7 Ways To Nail That Speaker One Sheet

7 Ways To Nail That Speaker One Sheet

Crafted and distributed well, a speaker one sheet is a crucial item in the arsenal of any professional speaker. Think of your one sheet as the executive summary for your speaker packet or PR kit.

It’s a simple enough document. It shares what you do,  the benefits of booking you and, if you’re booked, exactly how the engagement will go down. I’m sharing my seven tips for nailing that one sheet and landing that great speaking gig. Follow these guidelines, and I’d be willing to bet you’ll tack on at least one or two extra speaking engagements in the coming year.

Setting Up A Stellar One Sheet

1. Resist the urge to pack it to the gills with information.

White space is kind of a big deal. You need it to call attention to items of emphasis, rather than overwhelming the viewer.

There’s only so much space available on an 8.5 x 11 page, so you’re not going to be able to tell your life story. Instead, you’ll need to make some hard decisions about what to include.

Make a hierarchy of your content in order of importance. Save the stuff at the bottom for your expanded speaker packet or your website.

2. Definitely include a professional photo.

Seriously, I don’t want to catch any of you trying to get away with a cell phone pic.

Hire a pro to take that photo and make sure you’re represented like a professional, then use your favorite shot conspicuously on your one sheet.

3. Position yourself as THE sought-after authority.

You’ve been featured on NBC, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post? That’s impressive! Include a small section resembling “as seen on,” then include some high-res logos to really showcase where you’ve already been featured.

Not quite at that level yet? That’s okay. Instead, opt for a glowing testimonial from someone (preferably in upper-management) from the most well-known organization that had you speak.

4. Let people know the benefits of working with you.

Did a company report increased profits or productivity right after working with you? Play it up!

People don’t act without first asking “what’s in it for me?”

Remember, this thing is going to wind up in the hands of people in a position to hire you. When that happens, they needed to be motivated to make the call.

5. Spell out how working with you is going to play out.

You have to strike the right balance between detail and brevity here. Let people know what topics you’re willing to cover. You need to make sure they get the picture, and you must do so succinctly.

6. Include a call to action.

I’m a big believer in putting calls-to-action on damn near everything.

You have an ideal outcome in mind, so ask for it to happen!

Be explicit and ask for the viewer to call you or email you to book you for their next corporate function. And, this is kind of a no-brainer, but make sure your one sheet has your contact info on it.

7. Get an extra set of eyes on it.

Ideally, you would have a professional designer take a crack at this but sometimes that’s not necessarily feasible. At the very least, put it in front of someone who might not know what you do all that well and get their honest opinion. If they can recite back to you accurately what you do and who you serve AND give you a favorable first impression, then you’re off to a pretty good start.

Speaker one sheets are one of my favorite documents to design. There’s so much opportunity to reflect the speaker’s personality and really enforce a personal brand.

If you’re stuck on where to go with your one sheet, let’s have a conversation. Reach out via phone or email. I’d love to hear from you.

Better Branding: Play Yourself In The Lead Role!

Better Branding: Play Yourself In The Lead Role!

Sometimes I binge watch old TV favorites while I’m doing my nighttime busy work (scheduling posts, connection management, etc.). Recently I started re-watching Scrubs, as I kind of have a thing for Zach Braff’s boyish charm, but I digress. The show’s soundtrack is still awesome and still inspiring, and when Josh Joplin’s “Camera One” came on, it prompted this idea that the best branding comes when you play yourself in the lead role!

What Role Are You Playing Online?

Many a speaker, especially those just starting out, feel they must play a role in order to be taken seriously as a professional.

By playing a role, these speakers fail to appreciate the smarts of their audience. The focused attendee can small insincerity and fake from miles away.

Authenticity is a term that’s been beaten, battered, used and abused in our industry, but it still plays an important role in the way you and your branding are perceived online and on the stage.

There’s little value in playing a role you can’t uphold for the long haul. There’s no one correct way to act as a professional, just as there’s no single right way to interact with your client base. It all depends on who you are AND on your ideal client.

