You’ve got nothing to hit but the heights.”
— Mama Rose singing the song “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” in the musical “Gypsy.”
You gotta give it to Mark Victor Hansen. He knows how to put on a show.
As many of you know, I attended the “How to Build Your Mega Speaking Empire” in Los Angeles, CA, on November 4-6, created and hosted by Mark Victor Hansen. You know, the guy who wrote and made a mega-empire out of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series. Mark’s Mega events (Mega Book Marketing, Mega Marketing, and Mega Speaking Empire) provide a platform for some diverse and exceptional experts in the field of marketing, multiple streams of income, and information marketing. And hypnosis. But more on that later.
I was excited to attend this event because I wanted to gather some gems for you on how to be the most amazing public speaker you can possibly be. But once I saw the line up of experts who would be presenting and what they would be talking about, I knew that I was going to get a lot of Mega Marketing without a lot of Mega Meaty Material. Luckily, I was wrong.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
My mission with this very long post is to give you a review of the whole three days in a way that will give you a glimpse of each of the presenters (I missed two presenters due to information overload and a desperate need to hide away in my room to remember who I was) as well as some of the very fun people I met during lunch.
For example, Selena and Alberto Hoyos, whom I met and fell in love with immediately. They are an adorable couple who do life coaching through ballroom dance. And what amazing dancers they are. On the last day they got to dance on the conference stage and they were intoxicating, inspiring and passionate. Here are some photos.
Day One: November 4, 2005
I perused the 17 or so exhibitor tables that lined the lobby of the Grand Ballroom as I waited for the doors to the ballroom to open. These exhibitors were selling all kinds of information products, from “How to Write a Book in Five Days” to Conference Recording Services.
At 8:30 am, the doors to the Grand Ballroom were flung open and we were blasted loud, pulsing, pump-you-up music. You know, the kind they would play before a hockey game or some other beat-‘em-to-a-pulp event. The room was dimly lit except for the fifty yards of theatrical lighting that was hitting the stage with colored swirling lights and throwing fast moving spotlights throughout the room. On stage there was a huge, white, standing backdrop with the words “MEGA” on it.
Keep reading for a photo and the complete review.
The whole thing was so dramatic. Now, I love drama, but this was so over the top that I burst out laughing. I thought maybe I was at a rock concert and any moment, Sting, Bono and Bette Midler were all going to hit the stage.
When our host and Mega Man Mark Victor Hansen was introduced, the music shifted to the song, “Simply the Best,” which played at top volume as Mark ran up and took the stage. It would be easy to assume that because of this choice of song, Mark has a Mega Ego to go along with his Mega events. But what do I know? I know that he might want to choose a different song next time.
Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this event.
But before I do, I have to confess that all through the first day I was having a hard time. It was as if I was having a hard time adjusting to the atmosphere of this strange Mega planet. But it was more than that. I was frustrated.
Throughout both Mark’s initial presentation, which was three hours long, and the presentation that followed with Bob Proctor, I felt like I was being served a lot of whipped cream and sprinkles without the hot fudge and ice cream.
See, I resent it when speakers and teachers and gurus tell you what you should do but not HOW to do it. And that was what I was getting a lot of in that first day. Nevertheless, here are a few pointers from Mark’s first presentation:
- Turn Tragic to Magic: use your story of vulnerability, a story of distress, to open your presentation.
- Make a decision to go from mediocre to magnificent. (oh, gee, okay!)
- Find someone who is unique where you are weak.
- Commerce beats craft (really?)
- Spend 90% of your time marketing, selling and promoting, 10% creating.
Do you remember Art Linkletter? You know, the show, “Kids Say the Darndest Thing” on T.V.? Well, the best part of Mark’s presentation was when he invited Art Linkletter to the stage. He’s in his 90’s now, sharp as a tack, funny and very sweet. He and Mark are writing a book together called, “Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life,” or something like that.
Another guest that Mark introduced was Kent Healy, a 21 year old entrepreneur who wrote a book with his brother Kyle called “Cool Stuff They Should Teach In School.” This luminescent, blond, ultra-adorable kid talked about having to get over his fear of speaking in public, and boy, he sure seemed to be over it. He spoke with ease and charm.
Since I love stories about people who have overcome their fear of public speaking, I made a point to meet Kent during the break. There was a line of people wanting to talk to him and have their pictures taken with him. This went on all weekend. He and his brother are coming out with an audio program about moving from fear to confidence. It should be coming out in two months or so, and when it does, I’m going to interview Kent on the “Doing It Live!” radio show. So, stay tuned for that one.
Bob talked about how our prosperity and success all comes from how we think AND the vibrations we emit. “When you hold the image of what you want on the screen of your mind, you are vibrating in harmony with every particle of energy that is necessary for the manifestation of your image on the physical plane.” Go, Bob!
He talked about how if you want to change your results, you got to change your thoughts, which in turn create your feelings, which inspire your actions which give you your results.
