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Why does everyone want to be a speaker or coach? The harshest and perhaps meanest post I have ever written. By Douglas Vermeeren, The Speaking Business Multiplier

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Why is it that everyone wants to be a speaker or a coach? Do they think they really have something to teach or are they thinking its an easy ride? And if they have something to teach today are they really committed to step up and put in the effort to make themselves valuable long term. In my more than a decade as a professional and profitable speaker I’ve seen lots of successes and miserable failures from people that felt they wanted to be speakers. One of the biggest challenges that the failures all had is they thought they were ready to teach and were not. Or they became inspired by someone else and tried to duplicate that person in terms of personality or teaching. A common example of this has been seen by all (you’ve seen it too) where someone read the secret and thought they knew enough to teach it or where someone felt the power of Tony Robbins and then tried to imitate Tony. 15-motivational-quotes-from-tony-robbins-620x355A feeling of inspiration is not necessarily an invitation to duplicate. If you are going to be successful in this business the first thing you need to realize is that your success will be found only as you find your individual and unique voice. Impersonators, imitators and plagiarists never rise higher than the pioneer. You have got to be an original.

Having said that the other important thing about being an original means being valuable. You need to solve real problems and have real solutions. You also need to add to the conversation. In order to add to the conversation you need to know the conversation and understand it well. It’s not enough to read one or two books or what a movie or youtube video and think you are an expert. I recommend to my students that they need to study their subject matter at least one hour per day. No Holidays.  I know of top professional speakers that are spending far more than that. If you want to be an expert you’ve got to know what everyone is saying and develop your own unique points of view on the subject. This is a full time job people. Yesterday I spoke with a husband and wife couple and the husband wants to be a speaker or coach. He has achieved no real great success in his life but feels he has something to teach others. In addition, he has spent lots of the family money pursuing other interests and trying a variety of business that have all reached minimal levels of either success or failure. If you are int he same position and considering that you want to be a speaker or leader to others. The first thing I am going to say is reconsider. You really aren’t ready. But if you must persist before you spend the money and effort to come and play with us let’s see if you can actually consistently put in an hour into your subject each day for a month. If you can’t do it – we don’t want you to come and share the stage with those of us that do this for a living. You are not committed enough and you’re getting in our way. You are also doing a disservice to your audience. They deserve better than someone who is there from an ego point of view or to make a quick buck.

Maybe this is the harshest rant I’ve ever published but it is not uncommon for this industry to attract people who feel that speaking is just a matter of talking and sharing personal stories. People expect more and there’s no need for you to waste everyones time. I recently read an article on how trust levels for speakers, coaches and gurus are losing a lot of ground in the marketplace when it comes to credibility and trust. I believe the reason why is that there are too many people out there who don’t really have any value. If you are considering this as a career take a careful look at what you really offer. And if you find yourself lacking either own it and fix it or find something else to do.

Recently I was at an event where a lady approached me after I spoke and told me of her aspirations to be a life coach. It didn’t take long to understand that her personal life was a mess, her financial life was on the verge of collapse, her relationships were very messy and she had substance abuse challenges. I don’t understand where people like this can even consider life coaching. the role of coach must be very misunderstood. Your responsibility is to lead people to higher ground. It would seem that anyone she would encounter as potential coaching clients would generally be in a better position that she would be. Unreal.

I want to dispel the rumours that this is an easy job. Like anything else there highs and lows. There are moments that are easy and days where the woe is hard. You can’t just have the happy moments you have got to be willing to put in the efforts as well. If you ultimately choice to be a speaker (And I haven’t discouraged you) then by all means do it – but get committed to being the best you can be. Don’t settle to just do the job. Become an expert and a source people can trust and have confidence in. And strive everyday to become better. If you teach personal development or self improvement practice it damn it.

End rant.

douglas-vermeeren-600Are you ready to level up your speaking business? You’ve come to the right place. Douglas Vermeeren is The Speaking Business Multipier. He is considered by many to be the modern day Napoleon Hill for his extensive research into the lives and psychology of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers. 

Vermeeren is the author of 3 books in the Guerrilla marketing series and one in the Dummies book series. He is also the creator of the personal development films The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment and The Treasure Map. He is a regular featured expert on FOX, FOX Business, CNN, ABC, NBC, CTV, CBC and others.

