Move around the stage.
Connect with the audience.
I have seen a lot of speakers over the last 13 years. Some are really incredible and dynamic. Some are…OK (and some are flat out terrible).
I have also met a lot of speaker coaches over the years.
Everyone has their favorite speaker coach. I have mine, too, but I’m not going to show any favoritism. The majority of these speaker coaches and experts focus almost 100% on “how to speak” or “how to communicate more effectively.” I went to a great speaker training this summer and was disappointed that only 1 hour out of 3 days was spent on how to effectively market your speaking business.
If you’re serious about growing your speaking business, those skills are undoubtedly necessary. You have to be a master of the stage. But…
I would argue that being a great communicator is only half of the equation.
You can be the best communicator in the world but have no idea how to get booked. You can be the most dynamic, articulate, eloquent public speaker in the world… and still, be living in your parents’ basement binging on Netflix and wondering why you don’t have more paid gigs.
You’d feel sorry for yourself every time you saw a speaker. Any debate, newscast, conference, or sermon will awaken the jealous rage inside you as you mumble, “I’m better than them…”
And this isn’t just about getting on stages, either. It’s about getting beyond the stage.
If you have mastered the art of public speaking but are gone from your family 250 nights a year… is that everything you dreamed it would be? What have you put on hold to master the art of speaking? One of my dear speaker friends used to be on stages 200+ nights a year. He racked up the frequent flier miles but missed all the birthdays and anniversaries you can imagine.
He felt like he was missing out on life.
It’s a tug of war that many speakers face. The passion and drive to get your message out versus the tug and pull of your home life. I remember sitting at an Applebee’s with a speaker as he called home to read a story to his kids before they went to bed. He had been on the road for over 2 weeks by then.
My Director of Marketing & Operations and former speaker, Cody, would record videos of him reading his young kids their favorite books and send them the videos while he was gone.
Better than being there in person? No way!
Let me be clear, I am not trying to make you feel bad about being on the road. There are a time and place for that. And there is a time to be home with your family, too.
Wouldn’t it be great to scale your message beyond the stage?
What I mean by that is developing digital (i.e., online) training, courses, or consulting/coaching you can do from home. Leverage technology to drastically increase your reach and scatter your message to a wider audience.
Grow the online portion of your speaking business in 4 steps:
- Create a course: This doesn’t have to be a “course” technically, but get your message and take it online. Convert a 60-minute keynote talk into 4 videos 15 minutes long. Make it a PowerPoint, a whiteboard training, or just stand in front of a camera.
- Record your course: You can use screen capture software like Camtasia, or get a $200 camcorder (or use your phone). Here at Speaker Payday, we set up a studio with some lightboxes, a camcorder, tripod, and lapel mic. It probably cost us $400 or less. Don’t overthink this!
- Build Your List: Create an opt-in form on your website, Facebook page, and anywhere people are engaging with your message. Give away something of value in exchange for their email address (maybe it’s the takeaway in your keynote, maybe it’s a handout that complements your keynote…something simple and valuable). For the tech side, you can use LeadPages or ClickFunnels, or WordPress plug-ins like PopupAlly. Immediately upon opt-in, make them the offer for your course (this is where ClickFunnels comes in really handy!). There are lots of templates you can use to create your opt-in and sales page for the course you just created.
- Deliver the Content: Once they opt-in to your list, deliver the content. This can be over the course of a few days, or a week. It’s up to you. We’ve found the key is to test, test, and test. I can tell you what worked best for us, but that isn’t helpful in your business. Change some variables (price point, look, and feel, etc.) and test it out.
There is a lot more that can be said about this topic. We dive deeper into this topic and a lot more at our annual live event called Reach Academy Live!
Best of luck,
Founder, Advance Your Reach