Grant Baldwin | 5 Simple Steps to Profit from Speaking

Grant Baldwin  4:03  

Yeah. So I was very interested in speaking I wanted to pursue speaking but had no idea where to begin. And it just kind of like whenever you’re, you know, you’re chasing this dream, and you’re like I have, I had the sense of like, I can do this. I know it’s going to take work, and I know it’s going to take effort, but by golly, I’m gonna figure it out. And so. So yeah, that very first gig that I did was the first I’d done some speaking before that I had been a youth pastor, I worked at a local church, I’d worked for an organization doing some school assemblies, but this this particular gig was the very first, you know, like, paid gig that I had done on my own first, like legit thing when I was when I was making this hard as a speaker. And so I booked this gig, it was a local, local as in like a two or three hours away from me. I drove up there, I just practice, practice practice for the days leading up to that. And I get up I speak spoke for about 45 minutes for about 300 people. And it went great, got a standing ovation and the whole time I’m just like, Man, this is it. Like I want to do this. This is amazing. And so Afterwards, I stick around and talk about audience and got a lot of great feedback. The event planner gave me a check. I knew what the amount of the check was, but so it was a little surreal to be holding a check for $1,000 is what they paid me for that very first gig. So it just goes great. And I go to the car in the parking lot and like honestly, candidly, like just broke down into tears. Like I just, I couldn’t believe that they paid me $1,000 to do that, like that was so much fun and so rewarding and so fulfilling and like, I want to do more of this. And so for the next for the past 13 years or so that’s been my world is in the speaking industry is is speaking myself and then also doing a lot of teaching others I found, I found that there’s a lot of people who are in the same boat that I was in in the beginning where I was passionate about speaking I want to do more speaking, and one of the lines we use a lot is like I felt like I had the potential but I needed the plan had the potential but I needed the plan. I knew I was good at speaking I knew I want to do more speaking no idea what to do from there. There’s a lot of people who are in that spot and some people who want to speak full time. Some people would love to speak, you know, five or 10 times a year but have no idea how do you find those gigs? or How much do you charge? And so that’s, that’s what the books about that’s the genesis of the book is teaching people the ins and outs of how to find them book paid speaking gigs.

John Corcoran  6:14  

I want to start with a little bit of an aside, for anyone who’s listening to this and thinking man, standing in front of hundreds of people is my worst nightmare. Because, you know, you hear surveys and people say that speaking is one of the People’s biggest fears. So, you know, just addressing that concern for people, what do you say to people who, maybe they’re curious about it, but they do have that fear? And I know there are some great speakers who also they they managed somehow to suppress that fear or to cope with it.

Grant Baldwin  6:45  

Yeah, I think there’s kind of two sides of it. So like you mentioned, there’s some people who are just, they’re definitely terrified of speaking. They’re just not interested in speaking. They’ve already clicked off of this episode right now. My wife would be in that category. She absolutely is terrified of speaking hates the con stepped up and turn just like I don’t know how you stand up there and do that honey like I have zero desire to ever do that. Right? So there’s absolutely those people. There’s other people who say, Okay, I’m interested in speaking, I like speaking but man I get I get some butterflies swirling. And I would I would say to that is that, that I think oftentimes those butterflies can be confused with excitement, meaning that sometimes we feel like we feel that nervous energy. But oftentimes, that’s the body’s way of responding that what you’re getting ready to do matters. So think about other like high stakes events that have happened in your life, you know, when your kids were born, or whenever you were applying for a big journey and a big job interview or whenever you propose to your spouse, like those moments where you probably felt similar, like you felt the butterflies swirling, and it’s not because you thought anything negative was going to happen. You You were just really, really excited. And that’s the way that the body was responding. And so how do you deal with that though? How do you minimize that? What I would recommend one of the things we talked about inside the book is the one The best things you can do is to really prepare is really practice is to really rehearse to really go over your material and make sure that you are ready. The best speakers on the planet don’t just hop up on stage and just wing it and like I’m going to scribble a couple thoughts on a napkin and I hope it just magically works out like it just doesn’t work like that. Yeah.

John Corcoran  8:16  

Like that’s kind of people’s defense mechanism. Sometimes, like They’re so afraid of it that they think they can kind of ignore it, and it’ll it’ll make it easier or something.

