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Elevate Your Preparation and Earn the Right to Bigger Stages, Higher Fees, and Delighted Clients with Sarah McVanel

Elevate Your Preparation and Earn the Right to Bigger Stages, Higher Fees, and Delighted Clients with Jane Atkinson and Sarah McVanel

Quote: “My level of preparation is in direct relation to how comfortable I am to walk on that stage.” Sarah McVanel

I think most of us have a system in place that we use when preparing to speak for a client, but just how intentional and at what level is your current system? Do you think you’re at the top level of prep, or could it use improvement? On this episode of The Wealthy Speaker Show, we’re thrilled to welcome back Sarah McVanel to share how excellent preparation has helped her to command higher fees and some great tips that might help you take your preparation to ROCKSTAR heights!

Sarah is a recognition expert, professional speaker, coach, author, recovering perfectionist, and movement maker. She created F.R.O.G. Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness™ to invigorate companies so they can see their people as exceptional and, together, create a scrumptious, thriving culture where everyone belongs.


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Jane Atkinson: Hey, welcome everyone to the wealthy speaker. Podcast. Today we are talking about something that every speaker is thinking about, how do I get on bigger stages, higher stakes, stages. And how do I earn higher fees? And the amazing Sarah Mcmillan is here to talk us through it once again. Welcome back to the show, Sarah. I'm so happy to have you back.

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Sarah McVanel: Thank you, Jane, and I credit the beginning of my career to you. So I am anytime. You want me to share what I've learned since you started. Mentor me I am. I'm all in

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Jane Atkinson: thank you so much. Now, before we got on we we were talking about kind of where things are sitting for you. I'm so excited to hear you're kind of at the top end of the pay scale here in Canada. Congratulations on that. I think that is something that you know standing tall in your fees

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Sarah McVanel: is such an important piece of the puzzle here, and I'm so excited that you have grasp that. And it's really it's it's so much of what you teach is is standing tall in your value, and part of that is our team. So my speaker manager and I help to educate our clients about the investment they're making. I mean, here's a little tip for everyone. One of the things she as she

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Sarah McVanel: shares with folks, is. So you can have a speaker who's very new and who isn't really even a speaker yet who's maybe 2,000 $2,500 and a really high end speaker that you may have to get from the Us. About 20,000. We fall in in the middle of that range. So you're in good hands. So she, she actually positions at the concept of the investment

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Sarah McVanel: and also helps that people to realize that you've got a lot of choices. The conversation we're having is is in that middle range and the investment. It's the investment investment investment. Have they said the word investment?

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Jane Atkinson: Well, it really is for them. And and as we talk about

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Jane Atkinson: high stakes meetings or getting on bigger stages. One of the paths to getting there is the idea of preparation now, before we dive into that. Tell everybody about your existing business. I mean you clearly are doing something right? So tell everybody a little bit about what you specialize in and the types of companies you're speaking for today.

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Sarah McVanel: So I'm Canada's recognition expert. There was nobody saying at the beginning of my speaking career where the recognition experts, in fact, a lot of people said, I don't think you should probably specialize in that. However, my whole professional career before getting to be a speaker. It all roads led to that, so you know you encourage your speakers to know what is the unique value they bring?

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Sarah McVanel: So that's that's what I do. And I speak for associations. I mean, I could tell you some of my favorite groups to speak for childcare healthcare and and hospitality. And, by the way, anyone who thinks that if you speak for certain groups, you're going to have to have a different fee. You're you're they invest what they invest

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Sarah McVanel: and then it's up to you. If you want to shift your fees accordingly. However. You know the career the path of speaking has been about knowing the value and the expertise you bring, and that's the category of one piece that we hear all the time from you. And and when you talk about Joe Callaway's work.

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and then it's also knowing what is happening, what's relevant right now? So that when your clients come to you and they say, I, this issue, I that problem, we're really struggling with this, you can help put the pieces together to help them understand how your solution is a natural, or perhaps easy, or perhaps a different way of approaching that really big, sticky issue. That's probably been there for a while.

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Jane Atkinson: Yeah. And one of the things I wanna reinforce is that

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Jane Atkinson: you're not really selling recognition. Recognition is the how you're selling the outcomes of recognition. What does that look like? Attract? Great people, keep great people. Have more engagement, more connection, more more of a an enthusiastic culture at work. What else?

