Media Sheet vs. Speaker Sheet:
Yes, there is a big difference.
Both are talking about you, but the media sheet is glitzy and focusing on you, whereas the speaker sheet is more business-like and focusing on the event planner. In my last article, we covered the speaker sheet, so let’s talk about the media sheet and its purpose.
The Media Sheet:
The media sheet, the speaker sheet, and the press kit are often confused, and the terms are used interchangeably. They are very different from one another and are used for different purposes.
Let’s get the press kit out of the way: It is just a way to get the pages of your website into a document as a representation of “who you are and what you do,” along with some testimonials, pictures and so on.
The media sheet shows what you have done and where you have been featured.
For example, maybe you were featured on a podcast or in a blog. Maybe you were featured in a magazine, or you were on television on networks such as CNN, NBC, or Fox. For a public speaker, the media sheet contains the topics on which you speak, but it is more visually interesting.
The media sheet is what you use to get more media exposure — to, in turn, add to your media sheet. You get featured on podcasts, magazines, TV appearances, etc. because you already have some experience with those forms of media. If you are just starting out and don’t have a lot of media experience, the sheet then contains information about you and what you speak about, with your picture and maybe your logo at the top. You could also add logos of the different associations you may belong to like the Lions Club, Kiwanis, or The ABC Association for Architects. Even when you think it is not relevant, it is because you are a new speaker.
The media sheet is visually attractive and very aesthetic.
It is designed to get you noticed and help create more opportunities to increase public awareness of you and your topics. A good thing to put on a media sheet is any cover of books or CD programs you have for purchase. Media outlets are looking for an authority with a solution to a problem, so if your book, product, or service can solve that problem, they may call you for an interview.
The media sheet is not used for the purpose of getting booked as a public speaker. Event planners don’t care about the aesthetics of your media sheet, the numerous media outlets you were featured on, and/or all the other organizations you belong to. It does not serve their purpose, which is to bring a speaker that will deliver the solution to a problem or will bring something fresh and new to their conference or event that they never had before.
Let me share this story:
Before I ever considered coaching public speakers on the “Business of Public Speaking,” I was at a conference in Arlington, Texas. During one of the breaks, I went to the speakers’ break room for some tea. While I was standing there minding my own business, three speakers approached me at the same time. One of them said, “Aren’t you Orly Amor?” I felt so bad because I did not recognize him, so I said “I’m sorry, do I know you? I really don’t remember.” He said, “No, we have not officially met before, but I’ve seen you on the circuit and that’s how I know who you are.” So, all four of us are now engaged in a conversation and one of them asked, “Just out of curiosity, how did you get this gig?” I replied as if it was common practice, “I called, I told them what I speak about, they paid, so I’m here!” All three of them looked at me as if I had three heads and said, “You got paid?” I responded, “Yes, you didn’t?” They said, “We got our expenses paid but we did not get paid.” My answer was “Oh no, I got my expenses and I got paid.” They looked at me straight in the face and said, “We want to know how you did it?” I said jokingly, “If I tell you I will have to charge you.” They looked at me dead serious and said, “Name your price.” I was floored.
I asked one of them to show me his speaker sheet and he said, “What is that?” I thought, “Oh boy, here we go. I asked, “Do you have a flyer or something you show event planners to get booked?” He said, “Oh, a media sheet?” I said, “That will do.” He gave me an 8.5×11, 4-page folded flier printed on glossy paper. It was a beautiful flier. As I was looking it over for about ten seconds I said, “This is garbage.” He was so insulted, and said, “What do you mean? I paid over $500 to get this done by a professional.” I responded, “I understand that, but it goes directly to the garbage. The event planner does not even look at your name before it hits the garbage can.”
I continued “You see, there was a survey done of the 100 most stressful jobs in America. Number one was Cardiologist, number five was an event planner. Do you actually think that they have the time to read all that you have put into this four-page flyer? Do you think they have the time to look at where are your topics and the information to contact you? The answer is No. How about simplifying their life? You’ve heard of ‘less is more’ right?” I gave him a couple of pointers, we exchanged numbers, and we all headed back to the conference hall.
Speakers need to know their audience, and more importantly, you need to know who you’re serving. What is it that you can contribute to making their life easier?
Remember: The media sheet has its purpose and only one: to get you more media exposure.