I’ve been an entrepreneur and professional speaker for several years. If you know my story, you know I didn’t start out as an entrepreneur, nor did I come from a background of entrepreneurship. Yet since deciding to move towards the life and work I love, I’ve never looked back.
Throughout this journey I’ve discovered seven critical success factors for professional speakers and entrepreneurs that we teach in-depth at the Speak It Forward Boot Camp. These seven items are predictors of achievement and accomplishment in the speaking world. You could go so far as to say these seven critical success factors are equivalent to the DNA of success for speakers.
There is one major difference between a rut and a grave. Graves are permanent. Ruts are not!
If you’re stuck in a rut in your speaking career, the good news is you CAN get unstuck. Here are three ideas to get unstuck no matter what you are facing.
If you are interested in being a professional speaker, it’s important to proactively seek out presentation tips to help you grow as a speaker. When you are new to the speaking world, presentation tips regarding stage presence, the use of humor, and story-telling techniques are extremely helpful. Once you are more established, your need for presentation tips grows deeper. You’ll ask yourself “speak it forward” questions like: How do I stay positive and keep moving forward in the midst of all the mundane tasks associated with speaking?
Most of my keynote presentations start with a game of Simon Says (check out the video at the end of this post). Since I am the self-proclaimed greatest Simon Says leader in the world, I get most people out quickly and then say something along these lines: “Life is a lot like a Simon Says game and it ends up getting most people out.”
photo credit: simpsoncrazy.com
Sometimes I even say: “I know, I’m supposed to be a positive, motivational speaker, so let’s try that again. And this time, I’ll be more positive. Here goes: I’m POSITIVE…life is like a Simon Says game and it ends up getting most people out!”
Every choice moves us closer to or farther away from something. Where are your choices taking your life? What do your behaviors demonstrate that you are saying “yes” or “no” to in life?
— Eric Allenbaugh —
This might sound counterintuitive, but to speak it forward, you must learn how to say NO and mean it.
Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next.
Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.
photo credit: tomharpin
All speakers face hurdles that keep them from moving forward. One hurdle is the tendency to get stuck thinking about what you want to do instead of actually doing something. Why do speakers have such a hard time clearing the “moving forward” hurdle? You name it:
- Not knowing where to start
Whatever the cause, the results are always the same:
- Lack of movement
So how do you go from stuck to moving forward as a speaker? Try these 3 steps…
The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a parlor game based on the six degrees of separation which suggests that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart.
photo credit: Chase Elliott Clark
Let’s play our own version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. How many acquaintance links are you to these Speak It Forward grads who are maximizing their impact and income?
Want to know how to be successful as a speaker? Do the opposite of what most speakers do.
photo credit: Cyron Ray Macey
The average salary of a professional speaker is $44,000 a year. This means the average speaker doesn’t speak a lot, earn a lot, or impact a lot. Do you really want to be average? Remember, average never impacts and normal people don’t make history!
Instead of going for average, why not do the opposite? Why not be more and do more? Why not maximize my impact and income?!
Speak It Forward exist to help you maximize your impact and income as a speaker. In other words, if you invest in yourself by using our services and products, we guarantee you can maximize your impact and income as a speaker.
photo credit: KB VanHorn
There are lots of ways to invest in yourself via Speak It Forward. You can read blogs. You can take part in teleseminars. You can even jump into the online training we offer from time to time. But the program that produces the greatest return on investment (i.e. ROI) for most people is the Speak It Forward Boot Camp.
To prove it, let’s play a game of The Price Is Right. Below are 3 questions you should ask yourself before making any kind of investment in yourself.
There are two kinds of speakers. Wannabe speakers and real speakers. Do you know the primary difference between the two? It’s not talent. It’s not the message. It’s not even a lack of knowledge. Wannabe speakers talk a lot about being a speaker while real speakers actually take action to become speakers. That’s it!
