Because of the personal experiences I underwent in the last
Israel-Lebanese war, I was included in a film that was shown to some
powerful and very wealthy people who made fantastically generous
contributions. These people saw the film and were very impressed with
me. Therefore, during their upcoming visit to Israel, they have
requested that I be the guest speaker at one of their luncheons.
This is a golden advertising opportunity! So, how do I plug my wares
without sounding vulgar, wearing eight necklaces or opening my
raincoat to reveal a lining covered with my jewelry? How does one
make really good use of an opportunity such as this?
powerful and very wealthy people who made fantastically generous
Pardon me for seeming pious here. It seems that fate or providence
has already brought a bounty to someone in need. Isn’t this reward
enough, to have participated in justice even in some small way?
Something inside me says that if you remain gracious, you too will
benifit if you haven’t already. Now, that’s just me and you are free
to see things differently.
Did any of your jewelry making begin in Israel? Did someone in Israel
inspire you, someone that was important to you during that timeframe?
When you make any of your jewelry, is there a story of your past
embedded in your jewelry, to keep memories alive? These are
approaches I would use, if they apply, in discussing how your life
has changed from that time, and how you’ve used that experience to
direct the course of your life now.
However, if none of these apply, perhaps then the simplest and only
approach is in your introductory bio. Someone should be introducing
you anyway. Provide a bio with your current work. Wear one piece of
your work that really stands out. And see what happens. Otherwise,
any efforts to advertise would be extremely obvious, and would be
gaudy in the eyes of your audience in light of the topic of
Good luck with your speaking engagement, and hopefully it results in
some fantastic networking for you.
This is a golden advertising opportunity! So, how do I plug my
wares without sounding vulgar,
It is never considered poor form to state your background and
experience when talking to a group. If you can display photos of your
work, and wear a nice piece or four, I wouldn’t run over 60 to 90
seconds on your introduction including ads, its like television,
short attention span.
Congratulations on this accomplishment/opportunity. People seem to
be most interested when a speaker interjects much of their personal
life into a speech. There’s nothing wrong with incorporating your
life as a jeweler into your talk (as long as no prices are
As my “day job” I’m a musician, and I always wear at least one item
that I crafted to my performances…necklace, ring, earrings or
bracelet. Many a sale has resulted! So, I would suggest you wear as
many of your best pieces as is aesthetically pleasing and (hopefully)
wait for the compliments and inquiries.
First invest in nice quality, well designed business cards. Don’t
print/make them yourself. Then, get a friend to help you role play
what you are going to say at this event. Do it several times until
you become comfortable with your topics. Work on a variety of ways
to introduce certain topics to the speech/conversations. I know that
alot of people think that role playing is stupid, but I used to
teach role playing to a chain of stores, for the Gold Council of
America, and it really does work. Once you find certain ‘phrases’ and
words that others respond positively to, repeat those phrases/words
until they flow like honey. In other words, make a plan and practice
it until you are good at what you want to say. In a retail situation,
positive results can be tracked easily.
I understand your desire to promote your jewelry, but without
appearing vulgar. Possibly, you could wear one of your necklaces—a
really dramatic one, and hopefully someone will comment on it thus
giving you the opportunity to state that you created it. You might
also be able during the course of your talk to casually mention that
you make jewelry. Who knows perhaps someone will pick up on it, and
engage you in further conversation about it after your talk.
How about if you wear at least one of your pieces, one of your best,
a piece that you think is fabulous and totally “you”. You make your
presentation as guest speaker. Depending on what seems most fluid,
either include in your speech that you’re a jeweler or ask the person
who introduces you to include “local jeweler” in their intro speech.
After the presentation, try to meet as many people as possible on an
individual level. Talk about them first. If you ask a person to whom
you have been introduced to talk about something the two of you have
in common (the event, the film, parts of the film that touched them
most deeply) you can also ask them what they enjoy and what they do.
The reciprocity of courtesy may ask them to inquire what you do or
enjoy doing. Here’s your opening–“I’m a jeweler. I made the
[necklace, earrings, brooch, bracelet, ring] I’m wearing.” Then
proceed to talk a little about how much you enjoyed making the
piece–the thrill of a perfect casting, finding just the right
gemstone. If you can tie the piece to your personal experiences in
the film, all the better: “I was inspired to make this piece because
of what you saw in the film where I…” Now they know what you do,
that you really like doing it, and they think you’re modest to boot
because you were interested in them.
