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Archive for the ‘Keynote Speakers’ Category

Three Tips on Getting the Best Video Recording of your Speech

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

By: Lauren Primeau

15203734160_398bc7bd41Picture this. You’ve spent countless hours rehearsing until you’ve mastered your material. You’ve polished every intricate detail and solidified your informative, yet captivating, outline. You’ve pressed your outfit and you’ve got unstoppable confidence. You’re ready to rock this upcoming speaking engagement that is being video recorded. Your new footage will be part of your new demo video and video marketing campaign.

However, we’re willing to bet that there’s just one thing that’s missing from your oh-so-important to-do list. It’s something that almost never crosses the mind of most keynote speakers; but nevertheless should. It’s the format and method of acquiring your video recording after your speaking engagement.

Obviously, this detail only pertains to those speakers who are having their speaking engagement video recorded. So, if this is the case for you, then there are some simple tips that we believe are worth the time and effort to bring to the attention of the videographer(s) recording your event.

Now, for those of you who are not technology savvy, there’s no need to cringe. The good news is that many of the following points are very easy to digest and can make a huge difference in the quality of the video being recorded and turned over to you. These three tips will add a much higher perceived value for your demo video and your video marketing strategy as a professional speaker.

Once your speaking engagement is all said and done (and let’s face it, you pretty much nailed it) most videographers will hand you a burned DVD of your speaking engagement. This is good for you to watch but not good enough for the editing process. The reason it is not good enough for the editing process is that when a DVD is formatted, the original digital video recording is compressed. Compressing your video makes the file sizes much smaller so that it can fit on the DVD. This compression process compromises the quality of the video.  You see, when you compress video, it makes it quicker and easier to send to someone, but unfortunately the quality of the video is compromised, and that is something we absolutely don’t recommend doing.

So, what are your options? Well, what we’ve found to be extremely successful with our efforts in editing video is asking your professional videographer to take the video footage of your speaking engagement and simply drag and drop the files (preferably in .mp4 or a .mov format) onto an external hard drive or thumb drive. The key when asking for these files is to make sure that they are uncompressed. Granted the file sizes will be much larger because they are uncompressed (which is why you will need either an external hard drive or a thumb drive to receive the files) but the quality is far superior to either a compressed DVD or compressed files uploaded to DropBox.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with DropBox, it’s basically a way to share video files over the Internet with simply a click of the mouse that allows you to immediately download the video. Although it sounds pretty great, it does have its drawbacks. Mainly, the files that you wish to download via DropBox (YouSendIt / HighTail, or any other Internet file sharing) are often times also compressed. Granted, it’s much easier to use DropBox due to the ease of downloading digital video files. However, the reason why it’s so easy is because the files are compressed and smaller than the full resolution uncompressed version which is best for editing. This is much like the DVD situation we mentioned earlier and something you really don’t want when it comes to your video files. Not only does it reduce the quality of your video recording, it takes a long time to upload and download the video.

Last but not least, there is one other small detail that we believe is worth bringing up when it comes to your final video product; PowerPoint slides. Often times when we sit down to review footage we receive from a client speaker, it has slides that periodically occur throughout the speech. These have most likely been edited into the video after the video has been recorded or filmed during your speech. If you wish to re-use this video footage for a demo video or for video marketing, we’ve found it difficult to edit your message and content around these slides. It’s much easier to add the slides in later, during the demo video editing process, rather than to take them away and edit them out of a video. One final word about slides, besides making video footage difficult to edit; we have seen video recordings where the slides are the star of the show. On the stage is a huge bright screen with slides that mostly reiterate words that are spoken and a dark room with the speaker off to the side. This reduces the perceived value of your message and ruins the quality of your video recording. Sure slides can add value for your audience but consider the consequences on video.

