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Is Your Auctioneer Real?

Just down the road from Oklahoma City, lives world famous auctioneer, Ralph Wade, inarguably the auctioneer revered around the world for his perfect chant. His devotees have been stacking up since 1965 when he began selling livestock for Central Missouri Livestock Market. When auctioneers gather, Ralph Wade is the auctioneer we all talk about.

I have long admired Ralph after seeing him in action in 1992. Ralph's chant is melodic, clear, understandable and his rhythm is spot on. Six years later, I wisely took his class and his private course and studied his tapes. I left that training decades ago with dreams of one day sounding just like Ralph Wade. I practiced sporadically, made slight improvements and remained satisfied until I wasn’t. Last week I decided it was time to return and see if I could actually learn Ralph Wade's chant.

A true auctioneer chant has a strong affect on bidders. Not surprisingly, the chant prompts the same brain pathways that a slot machine, a game of poker and craps trigger. It's gambling without loss and risk. Combine the technique with the ability to interpret bidder behavior and a really good auctioneer will increase profits and participation.   An auctioneer with a seasoned chant signals bidders it’s time to pay attention and become part of the action.

A chant makes a charity auction a real auction and it should be mesmerizing and engaging and fun for everyone. Auctioneers who just talk fast, slur numbers and use meaningless filler words are an abomination to the art. And an auctioneer without a chant is a not an auctioneer.

The two days I spent with champion auctioneer Ralph Wade filled my cup to the brim.  And my chant? Well let’s just sayI like mine but the day I hear these words, “she sounds just like Ralph Wade”, I will know I’ve really done something.  

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Are You Chasing The Wrong People? by Debra Trappen

A friend posted a quote the other day that really spoke to me…  it was about how we waste too much time trying to get the wrong people to understand us – specifically, those who already have their minds made up or who have no desire to understand us.

I thought to myself – how much time have my friends and I wasted chasing after people?

Most of us can relate… For example:
Have you ever sought to get others to understand your situations, perspectives, or experiences and they just wouldn’t listen?
OR… even though they already clearly made up their mind, you kept trying to get them to listen? Now, I would like to suggest it is the time for a change. 

Let’s flip our focus from those people, step into our leadership armor and speak life into those we are meant to do life with – right now. 

Debra Trappen is a personal development author, a much sought after motivational speaker with an indomitable spirit. Read the rest of this post at www.debratrappen.com.

(excerpt from Debra's blog "Fire Up Your Life")

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Live Auction Timeline Tips

A live auction is competitive buying and selling process whereby an auctioneer cries out monetary increments asking buyers to commit to paying that amount with the raise of a numbered bid paddle/bid card. The live charity auction model can be as relaxed and informal as a picnic and as elaborate and entertaining as a Broadway show or as intimidating and intense as a Sotheby’s or Christie’s auction. Most fundraising auctions fall somewhere in between. All are productions that involve many players, details and procedures yet can be easily managed to profitability and fun.

It is important to keep a very tight timeline and control every activity that will be presented from the stage. Your guests will make decisions about what to buy from looking through the catalog before the auction and as they follow along in real time. One of the best ways to keep both donors and bidders engaged is to build plenty of recognition to sponsors, donors, volunteers and your organization's staff into your timeline.

A timeline is a production tool for setting expectations for volunteers, vendors and venue personnel. During the planning process and as the auction nears, put the timeline in writing along with the names of the all the players and tasks they will be performing during the course of the evening. This includes any script that needs to be read, slides and videos that need to be played, special gifts and presentations, literally all the details that must be performed. Remember to include vendor activities as well. Create a cover sheet with a shortened version of the timeline for reference purposes. Paper timelines tend to get lost during the event and more copies are always requested by vendors. If any changes take place on the master, those pages must be copied. It's almost impossible to run around and find every copy. I suggest buying a lightweight inexpensive printer/copier and plug it in near the production area for this purpose. It is a good idea to keep all these documents on a cd and bring a laptop as well to expedite changes to the copy.

  • Start on-time. 
  • Begin live auction within 30 minutes of seating. 
  • Limit speeches to 5 min. max. 
  • Limit videos to 3 minutes 
  • Serve dessert or hold the Dessert Dash after Ask
  • Wait 30 minutes after the auction before clearing tables 
  • Continue fresh coffee service for one hour after auction.

Is this advice locked in granite? No. I've heard presentations that lasted longer and clearly had an impact on giving. In fact, I've been part of auctions afflicted with one snag or another and still were highly successful. Perfection is not your goal. Events are unrehearsed and more than one unknown can create havoc. Keep smiling and roll with the surprises.  Your supporters on your side!

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Charity Getaways Travel Packages

Consignment is one of the best ways to increase interest at your next auction along with profits. The advantages are many especially for organizations that have little or no access to exciting travel packages.  The charity pays after the event eliminating risk. Our packages include individual components that add value and exclusivity.

Charity Getaways offers off-the-beaten path experiences with no blackout dates. Reservations are from Saturday through Saturday with a two-year expiration from date of event.   We offer apartments and farmhouses in Cortona and Passignano Italy with extra special touches like welcome aperitifs and pick up and drop off at the train station in Cortona. We also offer an amazing safari in Kwa Zulu-Natal guided by wildlife photographer Mike Lotter.

In 2016 we added Gorilla Village Lodge to our adventure lineup. The lodge is located at the boundary line of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the mountain gorillas and a variety of exotic bird species.  Guests are guided into the forest to view the gorillas as part  of this rare experience. Julian Palmer of Red Briks in Cortona assists with European travel and Mike Lotter with South African destinations and Kris Asselson with Uganda. Our Africa packages also benefit an orphanage in Bwindi and an orphanage and school in Kwa Zulu-Natal.

We give our clients everything they need to succeed - A point of sale display, a video or slide show for the big screen along with brochures and certificates. We also work closely with the winning bidders while they plan their trip.  

Charity Getaways is special and we treat winning bidders with the same heart and hospitality our clients expect from our auction services. We immediately connect winners with their host and guide and assist them with their travel itinerary. Many travelers want to extend their travel and include other destinations. We can do that too.