For the past five years of my 17-year career as a moti- vational speaker, I have focused on the foodser- vice industry. I’m known as “America’s Foodservice
Speaker,” so meeting planners know
I’m a good fit for an event for their
foodservice clients, such as restaurants,
suppliers, manufacturers, distributors
and contract foodservice suppliers.
If you would like to get engaged in a
vast niche, such as the foodservice industry, take some tips from my experiences.
Knock it Out of the Park!
When I was preparing a speech for
emerging leaders in foodservice, I asked
Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of
the National Restaurant Association,
how the attendees could take charge of
their careers. Her advice was to “knock
it out of the park” in their current jobs.
Sweeney’s pearls of wisdom also worked
for me at a leadership conference in
2005, when I delivered three speeches
in two days. After my first presentation,
word-of-mouth spread like wildfire.
The next day, 600 people packed the
meeting room that was reserved for only
450. That one event turned into a hiring
frenzy! More than 40 foodservice companies retained my services for one or
more events during the next few years,
including the original association that
booked me for six consecutive years.
association has a critical issues conference every year. Attending that event
one year led to a story I used in my
keynote for that association six months
later. The keynote was better because
of my knowledge of critical issues. The
association was appreciative that I went
out of my way to learn about their
issues and customized the keynote.
Do What Your Competition Doesn’t
When I’m speaking at a conference, I
always attend the entire event so I’m 100
percent engaged. I witnessed a celebrity chef deliver an opening keynote and
make a disparaging remark about another
celebrity chef, who was “selling out” to
promote a product. If he had done his
homework, he would have known that
his keynote sponsor hired the chef he
had insulted. In my closing keynote two
days later, I publicly acknowledged the
sponsor. I had that opportunity since I
had been there from the beginning.
hiring a motivational speaker, and
the other is strictly for my foodservice clients. I also have adapted
my motivational books for foodservice; for example, Why Settle for the
Balcony? How to Get a Front-Row
Seat in Life was customized into For
The foodservice niche complements a new business I started with
my husband, Yves de Boisredon. He
is an authentic French baron with
deep connections in the world of
wine and French nobility. My foodservice clients can hire me to speak at
their conferences and travel with us to
Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Paris for an
eight-day wine trip.
Join Associations in Your Niche
I am a member of two associations
in the foodservice industry. One
for Your Audience
My business has two websites. One
is for general clients interested in
Marilyn Sherman inspires audiences to get out of their comfort zone and live life in the front row. Taking people on fantasy wine trips throughout France with her husband Yves, the
Baron of Wine, certainly qualifies as a
front-row seat. Marilyn can be reached at
info@MarilynSherman.com or (702)631-
5700. Visit www.TheUltimate WineTrip.com.