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Felicia Slattery

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The Path to Speaking and Coaching Success

Recently I talked to a new high performance coach who wants to do some speaking. Wendy (not her real name) had a 20+ year corporate career and a couple months ago quit her full-time job to pursue her passion. Now THAT’S exciting!

As the conversation continued, I learned quite a bit more about where she’s starting from and I recognized familiar challenges I have seen countless others face. Like many before her, Wendy wanted to know the secret to speaking and coaching success.

See if any of this sounds familiar…

So far she has invested in a bunch of training, certification, and group programs, but as of now she has only one client to show for the time, effort, and money she has already put into her business. Also, she is being influenced by two drastically different crowds: one who regularly charges $6000 for a 12-week session and another crowd who says there’s no way she can get even half that with any kind of regularity, even though her first client is happily regularly paying the fee she asked for.

She has learned PART of the path to profiting from her passion along the way, but not all of it.

What I will share with you in this post are the very same 7 Steps to Speaking and Coaching Success that I shared with Wendy.

  • Dump the dead weight
  • Greatness is not a prerequisite to success
  • What to do with them after the speech
  • Keep communication open and flowing
  • Continue the experience
  • Grow your fan base exponentially
  • The secret is there is no secret

I don’t necessarily share this info with everyone because not everyone is ready to hear it and/or take action on it. Wendy was. Maybe you are, too. Maybe you’re not.

Either way, I laid out the full path for speaking and coaching success and thought I’d share it here with you.

The 7 Step Path to Speaking and Coaching Success




Let me start by saying your family, friends and business associates probably want what is best for you.

But, have you heard the saying that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”?

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” 

– Jim Rohn

Right away, there was a business success lesson I could share in our conversation: I told her to dump the second crowd FAST.

Who you listen to and hang out with matters IMMENSELY! If you are in a group of people, whether in person or virtual, such as in a Facebook or LinkedIn group, and the overwhelming message is “You can’t do that,” when others absolutely HAVE done it and ARE doing it, then you’re in the wrong group.

In the words of a horror movie haunted house ghost: “GET OUT!” Run! Don’t walk; RUN away from the naysayers. The longer you spend with them, the more you will begin thinking like them. The more you think like them, the more you get the same results as they get.


Teachable Moment: Success Is Contagious – So Is Lack of Success: Which Will You Catch? (Tweet that!)

Think about it like this:

Doesn’t it seem MUCH better to hang out with the millionaire’s club than with Guttersnipes R Us?

You could learn a technique or two (or twenty!) from what the millionaires are doing. But the main reason to spend time with a group of successful people is their MINDSET. They believe they can succeed and because of that they make things happen.

Simply by being with them, listening to what they discuss, and absorbing their success vibes makes all the difference.

Success, you see, is contagious.


To be successful you need to offer a small variety of presentations and YOU HAVE TO BE GOOD. (Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re good right now,we can fix that.)

Important Note: If you have different kinds of audiences for your same topic (like I talk about communication, branding, and speaking to business owners, but also to corporate folks), you need two different, yet possibly similar speeches that address the needs of the different audiences.

I tell my clients you want to craft one speech you deliver for free as a marketing tool to get clients from the audience – I call that your Signature Speech, and at least one different speech unique to you, that you do for a fee.

Let’s break your Signature Speech down into it’s main 4 parts.

Marketing: This is the part of your business where you get the phone to start ringing, so to speak. You’re driving traffic to your website, you’re meeting people networking, you’re using videos and articles, you’re using outbound direct marketing techniques, you’re buying targeted ads… all so people know who you are and what you do.

Sales: After people know you, then they need a chance to buy from you and/or hire you to speak or coach or consult or train or whatever you offer. This can be online through your own sales page, through a forum that manages the process of selling your products related to your speeches or your speaking services for you like Amazon, Fiverr, Upwork, Udemy, or others, or directly through a personal conversation.

Content: Obviously, you’ve got to have SOMETHING to say to an audience.

Your content is what meeting planners and clients pay you money for. One of the oddest questions I get from people who believe they are good speakers is, “What would I talk about?”

If you don’t know about something and have expertise in that something, you *could* make money speaking, but you’re not going to build an entire business of your own from it.

Spend some time learning something so in-depth that others will pay you for it. And by “some time” I mean years.

You don’t need an advanced degree, but it’s certainly helpful to prove you’ve focused your time on a particular area, yet still not required. You don’t need any education at all – but you DO need lots and lots of experience.

Again, I’m talking YEARS here. Don’t read a Kindle book, take someone else’s digital training and suddenly decide you’re an expert in that. You’re not and it will show.

Get REALLY good at something, do something, and then people will ask you about how you did it. That’s your content.

Delivery: If you have excellent content but you’re boring or irritating on stage – you’ll never make a living as a speaker.

Unlike college professors who can be brilliant but boring, you’ve got to be brilliant and engaging. That means no reading word for word from PowerPoint slides, no endless monologues without audience interaction, no staying glued to the lectern with a death grip on it, and no 60-minute sales pitches devoid of actionable or useful information.

You don’t have to be as funny as a stand-up comic, but it helps to have a good sense of humor and keep your presentation light.

You also don’t have to be choreographed like a 90s boy band, but it helps to know your blocking, gestures, and have your movements be planned and purposeful.

Finally, you don’t have to have the panache of Steve Jobs or the inspirational oratorical presence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  but you’ve got to be able to hold people’s attention.

Too many speakers *think* they know it all when it comes to delivery. It’s the ones who fall into that trap that often need the most help. Your content alone is not good enough to carry a speaking business.

