What a question! That’s like asking, “What elements do you need in order to live an incredible life?” That answer is manifold. This is why I do Presentation Power for four days, 10 hours a day, twice a year. There are a lot of components to creating a successful speaking business. If you really want to do so, come see me. I’d love to help.
For now, I can give you an outline that will help you get started.
I spend hours teaching on this topic alone because it is paramount to positioning and differentiating yourself in your marketplace. You need to have a mission that is beyond simply getting booked for speaking engagements, collecting checks, and becoming famous. Here’s why: people will get behind a cause before they get behind a person. For example, you may not know who Susan Komen is or her story, but her mission via her foundation has made us all familiar with pink ribbons in support of breast cancer awareness. The cause is bigger than any one person. Catch the message.
When I talk about my philanthropy, I believe that every student that desires and deserves to go to college should get the opportunity to do so. That’s my mission. Ironically, the number one reason students drop out of college is NOT because of academics but because of financial problems. They run out of money and can’t pay for school. So three times a year, two times at Presentation Powerand also on my birthday, I raise money for an organization called Project GRAD. They create scholarships for students who would not be anywhere near able to afford a college education. They start with kids in the eighth grade and get them thinking about being the first in their family to attend college. They not only get these kids to college, but through college. Once they graduate, they come back and help motivate future kids of the program about the prospects of college.
That is my mission and my BIG idea. Ask yourself what is your mission and your BIG idea.
What is your CORE Message? Again, this is another element in which we delve deeply at my event. This is the foundation of your speaking business.
What one sentence would describe your belief about the topic in which you teach? Mine is Points are Powerful, but Connection Is Key! I can teach for hours (or days) about why this is true, the benefits of connecting, how connecting changes your entire business, and how to connect with your audiences every time you speak.
This is called clarity. Once you develop that CORE Message, then all you have to do is create the programs that support it. Going back to my philanthropy example, if I were to declare that every student that desires and deserves to go to college should have that opportunity, the next logical step is to create a series of sequential programs to make that happen.
“Ways to talk to your child about college so it seems exciting, not boring.”
“How you prepare yourself for college even if no one in your family has attended.”
“How to ace the SAT’s and every other qualifying exam that will get you into college.”
From the Core Message comes my “toolkit for success.”
Your mantra is the statement that you and your followers will repeat over, and over, and over, and over again.
My CORE Message can be shortened to become my mantra: Connection is Key. I created this mantra specifically so people would know me as Jonathan Sprinkles, “Your Connection Coach.” Not a speech coach, not a vocal coach, not a presentation skills coach, but a Connection Coach. This title is my own “category” and it allows me the dexterity to have people shouting “Connection Is Key” in relationships, corporations, leadership meetings, association meetings, parenting conferences…you name it.
The Mantra is important because it serves as a short, repeatable snippet that your followers will carry with them and spread to others. Think about the civil rights movement—I Have a Dream. Nike—Just Do It. Or candidate Barack Obama in 2004—Yes We Can.
These are the foundational building blocks of your brand.