To be a successful speaker, you must start with your speaker vision. When you think of yourself as a public speaker where do you see yourself speaking? Are you in front of a large audience or a small group? Are you speaking on the virtual stage, hosting podcasts, leading webinars, doing a TEDx talk, or speaking your book on Audible? Have you set your speaker goals including the number of speaking engagements you are going to do over the next year? Is your mindset, your way of thinking and looking at yourself congruent with your speaker vision and goals? There are many opportunities to become a successful speaker if you have the right vision, goals and mindset.
Craft Your Vision First
If you are serious about developing a speaking career and want it to take off, first craft your speaker vision. Simply declaring you are a speaker means little until you get serious and specific. Speaker of what? Speak where? And with whom are you sharing the stage? For example, if you want to share the stage with speaking giants such as Mark Victor Hansen, Sharon Lechter, or Les Brown, you have got to design your speaker vision with them in it.
Develop every detail of your speaker vision and see it. Visualize yourself in front of an audience of 100, 300 or 500 people. The audience is smiling, laughing at your jokes, clapping, and giving you a standing ovation when you finish. The more detailed your vision is, the closer it will become to reality. Let your vision drive you to your future speaking success.
How to Set Your Speaking Goals
Set concrete speaking goals. How many speeches per week do you want to deliver? Per month? Per year? Where do you want to speak? Where does your target market hang out? Next, set your intentions for your speaking future and watch what happens. If your future vision is to give a TEDx talk then you need to set that as a goal for your speaker vision. Then set activities on how you will accomplish that goal, or it will never happen. Remember, when you set your goals, include how many speaking engagements you want to give for the entire year. If you do not set that important goal, then you are not going to attract them.
In Matthew McConaughey’s, book Greenlights, there is a quote that I love. He says, “The target draws the arrow.” If you think about your goal as the target, when you set that goal the arrow becomes a magnet and draws toward the bullseye.
For extra attracting power, set SMART goals. For more information on how to set SMART goals, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria. In short, the S stands for specific, M is for measurable, A is for attainable, R is for relevant, and the T is for timely. Write your SMART goals down on paper and look at them every day. Otherwise, goals that are not written down and reviewed on a regular basis are only a dream and not a target. Remember, the target draws the arrow.
My speaking goal this year is 175 speaking engagements. When I see it written on paper, it does not look like that many. But when I break it out month by month, it is approximately 14 to 15 speeches a month. Which means 3 to 5 speeches per week. That is a lot when you think about it. For me, I define a speech as a prepared presentation, speaking for at least two-minutes or more and given to at least two people or more.
If you are speaking to one person, that is not a speech. If you are speaking for one minute or less, more than likely that is your elevator pitch. That too is not a speech. Today, in the virtual environment, we are getting less time to speak. I have seen keynote speeches drop to 8 minutes instead of the standard one hour. If you have been offered 2 minutes to speak, you have hit the jackpot.
One of my clients the other day asked me, “I was offered 20 seconds to speak. Should I do it?” I said, “Yes” of course. Any time you get a second, take it. Now, are we going to count that as one of your speeches? No, it is too short, but speak anytime you get an opportunity.
Once you have set your speaker goal, then you can get to it. You can start with how many speaking engagements do you want to do a month. Then multiply that out for the year. Whether or not you are going to take December off or not, is up to you. But 175 speeches are reasonable when you break it down and you count all the different platforms that you can speak on.
How to Increase Your Number of Speeches
You probably do more public speaking than you realize. Your speaking engagement count includes the following:
- Speaking at an organization, networking meeting, or corporation
- Webinar training
- YouTube training video
- Speaking on your own podcast
- Podcast guest interviews on other people’s podcasts
- Radio and TV showcases or interviews
- Leading a networking meeting where you do a 5-minute introduction or inspirational talk
- Clubhouse room moderation
And the list goes on…
There is absolutely no reason today why you cannot make your annual speaking goals.
Your Speaker Mindset
If you do not look at yourself as a serious inspirational or educational speaker, no one else will. The fastest way to change your mindset, is to say to yourself, “I am a speaker. I am a speaker. I’m a speaker.” You can even say, “I’m a motivational speaker. I am an inspirational speaker. I am a great speaker. People love to hear me speak.” Your self-talk really matters. You have got to change your mindset and think of yourself as a professional public speaker.
We are all public speakers. Some of us are trained and some of us are not. If you want to feel more like a professional speaker, then get trained. Speaker training will change your mindset into believing that you truly are a speaker. It starts with the mind.