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Innovative Marketing in Your Speaking Business with Shawn Kanungo

Innovative Marketing in Your Speaking Business with Jane Atkinson and Shawn Kanungo
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Quote: “Even in my first speeches, I recorded it because I said, I’m making this for these 100 people? The World needs to see this…This is content!” Shawn Kanungo 

The speaking business has gone through some significant modifications in the past few years, but we weathered it all very nicely. On this episode of The Wealthy Speaker Show, we’re excited to welcome Shawn Kanungo to share his unique ideas on marketing your speaking business using innovative techniques to create maximum impact for your clients.

Shawn is a globally recognized innovation strategist and bestselling author. He previously spent 12 years at Deloitte, working closely with leaders to better plan for the opportunities associated with disruptive innovation. His work and interviews have been featured in The Globe & Mail, The Guardian, CBC and CTV. He has been recognized as Edify’s Top 40 Under 40. In 2021, Forbes named him the “Best Virtual Keynote Speaker I’ve Ever Seen”. 


Read Full Transcript

00:00:02.430 --> 00:00:23.940
Jane Atkinson: Hey? Welcome everyone to the wealthy speaker show today we are going to be talking about how to be more innovative in your speaking business in your keynotes, in your marketing and your social media. And we have the amazing Shawn Kanango to help us out. Shawn, did I say your last name correct.

00:00:23.940 --> 00:00:39.020
Jane Atkinson: Thank you. I'm so that was my big hurdle I was worrying about. So. Thank you. I'm glad I got it right. Tell everybody kind of about your current speaking business model, what are you doing on the day to day today?

00:00:39.700 --> 00:01:09.310
Shawn Kanungo: Well, number one, I would. I just wanna say, like I am super humbled and honored to be on this pod. You know, if you've gone this far. By the way, rate, review, subscribe wherever you are, spotify apple, music, apple, apple, Youtube. Whatever you gotta do because I think what you're doing with this community and what you've been doing for decades in this space is incredible, and I'm just humbled and honored to be here just being a longtime listener and avid listener. So II just wanna say that just off the get. So you're doing an amazing job. And

00:01:09.360 --> 00:01:46.920
Shawn Kanungo: yeah. So I, your little bit of background on me. Ii speak on this topic of innovation disruption. This is actually the first time ever that I think I'm actually talking about speaking the business of speaking. And I was actually a little bit nervous coming on today, because I think that I approach this business in a fundamentally different way. I think many of the things that I'm gonna say is, gonna be completely counterintuitive. I don't know how much. I don't know how much value people are gonna get from this, because I don't know if people can replicate this playbook because III think I might be giving terrible advice for folks. But I would say, you know, today.

00:01:46.920 --> 00:01:53.330
Shawn Kanungo: I'm doing about probably about 70 to 80 keynotes a year

00:01:53.330 --> 00:02:17.179
Shawn Kanungo: in in Canada. Us. I also don't think of this as a speaking business. I think of this as a impact business. I don't think I'm in the speaking business at all, and I'll talk a little bit about what that means to be in the impact business. But to me I'm I love content. So whether it's through the keynotes, whether it's taping the keynotes, putting out content, whether it's putting out a special on apple TV or prime, whether it's putting out a book.

00:02:17.180 --> 00:02:24.419
whether it's exploring all these ways of putting out content and making an impact. That's what I'm really passionate about. So I'm I'm happy to get into it.

00:02:24.570 --> 00:02:47.340
Jane Atkinson: Oh, we are. Gonna break it down. And I kinda now you've got me really intrigued like, what's he gonna say? And I want you to know that after 30 years I have the one thing I have figured it out is that there is no one way to do this business, and you clearly come at it from a different. So let's circle back.

00:02:47.610 --> 00:03:10.989
Jane Atkinson: Talk about what your background was. I know you had a long relationship of employment with De Deloi, and I wanted to share with you something funny. My job out of college in Halifax. They weren't even called Deloitt yet. They were called to Schrass and Company. Remember, it was Deloitte. Well, this was even before that. So

00:03:10.990 --> 00:03:23.890
Jane Atkinson: the receptionist at Tush Ross and Company biggest switchboard I had ever been a part of, and it was an actual, real eye opener. I always loved

00:03:24.180 --> 00:03:45.339
Shawn Kanungo: jobs like that, because I got to see the inside view of like I would see all these students coming through, and how hard you had to work to get that gig. So tell us about your time at Deloitte and what you did there. Yeah, absolutely. And that that is a crazy story. So I, yeah, obviously, you know, you have a

00:03:45.340 --> 00:04:01.210
Shawn Kanungo: you, you have a long history. Yeah, with them as as well. But you know, I spent 12 years at Deloitte. I started on the accounting side for the first 2 years and the last 10 years I actually switched into management, consulting really, in the strategy, digital innovation world. Helping working with some of the.