While I loved the jest of what Bob was saying, since it jives with my own Unconditional Confidence way of thinking and training, he, like Mark, didn’t help people on HOW they can start to change their thinking. He just told us all that we should.
This was when my frustration peaked and I had to go to my room and realign, so I missed the next speaker, Vickie Sullivan. I heard she talked about the speaker’s market and how to market yourself in these times.
What a fast-talkin’ Oklahoma Firecracker! Debra talks fast and loud, and I loved her. She had enough energy and spunk to power the Mega theatrical lighting equipment AND the over-amped sound system.
Finally, some concrete, usable information. Debra gave us some tips on “How to Grow Rich in Your Niche.” But it wasn’t all about money and marketing. A lot of it was about how to set a schedule, how to stay inspired, when you know you’re burnt out and what to DO about it, the mistakes speakers make and how to avoid them. Practical information given with a lot of fast-talkin’, story-telling, gumption-generating energy.
Some pointers from Debra:
- Never actually believe your own brochure (meaning, don’t believe you are who you promote yourself to be).
- Don’t worry about competition. Be an innovator, not a copier.
- Make it a habit to have friends who are quantum leaps more successful than you are.
- Some good questions to ask yourself:
Why are you in your business?
What do you want your business to look like?
What are you attempting to accomplish with your business?
What do you have to sell?
Who would buy it and why?
- Stay on people’s minds: Out of sight, out of mind, out of money!
What I appreciated about Debra, other than her hard-hitting, fast-talking style, was that she inspired you to ask the question, “How can I become really great at what I do?” rather than, “How can I make a ton of money?”
Saturday, November 5
This was a great day!
It started at 7:30 am with an early morning breakout session with Kim Castle of Brand U. She talked about, you guessed it, how to create a brand. I immediately liked this woman what she had to say about creating an experience for your customers. “People will forget what you say but people will never forget the way you made them feel,” Kim said. I’m not sure if she was quoting someone else or if this was her own.
Kim believes in a whole person approach, Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit, and maybe this is why I clicked with her right away. After all, we learn from what we experience, not so much from what we hear. Transformation and real change has to include ALL of who we are. But I digress.
Branding, according to Kim, is letting people see your vision and having them get it, understand it. She gave us for great questions to ask ourselves to assess our brand-ability. Here they are: http://www.whybrandu.com/Public/areyoubrandworthy/index.cfm
What a way to ignite a day. Superstar, Les Brown is a Man on Fire! He is a speaker of speakers, inspiring, funny, informative and REAL. And he was the only speaker who talked about listening, that you have to listen to your audience (all you Unconditional Confidence students, does this sound familiar or what?), observe and be aware of the energy in the room.
Les, Baby, you rock!
Les went on to say:
- Give a message out of your mess. Our stories of being in a mess create a message that we can give to others.
- Your presence of mind allows you to be flexible, adaptable and versatile no matter what audience or situation you are in. (I feel this is part of one’s ability to listen to what is happening in the moment)
- It’s about progress, not perfection.
- And my favorite line of his, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great."
My hat is off to Mark Victor Hansen or whoever decided to place Harv right after Les. They are two of the most dynamic presenters even though their approach is completely different. Les is a speaker’s speaker. He is the man when it comes to putting on a show that whips people up into an evangelical frenzy.
Harv is dynamic and commanding as well, but his focus and purpose is on being a trainer, not a speaker. He’s not into with being a “performance.” He wants to create a transformative training experience for his audience. So, he trained us in some Accelerated Learning techniques by putting us to work. And I actually learned something that I could use, that I could take home and incorporate in my own trainings and presentations.
In fact, I did just that. What Harv taught us in that 90 mintue session I incorporated in a speech I gave to the Women In Business organization of Rohnert Park the following Tuesday. Now, I could be wrong but I think those techniques made the whole experience more meaningful, juicy and fun for my audience. I’ll be sharing more of Harv’s techniques with you soon.
Poor Brad! He had to follow the dynamic, no-nonsense Harv Eker, a daunting task for anyone except maybe Les Brown. Nevertheless, Brad had some good to very good marketing information that he told in a success story of how his special report became a book which became a device to sell his printed newsletter all courtesy of Office Depot who paid for the books and gave them away as incentives to their customers.
Some tips from Brad:
- Sell what you love.
- Tell the truth and be sincere. If you lie about your products or services, it’ll end up costing you a fortune. Besides, it kills your credibility.
- Three reasons people don’t buy from you:
They don’t want it.
They can’t afford it.
They don’t believe you.
- Always over-deliver (My new buddy Michael Port would say the same thing)
- Remember Brad’s favorite radio station WII-FM (which translates, “What’s In It For Me?”)
Mark Victor Hansen, AGAIN!
But first, Lynn Rose
How could I forget to mention the singer! Almost every day, we got to hear Lynn Rose sing.
