Are You Ready for Prime Time As a Speaker?
Or Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Speaking Career To Date?
By Jackie Lapin, founder of Conscious and Transformational Speakers
Most of us have a message inside that we yearn to deliver to the world. Many have gone so far as to write books. Some have even taken their message to the speaking platform.
But can you realize your dream of really impacting lives in a bigger way? Do you want to start or ramp up your speaking? To do so means having all of the elements right. To be ready for Prime Time as a speaker—even just starting locally—you must not do this haphazardly. For example, what if you were speaking to a small regional group and someone saw you and invited you to speak on a major stage. Would you be ready? Be prepared to present yourself as an accomplished speaker, ready for anything.
And you’d be surprised how that can spiral upward into good things.
Here are a few recommendations that should get you on the road to Prime Time.
1. Your 1 to 1.5-hour presentation itself should be the starting point. Begin with an intention of what you want your audience to learn from you…what is your key message? Then script a speech with the following elements:
- It touches on your personal authentic story and how you came to teach this work
- Establishes your expertise
- Explains what the need is…why you are addressing this topic…What is the problem?
- Paints a picture that makes your audience identify with what is missing in their lives/in their knowledge
- Ensures your speech makes them feel Emotion is a potent mover and motivator
- Makes the case that your information and guidance is the solution to the problem
- Offers something of practical value and leaves them wanting more
- Imparts this information with compassion, wisdom, humor, clarity and dynamism
- Engages the audience in acknowledgements, exercises or questions
- If you are offering further education, creates a graceful way to enroll people…as an invitation and not a sales pitch.
2. Delivery is the next phase. Practice, practice, practice…But if you really want to get proficient, then signup with a speaking coach. You will find a variety of excellent coaches on the Speaker Resources page of Conscious and Transformational Speakers: (http://consciousandtransformationalspeakers.com/resources/) You may know what you want to say, but holding an audience’s interest has much to do with the way you deliver the information. Are you dynamic? Is your voice projecting well and rising and falling at specific moments to hold them in the palm of your hand? Are you conveying your message from the heart or from your head? Are you connecting with the audience? Do you seem confident or scared on stage? A speaker coach can ensure that you have maximum impact.
3. Prepare or update your current assets. As a speaker there are a number of critical elements that need to be in place:
- Do you have attractive, current photos? If not, arrange a photo shoot that will present you powerfully. Dress to attract your core audience (i.e. a suit and tie might not be ideal for a non-business presentation. It may require something a bit more casual.) Women may also wish to have their makeup professionally done for the sitting.
- Prepare a speaker one-sheet. This should include a bio, short elaboration of your expertise, description of one or more presentations and a photo. However, the most important aspect of it should key on what is the benefit to the audience…what is the takeaway for the people in the seats. That’s what the booker is looking to discover.
- Videos of you delivering your presentation are increasingly essential in speaking today. Bookers want to see how you will impact their audience. If you must, pay someone to tape and edit anywhere from 10 minutes to the whole presentation so bookers can see that you are a compelling speaker. Load this up on YouTube and you can then add the link to your website, or post to a speaker’s bureau profile.
- Do you have a website that would impress a booker? If not, you should really consider updating. Today websites are horizontal in nature, with lots of graphics/video and limited words. Your website should position you as contemporary—not someone stuck in a time warp. It should feature not just your content information, but showcase you as a speaker, with a page that features video and offers your presentation kit and one sheet.
- Create an attractive Presentation Kit. This has:
- A complete description of your presentations and the benefits to the audience.
- Your full bio
- Photos of you. Links to Video
- Descriptions of products you sell from the stage (books, digital products, coaching programs)
- Contact info
- Once you are more established you can add Terms and Expenses, Logistics and other business matters
- Speaking is the single most effective way to sell books. If you are going to offer your book (or books) for sale, do you have the process established? Have you enough copies for the engagement, display stands, a display with pricing so people don’t have to ask and some cash for making change. Technology today has made back-of-the-room selling easier than ever. Both Square and PayPal have small attachments to the smartphone that can run credit cards almost instantly. Oftentimes the speaker is tied up answering questions after the presentation, so it’s ideal to have a second person handle the transaction. In some cases, the organization will provide someone who can handle transactions while you answer questions; if not, you will want to bring someone along, if possible.
- If you have other programs that you offer, you need to have presentation sheets, brochures, or registration forms on hand for the audience.
- If you want to collect cards from the audience, do you have a small basket or gift bag that you can pass around the room? Oftentimes holding a drawing and giving away a gift will induce people to provide a card.
4. Have you clearly defined your audience? This will prevent you from wasting precious marketing time and money reaching people that won’t care. Focus your efforts on finding engagements that appeal directly to your target audience. Determine what kinds of organizations are a perfect match for you and pursue engagements with those.
And while paid engagements are always a goal, they are sometimes a challenge to find—and they are generally held for more experienced speakers. So oftentimes, it is advisable to begin with non-paid speaking engagements where you can. Or if you’re already out speaking, continue to mine such engagements, but look for opportunities with larger audiences. Use these non-paid engagements to:
- Hone your message or test different presentations
- Begin to see what works and what doesn’t
- Get comfortable on stage
- Build your reputation and visibility
- Market your books, digital courses, coaching programs and seminars
- CHANGE LIVES!!!
5. Can you secure speaker representation at this stage of your career? Traditionally, business-driven or motivational speakers have always been the bread-and-butter for speaker’s bureaus. And if you cannot provide steady income at a high level, speakers who are less experienced or deal with more universal self-help topics tend to get rejected or–when added to a bureau’s stable–to get overlooked in favor of higher-earning speakers.
However, today there are two new options that champion people like you! One is ConsciousandTransformationalSpeakers.com, which specializes in self-help, spiritual and life-changing transformational personal and global messengers. Conscious and Transformational Speakers will aggressively pursue engagements on your behalf.
The second is LuminaryVoices.com (presented by Conscious and Transformational Speakers), a speaker and performer showcase, where speaker bookers can find you easily.
If you are ready to step out in a bigger way and share your knowledge and wisdom with the world, the time cannot be better. YOU ARE NEEDED. We are all waiting to hear you!
Jackie Lapin is a leader in media relations for people, organizations and companies transforming humanity and the world. Her Conscious Media Relations offers mainstream and transformational media publicity, book tours and her signature radio media tours reaching 3000 personal growth radio shows. Also on the site are valuable do-it-yourself tools for authors and transformational marketers. She is also the founder of Conscious and Transformational Speakers, a unique speakers’ bureau championing transformational speakers, and Luminary Voices, a powerful online showcase for transformation speakers and performers.