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A Career Strategy Strategy That Hardly Anyone Works on Systematically, Except Authors

Gary North

Sept. 15, 2010

I had a man in on Saturday to teach me about video editing. He has been in the businees for decades.

He asked me what camcorder I planned to use for any speeches I gave. I showed him my Kodak Zi8. He said it is the choice of professionals. He asked why I picked it. "The plug-in slot for an external mic." "Right," he said. That's why we use it."

Then he mentioned something I had not thought of. "When you give a speech, after the speech, ask for testimonials. Just hold up the camcorder and let them talk."


Why hadn't I thought of that? Here is a perfect tool for the YouTube era: a $120 portable hi-def camcorder, plus a $30 15 GB memory chip, plus a $25 Radio Shack mic. Aim & shoot.

Then he showed me a gadget I knew I had to buy. It's called a Stroboframe QuickFlip. It sells from $30 to $40.

He had a a 12-inch tube attached to its bottom socket. He called it a biddle stick. Biddle sticks are hard to find. I can get a wooden dowel and sink a 1/4-20 threaded mount into it. That will screw into the base of the Stroboframe.

Hold the Stroboframe with two hands. The tiny camcorder sits on top. It is very steady this way. This is the way to shoot videos with a pocket camcorder. Carry the Stroboframe to family events, parties, or whatever.

Of course, better to have one in your pocket and no accessories than not have it at all. But you should carry an external mic in a case. This makes a big difference in presentation quality.

If you ever give a talk, record it. Then ask people for testimonials. You can use these in a short promotional video. That can open the doors to more speeches.

No matter what you talk about, someone in the audience will like the speech. Never miss a chance to get a testimonial. Have him say his name and offer a brief statement -- 20 seconds. If he can say how it helped him, so much the better.

This is the strategy for speeches. But you should work on building up a file of testimonials no matter what your mode of performance is.

People want evidence of your competence before they hire you. It is why they ask for letters of recommendation. You had better have a few.

Don't be afraid to ask.

The best testimonial is specific. It lets the reader/viewer know that someone thinks he was benefited specifically by using your services. This lowers his risk.

If you are a tradesman, always ask for a written testimonial. It can be a note -- signed and dated. But a video works well. Hardly anyone is ever asked to give a video testimonial.

People will give them if you are any good. But they must be reminded.

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