We recommend carrying a couple 64 GIG thumb drives around with you. That way, the production company or videographer can format the thumb drive to their preferred format, MAC or PC, and transfer your full resolution uncompressed video immediately after your speech. You can avoid compression and DropBox hassles as a result and can get started editing sooner rather than later. 

photo credit: Michelle Donelan via photopin (license)

3 Tips for Professional Speakers

Monday, April 7th, 2014

MicrophonesIf you’re a professional speaker, I’ll bet that you’ve had a microphone malfunction while onstage. After 30 years in the audio/video business, I have seen and heard it all when it comes to mic problems. No matter the reason for bad sound, once it happens, your presentation has suffered irreparable damage.

Tip #1–Invest in Your Own Wireless Microphone

If you earn more than $20,000 per year as a speaker, I strongly recommend that you invest $750 – $1,500 on a professional wireless microphone. To my mind, if you’re a professional golfer, you bring your own set of clubs; and if you’re a professional speaker, you bring your own wireless mic. Probably the most popular systems today are those from the German manufacturer Sennheiser.

A wireless microphone system consists of three components, which can be purchased as a package or separately: a wireless transmitter, a wireless receiver, and a microphone that plugs in to the transmitter. At Primeau Productions, we prefer the systems available from Sennheiser and Audio Technica. Shure, Lectrosonics and Sony are other well-known brands. Any professional wireless mic system should include a receiver that features diversity reception. These units incorporate two separate receiving antennas and two independent receiving circuits tuned to the same channel. Signal strength from each antenna/receiver combination is continuously compared, and the strongest is used to feed the public address system.

In choosing a mic, there are a wide variety of models that can be connected to the small, battery-powered, wireless transmitter that is usually worn under a jacket. There are three basic types of microphones used in wireless mic systems: the lavalier (a lapel or clip-on miniature mic), the headset (a miniature mic on an extensible arm, worn on the head or around the ear), and the handheld (a wireless version of the full-size microphones used by TV news reporters in the field). Use the type of microphone that is most comfortable for you. In my personal opinion, handheld mics withstand handling and traveling best, and they offer the highest quality sound.

Tip #2–Get a Professionally Produced Promotional Video

In addition to a wireless mic, all professional speakers must have a professionally produced promotional video. Your video serves as a brief introduction to you, your presentation style and the topics on which you speak. A dynamic, informative and entertaining video is essential for booking high-paying speaking engagements with corporations and groups. In most cases, we can produce your promotional DVD using existing footage, saving you the expense of shooting new video. With professional voice-over artists, production music and motion graphics, Primeau Video Productions will help you making a lasting, positive first impression on event planners and bookers.

Tip #3–Build Your Business

Finally, how do you thank past clients and ask them for referrals? Many of the professional speakers we work with use SendOutCards, a convenient, online greeting card service. Also, ask past clients for feedback and get their opinions with questions such as, “What did you like most about my presentation, and what did you like least?” and “What did you take away from my presentation?” Questions like these will help you fine-tune your presentations, improve audience response, and ultimately, ensure increased bookings.

Similarly, reach out to fellow speakers and solicit their advice. They are usually happy to provide other professionals with honest, constructive criticism, and they are a great source of referrals. In building your business, each of these steps enhances your referability. This is no time to be complacent – satisfied with the same number of engagements as last year. Now is the time to create your future: be different, be the best you can, and most importantly, be professional.

photo credit: Microphones via photopin (license)

How to Become a Million Dollar Round Table Speaker

Monday, July 29th, 2013

4561176486_9ba23b6cc9If you are reading this blog post, you are probably an expert that speaks professionally and is interested in speaking to the Million Dollar Round Table. You probably know that the Million Dollar Round Table is an organization whose members come to learn from experts like yourself as well as some of the most experienced sales experts who are authors and professional speakers, as well as professional agents.

Top Producers from over 78 nations and territories and about 430 insurance and financial planning companies come to this annual meeting for continuing their education and mass mentoring. MDRT, as it is know in short, has members whose ages range from their early 20s to 90+.

Why should you speak for free on the MDRT stage? It provides you the opportunity to be visible to several insurance companies at the same time. These companies all have annual meetings and hire professional speakers. Please note that MDRT does compensate some of the main stage presenters.

How can you be one of the selected speakers for MDRT?