Even at 9:00 am, she was raring to go, voice strong and big, full of Celine Dion-type phrasing and dramatics. She was great. A really good singer with a lot of presence and fire. She would sing to get us amped up, she would sing to introduce Mark (yes, she sang "Simply the Best”), and she sang to close out the conference.
I got to meet Lynn briefly and she seems like a really sweet but powerful woman. She teaches a class called “Fearless Presence,” a one-day workshop that costs $697! For one day! Man, I’m really under pricing my one-day Unconditional Confidence trainings. I hope to go to her workshop in 2006 to see what she’s selling for $697. You know I’m always on the look out for anything that will help people become fearless in their self-expression.
Okay, back to Mark. This time he was talking about:
Sunday, November 6
Alex has come up with a fun and highly audible way to ask your market what they want to learn from you. For example, I could send my mailing list an audio postcard, which is one of Alex’s products, asking them what they want to learn if they were to take a teleclass from me. They would respond. Then, Alex’s other product, Ask Database, would analyze those answers for the words or subjects more mentioned in those responses. From this information, I could compose my ad for my teleclass using those very words, thereby attracting the most people possible.
Okay, it’s true that most of this information was a huge promotion for Alex’s Telemarketing Secrets teleclass coming up in December, a very expensive course costing over $1,700. But it was fascinating and idea-stimulating just the same.
Basically, Alex showed us how he makes a lot of money creating teleseminars that are built about what people want. “The content of your teleseminar is in the mind of your audience.” And Alex has a pretty cool way of extracting that content so you can create a teleseminar that is spot on.
I don’t know why, but I always enjoy the publicity and P.R. experts the most. There is something just so enthralling about the media, be it print, radio or T.V. Steve gave us some great tips on what the media wants, how to approach them, and why it’s important to go after publicity.
From Steve of Radio TV Interview Reports:
- You can have anything you want if you position yourself to become famous (Right on! The Diva in me just loves this quote.)
- The benefits of publicity are that 1) it’s free; 2) It’s more credible than advertising or any other form of marketing; 3) It multiplies.
- You need a hook that will get ratings, readers and a big audience.
- Sample hook headline: “Local_________ Offers X Tips for ________________”
- What does someone need to be feeling in order to pull to the side of the road while driving and whip out their credit card and buy right now? They need to be emotionally moved and touched.
- Three tips: 1.) Create a good hook. 2) do every interview 3) Whenever possible, meet the media face to face.
The funniest thing Steve showed us was a clip from a news show featuring a dentist who was analyzing the teeth of presidential political candidates. This spot was shot during the presidential election, and this dentist had created a hook by tying his expertise into the political goings-on of the day. It was a good example of how to create a hook that is relevant to what’s happening in the news. (By the way, it looks like George Bush is grinding his teeth to tiny little nubs).
Tracy is the equipment man. His presentation, “How to Turn Your Presentations into High Profit and Low Cost Products” was all about the nuts and bolts of creating recordings, or audio information products. What I loved about Tracy’s presentation was that he not only gave recommendations for equipment to use for creating these products, he took a little time to show us how to use it as well. He also told us the questions we need to ask if we’re hiring a conference call company to do our recording for us. Thanks, Tracy.
I especially appreciated his suggestion on what to use to record phone calls. You can check out his recommendations at http://www.tracyrecommends.com.
Alex Mandossian came back at the end of the conference to share his Implementation Secrets. That Alex! He’s full of secrets. Luckily, he’s willing to share them.
Actually, his tips on how to get more done faster, better and with less effort were really helpful. The idea was that now that the conference was coming to an end and we had all this information and ideas (and credit card debt), what now? As Alex says, “The battle is between your ears.”
- Identify your daily interruptions: telephone calls, email, voice mail, family and pets (pets! if he thinks I’m ignoring my cat every time she jumps up on my desk, he’s crazy!), mail and new ideas.
- Write you action list the night before each and every workday.
- Create 50 minute blocks of time. “What the butt can’t endure, the mind cannot absorb.”
- Use a countdown timer to put psychic pressure on you to get more done.
- Capture your Mega ideas on a pad or recorder.
- Offer at least one free consultation per month to stay sharp. Speak for free.
Alex offered one of the best quotes of the conference. This one from Christopher Morely:
“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
And to carry us out into our lives once again…Mark Victor Hansen!
Mark closed out the conference by having us all write a letter to. We wrote it as if we were where we want to be six months from now. Then, we addressed the envelope and handed them in. Mark & Co. is going to send them to us. That is a very cool idea.
Mark got us focused on our one, ultimate goal by inviting us to write down 101 goals in twenty minutes, then deciding on the main eight, then choosing one, writing it on a card, wrap it in a hundred dollar bill and keep it with you always. I wish he had handed out the hundred dollar bills along with the card. Oh, well.
“Make your dreams more vivid than your fears.”
Okay, Mark. Now, that is a good one.