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26 Rules to becoming a Successful


  • pg 1
									26 Rules to Becoming a
  Successful Speaker
             by William Davis

               BROUGHT TO YOU BY

      © Simply Speaking, Inc. 2008. All rights reserved.
Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................................................... 2
RULE # 1: LEARN FROM ECONOMICS..................................................................................................5
RULE # 2: BE KNOWLEDGEABLE AND PASSIONATE....................................................................... 7
RULE # 3: MAKE EVERYTHING SOUND NEW..................................................................................... 9
RULE # 4: OBSERVE AND LEARN FROM OTHERS .......................................................................... 11
RULE # 5: INVOLVE THE AUDIENCE................................................................................................... 12
RULE # 6: SHARE YOURSELF WITH THE AUDIENCE ..................................................................... 13
RULE # 7: TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE... DON'T MEMORIZE ........................................................14
RULE # 8: KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT........................................................................16
RULE # 9: STAY UPDATED ON YOUR TOPIC! .................................................................................... 17
RULE # 11: STRUCTURE, STRUCTURE, STRUCTURE..................................................................... 20
RULE # 12: ANALYZE YOUR AUDIENCE............................................................................................. 21
RULE # 13: GO OUT WITH A BANG....................................................................................................... 22
RULE # 14: START OFF STRONG ........................................................................................................... 24
RULE # 15: IT’S ALL IN THE DELIVERY..............................................................................................25
RULE # 16: DEMAND ATTENTION........................................................................................................ 27
RULE # 17: DEVELOP YOUR PRODUCTS ............................................................................................ 29
RULE # 18: SWITCH IT UP....................................................................................................................... 31
RULE # 19: TRANSCRIPTS = SUPPLEMENTS ..................................................................................... 33
RULE # 20: KEEP IT SIMPLE................................................................................................................... 34
RULE # 21: LET PEOPLE LISTEN TO YOU FOR FREE! ................................................................... 35
RULE # 22: MAGNETIZE THEM! ........................................................................................................... 36
RULE # 23: LISTEN TO THE MIDDLE MEN........................................................................................ 38
RULE # 24: BECOME A PERSON UP ON STAGE ................................................................................. 39
RULE # 25: GET THEM TO VISIT YOU................................................................................................. 41
RULE # 26: CREATE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND................................................................................ 44
       Communication is an essential part of living. People rely on communication
nearly every minute of every day. The interaction between people is what helps
build relationships, teaches and informs others, and brings emotion into our
everyday lives. So why then is it so hard to learn how to communicate at times? If
speaking one on one is no big deal, what makes public and guest speaking so
intimidating? It shouldn’t be, and that is the purpose of this book.

                              Although communication is apparent all the time in life,
                              people get paid tons of money to speak and communicate
                              to audiences. The idea of guest speaking is a mixture
                              between communication and teaching. Most of the time,
                              an audience will request a speaker who is knowledgeable
                              about a subject in order to teach a group about his/her
                              area of expertise. The didactic nature of public speaking
                              is what separates public speaking from private
                              conversations. Whether it be motivational, educational or
persuasive, giving a public speech is a lot harder than it sounds. From voice
intonation and word choice, to stance and delivery, there are so many different
elements that affect public speaking that are important to learn and practice them.

       People always ask me for tips on how to become a better speaker. I have
extensive experience in dealing with public speaking; both booking the events as
well as speaking at them. There are many secrets that I am going to share with you
which will help you excel as a public speaker. Some, you may have heard of
before; others may seem weird. Be assured that the pointers and tips that I have
laid out for you will be well received if properly executed.

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       People get paid to do all sorts of things: fly planes, operate on medical
patients, offer banking services and virtually any other thing you can think of.
Public speakers get paid… well… they get paid to talk. And if you like to talk, and
you think that you can either help or educate others, then public speaking is for
you! What better way to make a living than to be flown to exotic places, put up in
nice hotels, have your meals and entertainment paid for, and all they ask in return
is for an hour or two of your time while you teach an audience. Oh, I almost
forgot… on top of all of this, you get paid money!!!

       If this lifestyle suits the lifestyle you are pursuing, read on. Even if you do
not want to be flown all over the world and would like to speak locally or on a
smaller scale, these tips can help you out as well.

       I remember in college, I took a “Training of the Speaking Voice” class. It
was not required, but I always told myself that the more speaking experience I got,
the better. People learn how to add, subtract, write essays and study for tests, but
very few truly learn how to speak. I promised myself that at every opportunity I
could get, I would learn about public speaking.

       The class taught me so much about how to deliver a speech that I wanted to
learn more. So I enrolled the following semester in an “Introduction to Speech.”
This class taught me how to write and structure speeches in order to hit the
audience more effectively. It was wonderful and it wasn’t long before I was
applying the lessons I learned to my life in the real world. From small meetings
and engagements, to larger venues, the experience I gained in speaking has helped
me an incredible amount over the years.

       I have decided to include all of the lessons I learned in a comprehensive
guide to public speaking. This information is a combination of lessons learned

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both in the classroom and in the real world. From reading books to standing on
stage, I have encountered many different situations and will share the essential
advice with you. So read on to find out the 26 Rules to becoming a successful

       When many people decide to go into public speaking, they are more
concerned with how much they will get paid over how their speech is going to go.
You must decide what is the purpose of the speech you will be giving and how will
you go about accomplishing the purpose. Will your speech motivate your audience
or let them reflect on themselves? Will it educate them, entertain them, or both?
You need to focus on the purpose of your speech and pull through.

       I remember listening to a very successful business person talk about how he
made millions of dollars. He said that the thought of money or power never
entered his mind; he saw a way to help people out. He implemented a creative way
to help out the consumers and thus made millions of dollars. He did not come up
with his company with the intention of making so much money. The money came
after his idea of helping people was successful. Have the same approach. Don’t
try to book a speaking engagement for as much as possible. Try to find a way that
you can help people, and focus on that. Chances are, if you are good enough, the
engagements and the money will follow.

