Thursday, June 22, 2017

The World is Changing - And So Will Your Job

There are many changes happening in the business world.  I am not sure I grasp what all of it means, and I am trying to not have my head in the sand.  The small things matter, but can easily be overlooked.

How people will earn their living is going to be disrupted and more and more people will become self-employed consultants.  Many will thrive in this environment, but having worked as a solopreneur for nearly a decade, I am also aware that some will not be prepared for all that goes with self-employment. 

My own industry, the meetings business, is going to undergo disruptions.  Speakers are going to be directly impacted, as what audiences want is different than it was just a few short years ago.  Meeting organizers are seeking ways to shake up the traditional meeting formats.  The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) recently held a conference called XDP that was an attempt at redesigning production and participation at a live event. 

Speakers need to be more interactive, as audiences of today appreciate being involved in the presentation.  Speech times are also shorter, so to really connect with people the speaker must have wicked good presentation skills.  Content has to be stronger, but content alone belongs in a white paper, not on stage.  The mix necessary to survive as a speaker will start to become clear in the next few years, and the trick for me (and my peers) is to be open to changing up topics and how we engage while on stage and off stage.

No matter what you do for a living, you need to be looking for what is happening in your industry and how the "new-new" will impact how you do your job. The world is changing, and I fear many will be left behind.  The baby boomers will most likely not be impacted too much, but those of us who are under age 55 need to be ready for some interesting times in the next 25 years.  

I have no answers, but I clearly see the questions.  I am optimistic that I will figure out a way to navigate the future, but I am worried that it will not be easy.  

Have A Great Day

thom singer 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Go Ahead, Judge Me - But Then Give Me A Chance


People judge others.  We all do it.  It is wired into our DNA.  Four thousand years ago if someone walked into your village you needed to be able to quickly decide if they were friend or foe, as a foe could kill you in your sleep.  Thus, we size people up within moments of meeting them, and it is hard to shift that opinion.

Yet we live in a complex world and it is a good idea to realize that when we make snap decisions they are not always right, and when we label and people too fast (in a negative way) we can limit the results that come from knowing another person.  When we dismiss the value of another, we might sell short our own opportunities.

All opportunities come from people, and thus we need each other. I try hard to let people show me more about who they are and what they do before I let a first impression become my permanent opinion.  By giving people a chance there is some risk that they can disappoint, and many decide it is not worth taking a chance.  I disagree, as there is also a chance they can become an amazing friend and supporter.  I want and need more friends and supporters, so I will always let someone prove they have value before determining they are not worthy.

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Your Mindset Brings More Business

If you want more business and desire for each member of your team to contribute more to the growth of you company, then you need to care about the mindset of the individual and the organization. 

In my research for the new "Paradox of Potential" keynote and workshop, I came across the work of Stanford's Dr Carol Dweck (both her book, Mindset, and her decades of research).  Dweck's teaching on a fixed vs growth mindset have had a material impact not only in how it supports what I am finding from speaking to hundreds of people about their own potential, but also in my bottom line.

When you see the world via a fixed mindset you do not challenge yourself to learn as much.  You may not see a need to try new things. If you are certain that your talent is god-given, either think you have enough, or you do not.  This will put limits on your ability to achieve more results.  You will be fast to give up or not put in enough practice and preparation. Thus there is little chance you will achieve more than you expected.  We humans tend to rise and fall to the expectations we believe.

If you do not think hard work, study, and practice will have an impact, why do it?  Easier to blame your IQ, circumstances, or other situations as being out of your control.

But I want to be in control.  It makes me feel right to know that I can impact my own future. A growth mindset brings possibility.  It is through this view of my activities (and I am trying to have this view when I am conscious of the choice) that I am achieving a record breaking year in sales and audience interaction. Believing that I can learn to engage clients (both those who hire me and the conference participants) is making it happen.  This has allowed me to seek ways to change how I behave daily in every interaction I have.  There is a new hunger to accomplish more.  I seek to to get those who hear my message to take real action..

Potential does not equal results. We have to work at finding ways to improve our abilities in countless areas of our lives. Henry Ford famously said, "whether you think you can, or your think you can't - you are right".  Do you think your potential is limited?  Do you have a mindset that is holding you back?  Why let your competitor win because he believes he can?

