What’s the Choice? Change or Progress?

Dean Lindsay changeHappy Fall everyone, and things are certainly changing all around us!  From our weather to our clothes, we have to make some definite daily choices to keep thriving and  going.

Is it any different in our business world?  Change is happening daily, are we joining in or ignoring the facts?  It’s easy to keep doing the same things over and over again, but does that bring about improvements and better ways to do those things?

Our company is founded on “creating simpler and more successful lives”, so where does change come in? It’s not always simple to change or even think about it, but what are the benefits?

Ever met those people that felt change was not for them, and they seemed to ignore what was happening right in front of them? They seemed to be just drifting through their days and even complained that life was hard!

Change is a need and once the choice is made, it’s time to find the right experts to help develop a plan of action to improve, progress, and move towards the future while keeping the focus on keeping it simple and yes, FUN!

We love connecting people with the right experts to help them experience change and become more successful, while we also have to go through the same processes as do each of our clients!

We are preparing to announce some majors changes in our company, and we know what we have had to: look at, feel, experience, ask about, put in writing, and even plan to announce and promote it the right way.

One of our Remarkable Speakers, Dean Lindsay, showed us this about change:
“Change is Inevitable, Progress is a Choice!”

We are glad we listened to Dean’s message and made the choice of taking the time to understand how to progress and not just attempt to change overnight!

How will you handle the inevitable changes that arrive?

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks
Global Booking Agency



“How Passionate Business Storytelling Makes a Message Unforgettable” by Kelly Swanson

Your StoryI was speaking to a group of hotel managers in a program on how to motivate their employees to provide better customer service. In the opening, I pointed out that according to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 34.1 percent of American workers are engaged in the workplace.

And then I told them a story. It was about a woman I had heard singing as she worked in a hospital, and how I had heard her voice all the way from the parking lot. “Some sweet morning, when this day is over, I’ll fly away.” They were loud, staccato, jubilant notes of a life well lived.

When the automatic glass doors to the building opened, I could see her standing there holding her mop as if it were a beloved dance partner, as if her faded cotton dress were made of the finest silk. I watched her all throughout the day as she touched the lives of many. In the cold antiseptic corners of that hospital I saw pain find healing, watched sorrow meet comfort, and saw hopelessness find hope all wrapped up in a faded cotton dress and comfortable shoes.

That day, a woman full of blessings who smelled of bleach showed me what service looks like—and it didn’t come in a list, but in an attitude. The program continued on, and at the end I asked my audience who among them could remember what I had mentioned earlier about the poll and the percentage of employees it indicated were engaged in the workplace. Two hands went up. Then I asked if anyone could remember the song the woman in my story was singing.

Almost every hand went up. Nobody could remember the fact, but everyone remembered the story. That showed me how facts aren’t tied to emotions—but a story is. It is the greatest tool we have to connect and engage. Are all stories equal? No. I’ve watched speakers tell stories that captivated the entire room, and I watched them tell stories that put everybody to sleep.

Just having a story is not good enough. Apply the following tips to your stories and watch what happens. Understand how and why story works. Once you understand the psychology behind stories and their impact, it gets easier to write the ones that are most effective for you.

It starts with an understanding that listeners don’t take action without first having a visual. Therefore, their thoughts are not stored as words, but as images. For your data to have a lasting impact, it must be wrapped in an image for the listener to truly connect with, store and access later. The story does all the work. The point drives it home. Story trumps data.

Stop looking for a good story!  So many speakers ask, “Is this a good story?” That’s the wrong question. Don’t go looking for a “good” story. Look for one that your audience will connect with. An experience they can relate to. Then work on making it a good story.


kellyswansonKelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, author, and trainer on the art and business of storytelling in business. She has spent fifteen years entertaining, motivating, and teaching audiences how to harness the power of their story to connect, influence, and get results.  To book Kelly for your next event click here: http://goo.gl/DFvROG

Can Social Media Replace the Personal Customer Touch?

social mediaHow many times have you heard  “we don’t have to make commitments to speak with our customers anymore, we just text, email, or send them a DM on their Twitter account!”

