Speakers and Trainers are a CHALLENGE to Event Planners

I am attending a great conference today, The Virtual Edge, which is going on physically in Santa Clara, California and also being webcast and brought into several virtual platforms so that people can attend from all over the globe.

A planner from Disney was on a panel and he said that one of the challenges to pulling off successful virtual events is “Getting presenters or trainers up to speed with the technology.  Most are not there.”  This really hit me and made me sad to think that professional speakers and trainers are seen as a CHALLENGE to pulling off successful events using the latest in technology.

As professional content deliverers, we need to be leading the way, not chasing the bus!  Whether it is webinars, teleseminars, live video-streaming, or virtual world events, it is time to get out front and lead the way.  Quit being one of the challenges.

If you need someone to walk you through any of this give me a Tweet– a Facebook shout out or even an old fashioned email or phone call! 🙂 We hold regular MeetUps in our virtual world campus where you can practice as you learn to grow your biz–ask me for information on My VSTA (virtual speaker’s and trainer’s association)

Before You Give Up on LinkedIn Groups…

I have to admit, as a social media consultant and technology speaker, I have accounts on most of the sites, but I have used LinkedIn the least.  I know, many of you LinkedIn lovers are going to have a field day on the comment section! 🙂 As a business owner I have always thought of LinkedIn as today’s rolodex or having a brochure for your business online.  Pretty static, except for the groups.  Now I know for job seekers and those employed, it is a great tool to connect with recruiters and hiring organizations, but for most businesses you really have to get involved in, or better yet, CREATE YOUR OWN, group in your specific industry where you can share your expertise and learn from others.

LinkedIn Groups

I hear from people all the time complaining that the groups are spammy and there is no real value in them.  First you must find the right group, and second, see if the group has any “ground rules” or policies about members not selling or spamming others. Third if there are no such rules and you can’t find a great group that shares info without spamming the members, CREATE ONE!

I have found a few key pieces of information that will help your group be found once you have it created:

  1. Add keywords in the description of your group to increase your search rankings on LinkedIn’s search.
  2. Add keywords in the title of the group to be found on Google.
  3. Add your blog RSS feed to the group so new posts are shared with group members.
  4. Send a weekly message that adds value for group members.
  5. Be the host/hostess.  Connect people in the group by making introductions to those who could potentially do business with one another.

If you are a speaker, trainer, or educator interested in joining a virtual community of peers and having fabulous programming that will help you build your speaking, training or coaching business check out our page on Facebook.

What Can I Learn by Hanging Out with Weird and Crazy People?

Have you ever noticed that people who are super-intelligent are somehow always a little bit weird or odd?  Okay, some are a lotta-bit weird and odd!  There’s that old adage that says, “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity.”  Sometimes I look around and feel like I am the only normal one in a room and other times I feel as if I am the one who is mad.  Most people would agree that I am definitely the weird one!

The great thing about hanging out with people who are very different from you is they see things very differently.  They see solutions to problems that you dismiss as unimportant or even impossible. Their brains connect dots that you can’t seem to find.

While watching one of my favorite vodcasts “The Stuff of Genius” I learned about Norm Larsen born in 1923 in Chicago Taught himself chemistry and wanted to create a substance that would displace water and prevent corrosion  The first 39 attempts failed.  But the 40th attempt to create a great Water Displacement formula was a success and became WD-40 (Water Displacement 40th attempt).  Now come on…would I have even thought that we needed this product? I mean, rust can be quite lovely!  Would I have persevered for 40 attempts? Surely not.

WD-40 invented by one CRAZY guy!

What can I gain from hanging out with someone like Norm? Aside from really quiet door hinges, I might start looking at my world for problems that others have given up trying to solve.  Maybe I would dig out a project that I shelved 3 years ago to see if there was a new idea that is sparked.  Even reading books by authors you disagree with causes you to stretch and dig deeper to either confirm your own beliefs or discover some common ground you share.  How about all those social networking sites you belong to? Do you only follow people on Twitter that are in the same industry as you? Does your Facebook account look like an association directory?  Sprinkle in a few people who are DIFFERENT.

Go on find some oddballs to hang out with this week.  Read blog posts or a magazine in an industry TOTALLY different from your own.  I know…CRAZY!

Need an oddball to open your mind? Im available at http://Twitter.com/Ginaschreck