Get serious; get help.
The most successful professionals in any field realize that they
cannot achieve success alone. They ask for help. They invest in
the resources, tools, technology, and people who can accelerate
both their learning curve and their doing curve.
Make an internal commitment to take this
business of speaking seriously.
It’s not something you’re doing just for fun, it’s not volunteer
work, and it’s not something you “try” between jobs. Do military
fighter pilots “try” flying combat missions? Do doctors go into
neurosurgery “part time?” Do symphony orchestra conductors
“give it a shot?” No! True professionals make serious commitments to their professional training, years-long preparation and
study, thousands of hours of practice, and a relentless pursuit
of excellence. Once you’re serious, it will become clear—sooner
rather than later—in which areas you need the most help.
Get serious means recommit to your speaking business.
Upgrade your materials so others take you seriously too. Lose
the aol.com email address, stop using homemade business cards
from your inkjet printer, and stop making excuses for your
Reposition your value so it’s needed
now more than ever.
Too many speakers complain about outside conditions. A vertical industry downturn has damaged
their business. Buyers are no longer buying.
Meetings are no longer meeting. Their best clients
have retired. Newer, younger, cheaper speakers
are eating their lunch. Plus, there’s a whole bunch
of other aches, pains, symptoms, and woe-is-me
declarations of how life suddenly got very unfair
for professional speakers. Three words of wisdom:
Figure it out.
You need to figure out what your buyers are
deeply concerned about. What problems are they
eager to solve? What priorities are they already
spending money on? What strategies and goals
are they being held accountable for? What solutions are they actively seeking right now that you
If you do this correctly, you become the “
doctor” during a time of epidemic disease throughout
the land. But you need to be the first one to
believe that the ideas you deliver are needed now
more than ever and valued by your clients.
Live in your prospects’ world.
Think about their problems, their boss, their
obstacles, their customers. What’s the first step?
Research. Preparation. Homework. Look for direct
quotes, video clips, or audio interviews to capture
as much firsthand intelligence as you can. Then
go directly to the source—your real, live customers and prospects. If you’re not intelligently
researching your prospects’ issues, challenges,
and pressures, how can you possibly come in with
credible, high-perceived-value solutions? The best
ways to approach prospects are:
This positions you as an expert resource
and gives you valuable data that you should be