Call it a dress rehearsal for my upcoming nationwide launch of my next book, Kill the Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start Connecting later this year. Except that will be carefully planned and orchestrated. You see dress rehearsals are on my mind because last weekend was also my script-writing, stage production, and directorial debut for my daughters’ elementary school production of the show I cobbled together called, “An Evening at Vaudeville.” So mixed in with the wild speaking and media appearances, were daily after school rehearsals, with late nights of getting the program finished, pulling together costumes, and getting the volunteers organized. It was definitely a busy week.
However, my appearances in the media last week were more of a confluence of getting out there spreading my message through speaking and decent marketing, mixed in with a little bit of luck, I’ll freely admit. However, there are a few factors that led to me being featured in 5 different forms of media over the course of just one week, that I think could help your business as well.
- Local TV – I spoke at the Batavia, Illinois Chamber of Commerce Women in Business event for a paid presentation about Credibility and Cash Flow in Social Media. The day before the event, I received an email from one of the event organizers asking if it would be okay with me to have the a local film crew to videotape my presentation for replay on their local cable access TV. So some time this week my speech will appear on cable TV. I agreed on the condition that I receive a copy of the recording to use in my marketing.
- The lesson: Whenever anyone wants to record you, ALWAYS ask for the recording. As a speaker, you need that footage to put on your website, make a demo reel from, or at the very least share on social media as continued social proof you’re out there speaking and doing it well.
- Local Newspapers and Magazine – In conjunction with that same speaking gig in Batavia, the Chamber group had their PR pro send press releases to all the local papers and magazines. All I had to do was approve the copy and she sent it out. I did next to nothing to get my name in the media (not to mention the Chamber’s own websites and social media).
The lesson: Speaking for Chambers of Commerce groups, whether paid or free, you always get the benefit of the Chamber marketing on your behalf. That often means placement in local media, which gets your name out there and allows you to become the “go-to” person in your niche.
- Blog Talk Radio – One of my clients, Brian Basilico, has his own BTR program, BLT Radio, short for Business Life Transitions. He invited me to be a guest to discuss my upcoming book, Kill the Elevator Speech, Stop Selling, Start Connecting.
The lesson: Write a book. That’s first. When you have a book, people want to talk to you about it. Next, Blog Talk Radio is a platform that allows the hosts to store the content, so you can go back any time and use it over and over again. If you’re not sure what to say, have a look at Signature Speech(TM) for Authors for a free gift that will get you started.
- Podcast on iTunes – About a month or so ago, internationally-known author, trainer, and podcaster, Alicia Dunams held a contest to see who should be her next podcast guest. Alicia and I had met years ago on social media and then in person at a live event where I was one of the speakers. I was one of the finalists and because my message about speaking would resonate well with her authors, she decided to interview me about leadership and being “all in” – the name of her podcast.
The lesson: Know the people who are influencers in your community and in your niche. Use the internet to reach out a build relationships and meet them in person at live events so they will remember you.
- BBC – International TV – I recently began using a new app called “Jelly” for social questions and answers, which was released earlier this year by one of the founders and creators of Twitter, Biz Stone. I tend to jump on the newest social platforms as quickly as possible to secure my username and to check it out because many of my clients often look to me to talk about the newest communication tools. Then I was emailed by a producer for a TV programme (you have to spell it that way, because, you know, it’s British!), called “Click.” They have 330 millions viewers and were conducting a story on Jelly and would I be available to answer a few questions? Um, let me think…. YES!!!! So we scheduled it and I spent more than an hour getting the camera right, hurrying up and waiting, and doing the 10-minute interview that had to be boiled down to my 20 seconds of fame. You can see it below. They found me by being on the app. They invited me through my website, I’m convinced, because I had video of me on air to show I can do okay in a televised interview situation. UPDATE – The BBC has added the video to it’s own website right here.
The lesson: Be in the forefront in your area of expertise. Know what the newest innovations are and the newest and hottest trends. Plus do what you can to get any kind of local TV publicity. I learned from Shannon Cherry. The national and international media are far more likely to ask you to be a guest when they know you’ll be a decent guest.
That was my big week in media and speaking. I was so wiped out it took me three days to complete this post!!!