If you want to move from just talking about being a speaker to actually becoming a real speaker, then you need to take action. Here’s a framework you can use to take action…
photo credit: Kevin Mullet
Do you know people who have had the same dream for the past 3 years? How about 5 years? 10 year? 15 or more years?
photo credit: Sean MacEntee
The question is…when does a dream stop being a dream and become a nightmare?
The second question is…if you have been dreaming about being a speaker and nothing has changed over the past year or two, what will it take for you to make a change? Even more, what steps can you take to keep your dream from turning into your nightmare?
FEAR! It really is a 4-letter word. Especially the fear of failure.
photo credit: Vic
As a speaker, the fear of failure can keep you stuck in a pit of self-doubt and second guessing. Instead of “speaking it forward,” you end up wrestling with the same questions over and over again. For instance, how do you:
As a speaker, how pushy are you? Are you pushy enough in your presentations? Pushy enough in your marketing? Pushy enough in your sales?
Before getting the wrong idea, I’m not talking about how pushy you are with others. I’m talking about how pushy you are with yourself. Are you pushy enough in your own self-improvement and personal development?
If you want to be a speaker, but you’re not getting booked, there’s an important question to ask: what’s holding you back?
Why this question? Because clarity results in focus. If you clarify what’s holding you back as a speaker, you can find solutions and take action.
So, how many of the following things are holding you back as a speaker?
Ever notice how many songs talk about dreams?
photo credit: Relax Music
Now here you go again, you say you want freedom, well who am I to keep you down?
— Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
So, dream when the day is through. Dream and they might come true. Things are never as bad as they seem. So dream, dream, dream.
— Dream by Michael Buble
They love me like I was thier brother. They protect me, listen to me. They dug me my very own garden. Gave me sunshine, made me happy. Nice dream, nice dream, nice dream.
— Nice Dream by Radiohead
It’s a powerful question.
Does it make you think of future possibilities and opportunities? Or do you automatically get stuck thinking of past mistakes and regrets?
Instead of answering the “what if” question by focusing on either future possibilities or past mistakes, let’s shape the question differently: What if you could take the lessons learned from past mistakes and turn them into a powerful message that opens up new opportunities for you and your audience?
You talk to yourself all the time. No I don’t. Not all the time. See what I mean?
photo credit: Jinx!
Some experts teach the secret to success is better self-talk and are quick to point to the power of positive affirmations and mantras. For instance, if you want to be successful, one of the first habits you should develop is writing down daily affirmations to repeat to yourself:
- I prosper wherever I turn and deserve authentic prosperity.
- I respect myself and so do others.
- My relationships are full of love and harmony.
- When I believe it, I can achieve it.
Obviously, positive affirmations are more effective than negative self-talk. But did you know there is a more effective type of self-talk than daily affirmations?
Wondering how to become a motivational speaker? What about a keynote speaker? A trainer? Emcee? Group facilitator? Each of these roles is part of the professional speaking world. And each requires its own unique skills and strategies for success.
If you are new to any of the speaker roles mentioned above, you are probably wondering what steps to take to start your speaker business. Did you know one of the best ways to learn something new is to first figure out what not to do. And if you want to be extra smart, you can learn from the mistakes other people have already made.
Here are 3 big mistakes most professional speakers make at some point in their careers. As you enter the world of professional speaking, try to avoid these common missteps.
Every speaker wants to add more moola to his or her business. Here are 9 ideas for how to make more money as a speaker. Which idea has worked best for you? What ideas would you add to the list?
photo credit: Tax Credit READ MORE
Several years ago at a speaker training conference I learned a marketing strategy called ABM… Always Be Marketing. As a speaker, you know the importance of a solid marketing mix. However, when you hear ABM, it should cause you to ask a deeper question: what is marketing in the first place?
The following seven factors are predictors of achievement and accomplishment for professional speakers. In fact, you could call them a tape measure of success for entrepreneurs. Which are strengths for you? Which need improvement?