Delivery counts.

And it’s often the case that the smallest tweaks make the biggest differences.


The money is in the back-end.

Don’t bother building a speaking business without a back-end, and some version of coaching or consulting is the easiest way to have something that comes after your speech.

If you’re any good on stage, and if you clearly know your stuff, people will ask you about consulting anyway and you’d better have an idea what that looks like. You also need to know and be able to explain the results of your consulting and what you’re different than others.

For example, I tell people, when they hire me it’s like getting multiple consultants in one: you get marketing and branding consulting and coaching for your business AND you get content and delivery help for your speaking AND you get training development help for your products.

It’s rare to find someone as qualified and effective as I am in all those areas.

What about with you?

First, know the difference in what you’re offering.

Coaching and consulting represent different forms of helping professionals. I do both with my clients. Here’s the difference:

Coaching – is a process of the coach asking questions and eliciting answers from the client. Coaching is great for goal-setting and creating action steps.

Coaching works well when someone is having a challenge with something in her life or business and there is no one right way or several proven formulas or whatever.

Coaching is about allowing your clients space to grow and develop and make mistakes along their journey that they own, understand, and learn from, while at the same time, guiding them away from as many of those mistakes as possible.

Coaches ask many questions and allow clients to come to their own conclusions and answers. Coaching is a process.

Consulting – In your role as a consultant, you tell your clients what you know based on YOUR specialized background, knowledge and expertise and provide them with tools and techniques to use along with the instruction to go with it.

There often *IS* a right way or a proven formula. When you are a consultant, you are hired to use your expertise for your clients so they don’t have to learn the proven formula themselves. They simply turn to YOU to tell them what it is and either explain how to implement it or implement it for or with them.

A great consultant knows when to consult and when to coach.

When these two roles are combined, you get a customized plan developed by your clients with guidance and support from you —along with the skills to achieve your clients’ goals and follow through on their plans.  The best consultants blend coaching and consulting together as we work on your needs; that’s what I do so you’ll end up with extraordinary one-of-a-kind plans and results.

It’s fun for you as the consultant AND fun for your clients!


Listen, if you’re going to have a speaking business, no matter if you run it mainly online, mainly offline or do a combo of the two, the fact is you have to do some kind of writing to support your speaking work.

Think of writing Speaking writing yin yangas the yin to the yang of speaking. They go together and one cannot exist without the other.

Your writing supports your speaking. Your speaking supports your writing. It’s a fine balance that must always exist in harmony.

What you can touch on during a presentation, you can expand on in-depth in a blog post or a even more so in a book. People read your books and blog posts and hire you for more speaking or consulting.




It’s a beautiful circle of how business is run.

Leave one out – the writing or the speaking – and it’s like having a peanut butter sandwich without the jelly, or without the honey and banana (the way my kids love it!).

Plain peanut butter on bread is dry and while it gets the job done (a quick breakfast, snack or lunch) it’s not inspiring or comforting or even fulfilling. You’ll leave your biggest fans – and potential clients and customers – starving for what they are missing from you.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be an awesome writer.

There are many tools available to help you create written content from your spoken content.

There are people you can hire to help edit what you’ve roughly written, edit a transcript of a speech, or write from scratch as a ghostwriter.

There’s no shame in hiring someone to do the heavy lifting of your writing for you. In fact, it’s smart business and highly productive. Give your ideas to someone to put into complete sentences with proper grammar while you work on something else.

Then you’re getting two things done at once!


So let’s say you’ve got a blog, a book (Kindle book or physical), and a speech.

That’s a great start, but you’re still not FULLY developed in your speaking and coaching or consulting business yet.

You’re missing out on one of my favorite parts of the business: making money while you sleep, or doing anything else you prefer to do.

There is some debate as to if you should even create training and products to sell online. Some think if you do that, clients won’t have to hire you. They can buy your training and be good to go. That kind of thinking is a mistake and I’ll explain why in a moment.

Another mistake is thinking if you offer lower-price tools and solutions online, people will see you as a bargain basement-type person and not a high-ticket consultant or coach. Seems to make sense, in a way. The theory is if someone pays you a small amount, they won’t see your value, thus you have devalued your knowledge and expertise.

Nothing could be farther from the truth!!!

You’ve used your valuable knowledge and expertise to provide a tool or solution that you know people need and are very happy with. You take your time to create the product and the sales process ONCE and then you’ll get paid over and over again, potentially making in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.




Someone who needs a Speaker One Sheet Templateis in the mode of getting booked to speak. In that moment, the likelihood is extremely high that person is the exact ideal candidate for me to work with and help move forward.



Because if someone wants to get booked to speak, they need marketing help. AND they need help with content and delivery for when they do get on stage. AND they should be developing a full business  around their speaking so they don’t leave money on the table.

With customers for the Speaker One Sheet Templates, I’m essentially having people pay me to tell me they could be ready to work with me. Most will not, and never will become a high-ticket consulting client. (That’s fine because I only work with 5 at a time and I’m usually fully booked.)

Consider developing a tool that will solve a problem your ideal client has RIGHT AT THE MOMENT when it would be good for them to hire you. The tool should be complete in and of itself.

Don’t skimp. Make it really good.

Consider it to be an audition that you may get a call-back for if it’s good enough.


We are nearing completion of your business success puzzle. Are you excited! Because I AM!

Let’s talk about list-building for a moment.

When you have a list of subscribers, meaning a group of people who are interested in your work, like your style, and are in your market who have signed up to hear from you via email, you have a hidden gold mine not many outside our industry (or frankly even IN it) fully comprehend.

