DreamNation Episode 176 – Blair Nichols: Grow Your Business Through Speaking

“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.”

– John Ford

If you want to deliver a message to a large group of people, perhaps the best way to convey it is to speak genuinely about it. But what do you do if you get tongue-tied? How do you become an effective speaker in front of a large audience and choose the best stage for it?

The most helpful thing you can do right now is to listen to Blair Nichols in this episode to learn how you can grow your business through speaking engagements. The Stages for Advance Your Reach’s director oversees the Stage Agency, connects entrepreneurs and business owners with stages that will grow their business, and manages its community of meeting planners.

As a manager, coach, and consultant he enjoys helping diverse individuals and socially-driven companies foster new strategies for operations, communications, business development, and partnerships across all appropriate areas to develop and enhance their bottom line and brand.

Here’s what you missed:

Speaking your passion

  • “Cause I feel like most of the time I’m the Clark Kent and a lot of my clients get to be Superman and I just help them soar.” (02:25)
  • “There are a lot of people in the industry, a lot of people have a lot of passionate opinions and it’s kind of like keeping up with your favorite team” (04:38)

The freedom to go to places

  • “You never know, even if it doesn’t mean that you, your health is going to be affected, you are in a sense your freedom could be affected.” (05:27)
  • “…making sure that you go after everything you want right now because we don’t know what tomorrow brings” (06:22)
  • “…taking advantage of the time that we have and the freedom that we have to get to those places is really important” (07:06)

Perks of traveling for kids

  • “…but when I went to Barcelona, it was. The coolest place I’d ever been. The people were amazing. The food was amazing… in one in fun-loving kind of culture that I think just really left a big mark on me and a place that I’d love to get back to.” (08:31)
  • “…you kind of are walking down the main street and it ends at the beach. So it just got a lot of cool stuff going on, a lot of beautiful art and architecture.” (09:12)
  • “Anytime. I get an opportunity to travel with my kids, create memories with my kids. Like you have to do it now because we never know what tomorrow looks like.” (10:08)
  • “We want to create memories and give our kids, our younger brothers and sisters, whoever and opportunity that, that we never had.” (11:09)

The Business of Speaking

  • “…we could do this for our authors and we could book them paid engagements, but it wasn’t really about making the money off the engagement so much as it being another opportunity to sell books” (12:53)
  • “…it was really kind of the extension of the publicity.” (13:08)
  • “We also had to start getting creative and with our bigger authors start finding them other opportunities to speak and being the ones to go out proactively” (13:37)
  • “…from a point of view of it being authors that had kind of established their expertise and their credibility. Um, and, and that’s where I got started.” (14:01)
  • ” All these different channels, all these different ways to build your platform that might you might do in a reverse, you might be such a successful speaker, or just be so comfortable out there. Speaking that you end up writing a book ” (14:37)
  • “… publishing world has evolved and the speaking world has evolved and really how much things have changed in the last year. ” (15:14)

When do you need a speaking agent?

  • “A lot of times you’re really not going to get their attention unless you are already generating a lot of demand for your speaking.” (17:03)
  • “And we’ve got this team of agents behind a second now pitch you more proactively to our clients.” (17:31)
  • “So something you have to keep in mind is that you have to be a good fit for who they serve now in different agencies and different bureaus might cater to different types of organizations.” (17:50)
  • ” we’re just going to be one of many that might get proposed for any given opportunity.” (19:00)
  • “…all of these paid in-person engagements. Isn’t really what is the best business for all of these speakers, but also even for those agents” (19:52)
  • “You know, we’re like a marketing agency or a PR agency that just has our monthly fee and you have a dedicated person. That’s just pitching you,” (20:22)
  • “as long as it’s the right fit to help you get your message out there that’s going to help you grow your business” (20:46)

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Focus on your signature talk