Really? Is that the only way a vibrant growing business, association, or non-profit communicates with their customers now? How many of our customers are still wanting to live in the “good old days” when you contacted a company you got a real person, or when you entered your favorite store someone greeted and asked to help you?  I am seeing more and more complaints and it has nothing to do with the age or stage!

People are wanting that special touch, along with being in touch on all forms of Social Media too! How can we provide both?  Here are some surprising, startling facts from the Office of Consumer Affairs and American Express that we need to know in order to plan our business strategy. Remember  “without a customer we don’t have a business!”

Did you know:

  • It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
  • For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. 
  • According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time.
  • 80% of Americans agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses.
  • In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration because they could not talk to a real person.
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience.
  • On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
  • 59% of 25-34 year-olds share poor customer experiences online.
  • Failing to respond to a customer either by phone or social media is perhaps the absolute worst thing you could do.

The current data supports that our customers of today want to be valued, and appreciated and will even pay higher fees to receive the best experience possible! How you do that depends on the customer.

My company loves Social Media and the valuable contacts, fans, customers, and friends we connect with; but Social Media cannot replace what we still love more which is: hearing their voices, seeing their faces, and enjoying quality time with them to be able to serve them in the best possible way that they so richly deserve!

Getting to know our customers is so important! Can Social Media do that for us?  Lots of times it can get us on their radars, but we still have to take the time to reach and contact them one on one either by phone, in person, Skype, FaceTime or Zoom.  They need to know we are “real people” interested in them first-not just in what they can do for our businesses!

The main part of creating that great customer experience is to make sure we follow-up and do what we promise and commit to them, or they will go somewhere else!
We hope you have a wonderful Fall season and a great rest of the year! Finish strong and keep in mind that giving the best customer experience possible is the way to having more referrals that you didn’t even have to ask or market for!

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency

The DNA of a Great Speaker!

telling our storyAmong the top characteristics that make a great professional speaker is the ability to tell a good story. Think about some of the best speeches you’ve ever heard, what sets them apart? The numbers and statistics? The lesson? Probably not.

Very likely, the thing that stands out in your mind after a memorable speaker’s presentation is a great story or two. The speaker has the ability to create lasting images in your mind. Visually painting a picture by connecting the story to the message drives home the focal point and makes a terrific impression on the audience.

Telling a story invites the audience in. It makes them comfortable, both with the speaker and the message. Of all the tools in a speaker’s toolkit, it is by far one of the most powerful.

Great speakers weave life experiences throughout their message, creating a rapport with the audience, and giving life to the topic. Stories help the audience relate and creates a message that will live on long after the speech is over. That’s success through great story telling.

Our speakers here at Simply Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency have the ability to do just that – tell a great story. It’s part of their DNA and makes for a riveting presentation with some serious #WOWfactor!

Whether you are looking for an inspiring and entertaining keynote speaker, engaging media personality, interactive conference speaker, mesmerizing seminar presenter, critical thinking corporate trainer, forward moving executive coach, entertainer that will amaze you with their talent, content driven commencement speaker, best-selling author that captivates your audience, or a challenging retreat speaker, we will match you with the perfect speaker that will tailor their presentations to your needs.

Whatever the occasion or topic, with our award-winning speakers, you can be sure that the stories will be memorable and unforgettable; and you will be seen as a “rock star” for choosing our agency to bring a #WOWfactor experience to your audiences!  Less stress guaranteed for you too!

We are honored to earn your business and look forward to serving you soon! Contact us today we are ready to meet your needs!

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency

Should You Fire Low-Producing Workers? Guest Blogger Alfred Poor

erase staffEmployee retention is a hot topic for employers in all industries, especially those that rely on recent college graduates for entry level positions. Employers are looking to hire the best candidates that they can, and hope that they will become productive members of the team.