Consider the many things you can do with a list of engaged subscribers:

felicia slattery; how to be a successful speaker

Sell your own products, training, and services:

This one is a no-brainer, easy way to make more money. When people opt in to join your community of subscribers, you can let them know what you personally have created that will help them solve a problem they experience or reach a goal they want. As your business grows, your subscribers will tell you what they want and it becomes easier to create lucrative offers.

Sell affiliated products and services:

When you build a list of people all interested in the same general kinds of things, telling them about other products and services created by someone else can make you money. For example, if you tell everyone you meet in a certain niche to read a particular book, you’d benefit financially by simply signing up for an Amazon Associates account here, which is free and couldn’t be easier. When someone uses your special tracking link to buy the book or whatever else you recommend, you’ll make money. Individual business also have affiliate programs, so you can make money the same way; get an affiliate tracking link and when someone you refer with that link buys something, you’ll get paid. To get an idea of what this looks like, you can see my affiliate program here.

Speaking of affiliate programs, you could create your own affiliate program:

Your happiest clients and customers will want to shout your name from the rooftops.

When you have an affiliate program, they have an extra incentive to remember to tell others about you. There are a number of ways to track affiliates, but choosing an automated system that ties into the rest of your sales cycle is by far the easiest and best choice.

Get Sponsors:

When you have a group of people that a particular marketer wants to reach, that enables you to sell sponsorships to that organization. You can be paid for an individual event like a live event or a webinar, or on a monthly basis for posting the company’s logo on your blog or showing photos on social media of you engaging with that company in one way or another.

What to do to build your list? Simple.

  • Give people in your audiences where you speak a reason to sign up for something for free.
  • Or do a Facebook ad campaign.
  • Or spend some time (or hire someone) to make sure your website is optimized for the search engines (called SEO).
  • Or put your free offer on the back side of your business cards for when you go to networking or speaking events.
  • Or offer a colleague that you’ll do a webinar for her community of subscribers for free and have them sign up for the free webinar.
  • Or make a video and put it on YouTube with your keywords and a link to your free offer online.

So. Many. Things!

And here’s the final piece of the puzzle I shared with Wendy, and I’ll now share with you…


Please understand that using the word “secret” is simply a time-proven marketing tactic.

The word evokes mystery top secret stamp redand suspense and our minds need to know the answers and what the “secrets” are. So when a marketer uses the word “secret” – it’s to drive more traffic, get more clicks, and generate engagement.

Employing the word “secret” as a marketing tactic is fine – many of my contemporaries and I, myself, use it.

However, make no mistake. What to do to become successful in a speaking, coaching, and consulting business is not a secret at all, in any way.

It’s out there. It’s also right here in this post.

Look at what successful people in the speaking and coaching world are up to – you’ll see them doing the same kinds of work, in their own ways.

“There is no club or group or association or grand pooh-bah of the speaking world,
holding closely guarded trade secrets and allowing only members to
receive their golden tickets to success.”
– Felicia Slattery

golden ticket

Now, there are plenty of reasons to join clubs, groups, and associations for speaking, coaching, consulting and business success (like maybe learning a super secret handshake to go with the usually awesome networking?) but the path to business success is about as public as possible.

Yet not everyone knows it – or takes action on what they know.

What it comes down to, and what I help my clients with, are the individual PARTS of making a successful speaking business happen. KNOWING what to do and being ABLE to implement each section of each step along the way is the difference between reading a recipe for chocolate chip cookies and enjoying the unmistakable aroma of those luscious chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven and finally savoring the flavor of those still-melty chips in a freshly home-baked cookie.

Sure, you can know what to do, but if you don’t do it – and don’t do it all the way – you won’t reach the level of success you want. Just like if you read the recipe for chocolate chip cookies and don’t make them – no cookies. Or you do make them and decide not to add the chocolate chips. You’ll get cookies, but you’ll miss out on the best part!

The smartest speakers get that to be successful, you can KNOW the plan in your head, you can be in groups for support, but without specific actionable help along the way, you’re going to make the mistakes and it’s going to take A LOT longer.

I help people fast-track their success. If you’re interested in that recipe for a successful speaking business, what you need to know – the recipe –  is on this page.

There it is. All laid out for you.

Your exact 7-step path to running a successful (meaning profitable) business doing public speaking, coaching, consulting, and writing books. Put these pieces together and you’re on your way to living an extraordinary life where you get to serve the kind of people you can help best.

And, if you need any help putting the pieces together, contact me.


PS: If you’re a speaker, author, coach, or consultant, please share in the comments below what has worked for you, what you struggle with, and if you found anything particularly interesting, useful, or valuable from this post! I look forward to reading your thoughts!


Professional Speakers – The Marketing Tools You Need to Succeed

Felicia Slattery on stageNo matter where you are in your professional speaking career, there are certain tools you need that meeting planners are looking for as they decide to hire you.