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Rule # 1: Learn From Economics
       One of the first rules of economics is that being a “jack of all trades” is not
preferred over being a “master of one.” Basically, what that means is that it is
better to specialize in one specific task than to know how to do a little of every
task. This fundamental rule is true about anything, and certainly in the world of

       You see, people want to sit down and listen to a pro talk about a specific
topic. They don’t want to have someone stand on stage and tell them about a
bunch of different categories and subjects that he knows little about.

       Many speakers get caught up in trying to cover as many bases as possible.
They are so eager to get speaking engagements and get out on stage that they try to
be an “expert” on many different topics. Well what happens then? Meeting
planners and event organizers deal with guest speakers all of the time. When a
speaker sounds too good to be true, chances are, he/she probably is and the
organizer is bound to not ask them to speak.

       Although it is wonderful to be well-versed in different categories, it is not
quite feasible that you can be an expert on more than two or three topics. As
previously mentioned, it is very important that you stay up to date with new
breakthroughs and information in your respective fields, and having more than
three topics will have you bogged down and not up-to-date with your speaking

       Another example is this: After a round of golf, your shoulder begins to hurt.
You figure it will subside after a few days, so you don’t go to a doctor. However, a
few weeks later, your shoulder is still bothering you! What do you do? Most
people would go to a shoulder doctor. Sure, most doctors know some things about

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all parts of the body, but I would feel much better going to someone who
specializes with the shoulder. Chances are he has more experience and knowledge
and will be able to treat me better than a general doctor. Same applies with

       So as tempting as it may sound, do not get sucked into believing that the
more topics you take on, the more engagements you will receive. In fact, the
opposite might be true. Do your thing and do it well. Take a few topics (one is
enough really) and specialize in that field. Know everything there is to know about
that topic. Read books, surf the web, and talk to other professionals in the topic
area to get as much knowledge as you possibly can. You will notice that not only
will it help the actual speeches themselves, but you will see your own speaking
engagements increase.

       Keep in mind that you can not specialize in something there is no market for.
As much as I love and am well read in hunting for African Sea Turtles in the
winter, not many people are going to want to listen to me speak about it, no matter
how knowledgeable I am.

       So choose something with a market and something that you know a lot
about. Be an expert, specialize and get out there and speak!

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Rule # 2: Be Knowledgeable and Passionate
       So now you have identified areas that you believe you can help people, but
you need to narrow it down to one. The best advice to have at this point is to
choose something you are knowledgeable and passionate about. These two
ingredients are essential to cooking up the perfect speech. Everyone in the
audience wants to be reassured that the person talking up on stage knows what they
are talking about. Whatever you choose, make sure that you are well educated and
experienced on that topic. The last thing you want is for someone to ask you a
question regarding your topic that you do not have any idea about. This can
certainly hurt your credibility and may have people leaving very annoyed that you
didn’t know what you were talking about

       In addition, be passionate about what you are speaking of. Sure, people like
knowledgeable authorities giving speeches and sharing insight, but if it is done in a
boring manner, you will be listening to your audience snoring throughout the
duration of your speech! There are many different ways to keep your audience
excited about the topic. Some people love to be energetic and jump up and down
to keep people interested. Others use comedy and impressions to accomplish the
same goal.

       Regardless of what you implement, be sure you are passionate about what
your speech topic. Whether or not you believe it, the audience is able to tell how
passionate you are by watching you. Find something that you are passionate about.
An audience can tell when a person is truly interested and passionate about a topic.
There is no faking the excitement one shows when talking about something he
enjoys, so choose something that arouses passion and interest in you. If you look
like you are really into the topic and care about, the effect will rub off on the

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audience. If you seem to be apathetic and don’t care about the subject matter, you
will find your audience slowly drifting off and your speech will be a disaster.

       Not only will speaking about something you enjoy make you look better, but
you will also enjoy the experience more. So keep this in mind when you are
planning and executing a speech. Be knowledgeable and be passionate about your
topics. This could be the step that makes or breaks you. If you truly enjoy talking
about your topic, you will not even consider it work and you will be getting paid to
do something you love...isn't that the goal!?!

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Rule # 3: Make Everything Sound New
       I am one of those kinds of people that try to draw lessons from all different
parts of life. This one I actually learned while talking to a friend of mine. He was
in the sales business, and was one of the best salesman in his division. I never
remembered him being a great people’s person, so I asked him once how he was
able to do it. This is what he told me: “Make everything sound brand new.”

                                    What this means is simple. If you are making the
                                    same sales pitch over and over and over again, it
                                    may seem boring to you. You probably have the
                                    whole routine memorized and are just going through
                                    the steps as you would any other time. W hat most
                                    people forget is that although this may be the
                                    hundredth time you are delivering the sales pitch,
                                    this is only the first time the customer is hearing it.
                                    Therefore, if you sound disinterested in what you
are saying, the customer can hear it in your voice and he will not be excited about
what you have to offer. And why should he be? If you are not excited about what
you are saying, there is no reason why the customer should be interested either!

       Therefore, it is important that you make everything sound new all the time.
Even if it is the millionth time you are giving the same speech, pretend and act like
it is the first. You will notice that your audience will give you their attention and
that you will even be more excited in what you have to say.

       The most popular and recurring advice that people have for speakers (and
mostly everything nowadays) is practice, practice, practice. And although I do
stand by this advice, I believe that practice can also help you if you don’t know
what you are doing. For example, I have been to many speakers where it is

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obvious that they practice. Their whole speech sounds rehearsed and being recited.
It is boring, it is monotonous, and the crowd becomes disinterested.

       Compare that to a speaker who looks as though everything he is saying is
brand new and unrehearsed. Everyone knows he has practiced giving his speech,
but the voice intonation and word usage suggests that this is not rehearsed or being
read from cue cards. The audience will become more engaged and you will see
better feedback as a result of your practices. Always remember that you should
practice often, but pretend like every time is your first time speaking.

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Rule # 4: Observe and Learn From Others
       When I was a little kid, I loved basketball. I used to play it all day and all
night. I had myself convinced that I was going to be a high-flying NBA star…so
what did I do? I watched as much basketball as I could. I watched the best players
I could and tried to learn from them. Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan
all taught me things I could do in order to make myself as a basketball player
better. This applies in any part of life.

