What is a Keynote Speaker?

February 26th, 2013

4433291644_83ccaaf272After producing demo video for professional speakers for over 20 years, there’s one thing we know for sure. A keynote speaker is an expert who speaks professionally (thank you Nido Qubein) that incorporates performance, theater and content into their keynote address.

Keynote speakers are first and foremost performers. Anyone who gets on a stage to communicate a message and has low performance value will not do very well as a keynote speaker. Audience members who want to learn about the keynote speaker’s expertise will learn more through a performance than a boring lecture.

Keynote speakers who make it in the professional speaking industry have worked their craft on stage performing similar to a standup comedian or actor. The way to improve your performance is through experience and practice.

Keynote speakers are constantly improving their performance by developing new material, then performing this material with similar stage mechanics used in the theater. A Keynote speaker is also an expert at performing arts. They know how to use the full stage when performing, tell a story and use their body language to communicate in a compelling manor.

Our friend Doug Stephenson at http://www.storytelling-in-business.com/ has been working with keynote speakers, teaching them theatrical performance and storytelling for many years. Doug is the best in the business to help keynote speakers develop and grow.  That is why I believe ‘Theater’ is the second key ingredient to be a keynote speaker.

The last and perhaps most important ingredient is content. Keynote speakers who are great performers that have excellent theatrical ability but no content will not make it in the professional speaking industry as a keynote speaker. We meet this group of people all the time. The challenge is to help this group of aspiring speakers with the proper direction to grow in their areas of lack. Content is a very important ingredient in becoming a successful keynote speaker.

Industry specific speakers who present specific content directed to a particular industry will more than likely fill the gap in the conference or convention agenda but will not leave the audience with a lasting impression. This is why keynote speakers are sought after to build meeting attendance and provide value for your audience. A polished keynote speaker who is strong in these three areas is worth every cent because they add value to your meeting.  When content is delivered without the use of theatrical skill or performance expertise, chances are the audience’s expectations will fall short.

Coaches like Lou Heckler, Vickie Sullivan and Max Dixon can help you build value in your keynote presentations and grow in any of these three areas you are lacking. If you are serious about being a keynote speaker, analyze your ability for performance, theater and content. Like any profession, constant learning and development is crucial for success.

photo credit: Clegg Speech 3 via photopin (license)

Primeau Productions Records ‘Michigan Man,’ potential State of Michigan Theme Song

February 19th, 2013

5507544414_5b6bfa3354In 1996, musician/songwriter Mike Ridley wrote and recorded a song titled ‘Michigan Man.’ The song is being considered as the official state song for Michigan. Primeau Productions is a Detroit Based video production company who has worked with Mike Ridley.

Primeau Productions recorded the song in 1996 at our Southfield, Michigan studio (which has since been relocated to Rochester Hills, Michigan). In addition to Mike Ridley performing on the recording, radio talk show host, author and philanthropist Mitch Albom is also performing as keyboard player.

House Bill 4263, sponsored by Rep. Frank Foster, was introduced to the House of Representatives Thursday, February 14th. You can see the official bill here.

Today Mike recorded an interview with WWJ and is expected to be a guest on The Mitch Albom Show in the near future.

Listen to ‘Michigan Man’ now!

Click here for the following wonderful lyrics:

Michigan Man by Mike Ridley

“Changing seasons paint the scene like rainbow trout in a hidden stream
Whitetail deer in the tall pine trees, I am a Michigan Man

I am I am a Michigan man ask where I’m from and I’ll show you my hands lord above I love this land, I am a Michigan Man

From the Keweenaw down to St. Joe, Kalamazoo east to Monroe, Sault Ste. Marie and back again, I am a Michigan Man

I am I am a Michigan man ask where I’m from and I’ll show you my hands lord above I love this land, I am a Michigan Man

(Native American Singing)

If I should die across the sea on a peninsula you can bury me on my head stone it should read, ‘here lies a Michigan Man’

I am I am a Michigan man ask where I’m from and I’ll show you my hands lord above I love this land, I am a Michigan Man

I am I am a Michigan man ask where I’m from and I’ll show you my hands I am I am I am by god, I am a Michigan Man

I am I am a Michigan man where sleeping bears lay on the sand, Manitou has placed his hands, I am a Michigan Man.”

