How To Make Speaking Engagements Pay


One of the most common things I see as a consultant, executive coach, author and professional speaker is the professional who speaks well but cannot use those speaking engagements as a business development tool.

I’m sure you’ve seen it as well.

A great lawyer gets in front of an ideal group. He lectures them for 45 minutes and then goes back to the office and waits for the phone to ring.

A gifted author is invited to speak to a group of people in the perfect demographic for his book – yet he sells few of them at his speaking engagement.

A talented educator speaks to a group of students yet no one signs up for her class.

This happens because most folks do not view public speaking as a vehicle to advance their business or personal agenda.

That is our focus in the episode of Four Minute Fixation.

We want speaking engagements to have an impact – directly in our wallet.

Be sure to watch the video and read the transcript (below).

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Here is the transcript from this episode of Four Minute Fixation:

How To Make Speaking Engagements Pay

Speaking to an audience is like money in the bank. What does that mean? How can you make that happen? Join me now and you’ll find out how. Welcome to another Whiteboard Workshop here at Four Minute Fixation. Today we’re talking about how you can structure your speaking engagements so that they produce more money for you, regardless of whether you’re an attorney, a doctor, an architect, someone who’s in any type of professional service, or even a business owner who wants people to come into your store, visit your restaurant, join your club. Speaking engagements are one of the best ways to attract business regardless of the industry that you’re in.

How can you make speaking engagements pay off? This question is one that weighs on the minds of many professionals and the reason is because they’re out there educating the world. They’re teaching the world specifically what to do and then the world has no need for their services. Today we’re going to describe for you how you can provide a great educational experience for your audience and yet still leave them wanting more, still leave them wanting to ask you what else you can do for them. We’re going to talk about how to do that in just one moment.

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Now let’s talk about how you can make more money with your next speaking engagement and every speaking engagement that follows. Take a look at the board over here. We have our whiteboard because it’s Whiteboard Wednesday. You’ll see that I have six things listed on the board. Number one is you have to tell them what to do and not how to do it. Number two is you have to provide stories that support the points that you’re making in your speech. Number three, provide lots of info. You’re probably doing this now, but I want you to make sure that people are drinking from the fire hose. Really, really important.

Number four, give them an actionable next step. What should the audience members do tomorrow when they leave the room? Number five, leave them wanting more. Always leave them thinking to themselves, “Gee, what this guy gave us today as part of this event was great. I wonder what else he has to offer?” You got to tease them a little bit. Leave them wanting more. Then number six, make them an offer. You have to make an offer so that they can avail themselves of your services in the future, plus you have to give them something that they can take away from the talk.

Let me go into each of those points in detail with you. First we’re going to start with point number one. Point number one is telling them what to do and not how to do it. There’s a couple of reasons for this, not the least of which is that if you tell them how to do it, they might be able to do it themselves. Let’s face it, you can tell someone how to remove their appendix and if they really want to they can try and do it themselves. They’re going to get the best outcome and they’re never going to get the best outcome in any situation regardless of what the business is if they do it themselves.

They’re always going to get a better outcome if they hire a professional like you to do the work for them, but that’s not the least important reason to tell them what to do and not how to do it. The most important reason is because you want them to get the best possible result, you can’t give them a do-it-yourself guide, just like you wouldn’t want to give them a do-it-yourself guide to removing their appendix. No matter what, they’re never going to get the best result by doing it themselves.

Another reason why you want to tell them what to do and not how to do it, and this is the least important reason, is because you don’t want disagreement in the room. If you tell somebody, “Do it this way because,” and you give them reasons, some wise guy in the back of the room is always going to refute the reasons that you give them. You don’t need that during your talk. Don’t get down in the weeds. Don’t give them the minutia. Tell them what they need to do. Don’t tell them how to do it, for any number of reasons. I gave you two. There are dozens more. Just tell them what to do, not how to do it. It’s irresponsible to try and give them the step-by-step guide because you don’t have enough time to train them. There, I just gave you a third.

