Need To Make An MP3 Recording? Here’s What You’ll Need...

In-Home Recording Setup for Voice Recordings If you’re going to promote your speaking business with a podcast and/or make an MP3 recording for a product or promotion, here’s some information you’ll need about setting up your home studio.  I recently got an email from a friend asking for what he would need to set up a studio for my friend Carolyn and this is what I told him.  I thought you could use the information too, so I’ve shared it here. The microphone I used for years before I got my $500 mic is this Logitech Microphone: Now oddly, when I purchased it, it was $32.  I’m not sure what happened to the price on it.  But this was the one recommended by the podcasting community at the time because it was a USB mic which allowed it to bypass the sound card so it didn’t lose anything in translation there. Cheap. Now this model isn’t that cheap anymore.  But there is a cheaper version which is the Logitech 600.  It seems to have the same features for a lower price and I’d try this one first. I did do a quick search and liked this review http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-usb-microphone/ for this Yeti By Blue microphone. While I don’t think Carolyn (or you, dear reader) would need the feature of the direct headphone input, I think that the on-mic gain control is a bonus that the Logitech mic doesn’t have. Recording Tips The biggest issue with recording is what is known as “bounce”.  This is when you have hard surfaces in your room which muddy the sound of your speaking by bouncing back the sound from earlier words.  The way to solve this cheaply is to cover your hard surfaces (hardwood floors, doors, windows, desktops, etc.) with thick curtains, blankets, and/or towels.  These will absorb the sound when you are making the recording and result in a better sound quality.  To do it more permanently (and expensively) you can buy sound absorption panels from Sweetwater.com.  They have awesome customer service and if you have the money to spend, they will help you spend it intelligently. The other recording challenge many people face are “plosives” which are T’s, B’s and P’s which can cause a puff of air to come through the microphone if you are too close to the mic.  A good wind sock usually solves this problem. Software  Audacity by Sourceforge is a free download and has been my go-to recording platform for...

Confessions of a Burned Out Workshop Leader On The Eve Of Her Event Launch...

Holy Crap – This Is Insane It’s been just over two month since launching the Spiritual Leader University far too soon than was reasonable for business purposes.  But it was exactly on spirit’s time to coincide with the triple conjunction of something I can’t remember now, but which an astrologer friend of mine said was happening on the same day that Kathy and I intuited we should launch.  We are both fans of doing things in an ease-ful fashion, but sometimes spirit yells “hurry up already!” and then, like good devotees, we jump into the fire and allow ourselves to be used for purposes higher than ourselves.   Taking Back Lusciousness All during this launch, I’ve been working to take back the lusciousness in my life that I lost during those two weeks of 15 hour days where we were planning and scheduling and branding and targeting and where I was finally coding and writing and creating the website pieces that would take us forward.  Kathy and I have individually launched many projects in the past.  At this point, we intuitively know every piece that needs to go into place and when without having to create a plan for it.  But plans make life easier – even if they are rough sketches.  And we didn’t have time to make them and so it’s been a mad dash to put it all together, put out content, and start to build the energetic of our mutual brand. Quite Frankly, I’ve Been Exhausted. You know how I know that?  I’ve been spending many more hours in front of the TV than I should.  This is my avoidance technique.  You can tell how balanced I am in my life by how many hours of TV I watched that week.  The fewer I watch, the happier I am. And yet yesterday, in the middle of an energy scan session with Kathy – I started to feel better.  Some of it was because she was helping me to let go of some stuff that had been holding me back.  But mostly it was because we were doing what we do best – hold space for each other, help each other to grow, and allowing what was true to surface in safety.  I started to relax and stop worrying about our upcoming event.  I started to have fun again. And this morning, while reading Sera Beak’s latest book Red Hot and Holy in the bathtub, I started to remember who...

Get Product Covers Designed for Just $5.00!...

Are you looking to expand your speaking business by creating products you can sell on the web and in the back of the room?  If so, then you need to check out www.Fiverr.com.  It’s a website filled with things people will do for just $5.00.  And if you put “Product covers” in the search box on the right, you’ll find a long list of people willing to create a brand new custom-designed product cover for your product for just $5.00.  That’s right – ready to go for $5.00.  Now about 4 years ago, I paid to have a designer redesign my website and product covers.  It cost me $5900 for a website and 14 product covers.  Today, I could get that work done for under $500. So, what are you waiting for?  Get that product on the market! (Need some help figuring out how to take your information and turn it into a product?  Call me!  This is what I help people do!...

Love Is Controversial

We’re rapidly approaching the Valentine’s Day time frame and I’m in a bit of a quandry.  Every year I go through this.  Do I or don’t I?  You see, I don’t send holiday cards to my clients.  I figure people get so many of them that any message I send would get lost in the mix.  Instead, I send a Valentine’s Day greeting.  I mean, how great is it to get a Valentine when you’re not getting any – even if it is from a business contact?  And each year I get about a dozen people responding with how much they loved my note and really love and appreciate me as well.  But each year, I also get a bunch of people who unsubscribe from my newsletter.  And occasionally, those unsubscribes come with a nasty note attached. How Can You Love Me? The first year I sent out these Valentines, I sent one that said that I wanted to tell people how much I loved and appreciated them and how I really valued them as clients and readers.  I got positive and negative responses.  What were the negative ones you ask?  Well, they said “how can you possibly say you love me, you don’t even know me”.  Which was true for my newsletter subscribers, but what is the problem with saying “I love you?”  I mean, really. So the next year, I decided to be a little different.  I wrote: “Did you know that the Ancient Greeks had three words for love? Eros – romantic love Filios – the love of a family member Agape – universal love of your fellow man In the spirit of agape, I’d like to tell you how much I love you and really appreciate you taking the time to read my newsletter and participate in my world.” Pretty clear, right?  Wrong.  I got the same number of positive responses and the same number of unsubscribes, only this time, one woman called me a whore.  Really?  A whore?  For what?  Expressing universal love for my fellow wo/man? Cleaning My List So I’m telling myself as I prep for this year’s note, that this is a good thing.  I don’t really want to be doing business with people who would call someone a whore for simply making an honest statement of love.  But I’m also steeling myself.  Who knows what will come flying at me this time.  But this warrior for love is going to...