Grant Baldwin  8:25  

Yeah, I like i don’t think i don’t think that works. Like. Again, the like a way to think about this is, you know, if we think back to, you know, high school or college university days, and you remember taking like a test or a quiz or anything along those lines, and you have one or two approaches to it. One is like I’m not going to study it all. I’m just going to show up and wing it and hope it works out. You probably go into it feeling a little nervous because like i don’t i haven’t studied I don’t know any of this stuff. I’m most likely going to bomb versus going in feeling like I’ve studied I’ve prepared I’ve worked and now you show up you walk in just like your your shoulders back. Your head held high, like I’m ready, like use my test as the answer key because I’m so confident that I know what I’m doing. And I think that’s kind of the difference. There’s it. Yeah, you’re still nervous, but like, are you going with a different level of confidence. So the same thing is true of speaking. You know, the best speakers in the world that looks like what they’re doing is just kind of like making it up off the cuff. And they’re just kind of, you know, shooting from the hip. And the reality is, is like they’ve spent hours and hours and hours and hours behind the scenes, practicing preparing, getting ready for that moment, so that they feel a lot more comfortable. They feel sure they may have some butterflies with their a lot at least more confident going into the presentation.

John Corcoran  9:34  

Right now you organize the book, it’s really helpful the way that you break it down. There’s five concrete steps. Let’s dive into the first one. It’s selecting a problem to solve. Go ahead.

Grant Baldwin  9:46  

Yeah, so we walk through, like you mentioned there, what we call the the speaker success roadmap that makes the acronym speak SP a K. So the S is selecting a problem to solve. So first of all, getting really really clear on two things. Number one, who is it that you speak to one of the mistakes that a lot of speakers make is we just like we like speaking speaking is fine. We want to speak to whoever and anyone and, and whatever about and anyone about whatever. And so when someone would ask, you know, like, who do you speak to? And we’re like, well, I, you know, I speak to humans, I speak to people, I speak to everybody, my message is for everyone. It’s like, that just doesn’t work. So the other side of the equation is what is the problem that you solve for that audience? What do you speak about? And so some people again, would say, like, you know, what I speak about, what do you want me to speak about? I can speak about anything. It’s like, No, you can’t that doesn’t work that way. So one of the most important foundational pieces as a speaker is to getting incredibly clear about solving one specific problem for one specific audience. And so, John, we were even talking just kind of catching up a little bit beforehand. And both of us do that in our businesses, right. So for you, you solve one specific problem for one in terms of podcasting for lead gen for a very specific type of business versus saying, we do podcasting and we do events and we do blogging, and we do YouTube and we teach Pinterest, and we teach all these things, and we’re We’re for everybody. But we’re for nobody at the same time. As a really, you just you don’t want to be positioned that way. One of the things we talked about in the book is that you want to be the Steakhouse and not the buffet, be the Steakhouse not the buffet. What we mean by that is, John, if you and I were gonna go grab a steak, somewhere, we have a choice, like we could go to a buffet or steak is one of 100 different things you could get, and they’re all mediocre. Or you could go to a steak house where they do one thing, and they do that really, really well. And so they don’t do tacos, they don’t do lasagna, they don’t do pizza, they do steak. And that’s it. And because of that, they’re really, really good at that. They’re known for that, and they can charge a premium for that. So that’s what you want to do. You don’t want to fall into the buffet category where it’s like, I speak about anything and everything to everybody and nobody gonna say I saw this, this specific problem for this specific audience, you get that part, right. And it actually becomes much simpler everything else in the process there. So that’s the first step of the process is to select a problem to solve. And is it okay, you know, I see a lot of speakers that have a couple of set talks. You know, so maybe the industry’s this name or the audience is going to be the same. But they have, you know, more than one talk. Is that how you developed? Is that what you recommend? Or if you’re starting out, just have one particular talk and turn away any opportunities that aren’t a good fit for it? Yeah. So what you can do there is you can, one way to think about this is kind of almost like Lego blocks, right? So let’s say let’s imagine you’ve got 20, Lego blocks on a block is going to be a story, a case study, an example,