In order to get paid to show up for your expertise, you’ve got to first prove you know what you’re doing, and that means looking like a pro with everything you communicate. Here are the various tools you need to succeed when marketing yourself as a professional speaker:

  • Speaker Website/Webpage: You need a website that has all the info and details meeting planners are looking for, that’s in line with your brand and the message you want to convey.
  • Speaker One Sheet: This is a crucial one-page marketing tool and should include exactly what meeting planners want to see to book you as a speaker. They look like this.
  • Speaker Video: Meeting planners want to know what you look like and sound like, so you need to produce a video that does this job for you like this one.
  • Speech Description & Title: When you describe your speech and create a title, it should sound so exciting anyone interested in your topic won’t be able to stay away.
  • Speaker Photos: For most of us online, it’s our head shot that is our first impression. But as a speaker, did you know you need more than one photo? That’s because photos are a BIG part of the proof you’ve been on and you’re good on stage. They represent branding at its finest.
  • Speaker Business Card: Sometimes all you have is that tiny bit of real estate to make a lasting impression. Use it well and it can lead to future business!
  • Speaker Intro: Before you get on stage someone will be introducing you to the audience. You’ll be asked to provide a written intro for an emcee or someone else to read. This tool should get the audience fired up and excited to hear you and your speech.
  • Speaker Bio: There are multiple occasions where you’ll need a biography, including on your website and on your speaker one-sheet. Your job is to create a bio that will get you noticed and make you be memorable.

If you need help knowing what to put on each of these tools, I have created a set of checklists that will help you create every one of the pieces above, so you won’t leave off something important. You can see the checklists at

When you have these tools in place, working for you, you’ll look like the professional you are and give meeting planners plenty of reasons to say yes to hiring you to be on their stages!


Public Speaking – Signature Speech Secrets: Heide’s Notes

Heide MetzgerAfter more than 10 years in business, I’ve been blessed to receive more kind words, emails, and testimonials than I can count. Yet, every once in a while, a client surprises me. After she sent me this email, I asked her permission to share it with you. Obviously, she said yes (yay us!).

I got to know Heide Metzger for the first time when she joined my 30-Day Storytelling on Video Challenge (that I partner with Lou Bortone on) in the fall of 2015. She has a heart of gold and a HUGE vision to serve the world through fundraising massage parties. For example, let’s say you want to do the Avon Beast Cancer Walk and you have to raise your money to do that. Well, Heide has licensed massage therapists across the country who will come to your house while you host a party. Half of the money goes to you for your charity and half goes to the massage therapist for their time and energy. It’s a win-win-win!

I am honored she has chosen to work with me to help her expand her message and grow her mission. And yesterday she emailed me after being in the free webinar I taught and then joining the Signature Speech Mastery Program.

The following is her email written in it’s entirety, because even her signature and quotation at the bottom are wonderful indications of her huge heart and giving spirit.

Dear Felicia,

I wanted to get back to my office to write this since their where my notes (and thoughts) on the webinar were and wanted to share some with you if they can help you in any way to promote.

(Also the reason that I am on 2 of your lists is because this one is my general email to filter things through and the new one which will match the upcoming website, book, and marketing Fundraising Massage Parties, is what I use when it is something or someone I am working with currently or to follow up on. It is to cut out all other “noise”)

I wanted to specifically share with you the things that I put stars by and that made my eyes widen!
(HEIDEA = means I had an idea while you were teaching – these should come with a warning label)

1) “If you want to write a book, SPEAK about it first……….” WOW! Everyone else talks about having a book first to get your foot in the door! What great advice to get traction for a book launch!! I get that most people want a book out but don’t look at the marketing side of it though!

2) I loved the “chance to network with an entire room of people at once” I remember when I spoke in front of 180 Kinder Care teachers and when they came up to me afterwards, I felt like a rock star! Boy! Did I do EVERYTHING NOT to do for that event!! (That will be my testimonial for you after I finish your course and really ROCK!)

3) HEIDEA = When you mentioned the Naperville Chamber of Commerce, I thought about the mini-talk I am giving in Naperville tomorrow for the Alzheimer’s Walk Team in Naperville. They are committed to raising $500,000 at their event in September. Do you see an opportunity to speak to a local Chamber when events like that are going on in their town?

4) Your tip on simply adding “speaker” when you introduce yourself at events was great!

5) I AM IN LOVE with your simple 3-5 questions that people ask you the most! And what question should they be asking! For anyone that has an FAQ page on their website, brochures, or any marketing, THIS was a no brainer!!

THANK YOU!!! I got the other email about the 3 webinars tomorrow. It looks like one is at noon, another at !:00 and I am not sure of the 3rd, but I will rearrange a couple of things.

Feel free to let me know if you would like me to post anything anywhere.

With Much Love, Peace and Laughter,
Heide Metzger

“BE The Change You Wish To See In The World” Gandhi

With Much Love, Peace and Laughter,

Heide Metzger
“BE The Change You Wish To See In The World”   Gandhi
You can see the replay of the training that Heide took notes on at and join the program there, too. I’d love to have you!

Here is Heide’s fundraising vision explained using one of the video tools she learned about while taking part in the 30-Day Storytelling on Video Challenge with me and Lou Bortone. As you can see, she has a huge heart and I think a fabulous idea:

I Was Literally a Punch Line

live streaming imageYears ago when DVD players came on the market and started to become commonplace in many homes, my husband and I debated whether we should get a DVD player. My argument, admittedly weak as it was looking back now, was that VHS was the industry standard and had been for years. I thought FOR SURE the DVD player and the DVDs to go with them were going to be like the Betamax machines and tapes, which were popular with enthusiasts and early-adopter technologists, but never really caught on in the mainstream.

You see, I had watched my Dad years earlier buy into the Betamax, thinking it was going to be the next big thing, but it turned out to be a big dud. With that, my young opinions on early-adoption of technology were formed.

So when DVDs came along, in my mind it seemed a lot like the Betamax. I was completely against getting a DVD player.

Turns out I was also completely wrong.

Then, in the early 2000s, right as digital photography was becoming part of the mainstream, I was adamant I didn’t need a digital camera. After all, I reasoned, I’d taken photography classes. Those cameras could never reach the same quality as “real” cameras. Plus, it didn’t really matter; all I was doing was taking snapshots, anyway, so I was fine with the way I’d always done things.

Turns out I was wrong about that, too.

Now, in my marriage (perhaps like yours?), my husband and I enjoy some good-natured ribbing, especially when one of us is wildly wrong about something totally inconsequential in our world. That means, after it became abundantly clear DVDs weren’t going the way of the Betamax, I became the punch line of more of my husband’s jokes than I care to recall. Harrumph.

As a result, I now make sure I give a good look at anything technological coming down the line. I’ve got a good sense of humor, but I want to avoid giving my hubby any more jokes. 🙂

That includes in my business as well.

In 2006, when I started my business I didn’t even know what a blog was. But by the end of the FIRST DAY I heard of a blog, I had one up. That turned out to be a good move.

In mid-2007 when I heard about this new thing called Twitter, I didn’t understand what it was all about, but I signed up for an account, anyway. Months later after I “got it,” I was tweeting like I owned the Twitterverse, loving it, and made a lot of money from marketing on social media.

In 2009 when it was clear Twitter was going to be at least matched by the former college-party-annoucement site, Facebook, for business, I started spending more time there. That’s also paid off in a big way for me.

I’ve come a long way and now can spot a tech giant in the making based on a number of factors, and the most recent technological advancement I’ve chosen NOT to ignore is live-streaming video.

When Google+ Hangouts on Air started to be a thing, I did a few hangouts, but the technology wasn’t quite there yet to support live-streaming video on a large-scale basis because it relied on Internet speed and bandwidth. Too many people couldn’t participate live properly – heck I’ve even been kicked off my own webinars!

Fast forward to today and what has changed is simply: the iPhone (and all smartphone technology). Don’t ask me about why technologically speaking apps work so much better than the older versions of live-streaming, they just do. If you really want to see some of the whys you can try here or here.

As far as evidence that live streaming is *THE* now big thing that isn’t going anywhere but up, all you have to do is look at what two behemoths jumped on board. At first it was the slick new fancy apps like Periscope and Blab (and formerly Meerkat, which is no longer a player), but now… Facebook Live has become a major player and in the past few days YouTube has announced it will soon be rolling out a new live streaming feature.

Luckily I have smart friends, Jeff Herring and Mike Stewart, who not only get this stuff and use it themselves, but are excellent teachers. If you want to know how to use the new live streaming video, or just want to see a cool demo of it yourself, you can watch it here.

Speaking on video is something I know a bit about – and teach that myself. If you’re stuck on what to SAY on your live streaming videos, here are a few ideas for you:

  • Take a section of your Signature Speech™ and share it.
  • Answer your most frequently asked questions – one at a time, one per video
  • Address a comment, question, or rant you see on social media
  • Do a public service announcement about something that will protect your clients or the people in your market from an unsavory character or undesired result
  • Offer a glimpse into your daily life
  • Make your own rant – to the benefit of your viewers
  • Share a tip
  • Unveil a myth and explain why it is a myth and what the truth is
  • Explain one of the mistakes you see people making and what they can do instead
  • Tell a personal story and relate it with a moral related to your business

Whatever you do, don’t ignore this new tool available to you. You wouldn’t want your loved ones making YOU the butt of their jokes, now would you? It’s your turn to laugh – all the way to the bank.

A Better Way to Take a Compliment about Your Speaking

be grateful after a speechYou just delivered your Signature Speech, got off stage and now there’s a line of people waiting to talk to you about what you just shared.

Inevitably, someone will compliment you on some aspect of your speech and you might be tempted to say “thanks but…”

“Thanks, but I really could have delivered the close better.”

“Thanks, but some people seemed pretty zoned out.”

“Thanks, but I felt really off today and to the people who know me, it showed.”

I am personally guilty of all these, which would be how I know what might come to mind. 😉

Now, if you grew up like me, with someone in your life who asked you, “Who do you think you are…,” you may have a difficult time accepting praise. Or if you’re a church-going person, you undoubtedly heard many times in your life that humility and modesty are important traits. You might even feel guilty when someone gives you a compliment that you don’t think you deserve.

So it may feel only natural to deflect a compliment because it feels like the humble thing to do. In some speakers’ minds, the alternative is to imply boastfully, “Yep, you’re right. I rocked it and I know it.”

Yet, here’s why that’s a mistake. When you deflect someone’s compliment, it’s not about YOU. It’s about THEM. It’s like saying to that person, “Thanks, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.” It’s actually hurtful to the person. Now instead of feeling like they did something nice by telling you what they enjoyed about your presentation, your response could lead to them feeling badly.

You didn’t create a connection. You broke it. (ouch)

All that warmth and rapport you spent your Signature Speech building up? It can be gone in an instant.

Here’s what to do instead:

Whether you agree with someone giving you a compliment, remember it’s not about you at all. It’s about THEM. So acknowledge the compliment and then say something about THEM. Here’s what I say,

“Thank you! You are so kind. I appreciate it.”

And end it there. You don’t need to go any further. You get to maintain the connection you worked to create (after all, you never know where your next speech referral is going to come from!), and you didn’t act boastful in any way. In fact, you appear gracious, and that will continue to build the connection you started by being on the stage that day. YAY YOU!

Demystifying Your Brand Message

When you show up that's your brand Felicia SlatteryA brand is a simple thing, but because we can’t put our hands on it or hold something tangible up to show what a brand looks like, it’s a bit mysterious. And to the small or solo business owner can feel all too much like a weird waste of time. That unfortunately leads too many people to ignore their brand and go about doing the work of their business.

