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Old 06-14-2010
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Default Writing a speech. Need input.
I have been invited to speak at the International Association of Administrative Professionals meeting this August. I would love it you'd all read my draft of my speech and give me some feedback. Also, I would love it if you could give me a list of commonly asked questions and the answers you give to help me prepare for the Q & A's at the meeting. Thank you all in advance for your help!

My speech (draft)

Good afternoon ladies (gentlemen). I am very excited about the opportunity to speak to you today. I have been asked to speak to you about how I got my start in the administrative field and how I started my own business.

I want to tell you a little about myself before I go into that. I am Rhonda Holscher the owner/Professional Virtual Administrative Assistant of Rhonda’s Virtual Office. I am so much more than just a business professional, but I am also a single mom with two really terrific kids. Several years ago I had my own business and had to leave it behind to care for both my parents who were very ill and had to be a caregiver 24/7. This made it impossible for me to work, and following the death of my parents I was left stranded with no income, no job to speak of.

I found it necessary and urgent to find employment, but with today’s economy and after 10 months of searching I found myself with no job. I applied to 100’s and I mean 100’s of positions, and had a few interviews along the way. As you may already know or at least can imagine this was a very frustrating time.

I decided it was time to take the bull by the horns and do something very proactive about my situation, and thus started my virtual professional administrative business. More on that later.

How did I get my start in the administrative field? Well, I knew nothing about the administrative field, I knew nothing about running an office, and I knew nothing about computers. I did however know that I had the capacity to learn and I went for this interview at a local trucking company and I just told him the truth. He decided that it didn’t matter that I had no experience or knowledge of this and decided to hire me anyway and give a chance. Of course I did not start off as the Office Manager. I started as the “Penske Girl” and worked my way up to the position of Office Manager within 6 months of hire. After working for the trucking company I fell in love with office work.

The trucking company was going out of business and I decided to start doing some office work on the side at home, and this grew into my own home based business as an administrative assistant. The first time around with this I had no formal training and had no idea how to start a business. I just went out and hit the pavement and told people who I was and what I was offering and started working for local construction contractors and small business owners.

As I stated before I had to leave this behind and care for my parents. After I made the decision to start my virtual assistant business, I went online and did some research. I found a person that I truly believe was a God send. She helped me get my start. Diane Hess my mentor, friend, and accountability partner helped me to get going in the right direction. Diane has created a wonderful program called CertifiedVP Professional Certification Program and through her program she walked me through the ‘how to’s’ of starting my own business as Professional Virtual Administrative Assistant. She walked me through my business plan, getting my EIN, setting up my website, and just all the in’s and out’s of creating your own business and getting things going. This is an excellent program and she offers one-on-one mentoring which I am taking advantage of to this day. It has been a great pleasure to come to know her and working with her is truly a blessing.

Now that was the beginning of how I got started. There are many things you need to consider and know when it comes to being a VA. First you need to understand and know what a VA is.

(Present Power Point: I have a PPP that I am planning on using here and would love your input on the content of it as well. I tried to upload it for you to view in a zip file, but it would not upload. If you would like to see my PP please ask and I will send it to you privately.)

What is A VA?

Slide 1: I would like to discuss What a VA really is and what they do?

Slide 2: I have 3 main points I would like to discuss:

1. What is a VA?
2. What can a VA do?
3. What can a VA do for you?

Slide 3: A VA (Virtual Assistant) is an Administrative Assistant who works from a remote location to support other businesses in some or all administrative functions.

Slide 4: He/she is a business owner/CEO of his/her own company, and works as an independent contractor and not as an employee.
Slide 5: A VA works one-on-one with clients using their particular set of expert skills.

What can a VA do?

Slide 6: A VA, depending on his/her areas of expertise can perform many administrative functions.

Slide 7: This is a list of just some of the things you can do as a VA. There are also different fields you can carve out as your niche. I myself do general administrative assistant functions as listed here. You can also be a Social Networking VA, Real Estate VA, you can go into career coaching, offer webinars and teleseminars, etc. There are many ways you can go with this and I strongly suggest you get online and do some research and discover what best fits your talents or figure out what is you think you would most enjoy and then decide which direction you want to go.

