#1 Regret of Professional Speakers and How to Avoid It


#1 Regret of Professional Speakers and How to Avoid It

When I started out in my speaking journey, I wasn’t sure how to start getting paid to speak.

I had heard about the Professional Speakers Australia, or NSAA, as it was then, so I looked them up and attended an event. I continued to attend, and I met some amazing and accomplished people whom I have learnt so much from. Speakers who have been paid as a professional speaker for ten or twenty years and have achieved the designation of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP).

The one consistent thing they have said to me has been by way of advice and centred around their main regret.

The #1 regret that they have shared is:

“I wish I had more footage and photos.”

They mean video footage or photos speaking from the stage or in front of an audience. In other words, the body of evidence of your work. And of course, the marketing piece of being a speaker is key to leveraging future speaking gigs.

It’s great advice for a number of reasons. I mean, you might even be thinking, “Yes, I have a lot of photos of me on stage”, but the question is, “Do you have enough to satisfy history?” Nothing sells like proof. Video and photos are proof of you speaking; it’s a record of your creative, educational and intellectual property. Video footage cements a legacy of you, that future generations can learn from. In 30 or 300 years what will be remaining?

I recommend that if you want to create a legacy, start to document your speaking journey more. Let’s face it; it really is not difficult with the technology now. We can all do better here; I am taking steps to do so too.

Here are the 3 steps I recommend you take to create your legacy as a public speaker:

Step 1 – Voice record.

Your smartphone is able to capture this, alternatively, you can invest in an audio recorder. You can buy one online or at your local electronics store. This handy device can not only be used to record the speeches you deliver but also for you to practise your speeches, so you can listen to it and/or get feedback.

Step 2 – Video record.

Again your smartphone is able to do this but do invest in a tripod for when recording. This will give you live footage of you on stage that you can use. This footage can be repurposed into marketing material, your sizzle reel and content of value to share on social media. Give it a go.

Step 3 – Photos.

You need to have some great photos. You may be thinking “I can’t afford thousands of dollars for a photographer.”, and the good news is you don’t need to. With the internet now, you can hire someone for less than two hundred dollars to take enough professional photos for you to use to increase your brand influence. Or bring a colleague or friend to help you (or a fellow speaker and then you do the same for them). (Note: when asking someone else to take the photo, make sure you instruct them to include the audience!)

If there is one thing I have learnt from the legends in the professional speaking world, it is this:

It’s not about you – It’s about your audience! 

When you bring value, your audience wants more of you.

There is importance in documenting the evidence of your speaking efforts, in the early days and throughout your speaking and business career; invest in your legacy by doing more of this now.

Gary Vaynerchuk, the Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur (and my personal hero!), has someone following him around with a camera as he runs Vayner Media and does his speaking gigs around the world. Gary recommends that rather than put out content, we change our focus to ‘document, not create’. He inspires and encourages us to do this.

Write down ten things you could capture about your speaking journey. I’d love for you to share them with me!

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