You’ve come a long way. All 15 challenging steps lie behind you:
You smile now the way you did when you were a kid. You are passionate about the content you share with your audience. Enthusiasm flows through your veins. You make people laugh. You surprise the audience with your quotations and anecdotes. You have sharpened your rhetorical weapons. You skip all the boring stuff and get to the point. You spice up your speech with everyday objects. You support your message with meaningful body language. Your voice has turned into a sensitive beast. You look deeply into all those eyes peering up from down below. You take those Rottweilers by the leash with your first sentence. You touch people’s emotions by opening yourself up more than you ever have before, and you impress the audience with your abundance of self-confidence! [From The Seven Minute Star]
You have diligently trained your public speaking skills. Time has come to go out there and step into the limelight.
This is a difficult moment for any future professional speaker. Nobody knows you. You have no brand name. No clients. No testimonials.
Nobody hires you because you have no track record. You cannot build a track record because you don’t get any client.
How do you break out of this vicious circle?
The answer is trivial: for free.
In a first step you use your network of contacts to obtain first “jobs” which you kindly offer for free. For example, you could
- perform a wedding speech;
- give the keynote speech at the American Society’s Thanksgiving dinner;
- or present an artist at an art opening.
You need these reality checks. I experienced my baptism of fire when I presented the Austrian artist Ferdinand Stock at his art opening in Barcelona in 2008.
It was the private preview of an exhibition in the lobby of a 5-star-hotel by the old harbor. The ceiling was quite high, maybe 50 feet, and the height and length of the room turned any raised voice into a vibrating echo, which is hardly a good situation for giving a speech. So I went straight to the manager to ask for the microphone, but he gave me this incredulous look and said, “Sir, out of respect to our other hotel guests, you cannot use a microphone. I am very sorry.” Great! So it was me and my voice against a huge hall producing a giant echo, and 100 serious art lovers, among them José Carreras, the operatic tenor. [From The Seven Minute Star]
When you step out of your comfort zone into the line of fire, you have to be aware of one thing: Your test audiences already consider you a professional speaker. So this is what you have to look like, act like, be like.
Good news is, you can start from zero here. You don’t need to copy any style. You have your own style. It is your own style which differentiates you from others.
Now – you have trained your public speaking skills and you have gone out there to be baptised with fire. You are all set to start your professional speaker’s career!
In the next step you will learn why it is so important to Set Up Your Seminar.