Are You Speaking to the Wrong Crowd?

Have you ever expended a lot of time and energy on a project, only to find that your focus was all wrong?
 
Of course, we’ve all done that.
 
This isn’t a blog post about looking at the bright side of your misguided projects. It won’t talk about learning from your mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with those ideas, but a better piece advice comes from Julian Mather. He’s a cinematographer and video creation expert. He was recently interviewed on Park Howell’s ‘The Business of Story‘ podcast.

How Speaking is Like a Restaurant

Speaking to the Right Organizations

Speaking to the wrong organization is like owning a restaurant that has no hungry customers

Julian suggests that you should “Never open a restaurant unless you’ve got a starving crowd.” As a presentation and speaking skills coach, I immediately grasped the significance of his wisdom.
 
You may strive to be a paid speaker. Or, a sales person who closes more business. Or, a leader whom others want to follow. If so, Julian’s brilliant piece of advice bears repeating:
 
Never open a restaurant unless you’ve got a starving crowd.

An Endless Supply of People ‘Selling’ to The Wrong Crowd

Far too often, sales people approach me with a product or service I’m not hungry for.
 
Many leaders try to inspire their teams to follow a vision they are not hungry for.
 
And, large numbers of aspiring speakers create presentations people are not hungry for.
 
If your goal is to craft a free speech that only informs or entertains, keep doing what you’re doing.
 
If you aim to be paid for your speaking, there are three questions you should know the answers to. These give yourself the best chance of achieving your aim:

1. What is the specific value you bring to the marketplace?

Being a trainer, speaker, or author means little to prospective buyers. Not until they know what tangible benefits you bring.
One of my programs is ‘Sell More With Stories.’ Attendees pick up tips to double their sales using stories in their presentations. 

2. Who specifically will your offering benefit?

This question intimidates some speakers. They’ll respond, “I want to help every group I can.”
 
That mindset isn’t going to gain you many paying opportunities, if it gets you any at all. Organizations want experts, preferably those who focus on specific groups or industries.
 
For example, my background is in the financial services industry. One of my primary markets is financial advisors and salespeople. I have credibility with them because of my background. I’m also focused on teaching them how to double their number of new clients.
 
I’m specific about who has previously hired me. This makes me attractive to prospective clients with similar backgrounds.

3. Who will pay?

Everything else you do is pointless if you are approaching groups who can’t pay you. This isn’t to say that those organizations can’t help you. They offer terrific opportunities to hone your message.
 
If you want compensation, focus your efforts on those organizations that pay speakers.
 
Several financial groups have hired me. I’ve taught them how to sell more through storytelling.
 
I’ve also not been hired by organizations who either couldn’t or wouldn’t write a check.
 
And that’s OK. You have to decide what path you want to take with your speaking.
I run a business. For most speeches or training I offer, I need to be paid. Some people will pay for the value I bring. Some won’t. But, to paraphrase the words of Julian Mather, I’m not going to force my message on people who aren’t hungry for it.
 
If you want to be a paid speaker, and grow your reputation, answer the three questions above. This will keep you from opening a restaurant without a starving crowd.
 

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE

Improve Your Speaking With 'The Business of Story' podcast

‘The Business of Story’ podcast

The podcast ‘The Business of Story’ by Park Howell. Park interviews a wide range of storytelling experts. They who offer valuable tips, processes and strategies. Their unique perspectives will expand your understanding of stories.
 
Park is an excellent interviewer. His down-to-earth style encourages a free and open dialogue with his guests.
 
Check out ‘The Business of Story’ on iTunes or Google BusinessOfStory.com
Avoid This Costly Speaking Mistake ultima modifica: 2017-01-28T15:27:40-05:00 da Michael Davis

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