CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP AUGUST 8, 2021
START YOUR OWN PUBLIC SPEAKING CAREER (PT.1)
Don’t Try to Become a Motivational Speaker.
First and foremost, don’t try to become a “motivational speaker.” Yes, there are still great (and popular) motivational speakers out there. Most often, though, these are people who accomplished something very significant that very few people have ever done.
For instance, here in Dallas, Roger Staubach was the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys for years. After he left the NFL, he started a commercial real estate company, and he became a gazillionaire again.
So, when he speaks at conventions, he charges in excess of $40,000 per hour. Most popular motivational speakers are politicians, athletes, or entertainers who made it big, and who now want to inspire others. You will also find people who sailed around the world, climbed Mount Everest, survived a tragedy, and the like. For the most part, though, you find very few motivational speakers who weren’t famous before they became speakers.
Don’t Just Regurgitate Stuff You Read/Hear from Other Speakers.
The second big mistake that people make when they start a speaking career is that they just try to regurgitate ideas and material from other sources.
“Okay, I’ve read, The Magic of Thinking Big, How to Win Friends and Influence People, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Personality Plus, Think and Grow Rich, and The Bible. I’ve listened to over 100 hours of Zig Ziglar, Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Will Smith, and Joel Osteen. Now, I’m ready to be a professional speaker!”
The only thing that really differentiates a great speaker from a poor speaker is that the great speaker has better stories. The success stories from real-life are what builds your credibility as a speaker. If you are relying upon re-telling other people’s success stories, you will never make it as a professional speaker.
I got hired as a speaker at a convention, once, and the woman who hired me asked me a very odd and pointed question just before I began to speak.
She said, “Where exactly did you get the material for this speech?”
It was such an odd question, I paused before answering. No one had ever asked me that question before. I asked her why she was asking.
Apparently, her group just absolutely loved the speaker they hired the previous year. They would have hired her again. However, one of her executives was doing research on the topic after the conference and came across another speaker with a similar background.
After a little more investigating, they realized that their speaker had plagiarized the entire speech — (personal stories and all).
After being in the industry for decades, now, I have realized that this is very, very common. You will end your career very quickly if you plagiarize other people’s stuff.
Stay Away from General Topics.
One of the biggest mistakes that I made in the early years of The Leader’s Institute was making my classes about “leadership.” If you think about it, if someone is a very poor leader, they are not likely to go to Google and look for a “leadership class.” I spent the first couple of years reaching out to thousands of corporate decision-makers letting them know about the great leadership class that I had. I had a bunch of takers. however, the moment I stopped outwardly promoting the class using an enormous amount of advertising, registrations decreased significantly.
After teaching classes like this for a couple of decades, now, though, I realized that if I had become even more specific on the topic, I’d likely have grown a lot faster.