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Archive for the ‘Professional Speakers’ Category

How To: Get Great Video Footage with Image Magnification

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

139159238_b05ddb2acb_nTake Advantage of Image Magnification Screens.

One way to avoid the expense of hiring a crew to record video footage is to tap into image magnification screens. If you perform live at an event and there are more than 500 attendees, there is usually a large screen image magnification system so the people in the back of the room can see you. The image magnification is accomplished by hooking up a video camera to a projector. IMAG systems appear in many performance situations, including rock concerts, conventions and conferences, sporting events and illusionist performances, to name a few. If these systems are present, many times there are video recorders in the system, too. Ask the producer if you can have a gratis copy of your performance, or negotiate it into your fee.

Keep some blank tape up your sleeve.

It’s a good idea to carry an external hard drive with you when you speak or perform, just in case the venue you perform at doesn’t have any spare hard drives. It would be a bummer to have a killer opportunity to be video recorded in front of a great audience and the only thing stopping you is the lack of something as simple as video storage.

 

photo credit: DSC_0010.JPG via photopin (license)

How To: Get Great Video Footage with a “Tape-In” Method

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

13885876624_51f737675e_nThe traditional method for acquiring video footage is to hire a crew and pay their cost plus expenses. I hope to shed some light on alternative low-to-no cost methods of having your performance videotaped. “The Tape-In” is one of those ideas.

“The Tape-In.”
This method is used most often. Professional speakers and performers can organize an event with several of their colleagues and conduct mini-seminars or performances, invite the public and split the cost of the video crew to get footage. This works for bands too. Organize several good bands in your area and put on an event. Hire a video crew and split the cost with the other bands. You’ll all get professionally shot video at a fraction of the cost.

You might want to charge admission for the tape-in to create higher perceived-value. People see little value in a free performance. Unless, you have already made a name for yourself and the show is at a high-profile location.

Play to a crowd that loves you.
Use a gimmick or hook to get a large audience together for the tape-in. For example, I once knew of a couple of bands that organized a “battle-of-the-bands” event. They printed flyers and distributed them at gigs prior to the event and hired a video crew. Each band had twenty minutes to play, and the audience “voted” by applause. All the bands got great stage footage, and when it came time to vote, they had great footage of dozens of clapping, screaming fans (and the winner had their share of the video costs split between the losing bands).

These showcase events work for comedians as well as other performers. In fact, if your marketing is on-target, the organizer can make money off these events. When I was younger we used to get three bands together on a Saturday night and put on a Hall Party. We charged ten dollars at the door for the event, which included music, beer and one food item. We sold additional food and the bands sold their tapes and T-shirts. We recorded the show and closed when the beer was gone. And we actually made a profit! People had a great time and the bands got to perform, sell products and gain visibility that often turned into future gigs.

Get a little help from friends.
If you are having trouble marketing your “tape-in” event, you could require each participant or performer to bring 5 to 10 people for their admission fee so that there is a sizable audience in the video. It’s a good idea to invite prospects for future business to the tape-in so that you have a better chance to get future bookings.

But don’t limit yourself to these people. In the speaking business, these people are meeting planners and bureaus. In the music and entertainment world these people are booking agents, club owners and record companies. They tend to be more analytical and less enthusiastic about your performance because they have to anticipate what their customers want and will enjoy.

It’s also nice to have your greatest fans and supporters there. These people will help energize your performance. You might even hand pick the audience from your mailing list for a special invitation list and create an “invitation only” event. Then, you need the general public to help make this all affordable and profitable. I recommend the following to market your event:

1. Make flyers and pass them out everywhere (be careful not to litter). Do not put them on auto windshields because people will be annoyed.

2. Create press releases and send them to all of the local media. Newspapers have a “what’s happening” section they need to fill, and radio stations often have a spotlight for local events.

Interested in learning more about professional media services like audio/video? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon or you can purchase an e-book version from SmashWords.

photo credit: GuerillaBeam via photopin (license)

Package and Position Your Product for Higher Sales

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

169099963_97a758887e_nPackages come in all shapes and sizes. Various factors will determine which package option is best for you. Quantity, perceived-value, and the nature of your program all factor into your decision. Since some of the high-end packages require a minimum run of 2,500 pieces, you need to carefully explore all of your options. A good production company can steer you in the right direction for the appropriate package option to suit your needs.