1.  You have to be really, really good at what you do.

2.  You need to connect with the members of the Main Platform selection committee and show them how good you are.

3.  It doesn’t hurt to have some respected MDRT producers/officers recommend you.

It also doesn’t hurt to have a great video of EXACTLY what you would be presenting. About 15 to 20 minutes since that is the length of an MDRT presentation. They review 2,500 videos and select 14.

What do you do if you are invited to speak? The first thing to do is have a professional video production company like Primeau Productions create an unedited 20 minute section from a recent speaking engagement. Once authored to DVD, you would send the video to the MDRT platform selection committee.

How do you know if you are good enough?  Compare yourself to your peers who have stood on the MDRT stage. Do you believe in your message and feel confident with your platform mechanics? It is also a good idea to also ask your peers to tell you about their experience and spin off speaking engagements received as you plan your strategy.

MDRT is one of the most prestigious speaking platforms in the world. Having spoken for MDRT is a huge credential and can be used in your future marketing efforts.

photo credit: Election 2010 Day 23 – Nick Clegg at Oxford Brookes University via photopin (license)

Professional Speaker Tool Kit

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

14995291959_c4991b67e6In the old days, having a great assistant and professionally produced speaker demo video was all you need to make it as a keynote professional speaker. This is not so any longer. The speaking industry is much more competitive today and professional speakers often sacrifice their principles just to get a gig which tarnishes the image of the industry as a whole.

Running a professional speaking business today requires several tools in order to ”make it” on the speaking circuit. Successful keynote professional speakers keep this tool kit available to them at all times. The tool kit is not easy when the aspiring speaker begins their journey but with the right attitude and perseverance the professional speaker tool kit will come together.

The first tool in the kit is a powerful message. Professional speaker and client of Primeau Productions Connie Podesta always had a powerful message and constantly uses that message in her branding and Internet marketing. Today her message is ”Stand Out from the Crowd,” which is also the title of her latest book, which was a Gold Medal winner in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards!

The second tool in the tool kit to help you make it as a keynote professional speaker is charisma, which means compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others; a divinely conferred power or talent! Some professional speakers make it in the business without charisma because their message is powerful. The professional speakers that make it into the top 20 best speakers on the circuit have charisma.

The third tool in the professional speaker tool kit is an excellent marketing campaign. This campaign consists of several ingredients:

  • A professional produced speaker demo video
  • Professional looking and easy to navigate website
  • Word of mouth referrals
  • Social media strategy using all social media accounts
  • A content rich blog
  • A fair speaking fee and travel expenses
  • Good relationship with speaker bureaus

The fourth tool in the kit is appearance. In order to command the type of fee a great keynote professional speaker earns, you have to look great on the platform. If you do not have the ability to choose clothing that compliments your appearance then find someone than can help. The rest of your appearance almost goes without saying. Your smile, demeanor, hair, nails and casual conversation off the platform all contribute to your appearance. Your appearance is your perceived value. This appearance must also come across in your professional speaker demo video.

The fifth tool is a pleasant personality. I have worked with some professional speakers that have a speech that is so much different than their casual conversation, it’s scary! All of the great professional speakers can carry on a great dinner conversation. They have the ability to carry on a engaging conversation with a pleasant personality before and after their presentation. This personality always shows even in difficult situations.

One of the greatest professional speakers of all time, Floyd Wickman, has an amazing ability to use words to his advantage in any situation. Not only is Floyd amazing on the platform, he is fun and captivating to talk to before and after the presentation.

I would like to hear your comments on what you believe are tools that professional speakers should use in their professional speaker tool kit.  You can post a comment below, email us at Primeau@PrimeauProductions.com or call 800-647-4281.  This business of speaking professionally has been through a major reinvention and there are many tools available for you to make it to the top.
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Ed Primeau featured on NSA Chat

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

5042764163_15405340feBy: Bradley Finegan

Last Tuesday, Gina Carr had Ed Primeau as a guest “tweeter” for her weekly NSA Chat. #NSAchat is a weekly live chat via twitter created for keynote speakers. These chats provide a Q&A session with experienced members from different aspects of the industry.  For those who missed it, I’m creating this blog post to lay out some of the highlights of the chat.

