Record Everything You Do
Record everything you do. I have been guilty of not doing this myself on occasion. It was a mistake. Why? There are a number of reasons.
First, you need to be able to critique yourself. If you get your evaluations back and you find that people didn’t particularly like what you said or did, you can go back and review the tape.
Second, you may be able to sell the recording, either now or in the future. Not recording your events may end up losing a lot of revenue.
Would you ever want to record an event that is essentially a duplication of an earlier event? You might. Why would anyone buy these tapes if they already owned the first set? Some people would be willing to buy these tapes even if they have a recording of basically the same event already to hear the audience questions (which are always different) and your answers. They also think that they may pick up something different. Perhaps they will. Maybe not in substance, but in style. Why disappoint them? They are willing to pay for this information. Give it to them.
Third, you may capture a “magic moment” on tape. What is a magic moment? This is where you do or say something to your audience that brings the house down. They either laugh or cry or explode with applause and adulation. You want to have this on tape. Take all of the magic moments and cut them together and you will have a phenomenal demo video or audio that you can use to promote yourself as a speaker and seminar leader.
Fourth, if for some reason you sell twice as much stuff from the platform one day, you’ll want to know why. You won’t know unless you go back and carefully examine your pitch.
Fifth, you need to critique yourself.
Bottom line? Record everything. A pain in the ass? You betcha. Worth doing? Absolutely.
Trust me. When you end up capturing a magic moment on tape you’ll call me to tell me how glad you were that it was being recorded.
Basic Audio-Video Equipment Advice
I own my own equipment for audio and video taping my events. By the time you rent this stuff a few times, you’ve paid for it. If you do a few events a year in your home city, it will quickly pay for itself.
The big hassle is transporting loads of equipment across the country. Therefore, whatever equipment you buy, make sure it’s portable. For special events you may need some pretty fancy equipment, but for everyday use all you’ll need is a quality audio recorder and a decent DV camera.
Please don’t make the same mistake I did on this one. I have produced many audio and video cassette training programs. For many years I produced exclusively audio programs. I never bought a good audio recording device. This was a huge mistake.
Don’t follow my lead. Bite the bullet and buy a nice recording device and a good mike. I use a Marantz deck. I also bought a $100 mike. The total was about $450. The net result if you do things this way will be a good clean “master” of your presentation.
You will then be able to duplicate it “as is” or edit the final product. Trust me on this one. Spend the money now. You will make your money back when you sell your first set of audio tape products. This is well worth it. Do it!
I suggest you get your audio equipment through a company called Kingdom. (Contact information is in Appendix A in the “Million- Dollar Rolodex.”) They sell a variety of audio and video related materials. They primarily target religious organizations, but they will sell to “secular” groups as well. They are an amazing organization. Their sales staff is very knowledgeable and their service is first rate. I highly recommend that anything that you need in the audio-visual arena, you check with them first.
At those events that I have in my home city of Las Vegas, I occasionally use a better DV camera with three chips in addition to my lower-end camera. Besides having three chips (which means you get a clearer picture and better color) it also allows you to have multiple camera angles. The better one also has a better lens. This can be very helpful in putting together a demo video, which could be deadly boring if everything was shot from the same angle. Unless you’re going to be using the video for broadcast purposes, there’s no need to pop for an expensive, high-end unit.
Let’s talk about video tape products. There are some really crappy videos floating around out there. I have been to numerous seminars given by supposed gurus in the field of information product marketing who disagree with me, but I believe you must have a decent-looking product to sell.
This doesn’t mean you have to spend enough to produce a Hollywood-style video. It should be somewhere between that point and looking like you did the video on your personal camcorder.
I don’t want you to spend big money on video productions. I do want you to spend enough money to impress those who buy your video enough that they will buy more. They must be most impressed with thecontent of the video. But we don’t want them to be distracted by inferior production value.
Unless you know a lot about video production, don’t try and do it yourself. Contact me and I’ll give you some pointers to people who can help.
Don’t Allow Attendees to Tape Your Seminar
Don’t ever allow participants to tape the seminars you do. You need to have this policy in writing on your handout materials. You also need to mention it at the beginning of the seminar when you do your housekeeping spiel. You don’t want people to tape you for three reasons.
First, you want to sell products to them.
Second, you own the copyright to your material. If you allow people to copy that material freely, you risk the copyright itself.
Third, the quality of your recorded word will be suspect. Let’s assume that someone shows up at your seminar with a walkman. They tape your seminar. The tapes get handed around. The quality of the sound will probably be lousy. This will make you look bad.