  • “…you really do want to have a focus on what is your signature talk ” (23:02)
  • “You should be providing valuable content. You should be sharing stories and connecting emotionally, but you should have that one signature talk…And if you’ve got a great signature talk, it’s going to apply to all different types of audiences.” (23:20)
  • “…whatever you’re talking about should be able to be kind of broad in a way, but specific in a waywhatever you’re talking about should be able to be kind of broad in a way, but specific in a way” (23:49)
  • “They’re looking for the expert on that topic.” (24:18)

Having the scale to still connect to your audience

  • “They could have been making triple, quadruple that because they were in front of these huge audiences and they didn’t take the opportunity to continue to engage them.” (25:11)
  • “…they want to have an impact, but you know, because it’s a transaction, they’re paid, they speak, they leave. They don’t really know how to continue that relationship” (25:22)
  • “So if you’re driven by making an impact, you want to have that scale.” (25:00)
  • “it’s an expensive hobby if you’re not really maximizing every stage and, and having that scale behind you.” (26:03)
  • “…when you’re forced to slow down and you realize you’re not in front of an audience anymore, then it’s, it’s going to be a big impact to your business.” (27:29)

Is there still a space to speak?

  • “…now everyone can be a speaker with their own YouTube page and get their marketing out there” (29:07)
  • “So that space is so crowded. If you really, if your goal is to be motivational, you just got to think about the, all the different ways that, that. That, that can actually achieve that goal.” (29:13)
  • “but getting in front of those people as much as possible is really where that motivation comes from.” (29:42)
  • “…but if you’re just waiting on those opportunities to come to you and you’re just, you know, only relying on, you know, a one-time talk to achieve what you want to do. You’re going to find that you’re not getting as much demand as, as you had hoped” (29:57)

A podcast is your stage

  • “… it’s essential because they are abundant, but the audience is even bigger than the amount of podcasts that are out there.” (31:07)
  • “It’s not saturated yet. In fact, it’s still growing and it’s still, people are relistening to podcasts, which tells you something, you know, that tells you that they’ve got an appetite for more content. So there’s an abundant amount of opportunities for these to get on your stages.” (31:26)
  • ” And with a podcast, you get the opportunity to hone your story, hone your talking points” (31:53)
  • “So I think podcasts are just great experience, but also then you get this reach” (32:17)
  • ” But podcasts were the things that we were really able to build a base on and every speaker can build their base on sharing their story and having a conversation with someone because you’re, you have no idea how many people you might impact, not just in a one-time setting, but over time again and again and again, who might be listening even years down the road from this.” (33:35)
  • “…but podcasts and gives the opportunity to really build a deep connection. Why is because when people are driving, like it’s hard to watch a YouTube channel.” (34:24)

Go Deep and Do It

  • ” You have an opportunity right now to be in a sensor early adopter, but you just have to figure out where your tribe is because shows are going to get bigger.” (35:24)
  • “So I’d say, you know, journaling and writing and accumulating content, you know, as early as you can (37:02)
  • “…they’re drawing this amazing content and bringing to life, these stories that, you know, it’s hard to read and go back and recap your entire life. But when you’re in the moment, the more that you’re doing it, I think the more it’s going to serve you in the future.” (38:05)
  • “I like to always tell people that speaking begets gets more speaking.” (38:57)
  • “Go out there and volunteer and you’ll see, you know, what comes from it and the abundance that it will create for you in the future.” (39:52)

Quotes and Advice from our host and guest

  • “We want to create memories and give our kids, our younger brothers and sisters, whoever and opportunity that, that we never had” – Casanova, (11:09)
  • “Having something that what’s the next step, because you can’t leave people empty. And that’s what people always want to know.” – Casanova, (26:13)
  • “…we’re all accumulating wisdom as, as we grow in our careers and in our lives.” – Blair, (36:40)
  • “…but when you’re in the moment, the more that you’re doing it, I think the more it’s going to serve you in the future” – Blair, (38:14)
  • Speak for free as often as you can, because you don’t know who’s in the audience” – Blair (39:25)
  • “…the world is a stage and you are able to share your message and help someone and pact someone with your knowledge, whatever it may be.” – Blair, (39:39)

 

Books, Mentions and Links:

Blair Nichols

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