Tag: Life of a professional speaker

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 04.30.10

I think the best way to learn is to learn from the mistakes of others so today’s post is about how I fucked up and how you can learn from that.

A while back I booked a airline ticket to Ukraine for a speech I was doing for the event organiser KA Group, a very professional events and conference organiser.

I was scheduled to speak between 4 pm and 5,30 so I booked a flight leaving 9 pm, but I was informed by the organisers that they would appreciate if I could also stay around for the VIP dinner that started at 7 pm. (I of course said yes, speakers being part of events like VIP dinners means a lot for an organiser and as a speaker we should do our best to be part of them.)

But attending the VIP dinner meant I had to change my flight which would leave later (11 pm) and that meant changing airlines from Turkish Airlines to Qatar Airways.

And here is where the screw up happened: I informed the client of my new DEPARTURE time, but I did not inform them about the new ARRIVAL time that changing airlines had triggered. (At the time I re-booked my flight I did not know that the client had planned to pick me up personally at the airport and when I was informed by it I assumed they understood that me changing airline meant I would fly in with Qatar Airways.

But the client assumed I would be flying in on Turkish Airlines and out on Qatar. That meant that when the Turkish Airlines flight landed in Kiev and I was not on the flight the client got worried. And when they could not find me on the passenger lists for the flight, or reach me on my phone (I was on the plane to Doha) they had no way of knowing where I was or if I was on my way to Kiev.

Finally they where able to reach my wife (!) – yes, the client is very creative in finding out information and they got informed that I was on the plane to Kiev – just via Doha and not via Istanbul…

A few hours later I landed and all was good.

But for a while the client did not know where I was, and that was wrong.

My inability to give full and clear information about my travel created unneeded stress for the client.

Learn from me and rather communicate too much than too little.

Share
Screen Shot 2018-10-24 at 23.54.38

I get that question sometimes: “So, you are a professional speaker? Your profession is just to go up and speak?”

For simplicity I often just reply: “Yes”.

But as a professional speaker who do between 50-100 speeches per year, who speak in 20-35 countries per year, who have written and published 10 books and delivered 2000+ speeches in 65+ countries over 20 years I sat down and did a quick little list of what I actually do.

Work scope of a Global Keynote Speaker:

Done by me:

SELL:

Sell speeches
Identify potential leads
Follow up on hot leads
Keep in contact with important clients
Organise CRM system and enter all contacts
Connect with clients and leads on social media

BOOKINGS:
Research clients
Do briefing calls
Write speech
Create powerpoint

BOOKS:
Do book research
Organise interviews
Write book
Edit book
Contact book designers
Contact printers, negotiate and order books
Identify and contact publishers
Find distribution for books

Sell books
Order shipments of books
Invoice books

SPEAKING:
Book travel (research and buy tickets, hotels etc)
Organise travel
Do the travel…

Do sound checks
Meet with clients
Attend conferences before and after speech

Deliver the speech

Collect contact info of people who come up before or after speech and connect with them after speech

SCR:

SCR Projects (Like Ideasisland.com)
Pro-bono work (organise and deliver)
Help and mentor other speakers

MARKETING:

Write blog posts
Post blog posts
Build community for blogs
Respond to social media posts from fans

Create videos, (shot and edit and post)
Social media post writing and posting

Facebook advertising campaigns
Facebook advertising evaluation

Do media interviews

Put together marketing collateral
Collect quotes, evaluations from clients etc

Collect mailing list and send out newsletter (and write them)

DEVELOPMENT:
Watch and learn from other speakers
Evaluate delivered speeches
Research and write new speeches
Read and Interview people for speech content
Write down good stories for speeches

FINANCE & ADMIN
Invoice
Follow up on payments
File receipts and other admin
Rely to emails
Manage calendar/book meetings etc
OUTSORCED
(Which means project managed by me:)

Visual Identity
Web hosting
Accounting
Financial reporting
Web development

OTHER
Business Development
IT support (install apss, do back ups, cloud services, domain buying etc etc)
Other projects (www.Innertheme.com, speaker coaching etc)

 

Some of these things of course take many, many hours per week. Some of the things take very little time. I am sure I forgot a whole lot of things.

So yes, as a speaker you “just go up on stage and speak”. But on the other hand you do quite a fair bit more.

I hope this quick summary can be of value for someone thinking of getting building a global speaking career.

ps. Oh, and I should add that for the last 4 years I have been on paternity leave for 4+ months per year while still speaking in 20-25 countries per year. And for most of my 20+ year speaking career I have had 0 staff working for me.

Share
Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 06.44.39

Since Thursday I have travelled:

Singapore-Doha-Manchester-Nottingham (by train) -SPEECH – Manchester (by train) – Doha – Singapore – Kuching (Malaysia) – SPEECH (and meet the Orangutans) – Kuala Lumpur – Hong Kong – Chicago – Peoria. (I am in Peoria to speak at a charity event.)

That means speaking after a 8 hour+ timezone travel on 3 separate (!) occasions in one week. (I traveled through 24 times zones in the last week.)

And let’s be clear: to have jetlag when speaking is a BAD thing. It’s called “PRESENTations” for a reason – you have to be PRESENT, and jetlag tends to make you think you are mentally somewhere else.

So, how to avoid jetlag when speaking?

1) Sleep as much as you can on flights. (I have spent 55 hours on airplanes in last 168 hours and I would say I have slept or rested most of those hours). Do not watch movies!

2) Move your body. I had 12,354 steps per day in the last 7 days. (Walk in the airport terminal, on train platform – any time you have free.)

3) Make sure you are tired when you board the flight. (I had a 12 hour lay-over in HK so I decided to stay up all night and just walk through out Hong Kong to change my body clock to USA time.)

Share