The late great Stephen Covey once talked about moving from Unconscious Competence (you’re good but you’re not really sure why you’re good) to Conscious Competence (you’re good because you planned it that way) **.
Recently on the golf course, I saw a change in my game. I used to swing and pray. Sometimes I’d hit the ball well – sometimes, not so much. But when I stopped to strategize exactly what outcome I wanted and how I had to hit the ball to achieve it, things started working better. This week I hit a chip shot from 3 feet off the green and rolled it about 13 feet into the cup for a birdie. I planned it, and it worked. It wasn’t just a fluke.
The same idea applies to your speech.
When you consciously craft a solid speech, and you deliver it with talent and precision – you are moving from “I’m pretty good but I’m not sure why” to “I’m great because I worked hard and crafted it that way.” Please note that I’m not saying your speech should be rigid or plastic, more like you plan great content and stories and show up authentic.
- Are you consciously competent?
- When did you last work on crafting your speech?
- When did someone from the outside help take your speech to new heights?
(Although speech coaching isn’t my wheelhouse, I do know some great coaches.)
Remember, there is no better form of marketing than a great speech.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
** Please note I’ve taken some creative liberty with Covey’s original idea.
I don’t know if I need to tell you the benefits of standing tall in your expertise, but if you do not stand tall, your business is going to have a hard time growing. Here’s my 3 step ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’ approach:
When you look at all of the experts who have come before you in your topic area, stop comparing yourself to them. And start focusing on why you are different from them. Okay, so maybe you didn’t climb Mt. Everest, but what is your formula for success? What have you done? If you feel your content needs some enrichment, then get out there and beef it up.
Just remember, no one lands at the top of the mountain. All of your heroes started somewhere similar to where you are today.
DROP! THE STRUGGLE
There are some industries that seem more conducive to struggle than others. Actors, musicians, entertainers, for instance, are known for their “starving artist” element. Struggle is a state of mind. And when you step outside of it, imagine playing big, and then take action until you get it, you are on the right path.
ROLL! PAST SELF DOUBT
There’s often a little green man sitting on our shoulder telling us we’re not good enough. When you fill up your “atta-boy” or “atta-girl” file with testimonials, that’s your go to spot when you feel your mojo slipping. When the little green man is driving the bus, you are not going in the direction of your desires.
So the next time you’re waffling on how great you are, Stop, Drop and Roll!
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
(Yes, a few slip through the cracks and Pia was a great example of that… but I bet she’ll go by way of Jennifer Hudson).
There are millions of people who can sing who never get a recording contract or become famous. The same goes for speaking.
Our industry pie will always contain a large percentage of people who are making a living vs. a small percentage of people who are getting wealthy.
Which category do you want to be in?
If you’d like to create more wealth with your speaking – give some thought to how you can take your presentation from good to great.
Now you might say, “my presentation is just fine, I just need more marketing”. That might be true, but I would also lay odds on the fact that most speakers need to push it harder to get better….to be truly great.
Masters of any industry continually refine and re-engineer. And that’s what we need to do.
1. Study other artists (singers, comedians, film, TV and Broadway actors).
2. Find a coach or mentor (someone who will push you)
3. Don’t buy in to your audience hype. “You’re the best speaker I’ve ever seen” should boost your confidence but doesn’t mean you are finished. When you’re getting 2-3 spin offs from every engagement, then you might be able to relax.
4. Focus. The majority of people try to do too much in a speech when often less is more. Developing a call back or through line that allows people to easily understand what you shared with them will help. AND, they can easily share it with others (spin off).
So keep working hard on it and when you marry a great speech with good marketing, you will move into the next level of wealth.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
PS: A really good example of focus was Joe Calloway’s Let it Go speech several years ago in Phoenix. We dissected that speech (plus you get to watch the full speech). We still have a few hard copies left, check out the Diary of a Killer Keynote DVD. http://speakerlauncher.com/tools.html
The fact is, on many lists the fear of public speaking is well before fear of heights and even fear of death.
At the opposite end from Charlie’s train wreck, The King’s Speech is a beautiful story about someone stepping into their full power. And truly, if you know your subject matter, power and confidence can carry you through.
Even seasoned professional speakers can lose their mojo at times.
Certainly a rough engagement or an unfavorable review can shake your confidence. Heck, the economy shook some of the most successful speakers to their core just a year or two ago!
Perhaps you’ve got the “speech of your career” coming up in front of the largest, most important group to date. What’s a person to do when dealing with nerves?