As a speaker he earned more than 1.3 Million dollars in his first six months as a speaker. He currently teaches speakers how to duplicate his level of success in a top rated program called High Profit Speaker.

http://www.DouglasVermeeren.com

 

 

Do you have a speaking business? Or are you just speaking? – The Speaking Business Multiplier

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Are you ready for the stage? The Speaking Business Multiplier

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the_speaking_business_multiplier_logo02Over the last two decades I have had a chance to attend countless seminars, workshops, presentations and lectures in personal development, self improvement or some other form of pubic education. As someone who teaches speakers for a living to create successful speaking business and platform skills I have seen “the good, bad and the ugly.” Often times those who fit ingot he bad or the ugly examples have glaring similarities.  Some of them with a little help could become amazing eventually but some need a direct return to the basics or in some cases find a new career option. Here are a few of the big mistakes I see the “bad and the ugly” making that could be fixed or become deal breakers.

1)They don’t prepare – When a speaker isn’t prepared it becomes glaringly obvious and painful to listen to. Just because a person works in a specific field or has some experience in what they are invited to speak about does not mean that they have the skill to explain it from the stage to others. Get prepared with you material and organize it into a presentation that others can understand and grain from. It isn’t just a matter of being educational its also a matter of being entertaining. If its just information we are looking for you might as well just go and read a book. Getting prepared means selecting the ideas and information that is going to be of most use to your audience and then determining the most interesting and effective way to present it. Winging it never works.

(As a side note on preparation most people underestimate the amount of preparation it takes to create a sustainable career as a speaker. You need to be able to do more than just talk. What value are you really adding? And unfortunately there are a lot of people who call themselves speakers who are actually not adding much value at all. Be honest with yourself – You know that you can do better!)

2)They try to share too much – Still following the discussion started above without preparing is the idea that some people prepare too much. Too much information is almost as bad as sharing nothing. The goal of your presentation should be to influence, education and make your audience better. If there is too much information (and irrelevant information) it becomes difficult to act on and therefore becomes useless. Make things  digestible.

Get rid of needless and frivolous fluff in your presentation and everyone will thank you for it.

3)They don’t engage the audience – A professional speaker is different than a university professor.  When you say university professor most people think of a lecture that does not engage or involve the audience. As a speaker you cannot do that. One of the things I encourage my students to do is to create an activity or some form of interaction for every major point they share. The more an audience is involved the more they will retain and want to continue a relationship with you.

4)They go way over their time – One of my mentors and friends made an interesting statement once. Betty Cooper once told me, “You can always tell a professional speaker by their ability to end on time.” Unfortunately many who call themselves speakers are just not at that level yet. In conversations with event organizers over the years this reappears as one of the more common reasons why speakers don’t get invited back. The organizer plans their event and is coordinating so many other activities including lunch breaks, other speakers, activities and more. If you go over even by 10 minutes you can put everything into chaos. Learn how to finish on time.

5)They rely too much on technology – More and more frequently speakers are relying too much on technology especially showing video after video to get their point across. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not against using video or av to get your point across but when your entire speech becomes a multimedia presentation you are no longer a speaker. You are a technician with a remote.  On the note of av one of the other signs of an amateur is someone who hasn’t tested their av and spends the first 10 minutes of their presentation trying to figure out their laptop or projector. If it’s going to be that much of a problem leave it out.

There are a few thoughts for today. Hopefully they are useful.

Douglas Vermeeren is the Speaking Business Multiplier. His clients include beginning speakers all the way to celebrities, athletes, top business leaders and more. His focus is on helping them to develop high profit speaking, coaching and training businesses. He is the author of three books in the guerrilla marketing series and filmmaker behind 3 of the most popular personal development films of all time. http://www.DouglasVermeeren.com

#SpeakingBusinessMultiplier #DouglasVermeeren

What makes you worth listening to? The Speaking Business Multiplier

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Make yourself worth listening to by sharing the best possible information that will actually serve your audience and solve their problems.

 

What else can I say?

The Purpose of your speaking business is positioning

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The Speaking Business Multiplier 1.jpgOne of the most important thing that is often forgotten about speaking is that it is really an exercise in positioning. As a speaker you have the ability, if you do it correctly, to position yourself as an authority, expert and trusted adviser to the audiences you address. Most speakers forget the importance of position and that is why most speakers are quickly forgotten soon after the events they speak at.