Step Away From The Troll

Profile of a Troll I have recently had the same conversation with two different friends who are stepping into the public eye and are encountering those lovely, sneaky little energy vampires affectionate known as “trolls” on the internet. You know these people, the ones who come into a conversation and then take it into the abyss of hate and discontent. They argue just to argue. They say inflammatory things just because they can. They don’t know you, but they hate you anyway and they want everyone else to hate you too. How to Identify a Troll Some of these trolls are easy to identify, like the one who recently attacked my dear friend David Franklin Farkas. This troll went onto a major site and not only denounced David, he also denounced anyone who liked David or had found his work to be valid and valuable. This is a primary marker for a troll.  Some more examples are: The “I hate you and everyone who supports you” comment. The general “you suck” comment with no real, based-in-fact reasons to support it. Wild accusations of misdoings with no concern for truth or supportive arguments. If any of these sorts of things happen to you, congratulations!  You’ve discovered a troll! The Sneaky Approach But some troll are more sneaky than this.  Another dear friend got into a conversation on Facebook a few months ago.  This troll clearly had some experience with being shunned and ignored for his actions, so he took the time to engage her in positive conversation for a few minutes to get her invested in the conversation before he turned on her.  Out of the blue the conversation went from friendly questions sincerely looking for answers to angry accusations and insults being slung.  My poor friend was so unprepared that she spent half an hour trying to talk this troll out of being upset.  Little did she know, he was just trying to steal her energy and he never had any intention of being talked down from his righteous perch. What NOT To Do In Reaction to a Troll Now most people will tell you that their first reaction is to refute, point-by-point, the issues presented by the troll.  They want to forward testimonials.  They want to have their friends come to their defense.  But this is the WRONG approach.  Why?  Because it fuels the fire.  By reacting at all, you are giving credence to the conversation – and...

My Apologies for My Absence...

I apologize for my absence here (and for the lack of continuing content). My mother passed away unexpectedly in June and being the only child, I’ve had to deal with the estate and funeral arrangements while dealing with my grief. I have taken some time off and will now be returning to the task of getting some of the content out again. I will not be posting regularly yet, since I am still dealing with the estate, but I’ll try to get something out to you a couple times a month. My goal is to be back on track in January with more active weekly content. If you are a speaker and would like to help me out with content anytime during the next few months, you could write me an article about something relating to speaking. My preference is to have people talk about their pet peeves or the secret they think everyone should know to improve their presentations. Whatever you choose to write about, make sure you’re passionate about it. And don’t be afraid to raise the level of the conversation. There are lots of places where people can get beginning advice. I want this to be the place for advanced level discussions. You can email me the articles at kelle@kellesparta.com. I’ve got at least one (although I think there are more) podcasts that were in the can but not yet edited. I’ll be getting those out shortly too. Thanks for your patience. We’ll be back online...

8 Powerful Opening Techniques & Strategies To Connect With and Capture Your Audience...

On my journey to pursuing my passion…professional speaking; I’ve learned some of the most effective communication techniques and strategies ever developed in public speaking. Some through trial and error, but mostly from studying and listening to some of the best communicators  in the world; past and present. Whether you’re a seasoned speaker, or working on your first icebreaker in Toastmasters, the fundamentals for becoming an excellent communicator remain the same; first we have to master the basics which are too often taken for granted. In today’s fast paced, competitive and challenging environment; your ability to communicate well and get your ideas and points across to your audience, is crucial to your continued career advancement. As a matter of a fact, your success in business depends upon it. Most careers and leadership positions, require an adequate ability to give effective presentations and to speak in a coherently persuasive manner. Again, this is a vital must-have skill, if one is to compete successfully, in a demanding, economically challenged society. However; all too often some of the most competent individuals are held back because of their lack of mastering the basics of great communication. The three basic components of an excellent speech or presentation are: the opening, the body and the closing. For the purpose of this article, I’d like to concentrate on the opening. Your opening has to be the catalyst, that draws your audience in and captivates them. Otherwise, within the first few seconds, you run the risk of losing them for your entire presentation. You have to have what I call the “Jerry Maguire” concept. In the movie there was a line that said, “You had me at hello.” You have to have your audience at “Hello.” In other words, capture their attention immediately. So, how do we accomplish this? I’d like to suggest eight of the most powerful ways of opening a speech, connecting with and captivating any audience. These techniques and strategies are used religiously by professional speakers, trainers and presenters on a daily basis; because they continue to be so effective. Tell A Story – Or better yet…tell your own story if possible. Telling a story can provide a strong opening  and captivate your audience’s attention immediately, however; make sure that the story transitions smoothly into your theme, or the objective of your speech. This prepares your audience to be more receptive to your broader message. Use A Quote – Quoting someone notable and relating it...

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