00:04:01.210 --> 00:04:24.809
Shawn Kanungo: you know, biggest companies when it comes to digital transformation and innovation. And actually, the way that I got into speaking was, you know, clients want to hear about the work that we were doing in the digital and innovation technology space. You know, how were you doing this? And you know, at the time, this idea of digital and mobile was huge. And I actually, you know, took the mantle, and so clients wanted to hear what we're doing like. Hey, we we got like this conference. We got this workshop. Can you do it? And

00:04:24.810 --> 00:04:41.499
Shawn Kanungo: to be honest with them, I'm like, yeah. But I wanted to share the work because we were doing such cool work. And also I thought that was a great branded building exercise, not only for me, but for the firm, and you know we start to get leads and clients so that way. And you know I did. You know a hundred presentations for free just.

00:04:41.500 --> 00:04:57.620
Shawn Kanungo: you know, carrying the gospel of of digital innovation. And I just sort of fell upon this, this crazy keynote speaking business that I had no intention of getting into. But it's been a amazing ride and an incredible journey after that.

00:04:57.660 --> 00:05:08.109
Jane Atkinson: Oh, that is so cool, and I'm thinking you had to be a real baby at that point of your career and peep. But but if it comes to digital transformation.

00:05:08.160 --> 00:05:25.649
Jane Atkinson: I count. I kinda wanna see what you're gonna tell me. So talk about age a little bit when you were young and upcoming, you know. You know you're young still now, so talk a little bit about how age was either helpful or not for you when you were just starting out.

00:05:26.060 --> 00:05:35.509
Shawn Kanungo: Yeah, no? Well, I appreciate it. Well, I don't. I'm I'm glad that you think I'm young now, you know, I have 3 kids 3 kids and and aging exponentially, I think. But

00:05:35.590 --> 00:05:41.649
Jane Atkinson: For those of you who are watching, listening only

00:05:41.880 --> 00:06:07.199
Shawn Kanungo: you know, I think you know, being in consulting for like 12 years ages, you exponentially. And I think you know, 12 years in consulting. It's like a hundred years of, you know, being at work, because not only are you meeting with hundreds of different organizations and leaders and executives. It's like compounding. It's you you see so much at you know, so quickly. And I think it, you know, obviously. But you know, when I started in consulting, you know, when I was 26 years old.

00:06:07.200 --> 00:06:24.059
Shawn Kanungo: I you know, 2526. It was. Yeah, it was. It was absolute eye-opener working with, you know, some of the best companies. And just you know, being in the fire hose of working, you know, in the in the depths of these incredible organizations.

00:06:24.150 --> 00:06:32.370
Shawn Kanungo: It it it was great. It was hard you got punched in the face every single day, but it harded you. And so, you know, when I was 30,

00:06:32.390 --> 00:06:35.470
Shawn Kanungo: I think I left the firm when I was

00:06:35.530 --> 00:06:39.589
Shawn Kanungo: 34 35

00:06:40.070 --> 00:06:48.369
Shawn Kanungo: you know, I feel like I was like a vet at that point. I was going, you know, for partnership. I was close to getting becoming a partner at Deloitte, and that that's not actually

00:06:48.450 --> 00:07:01.970
Shawn Kanungo: out of the realm of you know I was. I would be a younger partner at that time, but you know, 34, 35 would be a young partner at that time. But you know, that's sort of the timeline, you know, being 12 years in a firm, you know, usually usually become partner at that time.

00:07:02.230 --> 00:07:09.789
Jane Atkinson: So did everybody in your world say, are you crazy to leave like? What did you go off to do. What was your next thing?

00:07:10.170 --> 00:07:12.220
Shawn Kanungo: Well, to be honest with you, I

00:07:12.450 --> 00:07:42.250
Shawn Kanungo: you know, when I was speaking at Deloitte I was actually to be honest with you. It was an easy decision to leave, because when I was working at Deloitte, I actually was making more money as a senior man you know, speaking than I was, being a senior manager at Deloitte, and I was making pretty good money at the time, and I saw my schedule for 2018, I said, You know this is insane. But to me wasn't about the money to me was about this the the ability to create impact. You know, I saw that by getting on stages I saw that being at conferences

00:07:42.250 --> 00:08:07.629
Shawn Kanungo: that you're actually building brand equity, you're actually opening up opportunities for yourself. And so I said, what kind of damage could I do on my own, whether it's speaking, creating content? You know, being a free agent, advising organizations on my own. Could I get better companies? Could I work with bigger names? Could I work with better executives? That was the thesis that I would, I would do that, and and I love Deloitte. I hired so many people from there. III still love them to this day.

00:08:07.630 --> 00:08:13.559
Shawn Kanungo: but when I left I met with 30 other partners, and I said, Listen, I actually think that I could do more damage on my own.