Position yourself as an expert begins with becoming a master of your subject. Many speakers ask me how do I know which aspect of my subject should I study? There can be so many things to learn about a subject how can you determine what should be included in your content or not? The answer is very simple. What are the problems that your audience is trying to solve. Once you discover the significant problem they are struggling with you can then structure your learning and presentations to seek out and share those solutions. Or naturally as you become highly versed in that area of your expertise you can create solutions that have never been available until you.

Positioning is power. Yet again, most speakers do not consider their speaking assignment very impactful. Each opportunity to share your perspective and voice is an opportunity for positioning. Too many speakers play it safe and keep their opinions to themselves. They avoid controversy. They avoid sharing ideas that rock the boat. They present in ways they have seen others present a million times and avoid taking risks, being creative and offering a change to the status quo. I challenge you to use all of these elements in your positioning.

Expert position is really about standing out and being recognized as unique and different. Unique and different never happens by accident. You must strategically decide who you want to be and what position you want to own. When you know this you can begin to shape your presentations to leave that impression.

decide today who you will be and what you want to be known for. then get busy and start creating it. It’s that simple.

 

What is your business model? The Speaking Business Multiplier

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What is your Business Model?

By Douglas Vermeeren, The Speaking Business Multiplier

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Many speakers want to create a successful and profitable business. The reality is that there is a lot of competition out there and only a small portion of speakers are actually even able to do this full time let alone build a prosperous business. There are a few things that you can do to increase your chances for success and the first thing would be to determine the business model you are going to use for your speaking business.

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Early in my business career I had an experience that may be useful to share. In my late teens I had an idea for a business. I had a family friend that expressed he might be willing to help me launch it. He invited me to assemble my materials and come see him. I decided to get busy and build a business plan. I borrowed books form the library and got busy assembling what I thought a business plan looked like. I’ll never forget the night before I was at the local Kinkos putting the finishing touches on the plan until two a.m. adding colour diagrams and images. I put in a lot of work.

The next day when I brought it for him to take a look at he didn’t even open it up. Instead he asked one question. Where are the transactions in your business? He then explained that while a business plan was useful it was only a guide and often changed with the marketplace conditions, challenges faced by the business and many other factors. However if I knew where the transactions were I could recognize what activities where going to make my money.

So today I’m not going to tell you how to build you business specifically but I want you to think about where your transactions are. Here’s a small list some of my students came up with at on of our High Profit Speaker events:

Speaking for a fee

Selling product from the stage

Be an MC

Speak at schools

Coaching

Consulting

Mentoring

Joint venturing

Training for others

online courses

Workshops

Subscriptions

retreats

study at home courses

franchising/licensing

Cruises

Network marketing trainer

Selling products in stores/infomercials

Product consultant

Hosting your own events

Event consultant

Mastermind host

Speaking bureau

Writing articles or blogs

Media guest

Smart phone applications

Designing a game (ie. Cashflow)

Naturally there are many more options. I have listed only the few my students mentioned at our last event. Naturally there are many more. Feel free to pick ones you’d like to use and make a comment and list the ones that are not mentioned here.

douglas-vermeeren-600Douglas Vermeeren is the Speaking Business Multiplier. His clients include beginning speakers all the way to celebrities, athletes, top business leaders and more. His focus is on helping them to develop high profit speaking, coaching and training businesses. He is the author of three books in the guerrilla marketing series and filmmaker behind 3 of the most popular personal development films of all time. http://www.DouglasVermeeren.com

#SpeakingBusinessMultiplier #DouglasVermeeren

Want to be a leader? How do you start your day? by The Speaking Business Multiplier

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the_speaking_business_multiplier_logo02Want to be a leader? How do you start your day?

by Douglas Vermeeren, The Speaking Business Multiplier

There are lots of ideas out there on how to grow a speaking business but one that I don’t hear repeated very often centers around how you start your day. As a speaker, coach or trainer how you start your day will have a direct impact on how you can influence the day of someone else. Think about this for a minute: What makes you a speaker worth listening to? The answer is simple. It’s the value you add to the lives of others. If you are able to share powerful strategies, insights and concepts you will have the power to lift others to higher levels. And if you are not willing to push higher and go deeper than your students you will eventually have none. Why? Because if you can not add high value those students will look elsewhere.

sunriseSo on to the point of this article. How are you starting your day? I have had the chance to surround myself with many of the top thought leaders in the world. Many of them are my close friends and I have spent many private moments with them off stage that has revealed how they are in reality. The most important common attribute I have found is how they start their day.

How you start your day often dictates the rest of the activities you engage in through out the rest of the day. In other words if you start in control of your day you keep it. If you start chaotic that’s the trend that continues.