       You want to become a good speaker? Watch the best speakers in action and
observe how they perform. Observe their diction, voice intonation, use of pauses
and humor, eye-contact, stance, movement of arms, pacing around the stage,
introduction, conclusion, what they are wearing… anything at all. Any detail or bit
of information you can get on good speakers will undoubtedly help you. Those
guys are the best for a reason, and if you can integrate some of their successful
patterns and behaviors into your speech, you will be surprised how improved you
will become.

       The same thing goes for speakers you do not like. Notice small things that
bad speakers do in order to avoid them during your speech. Fiddling, saying “um,”
or not maintaining proper posture are great examples of things NOT to do. So pay
close attention to speakers you both like and do not like. Remember, there are
things to be learned from everybody, so be sure to use others to help you realize
how you want to deliver your message.

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Rule # 5: Involve the Audience
       Have you noticed that in today’s world, a lot of the new products and
services focus around customization? Everything from tennis shoes and clothing,
to cell phone ringers focuses on people customizing their products for themselves.
Try integrating customization into your speech. Obviously, if you are giving a
speech to hundreds of people you can not customize it to each person in the
audience. However, getting personal and involving the audience will keep
everyone entertained and involved in what you are saying.

       When you incorporate someone into your speech, others will take notice of
the fact that you are trying to involve others and not just preach. Those that know
the person asked to participate will become more interested and pay attention
closer. This is a great way to bump up participation if you notice that you might be
losing the crowd.

       The idea of Q&A originally came from the idea that by involving the
audience and addressing concerns, the speaker would not only clarify his message,
but also increase his credibility with the audience. Although nearly all speakers
use Q&A today, they do not realize what it is really meant for. So when you
initialize our Q&A session, remember what it is there for and be sure to use it to
make connections with your audience. Do not feel limited to this one opportunity
to engage your audience. Be creative with different ways throughout your speech
in order to get to know your audience better and make them feel as though they are
getting to know you as well.

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Rule # 6: Share Yourself with the Audience
       It is one thing when people get on stage, act really smart and knowledgeable,
talk, and then leave. People might listen or take note of what you had to say, but
no connection was made with the audience. Today’s world likes to encourage
connections with people and relationship building. Therefore, it is imperative that
you try to engage the audience as much as possible. Try to get personal with the
audience. Talk about your life experiences, offering insight into funny stories or
major events that helped shape your life. Talk to the crowd as if you were talking
to a friend or close relative. Let them know about how you felt and what you
thought as you were going through your experiences.

       Sharing as much personal information with your audience as possible will
show the audience that you value relationships and will get them to respond much
stronger to your speech. If the audience feels like they know you after you are
done, they will enjoy the experience much more. Eye contact is another great way
to establish a rapport with your audience. Especially in a smaller crowd,
establishing eye contact could be one of the most important things in public
speaking. It is a great way to keep your audience excited and interested in what
you have to say and will also help build a sense of personal connection throughout
the speech.

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Rule # 7: Talk To Your Audience... Don't Memorize
       I remember in college I had to give a speech. The speech could have been
about anything, as long as there was a lesson to be learned at the end of it. It was
not a major grade or speech; just a five minute address and I chose to speak about
World War II and the lessons that could be learned from it. I practiced and I
practiced. I had the whole thing down pat; memorized like the back of my hand. I
got up in front of the class, introduced myself…and then I went blank, completely
blank. The class stared at me for a while, and I waited about 5-10 seconds, and
then I realized that there was no way I was going to remember my shtick.

                                         So I just began talking. I remembered the
                                         underlying points I wanted to make, but I talked
                                         about the topic as if I was explaining it to my
                                         family at the dinner table. In my head I thought
                                         the speech was a disaster, but my teacher
                                         pointed me out and said that it was the best
                                         speech of the day.

                                         She told the class I was the best because of two
                                         reasons. A) She could tell that the speech was
                                         not memorized and I was truly speaking and not
remembering something rehearsed (refer to Rule #3) and B) She could tell I
practiced a lot. I did not get hung up or forget the subject matter, and I sounded as
if this was the first time I had ever talked about it. She said this was the perfect
combination and gave me an A.

       I am not sharing this story with you to brag, but to make a point. The two
most important things in engaging an audience is practice (making sure you
understand the concepts and points you want to make) and novelty (making

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everything sound brand new and exciting). One without the other will not get you
positive feedback, but if you learn how to master these two, you will be on your
way to success in no time.

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Rule # 8: Know What You’re Talking About
        When a person sits in an audience and watches someone on stage talk
extensively about a topic, it is natural for him to assume that the speaker is an
expert on the topic of discussion. Once Q&A rolls around, the members in the
audience will rely on you to provide interesting and accurate information while
answering their questions. You do not want to disappoint your audience and say
that you do not know the answer to their question, but you also do not want to flat
out lie and make up an answer. It is for this reason that when choosing a topic, you
must select one that you are knowledgeable about. When I say knowledgeable, I
do not mean that you have read a book or two about it. You must qualify yourself
to your audience as an expert on the topic. Experience and education are the best
ways to acquire this expertise. For example, if you have spent years working in
coal mines or have studied geology extensively, that qualifies you to be a speaker
on coal mining, but may not qualify you to speak about the environmental effects
of coal burning on the atmosphere.

       If for any reason you do not know the answer to a question that is directed to
you by an audience member, be completely forthright in telling them that you do
not know. However, keep in mind that the more you say “I don’t know,” the less
credibility you will have. So go into your engagements as knowledgeable as
possible. You do not want everyone leaving the speech thinking that you have
limited knowledge about the subject you selected.

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Rule # 9: Stay Updated on Your Topic!
       Many speakers are very knowledgeable about the subject matter. But in
today’s world, it takes a lot more than previous experience and education.
Everything changes so fast today, things that were news yesterday are old history
today. You must stay up to date on the new information, knowledge, and trends in
whatever subject you are speaking. In basically every field, technology and new
techniques are being constantly implemented. If you are giving a speech in such a
field where vast improvements have been made that you are unaware of, your
audience may write you off as a “has been” who is not quite up with the times. It
is very important that you stay up to date, both with your knowledge of the
information as well as the experience of its implementation.

