You hear the roar of applause and receive your standing ovation.
Audience members say, “You did an awesome job! That was great!”
The vast majority of your evaluations say you did a good or excellent job in your session. That's awesome. I want you to receive and celebrate that.
When you're done with the celebration, ask yourself this question: Is it translating?
Is the applause and the standing ovation translating into more speaking opportunities?
Are those enthusiastic audience members translating into people who hire you and become customers?
Is that organization where you got those fabulous evaluations, is that translating into being asked back or being asked to provide additional training?
The bottom line question is, is speaking exponentially growing your bottom line?
If you look at your numbers and it's not producing the revenue that you would like to see, what should you do about it?
Before I get hired as a coach, I always do a complimentary strategy call. In this call I'm trying to assess where they are leaving money on the table.
There are two big areas where I see speakers leaving money on the table.
Prefer to Listen?
An Uncomfortable Speaking Truth
This first place that money is getting left on the table makes me really uncomfortable to talk about.
It is this uncomfortable truth that is well known in the speaking industry, but people don't like to think about it. I'm putting it out here. Here's the big bold rebel truth.
The speech that you're putting on stage isn't as good as you think it is, and it's not doing its job in your business.
This is kind of an ouch, but don’t worry, it's fixable. The truth is, there are good speakers who are amazing on stage but whose message is a little meh. It's mediocre; it's not memorable.
One of my clients recently had the experience of seeing Vanessa Van Edwards, who studies nonverbal communications, on stage.
She was just raving about her: how poised she was, how put together she was. The non-verbals for her speech were amazing, as you would expect them to be.
She loved every minute of that speech. I was like, “Wow, that sounds amazing. I want to see her. What did you take away? What did you learn from that speech that you can apply?”
She got super-silent and said, “She was awesome and I don't remember anything she said.”
What? In this case, what is Vanessa missing out on?
She could be missing out on a potential customer or client who would want to hire her for consulting for her business. She could be missing out on a potential relationship that catapults her business forward. She could be missing out on more speaking opportunities and more training opportunities because the message isn't memorable.
When this occurs, when you're getting the “You're so awesome, and I don't remember a word you said,” that's a speech problem.
When we break this down, there are two potential areas that can be tweaked and modified so that you're not leaving that money on the table.
The first part of this is you're not clear why the audience wants your speech and what the promise or the transformation of that speech be.
I saw a great example from this from one of my clients.
Before we worked together she was doing a lot of speaking and was getting the “Oh my God, you're so awesome” feedback.
But no one was hiring her from her speeches. This is my client Tracey Warren, who does social media management and has just opened the Inspark CoWorking space. Super-excited for Tracey!
When we dived into her current speech, it was a fun speech about how to avoid being craptastic on social media. Tracey's a fun person, and what we realized as we dug deeper is that she wasn't solving the right problem for her audience and she wasn't giving them the right transformation.
We found that her audiences were not afraid of being craptastic on social media. It wasn't a problem for them because they were simply not doing social media for their business. They didn't want to be seen on social media. They had a visibility issue.
So we rewrote the speech to address the visibility issue, and the first time she gave it, she got three new clients, which is a huge bump in her revenue just from a small tweak. She stopped leaving money on the table when she gave that speech.
An Organizational Speaking Truth
The second area to look at if your speech isn’t going it’s job is the organizations who hire you. Is your speech meeting the needs of that organization?
One of the best ways to start speaking more is to get repeat business and referral business. You want the organization to hire you again or to hire you for additional training.
One of my client's, Imei, speaks on food allergies. She was accepted to a conference, she gave her signature talk, it went exceptionally well, she had amazing feedback from it, and she was one of the only speakers who was invited to come back the following year.
Because the other speakers just weren't up to snuff. The organization was paying attention and realized that those other speakers simply weren't meeting the bare minimum requirements, so they not only won’t be asked back, they probably won't ever speak at that organization again.
You want to make sure that your speech is delivering value to the organization because they're your actual customers. If your speech isn't delivering that value, it's going to hinder your ability to get those testimonials and repeat business.
Your speech can be a huge area where you're leaving money on the table. Making it the best product it can be: one that is memorable and takes you from “Hey, you're amazing,” to “Hey, I want to hire you to speak for my organization,” is a transformation you want.
A Logistical Speaking Truth
Another area the speakers are leaving money sitting on the table is their logistics. It's about your systems. They suck at follow-up or their follow-up is non-existent.
As I see it, one of the places that speakers are leaving money on the table is their own logistics! They either such at follow-up or it is totally non-existent!
One of my clients is always told after she speaks, “I need to hire you.” Up until now she's been like, “That's awesome, and they'll find me when they want to hire me,” which never happens.
Which means she's leaving money on the table. Having a system where you can follow up with those people who say, “Oh my gosh, I want to hire you,” and make that happen, is going to increase your revenue.
We found the loophole in her logistics and now she has a system for getting the information that she needs from these folks and a system for following up.
She helps these people get in touch with her and creates business for herself!
And it’s not just about following up with the individuals, you need to make sure that you follow up with the organization.
Lois Creamer had a great article about following up 48 hours after a speaking event and seeing if they're interested in more training or coaching from you. Because that's a way to increase your revenue. But you've got to ask for it and you've got to follow up.
What is it costing you?
What is it costing you to be awesome? Oh my gosh, you're so great, but not booking more speaking gigs or getting more clients.
What is it costing you not to follow up? Ask yourself, how much is one client worth to you? How much is one speaking gig worth to your business? How much money would be generated if you did additional training?
It's time to stop leaving money on the table and plug the leaks. I'm here to help you with that.
Let's figure out exactly where you're leaking money, create a plan to fix it, and see how we can work to increase the revenue that you're making in your speaking business by applying for a complimentary Speak for Impact strategy session at drmichellemazur.com/speak.
It's me, it's you, it's your speaking business for 30 minutes. That can make a huge difference in making more money from speaking.
The important point here is that I know you are working so hard as a speaker. I don't want you to leave any money on the table.
You're perfecting your craft. You're finding the speaking gigs. You're taking the time to prepare and practice, and you should be compensated well for that.