00:08:13.560 --> 00:08:42.339
Shawn Kanungo: And actually all of them said, listen, if I was in your spot I actually do the same thing. You're you're right like you, you. There is something special happening, and I think you need to take this opportunity. And I did, and I ran with it, and it's been the best decision that I've ever made, and still love my time there, and I credit, you know I credit a ton, but you know I had to go off and do my own thing. Yeah, I love it. And the just. Let me brag on you for a second here, the Logos that you see on Sean's website.

00:08:42.340 --> 00:09:00.659
Jane Atkinson: Johnson and Johnson Lincoln, Bosch Christie's Dell into it. Morgan Stanley Pfizer like this is that he is working with the Who's who out there? And I just, I think a lot of speakers strive. Okay?

00:09:00.740 --> 00:09:01.790
Jane Atkinson: So

00:09:02.340 --> 00:09:24.329
Jane Atkinson: you got started in 2018. And here we are, 2023, and you're going gangbusters, 70 to 80 speaking engagements per year. You have done that by being more innovative clearly than others. You said that. So yeah.

00:09:24.400 --> 00:09:37.029
Jane Atkinson: let's talk about in your actual keynote. How are you coming at keynote in a way that you think is unique and innovative.

00:09:37.050 --> 00:10:04.109
Shawn Kanungo: You know. I wanna give, you know, blessings to the people that actually came before me, you know, in this business the people that actually built this into an industry that I had no idea going into. So I wanna give kudos to the innovators that actually, you know, got us to this point. I think that the way that I approach this I actually don't speak without that. Many speakers. I don't take that much advice from other speakers. I get influence from from comedians, from rock stars, from athletes, from people that are

00:10:04.110 --> 00:10:18.190
Shawn Kanungo: performing at at high levels. So to me, it's it's gartering inspiration from from those folks. II think I innovate in a number of different ways. Number one is that I'm equally as excited as the, you know, giving the talk on stage that I am recording it

00:10:18.190 --> 00:10:34.660
Shawn Kanungo: so like, and and putting out that content out in the world. I think I have more videos up on me on stage speaking in front of audiences than any other human on the planet other than maybe Gary, Vee, that's actually, you know, having recorded video, putting it on Youtube, Tiktok Linkedin, wherever it might be.

00:10:34.660 --> 00:11:01.069
Shawn Kanungo: And to me, it's about impact at the end. At the end of the day. It's actually being able to tell this message in front of, you know, 600 700 people. But taking that particular video, and having that be seen by another 1,000 10,000 1,000 a million people to me, that's about scaling impact at the end of the day. So I think the video piece and I can double down and double click on that, on, on how I do that and give the

00:11:01.070 --> 00:11:25.520
Jane Atkinson: there's an intention that you are going to record everything. 100. Okay, so it starts with that. So tell me the how, how does that happen? And then tell me, what do you do? What's your? How do you throw it into your system? And then this, the minions of the system go and put it out there. How does it work

00:11:25.610 --> 00:11:42.430
Shawn Kanungo: so? The the reason why I do this, by the way, and I always had this notion, like even in my first speeches. I recorded it because I said, I'm I'm I'm making this, for these 100 people like the world should see this. So I always had this notion, and even at the beginning, when I didn't make any money, when I was doing presentations for free.

00:11:42.450 --> 00:12:00.150
Shawn Kanungo: I was, I would still get a videographer to come out for, like 300 400 $500 that I would pay that I probably didn't have the money for that. I'll be like, okay. But but this is content. This is a I. This is IP that I can put out in the world. And what's funny is that as your Keno Fee rises you get, you know you go from.

00:12:00.150 --> 00:12:13.709
Shawn Kanungo: you know, 5,000. 10,000. 15,000. 20,000. 25,030. You know the the actual, the cost of the video never changes. So my move. Whenever I'm in a particular city, I literally go on Instagram, and I say II copy and paste the same message to

00:12:13.960 --> 00:12:37.739
Shawn Kanungo: 10 different videographers. I find them by saying, You know San Diego videographer, I message 10 of them and say, Hey, my name is Sean Kanungo. I'm looking for a presentation. This is a style that I'm looking for. I'm looking for a lab mic, 2 or 3 cameras. Here's the time. Here's the location. Here's you know what I want. I want just the the production. I don't want any edits, because I want to transfer the footage right after, because I have editors internally. That will edit.

00:12:37.790 --> 00:12:42.440
So I message that same message to 10 people. and

00:12:42.520 --> 00:13:11.620
Shawn Kanungo: you know, maybe 3, 4 people get back to me. I go to the price that that I like. You know you. It's usually ranges from anywhere, from, you know, $200 to maybe even $1,000, and I will, just, you know, pick amongst any of that to me. It's, you know, picking the best person within that particular range, and then I will get it recorded. I will get the shots. And this happens in every single city. Whether I'm Barcelona, whether I'm in Dubai, whether I'm in. You know Michigan, you know, wherever I am I get a videographer to record it, and I get the assets, and then we chop it up.

