your
    audience. Don’t just be a content aggregator, be a content creator.
  • A 5.5-part process for starting your own Facebook business page
  • The 15 imperatives of LinkedIn
  • 7 ways to add value to your Twitter conversations
  • How to build an audience on YouTube

Social Boom! was full of useful quotes and lists like these. A caveat on expectations: While I was expecting a book about social media for brands, the book really focuses on tools and techniques an individual can use. I still found it useful, but more for my personal use than for managing our clients’ social media. So, keep that in mind.

Jeffrey Gitomer’s Social Boom! was a quick, fun read, and inspired me to get my butt in gear for my own business social media. While I do it every day for clients, I’d been using
social media primarily for my personal life, I believe to my detriment. I was missing out on adding my professional insight as a PR and social media manager to the world of business social media. If you have smart things to say, I recommend you jump in, share your insight and personality, and get social! See www.gitomer.com for tips and how to get Social Boom!

How about you? Do you do business social media? What social media platforms are your favorites?

This post was contributed by Alexia Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive

Posted in Blog, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Celebrating Relationships Counts!

Posted on August 02, 2011

When it comes to public relations, relationships count. Heck, the name of the profession is practically public relationships! Building new relationships is certainly important in this industry, but it is equally important to strengthen and celebrate existing relationships by turning off the talk about strategy and goals, and just having a relaxing
time with your clients and associates.

As contradictory as it may sound, sometimes the best way to strengthen business relationships is to stop doing business! Invite your clients to a party, or out to dinner; spend time relaxing and chatting about anything other than work. Go to a sporting event, eat or enjoy some music…just have fun with them. People do business with people so it’s good to inject your individual personality and remind clients why they work with you.

A few weeks ago, we did just that. We hosted an Open House to thank our clients and partners for their continued support and to celebrate our new offices just blocks from Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.

In typical Clearpoint fashion, the party was beach themed with sunset-colored flowers, tiki torches, and a mellow, world-beat band setting the mood for the evening. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we LOVE the beach!

  

We really wanted to focus on our new location, so guests enjoyed Mediterranean food from local caterers, local brews and fine wines, great music and each other’s company.  We also had the entire conference room filled with delicious bite-sized desserts from a local bakery. It quickly became one of the more popular stops on the office tour.

Special guest Denise Stillinger of the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy.

We were also proud to make a special announcement.  In honor of our new community, combined with our fondness for marine life and proximity to the San Elijo Lagoon, team Clearpoint was inspired to donate money and PR services to the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. Clearpoint will help promote its 25th anniversary of protecting and preserving the natural resources of the lagoon.

Special thanks to Denise Stillinger, president of the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, who was able to join us to talk about the lagoon and current conservation efforts, in addition to accepting our donation. We can’t wait to get the word out about all of the great work the Conservancy does.

Clearpoint staff and guests all had fun while strengthening existing relationships, celebrating our new location and reconnecting with clients and colleagues in an inviting atmosphere. In fact, we received such positive feedback from party guests that we are hoping to make it an annual event. We are so appreciative of everyone who showed up to celebrate with us and we hope you enjoyed your chocolate lollipop party favors.

Kool & the Gang’s 1980s smash hit said it best: “Celebrate
good times, come on! Let’s celebrate!”

Check out the slide show below for more pictures from our Open House!

This post was contributed by Kelsey Hollenbeck Clearpoint Agency Intern.

[slideshow]

Posted in Blog, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.