WELCOME TO MY WORLD
A snapshot into the lives of people who hire speakers
Personality and Purpose
on the Platform
Speakers hire Karen Harris to manage them because of her exceptional ability to nurture long-term relationships with meeting professionals, execu- tives and bureaus worldwide,
so they can focus on their platform skills.
When she founded cmi speaker management in 2001, she was highly experienced
in sales and customer relationship management in a variety of industries, as well
as front-of-the-room experience facilitating workshops. Her company represents
business and motivational speakers, consultants and entertainers, including Love
is the Killer App author Tim Sanders,
and NSA members The Passing Zone
and Steve Rizzo, CPAE.
Janet Bailey: How can
speakers provide a unique
Karen Harris: Speakers must have passion,
purpose and authenticity. You need passion
for your topic and the message you deliver.
If you lose that passion, you’re not going
to be exceptional on the platform.
As for purpose, speech coach Nick
Morgan says that the only reason to
give a speech is to change the world.
Usually, you have only 60 minutes to
help make a difference in people’s lives.
To maintain strong platform presence,
you have to keep that purpose in your
sights at all times, even when you’re off
on the platform.
What about authenticity?
Today’s customer wants authentic-
ity, not crap or fluff. Give me the real
goods, give me the real you. When our
speakers hit it out of the ballpark and
get raves from customers and
lots of inquiries afterwards,
How can speakers keep
their passion alive?
The best speakers practice in between
presentations. When was the last time
you practiced your speech in front of a
mirror? No amount of marketing, selling
or pitching you to bureaus or customers
can replace the effectiveness of somebody
who’s great on the platform. That’s your
No. 1 selling tool, and it’s your job to be
great on the platform every time.
What about the technical aspects
of platform skills?
Study the great orators, like Winston
Churchill, for tonality and voice. Study
great actors to see how they use their voice
and body to portray a role. Like actors,
speakers have to use their voice and body
in ways that enhance their message.
Why should speakers conduct
business from the heart?
When speaker bureaus call you, be
yourself and keep your passion and
your purpose at the forefront. They
need to know that you are authentic,
passionate, and that you have a purpose
that’s a higher calling for you. If your
topic can help them be better at sales
or business, give free advice. If speaker
bureau agents are inspired by you, share
an idea that helps them be better in
their work or personal life, and they
will talk about you.
Known as one of the top managers and coaches for speakers, Karen Harris is a member of the Board of Governors for the International
Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB) and is
responsible for the strategic development of the
association’s “Tell the Story” initiative. Visit
Janet Bailey helps organizations improve focus and engagement hrough Precision Questioning & Answering, clear communica- tion, and mindfulness training.
Learn more at www.janetbailey.com.