Monday, September 26, 2016

The Business of Speaking for Women, Business Models for Speakers

070 The Business of Speaking for Woman, Business Models for Speakers, and much more with Neen James

Michael Port has one of my all-time fave podcasts called Steal the Show – his book by the same name is awesome (click here for our book review), even though this podcast focuses on the business of speaking and has many tips for women in business – I hope you find value in it too, regardless of the industry you are in.


It’s no secret I love podcasts. I listen to them when I get ready in the morning and also driving in my car. Michael Port is a legendary speaker, New York Times Best Selling Author, creator of Heroic Public Speaking and a great guy. Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed on his latest project, Steal the Show Podcast. So much fun!

Check out this interview where he asks about being a female speaker and I share strategies to stay connected to your clients, leverage your uniqueness and have fun doing what you love, with people you love in places you love!

Tips on how to price your speaking fee; and how to use social media for your business. Neen James and I also discuss the rewards and the challenges of being a woman professional speaker.

Neen is a published author of eight books, including “Folding Time.” Her latest book, “Attention Pays: Creating Moments That Matter,” is all about focusing on what’s important in our lives so we can create those moments that matter.

In this episode we discussed:

  • When and how to address “the elephant” in the room. (3:27)
  • Finding the balance between building relationships and nurturing financial goals. (10:50)
  • How to determine the right price for your speaking fees. (20:29)
  • How to make the most of your uniqueness as a woman speaker. (24:19)
  • The best ways to use different social media platforms for your business. (27:41)
  • Why you should stay in contact with your clients through “systemized thoughtfulness.” (38:31)
  • Neen James explains how she got started in the business speaking industry. (56:17)

The post The Business of Speaking for Women, Business Models for Speakers appeared first on Neen James.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Attention is a Drug. Are You Addicted?

attention drug addicted“Attention is a drug,” said my brilliant friend.  His profound insight literally STOPPING our conversation. He was right.  (He usually is.) It IS a drug, and people are ADDICTED.


It started when discussing what feels like a landslide of over-sharing on Facebook. Every intimate, sometimes tragic, often graphic detail of people’s lives are being spilled out onto browsers and into minds of friends and not-so-friends all over the world. Why?  Attention can be like cocaine. People get manic for a hit of likes, comments, shares and messages. And that? Needs to change.


The truth? All humans require attention. But here’s the deal: It’s not a character flaw to crave attention; our brains are wired that way. Babies cry out for food and safety and so begins the ultimate early lessons of cause and effect. It’s only when that need for attention careens dangerously over the edge that people begin to see it as a problem.


Psychology Today states “extreme attention seekers go to unhealthy lengths driven by emotional desperation”. Is that it? Is that why people are pouring themselves out on social media or worse? Upending relationships or spiraling into food, alcohol or drugs?  As leaders we have a responsibility to manage our attention to create significance.


As a keynote speaker for corporate audiences and associations around the globe, I am often asked to share leadership strategies on how to accelerate productivity, increase sales or drive client experiences. My tip? It comes down to ATTENTION. Teams want to be seen and heard, and families want to feel valued.


In my keynotes we prescribe the following for this attention addiction:


See People.  We all want and need to be heard.  My 5-year-old friend Donovan reminded me of this when he grabbed my cheeks in both little hands and demanded, “Neen, listen with your eyes!” How’s that for insight? Are you SEEING people in your life?  Does your team get your complete attention when they walk into your office or do you stay disengaged? Does your family get your undivided attention when you get home or are you checking today’s Facebook posts? Bottom line? If the people we care about don’t feel seen, they’ll seek attention somewhere else. Seek out a true friend who will be honest with you. My best friend and I always say, “she’s my person”. It means we see and hear each other deeply, at our best, and at our worst. It’s an understanding, truth and commitment. Who is your person?


Stop the Drama.  I am allergic to drama. I don’t engage in it or tolerate it. The running joke? Is how BORING my life is compared to those online. It’s also healthier.  Make your life, work and home – a no drama zone. It’s a powerful way to better see and hear the people that matter the most to you.


Create significant moments.  Every day explore ways to help people feel that they matter. A handwritten note. A smile for a stranger. Compliment your barista. Thank your security guard. Shout out to a team member on email or thank a client with a gift. Personal attention gets results. Look for ways to help people feel significant.  Who needs reminding they matter to you?


My friend Jon Petz, keynote speaker and author of the book Significance in Simple Moments shares, “People have a false sense of social significance when living their lives online.” We discussed some people’s personalities crave the recognition from others as they don’t get it at home or from their relationships with people they love, so they seek it from strangers online.


I’ve been guilty of over-sharing online. Posting a picture of a meal on Instagram, texting a friend for a late night conversation when traveling, feeling lonely at the airport, and re-tweeting online compliments. Not my proudest moments, but human ones. Let’s all just make to look at those attention cravings and ensure we haven’t crossed that addictive line.


Today, be ah-amazing. Use your ATTENTION for good. Like making a connection with the people around you.  When you do?  Attention pays you back – in the best possible ways.

The post Attention is a Drug. Are You Addicted? appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, September 12, 2016

10 Things to Make Travel Super Productive

airplane-travelMany of us travel for work and I thought you might enjoy this article published in MeetingsNet magazine on ways to be super-productive when you travel! Enjoy.

When you tell people that you travel the globe organizing, planning, and facilitating events for your super-cool clients, do they say, “Wow, that sounds so glamorous”? Little do they know just how much work that entails—not to mention airport delays, weather, confusing airport hubs, mechanical breakdowns, crying babies…

As a productivity and attention expert, I am constantly on the road like you—it’s just part of our chosen professions. And it can be hard to get everything done that needs doing.

