Monthly Archives: January 2016

How to Get Your First Speaking Engagement


They say that public speaking is the number one fear for most people, more terrifying than flying, heights or meeting your significant other’s family for the first time. But, if you are one of those fortunate few who feel comfortable standing in front of a microphone, speaking can be a powerful way to increase your awareness and earn a handsome income. There are many people who make a comfortable living on the speaking circuit, but how do you go about getting that first speaking engagement? Here are the top ten tips to help you heighten visibility and profitability by becoming a professional speaker:

  1. Define Your Topic: You want to come up with something that has substance and will pique an audience’s interest, but it must also be unique. Think about what you want to say, and then come up with a “hook” that will get the attention of the event organizer as well as your potential audience.
  2. Be an Authority: Why should people spend their money to hear you talk? What is your experience in this area, and how will listeners benefit by attending? If somebody gives up time and money to come to your event, you better make sure it is worthwhile for them.
  3. Create an Online Presence: With the ability to research just about anything online today, you will need to ensure your name pops up when somebody is looking for information to justify attending your speech. You must have a website with a brief overview of your topic, just enough to whet their appetite and make them want to hear more. Your website will need to explain why you are an expert in your subject area, provide insights into your speaking style, offer any testimonials, and make it easy for interested parties to reach you.
  4. Build Content: You will also need to build content on your website and through social media to enhance your search engine optimization, or SEO. Event organizers who do not know your name might be searching online for somebody to speak about a particular subject area at their upcoming gathering. If they search using keywords that are in your area of expertise, your name should appear in their results. One way to increase this possibility is by building content through blogs, Facebook posts, and your LinkedIn description. Put together a list of words that center around your topic, and then deliver a steady stream of content relating to your unique point of view.
  5. Be Social: One of the best ways to build your own audience these days is through social media. Create an editorial calendar which explores various aspects of your speaking topic over the course of a year. You might want to highlight one idea each month. Your blogs should focus around this area and be supported with regular Facebook posts or Tweets. Use your social media to increase awareness of your blogs, but also put out quick tidbits, insights, jokes and questions that help you connect with your target audience.
  6. Get Visual: It is so much easier to make a decision about a potential speaker if you can actually see that person in action. With today’s video and editing technology, you can make quick videos of yourself speaking on your topic and post them to your website or YouTube. This will give event organizers the opportunity to see you in person and learn about your speaking style.
  7. Search Out Opportunities: Don’t be afraid to start small. Look at trade associations and business groups in your area and offer to present at one of their upcoming meetings. This will give you a chance to practice your presentation and build your speaking resume.
  8. Become an Author: Being an author builds instant credibility as it indicates that you have a lot to say on your particular topic. It also gives you something to send to organizations, hand out, or even sell at your speaking engagements.
  9. Have a Speaker’s Packet: Be ready to respond to any inquiries about your availability to speak. Prepare materials that show your background and personality, so you can send it to anyone who indicates an interest in having you come to their function.
  10. Get Involved: Join trade groups or associations. Look for groups that could benefit from your knowledge, find out when their next meeting is, and contact the person in charge.

With persistence and a little work, you might just nab that first speaking engagement in no time at all. Good luck!

8 Steps to Get Radio Interviews for Your Book


In a world where just about anyone can publish a book through self-publishing channels, the key to success of your new book is going to be not the quality of your writing as much as the quality of your marketing. With so many books on the market, and new ones hitting the virtual bookshelves every day, you need a solid way to ensure others hear about your book in a timely manner. Radio interviews can help you get the word out about your book and what people can glean from it. Here are eight steps you can use to get more radio interviews to discuss your book.


  1. Know Your Niche


Before you begin looking for interviews, determine the niche your book fits. This is essential, because it allows you to target those radio personalities and shows that fit that niche. If you have written a book about parenting and you interview with a humor radio personality that appeals mostly to the 25-and-under crowd, you may struggle to not only land the interview, but also to succeed with it.


  1. Find a Fresh Take


Before you approach the radio personality and ask for an interview, ask yourself this: what newsworthy thing does your book offer? What is the fresh take that your writing will give to the radio personality’s audience? Radio shows want newsworthy topics that will interest their audiences and generate a buzz. Showcase a benefit or tie your book into a recent current event, and you will be more successful at landing interviews. Words like “secret” or “insider tips” can help make your pitch sound more newsworthy.


  1. Craft a Pitch


Before you pick up the phone or shoot off that email, craft a pitch. What is the hook that you will be providing to the interviewer to make them want to call you up and let you interview? Consider the newsworthy topic you have created, then craft a pitch around that. Create a basic pitch, and write it down, the tailor it to the show you are contacting. tying in the interests of the reporter or talk show host you are targeting.