So here it is, my big moment in the international press. The story begins at 12:07 and I come in, literally for 20 seconds, at 14:26. Don’t blink!
- Recommit. You know speaking is powerful and you’re ready to make that happen and get on more stages. Recommitting to speaking means taking specific actions like setting some time aside to reach out to meeting planners, update your materials, start telling people you’re a speaker, and plan your marketing after your speech.
- Practice. If it’s been a while since you’ve done your speech, pull it out and practice it a few times beginning to end. Make any necessary changes based on new services you offer or current events in your industry.
- Start Fresh. You may be in a different situation than you were when you originally took my Signature Speech(TM) training or discovered speaking. Or you might have something totally new or unique you’ve come up with in your business that people LOVE that has nothing to do with your old speech. Maybe it’s time to write a new one. If it is, pull out your Signature Speech(TM) course content and put together a new speech.
Do you ever wonder if your audience is as excited about your speech as you are? Or maybe, are you secretly worried that you might be boring your audience to tears?
- Sleepers: Some people have incorporated so much movement and activity into their lives that when they are forced to sit still, like during your speech, no matter how fantastic you are, they literally collapse and fall asleep. That’s more about them than it is about you. But if you have more than one person looking groggy as you speak, you could be boring.
- Otherwise Engaged: If your audience members are sneaking glances at their phones, zoned out, arms crossed, looking around the room, and not listening to you or your message, you could be boring.
- You Don’t Ask for, And Don’t Get Any Response: If your entire speech is one-sided and could be delivered the same exact way by video, you’re missing the point of having people there in person. With a live audience, you have the opportunity to ask questions, elicit feedback, even – gasp- ask them to stand up and move a little. If you deliver a monologue and never even ask for so much as an occasional head nod, you could be boring.
Last week I had the opportunity to speak at a women’s symposium event in beautiful Galena, Illinois. My client, Brian Basilico, author of It’s Not About You, It’s About Bacon, introduced me to the meeting planner because he was going to be speaking at the same event and was booked before I was. In a typical turn of events where another speaker had cancelled (sadly this happens all the time), the meeting planner called me in a panic; would I be willing to fill in at the last minute with less than 2 weeks’ notice? Sure. Of COURSE I would; I was planning to be there anyway!
One of the sponsors of the event, the beautiful and serene Aldrich Guest House Bed & Breakfast, was host to the speakers the night before the event. So there I was, sitting around the dining room table with Brian, an expert in social media, and Traci D. Ellis, an attorney who works with professional women handling their business and personal needs. Smart people.
Yet, as we chatted about our presentations (and they both put finishing touches on their slides), I quickly learned that neither had planned to offer anything for sale to the audience, except for Brian’s book.
As I explained to them, there will be people in any audience who are ready to buy something from you RIGHT AT THE MOMENT YOU ARE ON STAGE. Unless it was in the speaker’s agreement with the event that you would not be permitted to sell any products or services, then by all means you should. And here’s why:
If you firmly believe in your heart of hearts that what you do for people with your services or the results that using your product can truly enhance the lives of those who invest, then it is wrong to withhold that from people you know you can help and who need it. All that’s left to do is to make sure they know what it is you offer. Plain and simple.
Beyond that, you deserve to make a living. Yes, I know you love speaking. And yes, I know it’s a joy just to be able to share your information with an audience. And yes, of course you get plenty of benefits from speaking even if you don’t make a dime. But as one of my mentors, Jeff Herring has always said, if you go out of business because you’re not making enough money to support yourself, then you’re doing the world a disservice, robbing them of your unique gifts. So get paid when the opportunity presents itself.
There are too many complex steps to “closing” on stage with audiences so you get the maximum results to discuss in a blog post. Even so, with some audiences, you don’t need a bunch of tricks and techniques; and they may not be appropriate for that audience anyway. Even if you never try a single “closing technique,” all you simply have to do is tell your audience members, “You might be wondering about how the details of what we’ve been talking about today can help you. I also do consulting in my business where I talk to my clients on the phone for an hour and we work out the details to [fill in the blank]. Normally I charge $250 for this hour. Today I’m offering a [discount/bonus/wh
atever] so you’ll get that hour for just $197. If [what you do] is something you’ve been struggling with, let me know today and I can help you.” You’re not hard selling. It might take you all of 30 seconds to say. You’re just sharing in a friendly, helpful way.
