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Archive for June, 2011

Keynote Speaker

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

9905947416_86c48852a1_nWhat is a Keynote Speaker?

A keynote speaker is an expert who speaks professionally on their specific area of expertise. It is a huge benefit to audiences if this keynote speaker is informative as well as entertaining. Audiences react better to a keynote speaker that has a great message and conveys that message in an entertaining way.

Imagine yourself as an audience member at your company’s annual convention. You have probably experienced a speaker that nearly put you to sleep. Maybe this was the president of your company or organization? It does not take a lot to be a good keynote speaker. In fact, there are many speaking coaches and speech writers that can help you improve your keynote speech.

Even some of the best professional speakers on the circuit use speech writers and coaches to help them improve their content. As far as expertise, you either have it or you don’t.

We believe that keynote speakers have to also be performers. When you think about the keynote speech, it is a type of performance. Below in this blog post, we have included five speaker demo videos of four of the best keynote speakers on the circuit. They are professional speakers and earn their living full time as a keynote professional speaker.

There are however, industry specific keynote speakers as well. When I think of industry specific expert keynote speakers, I think of Jack Welch, Steve Jobs and Floyd Wickman. I suspect you can think of at least one industry specific keynote professional speaker that you have seen in the last year.

Then there are the celebrity keynote speakers like Bill Cosby, Stedman Graham and Marlo Thomas. This is where you get excellent entertainment with a message. For example, Marlo speaks about how her father inspired her to become an actress as well as carry the message about Saint Jude Children’s Hospital to her audiences. Celebrity keynote speakers are always a great draw to build attendees for your events but not always great keynote speakers.

Beware of the keynote speaker who does not have the proper tools available for you to make a decision if they are right for your audience. Many professional speakers make good supplemental speakers for your event but are not good for the main stage. Meeting planners are good a detecting speakers who are not keynote material so if you are trying to put on a successful event without a meeting planner, you should consider bringing one on your convention team.

Here are five samples of great keynote speakers:

Christine Cashen

Floyd Wickman

Connie Podesta

Steve Rizzo

Eileen McDargh

photo credit: Thomas Kurian via photopin (license)

Forget SEO-Think Thought Leadership

Friday, June 24th, 2011

moneyI received a spam email the other day with the subject line “$34 to get you on page one”. How could they spend the time and do the necessary activities to get anyone on page one for $34? Click, delete bye bye.

I probably get at least five emails every day from someone trying to sell me SEO services. I am here to tell you to forget SEO, the term is outdated. Instead think “Thought Leadership” and publish content on all your Internet resources that provides your knowledge and expertise to your public via a pre determined Internet marketing strategy.

Thought Leadership is the perceived value created by disseminating subject matter expertise across the Internet designed to position yourself as an expert in your industry. By posting industry specific information and know how that readers find useful, valuable and beneficial, these communities follow you and consider you a “Thought Leader” in your area of expertise.

Publish teaser content (don’t give everything away) in blog posts and across social networks providing your public assistance with your expertise instead of trying to sell something. People want to buy they don’t want to be sold! (That is not an original quote and I do not remember where I learned it).

Instead of thinking key words and meta tags, think content in the form of professionally produced video, images and descriptive text. Publish not only because people will read and learn from it but also because search engines will index your content and position you in search results based on your useful information and blended content. You don’t know who is on the Internet looking to solve a problem you have the cure for.

Answer this question; what does your company do better than anyone else? Now, get creative and produce video content sharing your expertise and publish that video on the Internet with text descriptions and link back to your website. (Make sure to always include a http:// in your link back.) Use as many networks as possible. We use over 50 content delivery networks to publish content based on each Internet marketing campaign.

Set Google Alerts using your company name, author name and topic so once a week you will be alerted when your content has been used buy second and third party publishers. Every week we receive a series of Google Alerts that notify us of traffic as well as second and third party publishing of our Internet marketing content. We don’t give everything away but rather share some of our expertise to show our Thought Leadership and earn the attention of the search engines (instead of manipulating them using SEO outdated techniques).