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Sarah McVanel: Yeah, it could be resiliency. Mental health and loneliness. It's it's how do you stay connected in a virtual hybrid environment? It's how do you make sure leaders who feel overwhelmed and busy that they know that they can still be great leaders we could talk about a dozen more reasons why people have picked up the phone and called us. But I'll tell you some of the most fascinating requests we've been getting lately is

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am seeing appreciation events doing staff the first ever time that everybody's been back together and make it a really big splash. They've never had a speaker before, but they really want this first time back together for people to feel deeply connected. So your area of expertise will naturally lead to places that maybe clients aren't even purchasing, and the and investing in a speaker in that area.

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Sarah McVanel: But it's just such such a natural fit that it's kind of like. Yes.

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Jane Atkinson: why haven't we been doing that all along? Yeah. And and so when they tell you what their problems are. That's what you're solving. That's what you're selling. And recognition happens to be the path. It happens to be the how to getting there. So remember what is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that you're selling, and your your process for getting there isn't necessarily the thing that may be upfront in your marketing.

00:06:01.070 --> 00:06:03.280

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Jane Atkinson: we have the lay of the land on. Kind of what it is you're doing right now. Let's talk a little bit about preparation, which is the how for what we're talking about today, how to get to higher fees, how to get on bigger stages, how to get more high stakes. Events. What do you mean by preparation?

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Sarah McVanel: Well, there's there's really there's 2 forms. There's small peak preparation, which is the preparation you do in your business with your team, whether that be contractors, full time folks, you have to be prepared and have common systems that are replicable and reliable, so that you can do a good job, and everyone knows the rules. So II know you have lots of experts who get into that. We won't get into that right now. But I'll just tell you we take preparation as a team.

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Sarah McVanel: Really seriously. The big piece preparation that I think, is the specifically how do we earn the right to be on those bigger stages, earn the right

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Sarah McVanel: to have the investment that people make in us is is making sure that we customize our message, and we talk a lot about customizing. We throw that around like it sounds like vanilla, right? Is that's not what I mean that what what I mean is.

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Sarah McVanel: don't limit yourself. That. Oh, you only speak for this area, this audience, because you know well, because it is, is so valuable that it. You need that in this sector and in that industry, and with that higher or level group who can make the decisions do not limit your own exposure and expertise and experience

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to keep your your business and your stages small, do what you need to do to earn the right to be almost stages. So, you know, recently, just this past summer.

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Sarah McVanel: I had the privilege of speaking for a trades based organization or a union hired me, but there were contractors, business owners in the room, former tradespeople who are now in in Union role. Well, I literally do not have a single person, Jane, in my family who's ever worked in the trades. I have

00:08:04.000 --> 00:08:31.049
Sarah McVanel: no actually, Zilch, my husband does our even our faucet repairs like I've never even had to hire somebody. So I asked the client. So ha! I you know they knew that recognition was the solution. They knew they had a big problem, and that they saw that the connection, however, there was no way I was gonna know which stories would fit, which, content to emphasize and and also to add in uniqueness about them.

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Sarah McVanel: If I didn't even know what a boiler looked like. You, let alone what it was like a day in the life of a boilermaker or or leader. So I,

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Sarah McVanel: when I asked them, How do? How can I do my best job preparing? They told me they all know every client may have a different suggestion, and what they said is, we need to have dinner

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Sarah McVanel: now. I have to say I didn't. You know the idea of traipsing all over Ontario having dinners that seem like a lot. However, what I realized once I got to that very first meeting, and it was probably by hour 3. No, Joe, we had a 3 and a half hour meeting over steak, and Sam and I the salmon. They had the steak I learned so much about

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Sarah McVanel: the needs and the hopes and the fears. I knew every one of the wonderful, really interesting people that I had dinner with everything from their very first day on the job to how they're feeling when they put their head on the pillow. You cannot replicate that level of connection. So first of all, you are raving fans in the audience already, because you've you've already done more than any other speakers ever done before. But you also hear these little tiny, fascinating nuggets

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Sarah McVanel: they have. They have little expressions that they use. And you you know your ears perk up, cause you think. Wow! I've never heard that before, and when you, those in your session. Your preparation shines through, but it doesn't shine through as preparation, it shines through as connection, and what it set. What the this non perhaps subliminal thing that people say is, Wow!

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Jane Atkinson: She gets us. It. It sounds like you were. One of us is a huge Co complement that you can get. Now, it's often asked that you have dinner with the client the night before. That's not what we're talking about. This meeting. Planner knew this meeting professional knew exactly

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Jane Atkinson: the best way for you to get your research done. It wasn't gonna be on Zoom Meetings. It was going to be in a face to face meet dinner and a series of them, and you did it. You said yes to that, and that paid off in spades. And now there's a new market. And

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Sarah McVanel: and II feel that I can take all of that learning, all that deep dive preparation and now use it for other trades based

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Sarah McVanel: sectors, associations, and and you know, there's a few clients that have reached out since then. When I asked people afterwards so what was most valuable consistently, it was the idea of sending recognition home to the family. Send dinner home when somebody's working overtime. Everyone.

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Jane Atkinson: I mentioned that before. Something good for trades that is so good for trades, especially high stakes trades

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Jane Atkinson: that are under major deadlines, and they have to work a lot of overtime in order to meet the deadlines. That's really good stuff, Sarah, and no wonder they love to use so congratulations on that. So we're talking preparation. Let's also talk about what your one of the things that I'll share at a master's level with clients is

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that if you want to

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Jane Atkinson: really show them that you know who they are, do your homework. Talk to some people and make sure that you're making your audience the heroes of your stories, and you are able to do that because you knew some things. Talk about what kind of part of your normal processes for preparation?

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Sarah McVanel: Well, certainly, as soon as we have some of the logistics. We're working those out. My speaker manager. She manages all of those pieces. She will right away say, Okay, let's get a planning call in in the calendar with Sarah. In other words, it's not just a transaction. You don't have to fill it. This questionnaire and processes paperwork that there's the high touch point with me, and that is where I learn our questionnaire is designed to also get at

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some of those areas. What? So what combination of humor, motivation, storytelling speed or research

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Sarah McVanel: evidence. You know, we actually, we're also curating before we even have that planning call. So that I show up with do having review that with some preparation. So that's part of it. Right is, get it, get get! Get the one on ones in the calendar. If they need more time, spend more time. I'm seeing an a an awards event, and we've already had 2 planning calls.

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Sarah McVanel: and there will be probably 3 more beforehand, and that's what the client needs, so it's it's they they they will know best what will set this up for success. They're not being needy

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Jane Atkinson: as a little as a little rabbit hole there. I just want to say that when you do take Mc Jobs. make sure you're factoring that into the price that you quote there is going to be a ton of planning calls ahead of time unless you've done this.

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Jane Atkinson: And even if you have done it in years prior, you know, there's new committee members, there's new people. And there's gonna be a ton of work on the front end leading into an Mc job. So I say to our audience, make sure you're you're putting getting paid for your time. Okay? So we we start by sending the questionnaire

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Jane Atkinson: shortly after the agreement. So these are your systems that you have in place. Then we book the call

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Sarah McVanel: then is there more research after that, with other individuals? Before that planning call. I've learned about the organization. I try to do a little bit of video dive, such as looking at what is going on. So the organization or the industry are going through something really sticky. That's my background. And public relations coming out there, I wanna know, before the client has to tell me they probably don't want to be the one to have to tell you that the CEO was just in the news and fired

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Sarah McVanel: so tried to do a little bit of that. Research doesn't have to be a ton. They don't want you to feel like doesn't want. You don't want it to feel overly intrusive because you also want to show up. It's a balance of I'm prepared and I'm ready, and I take this seriously with. But I want I it's about you. You tell me what you think is most important. The other, the other piece is I

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Sarah McVanel: I'll work really hard as soon as I get on the call I wanna learn very early on. If we don't earn I double check. Who's in the audience?

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Sarah McVanel: What would success look like for them by the end of it. And I'm immediately going. Okay, do I have stories? Do I have contacts? Have I worked with this profession, these people before? Have I spoken for this audience, and I will filter it through my mental rolodex, those of you under 30. You can look up the word rolodex and and I will, I will see. And if if my brain does not calculate

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Sarah McVanel: of that, I have enough change, you know, Cherry, Cherry, Cherry, you know, in the in the slot machine brain. There, I'm like, okay, then I need to ask for more time.

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Sarah McVanel: So when I spoke for the at the pre conference with all the leaders at the 1 million Dollar Round Table. It's a very high stakes group, very, very high stakes, high pressure.

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Sarah McVanel: by the way. So thank you.

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Sarah McVanel: They were an amazing, their group that deeply values speakers who do the preparation. And they expected it was a wonderful piece of tuition to see what a masterful planning experience that was because they they taught me a lot about preparation, and I've I've elevated my game and what I learned very quickly from that is.

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Sarah McVanel: they have a global footprint, and that a lot of these people are a combination of volunteers and people with experience. So I said, great.

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Sarah McVanel: I would love to speak with at least 8 people I want. I would please make it global diverse. I will find a translator, if I need to. Every they were able to find English speaking and new annex, and less newer and more experience. In other words, give me a wide range of people, and they were only too happy to do it. And I had a call with all but one of the folks, because just I think it was just a

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Sarah McVanel: an issue with, you know, schedules

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Sarah McVanel: given. When people have been given the good fortune to us of having lots of lead time, we literally have no excuse not to, you know. So if we know if we're booked a year in advance, 6 months in advance, 2 months in advance, surely there's some time to connect with people who will be in that audience. And you know a fun thing that I learned by having that experience that most recent one with a million dollar round Table is

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Sarah McVanel: I connected so deeply, so easily with one of the gentlemen, and there's a there was. There's a demo piece to this particular keynote that they picked, I said.

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Sarah McVanel: I want to ask, make a bold request. Would you be willing to be my partner in this demo? And he said,

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Sarah McVanel: I guess so. Can you tell me what it is? So I literally just that was part of the process is part of my my preparation for myself was, how am I going to do that, Demo? Will it be spontaneous? Will I plan it? And it happened out of those planning calls, so don't underestimate the fact that these planning calls that may seem like additional time in your calendar. However, maybe it's taking other time out of the calendar that would happen closer to the event.

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Jane Atkinson: Lovely! I love that. Does your preparation change based on the client or fees?

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Sarah McVanel: I take ever. If I choose to take a lower fee that's

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Sarah McVanel: on me, it's not on the clients. So the preparation is indicative of how experienced I am how high stakes the client feels. This is if this is a really sticky situation.

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I wanna spend more time because I wanna know, am I speaking for a room full of prisoners

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Jane Atkinson: are are, are, are, is something top of mind for them that's going to distract them from this? I mean.

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Sarah McVanel: are they excited. Are they happy? Who did you have last year? So I can do some research on that. That other speaker. What did they like? What did they not like about past speakers, so I don't see the fee as indicating it. I'll can. I give you an inside scoop, though, a little bit between you and I and the listeners. The biggest factor for how much prep I do is how anxious I feel about it.

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Sarah McVanel: Oh, interesting. Okay, I here's here's my, here's my rule of thumb. Jane. Okay, if I am, if I cannot be nervous when they introduce me, cannot, cannot cannot. My level of preparation is in direct relation to how comfortable I am to walk on that stage. Okay? So you know that if you still got like a little e, you're feeling it in your gut. There's something not quite right.

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Jane Atkinson: hey? Can we schedule one more? Call right before, or can I meet with you right before, or whatever?

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Jane Atkinson: I love that. That's, you know, so intuitive that you know yourself that well, that I need more

00:20:01.070 --> 00:20:11.840
Jane Atkinson: something. And you know joe had mentioned this Joe Calaway once that you do not want to be walking onto a stage

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Jane Atkinson: not knowing that in the paper that morning such and such a company, you know, just announced it was gonna lay off a bunch of people. You don't wanna be walking in blindly. Maybe this is another master's tip. Maybe you set up a Google alert for that company or their stock symbol. So that you know the morning before what you're walking out to, if it's if it is high stakes. Yeah.

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Sarah McVanel: Well, and related to that, it's why part of the preparation is me going to all the events that I can go to beforehand the social the night before. Go show up early to do my tech check before breakfast, but at breakfast I could be with people at breakfast.

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Sarah McVanel: I can, I ask them, you professional. So what's the buzz? What's you know? How are things going? And then they'll they're they'll be. If they're freaking out, they will tell you if everything's good. So yeah, actually, it's been landing, really. Well, if there's other speakers there, you can chat with them. So the preparation continues right up until the minute you take the stage, and your preparation continues as you're looking out on the stage.

