Let me guess. You are either a paid motivational speaker, or you are starting your speaking journey. If you are just starting as a motivational speaker, welcome. Together, we’re making a difference. We are inspiring others to greatness. Simply put, we’re world transformers. Every time you and impact an individual, we impact the world in our own way.
You see, we are living in a time where so many people are defeated and discouraged. The news is so depressing. More and more, the world desperately needs inspiration and encouragement. It’s a privilege to be called upon to stand and deliver in these uncertain times. Right? Now, you may be thinking, “I’m not a motivational speaker”.
Okay, let’s look at it this way: If you are speaking for a living, you are a motivational speaker. Regardless of your chosen topic, you are motivating someone to do something. All speaking is motivational speaking. It doesn’t matter if you are speaking about email marketing, sales, or self-esteem. You still have to motivate your audience.
Yeah, I know you cannot motivate people. Motivation is intrinsic. They have to find the motivation within themselves. However, they still need something outside of themselves to trigger the motivation. The more motivating and influential that something is, the more they are motivated. That brings me to exactly what I want to share with you about speaking for a living.
Be The Solution To Their Problem
Yes, when it comes to speaking, credibility is everything. If you cannot establish that you are the solution to their problem, you will always struggle to get speaking engagements. Meeting planners will not put on their stages. Notice I didn’t say that your message has to be the solution to their problem. Why? It’s because you come before your message. They have to buy you first before they buy what you have to say.
If your audience doesn’t believe you are the right person with the right qualification to talk about your subject, you won’t make an impact. And, if you are not making an impact, you are not making money. As a motivational speaker, your job is to make sure your audience is sold on you before you even open your mouth to say the first word. Your reputation must precede you.
I’m sure you’ve heard that perception is reality, right? Well, it’s your job to create, mold, and shape that perception. When I started investigating the speaking business, I was a doorman at a hotel in Atlanta. I knew it was going to be really hard for me to convince meeting planners to put on their stages. I basically didn’t bring much to the table to position myself as the solution to their problem.
My background did not create the perception that I was the man for the hour. After all, life started for me in a poverty-stricken village in Haiti. I arrived in the United States with five dollars, two shirts, one pair of pants and unable to speak any English. I worked as a janitor in Miami and later became a doorman in Atlanta.
As you can tell, that kind of resume was not convincing enough to persuade a meeting planner to put on his or her stage. But, through trials and errors, I discovered how to boost my credibility. I found out how to create the perception that I was the right motivational speaker for the hour.
So, let me share with you how to position yourself as the solution to your prospective clients. For some of you, consider this as a reminder. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that we all need reminders. For most of you, this will be very valuable. Please pay very close attention.
5 Ways To Boost Your Credibility So You Can Become The Choice For Meeting Planners
1- Know What Problem You Are Solving
Another way to say this is, when you choose a topic, you must understand the problems that exist around your topic. When I’m coaching business owners, the first question I ask them is, “What problem are you solving?” As a speaker, you have to clearly know the problem you’re solving for your audience.
Now, you don’t necessarily need to know everything about your topic. However, you have to know enough to offer some solutions. Okay, how do you choose your topic? Well, start with what you know or what you are passionate about. Usually, it’s the thing that many of your friends come to you for advice on.
Please don’t think because you are a motivational speaker, you don’t need a topic. No. Motivational speaking is not a topic. Maybe you can speak on self-esteem, persistence, time management, bullying, leadership, change, etc. You need to focus on a topic. You will have more clarity and less confusion.
It makes it so much easier for you to create the right marketing materials.
2- Make A List Of Your Truism
Once you decide on the topic you are going to talk about, make a list of everything you believe that is true about your topic. For example, if you are going to talk about leadership, list what you believe leaders must do and not do so they can be a successful at leading people. Your list is your truism or leadership according to you. You can also call them your philosophies. Next…
3- Turn What’s In Your Head Into Physical Things
If you want to boost your credibility and get on meeting planners’ radars, you have to put what you know in a physical format. No matter how smart or knowledgeable you are about your topic, to the world you don’t know beans until they can touch your knowledge.
If I were having a conversation with, I would repeat that sentence again. It’s that important. You need to convert your truisms or philosophies into CDs, DVDs, special reports, and ultimately into books. That’s how you create, shape and mold the right perception.
So, the idea is to take your list and write a piece of content or article about each one. Read the article in front of a video camera to create a DVD. Then, extract the audio from the DVD to create a CD. Hire someone to transcribe the audio for you and turn it into a special report.
4- Write A Book Now!
Yes, I know you have heard this over and over. Write a book. Have you written a book yet? It took me a long time before I forced myself to sit down and write my first book. I’m so glad I did. It was the best thing for my speaking career. I can tell from personal experience that writing your book will be the best move for you. Do it! I know.
Writing a book can be an overwhelming task. However, the problem is, most people try to cram too many books in one book. Look, you are not writing an encyclopedia. That’s a surefire way to confuse and turn off your readers. You need to share simple ideas with your readers. As I mentioned before, we all need reminders.
People need to be reminded of the basics. It’s kind of like you as a speaker. I bet there a lot of things you used to do that worked. Then, you stopped doing them. Now you need reminders. Just so you know, you can make a fortune reminding people of what they already know. Let me share with you a simple formula to write your book fast.
It’s the 10/10 formula. Write 10 chapters and 10 pages per chapter. That should give you a total of 100 pages. Now, it doesn’t have to be exactly 10 pages per chapter. Some chapters may more and others less. Guess what? Later on, you can use your more in-depth knowledge for your second and third book. Make sure that your first book is version 101.
5- Give Away Your Stuff Lavishly
The reason I’m encouraging to turn what you know into CDs, DVDs, books, etc. is not to have a garage full of them. Also, the trunk of your car is not a storage place for your stuff. In case you don’t know, your products are your marketing materials. They are your positioning tools.
The big difference between your one pager and your book is that one will go to the trash can while the other will be displayed permanently on a bookshelf. You should always give away your stuff to people who might open a door for you to speak.
When you are making a cold call to find who you can send your “7 Ways To Triple Your Sales In The Next 30 Days”, you are not making a cold call. You also are not calling as a needy person to beg. Do you see what I mean?
6- Don’t Give Up
Please don’t walk away too soon. Speaking is a business just like all other businesses. The main difference is, the barrier to entry into the speaking industry is very low. But, that doesn’t mean you should give up when you are not getting the speaking engagements. It means you have to be more persistent.
There are lots of awesome speakers who started when I did. Today, they are not around. They gave up. You see, it’s takes patience and dedication to run any business. The main reason I’m still speaking today is because of persistence.
All right, there you have it. I just shared with you some great ideas on how to speak for a living. If you’ve been looking for a magic formula, there’s none. Just build your credibility, create products, give them away lavishly, and don’t give up. I wish you incredible success!