We share content on our website, blog (s), podcast and social networks. I have a staff that helps get the word out because this is a lot of work for one person and the phone continues to ring. You can do this too or hire a professional company (like http://www.PrimeauProductions.com) to help you develop your Internet marketing strategy.
While doing so, make sure you have the proper follow up support to effectively service your inquiries.

This week my assistant Rachel is on vacation. We all filled in for her but after receiving 6 new prospects our days were long and patience worn thin. Nothing will kill great Internet marketing more than poor customer service and follow up.

One of our suppliers referred a video production lead to us and I tried 6 times to call and thank them. Each time I got stuck in their phone system and listened to this message over and over “that line is busy, please hold”. I waited on hold because I wanted to show my appreciation. After about a half hour I finally gave up. I wonder how many prospects also gave up and went to their competitor who had the proper telephone support?

To get started with your Internet marketing strategy, make a list of your talent, skill and ability to help you determine your Thought Leadership expertise. Then create video content and text that will help your public and the search engines solve problems using your Thought Leadership expertise.

How To Create Video Like the Pros

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Video ProductionWe have arrived at “The Video Revolution Online”. There is more video on the Internet today than ever before. Much of the video is homemade and works for its intended purpose. If you are a business that is using video to help convince a prospect to contact you (which is a very important focus for your Internet and
social media marketing efforts) then you must consider these 5 components of a successful video.

By successful we mean your video has to accomplish a purpose that it was intended for. If your video is intended to sell (sales video), then it better walk your Internet shopper through a sales process driven by benefits. If your video is intended to demonstrate (demo video) than it better demonstrate your talent, skill and ability. If your video is intended to market (marketing video), than your video better show marketing process that engages your prospect.

There are 5 qualifications of a great video; Creativity, video production quality, audio quality, graphics quality and sustainability.

Creativity is the backbone of your video. It’s the spark that brings your idea to life. Some people feel they can create their video on their own and save money. That works some of the time. Most successful videos that sell have a creative team behind the video production; a creative director, project manager, graphics designer, video editor, audio post producer, and producer. The creative director is the person who pulls all creativity together and organizes the design, look and feel of your video.

Video production quality is the look and feel of your video footage. “You can’t make a purse out of a sow’s ear” is true especially when producing a video you want to make a great first impression. However if you know what you are working with going into a project, there are skills that can be applied and planned for in advance to improve the quality of a poor video like color correction and other adjustments. Video restoration is an art that Primeau Productions founder Ed Primeau as perfected. Several of our clients send us DVD’s as a master video source which is not optimal. We extract the DVD video footage and import into one of two video editing systems; Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro.

The audio is then exported from the video editing program and imported into an audio program like Pro Tools or Sound Forge to optimize the volume, reduce background extraneous noise, and add equalization. The outcome is an improved video source for your production.

When we are provided existing video, we always begin the production process looking at all video footage provided. Rating is based on video and audio quality, composition, number of cameras, level of energy and performance. If we are hired to record the video footage, all these items are covered well in advance.

Audio quality is an often overlooked characteristic of video production. There are some basic fundamental requirements to great audio for video. First, volume should be in the -15 to -6 range on digital video; peaking no more than -3. In the old analogue days, over saturation was more forgiving than on digital video. Over saturation or audio that is too loud will become distorted when recorded to digital video. Keep in mind that if you are recording audio to video through an audio mixer, these same volume characteristics still apply. Maintain the same volume levels on the audio mixer as you do on the video camera (video recorder).

Background audio noise is another characteristic that can ruin audio quality on video. If a mixing board is too noisy because of unnecessary inputs that are on and not being used or electric buzzes and hums are present, background noise will be present creating more work in the edit suite. Primeau productions and other professional production houses have a part of the video editing and production process called audio post that minimizes background noise, optimizes volume and sound quality and evens out all audio from the many video sources.

Graphics quality has become a very important ingredient in video. If you look at some of the graphics and motion graphics you see in television programs and other Internet videos, you will notice a level of quality that must be acknowledged. People may not dissect your video and point out that your graphics are poor but subconsciously poor graphics contribute to lack of interest in your message. When professional graphics are added to a video production, it lifts the overall quality of the production.

