Monday, March 28, 2016

How to Create a Professional Speaker’s Introduction Video on a Shoestring

So, here’s what happened. Last week, one of my Facebook friends, who is an AWESOME speaker (yes, I heard her in Vegas last year so I’m not just making this up), posted a speaker introduction video that was totally rockin’. (Yes, you DO rock, Cathey Armillas!) It was pure genius so, of course, I wanted one too. Being the nerdy girl that I am, I decided to make one. However, having no special software and no deep male voice for the voiceover (try as I might, I couldn’t mimic James Earl Jones), I decided to see what I could find to help me put together an equally rockin’ speaker introduction video. (Okay, maybe it’s not QUITE as good as Cathey’s but it’s darn good.) So, today I’m sharing the steps I took with you so you can create your own (or hire your favorite teenager).

Before you ask….yes, you CAN afford it! (I’m all about saving $)

What you’ll need:

·         Pictures of you

· (optional)

·         Videos of you in action (i.e. speaking)

·         Computer with Movie Maker (some experience with this program or a friend or teenager)

· (sign up now)

· (awesome site)

· (for Royalty Free music)

·         PowerPoint (optional)

·         Time (you’ll need a good bit of this; I'm not gonna lie)

First, go ahead and browse the video introductions on Find what works for you. This could take some time, so get it out of the way first.

Found one? Great. Buy it; download it; keep on reading….

But first (yes, first again), repeat after me: I will not create a video introduction longer than 1 minute. I will not create a video introduction longer than 1 minute…..(okay, I think you’ve got it). This is important and your audience will love you for it. Too long and it just gets boring. You want something to generate excitement and / or anticipation for your speech. Think short and choppy scenes as you put it together.

So, I may have gone over by a second, but what’s a few seconds among friends? Click here to view it.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program already in progress…..

So you have your intro from (currently at less than $6 a pop). Go ahead and open Movie Maker on your computer and add the intro. This intro will contain music which you may or may not choose to use in your finished product.

Now, dig into your files and add in all the videos and photos you want. You can weed them out later. Just do it. (This is where you can add optional PowerPoint slides you’ve made; however, you’ll need to convert them to another file format, such as jpg. in order to use them in Movie Maker.) If you want to edit or enhance your pictures, be sure to visit It’s free, unless you want the whole shebang, which is so awesome you could spend hours editing, if you’re nerdy like me, that is.

By now you have so much more than 1 minute in Movie Maker, but that’s a good thing. For now. You need a lot to get a good speaker introduction together. Remember, as you go through, this should be a good representation of who you are and what you want your audience to know, think or feel about you.

Let’s do the hard part first. Pull out 4 to 5 seconds of 2 to 3 videos that you can use. The sound will be muted so you’re looking for what represents you and your energy best. Next, weed through the pictures but save at least 20-30 to use in your video. (You’ll probably get rid of half of these but let’s not get too hasty early on.)

Now, for the videos that are left in your Movie Maker file (except for the professional intro you purchased), mute the video sound. Now, just for kicks, play the entire Movie Maker project. You should only hear sound with your professional intro. (If your still shots have sound, there is something funky going on.)

Remember the promise you made to your viewing audience? The one that said you would keep it to only one minute? Well, now is the time to edit it down to one minute. However, you first need to set times for your photos. For some reason mine defaults to 7 seconds which, I think, is way too long for one picture. I prefer a half second to one second for most. (This is simply my opinion so take it for what it’s worth; otherwise known as my 2 cents.)

Ah, you’re back. That was a lot of work, huh? If you didn’t get your video down to 1 minute, it’s okay, but only if you went 1:15 or less. (Hey, even I didn’t go 1:15!)

Here’s a tip. I really liked having the professional intro to begin and end my video so I split it in Movie Maker and used pieces of it within the video and at the beginning and then in its entirety at the end. Do what you want. This IS your creation after all.

If you’ve purchased any Royalty-free music on, now is your time to add it (or your own theme music) in. You can cut and manipulate it as you wish. I used my music from the beginning but had it fade out just before the end and used the professional intro complete with its sound at the end.

When you have all this done, you’ll want to take a look at it and see if you want to add in any captions. I would suggest keeping these to a minimum.

Next, it’s time to think about your voiceover. What do you want it to say? Do you even want one? If you do, create the script, then go to and find someone to create it. This will only cost you around $5. Pretty sweet. My guy is carrknowledge (a.k.a. Rich) and he rocks. (Tell him CheerwineChick sent you; he’ll get it.)

Once you’ve received your voiceover file, you’ll want to add it to your project. However, let’s not get too hasty. First, save your Movie Maker project as a high definition video. Then start a brand new Movie Maker project, adding your high def video and the voiceover file. This makes it easy to tweak the volume of each file before you save it as your finished product. Once you’ve saved it as a high definition video, you’re done.