 

 

photo credit: Pickups – March 7th, 2011 (66/365) via photopin (license)

Nothing Sells Your Business Like Video

February 6th, 2013

7991034052_2c12a4acbbAs a video production company operating in a suburb of Detroit Michigan (which is part of southeast Michigan) we are starting to see Internet video hit critical mass for small businesses. Having a video on your website dramatically increases your percentage of closed business transactions. Why? Because nothing sells your business like video.

When someone comes to your website and they’re a secret shopper you don’t know that they are there looking at your business. Having a video on your website could make or break them picking up the phone and calling your company over a competitor’s just because you have a demonstration video on your website.

Number one, the demonstration video allows you, the owner of the company, to develop an internet presence, 24/7. Anybody can come to your website and get to meet you by seeing you on camera.

Secondly, it presents your goods and services in an entertaining, informative medium, using sight and sound. You can create any perception you want about your business using video.

And last, it is easier to watch a video than read a lot of text-based information because when you hit play on a video, three minutes later you have learned more about a company than you would have by searching through several pages and trying to retain the information you need and filter out what you don’t.

We’re seeing a lot of new video on behalf of Michigan-based contractors and builders who want to communicate the quality of the work that they do. These videos can incorporate testimonials from past clients and video footage of successfully completed construction jobs. Industrial supply companies want to use video in order to tell prospects about their guarantees and the differentiation between themselves and their competitors.

Nothing exemplifies your company better than a well produced professional video. We are part of the Detroit Michigan video production community 800.647.4281.

photo credit: Michigan towns 1971 via photopin (license)

Why Do Some People Look Better On Camera Than Others

January 23rd, 2013

5465484586_8705733289Have you ever noticed that some people are very photogenic? No matter what they do they look great on camera. This includes photography as well as video cameras. I think there are several reasons why some people look better than others on camera.

Watching a recent news show where a group of people were entering the studio, a video camera was at the entrance recording them as they came into the studio. Some people looked into the camera and waved, and other people looked away from the camera and looked apprehensive.

I believe that when people embrace having their photograph taken, or being in a video, and smile, and have a positive attitude and they let their pleasing personality show they have a successful recording. When people are nervous and they don’t want to be photographed or video recorded that comes across.

It’s like anything else that you put your mind to. When you believe you’re going to do a good job, you do a good job. When you’re nervous about not doing a good job and that’s what you think about more, then, more likely than not, you’re not going to do a good job.

The same holds true when being video recorded or photographed. Some things I recommend that you can do in order to have a better result with being photographed or video recorded are, first, think positively about the experience and do the best that you can to look good on camera. Wear something that compliments you. Your dress is just as important as the ‘psychological’ state that you’re in when being photographed or video recorded.

Second, before the experience of being photographed or video recorded look into the mirror and determine if you feel confident in your appearance that day. This includes the way that your hair is done, the outfit that you’re wearing. And practice your smile – practice looking right into the mirror as if it were the camera lens. And get comfortable with a pose. As odd as that sounds people who don’t prepare their poses have a lower chance of being successfully recorded than those that do prepare.

There’s a room backstage in almost all performance arenas – this includes television studios, concert halls, theaters – it’s called the ‘green room’, and in the green room you’ll find several things, one is a mirror. That’s so the actors and professional talent can look at themselves before they go on stage or in front of the camera.

Getting comfortable with the way that you look is half the battle with successfully being video recorded or photographed.

It’s not considered vanity to practice how you’re going to look on camera. Rather, it’s important. And I believe that people who are comfortable with their appearance, know how to dress professionally and practice being photographed and video recorded have far greater chance at success in life than those that don’t.

