I get paid to speak because I paid my dues by speaking without pay

There has been a surge in conversation lately about organizations that solicit people to speak at their conferences without compensation. These organizations are generally labled as “disreputable” and other less-than-flattering adjectives.

I am frequently asked to speak without pay. I’m usually informed that the talk will be an opportunity for exposure. In most cases, I explain that I’m a professional speaker—that is, a significant portion of my income derives from speaking engagements—and I politely decline. I don’t write posts complaining about the fact that I was asked. In fact, explaining that I speak frequently and am paid for it… Read More »

Five places you can catch me in May

I’m speaking at a few upcoming events that are open to the public. If you live in (or will be near) these places, I’d be honored if you came to see me and supported the sponsoring organizations.

IABC Detroit

Shel HoltzIn September, I’m conducting a workshop for IABC Detroit on how companies can ethically, transparently and profitably tap into their employees’ social networks (rather than block them). In advance of the September 22 workshop, I’m meeting up with Detroiters on May 5 (while I’ll be in Detroit anyway for Ragan’s Corporate Communicators Conference). The chapter is calling it “Cinco with Shel.” It’s an informal gathering, no formal… Read More »

NewComm Forum is coming. Will you be there?

NewCommForum logoFive years ago, I spoke at a little conference in Napa, California. Two social media enthusiasts put it together with a very specific goal: let people who are on top of social media get together. People with specific expertise would present to small groups, there’d be a couple of keynotes, but mostly it would be about gathering and sharing.

Out of that first NewComm Forum, the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) was born, and the Society and the Forum have been linked ever since. NewComm kept getting better and better. There are plenty of Social Media 101 conferences out there—it seems like one is taking place every day—and… Read More »

Revisiting paper handouts

After today, I may have to rethink my position on handouts.

For years, I have resisted providing handouts of my presentations. The reasons:

  • Delivering handouts weeks before the speaking engagement precludes making changes to the presentation, even if events or better examples make such a change a good idea.
  • We’re supposed to be going green, right? I have a file cabinet full of presentation handouts from conferences. I’ve never looked at any of them. How many trees would have been spared if those handouts simply had never been printed?
  • Somebody (I think it was Wilma Matthews) told me about research that proves people retain less from… Read More »

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