You may want to load it to YouTube so you can send out the link easily. Of course, you’ll want to keep the files so you can manipulate your Movie Maker project at any time and possibly customize it per event. And you’ll want to save your final video file to a flash drive, maybe a CD, so you’re prepared for each venue.

So, what do you think? Did you create your own?

You’re welcome.

Rock on!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Breaking....umm...Branding News: NSA to Platform (Not Exactly)

***The following blog was written before NSA decided NOT to change their branding.***

"The times.....they are a-changing.." Lyrics from a Bob Dylan song that can now be applied to today's businesses which are planning to re-brand. Re-branding is not something to be taken lightly. Ask anyone who's been involved in re-branding a business and they'll tell you, it's time-intensive, takes much collaboration and going back and forth. It takes vision. Re-branding can make or break an organization. It's that significant.

Enter.....the NSA. No, not the National Security Agency. Although, according to some NSA (National Speakers Association) members, they sometimes have to explain which NSA they are representing. 

The National Speakers Association has decided it's time for a change. At the 2014 NSA Convention in San Diego, attendees were privileged to see the BIG REVEAL

Enter....Platform. Changing the name of the organization gives it a new identity. The very definition of "platform" can be the stage from which a speaker presents or an individual's statement of principles and plans. Maybe the brand "Platform" incorporates a bit of both. Plus, it's one of today's business buzzwords, readily recognizable, familiar.

Still, what would prompt a well-known, established organization with name recognition to change all that? 
  • "National" no longer representative of the membership- The global population has become more closely connected than ever before. It's easier than ever to expand in the marketplace.
  • "Speakers" not an accurate term- Members are storytellers, coaches, celebrities, educators, strategists....and the list goes on. 
  • "Association" is outdated- In 1973, this worked. Today many organizations don't use this term. 
For more information, click here to take a look at this video clip from the convention, unveiling the brand and sharing, "This new brand, and everything that comes along with it, is how we take the past and build on all the great things that we have done here." According to the website,, Platform is slated to launch in 2015. 

For this gal who often speaks from the platform, I look forward to seeing the NSA transition to Platform in 2015. Embracing change can be challenging. It can also be exciting and carry you to greater heights of success

The world is watching, NSA. Let the change begin!

Jean Bailey Robor, author of "She Has a Big 'But'! Get Past Your Excuses & Realize Your Dreams," is that "Big 'But' Humorous Speaker." Contact her for your next corporate, civic or faith-based event. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Champion's Blog Post

Recently, I read a blog post by a World Champ. Now, that's not unusual. I believe if you have a dream, you need to follow those who have been there and done that. My dream is to become better at what I do: connecting with an audience. So, I listen and learn to those who have done and are doing just that.

One of those folks is World Champion of Public Speaking, Darren LaCroix. You may have heard of him. If not, stop reading now and click here to see his winning speech.

That speech won Darren the World Championship in 2001. Since then, he has dedicated himself to helping others become better speakers. I had the privilege of seeing him in person last year in Cincinnati, OH. It was standing room only. No surprise. He's THAT good.

Last month, Darren posted a blog that not only impressed me, it made me think. And that's the best kind of blog. Within a few minutes of reading it, I was challenged to further reveal my authentic self in my presentations, in my blogs, whenever I speak with people.

Today, I want to share Darren's life-changing blog with you. Click here to read it now.

I challenge you to think about that part of you that you need to share to connect with others, to become more authentic. Maybe it's time you, like Darren, shared your relationship with God.

Maybe it's time you begin that relationship.

Having a balanced life includes the spiritual. I truly believe that. I'm living proof as there have been times over the years when I've been close to God and other times when I wasn't so close. Wherever I've been, it's affected other areas of my life.

That's why reading Darren's God Blog had such an impact.

Be bold. Be brave. Be authentic.


Ready to book Jean for your next event? Click here now!

Monday, May 26, 2014

For Meeting Planners (or anyone who is interested in hiring Jean)

If you're in charge of booking speakers for your organization, you know the value of hiring a speaker who accomplishes what you want / need for your audience. And you can imagine the stress of hiring a speaker who does not meet the needs of your audience. 
Jean is passionate about what she does. She is also sensitive to what you do. While she wants your business, she's aware of the task you have of finding the best speaker that 'fits' your needs. (She's even talked meeting planners OUT of hiring her when they want a different kind of speaker.)
Here's some info that Jean has put together, just for you: 
What can Jean do for you at your next event?
  • Keynote
  • Workshop / Educational Session
  • Panel Discussion
  • Facilitator
  • Emcee
  • Presentation Coach
  • Break-outs
  • Round-table discussion
  • Stand Up Comedy

What is the best way to set up the room?
If you have more than 50 people, a raised platform is preferable. After all, Jean is a wanna-be tall & skinny girl. Actually, a platform is preferable for any of Jean’s presentations for that very reason, just to give everyone a clear view. But, if you can’t accommodate, no sweat. Jean’s pretty good at standing tall. (Especially in heels!)
Set the room wide, not narrow, and stagger the seating if possible. This gives attendees a clearer view. Seat attendees close to the front of the room. You may want to rope off the back rows of seating until the front section is filled.
Be sure the stage area is well lit; spotlights work wonders.

