Good News on the Speaking Front

happybusinessI just got back from speaking at the NSA (National Speakers Association) Northern California Chapter. Several speakers told me that they saw their business improve in the last quarter.

And I’ve been hearing some rumblings to that effect myself.

Are you experiencing a shift?

I asked Joe Calloway what was happening with his business, he said… “The phone started ringing off the hook in the last two weeks and we were able to turn keynotes into bigger projects that were more fun and more profitable. I’m finding that being a resource to help companies advance their strategies, rather than just speaking, is a huge advantage.”

I’d like to know what’s happening with you so if you have some news, please leave a comment at the end of this post. On Saturday, one speaker asked me ‘are you going to talk about a recession strategy’?

Although I can do little about whether or not clients are scheduling events with speakers, I can share with speakers how to position correctly so that when the market does shift, they are ready and waiting to capture the business. (For a step- by-step positioning strategy, read The Wealthy Speaker Chapters 3 & 4).

And for those who are positioned correctly (as an expert with a clear promise), the following tips may help:

1. Add Value: Rather than negotiating your fee away, find a way to create more value for your client. Add an extra session, follow up with webinars or teleclasses, supply articles or learning materials that they can use post event. Sweeten the deal with books or other products. And as Joe said above ‘be a resource to your clients, rather than a speaker’. Solve problems for them.

2. Be Good: This applies in any economy but mostly now. There is no better strategy than to have kick butt content and presentation style.

3. Sharpen the Saw: And speaking of your content, now is the time to ensure that it’s fresh and cutting edge. If you haven’t updated recently, then be like Nike and just do it!

4. Develop new products and income streams. Why not write that next book or develop a new product? And consider expanding your income streams to include non-speaking profit centers.

My post awhile back called ‘Are you Stuck in Your Business Model’ covered some ideas on this. stuck-in-your-business-model/

In this uncertain climate, we need to take action around the things we can control and (try) not to worry about the things we cannot.

All the best,

PS: Don’t miss our next teleclass on Thursday Sept. 24th at 1pm Eastern ‘Avoid the 3 Things that Will Stunt your Business (and Annoy Your Clients)’ with guest expert and bureau owner Brian Palmer. No one tells it like it is more than Brian and you’ll learn exactly what you need to do (and not do) to get booked more.

  • Jane, we are seeing a similar trend as Joe. Many organizations are less interested in buying a keynote and more interested in partnering with someone to help them deliver results. Great advice – especially on adding value. In a tough market, people flee to value. It works that way with your investments,and it works that way with the resources you hire to help you in your business.

  • Could not agree more Jane. In the last 90 days clients have requested and received Core Story development, management coaching, sales training and organizational structure consulting. Revenue from only keynote speaking has represented less than one third of all income generated during that time.

  • Jane, you are right on target with your observations and assessments. Everyone of my coaching clients that is multi-platform and has a range of offerings be it a variety of speaking topics, consulting, coaching and multiple products (DVD, CD, book, etc.) are riding out the economy just fine. One thing I am finding is a new trend in which audiences at the larger conferences and conventions are now tweeting while listening to speakers and if they don’t like the first ten to fifteen minutes they are getting up and going to another session where they are seeing positive tweets from other attendees. Simply said, speakers have to have a killer opening with their keynotes and presentations or the audience will get up and leave. Gone are the days when audiences would tolerate marginal presentations that don’t give them content and outcomes. I also noticing that those speakers that are resourceful and willing to adapt to market demand are able to maintain or increase bookings where those that are not creating new content and trying to get by with the same content and stories they have been telling year after year are not fairing as well as they used to. Randy is absolutely right to suggest that speakers need to look at ways to go beyond just giving keynotes and presentations and forge partnerships with their clients by adding consulting, coaching and showing value added beyond being a speaker.

  • Hi Jane,

    I’ve seen an upturn in calls and inquiries as to my available dates for 2010, some in 2011….I want 20 for 2010 and 20 for 2011 and have 18 days in 2010. Before this year is out it will be filled. After those desired 20 dates, if it is an interesting place, nice people who I have worked with before or a promise of new consulting clients to pass along to Rhonda Savage our CEO, I will do 30, but no more….We are so excited about you being our keynote at the SCN 2010 on Monday morning May 17 in Anaheim, CA from 9 AM to 10:30. Brian Sullivan (Precise Selling) who I met at the NSA CSP/CPAE Summit will speak on Tuesday at the same time…I meet in Miami with Lois Banta and Rhonda Savage to form a 3 way partnership to carry SCN forward after I retire. I will still be part of SCN for at least 5 years. They will do the marketing and management. Call me anytime at the number below if you have questions…Lee has sent your agreement etc. for May’s meeting.

    Linda Miles, Founder
    Linda Miles & Associates
    Speaking Consulting Network
    757-721-3125 Direct
    800-922-0882 Lee

  • Hi Jane

    Business definitely picked up starting mid May here in Singapore.

    I’ve found adding value has really helped. I offered to custom write a book for a local bank. As I was speaking to over 500 bankers, this book (short… 50 pages) was perfect for them as a give-away. With their photos inside and colour picture on the cover, logo, etc., they bought 1000 copies which allowed me to take the 2.5 hour engagement to 5 figures profit.

    The extra copies I over-ran, help me sell more custom books and bookings. One client who could not afford me said they COULD if I gave them permission to print the book internally. I gladly offered them the rights to print 200 copies internally. Why not? I’s just sending them a PDF file and I get another full fee engagement.

    BONUS: My name, CV, Web site and contact details are in every book. We can get more business for our Web site and sell more packages on Facilitation Skills and Public Speaking Secrets!

    God bless you Jane and hope this tip helps your readers.
    Michael A. Podolinsky CSP (Certified Speaking Professional)
    CEO – Podolinsky International Pte. Ltd
    Developing Passionate Leaders and Teams equipping them with the skills necessary to succeed.

    Phone: 65 6764-8067 / Fax: 65 6762-3717
    Michael’s e-mail:
    Web: (700+ pages)
    World Headquarters:Podolinsky International Pte. Ltd 6 Petir Road, #05-06, Singapore 678267

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  • I just want to share… I just did my first “real” keynote speaking gig…and it was a transformational experience. Last week I delivered my first keynote speech to an audience of 250 people. Prior to this, for many years, I had led thousands of solo training programs and facilitated meetings. But, I had never been asked to get up on stage and do a keynote. Then one landed in my lap 6 weeks ago, when the client called upon the recommendation of one of my colleagues and I was hired sight unseen! I knew this was my big break and I worked my butt off, writing and rewriting, customizing everything for the client, preparing my images for my slides, visiting the site in advance, and then memorizing the entire speech – I’m pretty sure I put in 20 or more hours. It all paid off, even when the technology failed at the site, I had a backup plan and that worked fine. I was energized during the speech, I felt I was engaging them and entertaining them (I got the laughs I anticipated!) and I could sense that the audience stayed with me the entire time, no yawning or fidgeting. I got a very solid round of applause and then a lot of folks came up and thanked me, telling me they enjoyed it and learned from it. The CEO was very pleased too. Then as the audience filed out, I realized that my shirt was soaked! I had really been working up there, and loving every minute of it. I’m hooked and want to do more and more of these! Oh what a feeling!