< (Previous Post) (Next Post) >

How’s Your Speaking Career Going?

I had the great pleasure of listening to the incomparable Lisa Nichols speak at the eWomen Network Conference in Dallas last month and she had a lot of practical suggestions for getting your message out with grace and impact.

Ms. Nichols, of course, is the author of the ground-breaking book, “The Secret,” and one of her many projects these days is to train people to become extraordinary public speakers. She noted during her talk that most speakers in North America today are making less than $50,000 a year, and very few ever get to the $100,000 a year mark. Her belief is that the number one thing that keeps speakers from growing is the fact that they think they’re already expert speakers. It takes a willingness to admit you have something more to learn to take you further in any career, and that’s especially so of public speaking.

Ms. Nichols identified four different types of speakers:

  1. The Informational Speaker – whose sole goal is to deliver information.
  2. The Motivational Speaker – someone who brings a lot of energy to a topical issue and delivers a ”battery jumpstart.”
  3. The Inspirational Speaker – someone who calls audience members to be better people, who takes us on a soulful journey.
  4. The Transformational Speaker – who will go to your darkest corner with you, ask you to say the things you don’t want to say and do the things you don’t want to do so you can be the person you always wanted to be. Their job is to take you to the edge of your box and expand your being.

Ms. Nichols advised people who want to pursue a speaking career to go up on stage as if you have: nothing to protect, nothing to defend, nothing to prove, and nothing to hide. Give your audience the gift of authenticity, she adds. If you want to move a room, you have to be exactly who you are and she says the distance between you and your customers is your language.

Marketing your speaking services

If you are marketing your speaking services, Ms. Nichols stressed how important it is to let your target audience know that you are the solution to their pain and the agent of creating joy in their lives. But you have to know those details first yourself, before you can ever communicate it and it’s important to spend some time assessing the results you provide before you start marketing yourself so you are crystal clear in your messaging.

A lot of what Lisa Nichols had to say is applicable to writers as well. Clarity is extremely important and knowing the results you provide is the first step in any marketing program.

As a writer who provides services to speakers I resonated with all of the information Lisa Nichols shared. She’s brilliant, powerful, entertaining and engaging and a tremendous resource for people who would like to make the world a better place.

If you would like more information on the speaker’s shell sheets I provide, I invite you to get in touch!


  • Excellent article. And you are soooooooo right about being crystal clear in your messaging. I only wish Ms. Nichols would have said more about how your message is never about yourself, but always, repeat always, about your audience – and what’s important to them.

    • Thank you, J.Brett Abbye and thank you for commenting. I completely agree with you — there is always more that we as business people can do to fine tune our efforts to communicate with our audiences. As you yourself have pointed out, generating leads and increasing sales is a function of effective messaging!

    • Thanks for commenting, Kimberly — I like to go back and re-read conference notes from time to time as well to remind myself of what I found so inspiring the first time around!

Leave a comment

< (Previous Post) (Next Post) >