Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Kindle Valentine: Free 2-day shipping

With Valentine's Day just ahead, I'm flooded with great offers for speakers. If you want to gift a lucky speaker an Amazon Kindle--my favorite tool not just for reading, but for storing speech texts and notes--you can have it delivered via free two-day shipping in time for Valentine's Day if you order by February 11.

Go to this link to order the Kindle under the special offer.  If you're going to order it as a gift for someone other than yourself, check the box labeled “show gifting options” before you proceed to checkout so you can add a custom gift note and send the Kindle unregistered.

Here's how I use the Kindle for speaking:
  • To store PDF or Word files of my speeches, notes or talking points. It's small and light enough to be a real space- and weight-saver when you travel, or if you are giving several talks on one trip.
  • To adjust type size automatically for any speaking situation. You have a choice of font sizes, and because the Kindle isn't backlit, it's easier to read from.
  • To carry source material--books, blogs, articles, newspapers--and bookmark it or annotate it for future use in speeches.
  • To keep from shuffling or dropping papers when I speak.  The smaller 6" Kindle is just a bit larger than a large file card, and can be held with one hand or propped up on a lectern. Either size Kindle means you'll never drop a page again.
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Get a free 30-minute voice appraisal

Kate Peters, vocal coach and author of the Kate's Voice blog, is offering 8 lucky readers the chance for a 30-minute "voice valentine" appraisal of your voice, a great resource for speakers who want to improve their presence and vocal quality. Here's what you get, from her blog:
A 30-minute session on the phone with me. I will listen to your voice, and evaluate how you use it, based on vocal image, vocal health, and considering any specific vocal issues you may be experiencing. I’ll also make recommendations for ways to improve or expand your voice. This is a $100 value. Although I’m offering this as a Valentine special, the offer is also open to those who want help with their voices for public speaking, teaching, training, work or singing, or if you just want to create a better voice. So if you have been looking to get some voice help and haven’t known where to start or if you have been thinking about contacting me, this is your chance.
Readers, take advantage of this offer, only available to the first 8 responders to her post. Instructions for contacting her are at the link above. Kate's the author of our recent guest posts on assessing and improving your vocal image. Please let us know if you're one of the successful entrants!

Will public speaking boost your employability?

The Glass Hammer, a blog for women in finance, puts public speaking at the top of its recent list of 5 ways to increase your employability.  From the article:
Speak at an industry conference about a project or initiative you have worked on – no one will know more about it than you and case studies are a perennial favourite on the conference circuit....If that still sounds too scary then start small with a talk at your local professional institute branch. Or offer your services to a women’s network – they would love to hear about your career journey. If you are just starting out, talk to university groups about how you landed your finance job.
If you're going to tackle speaking as part of your job search--whether you're looking for a change or currently unemployed--I'd add a few more tips to make sure you get the most benefit from your forays at the lectern:
  1. Network before and after your speech:  That means spending time talking to the organizers before and after, to plan your talk and to get feedback and let them know you'd like to speak again.  On the day of your talk or presentation, get there early enough to talk to audience members one-on-one and stay late to network after you've spoken.  Ask for a list of attendees, and collect business cards and follow up.
  2. Set up a web resources page for your audiences:  Post or share your slides, recommended reading on your topic, your resume or biography, and any other materials you want attendees to have. Make sure you have a tracking system to measure traffic before and after your talk.  Add links to your online profiles and resume.
  3. Publicize your speeches and presentations:  Share the names of the groups, your talk title, number of attendees or any other useful details on your own website, your online social-media profiles and your resume.
Not sure you want to start with a major speech?  Try these 4 stepping stones to get public speaking practice with briefer opportunities that are just as visible.

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The Eloquent Woman joins BlogHer

I'm happy to say that The Eloquent Woman blog is now part of BlogHer, the community for women who blog. You'll find a link to The Eloquent Woman here on BlogHer's directory of blogs--a great resource if you're looking for more blogs relevant to women.  It's just another way to widen our circles to reach more women with news about public speaking.

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