       Think of it this way: would you ever want to get up and listen to a computer
programmer talk about the internet and its capabilities if he hasn't been keeping up
with the industry for the past 5 years? The internet has changed so much over the
past 5 years that information that was topical a few years ago is now archaic and
obsolete. Although this might be a drastic example, the lesson holds true. Stay
well informed of new breakthroughs and news in your field so that you are as
knowledgeable and credible as possible heading into your speech.

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Rule # 10: Identify Your Goal and Build Your Speech Around
       If you ask most speakers what their goal is, they will give you the wrong
answer: They will tell you about their speech topic. And although the speech topic
is obviously very important, that does not define the GOAL of the speech. Every
speech has a goal in mind. The goal may be to educate, to persuade, to motivate,
or countless other possibilities. You need to know what is the goal of your speech
so you can better understand how to tackle the engagement.

       If your goal is to educate, than you need to structure your speech in an
educational manner (this will be discussed in detail later). If your goal is to make
money…well then you have a long way to go! Speaking for money or recognition
is always wonderful, but if that is the purpose of speaking, or working in any field
for that manner, then I am afraid you are doing it for the wrong reason.

       I once saw a very wealthy man who made all of his money in the technology
sector in the late 1990s speak. When he was talking about how he made all of his
money, he said that he made it by not wanting it. He said that he never started up
his computer business in order to become a millionaire, or billionaire for that
matter. He started it up because he thought of a way he could help people. By
providing a product that would improve the lives of his customers, he would reach
his goal of helping people. He ended up helping others with his new product, and
they ended up helping him a lot with the fortune he earned. The point is this: if
you focus too much on giving speeches for the sole purpose of making money, you
will not be happy or make as much money.

       The audience must feel as though you want to be there. Even more so, you
should WANT to be there helping those in your audience. Nearly all speeches deal
with problem solving. The problem is presented by the audience, and then left up

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to the speaker to solve it for the audience. If you are able to help the audience
members by solving or helping them solve the problems identified in the speech,
then you will make them happy. And I assure you, once you scratch their backs
and help them solve their problems, they will be scratching your back and you will
begin to see results.

       One of the first things you do when designing and building your speeches’
structure will be to define a goal. The goal will determine how you will approach
your audience, and what different tactics you can use to reach your audience. For
example, you may want to use a lot of rhetorical devices (parallel structure,
allusion, alliteration) if your speech’s goal is to persuade. If your speech’s goal is
to educate and inform, you must use terminology that your crowd will understand
so you do not lose them. Use the goal of the speech as a springboard and use it to
develop a speech that your audience will love

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Rule # 11: Structure, Structure, Structure
       Structure is everything when you are giving a speech. You want to come up
with an arrangement that will have a strong impact on your audience. What is the
best structure? There isn’t one. There are different approaches whether your
speech is meant to motivate or persuade, but you must analyze your audience to
find out what approach would be the best.

       A tip that works well is: Say what you are going to say, say it, then say what
you just said. You want your audience to walk away remembering and easily
identifying the topic and purpose of your speech. You therefore need to repeat
your main points and purpose multiple times for emphasis. Now you don’t need to
get on stage and say “This is what I’m going to talk about.” Be creative. Start off
with a question, a personal story or anecdote, a fun fact, anything! Be sure to
structure your speech in a way that goes through peaks and valleys. You do not
want a speech that hits the point early and then gets really boring after, or one that
takes forever to get to the interesting part that you lose your audience to boredom.
Pacing and structure need to be used to make sure that you keep your audience
involved constantly.

       I wish there was a way for me to tell you what the “perfect structure” is, but
unfortunately in varies from speech to speech. The best way to get a feel for what
structure is best for your speech is to watch others give speeches on similar topics.
Take note of how they introduce their subject matter and the various transitions
they use to change subtopics during their speeches.

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Rule # 12: Analyze Your Audience
       This was the first lesson I learned before I even gave my first speech. You
must analyze your audience before you even begin to plan your speech’s approach.
Determine who are you going to talk to. Everything must be taken into account:
age, sex, race, religion, socioeconomic class, everything! Think of it this way, You
do not want to put together a speech dealing with state-of-the-art technology and
use complex acronyms and words when speaking to mostly elderly audience
members. You need to make your speech fit your audience. Just because you have
given the same speech dozens of times does not mean that you can give the same
speech every time.

       Before I ever give a speech, I sit down and write out who my audience is
going to be. Using all the categories listed above, and any other ones I can think
of, I try to write down every characteristic that most people in my audience will
have. Once I have an idea of who my audience is going to be, I then begin to write
down different things that may interest or excite the audience.

       By using the audience as the foundation from which to build my speech
upon, it provides versatility in how to approach the engagement. I am sure to use
the proper nomenclature depending on which generation I’m speaking to and take
into account any noticeable characteristic to help me connect with my audience.
This way, even when I’m giving the same speech over and over again, it is always
different depending on who is in my audience. This distinguishes the great
speakers from the good. If you are able to adapt YOUR speech based on your
audience, you will have mastered one of the great secrets of public speaking.

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Rule # 13: Go Out With a Bang
       I love music. I have played the guitar for many years now and love listening
to virtually all kinds of music. Since I am such a music fan, I go to concerts quite
often. And since I am well experienced in public speaking, I always try to find
similarities between going to a concert and going to a speaker, and the similarities
are astounding! Think about it; whether you go to a concert or a speaker, you are
being entertained, and you are listening to the message of the people on stage. The
artist or speaker has a clear message, and it is up to them to deliver that to you in a
manner that suits you.

                       The idea of pacing through both concerts and speeches are also
                       very evident. Before a band gets on stage, they discuss what
                       songs they will be performing in order. The order of the song
                       selection is very important to the band as it helps set the tone
                       for the evening. The band uses the song selection and tone to
                       help deliver the band’s message to the audience. Notice how
                       similar the two are. A speaker must determine (based on his
                       audience) the tone and approach he must take in order to keep
                       everyone entertained and interested in the message the speaker
is delivering.