Using that simple strategy, Brian was excited when he was approached by a couple people who wanted his offer and one ready to give him a
check on the spot. Had he not offered it, the opportunity could easily have been lost, the moment past, and the cash left on the table. Instead, by simply offering a service, someone in the audience gets to benefit from Brian’s substantial brilliance. And I couldn’t be happier for him or his new client!
Do you always offer something for sale when you speak? How has that worked for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a post confessing about how I had a really off day while keynoting at an event. Lots of kind people came to my defense and many audience members who had never seen me speak before did not even notice it. However I can count on my good friends to be honest (painfully so, sometimes!), and they agreed it wasn’t my best performance.
Well, last Saturday on the same Atlanta stage at David Perdew’s Niche Affiliate Marketing System 8 (NAMS) Event, I redeemed myself!
Last year I listed the things I did wrong and what I could do to improve.
I thought this year I’d share what I remembered to do right so my performance could be greatly improved — even with another brand new speech!
- Planned Ahead: I knew for at least 6 months I’d be back on the NAMS stage. I also knew the reason I was going was to give myself the deadline to write my new keynote speech, Kill the Elevator Speech. I didn’t wait to work on the speech.
- Got Help: Even the best performers need help sometimes, just like the top Olympic athletes need their coaches. I realize that and I reached out to my smart and creative colleagues and friends to help me come up with some ideas about how to present my speech, props I could use, how to start and more. Big thanks especially to my weekly accountability partner, Shannon Cherry who gave me the idea to use the Dragnet Theme — I used it as my attention getter. Also big thanks to my buddy coach, Kamin Bell Samuel, who worked through my entire plan with me and helped me figure out what my “deputy” buttons were going to say (they turned out great, BTW!).
- Had Personal Motivation: I told you this was a new speech. I knew I needed a deadline that was set in stone, what Paul Evans called during his speech an “immoveable deadline” to get the speech done. My new book, Kill the Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start Connecting is coming out soon – and this speech motivated me to finish the book, too! In addition, I knew I’d need new marketing materials to promote the upcoming book and keynote speech and that my dear friend and gifted photographer, Tony Laidig would be there willing to record my entire presentation. If the speech sucked, so would my marketing materials and I couldn’t have THAT!
- Went Against the Grain and Stuck to My Guns: Yet again all the other daily opening and closing keynote speakers used PowerPoint presentations. If you’ll recall, last year I felt the pressure to conform and so slapped a PPT together at the last minute. This year, even though I had a brand new speech and honestly could have used a PPT to remind me of what I wanted to say next, I chose to skip it altogether in favor of using props to add a visual element to my speech. As a result, I got to be creative and many audience members commented specifically on the props I used and how much they enjoyed them.
- Practiced: I’ll admit, I did not practice as much as I would normally recommend to my clients, but I did practice important bits of my speech so I’d know how they would sound and feel when I delivered them for reals. I also had a captive audience in my publisher, friend and roomie for the event, Kristen Eckstein who graciously listened to me practice at 1 AM after being out dancing and singing karaoke. (Oh, I don’t actually recommend you go out and party all night when you have an 8:30 AM speech, but I knew I was prepared and I couldn’t resist spending that quality fun time with my good friends! Plus I drank only water and only sang one group song so my voice wouldn’t be shot and I wouldn’t wake up with a screaming headache!)
- Visualized: I knew the layout of the room and I worked on seeing myself walking in, on the stage and knocking it out of the park.
- Prayed: This is how I center myself moments before I go on stage. Whatever you can do to calm down and get grounded, do it: breathe, meditate for a moment, get quiet and get focused.
- Worked From a Full Word-for-Word Script: I know this may come as a surprise because when I teach my Signature Speech (TM) students to prepare their speeches, I recommend using only an outline rather than writing the speech out verbatim. However, there are a number of things different about this. First a keynote, which is a product in an of itself, is drastically different than a Signature Speech (TM), which is marketing tool. Also, to start I’ll be charging $15,000 per speech for my keynote, which I will deliver again and again, likely for years to come. Having a script will allow me to tweak it over time. This speech had props, jokes, and stories I wanted to get right. I put all the stage direction into the script so I would remember my plan. Finally, I printed my script and actually used it as a prop during the speech, so it worked well for a first time (and by the time I deliver it again it will be fully memorized ).