Any audio / visual needs?
Jean works best when NOT behind a lectern. She likes getting up close and personal to the audience with a hand-held mic. If you don’t have a mic stand, let Jean know. She’ll bring her own.  If you prefer she present behind a lectern, let her know.
If Jean will be presenting with a slide deck, be sure to have a projector / screen handy.

Are you ready to book Jean? (or at least to learn more about her)

Already booked Jean?
Smart move! Here’s what to expect:
  • A pre-program questionnaire- the more details you share the better your event will be. And, as always, it will be customized to your audience.
  • An agreement to sign.
  • Jean’s personal contact info so you can get in touch with her anytime.
  • Promo photos, short and long bio.
  • Ask about a Promo video! (made just for your event!)
  • A speaker that is professional and super easy to work with!

Still have questions? Visit Jean's website: or email her at

Thursday, October 10, 2013

When OT Really Sucks

Over Time.
Whatever you call it, it's the same thing. If you're working a job and get paid by the hour, OT can be a very good thing. More hours worked, more money in your pocket. If you're salaried, OT is not so good. More hours worked, same amount of money.

In sports, OT can be both good or bad. It all depends on your perspective and if YOUR team won in over time.

In a speech contest, OT can disqualify you, even if you had a winning speech. That's when OT really sucks.

I once had a Toastmasters club member who was disqualified because his speech went over the allotted time in a speech contest. I had heard his speech and it was good, definitely worthy of placing in the top three. He didn't have an excuse. His speech (as International Speeches should be) held an important, passionate message he yearned to share. He said, "I just wanted to say what I had to say....and that took more time." For him, the speech was more important than winning the trophy. If you've ever felt that way, I challenge you to make sure you aren't disqualified for OT. Why? If your speech is that important, if you want to share it, give yourself the best chance to share it at the next level....and the next....and the next. If you have a speech that can touch hearts and change lives, it may be that person that will be impacted the most won't hear it until you're speaking before another audience. Don't cheat them of that experience.

If you find yourself challenged in staying within time in a speech, here are a few tips from someone who has gone OT herself. (Yes, that would be me.....thankfully, only at the club level....but still!)
  • Edit
  • Edit
  • Edit
  • Did I say 'Edit'?
That's what it takes. Before you take the stage, write out (or type) your speech. Check the number of words you have. As a rule, 1 minute = 400 spoken words. Naaa....just kidding! Unless you're an auctioneer! Actually, we speak, on the average, about 150 words per minute. If you're giving a 4-7 minute speech, be sure you aren't pushing the envelope with the number of words you're speaking. Plus, you need to factor in time for the audience as you'll want to pause when they laugh and not step on their laughter. Also, factor in pauses for effect: ask a question, let the audience answer it in their heads; make a bold statement, let the audience think about it or pause just before you make the statement so they'll be waiting anxiously for what you're about to deliver. Take all this into consideration when determining how many words your speech should be.

Next, practice. Out loud. With a voice recorder. Play it back. Did you rush through it? Does it sound like you'd want it to onstage? Was it too long? If so, it's time to edit, take out nonessential words. Are there instances when you can show with gestures, facial expressions, etc. instead of using precious time speaking so many words? This also comes in handy no matter where you're giving a speech. Common courtesy is when you only speak for your allotted time without going over. (Meeting planners will love you for this!)

If I could roll back the clock, that's the advice I'd give to my club member who went OT. And, who knows, maybe he would have gone all the way.

When you enter your next Toastmasters contest, set yourself up for success. Just like a football player who runs 50 years for the winning touchdown, you could go....

Rock on,

Thursday, September 26, 2013


When creating a proposal for a speaking gig, remember that this is often what a meeting planner sees before meeting you.  In fact, they may see it when they’re searching your website. Therefore, you want to make a good first impression before taking the stage. Crafting a winning proposal is a great opportunity. It can make you shine like a professional or keep you from making the sale if it appears amateurish.

A winning proposal doesn’t have to be flashy. In fact, when starting out, some speakers try too hard to impress. And a poorly crafted flashy proposal will often have the opposite effect of what the speaker intended.

Never fear. Read on and you’ll know how to do it the right way. Simply. Below is a proposal style and an example that can help you realize speaking success.

