Doing a speaking gig once in awhile can be fun, lucrative, and beneficial to participants. But if you want your business to come 100% from your efforts, you need a structure that rivals that of the training companies’.
To compete for large training and development projects, speakers and trainers need to band together. I have a Webinar platform, and a Professional Coach Certification program. Dawn Jones has a sales team and a publishing company. Dr. Angela Massey develops courses and designs course materials. Delvon Survine knows how to register as a minority business. Ellen Engel is able to get Government Contracts. Robert Carrow has NLP and Charisma. Kelli Vrla has humor. Keith New has you covered on the financial front. Julie Schnelker can design and set up your pricing. Robin White has Executive Coach Curriculum. Guy Burns leverages network relationships…
The Star Marketing Summit is more than an event that happens twice a year at various major cities. It is more than instruction and support on how to build your business and your offering. It is more than peer support for whatever you are doing. The Star Marketing Summit is the infrastructure you can use to be competitive in the training and speaking arenas. Attend one Summit to become an active part.
I thought I could just isolate a specific teaching point, organize it tightly, make it funny, and deliver it like a story. But I fell flat. The audience didn’t respond; the organizers didn’t invite me back; and I wasn’t sure how to fix it.
Have you ever wondered why the keynote speaker gets paid so much more than a breakout trainer? I resented it at first, feeling like the trainer did all the work and provided all the valuable information. But then I thought about the two roles. The keynote gets the attention of the audience and riles them up, so the trainer can come in and instruct their now-open minds. It takes more preparation, practice, and finesse to do a keynote – but what specific steps does it take to make one work?
For any kind of creative or strategic planning, I use a mind map. Pick the teaching point you want to make, then branch off the sub-points as in the picture above. Make sure you have some hooks to make it memorable, and you give the audience a chance to opt in (more on how to craft a message in my blog post called The Formula for Speaking Success.
The hard part is the delivery. It mustn’t be a presentation or a performance. It is a vulnerable sharing of yourself in an intimate moment on stage. The point in a keynote is for you to be there with and for the audience. You can’t fake that, and you have to renew yourself for it every time.
I couldn’t pull off a great keynote until I could truly speak from the heart and be “out there” with them. I learned to do that by practicing vulnerability in my own life – not telling stories or giving advice – but truly sharing, with the intent of inspiring and moving my audience.
What audiences truly want is you. And keynotes are a concentrated sharing of you – your energy, your experiences, your compassion. And by sharing yourself, you fulfill your purpose in taking to the stage.
If you are a speaker, trainer, and coach who wants to build your business, consider attending a Star Marketing Summit. They are held twice a year at different cities. The next one is in Denver July 28-29. Go to www.StarMarketingSummit.com for details and support.
After an enjoyable airplane conversation where I revealed that I was a motivational speaker and executive coach, my seat mate told me, “We need a trainer to come in and present a series of five leadership modules over the course of a year.” “Great!” I said. “I would love to send you a proposal.” Just two years before, I wouldn’t even have been able to say that. I have been a corporate trainer since 1999 but have relied on small booking agents to match me with clients. “Well,” he said, “I think you’re a good fit for our culture, but I really need to do this on a larger scale. We have offices in eight cities. We would also need some assessments and up-front consultation as well as follow-up coaching…Can you do that?”
“Yes, I can do that,” I said, panicking behind the confident smile. “Here is where networking really pays off,” I thought.
Maybe it’s because we travel and can’t have normal daily interactions at home or maybe it’s because of the gregarious nature of what we do, but traveling speakers tend to stick together. In my almost 20 years on the road, I have attended Big Money Speaker bootcamps, local meetups, and mastermind groups galore. Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups filled the need between live events. Through that networking, I have amassed quite a pool from which to shop for help in fulfilling large contracts. I put the word out to my network and got the assessments, trainers, and coaches on standby within two days of submitting the proposal.
After being recruited by others in my network to collaborate on similar ad hoc engagements, we started thinking, “Maybe we should make this official!”
We had already created a support group for speakers, trainers, and coaches called the Star Marketing Summit where peers who had achieved success shared what they did to give a leg up to colleagues they cared about. Now we were emphasizing leveraging the team created through the Summit to build an infrastructure that could rival a large training company.
As an organizer of this twice-a-year event, I started scheduling professionals who could provide not only training and inspiration, but also substance. The Star Marketing Summit has grown a second pillar – The Star Performance System. The Marketing Summit trains and supports the growth of its attendees while the Performance System acts as their infrastructure.
Over the 9 years I have been meeting with colleagues in this way, I have been able to say, “Yes,” to hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts I never would have been able to fulfill on my own.
Whether you are interested in camaraderie and fun, improving your presentation skill, finding more business, or taking on the corporate world, you will find the Marketing Summit to be a consistent resource. We do not profit from your registration and do not allow presenters to “pitch” from the front of the room. This event is as different as it is game changing. Please check us out at www.StarMarketingSummit.com and register for the next event in Dallas January 5-6.
Marketing yourself requires exposure you can get through the Marketing Summit. We are putting on an optional Speaker Showcase where you can be observed by those who hire speakers. It will go from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, January 5 and incurs no additional cost.
One speaker’s bureau will be there, and we are inviting some local businesses
Regardless of the community exposure, please participate in the Speaker Showcase as a presenter or observer to reap multiple benefits, such as a chance to:
- Practice doing a 15-minute presentation and get feedback from experts
- Compare your skills with others
- Record yourself to use in marketing your speaking
The first 12 registered participants in the January 2018 Star Marketing Summit who request it will be scheduled to present in the Showcase. Everyone is encouraged to attend as an observer
We have just added at no extra cost the opportunity to get professional pictures at the July 2017 Marketing Summit. You will need to bring your own SD card to save the photos. You might also want a couple of wardrobe changes. Do a standard headshot to use on your social media profiles, then take some live-action shots, both fun and serious. If you have a certain brand, try to dress in the uniform of that brand. Do you have clothing that matches your brand colors?