1. PREPARATION. I read an article that said “the more you prepare the worse you will do”. I disagree. When you know your material inside and out you are positioning yourself for success. What you really want is to have it so ingrained that it comes out sounding more like a conversation than a speech. And for the seasoned pro who may have lost their mojo, preparing new material will help re-ignite the flame that may have gone out during the storm. There is nothing more powerful than fully immersing yourself in new content.
2. GET BACK ON THE HORSE. When you’ve had a setback, the key is to get back up. No matter what you think about Charlie Sheen, after bombing in Detroit, he got back on the stage in Chicago and that took some serious guts. Ask any professional speaker and they will tell you about the time they bombed. We’ve all had a bad speech and it takes some courage to take the stage again, but you must.
3. BREATHE. My former boss, Olympian Vince Poscente always talked about the power of oxygen getting to the brain when getting ready to go into a high stakes race/speech/meeting. Taking 10 deep breaths helps you relax, but also keeps the brain working at high efficiency.
4. STEP UP. Tony Robbins used to do a powerful piece in his weekend events where he would challenge his audiences to “step up”. We repeated it so often during the weekend that the term “step up” still has a powerful effect on me. Stepping up means being your most powerful. The best version of you. A thought leader.
And in The King’s Speech that’s exactly what needed to occur for King George VI to get through his first war time broadcast. It was a goose bump moment. If you haven’t seen the movie, I believe it’s a “must see” for all speaking professionals.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
What do you do?
I call these “haters”. But that word is probably a bit harsh, but “mildly to moderate dislikers” doesn’t have the same ring to it, now does it?
About 6 times a year I speak to groups of professional speakers. You’d be hard pressed to find a more warm and generous audience. But awhile back one of my audience members was sending me some pretty negative vibes. And when she challenged something I was saying, I felt daggers coming from her tongue and a particularly nasty tone.
(Perhaps I’ve exaggerated this in my mind, since it’s so rare something like this happens).
I responded with my counter argument, and we moved on, but it was hard not to notice her sour look for the rest of the hour.
When you write a book, a blog or give a speech, you are opening yourself up to a certain level of criticism – I guess that’s why more people don’t do it, eh?
So what can we do?
1. Develop a thick skin. I have a feeling that time and experience is the best way to develop this. (Would love to hear your techniques, please comment below, I know you trainers and bloggers have a million stories.)
2. If you get a negative evaluation, look for a lesson in the criticism, if there is none, move on. Let it go.
3. Focus on the percentage (usually 95%) of the people that did like your work. Not everyone will like you, and that’s okay.
4. And my lesson with the woman a few weeks ago – don’t assume that you know what the person is thinking. Rosita Perez, one of the legends of our industry, had a great story about a woman scowling at her and it turned out Rosita looked like her ex husband’s new wife!
See you soon Wealthy Speakers,
PS: I’ve had a wait list going for my group coaching, so I just added a new Club starting in April, check it out.
Say that 10 times fast!
In our world of speaking, it’s very easy to start the business without alot of strategy. In fact, alot of people fall into our career by accident.
Is that you?
But at some point, usually a year or two down the road, you realize that there are things that aren’t working.
Your website is up but it isn’t generating bookings.
You give a good speech, but it’s not getting you as much spin off as it should.
Your positioning is slightly off and it’s hard for you to articulate exactly what you do to help people.
If any of these sound like you, it may be time to take it….
FROM UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE (ie: you’re doing pretty well but it’s without a strong strategy in place)
TO CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE (ie: you’re doing well because you planned to do well. You have strong positioning and a well crafted presentation).
For 2011 what will you to do move from Unconscious Competence to Conscious Competence?
Feel free to declare your move towards Conscious Competence by commenting below:
See you soon Wealthy Speakers.
PS: Need some help making the move? You might want to consider spending some time with me! If you’ll drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org with a paragraph that describes your problem, I can point you in the right direction.
In John Maxwell’s new book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”, John says…..
“Whether you are communicating one-on-one or with a large audience, asking questions creates a connection between you and your listeners that is vital to releasing energy and raising their interest levels. Because my audiences are often so varied, when I begin speaking…. I pose a question related to the topic I’ll be speaking on. I’m simply trying to get people to engage right away.”
How do you engage your audience?
Are you connecting with them in the first 30 seconds?
One of THE most difficult things for a speaker to accomplish is the “audience flip”. Making it about them (the audience) rather than about yourself.
Art Berg, a speaker who died way before his time, told me that he saw his career change when he caught onto this. It wasn’t easy to make his story “about them” as he was a parapalegic who had suffered a horrible accident. But he did it. Art’s theme was “while the difficult takes time, the impossible just takes a little longer”. Once he turned his speech around and made it about them he saw a major surge in his career.
