Are You a Triple Threat of the Speaking Industry?

By Jane Atkinson

With all of the competition style reality t.v., we hear a lot about ‘the triple threat’.  That’s someone, for instance, who is an actor, a singer and a dancer all rolled into one.

Or, in the case of the Olympics, USA’s Michael Phelps might be considered the ‘triple threat’ of the swimming world.

Well I believe the speaking industry has people who are triple threats as well.

These people will grow their businesses more easily than most and will thrive. Those are people who speak well, sell well and stick well (to their lane).

Let’s see how you stack up:

Speak Well:  When you go to a speaking engagement, does it often result in more business? Would you consider yourself to be a killer keynoter?  (I’ll stick to keynotes for the purpose of this tip but feel free to improvise based on your business model).

I just returned from NSA in New York and I saw  a keynoter who I thought had the ‘speak well’ piece nailed.  Marshall Goldsmith was genuine, polished (but not too), conversational, funny and highly thought provoking with fresh material.  I gave him a 10.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate your speaking skills?

If you rated them low, then you may want to put something on your ‘to do’ list that will help move your skills up a level.  There’s no better form of marketing than a great speech.

Sell Well:  I’ve often had clients tell me ‘I can’t sell my  way out of a paper bag’.  They have a mental barrier that selling isn’t their thing and it gets in the way of building a booming business.

Take someone like Jeffrey Gitomer for instance. Now, obviously, he’s a sales expert so he has a jump on all of us.

Do you think when he’s on the phone with a client, he’s thinking to himself  there’s no way this client will have the budget to bring me in’?

Heck no!  He’s confident that he’s got what they need and if they want him badly enough, they’ll find the money!

On a scale from 1 to 10, how strong are your sales skills?  Are you closing business? Many speakers think ‘oh I’ll just hire someone else to sell me’.  But who is going to train them in the techniques that result in closed business? Often, it’s the blind leading the blind.  I would guess that 70% of these relationships fail due to poor training.

My advice?  Become a sales guru yourself and if you must hire, find someone to help with administration.

Now the third strength could be any one of a number of things. But when thinking about what could make or break a speaker’s career, I truly believe (no surprise) that focusing on a ‘lane’ or sticking to an expertise is the key.

If someone speaks well and sells well but is all over the place in their focus (which would then translate to their marketing) they are sunk.

Remember that old saying… a confused buyer never buys.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how strong are you when it comes to being clear and sticking to your lane/expertise?

(For a step-by-step process for picking a lane, read Chapter 3 in The Wealthy Speaker).

In an industry where a large percentage of speakers struggle to have a thriving business, you must consider sharpening the ‘triple threat’ tools in order to build a long term highly profitable business.

Happy sharpening!!

PS:  To assist you with tool #1 – Speak Well, we’ve had guest expert and triple threat Joe Calloway on a recent teleclass called ‘Recession Proof Your Speaking’.