Conventional wisdom states that you should focus your retention efforts on the most productive new hires. Many believe that 80% of the production comes from the top performing 20%, so it makes the most sense to do whatever it takes to keep these people. And that makes sense, to a degree.

But I encourage you to “do the math” before you swing the ax on new hires that are struggling. While Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the typical worker will stay with their current company for about five years, some studies indicate that recent college grads are staying in their first job for two years or less.

That becomes more of a concern for employers when you factor in the cost of replacing an entry level worker in many companies: an average of $20,000 per employee. When that is spread over five years, the annualized cost is a manageable $4,000 a year. Cram that cost into just two years, however, and you’re spending $10,000 a year in replacement costs for every entry level worker.

If you could get entry level workers to stay for just one more year, you’d be saving more than $3,000 a year in replacement costs. That’s money that could be better spent on more training, higher wages, or more jobs.

So why does it make sense to make an effort to work with the bottom performing 20% of your new hires? A good place to start is to look at why they leave their jobs so quickly. Fewer than one in three leave for a better offer. Instead, the majority make a parallel move to another entry level job, resetting their career clock to zero and starting all over again.

In order to understand why they make such a change, it helps to understand the background and attitudes of today’s recent college graduates. Study after study shows that they have behaviors and attitudes that are fundamentally different from those who graduated 20 or even 10 years ago. The explanations for this are complex and intertwined, but they include everything from the impact of digital communications to changes in higher education, to the influence of consumerism.

The end result, however, is that many of these young people have unrealistic expectations about life in the working world. They can have some surprising holes in their preparation, especially in the area of “soft” career skills such as communication, decision making, team skills, effective time management, and basic work ethics.

Managers would do well to reset their own expectations. Too often, I hear a manager say “The person I interviewed is not the person I got.” Rather than focus on identifying the best and worst performers among new hires, I encourage managers to take the attitude that they are there to help their employees succeed. Sure, there are some workers who simply are a bad fit or who are not going to respond to efforts to help them adjust to the world of work. But for many of these young people, it may turn out that there is one small area that they need help with, to help them feel more productive and successful. And they will be more likely to stick around.

If you can get an entry level worker to stick with their job for just one more year, you will save your company thousands of dollars. In many cases, your efforts will pay off with a more productive and happy employee who could stick around long enough to help be a part of the leadership in the future.


Alfred Poor-America’s Success Mentor for Young Employees; Keynote Speaker on Career Skills–Students, Parents, Colleges, & Employers.
As seen in Money, U.S. News, and Fast Company. To book Alfred for your next event click here: http://goo.gl/GpK568

What Google Can Learn from What I Have Been Doing for Years! by Guest Blogger Laurie Schloff

googlecanlearnA recent New York Times Magazine Article (2/25/16) discussed the Google Project Aristotle, a painstaking, in depth study of what differentiates high functioning team meetings from others.

With all due respect for the yearlong study of over a hundred Google teams, as a communication coach and speaker, I have been helping teams and leaders foster productive meetings for years!

Google’s key findings, which I back with my experience 100%, are:

High performing teams:

•       Support an atmosphere of psychological safety and comfort

•       Enable equal participation from all group members over time

•      Show sensitivity to nuances of nonverbal behavior and tone,
and often share personal as well as professional information.

I appreciate the challenge of masterminding the right mix of talent, personalities, and action items.

Fortunately, it is often the easy tweaks that go a long way to enhance comfort, participation, and awareness of nuances in team members’ behavior.

Recently, I worked with a senior leader in financial services, Mike, who felt he had to be the driver of all meeting content and outcomes; in fact he saw it as his job. He was baffled that his group was so quiet, rarely initiated topics, didn’t show passion regarding action items and only engaged in small talk after the meeting.

Mike asked me how he could change things up. So, here are easy to apply team-meeting strategies I shared with Mike and other business clients:

1. Begin meetings with small talk, or each person sharing an observation or personal update.

2. Develop an agenda which team members are expected to contribute to. Research indicates that 1/3 of all meetings are viewed as a waste of time.

Change that!

3. Use meetings for discussion and problem solving versus only providing information.
One of my sayings is “Go from information to inspiration and impact.”

4. Do a round robin, going around the room approach when possible. The goal is to keep the talkers from dominating and enable the quieter folks to contribute more.

This is essential for equalizing talking time, a key ingredient for team success.

I know this technique can feel awkward and orchestrated at first. In the long run, though, team members will appreciate being valued and meetings will be considered worthwhile.

5. Have some fun and novelty with a bit of partying, lunch meetings outside the office, and appealing surprise guests. Refreshments always help. I had a client who wanted to tighten his budget by eliminating the snacks. I told him I’d give him the 25 bucks for goodies in order to save all the gains he’d made with my coaching.

Let me know how you add to your team meeting effectiveness.

May your next team meeting be a valuable one!

Laurie Schloff1Laurie Schloff- has a nationwide reputation as a speaker, trainer and coach, with a focus in presentation skills, one-on-one executive coaching, leadership training, conference coaching, and facilitation skills. Laurie is the author of “Smart Speaking”, “He and She Talk”, “Speech Gems” and is a frequent guest on radio and television, and has appeared on Oprah and The Today Show.
To learn more about Laurie and have her at your upcoming event, click here:      http://www.simplysuespeaks.com/speaker/69/Laurie_Schloff


Are You in the BUT Mode?

Yes BUTHow often do you use the word ‘but’………………?

It is a powerful word when used occasionally to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned, and, according to author Sean Dsouza, it can also become a defensive excuse for not taking responsibility for what happens in our lives!

Have you ever said “I would love to be living my dream, but I don’t have the money and opportunities others do?”  Or how about this one, “I have applied everywhere, but everyone says I am overqualified?” This one, which is specific to my industry, “I was the perfect speaker for that event, but they don’t pay speakers anymore.”

Or the classic, “I was the best candidate for the job, but I knew they wouldn’t hire me because of my age.”

What messages do these “buts” say about the person proclaiming it, and how are others supposed to react?  Words say what our mindset is feeling, and to keep in this mode is very distracting to others and can become devastation to the success we seek.

Is it possible to have a life with “no buts?”  Want to make a change? Here are some ways to begin:

  1. Recognize that you are being defensive and not taking responsibility for your actions so that the ‘buts’ win, both in your words and life.
  2. Take a look at your mindset and see if you are fixed on the failures or learning from the daily growth experiences that failure brings.
  3. Check out who you associate with. Do they allow the ‘buts’ to take over their mindset and words?
  4. Make a choice and decision to change.

Two words I work at deleting from my own and others’ conversation and mindset are: ‘try’ instead do or do not, ‘but’ instead use and. Will you join me?

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency

“Thank” Your Way Through It- by Guest Blogger Lucy Wellmaker

Thank Your WayBy now, many of us know the benefits of being thankful and having an attitude of gratitude. Studies show that being grateful is linked to increased satisfaction, motivation and energy. Practicing gratitude involves finding and noticing things in our lives for which we are grateful.

While I am a big fan of a being grateful, I’d like to share a concept that is similar but very different. What I am suggesting here is that we give thanks for things for which we do not necessarily feel grateful.

One of my favorite movies is “Facing the Giants”. In it, a losing high school football coach tells his underdog team that they will do their best in all areas of their lives and whether they win or lose they are going to give thanks and praise.

Why would any coach want to give thanks and praise after losing a game? Maybe, because it works?

They didn’t stop at giving thanks. Giving thanks actually inspired and motivated them to do what they needed to do to change their situation. They faced their fears.

The coach pushed them even more and the team worked even harder to get what they wanted. In the end, when it really mattered, they won.

I know it’s just a movie, but I have seen this play out in my own life as well.

I am generally a naturally positive person. I see the glass half full. I look on the bright side of things. I don’t try to be this way, I just am.

So when I found myself making a list of things that made me angry and resentful I knew I needed to do something about it. Rather than shifting my attention to the good things going on in my life, I stayed focused on this list.

As I read each item on the list, I said “Thank you.” I did not feel thankful, nor did I have a reason to be thankful. I just said “Thank you”.

I was amazed at how quickly my mood shifted. I felt like I had discovered a miracle cure.

What I realized later was that I was tapping into something I know to be true. That is, that all things work for good even when we don’t understand them. It is when we trust this concept and just say “thank you” that we align ourselves with a powerful force that will get us through our seemingly negative situation.

Saying “thank you” doesn’t mean we become complacent and accept our situations as they are. It’s about acknowledging our situations as they are now, facing our fears and trusting that there is a reason that is somehow, someway in our best interest.

The change of heart that can be experienced by doing this is amazing! It really is a miracle.

It will fill you up and provide the inspiration needed to move you forward. In order for this strategy to work successfully, one must believe and have faith in it.

I invite you to give it a try.  Share your comments and let us know how it worked for you.

Give thanks and be well,

Lucy Wellmaker


Lucy Wellmaker is a Board Certified Coach helping others with work-life balance, discovering deeper meaning and living more on purpose. For information visit LucyWellmaker.com or call 336-540-0733.


When Was the Last Time You “Unplugged?”

unpluggedNever thought I would be asking such a question! Not sure I even knew how to spell it, let alone be among the 89% of Americans, according to a new study by Bank of America, that check their devices at least 3-4 times a day- 24/7!

I am not in the 54% of Americans who are continually checking their devices, even when they are supposed to be asleep, however looking at my patterns I could be!

Isn’t our technology supposed to serve us and not the other way around?  I have been told to succeed as a business owner I have to be connected at all times or my business will fail! Have you heard that too?

Just like most Americans are sleep deprived, don’t take vacations, we are becoming addicted to being constantly “plugged in!”

When I looked recently at taking a “Road Trip” and not being continually “plugged in” I admit it was a little scary!

I have a social media person on my company team, and it still concerned me that I could take off and not blog, enjoy the scenery without taking a picture of it to share, read a book without feeling guilty, look at a magazine with no reason in mind, think without having a deadline to meet, enjoy conversation with my family without videoing it, and not answer all my emails on a regular schedule!

I realized I was tired and needed a break from my everyday routine, and how could I get it if I felt I needed to be tied to my devices!

I set about deciding how this could work! Like everything it is a choice and action that we can make happen!

In this adventure I realized 3 valuable things:
●    I had not clearly checked out all the mechanization that I should have in place to prevent me from thinking I had to be “plugged in all the time!”
●    Not trusting my business and its’ operation to those I had in place, thinking I had to do it all!
●    Making decisions on what I needed to be “plugged into” and what I could just let go and not join in.

I returned with a new look on life! Did I go completely off-line and disappear? No, it takes practice to close and have regular business hours and be a part of helping others without being “plugged in!”

Am I perfect at it? NO!  I have learned I don’t have to be perfect at everything, only striving for excellence and helping others do the same!

Ready to take the plunge and be “unplugged” even if only for a little while?

-Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks
Global Booking Agency

Do You Need a Bow and Arrow Moment?

Bow and ArrowDo You Need a Bow and Arrow Moment?
This week-end something happened that has been a dream for many years! Something wanted and talked about for years!  Began my journey to being an Archer!  Where did that come from? Watching too many Robin Hood shows growing up? What good can it do? There is no desire to hunt, fish, or compete, which is what you normally do with a bow and arrow. The goal solely is to experience the thrill of one day being good enough to hit the target dead center! And be able to keep doing it!

Isn’t that what our lives and businesses are all about?
-Having a desire and passion
-Letting yourself and others know about it
-Planning how it can happen
-Getting the right tools to work with
-Making the choice and time to do it
-Keep on going and not quitting

Today is it time for your “bow and arrow” moment?  The challenge is: will you do it?

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO of Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency