Self-assessment and authentic reflection is imperative to grow your speaking business.
After every presentation, you need to know what worked and what didn't. Otherwise, you're not growing and improving.
You'll also be repeating the same mistakes and delivery techniques that will be holding your business back from its full potential. A successful speaker has practiced, refined, and perfected their keynote through a LOT of trial and error ... the result of this polished presentation is leads and spin off inquiries for more speaking.
Even though I've presented over 1,150 times, I still have room for improvement. I always could have done something different ... and better. Moreover, I'm also trying new things constantly to build my content, discover new delivery ideas, and become better at connecting with my audience.
Continual reflection is the best way I grow my speaking business. I do this in many different ways, but first and foremost, there are 3 questions I ask myself after every presentation:
1. What went well?
It's crucial to keep what works. Whether it's new content that connected with your audience, a delivery style or technique that engaged nicely, or hearing directly from your audience what clicked. Take time to write down immediately what worked well.
2. What do I need to improve for next time?
If a portion of your keynote didn't work, either try it a different way next time or cut it out altogether. Should you have done some differently? When did you notice audience members checking their phone? When did you just not feel it connecting?
Although this requires being vulnerable with yourself, it's the only way to grow and improve.
If you don't have a line of people waiting to talk with you afterwards, and if your email inbox isn't immediately influxed with messages, then your speech needs to be worked on. Only you can figure out what that is and be willing to ask yourself the tough question.
3. Who do I need to follow up with tomorrow?
Following up within 24 hours is the difference between you being remembered ... or forgotten. Especially at conferences, where the world hasn't stopped and people are getting anxious about getting home (or are already home) and about catching to the work they have missed. Moreover, attendees have likely seen numerous speakers and even if you delivered a rockstar presentation, you're outta sight ... which means you're outta mind.
So it's up to you to stay IN sight, which means you'll stay IN mind.
Successful speakers do this ... they follow up immediately. Surprisingly, this is a secret tip that has worked very well for me. Most speakers do not follow up immediately, if at all. this baffles me.
My personal strategy is below:
* I email the event organizer(s) immediately so they have an immediate thank-you message from me. I also send them a thank you card in the mail as well as a tangible gift. I outline this strategy in much more detail in my book, PAID to SPEAK, and doing this has generated speaking leads by itself.
* I email the attendees from my presentation and give them what I promised to send. In some cases it is my slide deck, and/or perhaps a free eBook, and/or resource handouts I used in my presentation. I have their emails because I have an evaluation and/or a sign in sheet during every presentation ... even large-scale keynotes. I include an eval with every handout and tell attendees to visit me at my table afterwards to get the free eBook. This works every time. (contact me for further explanation)
* I email the attendees who expressed interest in receiving more information about bringing my program to their organization. Again, remember, outta sight outta mind. Follow up with these people immediately.
In addition to asking yourself questions after every presentation, you should also be asking ...
* the organizer who hired you to speak
* the attendees who were there
I'll be posting a blog with more details about this topic soon ... how I do this is unique and it has generated many speaking leads and referrals for my speaking business. Keep your eye out for that future post!
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In addition to my own speaking business, I have a passion for helping and coaching speakers develop their own. Whether it's in crafting a speech, identifying target groups who can pay, and/or how to get the speaking gig itself, I can help. I've keynoted over 1,150 presentations in practically every industry you can imagine. My book, PAID to SPEAK, outlines a proven model for speakers. If you are serious about becoming a professional speaker, contact me for a free consultation. I don't want you to flounder like I did and be frustrated. If you're not a subscriber to these speaker articles, submit your email today!
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