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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

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