So, that’s what all came together to make this year’s speech go very well. I feel like I can hold my head high with pride now with the NAMS community.
Oh- and if you want to hear my speech, you can access it and all the NAMS8 recordings right here.
Soon kids everywhere will be sporting new wardrobes, sharpening new pencils, choosing their favorite folders and heading back to write essays about what they did this summer.
Not long after, we parents will receive the inevitable fundraising package from school where we can have the luxury of buying overpriced wrapping paper and cardboard-like frozen pizzas, while being asked to bug neighbors (who also have kids with the same fundraisers), extended family members, and colleagues at work to also take part in the never-ending quest of raising funds for schools.
But there are better, more creative ways, that are also less offensive to the taste buds and pocketbook.
For example, one interesting and more fun alternative to holding the same old fundraisers I’ve recently heard about is to raise funds through bingo events. My friend Shannon Cherry actually did her own version of bingo at her live event. And that got me to thinking about how you can use your skills to do something community-building and fun to raise funds for your favorite group
In my best-selling book, 21 Ways to Make Money Speaking, Way 6 is Speak to Help a Charity. When school begins this year, you can get in touch with the fundraising chairperson – almost always a volunteer eager for ideas and help – and offer your services as a speaker to hold a fundraising event where you either donate your services in full, or, for you to make some money too, split the ticket sales 50/50 with the school. The book has a few more strategies in that Way for you to bring in some additional cash for the school and for you as well.
Then all you need to do is come up with a speech topic that is both relevant to your expertise and relevant to the parents at school (remember – school is about the kids, but fundraisers have to appeal to the parents, who hold the money).
For example, in my business I teach public speaking and communication skills to celebrities, experts, and entrepreneurs. Obviously that’s not going to appeal to all the parents at any given school. But in my days before my business, while teaching public speaking classes at the college level, I also taught interpersonal communication courses and male-female communication courses. I could easily pull together a fun 60-minute program on how parents can better communicate in their marriages and with their children using interactive exercises and more.
Remember, your goal here is to get paid to speak (so you can add “professional speaker” to your repertoire and bring in some cash) and to help others by serving from the stage at the same time, in this case specifically in raising funds for a school. But you can also have a display set up where you sell your books and offer your business cards, brochures and other marketing to those who attend who might be interested in working with you later, therefore turning the fundraising speaking event into a lead-generation tool for you as well.
So what do you think? Will you give this a try this at school year instead of being forced to buy a bunch of sub-par stuff – and do your part to serve from the stage? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
I’m sick of it.
And I’m about to get all Mama Bear for the speaking industry. (Thanks to Dr. Mollie Marti for the comparison!)
**Fair warning…. I don’t usually use potty words, but the language in this post may end up being rated PG13 or worse. I’m that upset and sometimes “nicer” words simply don’t cut it to describe some people and situations. If you are easily offended by PG13 language, it’s best you stop reading now.**
Too many times this year and at least three times THIS WEEK I’ve heard of scams, jerks, con artists, and rip offs trying to benefit from the hard work and good name of professional speakers by taking advantage of them and trying to trick them, the industry, and the marketplace.
THE MADNESS HAS TO STOP!!!!
Here’s what happened:
First, a long-time client forwarded me an email exchange she had with a supposed event planner in Malaysia. This “event planner” had offered her a speaking gig at a leadership conference for $3,000USD payable AFTER the event. (Something already smells fishy to me.) She had an uneasy feeling about it and contacted me for my opinion. After a quick Google search, I found that the same event and meeting planners with a similar name had at least one other speaker present a weekend training and never paid his fee. I’m going to keep digging for her.
Next, the same client was contacted by another party, with a similar-too-good-to-be-true sounding offer. (More later on why she may be a target for scammers).
