How Your Association Can Embrace Technology to Serve Your Members Better

Associations can use various technologies to serve their members better. According to Bob Treadway, Denver based national speaker, the three most easily implemented and essential are: Voice Mail Systems, Fax On Demand Systems, and On Line Services, including electronic bulletin boards and various ways of creating channels of communication with members.

Let’s take the first one, Voice Mail Systems.Today, most associations are reluctant to put in Voice Mail Systems because they feel they’re going to be very expensive and difficult to maintain, and they put a layer of technology between themselves and their association members. The opposite is true. Voice Mail Systems can now allow associations to engage in non-simultaneous communication. Treadway believes that non-simultaneous communication is one of the most crucial skills for the future. (more…)

How to Deliver Bad News and Still Look Good

In every association executive’s life the day will come when you must deliver bad news. Sometimes you have to tell the bad news to your Board; every so often you have to tell your membership; periodically you must tell your superior. But whoever is on the receiving end of the message, the way you deliver the news can determine how the messenger (you) is treated.

An example of “bad news” having to do with money was handled in an exemplary way a few years ago by the National Speakers Association. According to Barbara Nivala, the then Executive Vice President of the organization, ” we wanted to take a long term approach, upgrading the membership and projecting a higher visibility in the meetings industry. To do this, we felt we had to double the membership dues.” No one was happy about that, but the president of the NSA, Tom Winniger, approached the problem by calling the dues increase a “restructuring of dues.” (more…)

Tips for Speaker Seekers

Help for meeting planners and resources for finding speakers.

As a busy meeting planner, with the usual overload of demands on getting your next event launched flawlessly, the last problem you want to have is for your keynote speaker to disappear off the radar screen. Whatever the reason — flu bug, scheduling glitch, bad travel karma — you’re skewered! Call in back-up from your Association? Good luck — internal bench strength is not going to get the job done when you’re expected to deliver nationally-recognized, high-performance event headliners.

Well, my friends, if you’ll read on, you’ll find that you need not wake up in a cold sweat from this bad dream. The professional speaking community is not only very well organized, but also quite sophisticated in responding to your last minute or long-range quest for high-quality speakers. (more…)

Electrify Your Audience Without Electronics

We sit in the audience and watch spectacular audio/video presentations with PowerPoint, Director, and banks of coordinated slide carousels, and we think, “Wow, if only I could do that!”

Without a doubt, audio/visual technology has added showbiz impact to association speakers’ presentations, both for paid professionals and our industry leaders. However, just because something is available, doesn’t mean we have to use it! Here is another point of view.

I am a high-tech marketer and receive good business and prospects from my website, email newsletters, online learning seminars, and other high-tech parts of my business. However, the fastest growing segment of my business is coaching sales teams, executives, and leaders so they can be more effective on the platform.The downside of all the presentation-enhancing technology is summarized by what more and more frustrated managers are telling me: “Our CEO used to be a really great presenter before he had PowerPoint. Now he relies on it so much that he is less effective at motivating our sales force.” (more…)