One Great Speech
“Buried deep within each of us is a spark of greatness, a spark than can be fanned into flames of passion and achievement. That spark is not outside of you it is born deep within you.”– James A. Ray
Do you believe you can be paid to speak?
In James Marshall Reilly’s book One Great Speech: Secrets, Stories, and Perks of the Paid Speaking Industry (And How You Can Break In), he says, “you may think people who are paid to speak are “celebrities, former politicians, or award-winning experts in their fields, right? Wrong.”
Reilly points out that thousands of ordinary people generate five- and even six-figure incomes every year – just from speaking.
One Great Speech: Secrets, Stories, and Perks of the Paid Speaking Industry (And How You Can Break In) is not a book about preparing and delivering a speech. It is a book about how to get paid to speak.
This article will summarize three points James Marshall Reilly makes in his book.
It is Often Easier to Book an Unknown Speaker than a Celebrity
The conventional wisdom is to obtain the services of a speaking event booking agency, you have to be someone famous first. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Sure, celebrities speak at a lot of events. However, because of this, the chances of a star having an opening in their calendar to speak on a specific date are very slim.
This leaves a speaking agent a golden opportunity to convince the customer that since their “dream speaker” is not available, a more practical, more affordable speaker can speak at the event. Of course, that practical, more affordable speaker is you.
Now, mind you. You have to have a stimulating presentation that engages the audience and prompts the event organizer to have you back next year. If you deliver an exciting presentation, you probably will be booked for the following year’s event.
Some of you may be saying, “I am not good enough to speak at that event.” My question to you is, “If not you, then who.”
There is a great book my mother gave me many years ago that changed my life around. The book’s title is You Can If You Think You Can, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.
Are you in the doldrums? Then, read this book and say goodbye to your doldrums.
You are not a celebrity? No problem. It is easier for agents to book you than a star because your calendar is more open than theirs.
Someone out there is looking for you to teach them what you know. They are looking for you. Your job is to let them know where to find you.
Someone Somewhere is Looking for Your Expertise
You may be saying to yourself, “What could I talk on for which someone would want to listen.
Let me tell you, my friend. You know something now for which someone else is searching for that information.
Are you a beekeeper? Someone is looking for you to teach them beekeeping.
Are you a horticulturist? Someone is looking for you to teach them landscaping.
Are you a tuba cleaner? Someone is looking for you to teach them this skill.
You have lessons and skills you have learned in your life, whether you are 25, 75, or older. So start now to leave your legacy by speaking on a subject near and dear to your heart.
So, it is easier for an agent to book you rather than a celebrity, and someone out there is looking for you to teach them what you know.
You’ve got the “speaking gig.” Don’t leave home without an engaging presentation introduction.
Your Presentation Introduction Can Make You or Break You
Your presentation introduction is essentially your brand. You may be wondering what “your brand” means.
From the staff of Entrepreneur, “your bring is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.”
Before you begin your presentation, your presentation introduction establishes your brand. Craft it how you want you and your company to be known. The above definition tells your audience “who you are, who you want to be,” and it forms the perception of you in your audience’s mind.
You should modify your presentation introduction depending on who is in your audience. For instance, if I talk to a military audience, I will emphasize my military service. I will highlight my technical background when I speak to a technical audience. When I talk to an audience of speakers, I will emphasize my Toastmasters and speaking business experience.
The common thing among however many biographies you have for various audiences is each presentation introduction version must relate to your presentation topic.
An excellent presentation introduction can generate great excitement amongst your audience members. Therefore, it would behoove you to obtain, read, and absorb a great book on marketing like Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller and apply what it says to your presentation introduction.
So, it is easier for an agent to book you rather than a celebrity, someone out there is looking for you to teach them what you know, and you know your presentation introduction must be engaging.
Can you get paid for speaking?
Of course, you can!
Your Call to Action
Seek out speaking agents and tell them what you talk about; very often, these agents are looking to fill openings for events
Someone is out there is looking to be taught what you know; use the Internet to find them
Ensure your presentation introduction supports your brand and your presentation
“A talk is a voyage with purpose and it must be charted. The man who starts out going nowhere, generally gets there.”– Dale Carnegie
Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.
Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Frank can be reached at email@example.com and (703) 509-4424.
Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!
“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”