Speaking is an unfair advantage to position authority and connect with the audience. However, for most of the people speaking on stages one of your goals is to get high quality clients from the experience.
Getting the chance to take the stage is an honor and a thrill. I love speaking to an audience that is looking for answers to their pain. They want new perspectives, and they want to discover what has blocked them from their success. The speech is a catalyst to growth and new thinking.
And that speech is just the start.
When you give a speech, there is only so far that you can take the audience. You may have 3 minutes, or you might have 3 hours; either way, you give a speech to the audience that gets them to see a new perspective and there is always more they are craving. This is if you are giving them a speech that addresses either a pain they have or a path to a new future.
I only work with businesses and leaders in the B2B market. My clients speak on stages have more than just a speech to offer. Frankly, they are usually not even interested in speaking fees. My own experience and those of my clients have seen that the “back end” offer is more valuable than any upfront money an event is prepared to pay. When I say “back end” I mean the services that my clients offer to their clients. For some, it is consulting services and for others, it is programs like training or coaching. My point here is that the “back end” should be the primary focus if you want to use speaking to get clients.
Remember, the speech is just the start!
When you accept this, you have to create a message that compels the audience to take action. You must also delivery it in a way that makes them want to seek you out for more another conversation.
Let me share with you four principle elements of speaking that allows you to get clients with your next speech. It is the MAID formula. You will see that the key elements create the acronym M.A.I.D. Here we go:
The core message that you give to the audience plays a huge role in them hiring you after you get off the stage. Think about the speakers you have heard. You begin to ask to yourself “Do they understand me?” and “Can they help me?” If they don’t give a message that relates to you and is a top concern, you likely will be distracted in your seat. You will check your email and jot down other things to do. You will be checked out.
Your message gives the audience more than information. It exposes a GAP in their thinking. It fills that hole with a new perspective. If it fails to do either of these, they will never remember you or your message. And what I really mean is they won’t consider hiring you.
I gave a speech in Chicago to a group of 75 creative entrepreneurs. After giving my targeted message, I walked away from that speech with twenty business cards. I ended up getting four new clients within a week of the speech. The best part was one audience member remembered the speech a year later and looked me up. He has been a client of mine for nearly two years. When I look at the “back end” of the speech, just that one speech started more than $30,000 in revenue for my business. By the way, I didn’t get paid a speaking fee and had to pay my own travel expenses to that stage. It was a small investment with a big return.
When your message is great, it shatters old beliefs and gives them some thing new to believe in. And when your message is unique, they see the path that you offer as new and valuable.
If they have heard your message somewhere before, they will rarely be moved to action.
To craft the right message, you must know the audience. It is too common to assume that everyone needs your message because you know how valuable it is for them.
Have you heard the saying, “You can’t be all things to all people”? Well, the other part to that is that you can’t write a message (i.e., give a speech) that is for everyone. You have to know exactly who you are talking to. When I’m speaking to a new group, I will often interview a handful of people that will be attending the event. I will also research others that are in the same audience profile to discover how they think. I want to know what they really want. And I want to know what they have tried before. I want to discover what they believe to be true, but in reality, it is false.
Knowing your audience gives you a chance to craft a message that strikes right to their soul. It is not broad or full of vague references. It is precise and more like a rifle than a shot gun. In other words, knowing your audience is filled with your ideal client is essential to your success in getting new clients.
I know this is a message from “Captain Obvious.” However, you might be surprised at all the people that know who their ideal audience is….and yet they speak at places that my have one or two of those in attendance. To get clients from you speech, you want in the presence of those that know you have the experience to serve them. You have influence in that market. If you these beliefs are missing, you will struggle to get clients.
I had a client that spoke on five stages before he started getting clients from speaking. The main difference was the audience. Those first four speeches were not filled with the right people. His message was not aligned with where they were at that moment. The fifth stage was a game changer. He generated more than $50,000 in revenue when we spoke to the right audience.
If you have been speaking for a while, you have to wonder if you are filtering out the engagements that are not an ideal fit for your business.
This is the secret to getting the audience to take the next step with you. It is often completely omitted and if it is included it is done ineffectively.
When you look at the popular and famous speakers, you will never see the invitation. You don’t see it on TED talks. You don’t see it from the likes of Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King or Tony Robbins.
The reason you won’t see it from those speakers is they are not concerned with getting clients from that speech. The big speakers get there speaking fees. They have a strong influence with the market. They can be subtle and even omit anything that looks like an invitation.
The invitation is a moment in the speech that invites the audience to connect with you after the speech is over. It is clear and compelling. It gives them the permission to see you after you get off the stage. It is best with under 500 people in the audience, but it can work with some bigger audiences too.
Let me be clear here. This is not a PITCH. It is not an offer to buy your stuff in the back of the room. When done well, it is not considered salesy or slimy. It works with those speeches that don’t allow pitches.
I like to think it is a chance to connect with you after the speech to get their questions answered in a private conversation. I have been using some variation of the invitation for more than four years. I started out with a soft invitation. I tip-toed through it with hesitancy. Over time, I use the invitation as a way to separate those that are serious from those that are merely interested.
Check out this example of the invitation in a recent training I gave to clients. It is a word for word script of what I say during my speech. Well, it is close to the exact words. I don’t memorize my speech word for word. Listen to it to see how you can adopt it for your next speech.
Oh, yeah! Every time that I forget to include the invitation in a speech, there is a dramatic difference in the number of people that take the time to come up to me after the speech. I have learned that you have to invite them to the next step with you and don’t assume they know your next step. For me (and my clients), the next step is to get them into a conversation as it relates to the speech they just heard. It is a natural extension of a great speech to getting to know the ones that are serious.
When crafting your message, you can include the invitation just before the close of your speech. Don’t let it be the last words they hear. And if you must do a question and answer (Q&A) period, you should put the invitation after the Q&A and before the final words of your speech. Here is a free training on the invitation.