Sunday, March 25, 2012

Who In Your Organization Makes The Final Decision On Which Professional Speakers To Hire?

According to The Speaker Report, who makes the final decision to hire professional speakers is all over the org chart.  The top answer is not by the education or professional development
department, where logic might place it, given the important learning function of many meetings.

Final decisions for professional speakers are most frequently made by the head of the organization
(25.8 percent) or a board or volunteer committee (20.2 percent). The vice president or director of
meetings (15.3 percent) or of education or professional development (13.5 percent) rank next. Staff committees play decision maker just 8.6 percent of the time. 
Of the relatively large slice of “other” decision makers (16.6 percent), many of the open-ended responses reveal a combined approach (e.g., selection is done by staff and a volunteer committee) or a varied approach (the decision maker changes depending on the particular meeting). 
Keep in mind that while we asked about final decisions, availability and pricing information is often collected by a lower-level staff person, who can’t sign anyone up—but can scratch names off the list. 
Organizations with annual budgets over $5 million tend to make speaker decisions by staff, especially by meetings staff, rather than putting it in the hands of volunteers or board members. Those organizations use board or volunteer committees only 12.5 percent versus 25.6 percent of organizations with budgets of $5 million or less and rely on the head of meetings 23.6 percent of the time compared to just 10.0 percent of the time for organizations with the lower budgets.
Not surprisingly, smaller organizations are more likely to rely on the top dog for decisions—those reporting the CEO or executive director makes the final call have an average staff size of 54.9, which is marked less than organizations reporting reliance on staff committees (356.3 staff), board or volunteer committees (263.7 staff), and the head of education or professional development (169.2 staff). 
Organizations that use evaluations and assessments to measure learning at their meetings are more likely to give meetings people the hiring authority than those that don’t: 27.1 versus 11.9 percent. 
A larger education staff does not mean the organization is more likely to rely on that group for final decisions. The median number of individuals spending more than half their time working in education or professional development for organizations saying the vice president or director of education or professional development makes the call on professional speakers is just 2.0, compared that to the 3.0 median education staff for all respondents.
written by Jeff Cobb, Jeff Hurt, Dave Lutz, and Celisa Steele

published by Tagoras and Velvet Chainsaw Consulting

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Assistant

Corbin & Lloyd pixel pushin!
I have a little helper today. This is Corbin. He is a 100% Pomeranian, 30% meatball, 65% Aflac duck & 110% love & joy. Corbs was born with a collapsed trachea which makes him a constant quacker... (hence, the 65% Aflac portion of his make-up). =)

He is on a daily doggy steroid which does reduce the honk and relieves any pain - but it has a mild side effect of sticking some extra sumpin-sumpin to his ribs.. and, just guessing here, I'd say, approximately making him 225% over-weight (hence, the meatball portion) =)

Corbin will be 8 this October. I got him from a breeder in Oklahoma who handed him over just under 2 lbs! You'd never know if you saw this bowl of jelly now! Every year Corbin gets a nickname - thought I'd share those since he's being blogged on today! Of course, to all our readers, name contributions for the future choices are always welcome! You can comment on this post or just email them to me at TGIF everyone!

Corbonzo Beans
Mikhail Corbotrav
The Corbinator
Corbious Maximus
Sir Quacks A Lot
Quacker Jack

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March of Dimes

My long-time friend, mother of three (including a set of twins), Sarah Sachs Jepson, had a pretty traumatic loss in her life last year. Her brother (who I've also known for a large portion of my childhood), and his wife Rachel, sadly lost their baby last Fall of 2011. They had delivered twins early-term, and still have a daughter who is recovering... and will be 6 months soon! Their family will be walking the March of Dimes walk this Spring in Topeka, Kansas. This story touched me... not just because I adore Sarah and consider her a life-long friend, but because it's a good reality check for everyone on what is truly important in this world. I'm choosing to share this story from Aunt Sarah's point-of-view, which was shared to me by her in an email she sent:
. . . . . . . .
Dear friends and family,

Barrett, just a few hours old weighing 24 oz.  
That's just a little more than a bottled water!
As many of you know, my brother Robby and my sister-in-law Rachel brought two little miracles into this world on September 30, 2011. Born at only 24 weeks, Delaney Louise weighed 1# 10 oz and Barrett Robert weighed 1# 8oz. They were both little fighters but unfortunately little Barrett lost his battle on October 9th.

Christmas in the NICU
Delaney was in the NICU at Stormont-Vail for nearly 4 months and on January 9th she got to go home with her mommy and daddy. She has continued to progress and is growing big, just shy of 10 pounds now and will be 6 months old on March 30th. Throughout these past 6 months the March of Dimes has been a great resource for our family and has provided Robby, Rachel, Delaney and Barrett with support, services, and needs in some of the most difficult times.

Jayhawk in training!
The reason for this [e-mail] is to let you all know that our family is planning to walk in the March of Dimes 5 K Walk for Babies in celebration and memory of Delaney and Barrett. We are getting a team together now and would appreciate your support.

