“Be so good they can’t ignore you!” A wonderful thought from comedian Steve Martin to inspire us all! Motivated but not sure how to start? Here’s some advice to help you shine!

Marianne Shares Tips for Success

Media Training

Prepare. Empower. Protect.

Digital Presence & Communications

Connect. Lead. Embolden.

Presentation Training

Engage. Dazzle. Inspire.

Nonprofit Development & Communications

Impassion. Educate. Energize.

Tips on Media Training

Remember the camera never blinks, the microphone is always open and social media spreads like wildfire!

Make-up artists are rarely provided by news agencies, so learn how to apply camera ready make-up to look well rested and strong. This applies to the gents as well!

Your physical appearance will influence how viewers absorb your message. Consider wardrobe style, colors and textures to match the interview environment. Keep skirts knee-length, trouser socks high and non-glare lenses in your eye glasses.

Take control by managing the flow of information to benefit your brand. Create a record of the exchange by recording any on-camera interviews yourself.

Bad things happen to good companies. Create a crisis communication pod within your team of 3-4 people. Make sure all are trained in how to handle a crisis. Update training every six months.

Facing a media crisis? There are seven hard and fast rules; the first is accept responsibility and don’t hide.

Prepare your answers in short, declarative statements no longer than 15 – 20 seconds and rehearse your delivery.

If you are on-set with an interviewer – look at he or she. Ignore the camera. It will find you.

If working with a teleprompter, focus on the copy in the center of the lens. Angle your body with one shoulder slightly back.

Think like a reporter and prepare to answer any question the press may ask. Never say “no comment”. It’s short-hand for “I’m hiding something”.

Tips on Digital Presence & Communications

Use body language and actions to engage, punctuate and emphasize a point. Learn how to adapt this skill set for the digital screen.

The eyes have it! Take advantage of the opportunity to connect directly to your viewer. Eye contact is essential to authenticity and validation.

Remember your physical appearance will influence how attendees absorb your message. Cameras can distort how you look, so makeup counts – even for the gents.

Set the tone! The environment may be casual, but you need to be professional. Dress as if you were meeting in person.

Structure your presentation in the same manner as you would in a more formal environment. Prepare an introduction and conclusion to the presentation or meeting and learn how to adapt it to a digital audience.

Ready for your close up? Don’t sit in front of a window as the backlight will leave you in the dark. Use a ring light or elevate table lamps with iridescent lighting to compliment natural lighting in the room.

Create a zoom “set”. Find a quiet environment and clear out the clutter and overly personal items behind you. Bookshelves offer depth and an interesting background.

Position yourself as far away from the laptop as functionally possible and tilt it forward to offer a slimming look.

First impressions count! For best camera position, elevate your laptop so the camera is at eye level. Apply a sticker to the side of the camera lens as a reminder of where to look.

Connect with your attendees. If they don’t like you – they won’t listen to your message. You’ve got 10-20 seconds to engage your audience and validate the reason for the presentation.

Tips on Presentation Training

When wrapping it all up – never say “In conclusion”. Instead, ask “what questions do you have?” It may be a matter of semantics, but it’s a tactic which engages the audience to the end.

Don’t be afraid of pauses! A second or two is all it takes to emphasize a point, calm your pace or re-engage your audience.

Never, ever read the speech! Once it’s structured, memorize your introduction and conclusion and let bullet points be your guide for everything in between.

Minnie Mouse or James Earl Jones? Which voice sounds most authoritative and effective? You can change your voice to have more resonance, warmth and power.

Did you know anxiety is caused in part by a physical, chemical reaction? Learn how to absorb more oxygen through proper breathing to diminish toxins, reduce anxiety and remain clear-headed.

Use PowerPoint as an enhancement tool only – not a crutch. You are the focus – not the PowerPoint!

Humor and storytelling always wins over an audience!

Words are powerful! Choose fewer, more impactful phrases and create simple, declarative statements. It offers a message easier for your audience to absorb and remember.

Success begins with a well written speech. Consider why you are speaking. In ten words or less, jot down your core message and use it as a guide in writing your speech.

Start the clock! You have 10-20 seconds to capture your audience and make them care about your message. Consider your audience and why should they listen to you.

Tips on Nonprofit Development & Communication

Not quite ready to launch your own nonprofit? Consider founding a chapter of an existing organization. It is a great way to learn more about the nonprofit landscape without full immersion.

Do you serve a population of value to advertisers? Cause marketing is a great way to gain corporate sponsorship support.

Not sure how to host a fundraiser? Event planners and digital event companies are a great resource. Look to other nonprofits in your community for recommendations.

When planning fundraising events check with other nonprofits and community calendars to avoid competing for attendance and donor support.

Visual storytelling is essential to promoting your mission as it speaks to the heart of your cause. Engage video professionals to create high quality content for digital promotion and at fundraisers.

Marketing, branding and web structure are key to the success of your nonprofit. This isn’t time for a DYI project! Invest in a solid design team to create your website, marry it to your social media platforms, and serve as a hub for donors.

No funds for staff? Nonprofit freelance consultants can offer guidance and expertise in areas of development and grant writing.

When it comes to Board Members and Advisors, recruit those who are workers as well as supporters and influencers. They will be your greatest strength.

Build your mission, vision and values statement with clarity and focus. Seek to do what others have not. By filling a void, your nonprofit will stand apart from other organizations.

Community Foundations are wonderful for small family nonprofits or as a starting point for nonprofits with greater aspirations who are awaiting 501c3 approval.