One of the first steps I recommend taking is to change your attitude about being photographed and video recorded. Look at some people on line – Facebook is a great place to look at photographs – and see the people who are photogenic. What makes them photogenic? Is it the fact that they believe they look good? That’s not considered arrogance … that’s just confidence. Practice becoming more confident and you’ll have a better chance of having a good photograph taken, or video recorded, and those photographs and video recordings will contribute to your success far more effectively than bad photographs or non-confident video recordings.

photo credit: 27 via photopin (license)

How to Apply the Rule of Thirds

January 18th, 2013

4620433766_146683196e_bThe rule of thirds is a compositional guideline which suggests that you take an image and divide it into nine equal parts with two equally spaced vertical lines and two equally space horizontal lines.  By placing your subject on one of these intersecting lines, it’s thought to create a more pleasing visual than simply centering the shot.

Placing points of interest in the intersections or along the lines your subject becomes more balanced and allows the viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Studies have shown that, when viewing images, people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot. 

For more examples like these, go to:

https://www.google.com/search?q=rule+of+thirds&hl=en&tbo=u&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS506US506&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ENL2UIm-BsikqQGPz4CAAw&ved=0CE4QsAQ&biw=1683&bih=1292

The same principle can be applied when shooting video.  For instance, when shooting an interview with a stationary subject, be sure your subject is standing (or sitting) in a ‘Rule of Thirds’ position. And be sure to compose your shot applying the Rule of Thirds, creating space in front of your subject.  Make sure your background isn’t so busy that it’s distracting from the subject.  Find a simple background, or a background that doesn’t have a lot of activity behind it. For instance, if you’ve got someone in the background picking their nose or drinking a bottle of water, it doesn’t matter how great an interview you record, the audience is going to be looking at that instead of your subject matter.

So when you’re in the field and you have a camera and a tripod and you’re getting ready to set up your shot, what is one of the first things that you should do in order to apply the rule of thirds?

Look through the lens of your camera, place your subject matter off center so that it has some space around it, to the left and to the right – if you center it as in our first example of the rock, you see that it’s just not as interesting of a shot as the off center composition.

Bottom line, if you begin your video production with excellent digital video recordings you will save time and money in post and create a more pleasant video production.

Professional Speaking Trends for 2013

December 31st, 2012

3973783991_55b9207f54As 2012 comes to a close Primeau Productions has seen the beginning of many trends that we believe will be expanded on in 2013.

The first trend is the widening gap between the amateur or beginning professional speaker and the experienced veteran professional speaker. It usually takes up to three years for an aspiring professional speaker to have perfected their craft. This includes performing pro bono on just about any stage that will allow the opportunity to polish your craft. Professional speakers and professional orators know that they must have a rock solid message to communicate to a captive audience that’s interested in hearing that message. Amateur and beginning professional speakers must learn how to polish their craft in order to become sought after and memorable in order to get referrals because word of mouth is the most important tool in transition from an amateur to a professional. When people start talking about you and your message to other people in the industry, like meeting planners and speakers bureaus, that’s when your business will hit ‘critical mass’ and you will make the transition from amateur to professional.

Another trend that we see is the role of the speaker’s bureau. Speakers Bureaus must evolve with the times with the help of the professional speaker. We envision professional speakers having a more active role in helping bureaus market themselves to meeting planners and corporate clients, more so in 2013 than ever before.

Let’s face it, the Internet serves as a source of information about hiring professional speakers for corporate meetings and events. If I’m a meeting planner or corporation looking for a professional speaker I can get on the Internet and search website after website until I find exactly what I’m looking for. Shopping for a professional speaker has become easier because of the Internet and the speakers bureau role is changing from supplier of professional speaker to helping facilitate the professional speaking process within the meeting. In other words, we see speaker’s bureaus working closer with their professional speaker clients and the meeting planners in forming relationships that help coordinate the success of the professional speaker/meeting planner relationship and that being the solid backbone to help the speaker bureau to evolve.

We also see professional speakers referring leads that they receive to speaker bureaus, more often than before. Because if the speakers bureau helps the professional speaker develop their relationship with the client that they referred to the bureau, the percentage of the speaking fee the bureau will receive is well deserved because of the activity the bureau takes in coordinating this relationship.