00:13:11.620 --> 00:13:36.089
Shawn Kanungo: And my editors. They know II literally give them a piece. I want this piece out. It's a 2 min clip and you know we put it up on Linkedin as a square. We put it on Youtube. We might cut it up on Tiktok. Recently, we've been putting stuff on Instagram, and just, you know, putting that out there in the world because you have no idea if that content is going to change someone's life. You have no idea, so you might as well put it out in the world and see.

00:13:36.180 --> 00:13:45.459
Jane Atkinson: But when you're choosing your content. you're drilling it down to. I'm saying something that's very

00:13:45.620 --> 00:14:12.830
Shawn Kanungo: interesting right now. Or is it more like, Well, I'm telling a really good story here, or is it a combination of those things? Yeah, you know it's to. To me it's what I love doing is news jacking. So what I love doing is taking something that's happening in the world today and being able and being able to put that on, because that's what people are looking for, or it's a, it's a great, it's it's a great story, or it's a great concept, it's content. It's not about me speaking like, hey? I'm here in Barcelona like

00:14:12.830 --> 00:14:17.649
like nobody cares about that. That's selfish. What you have to do is give content. That actually will

00:14:17.650 --> 00:14:33.009
Shawn Kanungo: change somebody, you know. So, for example, I'll give you an example. Like, recently I was. I was in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago I put out a piece that wasn't relevant or newsworthy, but it was the idea that strategy is energy. So I put this piece out. It's the 2 min piece around how strategies? Energy?

00:14:33.010 --> 00:15:00.290
Shawn Kanungo: And then I shared that. And you know what's cool is that you know, one of the executives said, Hey, that that piece really resonated with me. We're having a strategic you know, a session with our CEO and our entire team. I sent that to them and that to me. That's impact. They weren't there in Barcelona. But to me that they, you know, this executive of this big Oil and gas company was able to send that to me. That's impact. I wanna do that. I wanna trade that every single day. And that's why I put those pieces out. And and the best pieces are

00:15:00.290 --> 00:15:11.299
Shawn Kanungo: the pieces that you know, leverage something that's happening right now, because that's what people are talking about. And you know, those catch fire? And so yeah, I'm really deliberate in my keynotes to say

00:15:11.360 --> 00:15:34.849
Shawn Kanungo: to say, Okay, these are the 2 or 3 pieces that I think we wanna clip out, and the QA. The Q. And A is a great clip out piece, because number one, you're not burning any content. Number 2. It's like people like to see that spontaneity. It's kinda like comedy crowdwork clips. The reason why they're so popular on Tiktok and other places is because it's spontaneous. It's like you. You have no idea what that person's gonna say. And it actually shows your

00:15:34.880 --> 00:15:46.799
Shawn Kanungo: your ability to think on your feet, and I think it's a great piece, you know. I think more people should showcase a lot of, I think, what the mistake that a lot of speakers make is that they wanna put out video content. But it's them

00:15:46.850 --> 00:15:52.009
Shawn Kanungo: like here, like them on a couch talking, you know, in front of a mic like

00:15:52.820 --> 00:16:10.120
Shawn Kanungo: at that point you're competing against like a Youtuber, it's it it. It's very difficult to compete against A Youtuber, because they're native for that pickup platform but for you to be on stage for you to be in front of people that's gonna signal to the audience that oh, that person's on stage. That's actually important piece.

00:16:10.170 --> 00:16:17.880
Jane Atkinson: I love it, and II love this idea of every event being filmed. Let's talk about news jacking for a second.

00:16:18.140 --> 00:16:32.540
Jane Atkinson: Where are you ripping your stories from the headlines. Is it the Wall Street Journal? Or is it Tmz? Or something in between like, where? Where are you picking, picking up things that you can then an enter into your speech. I

00:16:32.720 --> 00:16:44.110
Jane Atkinson: I love the idea of something I saw this morning in the journal is now in my speech. And now it's on social media, because that is so cool.

00:16:44.320 --> 00:16:48.519
Shawn Kanungo: Yeah, and you know, I think

00:16:48.900 --> 00:17:16.109
Shawn Kanungo: for for me, like I'm I'm just. I'm speaking on the topic of innovation disruption. So I need to be cutting edge. I need to be current. I'm not somebody that climbed a mountain. I'm not somebody that, you know, Shan swam with sharks. I I'm just somebody that has been in this digital innovation disruption space. And it's changing every single second. So for me being on the ground floor, not only talking to executives and leaders, which I'm doing all the time. Which is really important, getting firsthand information, but being a

00:17:16.130 --> 00:17:40.460
Shawn Kanungo: just being a student and and just being curious whether it's getting information from everywhere. Youtube, Twitter Podcasts, Wall Street, Journal. Cnn, like, I read sports culture, entertainment, media finance, politics, science, economics like, I, wanna be just be curious around the world. Because, you know, understanding disruption is actually understanding disruptive trends. It's not just about technology, it's about culture, it's about society.

