THE TRANSITIONING SPEAKER
Making the leap to full-time speaking
Seven successful speakers hare tips they wish they had known before becoming full- time speakers. Shorten your learning curve by heeding their lessons learned.
“Get a strong understanding of your cash flow and
know how you manage
money. There are no
more regular paychecks.
Now I pay myself a regular paycheck
and treat that like my salary. Don’t be
afraid to make smart investments in
yourself and your business. I was so
worried about positive cash flow when
I started out that I didn’t see the bigger
picture of what making small investments in business infrastructure could
do long term.” —Jill Schiefelbein
“You don’t have to be
perfect on stage. I memo-
rized my first keynote
word for word. I watched
the video and I was so
boring on stage that it put me to sleep.
It’s a conversation, not a memory test.
Nail your opening and close, but have
fun. Internalize, don’t memorize.”
“When you have empty
dates on the calendar,
you should: Hustle more.
Make phone calls, reach
out to anyone who plans
a meeting that might be a good fit for
you, and expand your reach. Improve
your marketing materials. Improve
your website, social media presence,
program descriptions, videos, and
everything else that represents you.
Produce more. Write more, develop
more content, and focus on creating
products and solutions that make your
clients’ lives better Give more. Find
ways to help others.
• Make referrals. Call your meeting
planners to recommend other speakers
for their upcoming events.
• Actively promote other speakers online. Comment on blogs, promote
their articles, and retweet, repost, or
like their materials.
• Show up and give. Volunteer with
other associations. Coach, teach or
motivate the people in your backyard.
—mary C. Kelly, PhD, CSP, Commander,
US Navy (ret)
Early on, I was so afraid
about making money that
I was terrified to spend
money. I guarded positive
cash flow like my life
depended on it, but I had it all wrong.
Operating that way takes a lot of
churning. It wasn’t until I took the risk
of investing that I understood the
potential for exponential growth. I
spent nine years growing my business
slowly. After I began seriously investing
in creating a quality product(s), building a quality team, and building quality
relationships, our revenue quintupled.
When you start cheap and stay cheap, it
takes a long time to move out of the
cheap seats and into the balcony.
“In our vernacular at
CoreClarity: Do what
you do best and out-
source the rest!”
—Candace Fitzpatrick, CSP
“The foundation of your
business is understanding
your value proposition.
Most of the people in the
world can speak, so how
do you change others’ behavior? That’s
what people will pay for. I would have
made a lot more money early on if I
been clearer about the actual value I
bring to organizations.”—Shawn Rhodes
“Being an excellent
speaker is merely the
entry fee. You must be an
and marketer to be suc-
cessful. You can build it, but they won’t
come unless they know about it. I spent
years as the ’best kept secret’ because I
was too shy to market myself well. My
expertise is valuable. I undervalued my
strengths precisely because they’re my
strengths. The things that seem simple
to me must be simple to everyone,
right? Wrong! Simple things pay big
dividends.”—Sierra modro, CSP
As Chief Appreciation Strate-
If You Knew Then What You Know Now
gist at Grategy®, Lisa Ryan
helps organizations keep
their top talent from becom-
ing someone else’s. She is the
author of eight books. To learn more, please