  1. Make Your Pitch Short and Sweet


Radio personalities receive hundreds of pitches every single week, and they often have tight deadlines in which to get their shows to air. If the pitch is too long, the busy professional is just going to toss it. Craft our pitch so that it grabs attention quickly and says what it needs to say without delay. Bullet points, bolded statements or highlighted words can help the important features of your pitch stand out, giving the radio journalist the chance to decide whether to read the rest of the pitch or not.


  1. Make the Pitch Relevant


Is your pitch relevant to the reporter and his audience? If it’s not automatically relevant, find a way to make it so. If it does not connect to what they normally talk about, then you won’t get an interview.


  1. Turn Yourself Into an Expert


Can you brand yourself as an expert in your niche? Rewrite your LinkedIn profile, start blogging on your topic and do everything you can to brand yourself as an expert. Then, when you send a pitch for your book, you will find that your branding efforts make that pitch more attractive. After all, a radio professional with a personal finance show who can say they have an “investment expert” on their show is going to jump at the chance to interview you.


  1. Follow Up After a Pitch


Remember how busy radio professionals are? If you send a pitch and do not hear back, it may be because of any number of distractions. So, you need to follow up. A quick email or phone call can keep your pitch in mind. When an opening is available, your polite follow up could be the difference between being shoved into the “later” folder and being called for an interview.


  1. Make the Interview Count


If you do get an interview, make it count. Other radio professionals will be listening, and you want them to take notice. Be interesting, provide something of value, and you just might find that people are calling you requesting interviews next, instead of the other way around.


Radio interviews are an effective way to get the word out about your book. With these steps, you can improve your chances of successfully landing an interview and improve your marketing efforts for your book.

Why You Need to Be a Selfish Servant



Part of the preflight ritual you have likely experienced if you have ever traveled via airplane is the directions regarding the oxygen masks. As it is explained, in an emergency situation when the oxygen masks deploy, you are always to put your own mask on first before helping those around you who are unable put their own mask on. Perhaps these directions have bugged you a bit. After all, isn’t it kind of selfish to let a small child sit beside you unaided while you, who are able bodied, place your own mask on first? It isn’t really selfish, though if you think about it the right way. For example, if you choose to put the mask on the small child beside you first, but while doing so pass out due to your own lack of oxygen, you not only harm yourself, but you also put the child’s life in danger. In other words, when you take care of yourself first, it makes it possible for you to take care of, or serve, others. That is why you should be a selfish servant.

Rob Rosen, author of “Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World,” says the following about putting yourself ahead of others:

“When you take care of yourself first, you show up as a healthy, grounded person in life.”

Melissa Deuter, who is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Health and Science Center agrees with Mr. Rosen’s thoughts, she recently said the following about the human’s natural tendency to be selfish and why it’s not such a bad thing:

“Selfish is an ugly word, but it can mean two different things. One connotation is that you’re unkind and inconsiderate of others. The other is that you take responsibility for getting your personal, emotional and physical needs met, and that’s an important part of becoming an adult.”

As you can see from the statements of these two extremely knowledgeable individuals, being selfish can be advantageous. The following are four benefits you will experience when you become a “selfish servant”:

You Will Become a Healthier Person:

When you always give of yourself, never taking any time to improve your own health and wellbeing, you begin to suffer the consequences health wise. You might consider taking the time to work out or travel selfish, but according to Mr. Rosen, it actually makes you healthier. Of course, this in turn makes you a better boss, employee and friend. When interviewing executives for his book, Mr. Rosen discovered a common thread between them all. They were all good leaders and in good health, because they made themselves a priority.

It Makes You More Driven:

Various studies have revealed the correlation between people who are confident and successful. Confident, selfish people, it seems aren’t as likely to give up on their lifetime goals or dreams. Consequently, they are more driven and determined. Dr. Rosen agrees with this theory and states, “selfish people have a drive to succeed.”

You Will Have Greater Relational Success:

This point might seem counterintuitive. You might wonder how a selfish attitude can be good for a relationship. However, Mr. Rosen says that being selfish isn’t only a good trait to have in a relationship, it’s actually quite necessary, “ To be a healthy, grounded person, you need to be selfish. If you’re looking to a partner to fulfill your emotional needs, your relationship is vulnerable. The best relationships happen when two adults show up and enjoy each other.”  In other words, selfish people don’t depend on another person for their self-worth and contentment, but instead are happy to simply be with another person.