Then last night I heard about a shockingly extra scuzzbaggy idiot scammer, who literally STOLE the images of many of my friends in the speaker training industry for his crappy “telesummit,” created fake fan pages using their names and images, and started commenting on other people’s walls, pretending to be them — and blatantly doing it as if they’d never find out. He created a sales page with all their images as if they had agreed to be part of his event he was charging $297 for admission to; when in reality, at least one of them never even spoke to the scammer, let alone agreed to be part of anything. And beyond ALL that– this Scammer McScammy Pants changed his name (and not to Scammer McScammy Pants because that would have been too easy to tell something wasn’t quite right).
These true experts, several of whom are people I have shared meals with, spent time with and consider friends, as well as colleagues, have been marketing using the Internet for many years and (1) know very quickly when their names are being used anywhere online and (2) have massive followings of fans and friends who watch their backs. Why this douchebag of a human being thought he could even get away with using their names and creating fake pages and personas pretending to be them I will never know.
I found out about this scam from a Facebook post by Dave Lakhani, a force to be reckoned with when he’s in a good mood and happy– but piss
him off and seriously… watch out. Dave Lakhani has been one of my speaking heroes since I met him in 2008 when I was emcee of an event where he started his speech by saying something like: “If you refuse to turn off your technology while I am speaking, I will physically take it from you and crush it. I will crush your technology. This message is that important and you must give me your full attention.” Guess what? Everyone gave him their full attention.
A few months later he invited me to be his guest at an exclusive weekend speaker training he did for a handful of national celebrities and other professional speakers, where I got to know him up close and personal. And although at an imposing 6’5″ (or more?), with definite strong opinions and a general inherent and amazing personal power, I found Dave Lakhani to be warm, sincere, and inspiring to learn from and watch. Above all, Dave Lakhani does business with the highest ethics and integrity, treats people with respect – including those he disagrees with- and is more than willing to call out crap when he sees it.
What Dave Lakhani did after finding out someone stole his identity to market their illegitimate online event is nothing less than brilliant.
Dave describes what he did next in one of the (to date) 94 comments on the thread:
“This scambag (name withheld here because I don’t want my blog associated with him in any way, but you can see who it is on the Facebook post) created a bunch of fan pages using the names and likeness of a bunch of speakers and then started commenting as those people on other pages as if all of these people were excited about his event for the purpose of getting traffic from people reading the comments and then clicking to the page. Once he heard that I’d threatened his breakfast cereal, he immediately phoned me and left a message saying that he was only trying to honor me and wanted to promote my products on the back end of his seminar (presumably because they are not good enough for the front end). He then left me his phone number and assured me he’d take my call, he of course did not answer the phone when I called back and covered his butt by saying that it was 7:30am in Thailand and he had to get some sleep sometime because he had been up all night with his summit.
“If I were him I’d be more worried about me getting in touch with the CEO of Infusionsoft Clate Mask and letting them know that they are sponsoring the event of an identity thief or at minimum one of the most unethical promoters around. He has mentioned to several people who have reached out to me on his behalf that of course it wasn’t his fault, he had a “team” of people who did it and they “forgot” to let the people know whose identities they hijacked that they were doing it to honor them and to sell their products on the back end.
“The problem with this is the problem with much of Internet Marketing and Biz Op generally. The lack of morals and ethics is astounding. It is why I’ve quit speaking on those stages and why I’m more focused on building brick and mortar businesses and just writing and selling books. The only goal of too many of these promoters is simply to separate people from their money regardless of how well the information works. I’ve always threatened to write a book about all the conversations I had with drunk speakers and promoters who could only talk about how they systematically sucked money out of people’s pockets and how stupid people were and how easy they made it. Then, the next day before they speak they have prayer circles with the attendees asking God to bless their talk so that they can really reach people. Things like this make me really reconsider that book idea. There are good speakers and good promoters out there but they often get overshadowed by the idiots like this guy. And, virtually all of the bad ones say they are the only ones doing it right and ethically.
“So, what am I doing next? Well, first I’m waiting for (the guy) to call me back and see what he has to say for himself when we speak in person, that will be fun and I will likely record it. Second, I’ll be reporting him to Facebook, The FTC, and the Attorney General’s Office. I’ve also called all the speakers I know personally who are on the platform to back out. I’m glad to hear that JP Maroney, Bill Walsh and Stephanie Frank have already made the decision to pull out, I expect to see more pull out as well.”
