There is no greater source of pride than when someone in one of your programs emails you to say, “I booked a speaking gig!” When that person is a member of your first DIY virtual speaker training program, and the gig she booked was a TEDx talk… well, that’s even sweeter.
Varelie Croes, the Founder and CEO of The Liv Group (and the Co-Founder of ATECH, the Caribbean’s first major start-up conference), was in the beta version of my first round of Your Spotlight Talk. Less than six months after she completed the program, Val booked her second TEDx talk. She emailed me immediately after her first talk to share, “As a result of being picked by the audience as their favorite TEDxWomen speaker, I’m now giving a second TEDx talk at the main TEDx conference in Aruba.”
In 2017, a similar situation happened for Tonya Fitzpatrick, another program participant who, along with her husband Ian, leads World Footprints Media.
Tonya gave one TEDx talk and, as her message evolved through her work in Your Spotlight Talk and then my MasterTreat, realized she had another talk inside of her. She independently connected with a TEDx organizer who has booked several of my program graduates, shared her new “idea worth spreading” with him, expressed why she felt she needed to give a second TEDx talk less than a year after her first one, and was given the opportunity to do so.
Now, your dream may not be giving a TEDx talk.
(Fyi, it took me almost twenty years as a speaker to decide it was time to give mine this year! I’d be grateful if you would watch me deliver my TEDx talk, A New Paradigm for Feminism. And, if you feel compelled to give it a “like”, leave a comment, and share it with your tribe, well, thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!)
Maybe you want to give a TED-style talk at an event like INBOUND.
Or speak to CEOs at a group like Vistage.
Or speak at a big corporate conference—or on stage at a hotshot industry event like the World Domination Summit.
My clients and program participants have done all of these things—and their secret to winning big stages always comes down to the same five things.
My speakers become go-to darlings for event organizers because they:
- Have a clear “idea worth spreading.” They have a powerful idea they want to express with every fiber in their being, and they can articulate that core idea succinctly. Many of my speakers have just one of these ideas, it’s compelling, and they speak it again and again. In other cases, like Tonya’s, my speakers have a few discrete, albeit complementary ideas—hence why Tonya has been able to develop multiple TEDx talks.
- Understand the core problem (or frustration) experienced by their audiences, and they craft pitches that show how their talks/presentations provide a relevant solution. Let me repeat—my clients and program participants get inside the heads of their audience members and create (and pitch) content that speaks directly to them.
- Speak (and write from) their “secret sauce.” One of my favorite pieces of feedback (that I receive repeatedly) from event organizers who work with my peeps is that none of my speakers sound the same. They don’t sound like each other—and most of all, they don’t sound like me. Many of my speakers present on popular, “of the moment” topics—from finding your passion or purpose, to using your story to be of service in the world, to being resilient in the aftermath of trauma or loss. However, these speakers get booked over and over again to present because their voice is one-of-a-kind and they are unapologetic about standing adjacent to others in their space and sharing their message their way.
- Build relationships first. One of the biggest myths about pitching is that you land speaking bookings by sending a pitch or filling out an online submission form. And of course, you can get speaking gigs this way, but it’s by no means the only way. Just like most people don’t join a premium program off of a Facebook ad, many event organizers book speakers who they know, have seen speak at another event, who former speakers have referred, or who they at the very least had a phone call with.
I love showing speakers how to unearth the stages they want to speak on, and how to build mutually beneficial relationships with decision makers before they send a pitch to speak.
Now, what about you?
What is your “secret sauce” as a speaker?
What are the ideas you want to be known for?
And what are the stages you know you must get on to do your soul’s work?
Please, take a moment to share in the comments below.