00:17:40.710 --> 00:17:44.929
Shawn Kanungo: and so I want, I want to be somebody that can connect

00:17:45.100 --> 00:17:56.109
Shawn Kanungo: these things that are happening in the world to to their lives. And that's just, you know, that's just who I am. II just love being connected.

00:17:56.220 --> 00:18:01.250
Jane Atkinson: okay. marketing.

00:18:01.500 --> 00:18:24.399
Shawn Kanungo: When it comes to marketing. Okay, so let's make sure we're clear that you have. Bureaus who are have rep are representing you exclusively, both stateside and in Canada. What about globally? Yeah, you're doing a lot of work internationally. How do you handle that? Is that going through Canada? Speaker Spotlight or

00:18:24.430 --> 00:18:29.779
Shawn Kanungo: you know I joined Speaker Spotlight in 2017,

00:18:30.190 --> 00:18:44.579
Shawn Kanungo: probably the greatest decision one of the greatest decisions that I've ever made. I love that team. I will. I will take a bullet for anybody on the Speaker Spotlight team. Everybody. There has been phenomenal. Every single lead that comes in

00:18:44.870 --> 00:18:52.030
Shawn Kanungo: to me goes to Speaker Spotlight ever. I don't take anything for for myself. Everything goes back to Speaker Spotlight.

00:18:52.060 --> 00:18:57.269
And I work with them in the in, in, so anything that comes in internationally.

00:18:57.430 --> 00:19:22.620
Shawn Kanungo: In the Us in Canada goes back to Speaker Spotlight. And that's a relationship I have. I also have a relationship with that that actually Kepler and Speaker Spotlight actually work together. They got an amazing relationship that goes beyond, just like cobroering and you know, we we've been able to fuse something with them. And so Kepler has been an amazing partner on the Us. Side, and they they are killing it right now.

00:19:22.620 --> 00:19:31.719
so that. But Speaker Spotlight is still involved in that. And it's been great. So yeah, anything internationally comes through. And and to be honest with you, a lot of leads.

00:19:32.060 --> 00:19:34.079
Shawn Kanungo: a lot of leads come through

00:19:34.220 --> 00:19:44.419
Shawn Kanungo: Youtube. A lot of leads, kind of seeing my stuff online. And that's how a lot of the international stuff comes about.

00:19:44.460 --> 00:20:00.159
Jane Atkinson: Okay. So I want I. And what I'm getting at is this innovative idea that you've done about regarding video is then translating to keeping your funnel full enough that

00:20:00.240 --> 00:20:12.829
Shawn Kanungo: you know 300 leads are coming in a year, and you're securing 70 to 80 of them. That is amazing. I'm not saying 300. I just threw that number out, I'm thinking, you know, more leads.

00:20:12.830 --> 00:20:30.789
Jane Atkinson: You're not getting every single engagement, and you don't want every single engagement. So that's where I just got those numbers. I just pulled them up. Love Kepler when I used to work running an exclusive division for a speaker, and they wanted to book like Sugar Ray Leonard, or one of my exclusives.

00:20:30.800 --> 00:20:33.280
They never called with a hold.

00:20:33.390 --> 00:20:46.060
Jane Atkinson: They only called with, Okay, I have a gig like I have a an actual piece of business for you. Put this date on hold, and it just always came through. And I just really value that

00:20:46.140 --> 00:20:53.100
Jane Atkinson: scenario with the Speakers Bureau when they're that good that they're not calling to place a hold.

00:20:53.110 --> 00:21:05.999
Shawn Kanungo: They're actually just calling to check the date for a piece of business 100 and and they and they've been incredible. And I and I give kudos to Martin and the Speaker Spotlight team

00:21:06.010 --> 00:21:34.010
Shawn Kanungo: without their trust. You know this game is about trust. At the end of the day I don't have a written agreement with Speaker Spotlight. I just it's just love and trust. And it goes back to the relationship. Yeah. And and actually, the the other piece, I would say about marketing is that if you want, if you can go on any spot on the Internet, you will not find a video that is shot low quality that's shot on an iphone that looks grainy. That looks bad like I want when somebody looks at my

00:21:34.100 --> 00:21:47.300
Shawn Kanungo: You know me, and anywhere, I mean, even on this pod. If you're on Youtube like it is, it's done with effort. It's done with love, it's done with. With. So to me like. And even during you know, virtual when we did went virtual.

00:21:47.500 --> 00:22:12.880
Shawn Kanungo: You know every every single keynote that we ever shot, hundreds of keynotes. Still, to this day, 2023, going into 2024. Every single keynote has been done in a theater with a with a full production crew. I've never done a keynote in front of like a back like this, like a background, or my in my room, like I it is. It's high, highly produced. I believe, so strongly about that, because when you put in love to the

00:22:13.290 --> 00:22:19.989
Shawn Kanungo: whether it's virtual or in person, it translates into the value and the message, just seeing at a higher level at the end of the day.

