There is so much focus on the results of speaking.
- How many new clients can I get?
- How many books can I sell?
- How do I turn my speaking into a 6-figure career?
- How many programs can I sell?
- Will this gig land me the next lucrative gig?
There are so many gurus encouraging you to sell from the stage, make six-figures from speaking, and get new clients from your presentation that is is far too easy to lose sight of this simple truth:
Public speaking is NOT about YOU!
Your audience is more than bags of money in uncomfortable chairs waiting for the chance to throw themselves at you.
Speaking is not about sales, it’s not about prospects, it’s not about your book, it’s not about what you can get.
Public speaking is about the audience.
Here’s the exchange that is really happening during a presentation. People give you their time (which is valuable) and you create value in their lives.
What does it mean to create value for the audience?
Tara Gentile provided the best definition of value in her recent Creative Live class, “Value is transformation.”
What if you stopped focusing on the results of your speech, and focused on the work of creating the opportunity for a remarkable transformation for the audience?
Or a better way to think about this comes from Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records:
Stop worrying about how much money you make off your work and instead just stay focused on your work itself.
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) April 16, 2015
Uncle Rush is right. You can only ever control the work. You can never control the results.
Last week, I spoke at Business Theatre Live. I focused on creating the best experience that I could for my audience. The presentation was 100% me giving to them. There was no ask, no call-to-action to buy my stuff, and no high-pressured sales tactics.
The speech was awesome, and I know because everyone was buzzing about it afterwards. People crowded around me to talk to me about their take aways, ideas, rants about their industry (one of my take aways from the speech).
And then a funny thing happened.
I sold books, booked a podcast interview, and people asked about working with me.
No ask. No high-pressured-run-to-the-back-of-the-room tactics. No limited time only call-to-action.
Just intense focus on the work of creating a remarkable transformation in each and everyone of the people sitting in the audience.
I gave my best to them in exchange for their time and attention, and they still wanted MORE of me. They selected “in” to my community. The opted to continue their relationship with me.
Detaching from the outcome of your speech allows you build a relationship with your audience based on the value you are providing to them.
A relationship is worth far more than the short-term gain of sale.
A relationship that is built on trust and seeing each and every person who showed up to hear you speak as a person and not a bag of cash.
Stop focusing on the results of your speaking. Stop following formulas to sell from the stage. Stop fretting about the money you should be making from a speaking gig.
When you give 100% of yourself, make your speech a work of art instead of a paint-by-numbers waste of time, and concentrate on audience transformation, then relationships are foraged, results happen, and you’ll have a heck of lot more fun along the way.