       The number one similarity I notice between the two are the endings. Most
concerts I have been to involve going out with a bang. Huge explosions,
pyrotechnics, or a crowd-favorite song is always used to “keep the audience
wanting more.” There are studies that show that if you go to a mediocre concert,
but the ending is great, that people will leave the concert remembering it as
wonderful. The last part of the experience will be what people remember, so make

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sure that you end with a bang. Once again, this can be achieved in different way,
depending on what kind of speech you are giving.

       The use of humor is one of the most popular ways to end a speech. Keep in
mind that if you rely on humor, you must make sure that what you say is funny…
you don’t want to end your speech on a corny line that leaves your whole audience
wondering why they even came. Stories or a summary of the lessons is a good
idea as well. The idea of your conclusion should be to tie the message of your
speech to the points you made, and teach your audience how to apply your
message to their lives. Any creative and interesting way that you can accomplish
this will leave your audience wanting more, and happy that they heard you speak.

       A lot of people say that the first impression matters the most. Although this
is true in some respects, in public speaking it is the last impression that matters
most. Remember this when planning out your speech. Ending the speech on a
strong note will provide you with the bang at the end that could send you over the
top. Keeping your audience wanting more will augment your speech and will have
your audience leaving with a sweet taste in their mouths.

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Rule # 14: Start Off Strong
       Most people form an opinion whether or not they like someone within the
first 60 seconds of meeting them. The same goes for their opinion when listening
to someone on stage. The first few minutes are a very important part of your
speech. They will determine whether your audience is enthralled in what you are
saying, or whether you will lose their attention for the duration of your speech. So
be sure that you come up with a way to impress your audience early and often to
make sure that they stay focused.

       I have seen virtually every single kind of opening from speakers. I have
seen some get up and jump around in excitement when they first get on stage while
others enter the stage very slowly and begin their speech with a story or riddle.
Jumping around and acting exciting is not necessarily the best way to start a
speech. Once again, depending on your audience, your beginning needs to match
the people you are speaking to. I have seen some very basic introductions that start
with a personal story be much more powerful and effective than someone getting
on stage and pretending to be excited. So think of your speeches’ goal and
audience, and come up with a way to connect with them strongly and quickly. The
faster you connect with them, the easier you will find it to get up and help them
(which is your purpose).

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Rule # 15: It’s All in the Delivery
       Have you ever heard a comedian tell a really funny joke, and you couldn’t
stop laughing? Then you get home, and you tell your family or friends about the
joke, and they don’t think it’s funny at all. You feel a little stupid, so you say “I
guess its one of those things that you just had to be there for.” I know you have…
in fact, everyone probably has! What makes the comedian so funny, and makes
you look stupid when you tell your friends? It is all in the delivery.

       Comedians really are public speakers. They get in front of an audience with
the goal of pure entertainment. Some comedians have messages, but for the most
part, they are there to keep their audience distracted from their own lives and
laughing throughout. So in essence, comedians might be some of the best public
speakers out there. So let’s learn from comedians to help us in our speaking lives

       Comedians use delivery better than anyone. The delivery of a joke could
mean the difference between a house favorite and a complete and utter flop. The
same is true with speaking. If you have a great message, but do not know how to
convey it to the audience, you could end up boring everyone, or even worse,
offending and alienating your audience. It is vital that you use your audience
analysis to come up with delivery techniques for your speeches.

       I previously stated that you shouldn’t memorize your speech and should just
talk about your subject matter. Delivery, however, is important to memorize. Keep
track of the way you introduce and talk about material, and your audience’s
reactions to it. The successful deliveries should remain part of your “act” and the
ones that don’t seem to connect with the audience should be thrown out for new
ones. This is why people say experience is so important. The more you have, the

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more you know what deliveries do and do not work. And since delivery is one of
the most important parts about giving a speech, experience means everything!

                                       Comedians are known for performing the same
                                       shtick night-in and night-out. Yet if you were to
                                       watch the good comedians do a show, you would
                                       hardly realize that the act is rehearsed. That is
                                       because they act as though their jokes are being
                                       said for the first time. The delivery of a good
                                       comedian is a hard thing to replicate. The way
                                       they get to be so good is through practice and
experience. So practice your delivery often, and make it sound new every time
you say it. It could mean the difference between being a crowd favorite or a crowd
bust. Knowing your material in and out will help you adjust and change your
delivery until you find what works best with you. Once you nail down your
delivery and keep it exciting all the time, you will be on your way to becoming a
great public speaker.

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Rule # 16: Demand Attention
          As a guest speaker, it is easy for you to assume that everyone has come to
listen to you. You will be granted their undivided attention and they will listen to
every word you have to say, right? Well, not really. In fact, if you want attention,
you will have to take it.

          Even if the attendees at your engagement go voluntarily, it is easy to be
distracted from the speech and lose interest in what you are saying. Do not let this
happen to you. You must take attention and keep it throughout the speech.
Otherwise you will be on stage thinking everyone is enjoying your talk when in
reality you are the only one paying attention to what you are saying. There are
some great ways to keep people involved in your speech. The following
paragraphs include popular ways to make sure that people are paying attention to
what you have to say.

          The first way to keep people involved is to keep people involved. Call on
audience members to come on stage, help out, or ask questions while in their seats.
Any way to connect with your audience will be a wonderful way to keep them and
others in the audience locked in and paying attention to you.

          Stay animated while giving your speech. I can not tell you how many times
I have seen people give speeches where they seem so excited at the beginning, and
slowly turn into a monotonous and boring act. Keep in mind that if you do not
look and sound interested in what you are talking about, no one will be interested

          Stay relevant in what your subject matter is. Sometimes people veer way off
topic in order to explain something that really isn’t that important of a part in their

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speech. Stay on topic and only go into deep detail for topics that need to be
explained in order to progress your speech.