The first thing Ed asked his fellow tweeters was: “How many people hate themselves on video?” Many speakers don’t like the way they come off on video.  Speakers begin to second guess themselves, which leads to questioning aspects of their performance; aspects such as their own vocal quality, movement, energy, etc. Ed’s advice for those people was simple:

 “If you embrace the video recording process, you will love yourself on video.

Becoming comfortable in front of a camera is not an easy task for some, but it is a skill that is very crucial for speakers.  As with all things, practice makes perfect, so Primeau suggests that speakers video record themselves before hiring a professional.  This will teach speakers how to remain comfortable in front of a camera before they invest in the real deal.  No one wants to be unprepared!

Another question that was presented during the NSA Chat was regarding the audience texting during presentations.  With the expansion of smartphones and cellphones, people like to stay connected at all times (and they love distractions!).  Ed suggests that speakers take advantage of this opportunity.  Prohibiting people from using their cell phones is near impossible these days, so Ed recommends guiding your audience to tweet during your presentation.  Encourage them to share your wisdom with their followers.  Tweeting drives traffic to your site, and optimally, to your purchasable content.  Get used to your audience using their portable electronic devices during presentations; it’s not going away!

To see the rest of Ed’s tips from the NSA Chat session, follow this link to check out the transcript.  For more information/more NSA Chat sessions, follow @NSAChat on Twitter.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at brad@primeauproductions.com

photo credit: Twitter Bird Sketch via photopin (license)

Does My Demo Video Suck?

Friday, March 29th, 2013

5261224409_f932eebaabTelling a keynote speaker that their demo video sucks is not an easy task. It’s almost like telling someone they have bad breath. You would be doing them a favor telling the truth, but how do you bring up the subject?

Over the last 29 years the Primeau Team has produced hundreds of demo videos. We understand from experience what sells and what boosts egos.

Standing ovations help sell but more importantly boost egos (for speakers). So, rather than tell your speaker buddy that their demo sucks, have them answer the following questions:

  1. Is your demo video more than five years old?
  2. Are there any technical problems with your demo? For example, is your demo aspect ratio 4 x 3 instead of 16 x 9?
  3. Do you look different today than you look in your demo?
  4. Does your demo video lack energy?
  5. Do you cringe when you view your demo video?
  6. Do you hate how your demo video begins? (the first 60 seconds is the most important part of your demo)
  7. If you had the chance for a ‘do-over’ would you choose different music for your demo video?
  8. Have you lost more than two speaking engagements in the last 30 days? (holds cancelled or client has chosen another speaker)

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions then your demo video probably sucks.

For less than your earnings from one keynote speaking engagement you can update or re-do your demo video. So why do so many professional speakers procrastinate about completing their demo video?

Most always, we find keynote speakers who do not keep their demo video current hate the way they look on video. Others claim that their referrals are good enough to keep them in business without a demo video.

You don’t know how many speaking engagement opportunities you are missing out on if you are guilty of either of the above scenarios.

Professional speakers who present on the main stage must have a current, professionally produced demo video in order to become, stay and feel successful in today’s market.

Competition is fierce and those speakers who keep their demo videos up to date experience more speaking engagements, success, referrals, word of mouth advertising and overall great feeling of accomplishment than professional speakers who procrastinate with the demo video production process.

So, where do you being to turn around your sucky demo video circumstances?

Get great live speaking video footage before anything else. Ask the production company who recorded your video to give you full quality digital video files on a thumb drive or external hard drive. Full quality digital video files are much better than DVD copies of your speaking engagements. Invest in a couple of large thumb drives or external hard drives and ask for these high quality video files after your speech.

You need at least one great video recording to create your demo video. Then choose a professional production company to help you with the rest of the demo video production process.

The time and money invested will come back to you tenfold once you determine that your old demo video sucks, and decide to do something about it.

photo credit: Dan Monick via photopin (license)

Are You Losing Business Because of Your Demo Video?