Your mindset, plus the right actions, will bring more business. 

Happy to share my own stories about what is changing in my business with anyone who wants to reach out (by the way, those with fixed mindsets never reach out).

Have A Great Day

thom singer



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Congrats to the new "Certified Speaking Professionals" (CSP)

The National Speakers Association Certifies 43 Speaking Professionals

The National Speakers Association® (NSA), the leading organization for the professional speaking industry, is proud to announce 43 professional speakers have earned the CSP™ (Certified Speaking Professional) designation in 2017.

It has been three years since I earned my CSP, and I have always been proud to be part of this unique group of speakers.  Just over 800 professional speakers have this designation.

Established in 1980, the CSP is the speaking profession’s international measure of speaking experience and skill. 

The CSP designation is conferred by NSA on accomplished professional speakers who have earned it by meeting strict criteria. CSPs must document a proven track record of continuing speaking experience and expertise, as well as a commitment to ongoing education, outstanding client service, and ethical behavior. The 2017 class of CSPs will be honored during a ceremony on July 8 at Influence 2017, NSA’s annual convention in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

"The CSP™ (Certified Speaking Professional) designation is the highest earned specification that can be achieved by a member of the National Speakers Association or Global Speakers Federation Member Associations,” says 2016-2017 NSA President John B. Molidor, Ph.D., CSP. “Achieving the CSP designation is no easy task; professional speakers must show documented proficiency over a minimum of five years, must receive positive evaluations from their clients, and must be evaluated and affirmed through a peer review process. When meeting professionals hire a Certified Speaking Professional, they can be assured the speaker brings to the table a high-level of expertise and competency, superior speaking ability, and a proven track record of professionalism and success.”

Introducing the 2017 Class of Certified Speaking Professionals:

Christopher Bianez, CSP, Plano, Texas
Aram Boyd, CSP, Danville, Calif.
Guy Burns, CSP, Virginia Beach, Va.
Mary M. Byers, CSP, Chatham, Ill.
Max Stanley Chartrand, PhD, CSP, Casa Grande, Ariz.
David J. Chinsky, CSP, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Heather Christie, JD, CSP, Naples, Fla.
Dennis Cummins, DC, CSP, Miller Place, N.Y.
Sima Dahl, CSP, Chicago, Ill.
Dirk W. Eilert, CSP, Berlin, Germany
Lee Ellis, CSP, Atlanta, Ga.
Celynn Morin Erasmus, CSP, Johannesburg, South Africa
Steve Foran, CSP, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Sandro Forte, FPSA, CSP, London, England
Chris Fuller, CSP, Arlington, Texas
Chuck Gallagher, CSP, Greenville, S.C.
Merit Gest, CSP, Denver, Colo.
Charmaine Hammond, CSP, North Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada
Stacey L. Hanke, CSP, Chicago, Ill.
John M. Hannon, CSP, Sarasota, Fla.
Joel Hilchey, CSP, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Michelle E.W. Howison, CSP, Houston, Texas
Sydne Jacques, CSP, Salt Lake City, Utah
Bethanne Kronick, CSP, Camp Sherman, Ore.
Alesia Latson, CSP, Boston, Mass.
Rob Lilwall, CSP, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Gary Lynn, PhD, CSP, Milburn, N.J.
Tim Marvel, CSP, Dallas, Texas
Marty Mercer, CSP, Atlanta, Ga.
Tod C. Novak, CSP, Newport Beach, Calif.
Gerry O’Brion, CSP, Denver, Colo.
Kathleen D. Pagana, PhD, CSP, Williamsport, Pa.
Matthew Pollard, CSP, Austin, Texas
Thomas Ray, CSP, Sarasota, Fla.
Philipp Riederle, CSP, Burgau, Germany
Dean Savoca, CSP, Denver, Colo.
Jeff Shore, CSP, Auburn, Calif.
Bill Stainton, CSP, Seattle, Wash.
Carolyn Strauss, CSP, Denver, Colo.
William “T” Thompson, JD, CSP, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jerome Wade, CSP, Albuquerque, N.M.
Crystal Washington, CSP, Houston, Texas
Ken Weichert, CSP, Nashville, Tenn.