In fact, there are a number of famous marketing consultants and speakers who will tell you to forget about working on your brand and just figure out what you’re going to do for marketing. I’ve heard some even say something akin to “branding is stupid.”

The funny thing is the same “branding is stupid” people will turn around and have you write every single detail about your ideal customer, determine how you want to position yourself in the marketplace, and make your marketing share a cohesive message about who you are.

Newsflash: that’s branding.

Your brand includes your logo and your website, certainly, but it doesn’t stop there. Here’s how I define your brand:

BRANDING: The perception of you in the marketplace based on the experience of YOU – both personal AND your business – that you provide through all the methods of communication you use including social media, video, email, on webinars, on stage, and face to face in person. It’s what you say, what you do, and how you say it and do it.

While my Mom and Dad were recently visiting, the topic of Facebook came up. Overall, my parents disapprove highly of Facebook and they don’t like how and what I post. They think “it’s too personal.” My husband, also a small business owner, and I tried to explain to them Facebook, for anyone in any kind of business, is about building your brand one post at a time.

Here’s a snapshot of my most recent Facebook posts from yesterday:

Facebook post Collage

What can you learn about me from these posts:

  • I like food: Food is one area of commonality among all human beings. We must eat to survive. Food is the great equalizer. HOW I eat and what I eat tells a bit about me and how I live my life. That’s part of the experience of me.
  • I’m in business: Social media is about being social, yes. But don’t forget if you are in business, you need to throw in a business post or two once in a while. As you can see, neither of my two business-related posts on this day suggested you go “buy my stuff.” But the message is clear, I have a website, and I’m leading a challenge right now.
  • I have a life: I’m wishing a friend and colleague happy birthday and sharing a story about my family and our dog.

So what?

Well, from just these 5 Facebook posts on this one day you can learn a lot about me. You can see I use smiley face emoticons and more than my fair share of exclamation points, and post funny, quirky, inspirational, sweet things and often with gratitude, regularly connecting to and directly mentioning others in my posts. Looking back now at those words, that’s pretty much my personal brand summed up.

So when people contact me about working with me, or having me on their stages or podcasts, they don’t ask what it’s like to work with me. They usually only ask, “What kinds of programs do you have and how can I get started?”

I make A LOT of sales to people I am connected with on Facebook and other forms of social media. Why? Many have told me directly it’s because they enjoy the experience of me as much as what I can teach them or help them achieve.

When you are 100% clear on the experience of who you are and what you want people to feel and think and learn ABOUT as much as FROM you, making a sale becomes easy because you’ve already built a relationship with the person – sometimes only in their minds. People will feel like they have gotten to know you, without ever meeting you, or even without ever interacting with you online because you share openly and freely who you are and what you’re about via social media, video, on stage, on webinars, and through your email list.

You’re far from vanilla.

It’s impossible to fade into the background and look like everyone else.

You’re memorable.

You’re YOU and the only YOU there can ever be.

It’s as close to being magnetic as you can get. Being you is how you attract the kind of people who will love to work with you – and who you love working with.

And that is where the problem comes in because it looks almost mystical. But nothing could be farther from the truth.

When you tap into the experience that is YOU and know how to share that effectively, business (and life!) becomes a lot more fun and profitable.

When you get clear on your brand and communicate that effectively, your business will change and life gets a lot more fun in the process. It’s one of the things I help my clients do. If you are interested in learning more about how I work with my clients, you can check out a few details on my website here.

The ONE Job of Your Speaker One Sheet

One of the biggest mistakes people make when preparing any marketing materials, including a Speaker One Sheet, is expecting it to do more than the job it is intended for.

The job of a Speaker One-Sheet (also known as a one-pager), which is a printed or digital marketing tool designed to showcase you as a speaker, is NOT to get you or make you money. Find out what it’s supposed to do for you in this mercifully short, under three minutes video. Then go to to make the job of creating your one-sheet super simple and easy!

Real Fast Holiday Promotions – ANY Time of Year for ANY Business, Part 1

national ice cream day

National Ice Cream Day is July 16, 2016. Why not send your best clients a gift card for a scoop?

One of the biggest myths is that “the holidays” only come once a year.

Maybe that’s true for “The Holidays” – capitalized because if you’re thinking of the big 3 of Thanksgiving – Christmas – New Years (or Thanksgiving – Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Your Holiday of Choice – New Years), you’re right. But when you want to communicate with your people, market your business, serve more people, and make more money, you’ve got an opportunity to use a holiday promotion 365 days a year – and I’m not just talking about Christmas in July sales.

Certainly there are the obvious traditional holidays that people celebrate – Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and such. Plus there are the “mattress company and car dealership” holidays that apparently only mattress retail outlets and car dealerships seem to market around like Veteran’s Day or Columbus Day.

As you peel away the next layer of the holiday promotional onion, you see some organizations marketing around a cause like Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October – heck just about the whole NFL wears pink socks and if that organization isn’t about making money, nothing is!

