A few years ago I was speaking at Stanford University event and one of the attendees who had heard me speak before approached me to ask if I would take over a speaking gig he had been scheduled to do the very next day, but now had a conflict and needed someone to step in!
Now that’s a great way to get speaking gigs! The only problem was, his talk was billed as “How to Create Affiliates and Joint Ventures!” Well, okay, there were two problems. I didn’t find out until ten at night the day before and had a full day of meetings the next day!
Oh yea, of course, I had no experience in either at the time, but the topics intrigued me. I had learned from my mentor to never ever turn down a speaking gig! So what was I to do but go home, Google Affiliates and Joint Ventures until I had enough information to bullet point an educationally packed Power Point Presentation!
I read the bullet points out loud and then filled in more details until after reading it at a conversational pace, it took an hour. Then using Camtasia, I recorded the audio over the Power Point. I didn’t know at the time if I would use the Power Point during the presentation, but at least it was prepared. Not all venues are set up to use Power Point.
After I had finished the recording and the editing, taking out the long pauses and inadvertent stumbling I had a neat one hour mp3 program. Then I burned it to ten CD’s, made ten CD labels, ten DVD jacket covers and walked out the door with a half hour to spare!
I know most people would not consider doing such a thing at the last minute and would want more time to prepare, but I’ve learned a part of my personality thrives on the last minute impromptu adrenalin! I do much better getting projects done when I have little time to organize rather than months of research and edits!
The beauty of the Internet and the search engines today is if you have an interest in a topic, you can research what the experts have to say in a couple of hours and create your own material in just a couple of days. There is no shortage of opinions or information generated on any topic so it is easy to create a quality program in no time at all.
I am a big fan of outlining the material however; it works for my left brain logical comfort zone. Outlines bring a sense of order to a presentation. I believe an audience prefers to go from point A to point B and then point C, not point A to point C and then back to point B. I enjoy the process of creating “how to” material and I am a big fan of delivering quality content. I abhor “sell fests” where every ten minutes the presenter is offering a “one time special deal.”
I always produce the first ten products myself, and if you noticed I mentioned, I put my CD’s in DVD cases with customized wrap around covers. I tested this for about two years and found I outsold my $20 DVD cases with the same material as my $10 CD cased material by two to one! For some reason, people believe they are getting more value with a larger packaged item. This technique also works when you put multiple CD sets in a binder rather than a small CD case.
The great thing about creating these audio programs is I have them as a reference. To date I have about thirty five audio programs. Some of the programs I might deliver about once a year. So when it’s time, I can review the Power Point and listen to the audio program on the way to the event a couple of times to bring the material back into my consciousness in an orderly fashion.
I have found I rarely use Power Points for a presentation. I don’t like the equipment separation effect it has between me and my audience. The exception is when I’m delivering an educationally packed presentation where the details might have to be spelled out to be clear enough for the audience, especially when they’re not familiar with the topic.
So now you can decide on a project and have it produced in no time at all with very little effort on your part. Then when you want to produce multiples more than ten, there are many resources that will burn the CD’s, apply the labels, produce the DVD jacket covers and include the DVD case for under a dollar a piece.
It’s a great way to leave your audience with a way of taking you home with them. I also give one program away as a method of collecting the business cards from my audience to help build my database!