00:22:20.440 --> 00:22:38.550
Jane Atkinson: Well, that has paid off because Forbes named you best virtual keynote speaker, I mean, that's that's a thing that is, I. So I just want everybody to notice. II almost wanna re title this

00:22:38.690 --> 00:23:06.909
Jane Atkinson: speak, you know, being intentional about everything that you do, and speaking because you in your and I think a lot of people got set up at the beginning of Covid for a virtual. But you made the decision. No, I'm not gonna get set up and do a space. I am going to hire professionals every single time I do. Okay? So you're in Edmonton is your hometown. Is that right?

00:23:06.910 --> 00:23:33.140
Shawn Kanungo: I'm in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. So you have a production house probably nearby. Edmonton is not a little city, everybody, by the way. You probably have a good production house that you can go to locally, then, do you? Yeah. So I got this team that I've been working with. And obviously I have folks you know, internally, but I've been working with a a team. They're called bad films or a film. They're not like a AV company. They're like a film company.

00:23:33.140 --> 00:23:54.610
Shawn Kanungo: And so I've been working with them, you know, E. Even before the pandemic A, and when the pandemic hit we said, You know, how do we? How do we innovate this? And so we went into a theater right away, like April 2020. We were shooting in a theater, and we just evolved from there. We start to experiment and just raise the production level. Every single time. Just

00:23:54.680 --> 00:23:57.900
Shawn Kanungo: keep keep on experimenting, and you know we we were doing that.

00:23:58.070 --> 00:24:03.229
Jane Atkinson: let me know, like a theater. So 750 person amphitheater.

00:24:03.270 --> 00:24:05.179
an amphitheater

00:24:05.200 --> 00:24:07.619
Shawn Kanungo: big screen behind you.

00:24:07.920 --> 00:24:23.090
Jane Atkinson: How are you connecting with the humans at the other end? Is there like big faces like a like a sea of Brady bunch looks behind you. Sha, ga, give, give me a more of a visual of this theater. This is so cool.

00:24:23.090 --> 00:24:40.589
Shawn Kanungo: Yeah, to be to be honest with you. Because the the cameras moving around like, I think the innovation there was the gimbal, which is the camera's moving with me like as I move on the stage. So I'm looking dead in the camera as I move around. Through the stage, and we and to me the magic of virtual is actually

00:24:40.610 --> 00:24:58.309
Shawn Kanungo: engaging them is asking them questions, which is something that I don't really do in an in person engagement, which is stopping every 5 min, asking them, getting the engagement having a moderator. So what we would have when we have a virtual keynote, we have a moderator on stage with us, like, let's say I'm like Jimmy Fallon, and they're the roots.

00:24:58.310 --> 00:25:10.839
Shawn Kanungo: They would. They would be the moderator sometimes from the organization, sometimes a friend. And they'd be looking at the chat, and so it was like a I would say it. It felt like a talk show every single time a live talk show.

00:25:10.840 --> 00:25:22.810
Shawn Kanungo: That people are part of. And I really felt that that really raised the the just, the fun. It raised, the spontaneity. And it's Ri relays it. It raised the production level.

00:25:22.900 --> 00:25:40.719
Shawn Kanungo: And so you can check it out. If you go to. If you go to my Youtube page, you can scroll down. Obviously, you know you. You'll see a lot of in person keynotes now, because over last 2 years I mean, everything is like, you know, ramp back to in person, but if you go back a couple of years you'll see all the virtual keynotes and what it looked like, and what it felt like.

00:25:42.010 --> 00:26:01.940
Jane Atkinson: So cool do you do anything special for the background of it? Like if you're in a theater, do you stay just set like, what is there? Is there an actual sofa. I'm I'm kinda curious about all. Sometimes we will sometimes, sometimes. What we'll do is because when everything is virtual, we

00:26:02.090 --> 00:26:26.799
Shawn Kanungo: we would. You know, we would plop into different situations. We would facetime like Ceos, we would facetime folks. We would. Yeah, we would just go into different sets, some of them pre recorded, some some like walk like in one of the theaters that we were shooting in. It was actually in an art gallery, so we would go to the Art Gallery. We would rock around the art gallery. So you know, just trying to make a dynamic ordering pizza like we, we? You know, we we do like

00:26:26.800 --> 00:26:36.510
we're trying to show that it's live and show that it's really engage. The other thing I would say is that I think what differentiates from an innovation perspective is that

00:26:36.650 --> 00:26:47.749
Shawn Kanungo: graphics like, put like, if you if you if you go to my website, if you go to any of these videos on my reel, you'll see these massive, like horizontal slides. And

00:26:47.750 --> 00:27:13.630
every single slide that I have is a motion graphic. It's like 70 motion graphics. When I have a slide deck, it's like a 3 GB file. It's 70 motion graphics every time we're at a keynote. And it's a different screen size that's actually in my rider. If there's a different screen size, we try to customize all the graphics so they they they can connect with the the AV crew. You know these, these AV these some clients are spending half a BA 1 million dollars on their