       My parents taught me that attention is very hard to keep and very easy to
lose. Therefore, it is extremely important that you do everything possible in order
to keep all eyes on you. Once you lose the attention of a crowd, it is very hard to
get it back and may result in negative audience reactions. If you are giving a
speech and begin to see the audience drifting on you, try to change gears quickly
and get everyone involved again. Taking a five minute detour in order to tell a
quick story or joke to get everyone excited again can be worth it and might even
save your speech. So do not think that just because you are the keynote speaker
that you deserve attention. The minute you think like that will be the minute you
start losing attention. Audience attention is something that needs to be seized, so
get on stage and demand that the audience listens to what you have to say!

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Rule # 17: Develop Your Products
       Going back to the concert analogy, there is a lot more to a speech than the
speech itself. Think back to the most recent musical concert you have been to.
Chances are that in addition to the concert ticket, the band sold shirts, mugs,
bumper stickers, hats, water bottles, and anything else it could stick its label on and
sell for nearly pure profit. The same is true with speaking.

       Look at a speaking engagement as getting your foot in the door. Whether or
not you are speaking for money or not doesn’t matter, that isn’t where the money is
made. The money in public speaking is in selling other products before and after
the speech. From speech notes, CDs, instructional movies, consultation
appointments, and many other different forms of packets and supplements, you can
make thousands of dollars from the sales of these products.

                               Sell them for reasonable prices. You do not want people
                               to think that your products are rip-offs. The great thing
                               about most of these products is that theycost next to
                               nothing to produce, so once you put the time in to make
                               them, the rest is pure profit. CDs can be bought and
                               burned for pennies, and if you sell a recorded CD of
                               your speech or tips that pertain to your speech for $10,
                               that is $9.99 in pure profit from each one you sell. Sell
                               15 in one night, and that is basically $150 in one night
from CDs alone! Remember that the money to be made is not in the engagement
itself but on the selling of various products.

       Of course, be sure to run this by event planners to make sure that they will
allow you to sell your products. Most times, they will not have a problem with it,

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but it is best to make sure that they are fine with it before hand so you avoid any
testy situations.

       The great thing about having your own products to sell is that you have them
forever. Once you write up speech notes, all it takes to sell them is to open up your
word processor and click “Print.” Keeping your product library new and updated
may seem a bit tedious, but it is very important. You do not want people buying
material with old information or techniques on it. Some people might even be
discouraged to buy something when they see copyright dates that are more than a
few years old.

       So look at your product catalog as an investment. It may take a while to
develop the individual components, but once they start selling, they will soon be
sure sources on income for many years to come. One important point to make
though is not to have too large of a product library. Having too many products to
sell may confuse the audience which might lead them to not buying anything.
Offer a variety of products, but be sure that the newly added ones you are offering
are not cannibalizing the current offers you have.

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Rule # 18: Switch It Up
       Who wants to get sit down for two hours and listen to a boring speech?
Most likely nobody, and that is why you must learn how to switch it up in order to
keep your audience into what you are saying.

       The first way to do this is to outline your speech at the beginning. Talk
about 3 or 4 major points that you will be addressing during your speech. That
way, when you get to each point and identify it, the audience will already have had
a mini-introduction into the topic and will know exactly where the speech is
heading. This will increase the audience’s attention in what you have to say.

       Use the stage to your advantage. A speaker standing at the podium for hours
does not seem like the most exciting thing in the world, but a speaker that uses
movement across the stage to hit his audience is a lot more exciting. By “working
the stage,” you provide constant movement and require others to pay attention to
where you are going, and what you are saying. Don’t go overboard and run all
over the place...remember that giving a speech could take a while and you don't
want to get tired in the first 10 minutes!

       The last and most effective way to change gears throughout your speech is
through your voice. Remember in grade school when your parents or teachers
would read books to you? They would often use volume, pitch, speed and tone
while reading the books in order to keep you entertained and excited about the
story. Just because you are grown up does not mean things have changed. In fact,
the more animated you are on stage, the more likely your audience is to listen to
you. Identify what areas of your speech require you to speak slower or softer, and
play around with ways to use the pacing of the speech to your advantage.

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       Remember, the more you use it, the less effective it will be. That means if
you get up and scream all speech, no one will notice (they might notice the fact
that you are insane). The changing of the pitch, tone and speed of your voice is
important, so be sure to switch it up often and when necessary.

       The more experience you gain in public speaking, the easier it will be to
recognize when you need to pick up the pace or slow down. The use of speed,
volume and tone during your speech could be the factor that keeps people involved
and leaves them enjoying what you have to say. In the early stages before you are
able to identify when to change gears, try to be as animated as possible. It is better
to be considered too animated about your subject than to appear bored and
monotonous. The more experience you gain speaking, the easier the shifts will
come to you. So switch it up often in order to keep the audience’s eyes and ears on
you and improve your credibility with the crowd.

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Rule # 19: Transcripts = Supplements
       Do you ever watch primetime news magazine programs or talk shows? Well
I am not sure if you noticed at all, but at the end of the program there is a number
that appears that people call if they want to order transcripts of the program. Most
people think the idea of ordering a transcript of the program is foolish when you
can just record it or order a tape of the recording from the station. However, some
people learn better through reading. They would rather sit down and read the
transcript than listen or watch a television program. The same is true with

       I previously mentioned ways you can develop your speaking products to
help enhance your services (and your compensation). One of the newest and most
popular ways of accomplishing both goals is through the selling of transcripts. By
either recording your speech and typing it up at a later date, or hiring someone to
transcript your speech into a document that night, you can sell the transcript of
your lecture to anyone who is interested. Although the initial investment may be
expensive or time-consuming, once you have the transcript, there is no other cost
other than the paper and printing.

       That is basically pure profit from the sales of transcripts. Most people do
not believe that people will spend money on transcripts, but most transcripts sell
for between $30-$50 a piece! Sell 10 transcripts in one night and that is between
$300-$500 cash!!! Be sure to copyright all documents as you do not want anyone
to steal your ideas. Using transcripts as a supplement to your lecture as well as
speaking fees and product sales is a great way to earn additional income while
helping out your audience.

