These are the words my first business coach said to me as I was struggling to make it in this business. I was a former corporate executive and respected by many administrators and leaders in the industry. During the beginning of my career, I orchestrated event planning and oversaw the hiring process in looking for a keynote speaker for our annual conference. They turned out to be perfect.
Over time, the words of my coach kept repeating in my mind. I tossed around the idea of becoming a public speaker and after some thought and consideration, I finally decided to jump in. Let’s just say the game changed once that happened, but not in the best way you would assume. The struggle was real. My ego got in my way expecting my calendar to be filled with gigs, but that wasn’t the case. I had to swallow my pride and learn the right skills I needed to become a professional speaker.
Being a professional keynote speaker is more than just reading from note cards. Up to 90% of your time is spent on networking, building relationships, developing your message, practicing your craft, marketing, and perfecting your brand. After all the hard work of preparation and connecting, you finally get to deliver your message, which lasts the equivalent of an hour. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? My mama would say, “If it were that easy everyone would be doing it. So get over yourself.” Challenging words, but true.
The industry of public speaking is one of the most exciting yet challenging businesses you could be part of. It takes a lot of hard work and an ability to develop the necessary skills to make your public speaking career thriving and successful.
Here are four essential qualities every speaker should have in their toolbox to get booked over and over again.
- Be self-aware. Effective speakers know their influential superpowers start at home giving rise to the platform. Have you ever said “I’ll wing it,” and fall flat? Effective speakers will continually practice their craft. That often means grabbing a few speaking gigs in your backyard. This practice is a way to give back making yourself accessible and seen as a real person.
- Be a story-teller. A great speaker is an effective story-teller. Stories are the gold in a compelling presentation. An audience wanted to be motivated, energized, and moved. Go beyond the story and become the story-changer in your audience’s lives. You never know whose life you can change.
- Be generous with what you share. Effective speakers share their heart and soul on the platform and hold nothing back. The more you give, the more you will receive.
- Be confident. Effective speakers have the confidence and courage to step out on the BIG stage and be vulnerable. You cannot afford to be shy and timid when you stand on a stage of change and impact. Stand tall and share your story.
- Be unstoppable together. Effective speakers have an unspoken bond to support each other in good times and bad. When you’re on the road, connect with other speakers in the area and take the opportunity to create a strong bond with them. Those friendships could last forever. Your friends and family may not always understand your desire for public speaking, but other fellow speakers will be there for you. Surround yourself with people who will support your dreams.
Becoming a keynote speaker is not always easy. Those who fail are the ones who give up too soon. Becoming an effective speaker is a long-term commitment. With the right mindset, you can be a mover and a shaker in the industry and who knows, maybe one day you will become the next Hall of Fame speaker.
Within the mainstream ‘speaker industry,’ speakers have traditionally been reliant upon speaker bureaus to broaden their consumer base, market their collateral, and be both promoted and heard on today’s largest platforms. One company with a unique approach to helping speakers develop is Talent Concierge, which provides much more by training and mentoring for their clients.
How bad do you want it? What are your goals? How are you reaching your goals? – how are you implementing them?
Let me know by sending a personal message to firstname.lastname@example.org