It’s Time to Tell Your Story: Using Storytelling to Spark Your Speaking Career

By Jane Atkinson

The ability to tell your story is a skill that every speaker should develop. It involves examining your past to understand how it has led you to the present; picking through the minor details to find the truly transformative events that have led you to where you are today.

There are many marketing benefits that come from learning to tell your story. For example, my client Kindra Hall talks about using story as a sales tool, and others agree, saying that “Story is your ultimate currency. This is why people buy your message, or buy your product, or even hire you to do a job.” Learning to tell your story can also help you embrace your past so that even your failures are viewed as important steps in your journey. A well-told story can make you relatable and help you connect with others.

Whatever your motivation, I urge you to think about your story today and how you would tell it. I’ll get you started by sharing my own.

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The Journey of a Speaker Launcher

Many of you probably don’t know this, but I actually started out as a waitress.

It’s true.

After college, my main career aspirations were to travel the world and have fun. This led me to many seemingly random jobs: I worked on cruise ships, at ski resorts and held several temp positions at accounting firms, national airlines, and 3M Canada. During the day, I would watch business people climb the corporate ladder, uninterested in following that path, and at night, I worked as a bartender and waitress.

At 25, my life started to pivot, prompted by a random event: a Les Brown PBS special called “Live Your Dreams.” Right then and there, I decided that I wanted to work for a motivational speaker. Those seemingly random jobs had allowed me to pick up many business and people skills, and within weeks, I had my first job as a marketing director for the leadership expert and author Betska K-Burr.

Betska was a wonderful mentor, offering me an array of opportunities that would further my skills and set me down my current path. One, in particular, was my first trip to an NSA convention where I met several key people who would change the course of my career. This includes Peter Legge and Vince Poscente, who would become future employers, and Joe Calloway, who would have a tremendous influence on my business growth.

After eight years of being an agent and then two more handling exclusive celebrities and best-selling authors with a Texas speaker’s bureau, I had my 10,000 hours. I knew exactly what it took to catapult a speaker from zero engagements to 80 within a short period of time, and people were starting to ask if I would coach them.

It was time to take my career to the next level, so I sat down with my coach Rich Fettke and we mapped out my entire future together. The ability to visualize my future, along with his encouragement, was exactly what I needed to push forward. After ten years of selling speakers, smiling and dialing, and sending out packets of VHS tapes, I returned to Canada to start my coaching and consulting company, Speaker Launcher.

Reflecting on the Journey

As I reflect on my journey, I am grateful for the successes, the failures, and the amazing mentors I had along the way, including Betska, who transformed my career by sending me to my first convention. When I look back on my past, I realize I have come a long way: from a waitress who lacked direction to a coach who is finally living the life of her dreams. I purchased my dream house on the river with my fabulous husband John, I get to travel to cool places, and I have an amazing career that lets me meet motivated speakers and push them toward success.

By examining your own story, you can also connect all the dots between your past, present and future. It can help you find peace of mind and also help you sell yourself to the next big client. Are you ready to tell your story? Share with the community by leaving a comment below.

See you soon Wealthy Speakers!

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P.S.: We started our newest Accelerate Your Business course last week, but there’s still time for you to join! If you are ready to live the life of your dreams and have the speaking business you desire, click HERE to join us!