Building a Successful Speaking Career
In this week’s episode of the Sailing to Success Podcast Show, Lyndsay Phillips interviews Gretchen Breuner. When Gretchen first started as a speaker, it took enormous amounts of time and effort to learn how to get speaking opportunities, but it paid off. She has spoken nationally and internationally, appeared on San Diego’s TODAY show and other local TV programs, and was featured on the front page of the travel section of America’s seventh largest newspaper as well as in PARENTS magazine and on KPBS radio.
Gretchen’s successes were the direct result of taking consistent actionable steps and following through.
MAIN QUESTIONS ASKED:
- How did get into speaking and what was your motivation?
- How can speaking help business owners?
- How do you know if speaking is right for you?
- How should a VA pitch the talent?
- How long does it take to set up a speaking gig?
- What are some things we should or shouldn’t do?
KEY LESSONS LEARNED:
Client Mindset and Pitching
- The support that an admin team can be extremely valuable to the talent.
- Pitching yourself in fine at the beginning, getting a support person allows you to focus more on your message instead of finding new gigs.
- A virtual assistant that puts in regular hours towards finding speaking opportunities will get consistent results.
- Pitching yourself may come off as sort of amateur.
- Approach your host from a place of service, offer them your talent’s ability as the solution they are looking for. Ask open ended questions.
- The contact info is often on the website, if not, just asking and being nice will get you far. Try more than one line of communication.
- Not getting a response is not the same as a no.
- The number of gigs you secure is tied to sticking to a consistent, ongoing effort. You have to keep up the effort once you have a few gigs.
- As a VA, being able to secure speaking gigs for a client is a great way to differentiate yourself and stand out.
- Speaking should be seen as part of your marketing plan and getting your brand established.
- It’s a very high leverage activity even if it’s unpaid. Speaking instantly builds credibility and authority in your niche.
- Anyone who gets on stage and is themselves is a good public speaker, you don’t have to be perfect. You still need to practice, but just show up as you.
- Rehearse your message and connect with the audience with your heart.
- Always ask for a referral afterwards, testimonials are excellent as well.
- As you get better at speaking, your testimonials and feedback will get better as well.
Getting Your Successful Speaking Career Started
- Start with your warm leads and the network you already know.
- Make a top 100 list of places where you want to speak and work your way backwards. Look for others who have spoken there and where else they have spoken.
- Podcasting and other digital platforms are great practice for public speaking and building a successful speaking career.
- Promise effort based results instead of outcome based results. You won’t be able to control everything, manage your client’s expectations and set yourself up for success.
- Ask the client where they have already been speaking. That’s a great place to start.
- Be yourself when speaking publicly, it’s the most effective way to share your message.
- Get a virtual assistant to pitch you.
- The talent and the team are important components in building a successful speaking career.
- Consistent effort will lead to consistent results in your speaking career, don’t stop pitching.
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