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Getting Ready To Contact Groups

With your talks or series of topics prepared, you next have to find groups to speak to. With small informal groups and program organizers you already know, you may be able to set this up informally. Just a discussion and a brief written description of what you are going to talk about may be enough.

But once you start to do this seriously, with larger more organized groups and people you don't already know (and even those you do), you will need some kind of promotional material, and even a brochure, to describe your topics and provide some background on you. Then, as you do this more and more and establish a track record, start putting together a list of references and perhaps some sample reference letters to create a little promotional pack that will add to your credibility and help get you more assignments. This kind of backup can also help you get fees for your speaking as well, and as your track record adds up and your promotional package becomes more impressive, so can your fees—while the size of the group you are addressing—and the volume of products you can sell—will increase too.

In the beginning, though, just a sheet with the topics you talk about and a bio about yourself is fine. On the next pages, you'll find some samples of what I have done to promote my own speaking to groups on various topics—including direct selling and MLM techniques. You'll note that each one lists a general theme, and then includes specific topics I can talk about in each area. Another way to do this is to list the general category, and then come up with some snappy titles for each of the topics in this area you want to talk about.

In writing your bio, keep it down to a page, or even a paragraph or two, highlighting what you have done that is most relevant to the topic you are going to talk about. Perhaps even write up your bio as you might want someone to read it in introducing you at one of your presentations. One approach is to use a paragraph narrative style, such as I have done in my own bio which is attached for illustration. Or another approach might be to list in set-off style your major accomplishments, again highlighting those that are most relevant by listing these first.

You can always update your bio, keeping the same basic format. For example, as your organization grows and you get more press coverage or opportunities to speak to groups, you might include some of the most impressive achievements. And even if these achievements may not relate directly to your specific sales activities for your product, you can write about them in a way that they might seem applicable. For example, on my bio sheet, I note that I was on the Phil Donahue, Sally Jessy Raphael, and other shows for some of my books. Actually, these appearances were for earlier books that has nothing to do with the topics I am talking about now. But I can refer to these appearances legitimately.

Also, include any credentials that may give you credibility, even though they are not directly related to your present subject. For instance, I list my Ph.D. and J.D. degrees, even though these are not really relevant when I talk about direct sales techniques. But the degrees add to a general sense of authority and credibility that helps to impress those who might consider having me speak for their group.

Introducing Gini Graham Scott

Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., J.D., is a nationally known writer, game designer, and organizational/business consultant, speaker, and seminar/workshop leader specializing in conflict resolution, problem solving, creativity, lifestyles, and social dynamics. She is the founder and president of Change-makers and Creative Communications and Research, in-volved in new product development and promotion.

As a writer, she has published over 20 books on diverse subjects. Her books on social dynamics, lifestyles, conflict resolution, problem solving, and creativity include: The Truth About Lying (Harbinger House 1991), Private Eyes (Citadel 1991, with investigator Sam Brown), Resolving Conflict (New Harbinger Press 1990), Mind Power: Picture Your Way to Success (Prentice Hall Press 1987, audio version 1989), and The Creative Traveler (Tudor 1989).

Scott's books on direct sales, business and law include: Building A Winning Sales Team (Probus 1991), Everything You tteed to Know to Be Successful in Multi-Level Marketing (Prentice Hall 1991), Get Rich Through Multi-Level Selling (Self-Counsel Press 1989), Effective Selling and Sales Management (Brick House 1987), Strike It Rich in Personal Selling (Avon 1985; New World Books 1988), Positive Cash Flow (Bob Adams 1989), Debt Collection (Oasis Press 1987), It's Your Money (Avon 1987), and Collect Your Court Judgment (Nolo 1988).

Scott has received national media exposure for some of her books (including appearances on the Phil Donahue and Sally Jessy Raphael shows). She is also launching a series of weekly radio programs called Changemakers on KUSF-FM in San Francisco (starting April 1991) featuring interviews on various topics. She received her doctorate in Sociology from the University of California in Berkeley in 1976; did some post-doctoral work with several U.C. Berkeley anthropology professors from 1979 to 1982; and received her J.D. degree from the University of San Francisco Law School in 1990.



• Ph.D. in Sociology—University of California, Berkeley
• Post-doctoral study in Anthropology—University of
California, Berkeley
• J.D. in Law—University of San Francisco Law School


As an Author and Designer

• Author of over 20 books on various topics, including:

• Conflict Resolution and Personal Development
• Increasing Personal Power and Creativity
• Current Social Issues and Concerns
• Groups and Organizations
• Business Success and Sales and Marketing Techniques

• Designer of over 2 dozen games and toys, including:

• Glasnost: The Game of Soviet-American Peace and
Diplomacy (published in the US, and in German and
Soviet editions, with the first Soviet run of 100/000 copies; Clio Award in 1989)
• Screwball, manufactured by Hasbro Industries

• Designer of over 1 dozen children's dolls and charac-ter licenses with children's book and product line tie-ins, including Little Devils, L'il Robots, and L'll Impies

As a Speaker, Media Personality,
Teacher, Community Leader, etc.