Another trend that we see at Primeau Productions is for professional speakers to record themselves while presenting their message from the stage. First of all, the recording helps the professional speaker polish new material. Second, the recording helps avant-garde and spontaneous portions of the presentation to be reviewed and remembered, because a lot of times the professional speaker will react based on what the audience responds to during their presentation. However, that can easily be forgotten after the presentation when the professional speaker leaves the stage. And by ‘recording’ we mean audio or video – an amateur recording, something that could be referred to later on by the speaker in order to hone and polish their message.

Another trend we see is professional speakers utilizing video marketing to help build their visibility on the Internet. The more places and the more video content that the veteran professional speaker distributes across the Internet, the more likely they are to be found by the meeting planner or corporation that is looking for a professional speaker to bring in to their meeting or event. Plus, video marketing shows the depth and breadth of the speaker’s knowledge, skill and ability.

The last important trend that we see for 2013 is the professional speaker – especially the veteran – writing more content and printed material; creating books; writing blogs, and being a guest blogger on a purposeful blog to help themselves market and show the depth of their expertise. There is no better way than writing and creating printed content to help develop your message as well as prove your expertise to your demographic.

We’ve encountered many amateur ‘professional speakers’ who have not written any books or written very little blog content. Their excuse is they don’t have time. Well, that’s because they’re spending all their time trying to figure out where their next job is going to come from so they can pay the bills. It’s very important, in our opinion, to have published written content on your expertise in order to not only be found on the Internet because books and written content are another category for Internet marketing, but they also help support you, the veteran professional speaker, as the expert. And experts who speak professionally are the most sought after professional speakers.

Look at your competition in professional speaking. Who are the ones who are getting the ‘big bucks’ and all the speaking engagements? What are they, as a veteran professional speaker, doing different than what you are doing as an amateur, or an aspiring professional speaker? Do they have sponsorship opportunities with major corporations who they help reveal their brand in the professional speaker’s marketing efforts? What have they published to help position them as an expert in their category? What can you do in 2013 to follow some of these trends to help boost your professional speaking business?

These are trends that we’ve noticed in 2012 and before that have become more prominent and grown during 2012 that we see as very solid business pillars in 2013. Don’t be distracted by living in your own world and doing the same things that you’ve always done and expecting to get more business. Take a chance, try to identify some trends that you believe in, and change your business activity just enough to help your business grow in 2013.

photo credit: Speech prep 4 via photopin (license)

Big Bright Light Show Rochester, Michigan

December 12th, 2012

15694076864_0f2158e757I Love the Video Business in Rochester, Michigan

Rochester Hills is a great city for operating a video production company especially since I live in the same city, two miles away from my office. Downtown Rochester is especially beautiful this time of year, with all of the Christmas lights and decorations.

A few years back, an outdoor mall opened in Rochester Hills, near Oakland University, called The Village of Rochester Hills. It nearly put downtown Rochester out of business as everyone went to the new mall to shop instead of the small boutiques downtown.

So somebody (I think it was the Downtown Development Authority) came up with a brilliant marketing idea by hanging amazing lighting on the store fronts and restaurants. These lights (plus the annual Rochester Parade held in early December) have literally drawn thousands to downtown Rochester. On most nights all the restaurants in Rochester are seated to capacity. The shops full of reasonably priced unique gifts are doing great. If you have not seen Rochester for the holidays, check out the video below produced, recorded and edited by Lauren Primeau.

photo credit: Bokeh heart via photopin (license)

3 Tips for Boosting YouTube Marketing Efforts – James Wedmore

November 26th, 2012

4481461680_4273d06822Email subscriptions are one of the best internet marketing techniques used today. Having the option to subscribe to a blog via email can bring you wonderfull information, and also create a great database to send information to clients and create new leads. No matter how much social media stregthens and grows by the day, the tool we call email will always play a role in coproate business functions and internet marketing efforts.

Below are 3 great tips Primeau Productions recieved from a YouTube marketing guru James Wedmore that we would like to repost and share with our blogging followers.

