I recently attended a mini-National Speaker’s Association session in Oakland, CA.
A room full of speakers, professional and wannabes gathered together to discuss the professional speaking field. My interests were in people who want to speak on cruise ships. In addition to the many speaking opportunities that come my way, one of them is doing special interest talks – read edutainment talks to the cruising demographic.
At the NSA meeting everyone brainstormed on ‘what professional speakers need most.’
The first shout out – “A good marketing team!”
Lots of folk are quite good at what they do … except for the part where they think they need to sell themselves.
Marketing is not selling. Marketing is messaging. Letting people know what you do and that you do it well. When people know what you are/do and it’s a match, the connection is made. No sales is necessary.
1. You need a good product. That’s the speaker. If the speaker is no good, no amount of marketing will sustain the business.
2. You need a good project manager. Speaking is often like a book. Both are tools to deliver something else. A book is a calling card to get a speaking gig. Speaking is an opportunity to let people know who you are and what you offer. The project manager is the person who actually delivers what it is you want to do for people. In my case, I do Social Media Marketing. When I speak, people go away KNOWING that I can deliver solid and measurable results. And that I do it well and could do it for them or teach them how to do it. 100 times out of 100 a portion of my attendees will ask, can we work together. The project manager delivers the product.
3. You need a closer. When people line up to give you a business card and ask to meet/talk later, you need a good closer who can do the follow up for you.
4. You need a good admin.Somebody needs to keep the books. Do the accounting. Accept money and pay the bills.
5. You need a good gopher. Somebody needs to do the mousey things. Run errands. Do data entry and such.
Often all five of these are done by 3 people – me, myself and I. Or by two people. A husband and wife team.
What is important to understand is that the jobs are different and require different skills.
In the next article, I will tell you how I assembled my team. Maybe you can tell me how you assembled yours?
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said the Speaking is man’s worst fear – #2 is dying. ..so if you are giving a funeral eulogy, you are safer to be in the casket.
Humorous, but not too far off the mark. In my family growing up, with 5 kids, if you didn’t jump into a conversation and LOUDLY, you got passed over. Now all of my siblings can command an audience in public. Our sense of humor is another asset. Keep your talks light and fun for the audience.
If you are a newbie to the circuit – take classes in public speaking. ANYTHING can be learned. Besides formal classes, I endorse Toastmasters as a great way to get over your fears. another service that I can personally recommend is the Dale Carnegie Program. Both are super.
The other way to build skill is to rehearse your talk. Time it. Video yourself and have a honest third party give you comments. Relatives and close friends may be too “nice” to you and not give you what you need. Audio record you talk and listen to it in the car while driving. The idea here is to know your material and not have to stop and think what comes next.
There’s a Meetup happening in the Bay Area of San Jose / San Francisco. Palo Alto to be precise.
The event will take place on Nov 18th at 3373 Middlefield Rd in Palo Alto from 7:30 – 9:30 pm.
At a recent conference in Arizona to a group of Web Developers called Pressnomics Bill Belew (that’s me writing about myself in the 3rd person) was given high marks for his style, presentation and message.
Bill is not so presumptuous as to think he is a perfect speaker. Nobody is. At the Meetup Bill will discuss what he did right AND what he knows he can do to improve his presentation skills overall … including the last one.
Here is what one person tweeted after the event:
At the Meetup Bill will go through the many steps he took to prepare and deliver the presentation. In future Meetups Bill will go through each step or invite experts who are even better at those steps to come share.
You are invited to the Meetup to learn what the steps are. And join us at future Meetups to grow step by step.
Here is the link to join the Meetup = Outline of a Perfect 10 Speaking Performance with Bill Belew. The Meetups are free … for now.
Want to learn what it takes to be a professional speaker? Maybe get a speaking gig on a cruise ship?