But then, digging even deeper, you’ll find a different reason to celebrate – and promote your business – every single day of the year! They can be a day, a week, or a whole month. Holidays like these related to my business of speaking, writing, coaching and consulting:

  • National Motivation and Inspiration Day: January 2
  • Just Say No to PowerPoint Week: February 7-12
  • National Be Heard Day: March 7 (instituted by my friend, PR Pro Shannon Cherry)
  • National Bookmobile Day: April 13
  • National Small Business Week: May 1-7
  • Effective Communications Month: June (I’ve celebrated this for many years annually)
  • National Talk in an Elevator Day: July 29, last Friday in July, (I may have to do a promo around my Kill the Elevator Speech book!)
  • Weird Contest Week: August 8-12
  • International People Skills Month: September (I’ve got a weekly show called “Creating Connections” – it’s all about people skills for business and marketing!)
  • National Face Your Fears Day, October 11, 2nd Tuesday in October (public speaking anyone?)
  • National Entrepreneurship Month: November
  • National Thank You Note day: December 26 (in case you don’t have enough other options in December!)

Are your wheels turning yet?

You can visit a site like, which looks VERY “homemade in the basement,” but has accurate info plus links to any and all holidays that have websites and organizations attached to them. Find a holiday that’s fun or interesting, or related to what you do and make your plans now.

My friend and colleague, Daniel Hall, and I are teaching a course called Real Fast Holiday Promotions on all the ins and outs of how you can use holiday marketing. Check that out here now to help you bring your ideas to life!

In Part 2, I’ll give you some ideas for how various kinds of businesses can use wild and wacky holiday marketing creatively to create connections with potential customers and clients, nurture those who you already have relationships with, and stand out in the crowd of others who do what you do to make more money and have more fun!

Your Business Has a Lifestyle?!

healthy business

Your Business Has a Lifestyle – It’s Up to YOU to Make it a Healthy One!

I didn’t have to make a resolution to determine that I want to learn something new every single day. Being a lifelong learner is simply part of my lifestyle. And that got me to thinking about a major ah-ha moment I had this week while listening to my friends and colleagues Jim Edwards and Jeff Herring.

You can watch this webinar on demand (that means right NOW!) and I promise you’ll pick up something new – I did! – (You can hear about my major ah-ha at about the 16:30 mark).

During the webinar, Jim was talking about the importance of CONSISTENCY and something I hadn’t considered before hit me. If you think of marketing your business in terms of how you live your LIFE – anything you’re NOT consistent with isn’t going to work for you.

Think of diet and exercise.

  • If you workout sporadically or just once a week, is that going to get you the amazing body you know is under there somewhere?
  • If you only eat healthy foods when you feel inspired to, are you going to be in optimal health?
  • NO! You HAVE to make exercise and healthy eating part of your lifestyle to get the best possible results.

The same is true with content marketing. You need to make it part of your business lifestyle. That means every day you want to create SOMETHING that can help DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC. It can be:

  • An email article you send your subscribers
  • A blog post on your own blog (like this!)
  • A guest post on someone else’s blog
  • A video doing a demo, telling a story, clarifying a point, explaining a detail… whatever
  • A webinar – either that you teach or you present
  • A speech – that you deliver live or show a video of
  • A podcast – either that you run or that you’re a guest on
  • A live stream event – either that you run or that you’re a guest on
  • Slides that you post online for people to learn from

The list goes on.

But golly that can get time consuming. Even if you’re repurposing your content, which smart marketers do, you still have to create it in the first place.

Enter the CUSTOM CONTENT WIZARD. This tool Jeff and Jim talked about makes creating that content you need to be consistently sharing very EASY. And FAST!

The fact is, your business DOES have a lifestyle of it’s own. But YOU are the one who drives that. Isn’t it time to get your business lifestyle in the BEST possible shape it can be in? Of course it is! Go see what it’s all about at:

BTW There is a special deal going on right now that expires in a couple days, so go see it this weekend while you’re thinking of it.

How I Won The Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Association for Talent Development’s Thrown Down Contest

ATD Smoky Mountain Chapter Throw Down Winner Felicia Slattery Receives $100 Visa Gift Card from President Cindy Light

ATD Smoky Mountain Chapter Throw Down Winner Felicia Slattery Receives $100 Visa Gift Card from President Cindy Light.

Moving to a new town can be a challenge.

Moving to a new town after living in the same area for almost all your life can be daunting.

Moving to a new town, and trying to break into the business scene where literally NO ONE knows you could lead to professional suicide.

Sounds like fun! So we gave it a whirl!

In July 2015, my husband and I moved our family of four, plus Sadie the Speaker Dog, away from the frigid, icy, snowy, long winters and terrible taxes in the state of Illinois, to a warmer climate all around in beautiful Knoxville, east Tennessee. I spent most of the summer getting myself and the kids settled and much of the fall getting to know the school, school moms, volunteering for this and that, and focusing on my family. Admittedly, my business was rolling along well on autopilot.

But I knew it was time to get out there and meet some people. Plus, given that for me, 2016 will bring an increased focus on building the corporate training and speaking / communication consulting side of my business, I knew it was time to do what I’d been coaching my clients, webinar students, and readers to do for years: join an association where your people are hanging out.

As a trainer, for me that meant checking out the local chapter Association for Talent Development (ATD – formerly  ASTD, the American Society for Training and Development).

Happily, there is a Knoxville chapter called the Smoky Mountain Chapter, and they have a website with info about upcoming meetings. While looking over the site, I noticed an announcement for their second annual December Trainer Throw Down speech contest. The application deadline was soon approaching.

They had me at “speech contest.” I was in.

So… A Contest for The New Kid in Town

The topic was engagement. I speak regularly about audience and reader engagement, so the topic was right up my alley. Having grown up in high school as a competitive speaker and then being recruited for Bradley University’s Speech Team, THE most winning collegiate team in ANYTHING  in the country, I am no stranger to competing on stage. Well, at least I wasn’t 25 years ago… gulp. However, given the time limit for the Throw Down was 10 minutes, I took that as a sign I should go for it because that was our time limit when competing in college.