Then I replied:
“Whew… This is just so terribly upsetting! … I think what happened to you & others we know in this situation sucks big time AND I worry about more eager and less savvy/experienced speakers who can easily be taken advantage of. Mollie Marti is right– I feel very Mama Bear about those people who really do want to speak & share their messages and make an honest living doing it like we have.
For me, my whole life has revolved around teaching and coaching speech. It was my profession as a college prof for more than a decade & I LOVE it. Plus doing the info marketing thing keeps me with my family to raise my girls in person instead of having to be on the road 100+ days a year on stages. Someday I’ll do that when they’re in college & grown up.
Anyway I think we seriously need to put our heads together and create something for our industry that seeks to protect them. You are right… There are far too many jerks teaching speaking & marketing. I bet Joel Comm might be on board to add a guest post (we could probably ask his permission to grab a post he’s already written… I know I’ve read a couple scathing posts from him about the underbelly of IM).
I am doing this protecting speakers blog series. Anyone who wants to contribute with a guest post is welcome. I’m not selling anything attached to it. It’ll be a week-long or month-long PSA for the speaking community.
I already have at least one commitment from Thom Scott who replied almost immediately. Thom Scott will write a guest post on contract structures and material rights. I know as I reach out personally I’ll have more guests willing to share their stories, experiences and best tips on how speakers can avoid scams in the speaking industry. I plan to invite Christian speaker Leesa Barnes, who earlier this year was almost scammed out of thousands of dollars by a group pretending to be with a church in England (and who I hope forgives me for the PG13 language in this post!). I also plan to invite Tom Antion, who called out a very famous speaker trainer who he knew to be telling lies and taking people’s money. My friend and accountability partner Shannon Cherry might have a thing or two to share since she regularly posts Cherry Bombs on her blog calling out unethical business marketing practices and advocating for her readers. Friends like New York Times best-selling author Joel Comm might want to weigh in, as he has effectually left the Internet Marketing space because he was so disheartened by the lying, manipulation, and regurgitating of ideas being sold as new innovations.
All of these people and more are advocates for entrepreneurs and business owners. I am standing up today to be counted as the Mama Bear of professional speakers and emerging speakers.
Overall, I won’t be naming names of the unethical ones here on this blog because I don’t want to have my name or blog associated with them. Plus, really, it’s not about the scam artists. It’s about YOU, my dear readers and speakers everywhere who need to know what kinds of scams are out there and best practices on how to avoid them. And you should learn how the industry really does work for insiders who work in meetings all the time.
Why are emerging speakers like my client a ripe target for scammers? Because they are so eager and excited to get their messages out to the world they want to believe there are people who will pay them to do that. And there are plenty of legitimate event planners around the world who are willing to do just that. But those meeting planners, many of whom are members of the prestigious Meeting Planners International and others as members of the American Society of Training and Development who all work in an entirely different way than the scammers do. Yet sadly, because of their inexperience with ethical meeting planners for real meetings that do need excellent, well-qualified, trained speakers, new and emerging professional speakers can easily become a target. And as we saw with my friend Dave Lakhani, even those who are well-respected in the industry can become targets of unethical business practices as well.
The aim of this Public Service Announcement Series for Speakers is to help arm you with the tools you need to recognize scams and give you the tools you need to build a successful, income-generating speaking business (Hint: no it won’t be overnight. Yes, it takes work. And, sorry, but no, international groups are NOT going to contact you out of the blue, not tell you how they heard of you, never have even one phone conversation with you, and offer to hire you via email or Facebook private message sight unseen).
Stay tuned and come back for more very soon. In the meantime, do you have any scams that should be exposed? Ideas or thoughts on the issue? Please share in the comments below.
Having written two full-length books with another under contract, a handful of ebooks, and thousands of articles and blog posts, I know what it’s like sitting with a blinking cursor in front of you on a blank screen, almost mocking you. It’s not like you don’t have ideas. It’s not like you don’t know your stuff. But golly… when it comes time to put your butt in the chair and roll up your sleeves, something can overcome even the most accomplished, brilliant expert like you.
Call it writer’s block. Call it performance anxiety. Call it procrastination. Whatever it is, if writing a book is on your list of goals for 2012, the name of what’s stopping you from reaching your goal doesn’t matter — you gotta get past it and git ‘er done!