Congratulations to all.

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Monday, May 15, 2017

7 Tips to Reach Your Super Potential

The new keynote presentation that I have developed, The Paradox of Potential, is getting positive responses from audiences and cultivating more conversation than predicted.  After my speeches people are lining up to discuss how they view their inner potential and what is actually happening in their career.

The concept of this talk (and eventual book) is based on the feedback from hundreds of people I have surveyed who admit to not believing they are reaching their career potential (about 70% feel they are coming up short of their ability).  There is a noticeable gap between potential and results, and much of happens because of the small things that people are overlooking.  Rarely is it some giant problem looming in their past.

The same shortfalls are true of corporate teams and non-profit organizations.  While most who are engaged in these groups feel they have "Super Potential" in what they could be accomplishing, the lower than expected results are weighing heavy.  

Getting the results that you desire will not happen by accident. You and your team must be clear about what you are trying to accomplish and have a true understanding of your motivation.  Going through the motions without direction should not be the norm, yet too many feel they are unclear about what they are actually working toward. Additionally you need to surround yourself with people who will help promote you and your cause. Your network matters!

Here are seven tips to help you reach your super potential:

1. Set clear career goals
2. Try new things / Take risks
3. Believe in your capabilities
4. Show gratitude to those who help you
5. Ask for help / delegate
6. Work past the fear
7. Connect with people

This does not have to be rocket science.  Like most things in life, steering toward success is not nearly as complicated as we try to make it. Take the necessary steps daily in good times and bad.  Keep doing the right things and over time you will be among those that others look to as the example.  There are no shortcuts and there is no way to outsource your success.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer


 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Choose People


After more than ten years of social media and mobile, are we really better connected?  Some are confident we have transformed our society for the better, while others do not believe they have any more tangible relationships. Life is a long climb, and it is better when we along our path with others.

A decade ago, when all the online tools appeared, people predicted the end of live meetings.  In 2017 there are more face-to-face events than ever before.  People are hungry to connect with others, and I believe that many of the tools we use are not really allowing us to have deeper friendships. And it is not just formal conferences and events that are booming: Every corner has a Starbucks and those are filled with people meeting in person.  People need to convene. 

Because of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc... we know more people on the surface, but few are saying they have deeper personal connections and better business relationships. I think has become harder to get noticed in the sea of noise, and buyers are often more confused than ever when it comes to finding the right providers of products or services.

The noise will not go away, so people who want more connectivity in their lives and careers must take strategic action when it comes to cultivating long-term and mutually beneficial relationships. If you want to connect better with people, you have to make it a priority.  There are no shortcuts.


I am having more fun than at anytime in my career. I have been teaching networking skills for years, and suddenly people are hungry for more on this topic. The millennials in my audiences are the most energetic about the message of "Choosing People". In conjunction with my new material on "The Paradox of Potential", there is unprecedented interest on how to do more in a career and why there is power in making meaningful connections.  

Have A Great Day

thom singer


Friday, April 07, 2017

Global Meetings Industry Day


Yesterday (April 6, 2017) was Global Meetings Industry Day and I had the pleasure of attending a large celebration in Austin, TX.

Thirteen different meetings industry organizations hosted this informative and fun gathering. (Sadly the National Speakers Association Austin Chapter was not among the organizing sponsors - and in the future we need to make sure NSA participates!).

Many friends and clients were present, and the food was amazing.  Plus the open bar started at 3:00 PM ("day drinking" is very Austin).  Similar events took place in major cities around the country promoting how meetings mean business.

The two panel discussions were very informative.  The first one covered the economic impact of meetings on the Austin economy and the Texas economy while the second dove into issues around security.

Many probably do not realize that the meeting industry is the 3rd largest industry in the region in regards to the economic impact.  It has a $7 billion impact and over 120,000 people are employed directly and indirectly because of meetings and hospitality. With over 1900 associations based in Texas, these groups employ 21,000 people. Since a major component of the association business being meetings, they are directly contribute $1.2 billion to the state's economy. 

In the dangerous world we live in there are many places that terrorists can attack.  Large meeting venues are having to address the same issues that other public arenas are facing in regards to protecting the crowds that convene.  The conversation was a bit frightening, but also eye opening to the realities of the times we live in.  As a speaker I took notes on the topic, as everyone who is part of the meeting industry must be educated on how to handle incidents that could happen without warning.