The event will be held on Friday, May 4, 2012 at the Topeka Zoo. Rachel and Robby have set up a team that they are calling "The Delaney Bugs". If you would be interested in joining our team please Join This Team.

If you would like to Sponsor Me as a walker you can follow the below link for contribution and sponsor information.
In Loving Memory of
Barrett Robert Sachs
September 30, 2011-October 9, 2011

Please consider a contribution toward our team goal of $1000 and help us celebrate the life and health of little Delaney and honor and remember our sweet angel, Barrett.

Inline image 11Thank you!

Sarah Sachs-Jepson

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sam Richter: What the heck happened to Google Advanced? (and more cool stuff)

From the best-selling author and TOP sales speaker, Sam Richter
In this post: learn how to find Google's Advanced Search (yes, it disappeared) and the power within it. Plus, enjoy a great article from my friend Lee Salz and some super sales success resources!

  • What Happened to Google's Advanced Search?
    Boolean search queries are the secret to awesome search results. Most people, however, don't have the time to learn these complex techniques. You too could easily search like a pro with Google's Advanced Search, but recently, the link disappeared. Where did it go, and how can you now conduct a great search?   READ MORE
  • Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling - NEW EDITION 9 Pre-Order
    The new edition of Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling will be coming off the press very soon. Pre-order your copy now and get complimentary shipping, the latest version of the Know More! Reference Guide, and other great bonus items.  LEARN MORE
  • Downloadable White Papers and Articles to Read and Share
  • Your Sales Team - Wise Investment or Money Pit?
    The sales team is the primary revenue source for most businesses. However, if not carefully managed, this revenue source can easily become a money pit. There are five areas business executives should watch to ensure they make a wise investment in their sales team.  READ MORE
Looking for the highest content, most take-home-value presentation your organization has ever experienced? See what others say about a custom Know More! Program
Written by & all content provided by Sam Richter


more information on Sam Richter, or to inquire about his professional speaking OR consulting, please contact Standard Ovation: | | 913.498.9772

QR: Quite Remarkable

Kit Grant: Your Keeping In Touch (K.I.T.) newsletter March 5/19

“If a man is to move the world, he must first move himself.” - Socrates

It looks like not much has changed since those words were first spoken. I [Kit Grant] have discovered that doing things is not nearly as difficult as making the decision to do them. Most people spend their time thinking of reasons why something won’t work. This negative thinking is usually sufficient to deter them from taking any action. They do make a decision — it’s to not go ahead with their plan. They will say things like, “We have decided not to go ahead at this time.” Some time later they’ll discover someone else has done what they had been thinking of … the common reaction — “They stole my idea.”. NO … they just took action when you were unwilling to do so.

Notice it’s not often a lack of ability, a lack of resources, a lack of time nor money — it’s a lack of willingness to take action. Successful people generally do what others are unwilling to do. Why are some people in sales organizations more consistently successful than others doing the same job? It’s not because they are smarter, gifted, or lucky. They exhibit behaviors others are not willing to implement.
Stop worrying about other people (particularly what you imagine they may think of you) and make the decision to act. Nothing happens until someone moves.

Off to Toronto tomorrow for three days to participate in the Quota® Coach program designed for sales managers. Our next Quota® Sales Performance Game seminars will be held in Calgary and Edmonton on May 8 and 9, 2012.

The new speaker management company that has put me on their roster is now up and running. Have a look at — should be an interesting time ahead as I get to work with new clients and the powerful team at Standard Ovation.

Yes, it’s almost time again. Our snow is all gone (although I know we’ll get some more in April) and people are out at the driving range already. Why not start your season on a positive note? My 38 minute audio CD, “10 Steps To Improve Your Golf Game — Guaranteed” will put you in the correct frame of mind every time you go to the course. You can own this for yourself or give a great gift to a golfer in your family or a friend. Go to and order your copy today. It will change your perspective on the game… score better, have more fun!
Written by
Kit Grant

more information on Kit Grant, or to inquire about his professional speaking, please contact Standard Ovation: | | 913.498.9772

Will we soon be able to TOUCH a rough surface on an iPad?

Familiar with Senseg? Check it out: It's a touch/feel sensitive screen that's supposed to show up in consumer products sometime in the future! You will be able to tell if you are touching a rough or a smooth surface, a ball or a cube etc. This would be SWEET!! I have no idea if this will happen or if it will happen - but I will be in the line at the Apple Store the day it does. Bring it on iPad + Senseg =)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Women Owned Business

Just a note to praise our gender =) Yes - we are a female-owned business: a trifecta of fashion, multi-tasking, conversation & style! With that said, on the DAY we opened our doors, this proclamation was released by our President.... thought it would be appropriate to share!

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Presidential Proclamation -- Women’s History Month, 2012

- - - - - - -

As Americans, ours is a legacy of bold independence and passionate belief in fairness and justice for all. For generations, this intrepid spirit has driven women pioneers to challenge injustices and shatter ceilings in pursuit of full and enduring equality. During Women's History Month, we commemorate their struggles, celebrate centuries of progress, and reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the rights, security, and dignity of women in America and around the world.