During your presentations, how do you connect with your audience?
I’d like to see your ideas posted below by July 1st. The top 5 ideas will win a copy of John Maxwell’s new book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”. (Be sure to leave your e-mail address with your comments so I can connect with the winners).
PS: Someone who is famous for connecting with their audience is Joe Calloway. Joe and I produced “Diary of a Killer Keynote” DVD which includes one of Joe’s most talked about NSA speeches. Right now, we’re offering them at a special sell off price (save $30). Check it out. http://speakerlauncher.com/tools.html
Last week I tweeted this idea and it sparked a mild debate about which was more important – content or presentation style.
So let me preface this post by saying you MUST be good on stage.
Marcus Buckingham is a great example. He knew right out of the shoot how to be engaging and funny on top of great content. Because of that (a few bestsellers and being a hotty didn’t hurt) he rocketed up the fee ladder very quickly.
Like our marketing, our content also needs to be packaged in a clear, digestible format.
I don’t want to leave your session feeling overwhelmed or needing a nap. But I should be able to tell someone (in 20 seconds or less) what I learned.
Content is going to be what rockets you up the fee ladder as well. Here are some things to rate your content on:
How relevant is your content to your audience? Can they use it? Apply it? Will it inspire?
Have I seen your content before? How long ago? How can you sharpen it or spin it?
3. Unique/creative approach How much time have you spent molding your content into something unique? Something that your audience has never seen before and reflects your personal style.
Is there high demand for your content? Who is going to pay to hear your message?
This post is meant to give you a kick in the butt to examine your content. Maybe you are in great shape, maybe you need work?
Feel free to share your ideas below with a comment.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
PS: Did you know that there is nearly 3 hours of powerful content in LIVE version of the Wealthy Speaker Seminar? It’s available now to download directly to your iPhone or computer. It comes with visuals and at just $47 (no shipping required) it’s a tremendous resource! http://speakerlauncher.com/tools.html
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the 2010 Olympics just wrapped up in Vancouver.
Team Canada’s theme was “Own The Podium”. Now, I wasn’t 100% in favor of that message as I thought an athlete’s journey was important too, but in the end it was effective. 14 golds, woo hoo!
As speakers, we need to own our podium. By this I mean stage or platform or even the room. The minute you enter the room, you should be “on” and in full swagger. And when you step on the stage, it should be with 100% confidence. Be bold!
Does that mean we should become something we’re not?
No way.An audience can spot a fake a mile away.
It means that we should be THE best, THE most powerful version of ourselves.
A self-assured speaker conveys that vibe to the audience and it puts them at ease.
One sure fire way to gain confidence is to know your stuff. That one helps me every time I speak at a CAPS or NSA Chapter.
I know a few colleagues that after 20 years still get nervous. But you would NEVER know it when they walk onto the stage. They ooooze confidence.
Next time you enter your meeting room, tell yourself “I’m owning this podium!”
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
PS: Seasoned Speakers: we still have spots available in Club Catapult. If you’re interested in taking your business to new heights, check out this powerful group coaching program. http://speakerlauncher.com/clubcatapult.html
New Speakers – Club Quick Start is FULL. To be placed on the wait list, please e-mail me at email@example.com
Whenever people find out that I am a coach for professional speakers, they always want to tell me about a speaker that they experienced.
It’s rare that they remember the speaker’s name.
But frequently they will tell me a story that the speaker told and we’ll be able to piece together the identity of that person.
Often, when we leave a speech, we’re feeling like a rock star and think that they will never forget us!! But the truth of the matter is that by next month or next week, they most likely will have forgotten our name!
What is it that you are doing within your performance that will allow people to remember you?
And more importantly, how will they tell others? (I believe this to be the key to more spin off).
We’ve talked about the “thru-line” before. http://tiny.cc/LiBEh
It’s typically a short phrase, word or gesture that you use throughout your presentation. You integrate it so well that the audience is saying it back to you by the end of your program.
I remember many moons ago going to a Tony Robbins event – I wanted to see what made this guy tick. He used the term “step up” so effectively in his talk that even now, 10 years later, when I say those words I have a physical response.
You’ve also heard me talk about that famous Joe Calloway speech where Joe used the term “let it go”. Let it go took on a life of it’s own and people still reference it many years later. BTW, if you’ve wondered what all the hub hub about that speech was over, check out the DVD that inclues the full speech and the dissection… Diary of a Killer Keynote.
If you’ve got something that is really working for you in your speech, I hope you’ll share it. Comment below!