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Sarah McVanel: And you're thinking, okay of the 3 options I had for this particular chunk. It seems like this particular things not landing. I'm gonna shift a little bit. And I'm gonna test that out. So when you know, when again the expertise comes into place here, too, you're the expert in your topic.

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Sarah McVanel: To some extent you're gonna need to be adapting on the fly. And that's okay. That is, that's not your, because you prepared so much

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that you have your best guess that likely this is the combination that's gonna meet it.

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Sarah McVanel: Could we get it all, no matter how much preparation can you get it? A 100% right? No. So you have to trust your preparation and your expertise to be able to still be preparing

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Sarah McVanel: while you're on the stage. And if you miss, if you have a misstep, the preparation is afterwards and say, you know, I actually have a resource on this. I'm going to make sure to get that to the meeting professional. Would that be okay? Everybody, you can literally say to the audience.

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Sarah McVanel: I know you need more on this. I'm gonna make it happen. And if you have to contact your Va and say, could we please whip up a little lead magnet or resource on such and such. They don't know you don't have it, and it's not dishonest cause you're gonna make it happen. So

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Sarah McVanel: your preparation is not done. When you leave the stage you may have to give follow up resources. Perhaps you want to offer a debriefing call you know. Do they have everything that they needed? Yeah, you can't get everything in a 1 h keynote. However, if they needed you to solve this problem, and you got really only 50 there. But you were pretty sure you could get 90. And that's really the psychological contract you made.

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Sarah McVanel: You've got 40 to make up, and I'm not saying that's a second no fee keynote. I just mean

00:23:06.280 --> 00:23:18.390
Sarah McVanel: you. Still, there's still something that needs to be done. Acknowledge it and fix it. I apologize and fix it. Okay, so let's talk about missteps.

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Jane Atkinson: you wrote a book about failure. What was that book called the flipside of failing. Yeah. Failing, we did test on it by the way. So go back and search Sarah SARA.

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Jane Atkinson: SARA H in our in our podcast page. And you will pull up that conversation that we had about failure. But let's talk about it when it comes to research. When was the time when you I mean you will. You've obviously put

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Jane Atkinson: you obviously go above and beyond. But there might have been a time where you felt like, okay, I gotta add this to the process. When was the time that you felt like you didn't quite

00:24:04.930 --> 00:24:06.420
Jane Atkinson: get the mark?

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Sarah McVanel: Yeah, you know, I underestimated how much preparation I would need to do to come back. Post Covid, my first in person speaking engagement. I missed the mark so huge. I mean, the mark wasn't even in the room. Oh.

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Sarah McVanel: yeah, II thought I was so focused on delivery.

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Sarah McVanel: Are my speeches. Okay? Am I gonna stand in the right place. You know all the things that we were super comfortable with beforehand. What makes a good speaker? I forgot the part about being the right speaker for them. So II

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Sarah McVanel: I wanted to get on the call with other people. I said we need to do it. I didn't insist. I didn't say literally. I'm not prepared to speak for you until this happens. I should've insisted. We asked. We didn't demand we got. You're also like, oh, thank God, I'm making money, you know we didn't get demanding enough.

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Sarah McVanel: And what ended up happening was, not only did they pick the wrong speaker and and if they're gonna if I was the right speaker, they definitely picked the wrong topic. They definitely did not gauge the energy and ability for people to have fun. They wanted fun energizing. They wanted the Sarah this sort of energy. And really they needed this sort of energy. It's all very serious. So it was all all a mismatch. And what we learned from that is 2 things. Number one.

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Sarah McVanel: People have to absolutely, absolutely absolutely do the questionnaire. It may seem optional. It's not optional. I lit. There are literally things there, and we need to add it. We needed to add to that. So that's part of it.

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Sarah McVanel: Our process needed to be tighter. Number 2. If I have never spoken for that industry before. If that company seems really specialized, if they're if they're talking about a really difficult thing. Non-negotiably, I have to minimally have a conversation with a high stakes person in that organization.