Implementing James’s tips on YouTube marketing can single handedly be the best video marketing strategies you will ever come across.

#1) Add The Call to Action Overlay Banner
Want to get visitors from Youtube to YOUR website? One of the most effective ways to do so is to install and activate the Call to Action Overlay Banner on each of your videos. With this option, viewers will see a mini banner ad on the lower-third of your video with your copy, headline, thumbnail and link!  Failure to do this means traffic to
someone else’s site and not yours!
#2) Backlinking Secrets
For my SEO friends, you know the power of backlinking! (what are backlinks? Just “google it for a better definition).  Every time
you create a new video on Youtube, simply send backlinks to your video url and (this is the real kicker!!) send backlinks to your channel URL!  (ex: http://www.Youtube.com/user/channelname)  Youtube LOVES to get action on Channel Pages!  This helps out ALL of your videos!
#3) Get Video Responses on Your Videos
This is my favorite strategy!  Want to rank your videos on the top of Youtube & Google?  Simply add video responses from other channels on your videos and watch your vids JUMP!  This works wonders and doesn’t have to take a lot of time!

 

 

 

Check out James Wedmore’s YouTube training course below:

http://www.videotrafficacademy.com/?hop=worldweb2

photo credit: YouTube logo via photopin (license)

The Art of Facilitating Creativity

November 16th, 2012

15784168266_80c7288b1a_bI’ve been involved in dozens, if not hundreds, of creative situations throughout the years. I’ve worked with many creative people and seen many different styles of creativity and I’ve noticed some common denominators of all creative processes, sessions, activities and situations. One of the things that I have seen from a lot of people who are engaged in creative endeavors is being very playful. I think one of the problems with corporate America today is that we’ve forgotten how to be playful in the workplace. Too many places are worried only about the bottom line, and making a profit and they’ve put pressure on their workforce and that has squeezed out ‘playfulness’ from the workplace. Now, I’m not insinuating that we should all play all day long at work, because that’s not what I’m trying to suggest. Rather, a playful work environment is a space that you create in the workplace where employees are allowed to be playful and have fun. Clean fun, safe fun, fun that’s not harmful. Sure, it’s okay to play practical jokes and laugh and be giddy – there’s nothing wrong with that in the workplace. The problem is, employers look at that as being unproductive, and it stifles your company’s creativity. Your employees are your best resource, and your best motivation for your employees is to allow them to be playful because if they’re playful in the workplace they will be more creative. That’s step one in the creative process, based on my observations over the years.

The second common denominator of the creative people that I’ve worked with over the years is that they create a ‘creative space’. In other words, the opposite of what I’m trying to say is, if you walk into a closet and close the door because you feel that it’s going to be a sensory deprivation situation, that is the opposite of a creative space because you’re closing yourself off and you’re closing your mind to the world. Rather, create a space that has items that you like in it, it’s decorated and it makes you feel good to be in that space. It could include candles and incense; it could include rocks and minerals; different types of pictures and artwork; toys and trinkets that have a pleasant memory attached; crossword puzzles – anything that allows you to feel happy and comfortable in that space. Because you can’t be creative in an environment that is ‘anti-creative’ – it’s impossible.

Another component of creativity is to have creativity partners. Somebody that you can be creative with. Perhaps your company has teams of two, three or four people to whom you assign tasks to be creative. Like at Primeau Productions we have creativity teams, where employees are paired together or work together in  order to come up with more creativity than they would individually and by themselves. Highly successful entertainers like David Letterman or Conan O’Brien have creative teams that write content for their monologues and their programs. Comedians like Ron White and Jeff Foxworthy and Kathleen Madigan have creative teams that help write their material. Sure, they’re part of those teams and, sure, their life circumstances are part of the material that these creative teams use to develop more creative material but by pairing yourself up with at least one other person to help you be more creative you’re expanding your possibilities.

