Friday, March 29, 2019

7 Steps to Video Success

Video is a lot of the way we communicate with others, and often, in my practice, people ask for a process or formula for making a video worth watching and communicating a message.

Here's a 7 step approach that tends to work, and is different than many that are out there, as it doesn't involve introducing oneself first. 

Give it a shot with these steps:
  1. Pose a question
  2. Offer a "did you know..." or goal
  3. Introduce yourself briefly
  4. Address issue (2-4 points, option: add story)
  5. Recap the approach
  6. Thank the viewer
  7. State your name and contact
Have fun, share your expertise,and video on! 

Friday, March 15, 2019

RSVP Courtesies & Commitments

Are considerations and manners regarding RSVPs a thing of the past?

Not necessarily. With email, Social Media Invitations and text messaging, some people perceive a catered party the same as a social gathering at a home and likely the same as a happy hour at a bar/club...and there are clear differences! You will likely be invited back again and again if you follow the courtesies of the RSVP.

Sadly, more and more often, (and through personal experience) hosts commonly do not receive solid indications whether guests plan to attend their events, even if RSVP is clearly denoted on the invitation or in the Social Media Invitation.

Considering each person in a work or social group comes from a different background, family situation and exposure, perhaps revisiting what RSVP means is best first. The term RSVP (or more formally, R.S.V.P.) comes from the French expression "Réspondez S'il Vous Plaît", meaning "please respond" (or as I like to think of it, respond and then follow through if you ever want to maintain social graces).

If/when you get a mailed invitation or evite Invitation with an RSVP indicator, it means you want to tell the host whether or not you plan to attend the party, and by the date indicated in the invitation. If there is no date indicated for a response, provide your firm reply as soon as possible, and minimally five (5) days prior to the event. RSVP does not mean to respond only if you're coming, and it does not mean respond only if you're not coming (the expression "regrets only" is reserved for that instance). An incomplete list of respondents can cause numerous problems for a host including difficulty in planning food quantities, issues relating to minimum guarantees with catering halls, uncertainty over the number of party favors and difficulties in planning appropriate seating, among other things. Also, do not invite other guests to attend a party if there is hosting of drinks or food involved. If you would like someone included, ask the host before five days prior if all the invitations have been sent. If your invitation indicates a guest, bring no more than one guest, and let the host know his/her name prior to arriving at the event. (The exception to this guideline is if there is a pay-as-you-go happy hour event that is not at someone's home, and/or if the host has indicated "the more the merrier" on the invitation.)

What happens if something unexpected comes up in the five days prior to the event or even the day of the event? Make an effort to phone the host as soon as you know you cannot attend (getting a more exotic offer is not a reason not to attend...ethics and decency should play into accepting an invitation). When you reach the host, do not bog him or her down with your story. Simply be brief, ask forgiveness and offer to pay for your portion of the festivities. Yes, you have committed and now you are backing out, so plan to provide relief to the host. Often the host will not accept payment. Send a note within the week and a small gift if the event was being catered. Flowers are a welcomed surprise and thoughtful way to keep things pleasant between you. A gift is not necessary...just a great touch!   Remember, the host is investing in everything from glasses to favors and food. Your being considerate of the fact that the seating and event/game counts may be off, is the least you can do!

When you do attend an event for which you have RSVP'd, take a small token of your appreciation, like a bottle of wine, spirits, or candle. Host gifts are wonderful and many a host loves to show them off in their home for it shows kindness and enjoyment and reminds them that people recognize them for opening their home. A host gift is not necessary, though. A call or note the next day will work as a close second for giving thanks to the host. Regardless of what you do, give thanks...and do not ask for a house tour if you are at the host home. Remember he/she has been working on the event...let him/her offer if they like. For all we know as the guest, one room became the "catch all" if you will, and the last thing the composed host should be put in a position to do is to have to explain the closed door to a room!

If you are hosting a party where you are providing food or drink...or both, I suggest including an RSVP to be written on an invitation or in a Social Media Invitation and do not text, or simply email an invitation. When the RSVP is noted, state a firm date for the responses. If you find many people hedge for a better offer, an opportunity, a child's possible event taking priority, then, when making your reminder calls (preferred over emails, but emails are okay...minimally do some sort of reminder or confirmation), just let people know at that three-to-five days prior period that while you would love to have them there, you'll put them as a no for this event and perhaps the next time scheduling will work out better. Do not accept a maybe only a few days out. While you may have enough food and drink, it sets the stage for repeated behavior by that person...and sets the example for far too many more!

So, having taken all this in, remember, the next time you see RSVP on an invitation you receive, do just that, Réspondez S'il Vous Plait, promptly and respect the courtesy and you make it a commitment to be a spectacular party/event!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Put a Pin ON It!

There's a song about "put a ring on it", and much like that lyric, this is about "put a pin on it", or rather "put a pin under it"!

While the song is about a ring and marriage, this tip is about a safety pin and your clothes.

Male or female, you can be prepared for you or others by putting a safety pin under your hem on your pants, coat, or even a dress or skirt.

Simply pin one under where it won't be seen, and should you or someone have an unraveled something, a broken shoelace or slingback, or a blouse that is a little too revealing for comfort, you have the solution!

(When going to a formal event, two or more are useful - those types of gatherings tend to have more uses for pins than others!)