All you need to know … and then some.
A video is embedded below should you require visual evidence.
Bottom Line: Fun; Education; Entertainment; Laughter; Learning; Behavior Change; Bada Boom!
I say “hundreds,” since every supplier has one, and every executive and VP of something or other, thinks they are one.
I use a simple, time proven formula for delivering information. My methods have been “honed” for over 25-years, and initially developed while teaching at the graduate university level. I have been practicing what I preach since 1975. – Let’s round that one off by saying … over 30 years.
“Who is this guy and how can he help me feed my family?” That is question #1 as I step in front of every audience with this question in mind. My first few sentences must put the audience in a listening mood, or the experience becomes an exercise.
A “Fun” Speaking Style:
I found out years ago that the sooner you can generate a giggle from a strange audience (no need for a belly-laugh — yet) the sooner you will induce a feeling of comfort and well-intention. You want to lose the “guru,” “professor” or “know-it-all” label right from the git-go and position yourself as another “experienced” practitioner interested in sharing what he has learned along the way … while enjoying the time together.
I begin each program positioned in front of the group, but I enjoy “mingling” and bantering with individuals out in their territory. This helps eliminate overcome the “learning barriers.”
Many (most) suppliers define “meaningful” as the pronoun “us’” meaning about the supplier’s offerings. I interpret “meaningful” as information that concerns “them.” “What can I say and do that will contribute to my audience’s eating habits?” How can we make our time together worthwhile and memorable?
Laughing together, introducing myself to as many individuals in the audience as possible and holding eye-contact conveys sincerity … as best it can.
This refers to “time.” I do everything within my power to end my programs “on-time.” In fact, when starting late due to a previous speaker’s overage, I offer to bring the conference back on schedule without the audience feeling short-changed. (An old professional speaker’s trick.) What a meeting planner does not want is the ole “domino-effect” kicking in.
Notice I have not focused on my “Credentials.” This is a gray area. Who cares where I have been and what I have accomplished, no less the number of awards and certificates I have hanging on my office wall? But I suppose having the experience to back up and support one’s words is important … I guess.
Let’s go the video-tape, as they say on he Sports Channel, and if you need to see “credentials, I’ll toss them in after the “show.”
Education: Masters Degree in Marketing. (I also completed high school and attended the University of Massachusetts on a full athletic scholarship. Yip-ee)
Industry Knowledge: I earned my CTC a few years back (about a thousand) and have had agency-ownership along the way. I have been involved in the travel industry since 1984.
The Company I Keep: In addition to almost every major travel group and organization (Travel Leaders; AAA; Vacation.com; American Express; CLIA; Cruise Planners; Travel Impressions; Travel Weekly; TravelSavers; Carlson-Wagonlit; and others, I gain a lot of experience from speaking to non-travel industry organizations including: The Washington Post; Wells Fargo Bank; Toyota; Ortho Pharmaceutical; Nextel; and dozens – if not hundreds – more.
Speaking of “company, I also play a role in The Mike & Nolan Show with Nolan Burris, and The Travel Agent Success Series with Nolan, Scott Koepf, Stuart Cohen and Richard Earls.
Authorship: Over the years I have turned into a prolific writer. (Now there is a big word – prolific!) My sales book titled Become The Exception has sold nearly 5000 copies and is in its third printing.
More-On Marketing is the first submission in my “More-On” Series. It contains ten chapters of good, meaningful, entertaining, marketing “stuff.” It really is some good “stuff.
The 52-Week Sales Planner. This too is a real show-stopper and I am fast to admit that I got the idea from the hugely effective “Weight-Watchers-Program.” Based in incremental improvement, this sales and marketing program works. It is a “no-brainer.”
Columns: I write regularly for Travel Research Online and I have a weekly column in CLIA’s Ezine on Fridays. Other “rags” include Inc. Magazine, Sales & Marketing; Agent@Home, TravelWeekly, and Travel Group Magazine. For nearly ten years I have been writing weekly motivational articles in my Mike’s Monday Morning Message Column.
Around The Bases: Here is where I will tell you that I have had the distinct privilege in speaking to organized audiences in 18 countries over the years. That fact, coupled to my tattoo indicating that I once successfully competed in and completed the 142-mile endurance race affectionately called The Ironman, gives me great pleasure.
Topics: Sales; Customer Service; Marketing; Employee Development (Motivation)
• Stop Trying To Sell!
• Start Treating our Customers Like Dogs.
• Differentiate Yourself: Become The Exception
• Look People In The Eye – And Carry a Big Message
Eager to make your next organized group laugh, learn, enjoy & grow!