Consider all the places and contexts where you use photos, and anticipate the poses that will be helpful. I got a great price ($500) on some professional photos 5 years ago. I took 30 poses and still didn’t have what I needed to put together a web site, social site banners, speaker one-sheets, and memes. Think about exactly what you need in advance, and take advantage of this amazing bonus.
If you have done any sales training, you’ve heard that in order to buy from you, people have to Know, Like, and Trust you. In traditional marketing, this is achieved through gaining visibility, telling your story, and creating a fair offer with a strong guarantee supported by testimonials.
In front of a live audience, the formula changes a little. Many speaking workshops tell us not to begin with a joke because not everyone appreciates a joke in the same way. Another reason for that is that the audience has to believe in you before you worry about getting them to like you.
Generally audiences go from skeptics to action-takers in these five stages:
- You know your stuff (Credibility)
- I like you (Likeability)
- You’re like me (Relatability)
- I can do it (Practicality)
- I’ll believe you and do what you suggest (Applicability)
Start out with confidence, clarity, and strong content. Build rapport, then show your vulnerability. These things allow the audience to be with you rather than in front of you. If you’re so great they can’t relate, then they may believe you but never take action because they assume it doesn’t apply to them.
The Formula for Successful Speaking and Back-of-Room Sales
by Sherry Prindle
You have great content that can really help your audience; you deliver it with finesse and variety, you build in specific, written action steps. This happens all day, but when you see their feedback, it is clear they don’t get it. It seems the default setting of audience members is to assume what you are sharing doesn’t apply to them until you prove it does.
I trained a corporate efficiency expert who took her message from company to company only to get a response that she was impractical, that they couldn’t implement what she said, and that it wasn’t relevant to them.
She did the logical thing and worked to improve her content to address those issues. It was indeed relevant, practical, and easy to implement—but they still weren’t getting it.
Lynn, a talented and ambitious speaker came to my class to re-certify as a professional speaker. Her problem was similar—she felt she was giving her audiences great content, but they accused her of being an “infomercial.” She kept beefing up her content; she even hired a coach to observe her classes and help her determine what was missing—he found nothing and agreed she had abundant, useful content.
When she showed up at my class we did an exercise where we take a speaking point and ask “So What?” until we get to a place where it is really relevant to the listener. The exercise simply pairs people up and has one trying to “sell” the other an item in their immediate vicinity. The listener simply says “So What?” until the seller hits something that is truly meaningful. It takes a long time for the people in the seller role to realize how much they are speaking from their point of view and how ineffective that is. It is much like differentiating features and benefits in sales. This exercise gave Lynn her epiphany: “I’m not giving them the ‘So What?’!”
The formula I extracted as the common thread throughout all effective presentations is this “So What?” scenario expanded into a replicable process that is used to teach someone rather than speak about something.
- 1. Identify a Need
- 2. Deepen into Pain
- 3. Offer Permission
- 4. Get Commitment
- 5. Meet the Need
- 6. Anticipate Impact
- 7. Call to Larger Action
1. Identify the need (What do you struggle with?)
A question from a participant is a great opportunity to implement step one by asking the whole audience how many of them have had the same struggle. You can easily ask questions like, “Have you ever . . .” Sometimes you want an answer, sometimes you are being rhetorical, but make sure and give more than one example to make sure the whole audience can relate. You can also use a story or statistic to create this.
2. Deepen the pain (How does that make you feel?)
Humans are infinitely adaptable. We cannot stay uncomfortable for too long; we adapt and build mechanisms for feeling comfortable even in horrendous situations. So many people are sleeping on a bed of nails and do not realize it.
3. Offer Permission (Why keep struggling?)
We are conditioned to be “tough,” so a little pain is not enough to motivate us to action. Helping people see they don’t need to struggle and getting them to imagine what life would be like without the struggle is an important step in the motivation process.
4. Get Commitment (Do you want it?)
Information does not produce results. The information has to be applied. Motivation comes from two things: pain and pleasure. Humans are motivated to move away from pain and toward pleasure. Until the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of change, we tend to stay the same. Getting commitment means they are asked to opt into the point you are trying to make. We are not going to just give it to them; they need to work for it, to consider what they would be willing to do to make the solution happen. “If I showed you how to. . . . would you be willing to . . . to put it into practice?” “Is that something that would help?” “What is it going to take for you to finally do something about that?” “If you would benefit from something like that . . . (get them begging for the information and doing or saying or thinking something to get actively involved in requesting it)”
5. Meet the Need (Here’s what I have for you)
This is the content they expect that you set out to give them.
6. Impact/Benefit (So what?)
How would that improve the way you . . .?” “Will that help . . .?” “Where will you apply this?
7. Call to Larger Action (Now What?)
Here you bring home why you wanted to share this in the first place or take the opportunity to solicit actions like sales of books and resources or recommending future business. You would seed the audience by setting them up to believe they really need to know the material or buy whatever you are selling to achieve their goals in life and that perhaps there is a larger issue they should expand their expertise into . . .
The Formula should be used for every point you want to make because anything you share without establishing a need for it first will not land anywhere, and establishing need without motivation or commitment will not produce results. Setting up your points with the formula usually takes less than a minute. The majority of your time is spent on quality content, while your preparation focuses on the formula because it is what gives your talk impact.