Real Me, Real Business

Although I’ve never really been one to suppress my own personality, I too have faced the fear of “feeling” professional. But it wasn’t until I allowed myself to fully embrace all that makes me, well, ME, that I really saw my target niche start to fine down to allow me to work with the very audience I wanted to reach.

I joke that my husband gave me permission to unleash more of the real Mallie, but the reality isn’t silly at all. When you accept yourself and work with what truly makes you, well, Y-O-U, you’re sharing without subterfuge. That earns you plenty of gold authenticity stars!

You’re Playing You Now!

The song says it all, really. I’m just adding my own .02 to the smarts and savvy.

Actors play roles and the accolades they receive for portraying those roles are part of their craft, their excellence, their skill set.

Your skill set, as a speaker or coach, shouldn't include playing any role except the role of yourself.Click To Tweet

Our goal is not to achieve accolades, it’s to help others solve problems and build better brands. However, when accolades are deserved, wouldn’t it be better if they came from branding ourselves in a fashion that showcases who we really are and what we really stand for.

When those accolades come, and they will if you embrace the idea of marketing the real you with the proper intent and purpose, then you’ll very much deserve to take that bow and mug for the cameras!

The Very Best Branding? It's Personal!

The Very Best Branding? It’s Personal!

When it comes to running a successful business, I’m of the mind that the more personal your branding, the better?

It’s not personal, it’s business …

Watch any cutthroat big business flick and you’ll hear some iteration of the quoted phrase above. For some reason, the only one that comes to mind right now is not so cutthroat, as it’s a rom-com. You’ve Got Mail. LOL!

The More Personal The Branding …

Personal branding. It’s one of those very buzzworthy, ever-so-clickable phrases we see scattered quite often through our social media feeds.

We hope to clear a bit of confusion attached to the phrase, if that’s okay with you. It’s very important that brands remember the following:

All Brands Are Personal Brands!

Brands aren’t just big business anymore. Even when a brand is built around a company, it’s got to be personal. The better the brand, the more they understand this.

Why? Because consumers do business with PEOPLE they know, like and trust. When real people are seen as part of a brand, it’s easier to build and maintain that knowledge, affinity and trust. The best brands maintain a personal relationship with their audience and clientele, individually and as a whole.

Brands must be seen for their human beings, real people, not faceless apps and web tools!Click To Tweet

Making a personal connection amidst all the marketing noise is a must in order to stand out and stay on message.

Branding must personalize the experience for consumers and prospects.

Consider this, what do you want a potential prospect to remember upon hearing/seeing your name?

You want them to feel a connection to you, your company, your brand. You want any reaction upon hearing/seeing your name or company name to be positive. You hope that when a friend, co-worker or acquaintance mentions a product or service need, those that know your brand will readily share with whoever is doing the asking.

The best brands maintain a personal relationship with audience and clientele, individually and as a whole.Click To Tweet

In order to leave that positive impression, you’ve got to personalize the consumer experience, online and off. Consider the following:

  • Is your brand message cohesive across all digital real estate? This means your web site and all of your social accounts.
  • Do you effectively and actively engage in discussion and conversation with your consumer audience online? Do you respond to comments on your blog, queries on your Facebook page and quick questions on Twitter?
  • Do the images you share match your brand message in tone and appeal?
  • Do you continue the conversation after the initial question is answered or discussion is over?
  • Do you look at and possibly share or comment on what your followers are posting?
  • Do you check back in to see if all’s still well a day later? A week later? Beyond?

The Best Branding Connects On A Personal Level

When your brand makes a personal connection with a prospect – another person, by the way, you’re more inclined to make a sale, or, at the very least, warm up a cold lead.

First impressions are incredibly important, especially online. If your brand comes across as robotic or automated in its online interactions, you might not get a second chance to make a good first impression. There are plenty of other brands who’ll get it right the first time.

When it comes to better #branding, make the first impression a personal one!Click To Tweet

Not sure if your brand’s actively connecting with prospects and current customers on a personal level? Give us a shout. We can set up a consultation or complete an interaction audit.

Branding & Business: Let's Get Pessimistic!

Branding & Business: Let’s Get Pessimistic!

It requires boundless optimism to be an entrepreneur, almost to the point of being self-delusional. No one is disputing how important optimism is when branding and running a business. And no one is suggesting that moping or falling into a self-destructive funk is smart business. Okay?

Now that we’ve got that out of the way …

Have you ever considered looking at your personal brand through pessimistic glasses? It could do you a lot of good.

Branding issues resolved with the glass “half-full” approach?

Since we’ve been old enough to understand the concept, we’ve been taught, “think positive and good things will happen!” While this is true on some level, there’s a benefit to being a pessimist that people rarely talk about.

Pessimists go through life better prepared, with thorough plans in place in case of disaster. While an optimist sees only sunny days ahead, the pessimist is prepared for hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and the apocalypse.

Ultimately, preparation is what turns mortals into superheroes. So, how does this relate to personal and business branding? What if we:

  1. ASSUMED that no one in your target audience will get you and that no one will understand what it is that you do. You would have to make sure that your message is not just clear, but damn clear.
  2. ASSUMED that your target audience wants no part of what you sell. You would need to go overboard with a brand with built-in defenses against sales objections and come from a point of persuasiveness.
  3. ASSUMED that everyone in your target audience is going to take one look at what you do and hate your guts. You would make sure that your brand positions you as an irrefutable expert in your field, someone who transcends personality conflicts with the ability to straight up solve a problem.
  4. ASSUMED that your brand will fall well short of reaching the number of people you need to reach. Well, then, you would just have to make sure that your brand converts at a higher percentage for the people you do connect with.

Be positively pessimistic

Keep the sunny disposition as you deal with people and as you make plans for the future, but plan as if everything that could possibly go wrong will go wrong.

The extra planning will bring you serenity in times of anxiousness. Trust me, this is coming from a compulsive worrier!

How does your brand stand up against the worst-case scenario? We’d love to talk about it.

Don’t feel like leaving your brand woes for all to see in our comment section? We understand. You can easily schedule a 15 minute complimentary strategy session to discuss and discover how your brand stacks up.

Design Dilemma: Who's The Website Really For?

Design Dilemma: Who’s The Website Really For?

Several years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of not only helping to organize and promote Atlanta’s 2016 WordCamp event, I also got to present on one of my favorite topics. That topic? For whom, exactly, a website is really designed.

Design. Especially Website Design, Can Be A Contentious Topic …

My presentation was NOT a step by step guide or how-to tutorial. It was more of a philosophical discussion.

I don’t know how much you read online, but I’m pretty voracious. And more often than not, I read articles and opinions which state that your website MUST be all about your ideal client, your target market, your “avatar.”

I said that my take might be contentious.

I DISAGREE, in all caps, with the idea that a site isn’t about its owner. Your website is ABSOLUTELY about Y-O-U! As a matter of fact, the first three letters of “your website,” are Y-O-U.

The way I see it, prospects, projects and even long-time customers come and go. But your relationship with your own online presence, your brand, your business, must stand the test of time. If you want to build any lasting brand recognition, anyway!

Are You The Superhero Of Your Own Website?

Consider this … if you’re not all that jazzed about your website, your brand’s online home … how jazzed do you think you’re going to be with the leads and prospects that site generates?

You spend a lot of time on your site. Shouldn’t you enjoy that site? If the thought of working on your own site makes you yawn and need a nap, then it’s time to consider a change!

It’s a conundrum, certainly. Is the site for you and your business? Or is it ALL about those whom your business hopes to serve in the future?

In order to be one, it must also be the other!

Know, Like, Trust … The Trifecta!

Those seeking to do business online want to do business with someone they feel they know, like and trust.

Someone is the key word in that sentence.

Is there a someone within your site? Does your website have any personality at all?

Does your website say to those who see it, “here I am, the very person with whom you want to collaborate on your project?”

The Fake Faux Pas … It Will Haunt You For A Long Time

The people you want as clients are smart. It doesn’t take them long to sniff out a fake persona.

Once you’ve been sniffed out as a fake, as insincere, as NOT real, the chance that prospects can learn to know, like and trust you? It’s long gone!

Once that smell of insincerity sets in, you can't ever really get rid of the stink!Click To Tweet

Balance Is Sooooooo Beneficial!

A site that is both for and about YOU and for and about your client requires balance.

You must balance:

  • professional with personality
  • practical with pretty (form with function)
  • corporate with creative
  • industry with imagination
  • and a lot more something with somethings …

Too much of any single component will affect and alter that balance.

Without the proper balance, your site can’t nail that know, like, trust trifecta.

Too clinical, lacking any personality? Hard to LIKE.

Too personal? TMI? It’s hard to see you as a professional or peer, which makes it hard to build TRUST.

Too generic? Too like EVERY other peer or industry site? Hard to KNOW why they should choose you or your business.

You CAN Differentiate!

Without detracting or distracting from your message, your end goal.

You CAN Stand Out!

Without stepping over the line or burning any bridges.

My presentation’s last slides detailed some of the different spots where your website can showcase some personality. Including:

  • color scheme
  • typography
  • tone of voice
  • your about page
  • ETC.

Any Questions?

I was absolutely thrilled when I got so many great questions throughout my presentation (I’m not the kind of presenter who makes people wait until the end). I’d love to answer any questions you have about ensuring your website is both about Y-O-U and your audience. The comment section is open, ready and waiting. Fire away!

Design Discussion Keeps Projects On Track!

Design Discussion Keeps Projects On Track!

Calling all speakers and speaker consultants! I’d like you to take a minute to think about what consistently derails your design projects (from website to branding, business card design to one-sheets). My guess is that it’s often a failure to deliver exactly what’s needed in order to get the project done in a timely manner. But, if we dig a little deeper, I think we might find that it’s actually a failure in the way we go about the design discussion.

Smart and consistent design discussions with your designer are the BEST way to keep projects on track, on time and on budget!

If you don’t know what you want, how can your designer?

Let me share a little-known fact. No matter how savvy your chosen design or social business consultant, and some of us are pretty ding-danged savvy, we are not omniscient or omnipotent.

[om-nish-uh nt]

1. having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.

[om-nip-uh-tuh nt]

1. almighty or infinite in power, as God.
2.having very great or unlimited authority or power.

We can’t create something from nothing. We can’t read your mind. Your ideas aren’t shared via osmosis.Click To Tweet

Just as any web or graphic designer has to go into a proposed project with a plan, a detailed accounting of proposed costs, products, services and expected outcomes, you – the prospective client, need to do some prep and planning before any designer can tackle your project.

Though we designers consider ourselves fairly awesome and amazing, we can’t pluck your favorite color out of thin air. And, believe it or not, unless you tell us we aren’t going to know about your aversion to small-caps font families.

Design Discussion Must: Content First, Then Create!

It’s the client’s job (that’s you) to provide the designer with the necessary bits of information and needed files/documents/images. Though it’s not often talked about, few designers can deliver on a design without access to all the content said design will house.

Design without content CANNOT showcase what it is that makes your brand or business stand out!Click To Tweet

Filler programs like lorem ipsum will work in a pinch for a paragraph here or there, but delivery of the content the design is meant to surround is key to a project going as planned.

Providing your designer with the following helps ensure your design projects don’t derail:

  1. Your logo – don’t expect them to scrape it off your existing website or scan it off your business card. Provide a high-resolution copy, preferably in its native format.

  2. Your company fonts. Don’t make your designer guess or find the closest match. Send them the correct files to work with from the get-go, or, at the very least, the name of the typeface. And expect to reimburse your designer if they have to purchase it.

  3. Examples of designs you like and don’t like, along with the why. Again, your designer isn’t a mind reader. You don’t want him/her to imitate a type treatment when the design element you liked was actually the color scheme, do you?

  4. Any special considerations. Do you need to incorporate audio files, video, an extensive PDF collection? Do you have custom scripts? Do you need a blog?

  5. Any and all EXISTING content. This includes images, video, audio files, or the links to these files on platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, etc. Don’t make your designer reinvent the wheel and don’t make them search for links and accounts. If you’re in the midst of a redesign, consider sprucing up your existing content and deliver it in a timely fashion.

  6. Feedback. Don’t let your designer keep on keeping on if you’re not satisfied or you feel like the direction is no longer correct. Better to make changes/adjustments early in the project than to have to make major adjustments at project conclusion.

Design Discussion: Converse, Collaborate & Commiserate …

All projects are a two-way street. And design discussions aren’t always full of unicorns and candy-coated cupcakes. Sometimes the discussion will have to point out what’s not working.

The design discussion will only go smoothly if you have the same end destination in mind. If design projects are undertaken with two different end goals, you are setting yourself up for mistakes, ineffective use of time and an end project that doesn’t meet your needs. And you’re setting your designer up to fail when it comes to delivering their best work.

A good designer listens, chimes in when he/she feels you might be missing a vital point, and works with you. For the relationship to produce the best results, you need to be a proactive part of the project.

Cheap Design? Cheats You & Your Brand!

Cheap Design? Cheats You & Your Brand!

Cheap design. Easy design. Simple design. Design a website in just a few hours. Design your own logo and launch an immediately impressive brand.

Yadda, yadda, yadda, and so on. Are you falling for it?

Cheap Design Cheats You … And Your Potential Audience!

You see them all over! On Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.  What am I talking about? The rash of blog posts and social media ads touting the wonders and benefits of DIY and freebie apps and tools to “design” your brand, your website, and more.

This rash leaves me itchy and angry.

Not so much in that it demeans what we do at Get The Gigs, but because articles like this, written by people who don’t do as they say while telling you what to do (the most recent was on a site that MOST DECIDEDLY WAS NOT built with a freebie web tool), are a disservice to anyone looking to create a strong and professional brand and presence online.

Your brand identity is meant to build trust and showcase your expertise. Your brand is certainly more than your logo, more than your color scheme, more than any single typeface. Thus, I think we can agree that your brand is pretty ding-danged important.

When you see cheap, is trust the next word that pops into your mind?Click To Tweet

Your website is your home, your hub on the web. It is the resting place and repository of your expertise, your experience. But, before anyone dives into your content in order to unearth your gems of wisdom, they’re going to take a look at your home page, or whichever page on which they’ve landed, and they’re going to make a judgment based on their first impression.

Created by “insert freebie tool” rarely makes a good first impression.Click To Tweet

Cheap Design: What Will It Cost You?

You expect someone to pay you, and pay you fairly well, for your speaking expertise, don’t you? It’s the reason you’re running your business, right?

You don’t want your target market and audience going out and finding a freebie speaker to get by when your skillset and expertise can do so much more for their event!

Yet, you’re showing that taking the freebie route is a smart option with that freebie site design. And possibly losing a gig.

It doesn’t take an eye trained in graphic design to suss out a freebie site. No matter how much they tell you they don’t create cookie cutter sites, they – indeed, do. Plus, when you go free, you get freebie company branding as part of “your” design. You get their logo, link and tagline automatically loaded into your footer or sidebar, sometimes right at the top of your header! Yikes.

When you go free, you get freebie company branding as part of “your” design.Click To Tweet

Free Can Fail Functionally …

Know what else free fails to deliver? Functionality.

Many free web design tools continue to rely on old technologies and development language. Too much outdated scripting language can actually make it difficult, if not downright impossible for search engines to seek out, spider and rank your site. That’s no good!

What else? All that outdated and convoluted language can make your site EXTREMELY slow to load. Potentials won’t wait around to see if the good stuff ever shows up. They’ll just move on to the next speaker who has a site that actually loads and provides them with quality information.

Finally, because these are freebie tools, they don’t offer much in the way of truly responsive design, allowing your site to show up in the best possible way via mobile devices. Instead, many freebie tools that offer a mobile option simply create a secondary site for mobile viewing, which means the experience, branding and look might not match up seamlessly with what you’ve created for desktop viewing.

Are You Mistaking Cheap For Affordable?

When it comes to design, it’s not affordable if it minimizes your chances of making money!

Consider that time is money. When free fails you, you’ll have lost plenty of time and effort. Is it worth it?

Is cheap really the word you want attached to your brand and business?Click To Tweet

I honestly could go on and on, stretching this article out with a laundry list of laments about freebie tools. But, I won’t – as deep down I’m sure you know that cheap isn’t really the catchy phrase you want to be tied to your business venture.

Put simply, cheap design cheats your expertise and your brand impact.

Ready to embrace affordable rather than cheap design?

Let’s talk about the difference.

What’s So Great About You?

What’s So Great About You?

Feeling stuck on the bio for your “About Me” page? Worried that you don’t have ten TV appearances and seven advanced degrees to showcase? Feeling pressured to have lots of pizazz? Or egotistical because you’re talking about yourself?

This all gets easier when you write in service to your audience.

How do you do that? Offer them a story that they can relate to, a thread that mirrors their own challenges, and shows them they can get through it with grace. You’re not going to squeeze every piece of experience you’ve ever had onto the page. Be willing to let some of your valuable experience go, when it’s not in service to your people.

Here are five (5) questions that will get you there.

Who is your audience?

This can be an easy question. It can stop you in your tracks. Let’s say you’re a speaker who targets middle management about leadership challenges.

What are the 3 biggest challenges your audience has?

This is key. What do your people think about all day long? If you’re the middle management speaker, your audience wrestles with being understood by their bosses, leading when they report to someone, managing people (they might be new at it), resolving conflict, and supporting their team without becoming their parent.

What has happened in your professional life that reflects similar challenges?

Your audience wants to see that you’ve been through something similar. With our middle management speaker, she was promoted from middle management to VP level at Target. The business was struggling with lackluster customer service at several of its stores (total hypothetical here)! There was lack of communication between the customer service reps and upper management, and this showed in how they acted toward customers. She was placed in charge of turning this around.

How did you resolve issues/challenges in ways that build your credibility?

So what’s the happy ending to your challenge narrative? Our speaker developed a process to effectively hire, train and manage the reps for an entire region. Upper management was thrilled with the results, and it helped that she figured out how to keep them in the loop throughout the rollout. The program was so successful, her process was adopted by Target corporate for the entire country and she was promoted. She clearly understands the intricacies of being in middle management. And that is her audience. Yes!

You can go with a couple more stories like this, or just share a longer story that shows you understand a challenge similar to theirs and how you solved it. They’ll be wondering what your secret sauce is, and that’s what will get them to hire you.

What other training, education, background would show them you can support their challenges?

Well, you’ve done it. You’ve built some rapport. Now, bring in related experience and training for a slam dunk. Our middle management speaker went through an MBA program specializing in management and customer service. She completed a conflict resolution course, business leadership training, and even managed a bunch of volunteers at her local United Way for years. She really gets the pain and rewards of managing people.


When you are finished answering all these questions, you might notice that you haven’t included some qualifications that you think are valuable. It’s OK to leave them out. You’re starting a conversation here. Once you’re in contact, you will get to know each other better, and you can pleasantly surprise them with deeper experience, if it’s relevant. The bigger danger is that you overwhelm them with credentials. There’s no need. Speak to them with full regard to what matters to them.

Take all this and write a bio that is in total service of your audience. Ready? Set? Go!

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****

Guest Author: Christina Frei

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