We see the arc of the American story in the dynamic women who shaped our present and the groundbreaking girls who will steer our future. Fifty-one years ago, when former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt confronted President John F. Kennedy about the lack of women in government, he appointed her the head of a commission to address the status of women in America and the discrimination they routinely faced. Though the former First Lady passed away before the commission finished its work, its report would spur action across our country and galvanize a movement toward true gender parity. Our Nation stands stronger for that righteous struggle, and last March my Administration was proud to release the first comprehensive Federal report on the status of American women since President Kennedy's commission in 1963. Today, women serve as leaders throughout industry, civil society, and government, and their outstanding achievements affirm to our daughters and sons that no dream is beyond their reach.

While we have made great strides toward equality, we cannot rest until our mothers, sisters, and daughters assume their rightful place as full participants in a secure, prosperous, and just society. With the leadership of the White House Council on Women and Girls, my Administration is advancing gender equality by promoting workplace flexibility, striving to bring more women into math and science professions, and fighting for equal pay for equal work. We are combating violence against women by revising an antiquated definition of rape and harnessing the latest technology to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual assault. From securing women's health and safety to leveling the playing field and ensuring women have full and fair access to opportunity in the 21st century, we are making deep and lasting investments in the future of all Americans.

Because the peace and security of nations around the globe depend upon the education and advancement of women and girls, my Administration has placed their perspectives and needs at the heart of our foreign policy. Last December, I released the first United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security to help ensure women play an equal role in peace-building worldwide. By fully integrating women's voices into peace processes and our work to prevent conflict, protect civilians, and deliver humanitarian assistance, the United States is bringing effective support to women in areas of conflict and improving the chances for lasting peace. In the months ahead, my Administration will continue to collaborate with domestic and international partners on new initiatives to bring economic and political opportunity to women at home and abroad.

During Women's History Month, we recall that the pioneering legacy of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers is revealed not only in our museums and history books, but also in the fierce determination and limitless potential of our daughters and granddaughters. As we make headway on the crucial issues of our time, let the courageous vision championed by women of past generations inspire us to defend the dreams and opportunities of those to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2012 as Women's History Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month and to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, 2012, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the history, accomplishments, and contributions of American women. I also invite all Americans to visit to learn more about the generations of women who have shaped our history.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kit Grant: Your Keeping In Touch (K.I.T.) newsletter March 5/12

“Your present circumstances do not determine where you can go, they merely determine where you start.” … Nido Qubein

I [Kit Grant] have never been able to change the past and yet so many people spend an inordinate amount of time re-living it. Putting more attention into planning for the future and taking action NOW to produce the desired outcomes is definitely a better use of one’s time. Start NOW to make a difference in your results and stop worrying needlessly about what’s has already happened. We are into March already — how are you doing on your 2012 plan?

The excitement of knowing you are in control should be sufficient to get you moving. Remember the real secret to your success (and the biggest roadblock) is the person you see in the mirror). Doing is usually way easier than deciding to do!

Written by Kit Grant


For more information on Kit Grant, or to inquire about his professional speaking, please contact Standard Ovation: | | 913.498.9772

you heard what? wowza!!

so, we think our speakers are the best. (when we say "think", we mean "know")

but - in case you might not want to just take our word for it, we have some others that think these guys are the bomb-dot-com, too! check out some of these amazing top-notch testimonial quotes from a few clients that have heard our speakers: tim gabrielson, kit grant, michael hoffman, gregg lederman & sam richter.

WOWZA is right!

they are definitely the reason we named our company standard ovation... the whole standing o thing is our standard. (sorta fits... )

want to know more on one of our speakers? shoot us an email with your phone # and let us know what/who you're thinking about. we'll call ya back with all the details so you can create your own amazing story on how they rocked your world, too!

mobile, tablet & on-the-go friendly!

just in case you were wondering (panicking) if you'd be able to check us out on the go, the answer is yes! (*sigh*) we are a mobile-friendly site. (whooooooot!) we love ipads, iphones, droids, window phones, other smart phones & other tablets. (you name it, we love it)

just say go!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

simple pleasures

simple pleasures: he's beautiful, sleek, accountable, stylish & top-of it's class...
similar qualities to our speakers we manage, yes, true -- but i'm referring to my new friend i made today... [insert: drum roll] - please welcome our newest team member: lloyd!

our doors are open!

oh my gosh - WHAT a whirlwind this has been! and boy, have we had fun doing it! we are now officially opening our doors as a professional speaking management company. amy crocker, charlotte raybourn and sarah whitten have launched our company today [thursday, march 1, 2012]... so get your flutes ready - the champagne is about to start flowing. 


check out who we represent

we appreciate all your support & cannot wait for this exciting ride we are about to take! WHOOOOOOOOT!!!!!