I am proud to be part of the meetings industry.  Speakers are often absent from industry meetings like this, and yesterday was no different.  I looked around and did not see any of my other local professional speaker friends in the audience.  It is a shame that speakers do not see themselves as connected to the industry in the same manner as hoteliers, caterers, transportation companies, etc...  Speakers are meeting professionals.  I recently wrote and article for MPI's Meeting Professional Magazine called "More Than A Speaker", that covered how planners should be hiring engaged partners that do more than deliver a keynote.  

(Read the article here: http://www.mpiweb.org/blog/all/mpi-blog/2017/03/27/more-than-a-speaker)

Happy Global Meetings Day to all the Event and Meeting Professionals.  We are lucky to work in a cool business that has a real impact on people. 

Have A Great Day

thom singer 


Monday, April 03, 2017

The ABCs of Sales - T is for Trust


The old saying goes "people do business with those they know, like and trust".  While some may accuse these words of being an overused corporate cliche, they remains relevant.  Getting to know someone used to be a process, and liking them and trust followed (or didn't) after a series of shared experiences.  However, our online connected world has mistakenly brought everyone to getting to "know" each other through search, likes, links, and follows.  As knowing about others has now become easy, arriving at like and trust have become more difficult.

Every action you take contributes to your personal brand, and if you are viewed as someone with impeccable integrity who can be trusted, then more opportunities will come your way over the long run.  Clients and prospects will want to work with you and will happily refer you to others.

According to David Horsager, the world's leading expert on "trust" and the author of The Trust Edge, people pay more, come back, and tell others when there is trust. The trusted leader is followed and from the trusted salesperson, people buy.  Meanwhile, a lack of trust can be your biggest expense.

Companies spend a lot of time teaching sales professionals how to create elevator pitches, cold-call, handle objections, network, and close - yet there is little time invested in the conversation about how to be trustworthy.  A reputation of trust for the individual and the company can take years to create, but a single wrong action can undermine the foundation.

Tactics to manipulate a prospect or push them to buy a product or service that is not the right fit for them will make you and your company money in the short run, but over the long haul of a career will hurt your success.  To build trust you must always be honest, even if you will not win the sale.  Those who are known to be a trusted advisor will win more business in the long run. Character counts if you want to have a long-term career in sales.

Twenty-five years ago those who were not trustworthy could hide their reputation, but in the day of the internet and peer reviews there are too many ways for people to uncover how you have treated others. Trust is key to your success in sales and there are no shortcuts.  You have to have a win/win attitude and never deviate.

Are you making trust a key part of who you are and how you serve your clients, prospects, and others?  If not, you are leaving money on the table, as when the client trusts your competitor more than they trust you, they will get the contract every time. 

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

*Thom Singer is a keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies.  He talks regularly to corporate audiences in competitive industries that are sales focused and whose people are seeking greater success.   http://www.EngagingSalesSpeaker.com

Monday, February 27, 2017

Thom Singer on the Runified Podcast (Episode 38)


I had the chance to be back on the Runified Podcast (a podcast for those who run).  I was on Episode 5 when I took up running at age 49.  I was not a runner.  Now I am. It has been quite a journey.

Title: Ep.038: Thom Singer - Paradox of Potential 

Description: 
When Thom Singer first joined the Runified Podcast on Episode 5, he was a non-runner. Over the past year, Thom has eased into the life of a runner and shares the many different ways running has improved his life. Thom talks about training for and running his first half marathon. We also talk about how running has been a source of inspiration to further his own business and career, and likens his running transition and journey to challenges and progression and in the business world. As a professional speaker, Thom speaks about the Paradox of Potential, which he thought of while running. Thom challenges listeners to encourage others to start running by actively helping them through the transition from non-runner to runner.

This episode is hosted by Matt Sorenson and is sponsored by goodr. Use code “runified2017” at playgoodr.com for a special Runified discount and to help support Runified and our running podcast!


Check it out:

Runified Website: http://www.runified.co/podcast

If you take a listen.... let Matt know you did and that you heard about it from my blog.

Have a Great Day

thom singer