Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Public Speaking : BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP

Just when you think you're on top of the world . . . ZAP! The computer Gods bring you down a few notches. This past Friday while setting up for ButtCamp in Orlando, FL my new laptop that had just easily checked email for me in my hotel room would not boot up. I thought, "Gee this is a pain, but no big deal. I'll just get my trusty old backup computer which has been chugging along for a couple years. I got it out and OH NO! It wouldn't boot up either. I figured there must be anti "Butt Word" ghosts in the room. This just couldn't be . . . but it was. It wasn't apparent at the time, but it looks like the power supply went bad and zapped the new computer. Then when I plugged the same power supply into the backup computer it zapped it too!

I ended up borrowing a computer (and power supply) from someone in the crowd and rewarding them with a bunch of freebies. The day was more work for me, but went great anyway. After the seminar I then hustled to Comp USA and paid full price for another new laptop (OUCH!) to use at my two sessions at the National Speakers Assn. convention


=> Know enough about computers to get your information to show on a computer that doesn't belong to you.

=> Have backup CDs of everything you need to run your programs and get your job done on a brand new or borrowed computer. I had the CDs with me to load everything I needed on both the borrowed and new PC and went on to WOW em at NSA.

Backups . . . Don't leave home without them!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Public Speaking : SPEAKER HUMOR

=> He always feels bad when he feels good for fear he'll feel worse when he feels better.

=> A wise man once said that the best way to save face is to keep the bottom part of it closed.

=> The reason ideas die quickly in some people's heads is because they can't stand solitary confinement.

=> Gas prices are so high that when I pulled into a station and asked for a dollar's worth, the attendant dabbed some behind my ears.

=> Consultation: A medical term meaning "share the wealth."

=> Governmental machinery is the marvelous device which enables ten men to do the work of one.

=> Our speaker always gives the most refreshing talks. Everywhere he goes the audiences always feel good when they wake up.

=> The cheapest way to have your family tree traced is to run for public office.

=> A man I know solved the problem of too many visiting relatives. He borrowed money from the rich ones and gave it to the poor ones. Now none of them come back.

=> Depend on the rabbit's foot if you want, but remember it didn't work to well for the rabbit.

=> "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain

=> A wife is the only person who can look into the top drawer of a dresser and find a man's socks that aren't there.

=> Crime has gotten so bad in places, that citizens figure mugging into their budgets.

=> Don't confuse this confusion with disorganization...because we're not that organized yet.

=> Perfect timing is the ability to turn off the "hot" and "cold"shower faucets at the same time.

=> I won't say he's neurotic, but when the teams go into a huddle he wonders if they are talking about him.

=> One of the great mysteries of life is how that idiot who married your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchildren in the world.

=> My kids sister has a superiority complex...she thinks she's almost as good as me.

Monday, December 22, 2008


There will come a time when you will either be in front of a hostile audience or a hostile question will pop up during a relatively calm presentation. This is a tough situation at best and you have to handle it with kid gloves. Humor can save the day and maybe even help you become President.

When a hostile situation arises, you have to be especially careful that you don't antagonize the questioner or group further by making a flippant response. You can use humor to distract the antagonism, but you should always make a serious reply to the question at hand.

EXAMPLE: Let's say you are speaking at a stockholder's meeting and you are telling them about all the wonderful new productsthat are coming out. Then someone yells out, "What about the supreme turkey of a widget you came out with last year?" Now you are on the spot. If you ignore the question you will look like you are hiding. If you use a comeback that attacks the questioner or makes fun of him or her you will turn the rest of the group against you. So what do you do?

Use a prepared one-liner or some mildly amusing admission of guilt and then immediately go into a serious response to the question.

"We are donating all those widgets to the Navy because they havea shortage of boat anchors this year [pause for laughter]. But, seriously folks, based on all the available research we had at our disposal the widget looked like it would be a good solid seller for us. Then when the gizmo industry took a big hit, we no longer had a market for the widgets"

Then get back to your agenda.

If you expect to be in a position like the above speaker, try to anticipate the hostile questions that could arise and prepare responses for them. You might not be able to anticipate all the questions that could come up, but by preparing in advance you are giving yourself an infinitely better chance of responding correctly. Another good resource is "What to Say When . . .You're Dyin' on The Platform" by Lilly Walters.