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Rule # 20: Keep it Simple
       As a speaker, you should be very knowledgeable about what you are
speaking about. But knowledge alone does not guarantee that everyone will
understand what you are saying. Remember those teachers that you knew were
brilliant but they just could not relay the lesson if their lives depended on it? Same
thing applies to you.

       You need to remember that most of the time the audience will not be experts
in the topic. In fact, that is why they are in the audience and you are up on the
podium. You need to “dumb down” the lecture topic to a form that is easier to
understand for them. I have seen many well educated and knowledgeable lecturers
bog down the crowd with complex diagrams, flow charts and graphs that leave the
audience more confused when they leave than when they walked in.

       So keep it simple. In graphs and diagrams, keep information to a minimum.
Only include data or information that you will be talking about that affect the
lecture or message. Once again, you must analyze your audience to determine how
knowledgeable they are which will let you know what you need to include and
exclude (funny how everything always boils down to one lesson…analyze the
audience). If you can find a way to make your material easily understandable, you
will notice the attention and audience response to be much improved.

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Rule # 21: Let People Listen to You for Free!
       Is it just me, or is all this new audio craze just taking over the world? I feel
like I can’t go anywhere without seeing someone sporting the latest mp3 or other
portable audio player. Everywhere I look, I can’t seem to get away from those
white earphones adorning the ears of people young and old. Musicians are using
the internet and boom in the portable audio market in order to further their careers
and improve their recognition. The smart speakers are doing the same.

       Think of this, by making previous speeches of yours available for download
online, they can easily be downloaded and put on computers, CDs, and portable
media devices. People who are interested in speaking services will be able to get a
first-hand account of what your speeches are like. Downloading “you in action”
will give better insight into what kind of speaker you are.

       Using the internet to help gain recognition and a fan-base could put you over
the top. Event organizers are concerned about one thing. When they hire a
speaker, they want everyone in the audience to enjoy it. They want people coming
up to them after the speech telling them how good of a job they did hiring the
speaker. So put your personality out there. Let the planner know that if they hire
you, they will not regret it. Make it easy for them to hear your speech’s topics,
message and delivery. This is a great and cheap way to increase your accessibility
and recognition.

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Rule # 22: Magnetize Them!
       Do you know where the most viewed place in a residence is? I will give you
once clue, it is not the television. If you guessed the refrigerator, you are
absolutely correct. Think about it, at least three times a day (a lot more at my
place) people go to the refrigerator to get things to cook or eat. Various other
times, people just look into the fridge to check if there is anything good to eat (my
favorite is when people look multiple times hoping to see something new
mysteriously pop up). If advertisement is based on how many people will see your
ad, then why not use the refrigerator as a place to advertise your services?

       People always look at the magnets on their fridge. Whether or not people
realize it, the names and numbers on the magnet will find their way into their
heads. The best way to get the magnets in the audience’s hands and onto their
fridge is through goody baskets.

       Goody baskets are used for basically anything. Ask the event organizer if
they are planning on making baskets that will be put on every seat in the house. If
not, ask if you can either make one to place on the seats or hand out before and
after the speech. That is the best way to get the items in the audience’s hands.

       Once they are in their hands, you need to convince the audience to put them
on their fridge. This can be done through creativity. Come up with a funny slogan
or saying that you know your audience will enjoy. Many people like to put
magnets with cute or funny sayings on their fridge. That way, when their friends
come over, they can look at the magnet and have a good laugh. If you can provide
a large enough incentive for your audience to take the magnets, put them on the
fridge and keep them there, you will be getting months and months of advertising.

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       Don’t underestimate the value of such a simple idea. Chances are, even if its
months down the road, when someone or some organization needs a good guest
speaker, your name is right there on the fridge (and in their heads too!). If your
slogan is clever enough, people will associate the slogan with you and remember
you in a good light.

       I am always trying to look for ways to get free advertisement. After all, in
this world anyone thinks they can get up and speak in public. As a public speaker,
one of the biggest assets you have going for yourself is your reputation. A great
way to build and maintain this reputation is through perception. You must make
people perceive you as being the best, and a great way to do that is for you to
appear being the best.

       Clever slogans or funny phrases that can be put on a refrigerator and seen
daily is a great way for you to build credibility long after you have stepped down
from the podium. Always remember, just because something is cheap does not
mean it is ineffective. In fact, most of the really expensive advertising is not as
effective as you think. Cheap and effective is the best way to make sure that you
increase your reputation without decreasing the weight of your wallet too much!

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Rule # 23: Listen to the Middle Men
       There was a study that was done a few years back that said no matter who
your audience was, about 6-8% will not like you no matter what you do. The
reason for this is because people will automatically associate you with something
or someone that they do not like. Conversely, the same amount of people will
automatically like you because you may remind them of someone or something
that they do like.

       This is a very important lesson to learn as a speaker. This may not be the
most important tip to becoming a successful speaker, but it is an important thing to
keep in mind. There will always be some people that either love or hate you
depending on how you look and act. You can not worry about these people since
you have no control over who you are. Their feedback is completely useless to you
as well.

       The real way to find out how good you really are and how many people
really enjoy you is to find the 84-88% of people who are indifferent to you when
you first walk on stage. These people are the ones that will gauge your
performance objectively and will provide insight on what you did right and wrong
during your speech.

       Do not get caught up on people that dislike you. Take criticism
constructively and not defensively. If you use the criticism from those that are
indifferent and change your routine to accommodate them, you will find that over
time you will slowly grow to be liked by a vast majority of your audience.

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Rule # 24: Become a Person Up on Stage
       Previously, I told you about how making a connection with the audience is
important. Remember, when you are on stage talking about whatever it is you are
knowledgeable about, people don’t always see a person. They may see a teacher,
lecturer, or even someone that they think is trying to change their opinion (which
sometimes you are).

       Remind people of what you are. You are a person just like them. Let them
know that you have a family and friends and hobbies just like everyone else. The
more of you that you share with your audience, the better received you will be by
them. There are many ways to accomplish this.