Enter: Public speaking.
If you are an author or want to be an author, one of the easiest places to start is with the speech you’ll give to talk about your book. I call it your Signature Speech™ for Authors and it can help you do a number of things:
1. Clarify your thoughts: when you have a bunch of ideas all rumbling around in your head, for many of us it often helps to talk your ideas out. One way I’ve found to be useful is to put together a list of questions I’d want someone to ask me about my book. Then I can come up with my answers.
2. Determine the hot topics: Yes, your entire book will be filled with useful information that is important to advancing your field, helping your readers, and in general sharing a bit of yours and others’ expertise. However, there will be parts of your book that will get readers extra excited—whether that is a new development in your field, a contrary opinion you have backed up by data, or a new way of looking at or doing something. People will be talking. Putting together your speech will illuminate for you what that will be because in any speech you want to serve from the stage with details that get your audience excited about their experience of listening to you.
3. Think in user-friendly chunks: Writing an entire book can be overwhelming. But when you write a speech, typically you start with the body of the speech, which should contain from 3-5 main distinct points, presented clearly for your audience. Each main point will be chunked into sections. Your book outline can then quickly spring from those sections.
4. Determine your goal for the book: Most savvy authors know it’s not the sale of your book that will make you money. It’s what you do to capitalize on the content from your book (use the buzz word “leverage” if you like) that will bring you the greatest cash flow. When you pull back from the blinking cursor and look at your book from a 20,000 foot view as a cog in a wheel of content and opportunities for you, what details belong in the book become clearer. When you develop your speech first, you can easily see what content needs to be more fully elaborated on in your book and then further in programs, mastermind groups, and membership sites, all of which lead to more money in your pocket, in addition to being paid to deliver the speech itself!
5. Get feedback from audiences BEFORE your book is in print: Making changes in your book after it’s been published can be an expensive and daunting task (trust me… I’m writing the 2nd edition of my first book.). When you present the content of your book to live audiences you get the huge benefit of hearing their feedback on parts they liked best, parts they want to hear more about and parts they don’t care much about at all. You can deliver your speech to live audiences in person, but also think about teleseminars, webinars, being a guest on a blog radio talk show, presenting a podcast or other creative ideas to get your content in front of audiences to get that vital feedback.
If you are an author or want to be, you can pick up a free 24-minute video about getting started writing your own Signature Speech ™ for Authors at http://signaturespeechforauthors.com/.
In July 2008, I attended my first Internet marketing conference. That was my introduction to a whole new world, live and in person.
Because of events that happened at that 3-day conference in Chicago, within a couple weeks I was quickly propelled to success in the Internet marketing crowd, being interviewed on radio shows by some of the biggest name “gurus,” being promoted by others, and began speaking on stages across the country about communication and public speaking. Effective communication is a skill you need in any business and Internet marketing is certainly no different.
It was a very exciting time. Except over and over again, I kept hitting a brick wall in that marketplace. His name is Frank Kern.
Frank Kern has created a persona of himself as “laid back surfer dude done good.” He’s built a wildly successful Internet empire based on his solid concepts and content, which honestly is always good, but isn’t exactly rocket science or anything new. However, because he packages it well and is a master at selling himself, his persona, and his products, Mr. Frank Kern has become a very wealthy and successful man. Good for him.
Along with that success, over the years Kern has accepted many invitations to speak on stage to his marketplace, and has recorded dozens of talking head videos. As he should, he maintained his “surfer dude” persona while onstage or on video, typically wearing shorts, t-shirt, ruffled hair and an unkempt beard. And, even though I’ve never met the man personally, he caused all kind of headaches for ME.
As a public speaking consultant, I talk to my clients and audiences all the time about the importance of looking the part of a successful business owner and dressing to that image of success. Then here comes Frank Kern, who, dressed in whatever he wore to bed the night before and cursing at his audiences, is hugely successful with a large following.
The most savvy of business owners in his market realized all along he was dressed that way and speaking in that manner because it worked for his persona. Keeping up that image was a large part of his success, with the implicit message to others just beginning their Internet businesses, “You can do this too.” That led to an interesting phenomenon.