00:27:13.630 --> 00:27:26.569
Shawn Kanungo: on their AV screens, and then these speakers come in with their 16 by 9, like Powerpoints. It looks like crap. But what we try to do is make sure that it takes up the whole screen. We wanna make it feel like a rock concert. So

00:27:26.740 --> 00:27:52.119
Shawn Kanungo: it's been really, really cool over the last number of years to to work with these amazing companies and really maximize their screen size. And it's funny, because if you take that extra time to really make it pop like that, I swear to God. It it it makes the world of the difference, like people recognize when you take that time. And it looks like a rock concert. It's just. It's just different. So that's something that we're really really focused on and passionate about.

00:27:52.120 --> 00:27:59.430
Jane Atkinson: There's a lot of listeners right now who are just writing down up my game.

00:28:00.440 --> 00:28:15.800
Jane Atkinson: Really, I'm serious, Shawn, you and this is very inspiring for people, I think, to just hear how you come at this, and I almost like that. You didn't study other speakers to get here, because

00:28:16.000 --> 00:28:21.860
Jane Atkinson: guess what? You're not like any of them, and guess what? That's why you're so popular.

00:28:22.030 --> 00:28:26.640
Shawn Kanungo: Well, well and and and and I want to be fair, because I think

00:28:26.730 --> 00:28:38.260
Shawn Kanungo: what you've been doing in your business is giving folks platforms like this, or you can have innovators. I think everybody and you've seen this 30 years in the game is that everybody has approached this in different ways.

00:28:38.260 --> 00:29:02.209
Shawn Kanungo: and I am trying to approach this in different ways. And I. The reason why I try not to, you know, Garner, ideas from other speakers is because I know that it's a very, you know, it's an amazing community. And they garner ideas from each other. I wanna garner ideas from people that are outside. That's the whole idea of innovation. That's that's what disruption is all about. And it's not that I don't get value from from other speakers. It's just that

00:29:02.210 --> 00:29:20.149
Shawn Kanungo: I just I wanna be different. I wanna approach this differently. And II actually think that what we do, my, my really hot take is what we do as keynote speakers needs to be elevated. II feel like, you know, back in the day the philosophers or the folks that useless use to sell sell out stadiums and arenas.

00:29:20.190 --> 00:29:38.289
Shawn Kanungo: and and and now we now we're now that those folks are just keynote speakers. And now the comedians and the Rock Stars, they're set at selling out the arenas, but II believe that there's so many incredible minds and thinkers that we can turn this profession into bigger into something bigger.

00:29:38.320 --> 00:29:59.259
Shawn Kanungo: and that is my goal at the end of the day. How do I continue to innovate? And that's why we put out the you know, the the streaming special on Apple TV and Prime. You know, we're trying to elevate the game past just past, like going to a conference and becoming the the opening keynote speaker that you know, II think there's such an opportunity here.

00:29:59.290 --> 00:30:21.540
Shawn Kanungo: Tell everybody the name of the special on Prime and Apple TV. Yeah, the special is, actually, it's the same name as my book. It's called The Bold Ones. And part of the reason why we we, we launch the special. It was our first foray into media and entertainment. And you know there's other people that have sort of done this. I'd say Brene Brown is the other person that she's got a Netflix special.

00:30:21.540 --> 00:30:38.309
Shawn Kanungo: To be honest with you. We we we tried to pitch this for Netflix, and at the time they're you know it. It wasn't what they were looking for. And so Prime and Apple TV were amazing partners, and and putting it out there. And and we? Wanna you know, we we wanna continue to

00:30:38.360 --> 00:31:06.980
Jane Atkinson: get into this me media and entertainment space, and, you know, continue to innovate and figure out what we can do there, I think. I think it's a yeah great space. I love it. And it's only a matter of time. I feel like I'm gonna see you at the sphere in Las Vegas, or something. It's only a matter of time. The the rock star speaker takes over the concert venue, and

00:31:07.180 --> 00:31:21.140
Shawn Kanungo: I love that you said that because that is actually that has become a new bucket list which is being able to be in the sphere and showcase our motion graphics on that you know, in in that space I actually reached out to them

00:31:21.140 --> 00:31:48.930
Jane Atkinson: a number of months ago, just as a moonshot to be like, Hey, we're doing a virtual keynote. Can we do it in the sphere? And absolutely got no response back. But you know, people are gonna want to connect with you.

00:31:49.020 --> 00:31:55.810
and they're gonna have some questions, no doubt. What's the best form of connection with you?

00:31:55.830 --> 00:32:07.129
Shawn Kanungo: Well, number one, if you've gotten this far. In this, podcast. I like, I said, great review subscribe to this podcast. Because Jane is putting in the effort and the work and so follow her. First follow. Follow what she's doing first.