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

6355318323_4c41d3ef76It’s no secret – professional speaker demo videos that are not updated and competitive based on current market conditions will help eliminate you as a candidate for a speaking engagement almost as often – if not more often – than your demo video will qualify you for a speaking engagement.

When a meeting planner watches your demo video they have three choices. They can continue to watch it; they can stop it and move on; or they can use it to qualify you. If they stop it and move on you have been eliminated from consideration for that speaking engagement. And you have to ask yourself, why did they watch it in the first place? Not always do we know that we’ve been eliminated from a speaking engagement, but let’s assume, in this case, we do.

Why did they watch it in the first place? Well, probably because you were referred to them, or something in their search criteria brought your website up on the Internet. But when they watched your demo video it turned them off, or it was old footage or the editing appeared out of date. In this highly competitive professional speaking industry it’s crucial to update your demo video on an annual basis.

When you think about it, the cost of a demo video is, more often than not, less than you will earn on one speaking engagement. Why would you not invest money in the number one marketing tool that you have on an annual basis, in order to keep your content fresh, keep the look of your production current and keep you in the running more often to be considered for keynote speeches?

The process of updating and revising your demo video is very simple. First, you get good footage. More meetings, conferences and conventions are recording their keynote speakers today than ever. And that footage that is being recorded is most often high definition digital footage. It’s recorded onto a digital video recorder, right there on the spot at the conference. When the production company brings that digital video recorder back to their studio it’s very easy for your production company to ship an external hard drive to the conference or convention production company to get a copy of that original full quality digital video recording. This has become one of our main practices at Primeau Productions – to ship these hard drives to production companies in order to retrieve the highest quality digital video recording for our clients so that we can use that footage to update their demo videos.

I have seen firsthand how the number of speaking engagements goes up for our clients when their demo video has been revised. And a revised demo video is useless if it isn’t distributed properly. That’s the publishing part of the produce, publish and promote that Primeau Productions follows for our clients. You get the new footage – high def, high quality – revise the demo video. That’s the ‘produce’.

When you complete the editing and revision of the demo video you distribute the demo video to the appropriate places, such as:  your website; your YouTube channel (which is the second largest search engine in the world, and where a lot of meeting planners look for professional speakers for their events); your Vimeo channel, which we encourage our clients to use for embedding their demo video on their website, because many organizations are blocking social media networks, so if a meeting planner works for an organization and they want to hire you and they go to your website and your video is embedded from YouTube there’s a couple of problems. Number one, they may not be able to watch it because it’s been blocked from their server. Number two, there are going to be competitor ads or other videos that come up at the end of your video that could take them away from you as a consideration, to somebody else that has a catchier title or a more interesting thumbnail. So we recommend to our clients to use Vimeo as another publishing opportunity for you.

Other publishing opportunities that are available for you are to distribute your revised demo video to the speaker’s bureaus and ask them to update your demo video that they have on their website or Internet channel with the current revised one. Then, once that video has been revised, it’s necessary to do some promotion.

Promotions could be in the form of social media; newsletters sent out to your database; notifying speaker’s bureaus and past clients that you’ve updated your demo video. You could even explain to them that you have created a follow-up program to the one that you previously delivered to clients that will help their people take your message to the next level.

All of this marketing and promotion can be built up around this revised demo. So not only have you made your demo video more current and improved because of the fact that your message and your performance has gotten better since the last time you created a demo video, you also now have a reason to contact people – past clients, meeting planners, speaker’s bureaus – to let them know that you have a new video that demonstrates your more in-depth message, the follow-up portion to your message, or any other elements that you’d like to use from that new demo as a reason for contacting them.

Professional speakers who don’t update their demo video start to see their number of speaking engagements decline. I see it happen all the time. Speakers that revise their demo video on a regular basis have an increasing number of keynote speaking engagements because of the activity that’s involved in the produce, publish, promote process of revising that demo video.

But it’s very important to wait until you have good footage, that was recorded in a good environment in front of an audience, that has fed energy to you, and that you are at the top of your game delivering that message.

photo credit: Dollars via photopin (license)

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