Sustainability is a video that lasts and will stand up to time. If you are going to create a professional video that brings in prospects and generates leads, then you want it to last a long time so you get a good ROI (return on investment). Great video production companies know how to create videos that are not only effective but have sustainability; they hold up over time.

Check out this 4 minute video edited by Shelley Sink for Pulte Homes

Cybersecurity: Our Shared Responsibility

Friday, June 17th, 2011

LockTake Action – Cybersecurity Tips
Here are a few steps that you can take to not only participate in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but also enhance cybersecurity 365 days a year:

  • There are many things businesses, schools, and home users can do to practice cybersecurity during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and beyond.
  • Make sure that you have anti-virus software and firewalls installed, properly configured, and up-to-date. New threats are discovered every day, and keeping your software updated is one of the easier ways to protect yourself from an attack. Set your computer to automatically update for you.
  • Update your operating system and critical program software. Software updates offer the latest protection against malicious activities. Turn on automatic updating if that feature is available.
    Back up key files. If you have important files stored on your computer, copy them onto a removable disc and store it in a safe place.
  • Join the National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign: Stop. Think. Connect.
  • Endorse – Demonstrate your commitment to cybersecurity.
  • Show your organization’s commitment to cybersecurity and National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by signing the online endorsement form at www.staysafeonline.org.
    Create a section for cybersecurity on your organization’s Web site. Download banners at www.staysafeonline.org and post them on your organization’s home page.
  • Add a signature block to your e-mail:
    “October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Stay Safe Online! Visit www.staysafeonline.org for the latest cybersecurity tips.”
  • Educate – Find out what more you can do to secure cyberspace and how you can share this with others.
  • Participate in the National Cyber Security Alliance Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education (C-SAVE) Program and help educate elementary, middle, and high-school students about Internet safety and security. For more information or to download the C-Save curriculum, visit www.staysafeonline.org/in-the-classroom/c-save.
    Review cybersecurity tips with your family.
  • Print and post these cybersecurity tips near your computer and network printers.
  • Use regular communications in your business—newsletters, e-mail alerts, Web sites, etc.—to increase awareness on issues like updating software processes, protecting personal identifiable information, and securing your wireless network.
  • Educate family, friends, peers at www.StaySafeOnline.org
  • Learn the fundamentals of cybersecurity, starting with the IT Security Essential Body of Knowledge (EBK)
  • For more detailed Tips, read these Tip Sheets from National Cyber Security Alliance
  • Report Suspicious Cyber Activity to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) by visiting https://forms.us-cert.gov/report/ or by calling 1-888-282-0870. You may also visit www.staysafeonline.org/tools-resources/cyber-crime-security-and-safety-reports for more information.
  • Get involved in Internet safety initiatives within your community and volunteer through the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education Project (C-SAVE).
  • Support cyber education and training in schools and collaborative efforts such as the federal Scholarship for Service program.

Here are a few additional resources that can help you to stay safe online and strengthen our collective cybersecurity efforts all year long:

  • Know who you’re dealing with
  • Keep your web browsers and operating system up-to-date
  • Back up important files
  • Internet safety for children
  • Use security software tools
  • Use strong passwords or strong authentication technology
  • Learn what to do if something goes wrong

For more information on Awareness Month and for additional material, please visit www.us-cert.gov and www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam.

The Department partners with a number of cybersecurity organizations throughout the year to educate all citizens on the importance of implementing effective cybersecurity practices. These partnerships also make National Cybersecurity Awareness Month possible by uniting public and private sector efforts to secure cyberspace. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month materials and resources can be found at the following sites:

  • The National Cyber Security Division outlines the Department’s strategic national cybersecurity objectives.
  • The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) offers safety tips, incident reports, and the latest cyber alerts.
  • The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is a collaborative effort among experts in the security, non-profit, academic, and government fields to teach consumers, small businesses, and members of the education community about Internet security by providing free tips, checklists, and best practices for remaining safe while online.
  • The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) comprises members of all 50 states, local governments, and U.S. territories and districts, and provides downloadable awareness materials including newsletters, posters, bookmarks, and briefings.

The Federal Trade Commission’s OnGuard Online Web site provides practical tips and downloadable print and Web materials about how to avoid Internet fraud and how to protect personal information.

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