There are 3 things that humans fear most. Death, public speaking..and death whilst public speaking. Okay, so that’s a joke but it does have truth. There are really very few people who really enjoy public speaking, is sort like born to do it this way or at least initially anyway.
A few week back, I have been invited as an Digital marketing speaker, talking alongside some of the biggest names in the digital marketing and personal development space such as Rosalind Gardner, Mitch Carson, Vishen Lakhiani, Tracy Repchuk, Raymond Aaron and many more. Check out the full line up here.
Just 12 months ago whilst sitting in the audience (as a total novice) at the same event I made a declaration to myself that 1 year following I would be up on the Unlimited Power Online stage speaking. I think the many people I told thought I was mad or at least mildly deluded. I knew however that if I was to achieve success within digital marketing one of fastest ways to get there was as a public speaker.
Why you should be public speaking
There are many benefits to public speaking, not least the money. At the high end public speakers can garner hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars from a few hours work. We are not all Anthony Robbins or Bill Clinton though, however it is conceivable that even as a novice speaker you can earn $10,000 or more from a speaking gig. Add to that the opportunity for high value networking and joint venture opportunities that exist when mixing with other successful speakers, this number can increase way further. The opportunity to meet, network and strategize with industry leaders as a fellow speaker is worth pushing your comfort zone for even if monetizing your time on stage was not an option. Fortunately it is, so the profitable relationships I have developed with fellow speakers in my limited career have been a welcome added bonus.
Public speaking is an immediate credibility builder. Simply through the act of being on stage, people will consider you an expert. Add to that the credibility you gain by association with other expert speakers it is an immediate formula for authority. I found public speaking an excellent way to develop my own personal brand and in turn add followers to my community.
Now we all know that public speaking is not for everyone and for most they will need to break through some limiting beliefs before they step out on stage. Truth is, public speaking is no big deal and you have to put it in to perspective. I mean most people get frightened of public speaking without ever having done it. If you have never done something before how do you know how it will feel? I was extremely nervous before my first big event (which was in front of 500 people), however contrary to my expectations as soon as I got on stage I found it to be a real buzz. Now had I just listened to the voice inside my head I would never have experienced that and all the benefits that came from it.
Run towards your fears
Pushing through your comfort zone is what will put you ahead, because the majority of your competitors won’t step beyond their fears. If the thought of something feels uncomfortable, then it’s something you absolutely must be doing. That’s why when the opportunity was presented to me to speak at my first event I said yes immediately, before my mind could persuade me otherwise. Acknowledge that voice then disagree with it.
How to get started
A good way to start is by doing videos. Videos will give you the practice of speaking without the fear of an audience in front of you. Once you feel comfortable and can speak fluently on your subject matter enroll in your local Toastmasters, Rotary or Lions. These places are an excellent practice environment as audience numbers are usually small and they also offer presentation training. Webinars and interviews will also help you to develop your presentation skills without the fear of facing a live audience.
Once you have your skills well polished you will need to go out and get some gigs. One of the best ways to get speaking engagements is by referral. In fact unless you are a big name it will likely be the primary way you get your gigs.
Me, Simon Coulson, Ernesto Verdugo, Simon Leung, Andy Harrington. UPO 2010
How to get referrals
Go to events and mix with speakers, develop relationships and prove your credibility. Then all you need do is ask those speakers to refer you. Promoters hold referrals in high regard, so if you are recommended your chances of securing a slot are high. It is also important to state you will also need to have a product. Promoters normally make their money through a share of the sales that you do at their event, so a good product and ideally a proven history of selling will hold you in good stead.
Tips for a good presentation
Plan your presentation well in advance and know your material thoroughly. Don’t leave your slide preparation to the last minute or you will be preparing to fail. If you are using slides, use them only to illustrate your subject matter and do not make them the focus of your talk. Put what you have to say in a logical sequence and ensure your speech will be captivating to your audience. Then it comes down to practice. Rehearse your speech at home or where you can be at ease and comfortable, in front of a mirror, your family, friends or colleagues. You can even use a voice-recorder or videotape your presentation and then have your peers analyze it.
The key really is knowing your audience and it is very good advice to speak with the event organizers before the event. Some of the key questions you may want to ask them are as follows;
* What level are the audience at?
* What has worked well in the past?
* What is a big mistake people have made in the past?
* What is the sweetspot in terms of pricepoint for your product?
* How long do I have on stage?
* What timeslot do I have?
* Describe a typical audience member.
Use this information to shape your presentation and to match your contents to the audience needs.
Profiting from digital marketing speaking
Whilst being paid in advance for public speaking engagements used to be the norm, front end pay is now extremely rare even for the big guys. Generally most event organizers will require you to sell a product from stage for a share of the revenue (normally 50%). Within the promoters guidelines price is rarely an issue if you have matched your message and product to the audience and have connected with them during your presentation. It can often be as easy to sell a $10,000 product as it is to a $1,000 product, and you certainly don’t need to sell as many to get a great return.
So that’s a short introduction to busting your comfort zone as a digital marketing speaker. To wrap things up, if you want to instantly boost your authority and multiply your profits, then face your fears and take on public speaking.
If you are a promoter and interested to have me speak at your event, contact me here.