August 21, 2019

What the speaking business is not

what the speaking business is not - David Newman

Yesterday I was sitting on the beach sipping fruity drinks (we’ve escaped to an undisclosed location in Ocean City, NJ) and thinking about how many people don’t truly understand the “speaking” business. 

Folks think speaking = keynotes.

And keynotes = speaking. 

Totally untrue. 

A speaking business is one where you share your ideas using the spoken word. 

  • When you run a seminar, you’re speaking. 
  • When you lead a workshop, you’re speaking. 
  • When you’re in the boardroom addressing top executives, you’re speaking.
  • When you’re coaching an executive team over Skype or Zoom, you guessed it – you’re speaking. 
  • When you run a webinar, you’re speaking. 
  • When you facilitate a CEO roundtable, you’re speaking. 

We call this a “Speaking Plus” business model. 

Speaking plus coaching, consulting, training, seminars, facilitation, webinars, live streams, video, retreats, CEO or executive masterminds, online courses… these are ALL driven by an underlying speaking strategy. 

Now granted, in the “bad old days” of the National Speakers Association, keynoters were definitely perceived as the alpha dogs – they were the queens and kings of the hill. 

EVERYONE wanted to be the big star in front of thousands of people on the big stage. 

Among trainers and workshop leaders, there was even a thing called “keynote envy” – can you believe it? 

These days, the shoe is on the other foot. 

Buyers want depth, interactivity, and experiential programs. 

There’s a name for that – TRAINING. 

They want onstage real-time application of concepts. 

That’s called COACHING or onstage consulting. 

And they want follow-up services to extend the value of the speech and go from ideas to implementation. 

As you may know, I qualified for the NSA Million Dollar Speakers Group in 2017. 

Once I got in behind closed doors, here was the thing: We have 126 members. 

Fewer than 10 of them have a pure motivational speakers keynote model. 

The other 116 have an enterprise model where they are the CEO of a speaking, training, coaching, consulting, or licensing company. Oh, and they also do the occasional keynote. 

Stop holding yourself back with “keynote envy” and let’s dial in your business model, speaking model, and revenue model. 

David Newman runs Do It! Marketing, a 10-person marketing and training firm dedicated to helping experts speak more profitably. David is also the founder of the Speaker Profit Formula mentoring program. Get David’s free on-demand training for speakers here.

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