If they express any interest in your jewelry, be ready to hand them
a business card from your bag or pocket, but don’t push business
cards on people who don’t ask for one or seem truly interested.
I think the key to being interesting is to be interested.
What a wonderful opportunity! Congratulations to you.
You hit upon something that I struggle with every day. I was raised
to be modest and feel that my work should stand on its own two feet,
but I also recognize the need to promote it as it has no “voice” on
its own. My personal style is very casual and I have to forcefully
remind myself that I’m the “first line of promotion” for my work, by
wearing it at every appropriate opportunity. As a result, I have a
few select pieces that I set aside for myself to wear. These are
pieces that fit my personal style, while also showing the (hopefully)
unique characteristics of my current work. The pieces change
periodiocally, and I’m always open to selling them off my neck, which
has happened surprisingly often at shows.
So I would say that you should first design your outfit to show off
one primary piece of jewelry that highlights your style, but that YOU
are comfortable wearing. Don’t pick a piece that you designed for a
market that’s not “you” because you won’t look comfortable or natural
wearing it and it may work against you.
Now, you don’t say what you’ve been asked to speak ABOUT. If you’re
speaking about your experiences in the war, then see if there’s a
way that you can honestly weave into your talk a discussion of how
that profound experience is manifested in your jewelry designs or has
changed the way that you approach design. If possible, use a few
"before and after" slides of your jewelry to visually show the
impact. That’s not “sales” per se, but it’s showing your work, which
is the first step.
Finally, ask the organizers of the event whether they are providing
a “backgrounder” on you to attendees. This might be a simple
2-paragraph piece of text in the program (in which case, make sure
that it discusses your work and includes your website address) or an
illustrated brochure (in which case, make sure it includes a couple
of photos, if possible, of your “best” pieces). Don’t be afraid to
ask if you can have a display case available in the room to SHOWCASE
(don’t say “sell”) your work for the audience.
Personally, I’d avoid using the venue for any type of hard selling;
but be open to the discussions as they arise, have business cards,
and be willing to set up personal appointments with any of the
participants to show them the full range of your portfolio. If you
have an upcoming show, of course that woudl be the perfect
opportunity to “invite” them to attend, as well.
I’m sure that others may have some opinions on how to handle this
wonderful opportunity. The important thing for you is to be
comfortable with the approach you’ve decided on, and to keep it
consistent with the expectations of the organizers by discussing them
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry
Possibly, you could wear one of your necklaces---a really dramatic
one, and hopefully someone will comment on it thus giving you the
opportunity to state that you created it. You might also be able
during the course of your talk to casually mention that you make
jewelry. Who knows perhaps someone will pick up on it, and engage
you in further conversation about it after your talk.
I’ve found when people admire jewelry I or my wife is wearing and we
are ask who made it, a reply of, “I made it” causes a change in the
subject. We have decided to just say a friend of ours made it.
I second a lot of the ideas other people have posted, but I wonder
if you have a brochure that showcases your work. If you don’t, do you
have the time and funds necessary to have one made–beautifully and
professionally? Brochures are useful in lots of situations, but, in
your case, they could be an ideal solution. There is likely to be
some kind of table set up at the entrance to the venue, where you
could display them. As others have said, it’s perfectly acceptable
for you, and/or the person who introduces you, to refer to your work.
Mentioning that anyone who would like to know more can pick up one of
your brochures isn’t even remotely vulgar–especially if the
brochures themselves are a treat for the eyes.
I don’t see anything wrong with wearing a couple of your best
creations and also having a small parcel of pieces (or a portfolio
of pictures) in your bag. I would do it in a second. I was carrying a
case in the back of my car all the time. That way, whenever someone
asked about what I was wearing, I could casually say “oh, I always
carry them with me…want to see?” My attitude was that this was
all a matter of course, very casual. I sold a lot that way and would
not have stopped, but I had ladies always stopping to ask what I had
in the trunk and I was constantly late for things. Go for it!
Will you have family and friends attending? Will their be some sort
of reception? Do you have pieces on hand? Would you be comfortable
haveing your friends and family wear your creations, and if attention
is given to your work would they be comfortable mentioning you are
the artist? Good for you. Is it possible to see the film?