00:25:54.410 --> 00:26:17.269
Sarah McVanel: or a variety of people who might have different perspectives. Actually, I prefer a variety of perspectives. And now I will not, will not go onto a stage unless I know that I have spoken, and I have a good enough picture that is not a chat. Tbt search or a Google search. That's not what I'm talking about. I mean

00:26:17.270 --> 00:26:29.610
Sarah McVanel: people, because that situation and there's been other examples where I wasn't prepared enough, and it made me feel more anxious, or I just did not. The value that II needed to. I wanted to

00:26:30.250 --> 00:26:38.259
Sarah McVanel: look at your failures as tuition speaking tuition. So that's that, because that's the best teacher about

00:26:38.260 --> 00:27:05.390
Jane Atkinson: what preparation needs to look like tuition towards earning your Phd. In in speaking. Yes, absolutely. And and we've all been there. If you have something that does not line up, if knowing also about yourself is really interesting. I just negotiated an event to go and speak to the Caps audience.

00:27:05.390 --> 00:27:28.669
Sarah McVanel: That's the Canadian Association. Professional speakers out in Vancouver, and they wanted me to go on it. What would have been 9 Pm. My time and my body didn't have time to adjust, and I said, You're not gonna get the best of me at 9 Pm. You know. II felt a little diva like asking for it. But I just said, this is kind of what it is.

00:27:28.700 --> 00:27:31.540
Jane Atkinson: And they said, Okay, well, let us move you to the front.

00:27:31.690 --> 00:27:57.390
Jane Atkinson: And so II think learning what really works for you. II did a podcast or not a podcast some sort of tell a seminar or something once horrible, horrible couldn't even keep my train of thought because it was 8 or 90'clock at night for me, and never again. I recognize that this is not the right time, so maybe you're no good as an after dinner speaker.

00:27:57.390 --> 00:28:11.879
Jane Atkinson: So you know that about yourself. Get yourself moved to the earlier part of the day. Maybe you know that you need this much preparation. You know, part of your preparation is knowing what's perfect for you and what isn't.

00:28:11.910 --> 00:28:12.700
Sarah McVanel: Yeah.

00:28:12.760 --> 00:28:28.389
Sarah McVanel: Yeah. And and if you don't have time to do the preparation, or, if the client is inflexible. No, you have to have the 90'clock slot, and you know you're gonna be taking that flight, and you're or the time super tight, I mean, I can't tell you how many times I've been delayed an errand

00:28:28.450 --> 00:28:45.190
Sarah McVanel: with airline travel. If you're saying, no, you need to have this slot. We need you to open, but you know you're not gonna get there until 4 h beforehand. Then maybe you have to say. I would love to speak for you some other time. But I I'm just not gonna be prepared for you. So preparation is

00:28:45.200 --> 00:29:09.879
Sarah McVanel: is, as you say, it's knowing what what doing your best work looks like. It's not being a diva. You literally cannot fulfill your contractual obligations of delivering on this the solution that they need at the time that they need it, and leave people better off if you're not at your best. And how many of us go around talking about self care, and you know

00:29:09.910 --> 00:29:22.540
Sarah McVanel: life and intention, and, you know, insert Speaker buzzword here, and then, if we don't, you know, say, I can't speak at 90'clock. Your time, my time, 360'clock, your time.

00:29:22.580 --> 00:29:45.330
Sarah McVanel: We're we're like, you know, we we walk on in the next stage when we say that we know we're frauds. So preparation and and standing for it ironically, is also the next time you don't need to go and deliver that message. You're on message because you have not usurped your own expertise. It's just like, you know, everything comes back to

00:29:46.170 --> 00:29:59.880
Sarah McVanel: you knowing yourself and knowing your area of expertise so well that even in the planning, even in the micro conversations, the decisions it shows up.

00:30:00.240 --> 00:30:11.659
Jane Atkinson: And and speaking of, you know, late hours or night or travel nightmares. One of the things we talked about before we hopped on a call was

00:30:11.660 --> 00:30:34.660
Jane Atkinson: the idea of how appealing local events have become for people in today's world of travel chaos, you know local events. It allows you to, you know. Maybe have a little more room for negotiation, if you choose, because guess how beautiful it's gonna be to sleep in your own bed that night.

00:30:34.660 --> 00:30:40.110
Sarah McVanel: Yeah, it's also a more efficient use of your time. So if I could

00:30:40.520 --> 00:30:56.590
Sarah McVanel: speak. I live in Niagara wine country. If I could speak between Niagara Falls and Toronto 4 times a week. That would be my ideal speaker life, and I mean I just spoke in Texas last the week before last. It was 4 days.