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Recently I was listening to a Navy Seal talk about the idea of starting the day right. Your first victory is getting out of bed. If you can conquer the pillow it sets the pace for the rest of the day. I also liked the idea he talked about of starting early. When you start early you have the control of the moment. You are not competing with others for what you want. If everyone else is asleep you can decide everything according to your priorities. Those of you with children understand what I mean. If you wait to get up until they are up – they set the pace and make the rules.

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John and I working on The Treasure Map movie.

One of my close friends is John Demartini. You may know John from The Secret or my films The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment or The Treasure Map. John is a deep well of information and if you’ve ever heard him speak you will most likely be amazed at how much information he retains.  He can with little effort go into incredibly deep principles on human behavior, quantum physics and ancient philosophy that baffles most people. He can easily quote hundreds of sources on all of these subjects and present the references and additional insights without much effort at all. He truly makes it look easy. Once I was chatting with him about how he is able to retain so much in depth information and how he is able to have it at his fingertips. His answer was that each day he spent several hours reading and researching what he teaches. He has done this now every day consistently for decades. If you want to have a similar command of your subject matter it is essential you give it the same kind of attention.

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John and I at the filming for The Gratitude Experiment

One of the other side effects that I have seen first hand with John has really inspired me. The first time I saw it was at one of our movie premieres. After the film we opened the floor to questions and answers from the audience. One of our audience members I really think was out to stump John. He was a philosophy major at the local university and he really knew his stuff. The audience was a bit weirded out with the deep questions he asked and it was almost as if this audience member was looking to debate or have a contest where he wanted to prove that he was the smartest guy in the room. But because John knew his stuff not only was he able to turn it into a valuable experience for all, he was actually able to win the “heckler” into siding with him. (Yes, we do get hecklers in this business too.)

(As a side note people often ask me how I get to work with so many of the top speakers in the personal development and self improvement industry. Or how I am able to get so many TV appearances and radio interviews? Or any other thing I am doing that brings my business more visibility and success. My answer always comes back to preparation and making sure I know my content. This may sound simple but the more value you can provide the more opportunities will appear for you.)

I am firm believer the reason that coaches and speakers sometimes get a bad rep out there as  less than powerful essentials for business is that many who claim to be leaders are actually cutting corners. Whenever I hear someone say “I don’t need a coach” or “I’ve already heard enough motivational speakers.” I know that they have run across someone who has not pushed themselves to be valuable to their audience.

The beginning of the day should be dedicated to expand their mind. Experts begin the day by studying their subject matter. I know I have talked about the importance of developing content before but this is such an important subject. If you want to be considered an expert in your field you cannot be comfortable with what you already know. Those who are satisfied to feel comfortable (in any field) never move from where they are to where they could be. Think about it. Getting up out of a comfortable chair to rise to a new location doesn’t happen unless you are really committed. It applies on a lazy Sunday afternoon as much as it does to life. If you want to become better your will power has to be more powerful than your desire to stay comfortable.

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Often as I conduct my seminars for speakers I ask them to get uncomfortable. Sometimes this means thinking about your business in new ways. That can be very uncomfortable. As I ask people to do this many people simply shrug and say ‘well, I like things the way they are.’ If that’s the case you’ll always stay with what you have. But in the same breath they will say they want better results. If you want better results you must level up the activities that created those outcomes.

So here’s the challenge for this article. Dedicate at least an hour each day to expanding your mind in regards to your speaking business. The three areas I would invite you to focus on would be 1) You personally – What do you need to master so that you can become more effective, motivated and happy. 2)The Content you teach. What can you find to help your students. What is out there now? How can you teach it better? How can you make it unique to your voice? How can you turn it into an exercise or activity?  3)Your speaking, coaching, training business? What is really going on now? What is missing? What could be improved?

Set some goals. Take some action. Most of this stuff you may teach already. Make sure you are applying it too.  A lifeguard can’t save others until they know how to swim themselves.  Set a goal to give your best to others and soon they will give their best to you in the form of compensation, word of mouth and recommendation.

douglas-vermeeren-600Douglas Vermeeren is the Speaking Business Multiplier. His clients include beginning speakers all the way to celebrities, athletes, top business leaders and more. His focus is on helping them to develop high profit speaking, coaching and training businesses. He is the author of three books in the guerrilla marketing series and filmmaker behind 3 of the most popular personal development films of all time. http://www.DouglasVermeeren.com