We as speakers are always in the lookout for more speaking gigs… especially when one is just starting out, exploring the landscape. When people are looking for ways to establish themselves as highly sought after global speakers, in the shortest span of time.
Hence, when Amit Prakash did the masterclass on “Score, Speak, Reap and Repeat. Sales strategies to get more speaking gigs”, everyone was excited… and so was I. As Kiruba had advised in his pre-event post to connect with the speakers beforehand, I wrote to Amit excitedly, only to find him responding quickly and sounding equally excited.
Thanks to reaching the venue early (well, super early actually), I could meet him in a relaxed setting while others were still getting in. This helped create a quick casual bond between us. We chatted on everything from sales strategies, to childhood memories, to career choices, life in general etc. And we formed a pact that we will help each other in every way possible.
His masterclass was something completely different… generally, I have seen people conducting classes, where they become the teacher and the audience becomes the learner. However, Amit made sure to set the tone of the class, with his initial remarks about collaboration and interaction. As the class progressed, everyone was participating and sharing their wisdom. In fact a few times people were left feeling as if he was losing control over the class, but no. He actually let the class flow in its own direction making sure the learning remained fluid… control was not even needed. My learning from this approach is, sometimes it is best to let the class flow in its own direction, without controlling it… A great teacher knows when the learning is happening and how, and lets it just happen.
Some of my personal learnings from the session are as follows:
- Establish your speaking gigs like a business. When we put serious effort into something, results are bound to be seen. Hence, make this a formal business and not casual gigs.
- Find out your market, audience and topic. Everyone shouldn’t be doing everything. Concentrate on one thing and let that create your uniqueness.
- Work on your digital image. Whether you like it or not, we live in a digital era, and it’s important to have an impressive digital image. That’s your product packaging, have it looking impeccably neat and exciting.
- Create a system that works for you. It could be anything, how you reach to your audience, what are your key delivery models, how you respond to messages etc.
- Collaborate with others. I personally couldn’t agree more with Amit on this. Collaboration does help us a lot. Whether it’s the pact that Kiruba and Pravin had between them to scrutinize their speeches to get better, or teaming up with others to help you with what they are good at, in turn, you help them with what you are good at. One thing I did, based on this suggestion to reach out to each one of them I met during the summit and asking if I could help them anyway. Worked like a charm I must say.
- Increase visibility in the market. People only see what is in front of them. Hence, it’s only smart to be available in front of them, whichever way possible. Or even better, be in their mind. If you can hold yourself in someone’s mind space, that’s the best thing can be done.
- When you are stage, do indirect marketing about yourself, your books, your work and your speaking engagements.
- Remember to take feedback and testimonials. Off course, video testimonials work the best. Make sure to ask for the testimonials.
- Write a book – because before you write a book you are a commodity after you have written a book you become an authority.
Needless to say, It was a great decision to learn from Amit, and I am already putting a few of them to actions. What has been your biggest learning from the summit? Would love to hear from you.