Data Entry
Word Processing
Creating Invoices
E-mail Management
Calendar Management
Transcription
Editing/Proof Reading
Excel
Power Point Presentations
Mailings and follow-up
Resume Preparation
PDF Creation

Travel/Event/Meeting Planning
Social Networking
Social Media Networking
Research
Copywriting
Website design/hosting
HTML e-mail campaigns
Website SEO (Search Engine
Optimization)
Internet Research
Newsletters
Brochures – design and creation

What can a VA do for you?

Slide 8: A VA owns and operates his/her own office saving you the expense of having to pay for employee benefits, i.e. medical, dental, vision, 401K, workers compensation, and payroll taxes.

Slice 9: VA’s use up to date hardware and software applications. He/she can use many forms of communication, i.e., telephone, e-mail, fax, instant messaging, and Skype.

Slide 10: In short a VA simplifies your life whether in personal or business affairs. A VA saves you money!

There are many great resources available to you to help you along your way. One really great resource I would like to tell you about is called Virtual Assistant Forums (VAF) and their website is http://virtualassistantforums.com. Please check out their forum. It is completely FREE and a great way to either find a VA or network with other VA’s to help you along your way to starting your own business. They have many resources and I highly recommend if you already have or are considering starting your business joining their community.

If you have any questions I would be more than happy to address them at this time / at the end of this meeting.

It was my great pleasure and honor to speak to you today, and I wish each and every one of you the best in all your future endeavors.

Q & A (Place possible Q & A’s here to help me answer questions)


Again, thank you all for your input. It is very much appreciated!
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Old 06-14-2010
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Default Re: Writing a speech. Need input.
Hi Rhonda and congratulations.

I think your speech will be excellent and you should not worry about the questions at the end. Everything will come out naturally. Having said that, it is good to prepare it just in case.

I think people might ask you how exactly work will be done, so you might want to give examples of different types of work and how they could be sent to you and how you will be returning it.

They might also ask you about prices and how work will be charged.

Overall I think the presentation is very good. Good luck!!
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Old 06-14-2010
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Default Re: Writing a speech. Need input.
Marta, Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it, and I will definitely keep those questions in mind when preparing for my speech. - Rhonda
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Old 06-14-2010
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Default Re: Writing a speech. Need input.
Hi Rhonda,

Congratulations on your upcoming speaking engagement.

I believe you have a well-thought out presentation.

Just a thought for down-the-road...you have enough material here to repurpose for an article or a blog or both!

You might be asked about how to find a virtual assistant.(Of course, they'll ask you for your services!) But if someone is looking for a specialty you do not offer they might ask where to find a VA that fits that bill.

Nice job!

Janine
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Old 06-14-2010
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Default Re: Writing a speech. Need input.
Thank you Janine! I really appreciate your input. I am still working on the speech and when I get it complete I will re-post it. I have some new info to put into the speech. It is still a work in progress.

I am very excited about this opportunity, and it turns out that I am needed to speak about certification as well so I will be revising to fit that bill a little better.

I forwarded my speech to the lady in charge of this training event and she loved my presentation and my ideas to add to it. I have to speak for 50 minutes leaving 10 mins for Q & A.
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Old 06-14-2010
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Default Re: Writing a speech. Need input.
Rhonda, congrats! Love the VAF shout out - thank you for the support, that is awesome
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Old 06-14-2010
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Company name: Rhonda's Virtual Office, LLC
 
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Default Re: Writing a speech. Need input.
You are welcome and thank you for taking the time to read my presentation. I greatly appreciate it.
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Old 06-23-2010
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Default Re: Writing a speech. Need input.
Rhonda . . . great job on your presentation. As a Toastmaster member, I love to evaluate speeches and I think you have done a fabulous job with this one.

The opening catches your attention because everyone loves a personal story to make people immediately connect with the speaker.

Your beginning slide if perfect because you are telling them what they can expect to hear from you and what you will cover.

You have designed a well thought out speech and I know you will do a fabulous job at the presentation!! Best of luck!!

Have an awesome day!

Rey
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Old 09-14-2010
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Default Re: Writing a speech. Need input.
Rhonda: Your presentation is awesome. I will be doing a short 7 minute presentation in a few days and it will be very similar to yours. I might even provide the audience with a listing, "101 Ways to use a VA" to keep for future reference. I honestly don't like giving presentations, but am going to do my best to get through those 7 minutes. Thanks for giving me the boost I need. I would love to see your powerpoint as well. I am working on one of those as well for future clients.
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