I was recently speaking at a business event in London alongside several ‘business experts’ all hoping to leverage Public Speaking to promote their business, position and build additional revenue. What happened next was revealing!
The growth of the business speaker has continued to surge over the course of the last decade possibly more so in London than anywhere else. Uncertainty, Competition, Brexit and many market challenges mean that ‘the Stage’ is a cost-effective place to leverage and position from. And done well can market you and your business like little else.
However, at this event which took place in a swish Central London Hotel, I like many others felt ourselves losing interest as each speaker shared very similar claims of credibility, identical secrets and reasons we should purchase their vastly inflated offerings.
In fact, by the third speaker it was clear that all were working from same speaking template! Using the same value build, the same hook, the same call to action…. these business owners appeared like they had freshly come off a mass production line! During the break I had conversations with audience members and the speakers…What I found out was shocking! I will share what I discovered at the end of this article.
Despite this many will argue that working from a template is ok if it works! And I would agree if only this was true. But the point is IT DOES NOT WORK!
Today’s audiences are becoming more sophisticated, they expect much more than just another confident speaker. Or someone who can present their personal story or present from just one method. Which means going deeper than the just a template.
So, what should YOU be doing on that stage? The secret lies in operating from a place of Service First.
1. Be clear about what CHANGE you want for your Audience.
Most Speakers are worrying about the number of clients they will get, what revenue can they create, the number of sales,
Putting ‘service first’ means you begin in a place of generosity.
The great Martin Luther King said; ‘Life’s most urgent and persistent question is what are you doing for others?’
When you operate from a place of giving you will be creating change with every sentence, every word, every breath. This means that you have created a track record, evidence, proof that you can help solve your audiences problem. It becomes a logical mission for those who need to continue working with you.
When you plan your talk, we recommend drawing a line from each of the main themes. Against each paragraph describe what impact you are having. What change are you creating in your audiences. Be it in their mindset, skillset, emotion or even soul. Soon everything you do on stage starts to align with your main change theme.
2. Stand for Something
Most business owners turned speakers feel they must be polished, fit-in, be consistent with the market and are often consequently stale.
To fast track impact is to take a view that you genuinely believe in and have evidence and experience to back up.
Not only will your honesty be refreshing a well-crafted viewpoint is likely to build momentum. Having a bit of a rant shows you are passionate, bold and care. All the qualities your ideal customers are seeking in their mentors and leaders.
I am yet to meet anyone in any industry who does not have a pet peeve. Sometimes it takes a leader (YOU) to step up and share, more than likely there are many in your audience who will feel the same way.
Remember this is a well meaning rant with solution not a rant for the sake of it!! You are a speaker, a leader a solution provider and changemaker!
And if you feel apprehensive on challenging the status quo remember it is better to be remembered for something than forgotten for nothing. Celebrate your difference. Celebrate being You! Being honest is being the best you!
Which reminds me. What happened at that London Speaking Event? It turned out that 70% of the speakers were peddling their mentors’ template.
They were self-declared disciples of a London based speaker training guru who insists all his students follow his ‘system’!
Whilst I commend anyone learning, true success is more than a system, it is about bringing a part of you to the stage. A part that will be the catalyst for change in your audiences. You are more than any system. Presenting you will do more for you, your business and your audience.