One of the most famous examples of good preparation came during Ronald Reagan's 1984 bid for reelection. Reagan made a very poor showing as he stumbled through his first debate with the democratic challenger, Walter Mondale. The media jumped on this and Reagan's age and possible senility became a big issue until about two-thirds of the way through his second televised debate with Mondale.

A question was posed to the president that ask him if he was concerned about how his age would affect his ability to do the job. Reagan's prepared two-line response virtually nailed the lid on Mondale's coffin and squelched the age issue even though he was four years older than he was in the last election. He said,"I'm not going to inject the issue of age into this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political gain my opponent's youth and inexperience." Some say this comment won him his second term of office. That's the power of preparation.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Public Speaking : PAUSES

A true NO ZZZZZs presenter doesn't feel that he or she must jabber away constantly to keep the audience awake. Skilled presenters use silence to add to the effectiveness and polish of a program. Theatrical folks have identified a whole bunch of neat pauses which I'm sure they have a ball playing with. I'm only going to address some of the most obvious and important ones here.

SHORT The shortest pauses, which last anywhere from one-half to two seconds, are for the simple purpose of separating your thoughts. All you have to remember is to slow down. Give the audience a fighting chance to absorb what you are saying. Change your voice inflection slightly at the end of each thought to cue the audience the next thought is coming. Also, use a short pause before and after any phrase (punch line) or word you want to emphasize.

SPONTANEITY Another neat pause is known as a spontaneity pause. This is a planned "unplanned" pause used so that you don't look too rehearsed. You might apply this pause when you want to pretend to search for a word or phrase that you already know.

LONG Long pauses of more than three seconds are very powerful. They command the audience to think about what you just said that is if what you just said was worth thinking about.

Please [pause] [pause] [pause] don't be afraid to be quiet once in a while. It can dramatically increase your impact.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


=> Don't signal your punch line. If the humor in your punch line depends upon the words "ruptured camel," don't say the following: Did you hear the one about the ruptured camel?

=> Don't EVER repeat a punch line! Once the surprise is revealed, the joke is history. I'll repeat this, but I don't want to hear you repeating any punch lines. Let me repeat. Don't EVER repeat a punch line. Don't EVER repeat a punch line. NEVER repeat a punch line. You'll be shot by the humor firing squad if you repeat a punch line. OK. I'll let you repeat one, but only under certain circumstances. Here's the exception. If you had a joke or punchline that bombed miserably, you can call it back later to make fun of yourself.

=> You must absolutely, positively memorize your punch line. You should be able to awaken out of a deep sleep in an earth quakeand, without hesitation, deliver your punch line accurately. Give all the facts necessary for the joke to make sense. The humor is lost if you leave out the necessary details.

=> NEVER, EVER explain your joke. If they don't understand, it's your fault for telling the wrong joke to the wrong audience.

=> Use the fewest words possible to get to the punch line.Brevity is truly the soul of wit (never use a worn out cliche either). The longer the joke, the funnier it must be.

=> Don't walk around too much when telling a joke or story. I walk, but I stop when important points are being made and when I'm delivering a punch line.

=> If you use notes, highlight or mark upcoming jokes or stories so they don't sneak up on you. They will need special emphasis.

=> Practice! Practice! Practice! I tell a joke or story 30 to 50 times in practice before I use it in a presentation.

Friday, December 12, 2008



Last issue I gave you 8 things I do to get speaking clients calling me. Here are 8 more things I do to get publicity because I'm a ham and also because I can't stand cold calling.

9. Get on TV Shows. You must think in terms of visual demonstrations when you do TV. Do whatever you possibly can to get a tape of your interview or segment. Have two or three reliable people tape it, or buy a tape of your appearance. You can usually get permission to use the footage in your video demo materials. Also get some training. It's different on TV because you have added the visual aspect. You must know how to sit, use makeup, and choose the proper clothing. etc. (The "Wake 'em Up Video Professional Speaking System" has a section on this.)

10. Plaster website and contact information ON your products Sometimes the client will buy your product to get a sample of you before he/she considers hiring you.

11. Advertise other products IN your products. You can put ads in the back of your self-published book or negotiate with the publisher for a few pages of ads for your other products and services. You can also mention your products and services in the content of the product. Don't go overboard with this.

12. Advertise in your contracts. After you are hired to speak you can keep reminding the client that "additional educational materials" like custom workbooks, video tapes, and audiotapes, etc. are available. Sometimes they will call back and have the additional budget for product.