Here are 10 strategies to help you be more productive before you hop aboard your next plane:

1. Buy the tools and the apps—you need music, noise-cancelling headphones (expensive I know, but worth it), and your smart phone. Load your phone with apps to make your travel life easier: Pzizz (one of my fave power-napping apps), Evernote,Expedia, Gate Guru, Seat Guru … the list is endless. What is your fave app for traveling? Please share it in the comments below.

2. Create a travel outfit—put together an outfit that you can easily wear through security without totally getting undressed! Try slip-on shoes, minimum jewelry, and fabulous non-creasing fabric.

This video will provide you more tips for traveling and answer the following questions: 

  • How not to fall behind on work and clients while on the road traveling?
  • What are the best apps and systems to use to manage the details of the trip?
  • What’s the best, most durable luggage for frequent travelers?

3. Pre-pack Ziploc bags to include travel-sized everything! You just know that the day you try to sneak through a larger size is going to be the day TSA decides to check your bag.

4. Create a survival kit—Stow the things you know you’ll need in your carry on. I always include earphones, lip balm, an eye mask (for longer flights), pen, eye drops, travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste, a pashmina throw (in case it’s chilly), and breath mints (yes, please do everyone a favor and use mints!).

5. Get a Platinum Amex card—yes, it’s expensive, but, because it often gives you access to U.S. airline lounges, it’s cheaper than joining all the airline clubs. Their Centurion Lounge access is so worth it, and they are opening more around the U.S.

6. Create fun out-of-office messages—manage the email and voicemail expectations of those who want your attention. Make it a fun message that you can share with clients about what you are doing and when you will return. Think about how you can surprise and delight your callers with your out-of-office message.

7. Plan to work one way—I use the trip away for the client and the trip home for myself. So I might work on a presentation or read notes on the way over, but on the trip home I often have a little nap or read for pleasure. Can you divide up your trip?

8. Allow an extra 30 minutes—add a half-hour to the amount of time you think it will take you to get to the airport or station. It will save you a stressful race to the gate if you find yourself stuck in traffic or the security line is longer than you expected. You may not need it, but you can always use it for something else!

9. Bring a list of clients to call—airport down time is a brilliant time to catch up on your business development activities, so always carry a list of people you can call. Even though it’s noisy, it’s a great way to make travel time more productive. Make the most of those extra minutes.

10. Bring thank-you note materials—carry stamped stationery with you (yes that’s right, the old-fashioned kind), and use some of your travel down time to write thank-you notes. No one send notes anymore, so this is a great way to stand out in a digital communication world—you’ll be the exception whose personal touch will get attention!

Bonus tip: If you want to be even more productive when you get to your destination … go to the bar! I know that sounds crazy, but if you are an extrovert you might work better around people and noise.

How do you make your travel time more productive?


This article was first published on and be found here.

The post 10 Things to Make Travel Super Productive appeared first on Neen James.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

How to Have a Productive Fourth Quarter

Watch video on YouTube here:

Attention Goal Setters: How to Have an Extraordinary Fourth Quarter

End of Year Fourth Quarter Fiscal Goals PrioritiesFourth quarter? What happened? We blinked. That’s it.  Summer’s in the wind, and autumn is in already heading into full swing.  Calendars are changing. Plans are being made. And eyes are on the end of the year prize. Did you do what you wanted to do?  Did you reach milestones? Or do you still have miles to go?

It’s about that time.  Leaders are in full scale acceleration mode to pull out the stops and screech into the new year with kudos all around.  I’ve got you covered to help make it AH-Mazing – with a side order of fun.


First, do yourself and your team a favor:  Watch this (old) interview with the fabulous News at Sunrise Anchor Eve Tannery where we shared strategies on her show. It’s on the money.


Second, take a few minutes to watch my video on the 10 ways you can make the most of the remainder of the year.


This video will help answer:

  • How do I make my Fourth quarter the most productive of the year?
  • How can I reach my annual goals with only a few months left?
  • How do I keep my team focused during Fourth quarter?


Lastly, implement these steps to ensure absolute focus and attention is paid to those goals and priorities you wish to accomplish throughout the remainder of the year.


1. Monday Makeover: Give yourself a 15-minute head start on this week’s activities, so your I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed and you’re absolutely ready for anything. Meetings?  Totally cool.  Performance reviews? You’ve got this. Appointments?  Locked and focused.  Deadlines and deliverables?  You’re a master.  Next take a glance at the month ahead and prioritize your pipeline.  Might it take more than 15 minutes? Maybe. Once this is a habit?  You’ll breeze through with ease.


2. Money talks: Here’s to conquering the Achilles’s heel of many business professionals. Watch those financial targets and keep them in your sites to remind yourself weekly of the last quarter results that are your responsibility. Mine are printed above my desk and on my phone for daily accountability!


3. Gaps & Goals: Now’s the perfect time to rock a gap analysis of where you are vs. where your GOALS said you’d be at this time. Deep dive to see and understand what’s necessary to bridge that gap if your revenue, productivity, prospecting or sales aren’t where you want or need them to be.  THAT will become the foundation of your plan of action for the next three months.


4. Hustle & Grit. Ever hear that saying, “No grit—no pearl?” Now’s the time to hunker in and fire up your internal urgency to close deals, follow up on proposals, add value to clients and make hit the phones and connect with that client base.  Watch goals daily, weekly and monthly and monitor them like your business depends on it.  Because it does.


5. Less is MORE.  Meetings are necessary, check! But time? Is of the absolute essence. So pare down. Make sure they are time-efficient team meetings that are NO longer than 20-40 minutes, tops, with agendas and clear objectives.


The post Attention Goal Setters: How to Have an Extraordinary Fourth Quarter appeared first on Neen James.

How to Have a Productive Fourth Quarter

Watch video on YouTube here: