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Help Me Reach A Goal

 

I need your help.  I need your help to achieve a professional goal. I’ve been traveling down a path for the last ten years that had never been seen. Now, I begin to travel down another professional path that has been even less traveled.

Public speaking first found me not long after following this crazy dream I launched in January of 2005. After all, I was working with clients all over the world helping them create their dream marriage proposals. It was a pretty cool story.

Fast forward ten years and speaking is no longer a side project. It is an actual tangible piece of me. A real talk with a real message. Yes, it still includes the story of how my dream came to fruition and everything you’d ever want to know about what a successful marriage proposal looks like. However, the real message is the importance of having a great story to tell. Even more important, how crucial your life is that you give someone a great a story to tell. There is no better example of giving another a great story to tell than that of a marriage proposal.

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So what can you or your organization learn from these amazing selfless acts of service I’ve witnessed the last ten years? I’m excited to announce a new team building “experience” that has launched titled “Get Engaged!” I call this an “experience” because most have either never been part of the planning of a dream proposal or have always wanted to be a voyeur into the planning process. However, it’s so much bigger than that.

Like you, I have been part of team buildings where the intent was good, yet the execution was a disappointment. The last thing a team leader wants is for their team to be brought together by the commonality of hating something. Especially, if that object of dissatisfaction is the very thing intended to bring their team together. I am 100% sure I have solved this problem. And I’m wanting to help you. In return, I am asking for your help.

In late 2014, I made the decision to become a professional speaker. Yes, I had ten years behind me speaking to various organizations, colleges, associations, chambers, businesses and all other groups. Something was missing. That element was the knowledge of what it looked like behind the scenes of running a professional speaking business. To gain this insight, there was only one place I could go. The National Speakers Association (NSA). In particular, the North Texas chapter. One of the strongest chapters in the country and one which I have found friends, mentors and those who are doing it big time.

A little background. I joined NSA as a Candidate Member.  To become a Professional Member, there are certain requirements, most notably, 20 paid talks or trainings in a calendar year. My goal is to complete this by August 31, 2015. Rather than 20 keynotes, I am going to achieve this professional dream by completing 20 Get Engaged! Team Buildings. In return, I want to give something back and make sure you receive far more than you give.

After researching and speaking with corporate HR professionals, meeting with college professionals, feedback from corporate event planners and speaker bureau owners, this team building program, depending on customization, will launch in the fall somewhere between $7500 and $12,500 (Keep reading).

Here’s how it’s going to play out:
This is a half-day high-end, innovative unique training that hits all parts of a successful team building as you know it. The 4 C’s. Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Credibility. Get Engaged! includes all four of these. It also encompasses learning while evoking Empathy and Emotion. The two most important factors for remembering experiences. It is safe to say that this is not being offered anywhere in the world. Your team will never forget this Get Engaged! experience.

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It all starts with a short foundational keynote. This is crucial for two reasons. 1. Your team needs to understand the importance of giving someone a great story to tell. Are your employees telling great stories about their own company? Or their coworkers? Or their boss? 2. You need to understand what a dream marriage proposal looks like before breaking up into groups. This isn’t simply throwing a few ideas down and, poof, here’s your proposal. I often work with clients for months to plan their dream marriage proposal. This keynote gets your team into the right mindset before breaking into the team building.

What should we expect to experience during Get Engaged?
After breaking up into groups, the teams will each get a sealed dossier containing information about the couple for whom they are planning the dream proposal. Having been a part of hundreds of proposals, this is the point where your heart starts racing with excitement knowing you are in on something that is going to change someone’s life exponentially. The actual experience looks like this:
*Foundational Keynote
*Q&A
*Intro to Program
*Teams Plan a Dream Proposal
*Presentation Development
*Group Presentations
*Co-facilitated debrief to move forward and apply the takeaways specific to your group.

What takeaways should we expect from this program?
Too many to list. Here’s just a few:
*Working together to maximize your organization’s strengths
*Working within time constraints
*Budgeting
*Competition (applicable when broken up into multiple teams)
*Learning the ultimate lesson in dividing and conquering
*Listening skills
*Putting others first
*Presentation skills
*Tapping into your team’s hidden creativity
*The importance of giving your customers, association, patients, students, employees, etc. a great story to tell
*And so much more!

Let’s get to the best part. You are helping me achieve my dream of becoming a Professional Member of the National Speaker Association. In return, I am going to guarantee your team comes together like never before and moves forward with a bond never experienced before through traditional team building.

I am only offering 10 5 of these workshops at this time. Here is what you will need to be considered:
*A half day with your team of 5 – 60 people.
*Permission to photograph and videotape. (not all sessions will be recorded)
*If you are more than satisfied, your willingness to be interviewed in the future by the media (not all will be interviewed)
*A raving testimonial upon completion and after your expectations have been exceeded.
*$500. Yep, that’s it.
*Even better, if your organization provides the video services, your total fee is $250. No catch.
*This program must be scheduled and completed by August 31, 2015.
*Your organization is in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (or Austin). If you are outside of this area, please contact me for more details.

Who can most benefit from the Get Engaged! Team Building?
All teams. Seriously. Along with HR departments, Sales and Marketing departments, here are a few groups/industries who have already expressed interest:
Corporate, Education, Associations, Non-profit, Real Estate, Title Companies, Financial/Banking, Hospitality, Medical, Churches, Retail, Law Offices, etc. Also perfect for Leadership and Executive Retreats.

That’s it. I have not been this excited since launching my company in 2005. If you know your organization would like to be one of the ten to benefit from this one-of-a-kind experiential team building, please contact me at: info(at)theromanceceo.com. If you know of others who might be interested, please feel free to forward this page or post on social media. I look forward to working with you and watching your team Get Engaged!

 

To Shoot or Not To Shoot: Capturing Your Marriage Proposal!

Do you have any idea what this couple is discussing?

Does this look like a couple having an argument outside of a gym?

Does this look like a marriage proposal?

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Would you believe that this is one of the most popular morning television personalities in America?  Yes, this is none other than ABC’s Good Morning America meteorologist, Ginger Zee.

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Via Twitter

Full disclosure…I LOVE Ginger Zee! She has the unique ability to be great at what she does and, through a television, makes you feel like you know her.

Recently, on GMA, Ginger shared her actual marriage proposal pic.  Yep…the picture at the top is the only shot of Ginger getting engaged…and in “I just came from the gym” clothes.  I believe a viewer actually caught this shot.  I’d like to thank Ginger for sending this pic.  She refers to this as the “Worst. Picture. Ever.”  Her words; not mine.

When I first start working with a client, we discuss his/her ideas and I try to learn about the person being asked.  Much to many’s surprise, I don’t just throw out ideas.  It’s a dynamic process and takes a while to formulate a great proposal.  However, there is one element I introduce early in the working relationship and that is hiring a professional photographer to capture the marriage proposal.

You may have seen our recent blog post of Chris + Yuri’s Marriage Proposal.  The pictures are such a great example of what a well-executed marriage proposal looks like.  For those who missed it, click here or the picture for another look:

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This is why capturing the marriage proposal is so important.  You don’t have to be a celebrity, but she will think you are a rock star when she finds out you hired a professional photographer to capture this once-in-a-lifetime moment.  Know that as soon as he takes a knee, she’s going to stop listening.  Having the pictures will be a great reminder of how it happened.

While you can’t really put a price on your proposal, hiring a photographer for a couple of hours is not as expensive as you think.  A cursory internet search for photographers in the area where the proposal will happen and you will have many photogs to choose from.  Once you know your date and location, start contacting them for price and availability.

There are four must-have pics that make for a great engagement series.
1) Have the photographer take pictures of the venue or the “popping of the question” location.
2) Get some paparazzi-style shots of the couple walking in.
3) You have to have the down-on-one-knee pic. Duh!
4) And, finally, the official, post-celebratory “She said ‘YES!” pic.

The following are a few examples of past clients’ proposals. No matter where your proposal takes place in the world, properly capturing the engagement with a professional photographer is a MUST-HAVE!

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens
Fort Worth, TX

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Tiffany & Co.
New York, New York

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Nasher Sculpture Center
Dallas, TX

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Please don’t leave it up to chance that a stranger will be walking by with a camera and get you down on one knee.  Or, even worse, not getting you down on one knee.  If you thought that simply the giving of the ring makes a proposal or snapping a closeup of the ring afterwards is enough, you’re right.  It won’t make or break whether you get a “YES!” or not.  However, a little planning and a little budget can turn your proposal into a PROPOSAL!

If you or someone you know is thinking about popping the question, please get a copy of The 24-Hour Proposal and visit:

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Chris + Yuri Marriage Proposal

A few months ago, Chris called when he found out about me while getting a haircut.  As he was telling his stylist of his intent to get engaged to his girlfriend and having no idea what to do, fate intercepted as a dear friend, and a long-time, well-known wedding consultant happened to be at the station near him getting her hair done.

Rebecca’s ears perked up and, without hesitation, convo-bombed (my word) them.  She proceeded to tell them about “this guy he needs to talk to.”  That would be me.  He looked me up, called me and, since we were geographically close, he drove in for the initial meeting.

Within a couple of minutes, I knew Chris was an outstanding guy.  I rarely refer to another man as “sweet.”  Chris was kind and polite…and madly in love with Yuri.  He wanted to do it right.  As we talked for about two hours, it was obvious this proposal had to be special.  She was special.

It is not uncommon for my clients to tear up in our initial meeting.  While many men often get a bad rap for not being emotional or expressing his feelings, I work with the opposite.  It doesn’t matter if he is a CEO of a Fortune 500, a big Harley rider or a professional athlete…my clients open up, trust the process and, perhaps the most important, put her on a pedestal!

Since the proposal is all about who is being asked, we eventually got to the question, “What do you admire most about her?”  This stopped Chris in his tracks.  As he reflected, he started to answer and then stopped, holding up his forefinger to give him a minute.  While his answer will stay between us, his dream proposal can be shared.  I introduce you to…Chris and Yuri!

When first meeting a new client, the first thing I want to see is pictures.  It gives me an idea of their personalities and with whom I’m going to be working.

Chris and Yuri - collage

Yuri came from Miami, loves fashion and Chris felt she would want a private proposal.  As I continued to learn more about her, two words kept coming to mind.  Classy and mansion.  This had to take place at the Aldredge House in a historic part of Dallas, TX.

Aldredge House

The back of this venue would be the backdrop of Chris and Yuri’s proposal.  A table with candles, a floral arrangement, a chilled bottle of Prosecco (her favorite!) and champagne flutes was waiting for them after he popped the question.

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Table

Selfishly, one my favorites pieces of any proposal is when the couple is captured paparazzi-style before the “moment.”  She has no clue what is about to happen.  As they approached the back door, Yuri walked out and simply said, “Oh, it’s so pretty!”


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Then, “it” happened.  Chris brought her down, shared some of his thoughts, took the traditional knee, presented her a custom-made stunning ring and she said “YES!”  My favorite: Her expression when Chris popped the cork.

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Champagne Pop
Table above

With such a beautiful location and already dressed for the runway, it made sense to do a real engagement session.   I was excited to work for the first time on this engagement with professional photographer, Natalia Zamarripa.  Natalia is someone whose work I’ve admired since first meeting. Her kind soul and gentle spirit come through in her pictures.

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We also caught some private moments of them video chatting after with family in Miami.

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As the sun set, it was time for the couple to head to dinner.  Chris decided on Dragonfly, an upscale, trendy restaurant in Dallas.  It is located in Hotel ZaZa, where they also stayed overnight.  During dinner, the restaurant accommodated the couple with several personalized requests.  When the couple first met abroad, and before dating, they actually rented a scooter and Chris thought he would impress her with his driving skills.  What happened next was priceless.  The scooter fell over and so did Chris and Yuri.  Notice the toy scooter on the dessert plate and the personalized message.  The marriage proposal should never be about how much money is spent.  It’s about the small, personalized details that make it all about her.  Those details which give her a story to tell.

Dessert - Dragonfly

After dinner and a little time at Hotel ZaZa’s pool, which turns into a nightclub after hours, the couple went back to their room.  A few more touches and this proposal was one that she’ll never forget.

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They both love telling the story about how “it” happened.  Congratulations, Chris and Yuri!  Thank you for letting me be a part of something so special and intimate.  May you be together for an eternity!

Ta Da!

Of course, if you or someone you know is looking to get engaged, please visit: Proposal911

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