13. Set the stage for referrals. First, be great on the platform. Second, ask for referrals after you have done a great job and third offer a commission for referrals.

14. Solicit New Product Reviews. Many publications in your target market have space to mention new products that may be of interest to their readers. Of course, since you are the author of the product, you are considered the expert on the topic.

15. Add Value. I give 30 Days Free follow up consultation with all my speaking engagements which keeps me top of mind with the client for a longer period of time plus they must call me to get the consultation which gives me a deeper penetration into the organization.

16. Giveaway Products. I make review copies of books and tapes available to all types of media outlets and I even give them awayto seat mates on airplanes. I was hired once before we landed . .. Of course, I did have a captive audience hah aha

Wednesday, December 10, 2008



Media is more than the standard radio, TV and print. Here are 8 of the 16 things I do to get publicity and because I'm a ham and also because I can't stand cold calling.

1. Create a Great Website. You can get hired directly from the website and on many occasions with no press kit and no video

2. Trade links with other websites and both you and the other website owner will win. (Don't be swayed against this technique by the people that want to guard their website with a shotgun.)

3. Start an Electronic Newsletter or two aimed at your target market(s). The one you're reading right now is up to about 135,000 subscribers and is making me lots of money.

4. Trade classified ads with other electronic newsletter owners to get more subscribers to sign up for your newsletter.

5. Write articles and/or become a columnist. You're the expert when someone reads an article in a respected publication written by you. You don't have to try to win the lottery by getting in Newsweek. You can get more business by submitting to trade publications and websites related to your expertise.

6. Get articles written about you in magazines and newspapers. You can brag about them and reprint them forever. To stimulate interest, send press releases, post cards, email, faxes to your target publications.

7. Get yourself mentioned everywhere you can. Call publications and broadcast stations and put yourself on their expert databases. Write letters to the editor. Always be helpful to journalists and make their jobs easier and they will call you over and over for comments.

8. Do Radio Interviews. They are fairly easy to get and you can do them from home. Get some training so you are great when you are on the air.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Public Speaking : DRESS 'EM UP!

Since I owned an entertainment company for six years I wound up with an enormous number of props and costumes that were pretty much taking up space in my house after I got full time into the speaking business. When I was asked to start doing speaking engagements with a high percentage of humor I decided to take better advantage of all my funny outfits.

At a presentation in Dallas I had the one of the male executive VPs dressed up like a nurse and another VP was dressed up like Elvis. In this case they weren't completely dressed in costume. I put a nurse's hat, and stethoscope on the one guy and gave him a giant comedy thermometer.

Elvis had on a giant wig and sunglasses with giant sideburns attached. He also had a scarf around his neck and an inflatable guitar.

On another occasion, I had the president of a pizza chain wear a pillow on his behind with a big target painted on it. They were doing a giant KickButt promotion. Every time one of the managers got one of the customer service answers right they got a chanceto Kick the President in the rear.

Another time I provided a gorilla and clown costume. The CEOdressed in the Gorilla costume because it's a "jungle" out thereand someone else wore the clown costume to represent all thoseclowns out there that we are going to beat.

My favorite was the time I took a full size dummy to a customer service speech where the participants were really frustrated with the nasty customers they had to deal with. People that answered questions properly got to beat up the "dummy" customer.

All of this may be out of your comfort zone, but I can tell you that each one of the events above literally brought down the house and I got big bucks to be there. So using props, and costumes in the right situation can be tons of fun.

Friday, December 05, 2008


I'm certainly no clothes horse. When people look at me they certainly don't say, "Wow! What a snappy dresser." I do happen to know a little bit about speaker clothing that polished pro speakers need to know about.

I'm talking about the dreaded MICROPHONE BULGE. Unless you use a handheld microphone, or a wired clip on microphone (which causes you to trip over the wire all day) in one way or the other you have to deal with a wireless transmitter bulge in your clothing.

This needs to be addressed when you are purchasing the clothing you plan on wearing when you speak.

Where is the transmitter pack going to be attached? If you have no pockets and no belt, the sound person will have to glue the darn thing on you (not really) but in many cases that would be the easiest route.

If you are wearing a form fitting jacket, then clipping the transmitter to your skirt will cause a bulge in the back and an unsightly pull in the front.