(Note: Never promise anything you can’t deliver.)

You may want to add your proposal to your website. That’s great! However, my suggestion is to offer your pricing after an inquiry. For local gigs, you may feel you can discount your regular fee; for gigs that require personalization (and I recommend personalizing your program anytime you can), or overseas travel, you may want to modify your fees accordingly. Even when travel / lodging is paid for, there is the additional burden of shipping your materials, paying for an assistant, etc. Plus, once you don’t want to have to update your program proposal each time you modify your fees. I suggest keeping it simple.

Proposal Style:
Program 1: Title (Convey what you’ll present; don’t make them guess what it’s about.)

Duration: How long will your program last? 1 hour? ½ day? 1 day?  

Description: What will your session deliver? What is expected of the participants?

Key Points: After the session, participants should:
·        Use an action verb to begin each objective you want the participants to accomplish or takeaway. (Usually 3-5 points are sufficient.)
·        Next point
·        Next point

Proposal Example:
Program 1: “No Buts About It: Six Steps to Spectacular Speaking”

Duration: 1 hour or expanded into a ½ day or full day workshop

Description: This interactive presentation will help the participants get past their fears, find confidence and build skills in public speaking. They will learn tips and tricks to use before, during and after they take the stage to be, not just effective, but memorable.  

Key Points: After the session, participants should:
·        Discover how to eliminate obstacles that hinder them from achieving successful communication.
·        Identify six ways to realize speaking success.
·        Become aware of how to apply their newfound knowledge / skills starting now.

This is just a guide. (However, it IS based on one of my programs!) You may want to browse the web and see what other speakers are doing.

Now that you know what you need to do in presenting a professional program proposal package, create yours with confidence.

Wishing you the best in your speaking success!

Jean Bailey Robor
A Subsidiary of Celebrate life

Contact Jean for your upcoming events or to coach you and your team to greater speaking success.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Say 'No' to Say 'Yes'

Sure, I can do that.”
“No problem; I’ll get on it right away.”
“I can fit that into my schedule.”
“I don’t mind at all.”

Do these phrases sound familiar? Have you heard them coming out of your mouth? If so, it may be time to reassess how many times you say ‘yes’ when you should have said ‘no.’

Today, I was listening to an interview with Michael Hyatt, author of the best-selling book Platform: Get Noticed in a Busy World. Michael is the Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers and a leadership expert. He talked briefly about how getting in touch with your bigger ‘yes’ can keep you on track so you’ll know when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no.’ Like any good leader, Michael is a reader. And he says he had read about this in a book. If you read Michael’s book Platform, you’ll see how he emphasizes not to settle for less than greatness. You and I shouldn’t settle for less than greatness either.

This reminded me of something I’d heard from Craig Valentine, 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking. He told a story to illustrate how saying ‘yes’ to a good opportunity would have gotten in the way of his saying ‘yes’ to fulfilling a dream. In his story, he talked about how the good can get in the way of the best. As a professional speaker and coach, Craig has learned the value of saying ‘yes’ only to the best. If you’re a pro or aspiring speaker, do yourself a favor and follow Craig on Facebook. (And, while you’re at it, follow me too!)

I’ll be honest. Sometimes I’ve said ‘yes’ when I should have said ‘no.’ Why? Mostly, because it seemed like the right answer at the time but I answered too quickly to make an informed decision. Sometimes I’ve said ‘yes’ because it was something I knew I would enjoy. Even then, the timing was wrong for me and I missed real and more valuable opportunities. Is saying ‘yes’ getting in the way of your success?

While we’re being honest with each other, I’ll admit that at times saying ‘yes’ really stressed me out. Maybe I wanted to do something for someone but I really didn’t have the time or energy. And maybe because of that, I should have said ‘no’ so that someone else could have completed the task. It’s a fact that often when we overload ourselves, the quality suffers in our tasks. And isn’t it better to do a task to the best of your ability than to do several tasks of poorer quality? Plus, it’s much more satisfying and self-fulfilling to do what we do, the best we can do. We get such a greater sense of accomplishment. And, since we are selling ourselves everyday in everything we do, shouldn’t we make sure every task measures up?

Next time you think of spontaneously saying ‘yes’ to a project or a request, take a moment to think through it. A good way to do that is to ask yourself the following questions:
  • Why am I saying ‘yes’?
  • Will saying ‘yes’ serve me well?
  • Will saying ‘yes’ propel me closer to my dreams?

So, go ahead. Say ‘yes.’ Just be sure your ‘yes’ doesn’t get in the way of the ‘yes’ that’ll make a positive difference in your life and in the lives of those around you. Make sure your ‘yes’ is the ‘yes’ that matters most. 

Rock on, 

Have a good story of how saying 'no' freed you up to say 'yes'? I'd love to hear more! Email me.