You Will be a Happier Person:

Selfish people typically spend more time doing things they enjoy, so they are happier. They don’t worry so much about what someone else might want them to do either. Instead, they live their life to please themselves. Now, this can go to the extreme of course. We all have to do things we don’t want to do on occasion. However, as professor Deuter put it, “If you have a well-developed sense of who you are, what you enjoy and the ability to communicate this to others, you will be a happier person. Putting yourself first is not a negative quality; it’s your job to take care of yourself and get what you need.”

Yes, it’s good to care about and serve others. It is also nice to give of yourself. However, if you never take time for yourself, you will eventually be unable to give anything else, because there will be nothing left to give. That’s why the truly successful servant is a selfish one.


20 Awesome Muslim Change-Makers


The Ummah is filled with amazing people, doing incredible things. There are so many that we can’t possibly show them all at once, but we will be creating more lists of inspirational people, so send us your suggestions and together lets inspire the world. Here are just a few of those who make up the awesomeness of our global community.


Aftab Malik

Aftab Malik is a Former Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Ethnicity and Culture at the University of Birmingham and currently a designated Global Expert on Muslim affairs for the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilizations.

Professor John L. Esposito, one of the world’s pre-eminent scholars on the Muslim World, has called Aftab “a first rate scholar,” and the academic journal, The Muslim World Book Review, has called him “a rising intellectual star.”


Willow Wilson

Willow Wilson began her writing career at the age of 17, when she freelanced as a music and DJ critic for Boston’s Weekly Dig magazine. Since then, she’s written the Eisner Award-nominated comic book series Air and Mystic: The Tenth Apprentice and the graphic novel Cairo. Her first novel, Alif the Unseen, was a New York Times Notable book and winner of the 2013 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. She currently writes the bestselling monthly comic book series Ms. Marvel for Marvel Comics.


Nazeem Hussain

Nazeem Hussain is the star of his own critically-acclaimed TV show, ‘Legally Brown’, which aired on SBS in 2013 and 2014. The show broke ground with it’s boundary-pushing content and received wide spread critical acclaim.

Prior to ‘Legally Brown’, Hussain was a regular on the Comedy Channel’s hugely successful, ASTRA award-winning ‘Balls of Steel Australia’. His self-created character, Calvin Khan – the Very Foreign Correspondent, saw his episodes achieve the highest ratings of the season and he returned in season 2. Hussain also starred on the cult-hit Salam Café on SBS, which was nominated for a Logie Award in 2009, and has worked as a presenter on Triple J.


Yvonne Maffei

Yvonne Maffei, M.A., is the publisher of, a halal food and cooking blog showcasing culinary tips and healthy halal recipes anyone can make. She is also the author of the cookbook Summer Ramadan Cooking which was published in 2011 to showcase the food rituals of Ramadan and the variety of global cuisine that can be made halal.


Dustin Craun

Dustin Craun is the Founder and Executive Editor of Ummah Wide, a digital media startup focused on stories and cultures that transcend the global borders and boundaries of the Muslim, Interfaith and Human family.

He is a writer, community organiser, an anti-racist educator and a communications strategist who has worked with more than twenty-five different non-profit and social movement based organizations over the last twelve years in the United States, Mexico, and Ghana. Dustin works on the clergy organizing team for the PICO National Network building Muslim Community organizing into the largest faith based community organinizing network in the United States. His writings have been featured in publications such as Adbusters, and he is working on publishing his first book titled Decolonizing Whiteness.


Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Yassmin was awarded the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year award. She is a mechanical engineer, a social advocate, writer, and petrol head. She advocates for the empowerment of youth, women and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.  Yassmin is also deeply passionate about diversifying public voices, connecting people and catalysing change. At sixteen, Yassmin Abdel-Magied founded Youth Without Borders, an organisation focused on enabling young people to work for positive change in their communities.


Mark Gonzales

Mark Gonzales has over 15 years of experience in global research aggregating emotional intelligence, sacred education, design thinking and human development, through his work, he is actively reshaping genetic memory. As Chief Storyteller for WageBeauty, he brings his trademark synthesis of poetry and the psychology of every day people to an analog world and digital sphere.


Muna AbuSulayman

Muna AbuSulayman is a mother, business leader and traveler. Muna created her eponymous celebrity fashion line out of the evident need for more modest clothing. In 2010, the Muna AbuSulayman fashion brand was born into a luxurious collection of tops, dresses and scarves based on Muna’s personal style and aesthetic. It represents all things that she loves about fashion and how she mixes it to create her own unique style.


Irfan Khairi

Irfan Khairi is a leading global expert in social media and e-commerce. As a much loved household name and media personality in Malaysia, Irfan continues to share his knowledge of the online world through his own training programs and courses.


Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

Meet the newly elected President of Mauritius. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is a super star! She is an internationally renowned scientist, has published over 24 books, has a PhD in Chemistry, is a member of the Linnaean Society of London, the African and Islamic World Academy of Science of Jordan and the African Science Institute of the United States. She was awarded the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science in 2007, the Bank One Ltd Emma Award in 2008 and the Economic and Social Council of Mauritius award. She also won the Women in Science of the African Union in 2009. If that wasn’t awesome enough, she was also appointed Commander of the Order Star and Key of the Indian Ocean, the highest distinction of Mauritius in 2008 and became a Knight of the Order of Academic Palms in 2009. #Winning!


Mohammed Faris

Mohammed Faris (Abu Productive) is the founder of, an online social enterprise dedicated to boosting productivity in the Muslim World. He was born in Tanzania (of Yemeni descent) but spent the majority of his life growing up in Saudi Arabia when his parents migrated there. He later pursued his tertiary education at the University of Bristol in the UK where he graduated with a Masters in Finance and Investment.


Yasmin Mogahed

Yasmin Mogahed is an instructor for AlMaghrib Institute, a writer for the Huffington Post, an international speaker and author. She focuses most of her work on spiritual and personal development and has recently released her new book,Reclaim Your Heart, which is selling fast… so make sure to get your copy soon.


Aamer Rahman

Aamer Rahman is a Melbourne-based standup comedian. After creating the critically acclaimed show Fear of a Brown Planet, with friend and fellow comedian, Nazeem Hussein, Aamer has taken the world by storm with his long-awaited debut solo show, which has taken him across Australia, the UK, Canada, and the USA.


Randa Abdel-Fattah

Randa Abdel-Fattah is a published author, human rights advocate, and is often sought after for opinion pieces and speaking appearances. She has a background in law and has practiced as a litigation lawyer for almost 10 years. She is currently undertaking a PhD exploring everyday multiculturalism and racism in Australia.


Youssef Gaboune

Youssef Gaboune is the Co-founder of How The World Works, Ethical Leaders and New Open Education. He is also Head of Business Development at Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, based in Doha, Qatar. Youssef believes that the path of spirituality is embedded in the daily struggle of developing an ethical character, and seeking to learn from nature and from people from different cultures, beliefs, social status and ethnic backgrounds.


Mariam Veiszadeh

Mariam Veiszadeh is a Lawyer, Community Rights Advocate, and opinion piece writer. She is also a proud Ambassador for Welcome to Australia. Topping the list of 12 Muslim Australians Who Crushed It In 2014, by US news media website Buzzfeed, Mariam Veiszadeh was acknowledged for “leading the charge against Islamophobia” and classified as being part of “Australia’s best and brightest.”


Navid Akhtar

Navid Akhtar is the Founder and CEO of, a senior producer of documentaries and an award-winning journalist. He was specialist adviser to BBC Radio 5, after 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2003 he was a Senior Producer on Channel 4’s Hajj: Trip of a Lifetime, and has received awards from the Prix Europa for his radio programmes, and the Al Bruni award for Media – Muslim News Awards for Excellence. In 2005 he was awarded the Sanford St Martins Award, by the Church of England for his coverage of the BBC WORLD SERVICE 2005 – Hajj in Mecca.


Mona Shindy

Captain Mona Shindy is the Head of the Guided Missile Frigate System Program Office, she is also the Chief of Navy’s appointed Strategic Adviser on Islamic Cultural Affairs. As part of her role as Strategic Adviser on Islamic Cultural Affairs, Captain Shindy works to help create a better understanding among Defence members of the Islamic faith, traditions and cultural sensitivities.


Adnane Addioui

Adnane Addioui is a social commentator, aspiring social entrepreneur and disruptive-thinker. He has committed his life to work in the MENA region, particularly in Morocco, to enable creative thinking,entrepreneurship and innovation for the common good. He has co-founded the Moroccan Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship where he currently serves as a Chief Visionary, he leads the country operations for Enactus Morocco, is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and an active member of the Junior Chamber International.


Dr Sakena Yacoobi

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi is the founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning, the Professor Sakena Yacoobi Private Hospital in Herat, and the Professor Sakena Yacoobi Private High Schools in Kabul and Herat, Afghanistan.


About the Author:


Reuben Brand

Just some dude who likes to pretend he is a writer… He draws the odd cartoon sometimes as well… Oh, he also likes to believe that he is somehow a coffee aficionado and is an occasional #TotesOrganic ironic hipster. Check out his full profile here.


The original article was published here —