Monday, August 31, 2009

Top tips for selecting great speakers

Have an upcoming event and you need a speaker? Use these tips to help ensure success!

  1. Know the objective of your meeting event: what do you want to accomplish?

  2. Understand your audience. What does your audience want/need? Will your speaker be able to relate to them?

  3. See a demo. Go watch them... live and on stage!!!!

  4. Put fresh batteries in your Malarkey Detector and turn it on full blast. Be skeptical of big claims or of charismatic, but "fluffy" speakers whose presentations have no substance. Make sure their message is practical and solid.

  5. Ask for handouts or promotional materials. What does the speaker furnish that can help you promote your event?

  6. Get maximum bang for your buck. Can your speaker also serve as MC? Hold a press conference? Have lunch with a select group for an additional fee? Lead a special panel discussion or training session?

  7. Trust your instincts. Make sure that you have a good feeling about working with the speaker from the onset.

  8. Check, please! Ask for references and then call them. Really! Please!

  9. Provide great information. Make sure that you provide the speaker with:
    • Your goals/purpose of the event/meeting.
    • If you want Q & A.
    • If you need the material to be rated G or PG, and any off-limits/taboo material.
    • Directions, map and your cell number.
    • The names of any VIPs and media in attendance.
  10. Ask for great information. Request:
    • A bio sheet/introduction in advance of the event.
    • To know how/when the speaker would like to be paid (check, invoice, cash, etc.).
    • Phonetic pronunciation of the speaker's name.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The way the cookie crumbles

Writer Douglas Adams, author of the book, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", tells a great story about jumping to conclusions about people.

Once Adams was sitting in the waiting area of a railroad station and had placed a package of cookies and a newspaper on the table in front of him.

A stranger sitting next to him suddenly reached across, opened the bag of cookies and started to eat them.

Adams, annoyed, said nothing, but calmly took a cookie from the bag as well. Soon the bag was empty as the men both ate from it.

When the stranger left for his train, Adams picked up his newspaper - and found his bag of cookies underneath it. Rather than a stranger eating his cookies, he'd been eating someone else's.

Teachable moment: look to yourself first before you assume anything of another person. "Otherwise", as Adams quipped, "you'll wonder why it seems that someone else is eating your cookies."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Leadership Buffet entrees added to menu!

It's been a busy summer for the Leadership Buffet. Our chefs have been busy cooking up some new entrees based on requests from our leaders.
Let's take a peek at the new menu items:
  • Speak up: how to speak your mind without losing it first. Nervous about giving a speech? How do you grab and hold audience attention? Is the adage, "It's not what you say, but how you say it" really true? Learn the basics as well as some fine tuning tips to help you deliver a great presentation.
  • Etiquette: the Art of Being Confident While Putting Others at Ease. Manners are for everyone and having class has nothing to do with your bank account. Learn how to dress for success, table manners, cyber etiquette, how to put others at ease and how to deal with faux pas!
  • Making Change Easier to Digest. Afraid of change? Do you have a team that is unwilling of afraid to hate to do something unknown? Lear some practical, key ideas on how people deal with change. ideas to help you present and promote change.

What is your impact?

What is your impact on the people around you? It might be more thank you think!

We all make an impact - either positive or negative. It is up to us to choose what that impact will be. To give yourself a bigger footprint, we need to make a few life decisions.

People are attracted to those who invest time in them as a leader and as a person. Get into the HABIT of expecting yourself and your other volunteer leaders to cultivate new leaders by reaching out to others.

Here are a few gems to think about from the book "How Full Is Your Bucket" by Don Clifton and Tom Rath. Questions like these are helpful in helping all of us to rearrange our mental furniture

Positive impact questions:

* I have helped someone in the last 24 hours.
* I am an exceptionally courteous person.
* I like being around positive people.
* I have praised someone in the last 24 hours.
* I have developed a knack for making other people feel good.
* I am more productive when I am around positive people.
* In the last 24 hours, I have told someone that I cared about him or her.
* I make it a point to become acquainted with people wherever I go.
* When I receive recognition, it makes me want to give recognition to someone else.
* In the last week, I have listened to someone talk through his or her goals and ambitions.
* I make unhappy people laugh.
* I make it a point to call each of my associates by the name she or he likes to be called.
* I notice what my colleagues do at a level of excellence.
* I always smile when I meet people.
* I feel good about giving praise whenever I see good behavior."

Your thoughts?

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Garbage Truck*

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches!

The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, "Why did you just do that? That guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage -- frustration, anger, disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.
Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

* taken from "Mikey's Funnies"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Whose job is it?

Hosting is something that most of us take for granted. When we are in charge of an event or program, we often assume that everyone will be comfortable. As a guest, we show up, have a great time and go home. However, if you are new, all those warm fuzzies go out the window without hospitality. We feel like we don't belong and may never return.

So whose job is it?

There were four people: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody
was asked to do it. Everybody was sure that Somebody
would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job. Everybody knew that Anybody could do it, but Nobody
realized that Somebody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody
because Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Hospitality or hosting usually starts with a few people in your organization, but ultimately, EVERY regular attendee should have the concept of hosting or hospitality so they can serve new guests/members.

Hosting isn’t just about making people feel good…

* It’s about creating loyalty in customers
* Selling a brand
* Helping people feel part of something special
* Farm Bureau is about people:
o Giving them good experiences
o Getting them involved
o Developing loyalty, and
o Helping our “guests” connect

Next time, we'll look at some specific ways to show hospitality and keep our new guests and prospective members coming back for more!

Taste your toes lately?

Foot-in-mouth disease.

We've all made mistakes by saying something inappropriate at the wrong time, in the wrong place, in the wrong way or to the wrong person.

No matter what you've experienced, here are a few quick questions to ask yourself before you say anything!

  • Is this helpful? Does it communicate caring for the other person or just help you feel better?
  • Is it necessary? Does this question need to be asked immediately or can it wait?
  • Is this question communicated clearly?
  • Put people first in any communication. If you don't know exactlyl what to say or do, focus on the people that you want to reach out to, taking the focus off yourself and not being sure of what to say. once you start to focus on the other person, it gets much easier.
This is an excerpt from the new leadership buffet workshop, "Etiquette: the art of self-confidence while putting others at ease."

Monday, May 18, 2009

FBY Facebook page up and running

Hi all.

Just a quick note to let you know that the FBY Facebook page is now up and running. Be sure to check it out for the latest news, FBYyouth events, meeting new friends and more!

Check it out here!

10 tips for meeting etiquette

We've all been in meetings where "that" keeps happening over and over again. It might be cell phones ringing, ongoing commentary from the Peanut Gallery, having to backtrack to update those who are habitually late, and the list goes on.

Here are a few simple meeting etiquette tips to help your meetings flow more smoothly.

1. RSVP if you will OR will not attend.

2. Arrive five minutes early if possible or at the scheduled time at the latest. Do not arrive more than 20 minutes early unless you are plan-ning to help (not talk, but help). Allow the leaders a chance to finish setting up.

3. Be prepared. Bring a pen, paper and your calendar.

4. Don’t interrupt unless the speaker asks for comments or questions or unless the speaker invites com-ments throughout. If you have a great question, write it down and ask it at the appropriate time.

5. Don’t distract. Private conversations with others is distracting to the speaker as well as to those around you. Likewise, avoid clicking your pen, tapping, shaking your leg, playing with rubber bands, etc.

6. Turn off your electronics (cell phones, pagers) and put them away. A vibrating phone or Black-Berry on the table is just as dis-tracting as a ringing phone to those around you. If you are expecting an urgent (emergency) call, put your phone or pager on vibrate and sit near the door or exit so that you can leave quietly. Never answer your phone during a meeting. Avoid reading e-mails and texting as well.

7. Speak up. If you have a question to ask, it’s better to raise your hand and allow the speaker to call on you. Also, keep it brief: No one wants to hear another version of the Gettysburg Address. Be concise and clear when asking questions. If you need to, break your question into parts or several questions and ask only one question at a time.

8. Keep on track. Help your facilitator by keeping on track with topics and avoid social chit chat until the meeting is over.

9. After the meeting, complete any tasks assigned to you as quickly as possible and file any notes you have for later review.

10. Be responsible. If you are unable to attend part or all of the meeting, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed.

Taken from the new Leadership Buffet workshop: “Etiquette: the Art of Being Confident While Putting Others at Ease”