00:30:56.590 --> 00:31:05.870
Sarah McVanel: one client 4 days, 4 days. Last week I was in Owen Sound and and Northern BC. 2 clients the whole week.

00:31:05.870 --> 00:31:29.059
Sarah McVanel: So really, when you also do the the Co. I mean, and all 3 of those clients were just so amazing. All them were. Repeat business. I just feel so grateful. It's not from a place of lack of gratitude. The practical reality is. I have a cold right now, because I had close talkers on the airplane, and so many engagements that I committed to while I was there. So I think that part of

00:31:29.060 --> 00:31:38.689
Sarah McVanel: again we're to. It's we're keep using the word preparation in different ways. Part of the you know you, your you pack your emergency kit before the snow flies.

00:31:38.860 --> 00:31:59.990
Sarah McVanel: The same with the speakers. Pat your best insights and your best planning before you need before you're up against the wall, and you have. You're so stretched that you literally have no idea how you're gonna get the slide decks done on time and ask the right questions. And you know. Do the research figure out how you need to do it

00:32:00.070 --> 00:32:12.260
Sarah McVanel: so, and including possibly where you need to be and negotiate, and what your cap is on your energy so that you don't let anybody down, including yourself and the people you love. The most

00:32:12.420 --> 00:32:17.780
Sarah McVanel: part of my preparation involves letting my husband know where I'm going to be.

00:32:17.890 --> 00:32:20.059
Jane Atkinson: how do you communicate that to him?

00:32:20.140 --> 00:32:45.280
Sarah McVanel: We have a trello board, and he is now on my trello speaking logistics board. I had to explain how to use the Trello Board multiple times. However, he can find my confirmation of arrangements anytime he wants, or he can tag a member of my team if he needs to know and he will literally track my airplane in the air and know exactly when I'm landing. And to make sure I've gotten there on time. So you know, it's

00:32:45.360 --> 00:32:53.400
Sarah McVanel: it's so many of these things we kind of learn the hard way we learn the hard way that my husband felt like he didn't know where I was and what was going on.

00:32:53.440 --> 00:33:12.460
Sarah McVanel: So preparation, let's not forget, is also making sure that people who love you most also know where you are that you're okay, that you've got this. They're not worried about you like there's just so many dimensions to a speaker's business that I think we underestimate the stress reduction

00:33:12.460 --> 00:33:30.320
Sarah McVanel: and the value of you showing up on that stage. Knowing my family is okay, my business is okay. My inbox is okay. My next speaking engagements. Okay, I've checked in like, everything's got to be okay, so that you can be excellent on the stage.

00:33:30.380 --> 00:33:39.549
Jane Atkinson: That is so good I'll put in a plug, too, for trip it. So trip it and trip it pro

00:33:39.990 --> 00:34:04.669
Jane Atkinson: Puts all your travel in one app, and you can share it with your with your spouse. So here my flight details I don't know. I I'd be curious to know if trip it has an option just to automatically share. Every time something is added you get an itinerary in your in basket. You forward it to

00:34:04.670 --> 00:34:12.529
and then it immediately shows up in your hotel, and your flight and your ground transportation are all in one place.

00:34:12.530 --> 00:34:24.639
Sarah McVanel: and now you just share it with your spouse, and they know where you're gonna be and what you're gonna be doing. So trip, I put put a little plug in. I don't get paid by trip it, but maybe I should maybe

00:34:24.969 --> 00:34:48.770
Sarah McVanel: well, that's really great. I'm going to look into that, because as the team grows, and now we have a travel agent during the travel, and you know, and she doesn't know to let my husband know. So you know, I think apps and systems. It's part of the part of the preparation. Right? Find the system. It's so easy for the travel agent. Then they just forward the email. And you're good to go.

00:34:49.190 --> 00:35:07.399
Jane Atkinson: I wanna put in a also a plug. We talked about systems. And we do talk a lot about some systems in the wealthy speaker. 3. Tell everybody the the latest couple of books that you've written. We talked about the book on failure. What is your bestselling book?

00:35:07.990 --> 00:35:17.239
Sarah McVanel: My! Well, we do a really good job of asking if they would like to make this message last and bulk sales of books.

00:35:17.300 --> 00:35:43.000
Sarah McVanel: And because most of my talks are my recognition talk. I have a workbook that gives people the practical how to's of how to keep the recognition going in their workplace. Team meetings, you know, onboarding and so forth. So that workbook that was created in 2,016, really as a as a tool. For in training sessions we're saying to our client, I think this would be really easy. And we actually, I have a video on my Instagram of an Oprah moment.