And some rules to consider when being creative with other people. Number one: don’t ever criticize anyone’s suggestions during the creative process. Rather, develop and build on each other’s suggestions. So if a creative partner says something that you think is hideously wrong, don’t say that – instead, say ‘hey, you’re onto something there – what else can we do to make it better?’ If you look at successful ventures, like any motion picture or talent or musical group there is more than one individual that contributed to the creativity for that endeavor. And those creative minds coming together is far more powerful than each individual would be alone. There have been a lot of scientific studies done at many different universities dating as far back as a UC Berkeley study back in the ‘70s by Dr. Donald W. MacKinnon. And they’ve studied and explored the creative processes and come up with actual scientific data as to what it takes to be creative. What I’m hoping that you get reading this blog post is that it’s important to go back to creativity, especially in times like the ones we are in when unexplainable situations happen, like hurricane Sandy, that devastate people and creative ways need to be developed in order to solve seemingly overwhelming situations.

Whenever I’m faced with a problem, as CEO of Primeau Productions, I never make a decision until I feel that I have a variety of answers and possibilities. If I’m given a situation or a problem I often take two or three days before I make a decision about solving that problem. It’s the same with creativity. You can’t sit down at a table and say ‘okay, I’ve got to be done being creative by 2:00’ – that’s not how it works! You have to have your space, you have to have your team, you have to have your circumstances, your task, and you start to build on all of the resources that you have in order to design a creative structure to whatever it is that you’re trying to be creative with. At Primeau Productions it might happen to be a documentary that we’re working on, or a professional speaker demo video. It could also be a campaign that we’ve been asked to create for video marketing.

No one person can be as creative as a team of creative people. Bringing creativity into the organization helps to breathe life back into the organization and allow incredible growth and success as a result of that creative environment.

Creativity is not something you either have or don’t have – I believe everyone on the planet has the ability and resources to be creative. Even spirituality can lead to creativity. I also believe that creativity can be developed over time, like muscle – once you tap into your creative energy you will discover what you personally need to continue to build and flex your ‘creative muscle’.

photo credit: Eugenio Cruz Vargas en su taller via photopin (license)

Professional Speaking Video Production Mistakes

November 5th, 2012

3137026754_4126848ec1With over twenty years of experience producing professional speaker demo videos, we have come to realize the most important ingredient in producing a successful speaker demo video is the clip selection process. I know of many successful professional speakers who spend one, two and three times their fee to put together a demo video. And I often meet both “seasoned” and beginner speakers who say “I’ve heard your name before – I’ve never worked with you because I’ve heard you’re expensive.” Professional video production can be expensive – however, it can also have a high return on investment. Of the professional speakers that I know who put their own demo videos together, very few can claim that their video brings them an adequate amount of business.

A high percentage of the professional speakers who we’ve worked with over the years like to be involved in the clip selection process. That is good because their eyes and ears see and hear from their public. As a video producer, I do not see and hear that feedback. Because of this, the professional speaker input in the clip selection process is very important. However, the biggest mistake professional speakers make is that they try to dictate what they feel are the best clips and the best clip order when putting together their demo video. Why do I say that’s a mistake? Because you wouldn’t have one person running a successful business or corporation – you have several. People influence you as a leader when you make decisions, just like focus groups are used to get a public opinion about a product or service and the way that the marketing is going to be packaged and positioned.

Now, professional speakers pretty much decide on their own what their price should be. But when it comes to picking clips, you’re really dealing with your package, your product and your position. And when it comes to marketing, decisions should be made by multiple people, especially people who are experts at understanding how to put demo videos together.

I believe it is very important to consider the big mistakes that I have seen professional speakers make by dictating their clip selection and clip order in their demo video and instead of allowing the video professionals to do their job. The mistakes are big because the single most important ingredient in the professional speaker demo video is the clip selection process. The clips that are picked and the order that they’re put in have to tell a story that the public gets by the end of the demo video. The public should understand what it is that you do and how you can benefit your marketplace. Your demo video is now a porthole to your other video content on the Internet: your Vimeo channel, your YouTube channel, your Facebook page, your Pinterest account, your LinkdIn account.

photo credit: Eugenio Cruz Vargas en su taller via photopin (license)

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