Plus, even if I lost – remember, I’d never been to even one of their meetings to know what these people were all about – they could well have been national champ team speakers, too – but I figured after getting up there everyone would at least know who I was and get a taste of what I can do on stage, and that was my whole goal. The BEST way to meet a room full of people is always to be the speaker.

Right away I knew I wanted to talk about engaging an audience using all five senses. Beyond that, I wasn’t sure what I’d do, so I let the holidays, family life, and regular business stuff occupy the front of my mind while the topic of engagement percolated in the back of my brain and I waited for inspiration.

Inspiration Hits!

Suddenly I found myself at the day before the event and knew I had to get my thoughts, well-percolated now, into some

Handout Used for the Winning Presentation - Using a Speaker One Sheet Design

Handout Used for the Winning Presentation – Using a Speaker One Sheet Design

form for a presentation.

At first I was stuck staring at the cursor. Then after praying for what to do, it hit me: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas!

It was perfect because I could write a stanza about each of the 5 senses. Then I created a handout, pictured here. I used one of my speaker one-sheet templates to make that job go super fast and in a couple hours I had my original poem written, my handout done and ordered from Staples, and was in bed sleeping soundly.

Here is that winning poem. One thing to keep in mind – I wrote it SPECIFICALLY for this ONE occasion and for the people in that room. If I were to deliver this again, I’d make a few alterations, but it did the job. I won!

‘Twas the week before Christmas when all through this place
The trainers were training and throwing down with great grace.
There’s a new coach in town, Felicia Slattery by name
With hopes that the prize might be hers to claim.

The theme was engagement,
The stage was all set,
To see who would win and the glory to get.

So curl up by the fire and lend me your ear
And discover how the people can learn what you want them to hear.

Now the first thing to do, to develop the staff
Is to keep their attention and make them to laugh or
To think or to learn or to change or to grow
So they can become even better, and your lessons then know.

But you compete with their email, their bosses, their lives
What’s a trainer to do not to break out in hives?

It all starts with 5 senses
Taste, touch, sound, sight, smell
It may seem quite odd, but heed this tale well

First, when thinking of sight, shake things up just a bit,
Plan to surprise, to delight. It’s not hard, if you commit.
No need to be dressed all in fur from your head to your toe,
But put on a hat, use some props, try out a fun slide, make it a show.
Multimedia’s a way – and yes even today.
Give them something unexpected to look at, creative to see
And they’ll keep watching you and your training with glee.

Next you have sound, no you don’t have to sing,
But how about a toy that makes a sound like [ka ching].
More rapid than eagles, your students will learn
To hear their own names, for that sound they do yearn:
Now Cindy, now AJ, now Allen, now Ron
Go Amanda, go Yvonne, go Beverly, go John

To the top of the mind, to the top of the brain
Let’s move on to taste while you eat this sweet cane.

Taste might seem tricky, but learning has flavor
When you provide your people something to savor
The hippocampus of the brain an experience does produce
That engages the mind which of course is quite good, or so you’d deduce.

New research last month proves there is a connection
The brain registers taste not the tongue on inspection
That means the brain is engaged when it’s eating a food
And enjoying a treat also lightens the mood.

Next onto smell: attention, learning and memory improve with a sniff
Years ago they learned oils of lemon and rosemary took just a whiff
Pre tests and post tests and t tests did show
That details learned with scent in the brain could be stowed

And touch is so easy, let them pick up and feel anything
That you teach. It makes the learning more real.
To create a connection and build some rapport
Shake a hand, pat a back, give hive fives and you’ll score.

But touch can be inside, an emotion it’s true
Engage with a story and watch memory improve.

For trainers and teachers and students galore
Remember: enlist all 5 senses for trainees to learn more

So before this tale ends, I humbly ask for your vote
I stayed up half the night to write what I wrote.

If your mind didn’t wander and your attention I did keep
You can see how anyone here could make learning so deep.

It’s not the gift card, or the glory
No, we all win with engagement and telling a great story.
Its service from the stage, Taking care of the folks
Be sincere, be real, be yourself, tell some jokes.

As I end this, I wish all contestants good luck.
You amaze me, and I feel a certain awestruck.

And now I exclaim, as I head back to the buffet
Happy training to all, and to all a good day!

speaking with props

My Winning Props

With each one of the stanzas related to a different sense, I used a different prop of some kind – all pictured here. I downloaded a video of a crackling fire and put that up on the screen in place of a slideshow to set the scene and incorporate sound and sight. I wore a Santa hat, and dragged my prop table to be next to the Christmas tree in the front of the room, which the restaurant had so graciously placed there not even knowing I’d be able to use it! And then I enlisted help from a college student to pass out candy canes when I talked about the sense of taste. Each of the props I used I pulled from a Christmas stocking. It all went great!

I won by just two points, but a win is a win! What did I win?

  • $100 Visa Gift Card
  • Bragging rights forever that I am the 2015 Throw Down Trainer Champ
  • Ability to promote that at the national ATD meeting in the spring of 2016
  • Ability to send press releases stating that I’d won
  • Invitations from people at the event who saw me present to speak to two groups (so far)
  • Confidence that I can still compete with some of the best, most experienced and well-known folks in any room

What a relief. Want to see the presentation? Video is coming soon!

**UPDATE: Here’s the video. It’s not professional so it’s rough for the first few seconds and a couple spots in the middle, but I think you’ll be able to handle it 😉

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