There are thousands of events (virtual & live) happening every day. You are a speaker, and you want to step on as many of those stages to get in front of your ideal clients. You don’t want to go into this battle of speakers unprepared.
I have put together my top 5 Deadly Weapons that I believe will destroy your speaking career. You may not even know you are using them. Time to put those weapons away and start getting the bookings you really want and need to build your business on stage. Let’s do this weapon by weapon:
WEAPON 1 – SHARP KNIFE – YOUR PITCH
Your knife needs to be sharp, clean and shiny, just like your pitch. If you are coming from a selling position, you will stab yourself in the heart. You need to remember that bookers are looking for speakers to inspire, motivate and educate their audience. They want their audience to leave their event with actionable tools – not empty pockets. Make sure your pitch it:
- Sharp – to the point – they don’t have the time to read long pitches
- Clean – let them know why you are the right person to speak to their audience. Don’t go on and on about YOU; it is all about their audience.
- Shiny – make so they want to read more; everyone is a squirrel and they like shinny objects. Make yours shinny so they want to read more.
WEAPON 2 – HAND GRANADE – PREPARATION
This weapon, as you know, can go off in your face. That is exactly what will happen when you are n
ot prepared. Just like in the Boy Scouts. You need to have
the following items ready to go so when your information is requested, you can send it immediately. This shows that
you are a professional and can be counted on to show-up on-stage.
- Updated Headshot – you need to look like YOU
- Bio – keep it under 150 words
- Title & Description – Have at least 3 really juicy titles that will make their audience lean in and want to learn more. Give a short description – remember you have little time before that grenade explodes. Too long and you lose them.
- Take-Away – what are the action items the audience will leave with that they can immediately use to take their business forward.
If you are not prepared, don’t start the process. When bookers ask for these items do not make them wait or ask for them over and over again. If they have to, that grenade will have exploded and you have just blown up any chance to speak there again.
WEAPON 3 – GUN – ASK QUESTIONS
Don’t put the gun to your own head by not asking the right questions before you sign a speaker contract. You need to know:
- Is it the right audience for you? Don’t speak to entrepreneurs when your ideal client is a corporate C-Suite.
- What is the history of the event (first time/annual/monthly)? If first time, what is the projected audience attendance? If recurring, what is the history of attendance? Remember they will fudge a bit. If you can see who has spoken prior, contact them and see what their experience was like.
- Is it a Pay to Play, Pay for Percentage, Keynote? Know the difference and whether it is the right investment for you. In other words, know your ROI!
You could be shooting yourself in the foot if you step on a stage not knowing the answers.
WEAPON 4 – POISON – DON’T BE A DIVA
They say that poison is a women’s weapon, at least that’s what my CSI shows tell me. And it’s a horrible death. You don’t want to drink it. So don’t be a DIVA!
Remember that you are a part of the event, not THE Event. Be respectful of the event team and the event location. Event planners are told when their audience members are disrespectful and rude to their staff. Just be kind and thankful to everyone you come in contact with. If there is an issue, discuss it with the appropriate party and use grace.
Show up early and stay late; be a part of the event. Get to know the audience before you step on-stage. Don’t sit in a “speakers only” session; sit with the crowd. You become one of them and they will be more likely trust what you are sharing. No one likes a DIVA, so don’t take that poison pill. Chances are you will get more out of the event than you ever dreamed.
WEAPON 5 – BOMB – FOLLOW-UP
Follow-Up; not having one will blow up your entire goal. You got on the stage, you had a killer presentation, the audience loved you. Now what? If you don’t have a follow-up plan in place you might as wel
l cancel all your upcoming events. Begin with the end in mind; and I know your end is not an explosion (at least not a bad one). If you are asking the audience for emails; have a system ready so they receive an email from you in a timely manner. If you are selling them a service or program, make sure they have the information they need to work with you immediately after giving you their payment.
The audience is on a high after an event; use that to your benefit. If you wait and they have cooled down, you might not be able to re-engage them like you would like.