Speaking Tips: Does Knowledge Trump Experience?

Speaking Tips for Consultants

Speaking is a great way to diversify your income as a consultant. You get paid to deliver the talk, but you also get a great opportunity to land more consulting clients as a result.

Experience is great, but that’s not why you get hired as a speaker. You get hired because people see you as an expert and authority.

Some consultants believe they can’t be a speaker because they don’t have enough ‘experience’.

They assume that as a “speaker” you need to have some prior speaking experience.

That’s false.

Experience is great, but that’s not why you get hired as a speaker. You get hired because people see you as an expert and authority.

And most importantly because they believe that you can deliver a valuable presentation to their audience on a specific topic.

In the last 3 months I’ve attended 4 conferences (ticket costs: $2500+). One thing that I’m continually disappointed by is the quality of many ‘professional speakers’.¬†

These are people that have a lot of experience. Many have built big businesses and now tour the country (and many the world) earning $10,000+ per talk. Yet they don’t deliver great value.

These speakers are the top 10% of the market.

They are the exception and not the rule.

I’m sharing this with you because there is a big opportunity here. You don’t need a great deal of experience to get speaking opportunities.

Instead you need to position yourself as an expert. Once you do that, you’ll find that people start contacting you for their events and conferences.

Question: If you don’t have a great deal of experience in the speaking industry, how can you get noticed and hired to speak?

Answer: You position yourself as an authority.

Question: How do you do that?

Answer: You create materials that showcase your intellectual property and knowledge.

This can be in the form of articles, reports, white papers, podcasts, interviews, a book, webinars, and blog posts to name a few.

“But Michael, how do I do all this?” you ask…

As Nike says: “Just Do It”

There’s no magic formula here my friends.

If you want to raise your authority status so that people start noticing you more, you need to create intellectual property that positions you as an expert.

While everyone else is wasting time trying to figure out how to ‘get more experience’ and delaying getting speaking gigs, you can start building your credibility and expert status.

Don’t delay.

After all, if you want to be a speaker and have something to say, say it.

  • Becky

    I had this hesitation for such a long time. I’m happy to read this. Thanks.

  • Hans Brunila

    That’s true, Wayne Dywer said in his book “reach the stars”, I read this book in Swdedish “sikta mot stj√§rnorna”.

  • Dennis Miller

    Michael, displaying oneself as an authority truly works, combined with a passion for the topic. Once upon a time, I thought no one would ever pay me to speak – boy was I wrong. Thanks for your valuable insights.

    • Dennis – appreciate the comment and note. Glad to hear speaking as worked out for you!

  • David Crenshaw

    Good info here. I think a lot of your “expertise” in the community can be achieved through becoming a content curator too. That’s why social media is such an important component.

    • Thanks for the comment and welcome to the community here David!