Friday, September 24, 2010

Approaching the Lectern - ebook review

Thomas MacEntee, owner of The Connected Genealogist, recently wrote an ebook, “Approaching the Lectern: How to Become a Genealogy Speaker.” You can buy this book at his Lulu Storefront. <>

I am a professional genealogist, but I want to up-level my business. It’s time for me to appear more polished on the Internet. Labor-day weekend I spent three days with Thomas’ book and worked on nothing but my business. I felt very accomplished by the time I was done! With guidance from Thomas’ book I now have a very clean Bio. One Bio is short in length, one longer, and one that is comprehensive.

Then I moved on to polish that Genealogy Resume. There are times we need to have this document available and now I feel very good about what I’ll be presenting. I’ve also added a reminder on my calendar to make sure this document stays current on a monthly basis.

Then it was time to review each of my presentations. Yes, those were stale (IMHO), but they are all cleaned up now. I created a template to use for future presentations as well. Thomas also covers the font size, color, graphics and more in his book. All ideas are very clearly written, and full of helpful ideas and suggestions.

For those who are new to speaking and those who want to appear more polished, Thomas covers all the basics! We all need to know our presentations blind, and be prepared for any and all things that might happen. Computer crashes happen, where is your backup? Who has a backup laptop you can borrow to use the backup on your thumb drive? And we have to be brave enough to ask for evaluations if we hope to get better!

Thomas also covers Virtual Presentation in chapter six. This is an item I hope to get much more comfortable with. I need more knowledge about this, so I’ll work on that a bit more over the course of the next few years.

Chapter seven covers Building Your Business and setting your rate. I concur with Thomas’ evaluation in this chapter. I just spent time with another genealogy tomb, Professional Genealogy, by Elizabeth Shown Mills. I went through the steps necessary to make sure I was charging the ‘right’ fees for my business. So Labor-day weekend didn’t need to have this step done again! Thank goodness! But, you do need to do this step. As you know, it is very relevant to you running a successful business.

Chapter eight: Marketing Your Business was of interest to me. We all need to be better at marketing our businesses. I hadn’t really worked on my blog, but I am now. I’ve been learning how to add pages. One of those new pages now has a very good bio about me, and another page has my lectures! I’ve more work to do, but this was a very good start! As suggested in Thomas’ book, LinkedIn is also a place to do marketing with professional colleagues. I’ve been more active on my page there, and joined more groups. I’ve asked for a review of my website from my colleagues. I got some very GOOD feedback! Feedback that makes my webpage look even more polished! Mission accomplished!

I felt the price I paid for this book was well worth what I got out of it! I spent three full days working on just my business. There wasn’t a client file in sight. And when that weekend was done I had accomplished quite a lot of work for the benefit of my business. Just the reason Thomas MacEntee wrote the book, to help others be successful. I would encourage you to read this book and then get to work on YOUR business.