Plan for the transmitter pack when you purchase your clothing. Take one with you to the store or simulate having one by putting one or more compact cases together and slipping in the back of your skirt. If you're new outfit fits with those in there, the nit will fit nicely with a real transmitter.

You can also wear a jacket or top with a tie / best around it which gives the transmitter a handy place to hang.

Big guys like me that wear fairly loose jackets don't have to worry about this too much. If you are built such that you can wear form fitting tightly cut jackets, then you are in the same boat as the ladies above. You must plan for the transmitter when you purchase your clothing. When I've had suits custom made, I actually had the tailor put in a special pocket for the transmitter and I also had him make several loops up the inside of the jacket to keep the wire to the microphone from hanging out the front of my coat.

Sometimes I put the transmitter right in my pants pocket. That way there is no way it will fall off or come unclipped even if I get a little boisterous on stage . . . which I do.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Public Speaking : Last chance to sign up for teleclass/webinar

Alex Madossian has taken the art and science of doing teleseminars to levels I've never even heard of and I've been making lots of money doing them for years.

He's hosting a 90 minute call tonight for only 20 bucks and you'll be amazed at the things you can do with the simple old telephone.

Can't make it? You'll get the replay link tomorrow morning.

Note: you must use the discount code just below to get that price Use Code AM3964

To check it out visit

Catch ya
Tom Antion

P.S. If you know me, you know I don't promote every crappy Internet marketer that comes out of the woodwork.
If I tell you something is's probably great by any other standard.

Check out what this guy has done with teleseminars and then tell me what you thought about it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


USE A DEMONSTRATION by Anne Durrum Robinson

Tom, I have to pass this on. Some years ago I was teaching a large group in business and professional writing. I wanted them to realize the biggest error in most business and professional writing so I had each person blow up a balloon and then stick a pin in it. (Amusingly that was a very difficult task for balloon lovers.)

When all 65 folks stuck the pins in at more or less the same time the results were loud pops! The point to the exercise, of course,was to show how little one had left when one took all the hot air out of one's business writing. All seemed to get that point. What I personally didn't understand was why, after all that unusual noise, nobody came to see if we were okay.

NOTE FROM TOM: This same exercise can be used to simulate an indoor fireworks show. Of course, there is no fire and smoke but it sounds like it. Also, you can have the people stomp on the balloons which makes for a fun visual.

Monday, December 01, 2008


I've learned a lot about back of the room sales in the past couple years. My high day so far was $52,000.00 and some change on one speech. This article isn't about the technique of Back of the Room Sales. I'll cover that in a future issue. This article is about an overall philosophy to increase sales and a specific technique that I've been using.

The overall philosophy is that too much information will not help the audience members's retention of the material or help your back of the room sales.

Over the past five years or so I started doing my Wake 'em Up Presentation Skills seminars and more recently my ButtCamp Internet marketing seminars. Ask anyone who has ever attended one of them and I guarantee they will tell you that they got buried in good material. In fact, I used to brag about the fact that I was going to bury you in good material. I still say, "your brain will be smoking when I get done with you." For the most part, what I've found is that I've overwhelmed many attendees in tototal inaction and they didn't buy anything either.


Now I do it differently. I cut down on the overall amount of material. We have a lot more fun. People retain more. They don't feel as overwhelmed. They do more and get more results. AND they buy more of my stuff.

I always use humor in my presentations, but lately I have been revising a segment of my presentations that I got away from for a couple years......MAGIC

No I'm not talking about becoming a professional magician. I'm talking about using magic tricks to have some fun and to illustrate points I'm trying to make.

I can assure you that the people in my last seminar that saw me put my bare hand into a steel spring muskrat trap will remember what I said about email marketing traps.

I'm sure that when someone 12 inches from my fingertips saw me turn a one dollar bill into a hundred dollar bill will remember that you can turn a small investment into a really big investment if you know what you're doing on the Internet.

Visit your local magic shop to find tricks that are easy or require minimal practice and get suggestions on what points you can make. Or better yet, figure out the point you want to illustrate and ask what the magic shop has that would help you make your point. I'm working on a set of magic videos specifically for speakers that I'll announce in a few months.

In addition to increase Back of the Room sales, you will find that people will do more word of mouth marketing for you and send their friends and colleagues to your sessions if they got both valuable content AND had fun.