Maybe you are one of those people with talent, results, experience and a lot of value (and real value) to contribute to the world as a public speaker. It’s possible that you’ve started recently, or some time ago, to give talks, exhibitions, conferences, and seminars. Probably, especially if you live in this country or another Latin America country, you’re not valued, they don’t take you seriously, and you have to contribute your knowledge in talks, for free. Or they don’t even hire you to talk even for free.
Be paid better and get hired more as a public speaker
If that were your situation, this is what I would do in your place:
[Note: this message is addressed to the speaker who does six times more than he says]
Specialize in something concrete
Almost everyone is on social media, SEO, digital marketing, productivity, innovation, leadership, coaching or motivation. There are already some highly demanded professionals at the top of each category. Position yourself where you have opportunities, or better yet, create your category.
Emerge from a theme that shows your unique context, and make sure it’s consistent with your person and your profession. Show a fresh perspective, different, and that is a topic that people want to hear about.
Excellence in titles / descriptions / examples
It’s not the same to say “a conference on motivation” as “how to live better when you have overcome the pain of losing your family.” Nor is it the same “you’ll learn about leadership” as “you’ll learn leadership by playing video-games, extreme sports, solo adventures outside of your country and doing things you don’t know how to do.” Without storytelling, you won’t get anything.
Concrete, accuracy, property
Submitting a 45-minute conference proposal to an event that requires 20 minutes will devalue you. Saying “yes” to a proposal when in fact you should say “no” because it doesn’t reach your requirements, will devalue you. Going to a conference and selling your book, your services or consulting in the middle of the conference itself, that will devalue even more.
Talking about vague terms such as “innovation”, “coaching”, “change” without illustrative examples that your audience can use as a useful point. More devaluation if possible.
Most of the time before participating you have already devalued yourself because you go to the generic. Imagine: “Foolishness as a competitive advantage: 5 obsessive, foolish and convincing ways to scale a business faster”. This and what it contains is already different to the rest.
When you simplify what you do, others can understand you better. Before I was the kind of person, who used complicated words until I realized that I had more than enough. Sometimes I still fall into the trap that my ego puts me in, but every day I avoid it much more accessible. Being simple it sells better, it’s easier to understand and reaches the audience better. That applies to professional titles, examples in other languages, convoluted words. Etc.
If what you say is unclear and doesn’t have any tangibility, you won’t even be contacted to talk. There’s not much more to add here.
Your city, community or even country. If you think you deserve it and you’re worth it, look for the opportunity elsewhere. Often people are not taken very seriously by their environment. Imagine a subject as subjective as this one.
Wait too long
If you are a public speaker, who is still waiting to master all the techniques, to get over stage fright, to learn the subject more. Waiting leaves you behind. Always.
Photo credit: Stand OUT Program.