00:35:43.000 --> 00:36:03.859
Sarah McVanel: where we have the sponsors giving out the book. And people love that concept of the open moment. And I will say as a side note, I'm getting. Unless the client says, no, every single event I hire a videographer and we get it edited. There's minimum minimum of

00:36:04.040 --> 00:36:05.060
Sarah McVanel: to

00:36:05.380 --> 00:36:33.730
Sarah McVanel: 2, sometimes 3 or 4 social media clips that come out of every single speech. If you wanna show that you're busy and that you're good on the stage, you need to show people. You're busy and good on the stage. So back to the books. So that's one. I have a brand new book as of last week. That's out. It's a second book in the Rock Star Series. And it is for women leaders, because I speak for a lot of female dominated industries, and they. And so I feel, and as of

00:36:33.730 --> 00:36:38.200
Sarah McVanel: fellow woman, I feel really passionate about

00:36:39.200 --> 00:36:51.739
Sarah McVanel: it's called Rock Star. Magnify your greatness in times of change for female leaders. So I wrote one in for healthcare leaders at the beginning of Covid. So just instead of for female leaders, for healthcare leaders.

00:36:51.880 --> 00:37:18.039
Sarah McVanel: and Rock star is still the brand. Recognize, organized, communicate kindness. So that's my brand. Rec. If you are, if you practice those you get star results, satisfaction, teamwork, achievement and retention, which is what people ask for when they hire me. So I'm gonna teach you how to be the rock to other people and rock as a leader. So you get the star results. So it's you know, it's a way the acronym itself is part of the what problem do you solve?

00:37:18.110 --> 00:37:24.110
Sarah McVanel: What's in? What solution do people could they hire you to to offer?

00:37:24.520 --> 00:37:40.280
Jane Atkinson: yeah. So I love how much clarity you have? And this is an evolution you've come to this place where it's just all about this one thing, and it's so good. If people want to get in touch with you and reach out, Sarah, how should they do that?

00:37:40.710 --> 00:38:04.269
Sarah McVanel: I would love to hang out with you on linked in? Of course, that's that's the place where almost all of my professional activity is happening you can also join me at greatness. depending on. When you are watching this. Listening to this, you will see a new demo video by Mr. Chris West of video narrative times for that to be released.

00:38:04.290 --> 00:38:33.540
Jane Atkinson: And and of course I'm I'm everywhere on on social except the new XI haven't quite. I didn't really wasn't feeling the love for Twitter. And now now it just seems like too much work. So, you know, for a long time. Sarah H. Mcvannell is Mc. VANE. L. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today. I think everybody is going to be thinking about. Okay, what can I add?

00:38:33.540 --> 00:38:38.530
Add to my preparation process in order to

00:38:38.620 --> 00:38:54.870
Sarah McVanel: book bigger stages, get those higher fees. And really, get those high stakes events. Thank you so much for being with us, Sarah. I really appreciate it. And with that we'll say, see you soon, wealthy speakers, bye, for now everyone bye.

Highlights you won’t want to miss:

  • It’s an investment. [1:30]
  • You’re selling a solution. [4:30]
  • Let’s talk prep… [6:30]
  • Communication is key. [12:30]
  • Preparation, no matter the fee. [18:30]
  • When you have a misstep. [24:00]
  • Preparation is multi-dimensional. [30:30]

Sarah has 25+ years of experience training, coaching, and leading teams. From her senior leadership role, she founded her boutique firm Greatness Magnified. She’s a Certified Senior Organizational Development Professional (CSODP), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL). She is one of 700 Certified Speaking Professionals (CSP) worldwide. She has a BA in Psychology, an MSc in Family Relations, and Diplomas in Human Resources and Healthcare Administration.

If you would like some great strategies to help you elevate your preparation to command higher fees and keep your clients coming back, you simply can’t afford to miss this episode!

I hope you’ll listen and learn.


Sarah’s website
Sarah’s previous podcasts with Jane
Where to find Sarah’s books
Million Dollar Round Table
Google Alerts
Sarah’s LinkedIn profile
Jane’s LinkedIn profile
Jane’s Private Coaching options
The Wealthy Speaker School

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