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2 How to Get Better at Public Speaking

hughculverMarketing Podcast with Hugh Culver

Public speaking is hot these days – seems like I see a new book on TED or a new course on speaking on a daily basis.

And I get  it – many people dream of a career as a highly paid speaker. But, there’s something that not enough people are talking about.

For some businesses speaking is one of the most potent marketing channels available.

Speaking for leads can, in fact, be far more profitable and rewarding than all of the supposed glamour that comes with being this week’s keynote speaker.

Now, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to get better at your craft. A better speaker, paid or speaking for leads, will get a better result.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Hugh Culver. Hugh teaches experts in the art and business of speaking, has started five companies and is the author of Give Me A Break. We discuss public speaking and how to be more effective when speaking.

Hugh wrote a post for WPCurve titled “9 hacks guaranteed to make your next presentation world class

I asked him to be on my show because that post is perhaps the most succinct road map to making better presentations that I’ve ever read.  There are lots of books on speaking that you should consume – Michael Port’s Steal the Show and Nancy Duarte’s eresonate, come to mind – but this one post will give you everything you need to create a much more potent presentation.

Questions I ask Hugh:

  • Is there a trend of business owners wanting to become public speakers?
  • Are powerpoint slides critical to a speech?
  • How do you end the speech with impact?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How public speaking helps you expand your sphere of influence
  • Why public speaking is not just about the amount of content, but about the quality
  • How to keep a crowd engaged through a long speech

To read Hugh’s blog post 9 Hacks Guaranteed to Make Your Next Presentation World Class click here.

To find out more about Hugh at hughculver.com.

4 Duct Tape On the Road Again

Every now and then people ask me when I’m coming to their town! So, here are three dates where I will be speaking at public events and I hope you can make one or all!

john jantsch speaking at CES

New York Times Small Business Summit – Thursday September 23rd at the Hilton New York
as part of OPENForum Roundtables – you can join a table and discuss small business marketing pretty much all day!
Register here

Teaching Your Business to Market Itself – October 5th from 4 to 7 PM at Stonehill College in Easton MA.
This is a workshop focused on creating a referral system based on my best selling book – The Referral Engine
Register here

Conquer and Grow will be held on October 7th and 8th, 2010 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The line-up of small business experts including Michael Gerber, Bill Glazer, Mark Victor Hansen, John Jantsch, Rich Schefren, Pam Slim, Rich Sloan and many more!
Register here

20 How To Become a More Effective Speaker

TEDSpeaking, or, at the very least, effectively presenting an idea, whether to two or two thousand, is an essential business skill. I would argue that marketers should have one or two core presentations that they make routinely as a way to share their companies’ unique point of view or story. Small business owners should think of presenting information in online and offline seminar formats as an important lead generation and conversion tactic.

Many people struggle with speaking in front of an audience and the only real cure for this is to get up and do it, realize no one will suffer permanently from it, and then get up and do it again. There are, however, three bits of advice that I would give to anyone that desires to become a more effective speaker. For me, effective only means getting your point across in a way that inspires the listener to do what you want them to do.

Share the love – one of the most important elements an effective speaker brings to an audience is passion. This can be passion for helping people get something valuable from hearing the lesson or advice presented or passion for the subject itself. You can’t fake passion, but when you have it, your message often comes through more clearly regardless of the polish of your speaking presence.

If you’re naturally passionate about your subject or the purpose of your information, then just don’t hold back, let people be attracted to that passion. If, however, your position requires you to present information that may be useful, but doesn’t exactly capture your imagination, then your job is to inject something you are passionate about. Let’s say you are talking about network security, but what you really love is World of Warcraft, music, or baseball. I believe you will be a much more compelling speaker when you find a way to weave topics you are passionate about into your presentations.

Become a TEDhead – If you’re not familiar with TED, then I am thrilled to be the one to introduce it to you. TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. It has grown to be a worldwide phenomenon and one of the best places for you to learn how to be a better speaker.

TED speakers are chosen because they are fascinating and have passion for a big idea. The format challenges them to present that idea within 18 minutes and most use very little in the way of slides or media. Every TED Talk is recorded and housed on the site. Make this your classroom and you will have access to a tremendous collection of speakers that will inspire and teach you how to be better speaker. Watch everything they do. (Start with Dan Pink on the Science of Motivation)

Shoot Your Free Throws – Legend has it that Larry Bird, the great NBA star, shot 100 free throws every day, even after he became a superstar. He also led the league in successful free throw shooting year after year. In order to be a better speaker you’ve got to practice. You may choose to spend a lot of time in front of mirror going over your presentation, but I suggest you get in some pickup games pretty quickly too.

Hunt down a Toastmaster’s Chapter in your area and start forcing yourself to present and receive critical review from a peer group. Seek out opportunities to present your ideas wherever you can. Speaking to the knitting club monthly lunch may not get you in front of the audience you ultimately desire, but it will get you live feedback and help you get better. Another thing about practicing in front of an audience is that it almost always leads to other speaking opportunities. Don’t let weeks slip by without rehearsing and presenting live, keep refining your ideas and approach by listening to your audience.

4 How to Build Referrals and Become a Nationally Known Speaker

This post is a special Make a Referral Week guest post featuring education on the subject of referrals and word of mouth marketing and making 1000 referrals to 1000 small businesses – check it out at Make a Referral Week 2010

Have a Presence

The first step in becoming a paid speaker is to position yourself so that you can provide value. Your product is what you say, so if you communicate intelligent things online you are on the right track. Twitter, blogs, online video and podcasts are great platforms to express your message to the world. This gives potential clients an excellent place to get a free sneak preview of what you can provide. Video works great because the audience actually feels like they get to know you.