Thousands of 20-something young men believed they could curse and dress like slobs all the way to millionaire status success, because Frank Kern did it. Never mind that persona was completely orchestrated. Like a theme for a party or special event, Frank Kern stayed true to character and his fans ate it up.
Until last week.
Last week, Frank Kern released what he calls his State of the Internet Address. As you can see from the screen capture of the video, Frank Kern has cleaned up a lot. He’s wearing a custom-made suit. He’s trimmed his beard, cut his hair, and is sitting behind a desk in a large office. As of this writing more than 1,900 people have clicked “Like” on Facebook for the video.
In a subsequent post to his Facebook fan page, he talked about how a few people gave him some flack about the new look, but the overwhelming majority of comments were all about how pleased his audience members are to see him cleaned up and dressing the part of a wealthy and successful business owner.
Even in our “occupy movement” world, business owners want to look up to someone who is successful. And that means looking the part.
So this is a public thank you to Mr. Frank Kern. You just made my job a whole lot easier. Here’s what Frank Kern did with this video that made me smile and that you can emulate for your business communication while speaking on video:
- He dressed the part. Finally a guy who’s making millions looks like more than a surfer dude, even if only for one video.
- He used a “Talking Head” video. With all the resources at his disposal, Kern could have chosen to produce ANY kind of video and had it look and sound like Hollywood quality. In fact, he actually employed the services of an Emmy-award winning editor, but at its essence, this is a basic talking head video in a location that screams, “Professional who knows what he’s talking about. Take notice and listen.”
- He was deliberate in his communication decisions and it showed. Here’s the thing: I may not have ever met him, but I’m personal friends with one of Frank Kern’s business partners, and I can assure you, Kern’s decisions about his persona and communication have always been deliberate. But now, with the release of this video, those deliberate decisions are obvious.
So what do you think? How do you “look the part” when you speak? Do you think your appearance matters when communicating credibility?
In 1962, communication researcher Marshall McLuhan began to popularize the term “global village.” At the time, he was talking about the implications of the “modern” mass media and technology, such as televisions and telephones, for creating the kind of world where connecting with other people and cultures around the globe was possible. All that then allowed the average person sitting in their homes to communicate with people no matter where they are and to see how they live through the images on the TV right in their homes.
Fast forward to today when we now can take the global village with us on our smart phones, tablet devices, and few well-selected apps, and suddenly any expert or entrepreneur has the capability of reaching out to the world.
Pretty exciting stuff!
In fact, what’s most exciting for folks like us is that if you want to speak, you can easily be in touch with your market. Using video online you can create a feeling of intimacy of being face-to-face while never leaving your own home or office.
So now that you know you can reach your audience ANYWHERE what would you say and how would you say it?
One of the best and easiest ways is with video. Here are just a few of the ways you can use a simple yet powerful way to connect that is just like you face-to-face over a cup of coffee with your viewers:
1. Instructional/Promotional Videos on Free Sharing Sites: Think YouTube. Be careful here. The best uses of videos on sites like YouTube, Viddler and Vimeo, just to name a few is to entertain or provide useful info (or both!). Record a series of videos that are a glossary of terms your market needs to know or one video per frequently asked question. Here’s an example of public speaking tip I put up on YouTube.
2. Welcome Video on Your Website: If you have a more brochure-style website you can use a quick video to welcome visitors and telling them about your site and what you’d like them to do while they are visiting. See the example of how I do this on http://FeliciaSlattery.com.
3. Squeeze Page AKA Opt-In Video Invitation: As you’re building your community of subscribers, record a quick personal invitation to sign up to receive a free report, e-course, white paper, or ….
4. …Video Training Series: After a new subscriber opts in, you could provide a longer video training with some greater details in it.
5. Testimonial Video: When you are thrilled with a product or service or even an ezine, ahem (hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge nudge…), you could record a video to let others know about your good experience, especially if it relates in some way to what you do for others. It shows you’re keeping up-to-date in your field and working to better yourself, just like you’re likely encouraging your clients and prospects to do as well. People are more likely to buy from you or connect with you when they see you modeling the same behavior. Put these videos on your blog, Facebook, or YouTube (or all three!).
I would love to hear from you. What are some creative ways that you have used to reach your audience? Please share in the comments!