00:32:07.130 --> 00:32:27.670
and then if you have any time left over, then you can. You can just hit me up. I'm at Sean canoeing go anywhere. I'm I'm my my dms are open. So II respond to anybody. II respect this game so much, and the folks that are doing things differently. And I and I respond to every single speaker, because I think you know, we need more ideas in the world. And so please hit me up.

00:32:27.830 --> 00:32:31.219
Jane Atkinson: Thank you. What's your favorite social media platform?

00:32:31.270 --> 00:32:35.130
Shawn Kanungo: I think my favorite has been Linkedin. I've been posting on there for

00:32:35.170 --> 00:32:45.180
Shawn Kanungo: you know probably every week for the last like 7 years. And and it II love that II love Tiktok as well. But you know Linkedin is probably the best.

00:32:45.300 --> 00:32:59.569
Jane Atkinson: Okay, fair enough. Well, I just wanna say, Thank you. Sarah Mcvanal hooked us up, and I wanna say, Thank you, Sarah, for enlightening me to this man who, I believe, is

00:32:59.570 --> 00:33:26.709
Jane Atkinson: gonna just take this industry and turn it on. It's here. And is there anything, Shawn, that you would like to say that if you were back in 2,018, young Shawn for starting out at his speaking business, is there any advice that you would give yourself now. We're only 5 years later. But so what do you think is the biggest lesson that you got that you would like to share with your young self.

00:33:27.590 --> 00:33:29.949
Shawn Kanungo: you know. I think

00:33:30.190 --> 00:33:49.719
Shawn Kanungo: it's it's nothing different than I than I think today. I think you need to keep experimenting. Keep innovating. I see so many speakers. They rely on that one speech that they've been writing writing for so long. I think if if we have to keep experimenting, we have to create building new stories, new ways of presenting our content, new ways of putting out our slides

00:33:49.720 --> 00:34:10.869
just new ways of doing things. I we need to continuously innovating. That's why I would say at the beginning. And I, everybody is looking for the fuel they're looking for like, why do I? How do I do this? How do I? To me? I go back to video. And to be honest with you, Jane, I gave. I give 99% of the people, the playbook of this idea of video. But they're they don't see the value they're like, well, I'm spending 3, $400 for this video. But what am I gonna get in return?

00:34:11.210 --> 00:34:12.889
Shawn Kanungo: You you don't understand. Like

00:34:13.110 --> 00:34:42.269
Shawn Kanungo: you, you, you like the You don't understand the Roi on this video. Somebody might see this video, you might not get a gig in person, but somebody might see that video, and you might get another gig, and that cost video never changes, but your fee always changes, so just see the value in it. It may not pay off the the second or third time, but over time people will see the library. Listen if somebody is going and buying a a car there, literally you. The the cost of the speaker is a cost of a car. Do you think that they're just looking at your real?

00:34:42.320 --> 00:35:06.190
Shawn Kanungo: Forget the real, the real, the real is nice. But you need to. If someone's buying a car they're gonna look at. They're gonna look at all the videos they're gonna look at all the social media. So you need to be able to invest in yourself outside of the reels. Stop getting so romantic about the real. It's about building a library at the end of the day. So that's what I would say with that. And I think a lot of people get caught up with the real. They're like.

00:35:06.320 --> 00:35:25.760
Shawn Kanungo: Okay, do you know, we we pretend like the planner is dumb. The planner is not dumb. The planner is looking at everything. They're not just looking at the real and making a decision that's come on. That's a linear way of looking at it. If you're buying a car, you're looking at the reviews. You're looking at everything. You're looking at the negative reviews, looking at the social media. So that that's why I said that

00:35:25.900 --> 00:35:39.129
Jane Atkinson: I love it. I love it. Thank you, Shawn, for being here. I'm super. I'm gonna follow you on everything, and I'll be in your back pocket there, just watching all of the moves, because

00:35:39.140 --> 00:36:04.039
Jane Atkinson: you are an innovator indeed, for those of you tuning in definitely do all the things that he said definitely. Make sure that you check out the wealthy and speaker launcher. We've got all kinds of value there for you. And with that we're gonna say, thanks again for being here, Shawn, and we'll see you soon, wealthy speakers, bye, for now.

Highlights you won’t want to miss:

Shawn’s content on marketing innovation has garnered millions of views, respectively across LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube & Facebook. His bestselling debut book, The Bold Ones, offers a playbook for individuals to become bolder to push their careers and companies forward. The Bold Ones has been touted as one of McKinsey’s top decision-making books for leaders.

If you could use some distinctive ideas to help you stand out and get booked, you simply can’t afford to miss this episode!

I hope you’ll listen and learn.


Shawn’s website
Shawn’s book
Speakers Spotlight
Shawn’s YouTube channel
Jane’s YouTube channel
Shawn’s streaming special
Bad Films
Shawn’s LinkedIn profile
Jane’s LinkedIn profile
The Wealthy Speaker School

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