Your website should say exactly what you stand for and what you can provide for an audience, it should scream “John Jantsch is awesome!” but not “I am so awesome! I’m god’s greatest gift to earth!” Nobody likes someone who over hypes him/herself. The proof is in the pudding, so let your work speak for itself; that’s why content in the form of text, video or audio works so well.

It is incredible how many referrals you can attract by simply having a presence. Online, all people need to do is make a quick introduction on Twitter and potential clients will start checking out your content. Referrals are so powerful because they are often done by trusted friends–when a friend directs someone to quality content of yours, it doubles the impact.

Build your Bio

Your bio should solidify your credibility. If it’s not up to par yet, check out these 59 Ways to Grow Your Credibility. Bio’s need to be short and to the point. Oftentimes they are read for your introduction so don’t just rattle off all your fancy degrees and awards, make it sound like you are a real person. Adding humor is a major bonus, as most intros are incredibly bland and boring. Your bio is just as important as a resume and if you aren’t comfortable writing your own bio, have a friend write it for you.

Adding in your biggest press mentions is critical in growing that credibility. As soon as your potential client or audience hears “Whoa he’s been in BusinessWeek?”, they start to pay attention.

Have a Speaking Tab on your website

Here is where your bio, headshot, testimonials, speaking resume, highlight reel and description of your value driven talk go. This should be very obviously placed on your site and linked with your about page. Now, when people find your site and want to learn more about you, they’ll automatically know you are a speaker and learn more than they ever wanted to know about you.

Don’t forget to include your email address or booking agent’s contact information so they can get in contact with you.

Oftentimes referrals in the speaking industry come from people who say “I just heard John Janstch speak, he was awesome”. They might not actually know John well enough to put you in contact with him, so you’ll have to be found on Google. Reaching your homepage or your speaking tab is what will get the referral in the door. You might not ever hear where the referral was generated, so make sure you make it as easy as possible for them to find you.

Have a hook

If you ever wanted to get paid to speak again, you’ll need to have a point to your talk. Reel them in early with some thought provoking ideas, maybe a joke or exercise to get everyone involved. Your first minute of your talk is where the audience passes judgment so get them on your team early and let them know what they are going to get out of your performance because they are probably already wondering “why am I here.”

Your talk should do two things: 1. Teach the audience something 2. Tell your story in a way your audience can relate.

How do conversations spark in the world of speaking referrals? “Matt Wilson used this awesome example about G-String businesses 2 minutes into his talk.” If people don’t remember what you talked about it, they won’t spread the word for you. Have something that hooks them in and keeps them thinking about it days after the talk. The 1-2 week period is when most word of mouth referrals will happen.

Start Small

Don’t expect to get paid right off the bat if you’ve never spoken anywhere before, so start off small. Local high schools, colleges and organizations are always looking for some inspiration. Call them and get your foot in the door. Search meetup.com and call the president of these groups, they are always looking for a way to fill meetings. If you have something to teach others, schedule a seminar with a local library or chamber of commerce. Not only is it a great way to build your resume, but it’s also a fantastic way to network. Have plenty of business cards on hand.

It is in your community where you are going to start to form relationships that lead to referrals. Small business referrals start by having your go-to accountant, lawyer, real estate broker, etc. and drive them business. If they saw you speak at the Chamber of Commerce, why wouldn’t they want to bring you in to the local Toastmasters group?

Ask to get paid

Josh Shipp of HeyJosh.com says, “How did I make the leap from non-paid to paid? Watch: I asked to be paid. At first $500. Then $1,000. Then $2,500. Now $5,000.
If you’re good at what you do, you’ll find the more you charge the more demand you’re in and the better clients you’ll get. You get what you charge for.”

Referrals come by truly helping other people. If you deliver on content, inspire them and give them value to take home, then people will not only be happy to pay you, but happy to refer you to others.

Build Testimonials

Your speaking resume, should include links to any press from the event. This provides instant credibility to say you rocked out on the big stage. Testimonials are literally referrals in written or video form. They are recommendations that you can use anywhere. When you put them online they have the power for millions to view which grows trust with every one of your potential clients.

Collect videos from your talks as people are walking out or come up to you after and favorite every nice thing people say about me on Twitter and link it up!

Creating a highlight reel builds both social proof and your expertise, by showing a mix of positive reactions in a live setting and clips of you on stage. The people who speak positively are literally making their referral to the whole world.

Have an Agent or Bureau

If you are looking for more speaker referrals, it helps if you are paying someone a referral fee to connect you with more engagements. Bureaus and agents typically work on a percentage basis of everything they book for you, leaving very little risk or upfront investment on your part. These are the people with connections to shop you around, so why not give them a referral fee?

Start Hustling

Want to do it on your own? It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get people to refer you. Start asking people who compliment you who they know; these people often know tons of people in their industry that would also benefit from hearing your talk. Ask them who they know and be upfront about it. You just helped them by delivering massive value with a great performance and you are looking to help more people in your niche. If they refer you to someone else and you are a rock star, it’ll be huge benefit to them too!

Referrals all come down to over delivering with your service and wow-ing your audience enough to start some chatter. Word of mouth really works!

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO.com urging people to drop the 9-5 and get passionate about something. Follow him on Twitter @MattWilsontv as the Gen-Y spokesperson looking to help every young entrepreneur on the planet.