Design a package that lives up to your name.

No matter how good your production is, remember, people do judge a book by its cover. Don’t shortchange your great product with a poor package design.

Conceptualize what you want the outside of your product to look like. Draw it out as best you can and list all the titles, by-lines and credits. Be sure to put your bio on the outside, if it’s appropriate. Then find a great graphic designer to bring it all together. Take a look at other products that are similar to yours, and pick the ones you like to help you design your own.

Don’t scrimp on design.

Spend the time and the money to create beautiful cover art and packaging. It should look professional and eye-catching. Show the graphic artist packaging you find stunning to give them an idea of what you want. What colors suit the mood you wish to create with your product? Make a mock-up by cutting out images from a magazine and rubber-cementing them to a piece of paper to help communicate your ideas to a graphic designer (preferably someone who was highly recommended to you). Let the designer hear or view your finished or rough-mixed production and let them interpret the cover design.

Always decide on the type of package case (CD album, video box, etc.) before designing the cover art, to give the artist a sense of space and dimension. Be careful not to crowd the cover design with a lot of text, which creates confusion and anxiety. The cover should jump out at you. Choose color combinations carefully. Consider what’s in style currently. Or you may choose to stay neutral to increase the longevity of the product.

Make it easy to reference.
I call it reference-ability. Each CD or CD track should cover one subject or category. Make each CD a subject or category of mini-subjects that pertain to the main category so people can easily access the information they want — this is a great benefit and makes the program/series user-friendly.

CDs hold up to eighty minutes of recorded information, while single-sided DVDs hold up to two hours of video. Stay tuned for the latest update on playback technology. It looks like it will be Internet downloading.

Package it for greatest marketability and profit.
What if you had three hours of message or program to sell? Would you put it on two or three CDs? Or, would it have a higher perceived-value if it were on or six CDs? Which scenario would earn you more income? Which scenario would have the higher perceived-value? Which would be more user-friendly?

Interested in learning more about professional media services like audio/video? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon or you can purchase an e-book version from SmashWords.

photo credit: ART INSIDE via photopin (license)

The Professional Speaker Tool Kit

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

5713849099_067bb1cdaa_nThe Professional Speakers Tool Kit is a guide born out of experience working with meeting planners and speakers bureaus.

In the old days, having a great assistant and professionally produced speaker demo video was all you need to make it as a professional speaker. 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. This is why we created The Professional Speakers Tool Kit. Much of this content was shared at the National Speakers Association by our founder Ed Primeau.

Running a professional speaking business today requires several tools in order to “make it” on the speaking circuit. Our client speakers keep an eye on the components of this tool kit 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.

Tool One-Have A Powerful and Relevant Message

The first tool in the Professional Speakers Tool Kit is to be relevant or current and have a powerful message. Professional speaker and client of Primeau Productions Connie Podesta always had a powerful message and stays relevant with new stories and content. She has established a brand and uses that powerful and relevant 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 and a Gold Medal winner in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards!

Tool Two-Have Charisma

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.

Tool Three-Have an Excellent Marketing campaign

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, video are best but print are better than none
• Social media strategy using select social media sites (don’t try to keep up with them all)
• A content rich blog (content is king, embed videos in your blog when possible)
• A fair speaking fee and travel expenses (average professional speaking fee is $5,000.00)
• Good relationship with speaker bureaus

Tool Four-Look Good and Represent Value

The fourth tool in the kit is appearance. You have to look good and visually have value in your appearance. In order to command the type of fee a great keynote professional speaker earns, you have to look like a great speaker both on and off 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.

Tool Five-A Pleasing Personality

We borrowed this one from Napoleon Hill. The fifth tool is a pleasant personality. Be sincere both on and off the platform. We 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 great professional speakers of all time Steve Rizzo has an amazing ability to use words to his advantage in any situation. Not only is Mr. Rizzo amazing on the platform, he is also 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!

Here is a sample of one of our professional speaker demo videos:

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