• Speaker and workshop leader at national and international conferences
• Radio talk show host of the series: Changemakers, now featured on an independent radio station in San
Francisco and being syndicated nationally
• Teacher at numerous colleges and universities, including West Georgia College, San Francisco State
University, and Dominican College in San Rafael
• Investigative researcher for major consumer group and private investigators, including Sam Brown and Dee Moody, with whom co-authored books
• Volunteer panelist and trainer for Community Boards, a neighborhood conflict resolution group in San Francisco
• Award-winning photographer—photos in book, calendar, exhibits
• Member of numerous writing, media, community, business/professional groups

The flier and bio sheet should be enough to introduce you to the smaller and local groups. You may also need to develop a cover letter to accompany them, which basically states in a paragraph or two that you are sending the enclosed materials about your talks and yourself (perhaps in response to a conversation with the program organizer) and briefly highlights what you would like to talk about and how you have the background to do this. Read the letter on the following page as a sample of what you might say. You'll note that this letter also refers to a list of references and reference letters. Include these once you get them, and each time you do a talk, try to get the agreement of the person you gave the talk for to be a reference and to give you a letter on the group's letterhead which you can use in the future (assuming you have done a good job and everyone liked your talk).

Then, as you gain more experience doing this, consider putting together a more developed promotional kit or brochure. The promotional kit will be less expensive, since it basically involves combining the fliers, letters, reference lists, and any press clips or articles that you already have into an organized packet in an attractive folder. Use a leatherette or vinyl or pebbled cover stock folder, which come in various colors and have pockets in each cover where you can place your promotional materials. These are available in office supply and larger stationery stores. Then, insert the following items:

• list of speaking topics (with perhaps brief descrip-tions of each topic if you think additional information would be useful)

October 26,1990

Mr. Jack Smith
Program Director
Pines Bluff Community Center
125 Davis Street
Pines Bluff, California 94108

Dear Mr. Smith:

I was pleased to hear of your interest in the possibility of my doing a talk for your group on 'Ten Key Steps to a Successful Diet."

Per your request, I am enclosing a copy of my list of topics on the subject of dieting and nutrition generally, along with a bio about myself. A list of references of previous groups I have spoken with on these subjects is also enclosed, along with a few sample letters of reference.

I will be glad to adapt this subject to the specific interests of your group, and I can leave some time at the end of the talk for audience questions. I can also work in some audience participation exercises if you like.

I will look forward to hearing from you and discussing when I might do this and the arrangements for the program with you further.


Jennifer Jones
Director, New Diet America



• brief bio of yourself (which could be a separate sheet or might be included at the bottom of your list of topics, depending on how long it is)
• list of groups and organizations you have spoken to before
• one to three reference letters from the groups that have given you the most enthusiastic response or which are the most well-known in your area; if possi-ble, choose groups which are of the same type or are in the same field as the group you hope to be speaking to; these will be more convincing, since the program organizer can better relate to such groups because of the common identity)
• one to three press clips, if any, about talks you have given before
Also, include a business card (some folders have a small inset with corner cuts so you can insert a card) or a label with your name, address, and number. In addition, if you have one, add a picture.

Another approach which some speakers use as their speaking business develops is the brochure, sometimes by itself, or sometimes as an element in a promotional kit such as just described. This can get expensive—about $500 to $2/000, for a professional job. But it's also increasingly necessary for people to have these if they want to speak to large organizations, corporations who use speakers at things like conventions and luncheons, and other major speaking events. You'll also need to have some good photographs and graphics to do this well. To get an idea of what to do, look at some examples of what other professional speakers have and consult with people in the graphics and printing business who create these sorts of things. A group like the National Speaker's Association can also help you with its workshops, local meetings, and how-to cassette program. A detailed discussion on how to put one of these together is beyond the scope of this book.


Creating a Demo Tape or Video

Demo audiotapes and videos can also help you get speaking engagements with some groups. These won't generally be necessary with the smaller and local groups, where you speak for free, and the groups are used to get nonprofessional speakers. However, as you expand to larger and larger groups and to a more regional audience or beyond, these become increasingly important, until finally, on the professional level of public speaking, an audiotape becomes a requirement, and in many cases, the program director who books the speakers will want to see a video, too.

Professional audiotapes and videos can be expensive. However, you can put together a demo audiotape which is sufficient for your needs in the early stages of starting to get speaking engagements with almost no expense. One way is to tape a program you do do. Assuming, it was a good meeting where you gave a good, well-received talk, that's all you need. Perhaps add an opening statement, even some music, and a close, for an extra finishing touch. You can similarly work with a friend who has a home video, or you can get a local video student or small video company to be on the scene, at a cost of anywhere from the cost of the film or $10 to about $100 for an hour or two of shooting and some editing and titles. (For example, I did my first video for $125 when I gave a talk at a local convention, and the organizers arranged for a video unit to be available at discounted prices to shoot the speaker's talk or workshop and provide a single edited tape, with opening titles. It wasn't a true professional job, but it was adequate at the time.

Alternatively, if you don't already have a prearranged speaking engagement you can tape or video, you can set up a session just for taping. A good way to do this is to invite friends or the people in your sales group, and let them know this will be a free program you are planning to tape. Perhaps provide refreshments as an incentive for people to show up to be there. Then, do the best possible talk you can, while you tape or have someone video it.

Whatever kind of early tape you make—at a regular speaking engagement or at one you set up to make your tape—you can always upgrade as you get better. In fact, consider taping all your talks. Then, you can always use the best pieces out of each, should you want to do some kind of collage tape, or substitute a better performance for the tape you are currently using.

Similarly, look into getting a better video if you start off with a home-grown one as your speaking activities expand.

When you first send out inquiry letters, these tapes or video aren't usually necessary when you are contacting the small and local groups, and this can keep down your mailing and inquiry costs if you don't include demos, though you might include these in a follow-up mailing to those groups that express some interest in knowing more. However, as you approach larger and more regional or national groups to speak to them, such tapes or demos may be expected with your initial inquiry. You can get a feel for what to do if you do a premailing call to the groups you are approaching to find out what the program director would like to receive.







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TITLE: Network Marketing

Network Marketing Category: Network Marketing

Shopping Mall: Network Marketing

Network Marketing Topics: Network Marketing