Are you really ready? Here are 4 ways to improve your speaking and get booked and paid to speak
Whether you want to grow your speaking or training business or you desire to learn how to get paid speaking engagements from scratch, keep in mind that your "product" is quite simple. Your product is your speech. You are just the messenger.
Nothing else really matters if your speech needs work. So good news is that there's no need yet to think about a website, demo video or speaker marketing materials. Let's only focus on your speech.
A speech that's not properly ready for delivery will never generate spin-off speaking business and referrals like it should. A great speech is the best marketing a speaker could ever have for generating future speaking business.
If you are out there speaking but not feeling confident in your speech or delivery, then you still might be getting a few speaking engagements. But those speeches likely aren't paying well and it took a lot of work and energy on your part to get them. Am I right?
So in order to earn the big speaking stage and be consistently asked to speak or train at major events and conferences that pay, and pay very well, your speech needs to ready, proven and tested.
Is it? And are you ready to deliver it? Let me help.
Below are some ways to ensure your speech is truly ready. I'm also including some free resources for you that I normally just share with my speaker coaching clients. Bonus. #YourWelcome ;)
1. Outline your speech
Whether you are speaking in front of your work colleagues, at a Toastmaster group or you have an actual paid speech coming up, any speech coming out of your mouth must be outlined. You have to craft the outline of your speech in a way where you know exactly how you are opening, what main points you are sharing, which stories or examples best fit, how it can be applied for the audience, and how you will close your speech. From my experience, most speakers struggle because they don't have a solid speech outline. It's like they are taking a road trip without having directions!
In Module 2 of my newly revised book, PAID to $PEAK, I dive into the speech outline in significant detail. I recommend you use my "Speaker Storyboard" template to not only outline your speech properly, but more importantly to maximize your audience engagement and delivery. Coaching clients of mine that have used the storyboard tell me it was the best tool they ever used to design their speech. (Note: when you purchase, PAID to $PEAK, you receive the Word template and a sample of my own outline! - $249 value!)
2. Practice, practice, practice
You're not ready to speak if you have just written your outline and practiced in the mirror. You need to practice in front of live people in safe environments where you can refine and make changes where needed.You should not practice in front of groups who could potentially pay. I decipher this for you in my book and provide examples of five recommended groups for practice speaking opportunities. You should only practice in front of groups where you have a safe, supporting environment to practice your material. Most groups are not safe environments to practice.
My signature story of winning on The Price is Right is one example of a story I have practiced over a thousand times. I know exactly how to open it, close it, where will people will laugh, where they might actually cry, etc. My story was nothing like it was when I first started speaking though. Through practice, I have mastered that story and it's the story I am remembered for. Often, meeting planners will ask me, "Will you include your Price is Right story for us?"
Repetition is the mother of skill. If you want to be good at something, you practice. If you want to master something and be considered a thought leader, you practice even more.
3. When you practice, get feedback
You don't want to practice aimlessly. You want to practice with purpose and intention in order to get the feedback you need to get better. When you practice, receive that feedback by sharing my "Speech Review Form" with trusted people in your audience. I designed this form by integrating my own speech coach's review form in addition to the judging form for the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking Contest.
Click here to download your complimentary copy of my "Speech Review Form." It'll ensure you aware of blind spots in your speech that can be strengthened. We all have blind spots. Only others can help us see them.
4. Videotape yourself speaking.
This will likely be painful but deal with it. I hate watching myself on video. I still video myself nearly every speech to capture clips for demo video and to study portions that I want to improve though. Usually what we avoid is exactly what we need to do. There's really no excuse for you to not video yourself whenever speaking. Use your phone, use a $6 phone tripod, or get a $39 video camera off Amazon with a $19 tripod. While you are watching yourself, use my "Speech Review Form" on yourself!
There are many other tips I could share, but these above are where to start to help you be truly ready for a speech. Remember, nothing else really matters if your speech needs work.
So what's it costing you not having a great speech? Better yet, how would it feel to have people actually refer you for speaking because they saw you deliver an outstanding presentation.
I'm here to help. I provide 1:1 coaching, an online course, and have a Speaker Mastermind Group for just $97 until Jan 31! After January 31, the price jumps back to normal $997. This includes two coaching sessions each month (24 total). group membership, plus access to so much more. Click here for Mastermind details.
Also, I provide a complimentary 1:1 coaching session for anyone who purchases my book, PAID to $PEAK on Amazon through my Amazon fulfillment company named Passion Project - $249 value! Only the seller Passion Project will mail you an autographed book!
See below to get your copy in print, eBook or audiobook format. It's newsy revised in 2020!