                                       How many times have you been over at a family
                                       member’s or friend’s house and they want to show
                                       you pictures. Showing and sharing pictures is a
                                       great way to gain insight into how someone ticks.
                                       By looking at pictures, you will find out who the
                                       person is close with, what he enjoys doing, and
                                       various other information about him. So do this
                                       with your audience so they know who you are.

                                       Inviting each audience member on stage one by
one to look at your pictures can be a bit time consuming. I recommend printing
out pictures and putting them on every seat before the show. You can either use
captions or decide not to. I have found that if you use captions people are going to
read it before you want them to. If you exclude captions, you will be able to walk
the crowd through the pictures one by one so they will go on the journey with you.

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       Other great ways to share pictures with your audience is through a projector.
Whether it be an old projector with slides in it or a new one hooked up to a
computer with PowerPoint, this is a great way to pace the pictures. This way, the
crowd will not see the pictures until you want them to, and you will be able to talk
them through the pictures.

       In addition, this is a great way to keep the audiences attention. With
handouts, many times the audience will read or look down at the handouts and lose
focus of your speech. By having a large projector screen on stage which the
audience can look at, they are constantly looking up toward you and the chances of
you keeping their attention greatly improve.

       I have even seen people put brief videos of family and friends on screen to
provide a little insight into their lives before they delve deeply into their speech
topic. Once again, the most important thing for you to do is to analyze exactly
who you will be speaking to, and whether or not sharing of personal information
will have an effect on how you are received. The more you look like an average
human being that people can get along with, the better you will be received and
hopefully the louder the ovation when you are done.

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Rule # 25: Get Them to Visit You
       There is a famous saying that claims the hardest part of selling something to
someone is getting them to come in the first place. Once they are there, you can
sell them anything they need, but if they never come, no amount of salesmanship
or convincing will get them to purchase anything. If you are selling books after a
speech, try your best to convince people before and during your speech that they
should come by the table after. The reason for coming on by could be anything.

       I have found that humor always works best in these situations. Tell others
during the speech that you will be selling books after. Tell them all payments are
taken, including cash, credit card, checks or their least-favorite child. Anything
like that will entertain your audience and should convince them to stop by, even if
just to meet you after the speech.

       Another great way to do this is to offer or show something at the sales table
after the show. You can place personal pictures, diagrams relating to your lecture
or small token giveaways at the table for people to stop on by and see or take home
with them. Once they are at the table, you can talk to them and sell them any
books, tapes or other materials that you think they may need.

       People like to be treated special. They love believing that others are willing
to do nice things for them. In return, they are subject to remember the person
fondly and do nice things for them in the future. A great example is the following:
I attended a speaking event where the speaker sold various books, CDs, and other
materials after he was done with his speech. I went to talk to him at the back of the
room where he had the sales table set up and we got into a conversation about
public speaking. Meanwhile, others were purchasing his various products.

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       There was this one person who was beginning to read the speaker’s authored
book. He was obviously interested in the content, so the speaker told him that the
price was $20. The man quickly told the speaker that he did not have any means of
which to pay for the book now. The speaker than told the man to take the book
home, and if he enjoyed it, to send him the $20 via mail. The man seemed shocked
at such a kind act, and promised to send the $20 promptly.

       I asked the speaker if he did that often, and he told me more often than I
might think. The speaker claimed that most every time he did it, not only did he
receive the money in the mail soon thereafter, but he would get nice notes and
cards thanking him for his understanding and generosity.

       This is what you as a speaker must understand in order to be truly
successful. Public speaking is not a hobby, it is a business. Part of the business is
convincing people that you are one of them, and truly care about them. By
showing understanding and compassion, you will see how nicely others will treat
you in the future. I am sure that some people never sent any payments, but the
benefits of those that did send back far outweigh the negatives of those who did

       Chances are those that you are kind to will remember you for years to come,
and in the event that anyone they know needs a good speaker, you are at the top of
their list. So by risking the cost of production of one book or CD or any product of
yours for the reward of being paid in the future PLUS any kind words or possible
future speaking engagements is a risk most people should be willing to take.

       Not only will that one person be appreciative of the kind act, but maybe he
will tell others or others in line will hear you be understanding. The rub off effects
of such an event could be huge to you in the future as you attempt to increase your

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fan-base. Obviously, don’t do this too often or for everyone or you will soon find
yourself in the red.

       So get people to your table by all means possible. Do a raffle, offer bonuses
if they stop by, or integrate your speech into a post-speech table next to your sales
table. Any way in which you can increase the sales of your products will have a
direct impact on the thickness of your wallet, not to mention that you will be
helping others and they will be rewarding you well into the future.

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Rule # 26: Create Your Personal Brand
       In business school, they teach that differentiation is one of the best ways to
gain a competitive advantage over others who are seeking the same jobs as you.
One of the best ways to differentiate yourself in the world of speaking is through
branding. Branding, a simple concept, is the idea that by building your name and
goodwill, you will be able to demand higher fees and increase your booking

       There are three things you must do in order to brand yourself and set
yourself apart from the competition. The first is to be outrageous. Think of
Muhammad Ali. Before he was even competing at the top he proclaimed “I am the
greatest of all time.” He would taunt his opponents and boast at every chance, at it
set him apart from everyone else. Granted, he went to achieve some unbelievable
feats, but he is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time.

       Another lesson I have learned in life is that in order to be successful you
must surround yourself with the best people possible. That is another great way to
promote your career. Once again, Muhammad Ali had a posse that used to travel
with him that he called GOAT. It stood for “greatest of all time.” Although I know
it is not common practice for speakers to have posses follow them around, be sure
to always surround yourself with smart individuals. If you are giving a speech on
bio-genetics, talk and keep in touch with some of the forefront minds in this field.
Being able to mention that you work with the greatest and most knowledgeable
people in the field will qualify you fast as a wonderful resource.

       The last step is simple to say, but hard to do. Promote, promote, promote.
Going back to the boxing example, Don King has made hundreds of millions of
dollars by doing nothing but promoting. If you can find a way to be enthusiastic

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and promote yourself well, you will be reaping the benefits from your hard work
for years and years.

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