Category Archives: Speaking/Lecturing

Who owns the rights to audiotaped or videotaped lectures?

One of the big issues among genealogy lecturers in recent years has been the poor relations between conference audio taper, Repeat Performances and the speakrs it has taped. In my role as VP of the Genealogical Speakers Guild I heeard from several speakers about their concerns during the negotiations, which seem to have failed in the end. So I was interested in this message from Tom Terrific, a motivations speaker on this topic. Tom wrote,

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Finding Future Clients with Your Audience

Adventures with Pass-along Cards
Many genealogy speakers take on lecture opportunities in order to attract new research clients. These clients being the main source of the seakers income. When they speak to a group of 30 or 50 people, they hope to attract a few new clients. Wouldn’t it be nice if those 30 or 50 could seek out new clients for you. There is a way!

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Post Card Promotion

When I was living in New Zealand in the late 1960’s I go to know a bachelor by the name of Dave Ellett who had an uncanny ability to get invitations to lunch and dinner. I worked with him for 10 weeks and learned his secret: “Thank you” notes. Dave would mail out over a dozen a week.

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Suggested Reading


Back in my university days at University of British Columbia and Brigham Young University Hawaii, professors would often hand out lists of books under the title of Suggested Reading. The lists would include chapters in scholarly articles, chapters in books, whole books and theses and dissertations. Most of us recycled the papers by doodling on the back and front during the lecture. But the smart ones actually went to the library to read the books and articles! Sometimes I include a list of suggested readings at the end of a handout under the title of suggested readings. I am sure they are never consulted.

Are genealogists like those university students? Continue reading

Why Pre-Register for Free Events?

Ken looks right.jpg

Should program planners have a pre-registration for free genealogy events?

Its a good question that deserves some thought. Personally it is my experience as a genealogy librarian and program planner that even in situations where genealogy programs are offered free to the public, that having participants sign up for the event in advance is a real advantage. Here’s why:

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Risk and Hope: The Program Planner’s Headache

Inspiration from an old barn.
On the highway north from home enroute to a speaking engagement I passed a farm so close to the road I could read easily the farm name on the barn: Risk and Hope. I smiled, because it sums up farming on the northern great plains so concisely. Later that night, homeward bound from a rather unhappy event where numbers failed to meet the program planner’s dreams, I passed the farm again and pondered anew the message in the name for people like that program planner, How do we reduce Risk and increase Hope for the program planner?

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Can’t Afford the Speaker Fee?

Ken looks right.jpg

Here’s a common problem for genealogical societies. They want a popular speaker for an event, but cannot afford the expensive fee. What can you offer the speaker to reduce the fee?

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The Genealogy Clinic

I spotted a notice in a British genealogical publication that some noted professional genealogist was holding a surgery at a certain time or place. I smiled. My English cousins speak as peculiar a language as my American nieces and nephews, just not the same language. A surgery is an event where you can visit a specialist and discuss a problem or issue. In North American English we often use the term “clinic” the same way.

So what is a Genealogy Clinic and how could it be used? Continue reading

Getting Attention: The Core Concept of Marketing

picture-130.jpgPutting together a lecture tour is hard work. I only gave myself seven months lead time, a big mistake. You need time to build relationships with potential host genealogy groups. Its been claimed that the essence of marketing services like genealogy lectures and workshops is getting attention. Recently I learned about four main ways to get attention; clearly communicating your marketing message.

The four ways to communicate your marketing message are by communicating the following: Continue reading

Workbooks: Another Look at a Useful Tool


A good workbook can reinforce or expand on your lessons, workshops or lectures by reviewing and expanding on concepts you introduce in your aural presentation. It does this by asking each learner personally to respond to your questions. Lets explore this a bit. Continue reading