and your message. Too many speakers
are just trying to make as much money as
possible, but they’re not putting enough
time and work into their content. That’s a
mistake. I’m blown away by people who
don’t put in enough time into the craft to
make their speeches better.
You talk about the importance
of spending time on the content
and craft, but you also admitted
you’re an “improv, shoot-from-the-hip kind of speaker.” That
seems like a contradiction.
I have enjoyed substantial success because
I’m not a speaker, author, blogger, journalist or commentator. I am a businessman
who is able to communicate what he does.
I tell stories about my day-to-day job. I see
many “social media experts” who have
never built a business or worked in a successful start-up. So, I don’t understand
where their content is coming from.
I recognize that some people are just
amazingly charismatic and tell a good
story that makes them a “successful
speaker.” But to me, being an expert,
being in the field, and knowing your
content overshadows that. With that
said, I’ve seen people go to Fortune 500
companies and give the same 10-slide
PowerPoint® presentation for two years
straight, and I’m like, “What the hell?”
If you are extremely knowledgeable in your field, then your craft
may not be as important. But if
you’re weaker in experience and
content, then your craft takes
over. Does that sound right?
Yeah. I think it’s the same as a good
bottle of wine. There’s a lot that goes
into the blend. I would sum it up
by saying you should focus on your
strengths while working on your craft.
Focus on knowing your content. I’m
around so many speakers who are asking
me how I get $40,000 to $60,000 per
speaking engagement. It’s because I
spoke for free at first. It’s because I
always thought long-term. I see so many
people who aren’t laying a foundation.
They’re not hustling and putting out
their content for the world. Speakers
need to realize that content isn’t the
hook; it’s the actual physical appear-
ance. People still go to concerts even
though they can get free music. Speakers
need to think about the world that way.
Sharí Alexander is the co-owner of the Expert Message Group. EMG works with speakers and authors to publish their books, craft their speeches, and build
their business. On the platform, she shares her
experiences as a presentation coach and speech
writer to help organizations improve public
speaking and communication skills.