Now, stories must support your points. The reason why we want stories to support your points, every point that you make in your talk, is because we’re looking to evoke emotion in the audience. When people are emotionally engaged in your talk they like you more. People who know you and like you will purchase from you. People who know you and like you will want to hire you. Tell stories, particularly self-deprecating stories, to evoke emotion. Very important.

Number three, give lots of information. Make them drink from the fire hose. You have to speak very quickly. The faster you speak the more information you can jam into a 45-minute or a 50-minute or a one-hour talk. That’s what you need to do. Give them a ton of information. Make them break their hands trying to keep up, because if you give them so much information they will be overwhelmed. The information will wash over them like a wave crashing over them in the ocean and they’ll say to themselves, “I need to hire a professional. I can’t do this myself.”

Number four, give them an actionable next step. When they leave the presentation they are going to be overwhelmed with information. Tell them specifically, “When you walk out of this room here are the first two things you need to do. Number one, you need to do this, and number two, you need to call me.” Number one is very important. That should be the actionable item as a result of what they hear in your talk. Give them one thing to do, and one thing only, at the end of your talk. At the end of your talk give them one thing to do in their business, in their life, as a result of hearing you speak today. Then after they do that one thing ask them to call you. That’s the actionable first step.

Number five, leave them wanting more. How do you leave them wanting more? You do what’s called open loops. This is kind of a neural linguistic programming term. It’s nothing tricky. It’s nothing deceitful. What you do is, you start to give them information about a specific topic and then you just stop because you’re going to run out of time. How you do this is very simple.

You do something along these lines: “Today I’m covering in this Whiteboard Workshop the six things you need to know in order to make speaking engagements pay off. You can use these six things right now to make a big, big difference in your speaking but there’s probably seven or eight other things that you can do that will put an even finer edge on it, that will be advanced strategies, that will help you make even more money. This specific video is only a few minutes long. Can’t give you all that information in this short period of time, however, we have other videos here at Four Minute Fixation that will supplement this one. Be sure and check out the other videos or give me a call if you want more information. If I can I’ll give you some of this information at the end but you have to stay tuned after the credits.”

See what I just did there? I left you wanting more. I said there are six things. These will have an impact if you implement them. There’s some advanced strategies. Not going to be able to cover them today. You can call me if you want them. You don’t even have to say, “You can call me if you want them.” You can leave that part off. You can just say, “There are some more advanced strategies you can implement. You can watch some of the videos that we have on our website where there are just some advanced strategies you can implement,” and move on. Leave them wanting more.

Then, finally, make an offer. The offer I make at the end of each one of my talks when I speak to a live audience is I offer them a copy of one of my books as long as they hand me one of their business cards. Hand me a business card, I hand you a book. What does that do? It gives me their contact information and I follow up with them forever and ever afterwards. I send them a weekly email. I communicate with them when I have events so that I can invite them. That’s what I offer. You don’t have to write a book. You can do a free report. The report should be relevant to the topic on which you’re speaking. If you’re speaking about how to refurbish a car engine your topic should be Five Things Your Mechanic Won’t Tell You About Refurbishing Your Car Engine and Why You Need to Know Them Right Now. That’s the whole title.

You offer that report at the end of your talk. Say, “Now, I don’t have enough time, as I said, to cover everything but I do have a report available for you. Simply pass your business cards to the center aisle and each one of you will receive, in your email inbox, my free report, Five Things You Need to Know About Refurbishing a Car Engine but Your Mechanic Will Not Tell You. If you want that report, pass your cards to the center aisle right now. I will come down, pick those cards up. We’ll get that report to you right away.” Make the offer. Follow up forever. Twenty percent of the people who are on that list will do business with you at some point. If you get 100 business cards there are 20 clients in that room. Think about that for a minute. If you’re not doing this right now you may get one or two pieces of business from the people who remember you. Everybody else will forget about you.

These are the six steps you can follow right now to make speaking engagements pay for you in your business. Make speaking engagements pay off by following these six steps. I’m Dave Lorenzo. This is Four Minute Fixation. We look forward to seeing you again next time.

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