a stat, an analogy, a point of theory, a concept, whatever, maybe right? You have all these everything. And you can kind of piece them together in different ways depending on who it is that you talk to what it is that you’re the audience that you’d be speaking to. So let’s say for example, you are going to be speaking to you you’re speaking on the topic of customer service, via you know, via email or something right, some type of specific thing now, a lot of the concepts that you would teach are going to be largely the same whether you’re speaking to a group of realtors or group of attorneys, but the examples that you may share The case studies, the that sort of thing may be slightly different to the context of who it is that you’re actually speaking to. So there may be a couple of interchangeable Lego pieces that you may swap out. But for the most part, the talk is the same versus with the mistake of a lot of speakers make is I, they feel like each time they speak, it’s kind of a, what do you want me to speak about, and I’m going to create a brand new talk from scratch. That is a crap load of work. And I don’t recommend that you come from a speech writing background. And so you know, like, man, if I can use stuff that I’ve done before that I know works in different contexts, then like, let’s do that. And so that’s what you’re trying to do is trying to get it to the point where you basically have, you know, one or two talks that you do versus saying, I have 10 talks that are all mediocre. And so, said, You’re saying I have one or two talks that are all that are both like incredibly, incredibly dialed in and polished. So again, let’s go back to the restaurant analogy. It’s like going to, you know, a fancy chef’s restaurant. I don’t, I don’t necessarily want like, hey, just whip something up. You know, from From Scratch versus like, I want the thing that you’ve made thousands of times what’s the signature dish that you have like so dialed in and it’s perfect. I want that because you you know what works you’ve experimented on everybody else like I want that dish. So ultimately that’s what you’re trying to get to as a speaker what and you know, you probably eventually like anything you get better at it and eventually you get better at putting these pieces together on the fly or improvising or remembering all the different pieces to me I’m thinking Wow, so stand up for 45 minutes and have 10 different blocks some of which are the same somewhat you swapped in you have a different story here There seems like a lot to remember how do you keep all that you know in in order in your mind, or is it something you just eventually get better at? Or that you do get better at over time? And it’s just it’s kinda like a skill you know, like how do you get better as a you know, as a writer you write How do you get better riding a bike, you ride a bike, how do you get better just speak it you speak. So ideally, you are presenting you know, without notes, And which can be incredibly intimidating to your point, you know, you’re standing in front of an audience for 3045 60 minutes, with no nose, you feel like you’re walking a tightrope with no net and no safety harness, and you’re like, this could go very horribly. So I totally get that. And again, I think that, you know, how do you how do you prepare for that a lot of it comes back to like your practice, you’re really spending a lot of time going over it time and time and time again. And again, we detail this in the book, one of the things that we talked about, is that

I’ll give an example. So in the book, we talked through how you would take maybe an entire talk, and you boil it down to a bunch of keywords. So if you are to say right now, car story, right? That means nothing to you, or if you said Disney, that means nothing to you, but if I saw a couple of these keywords on like an index card or something I can give you there’s a you know, a six minute story behind that or a 10 minute story behind that right or, you know, a couple keywords and I like it triggers like I know where I’m going now. So I’m not necessarily like I’m working to to to know where The talk is going, but I’m not also trying to memorize like verbatim what’s happening. I’m trying to get like a couple. Okay, I know I do like this chunk, and then it leads to this story. And then it leads to this point. And I kind of I’m thinking through like, the big pieces of it. The other thing I would say, when you’re when you’re especially when you’re working on and kind of crafting the talk, is remember that like, this is not something that you have to memorize verbatim, right? What you want to try to do is, whenever you’re creating a talk, you want to make sure that you are you are understanding and clear on the essence of the talk and kind of the, the, the flow of the talk of I’m starting from here, and then I transition to this and then I transition to this and here’s kind of the the general flow of it. But let’s say you know, John, for example, if you and I are at a basketball game or a baseball game, and they sing the national anthem, and the singer butchers, the lyrics, like we both know that they butchered the lyric, everybody there knows that they put through the layers. If you’re giving a speech and you forget a story, or you forget a point or you do things out of order, nobody knows the difference. It’s not like someone’s following along with a manuscript like Well, wait, let’s go back, you miss a word there, you missed a line that like, it’s not like that. So, so know that like it takes some of the pressure off of you, you don’t have to read something verbatim or recite something verbatim. And there’s a good chance that you know, you and I have both seen and everyone listening has seen speakers who are very like formulaic and robotic to the point like they’re just so deep in their own head. And I have to say get a turn offs, I think, is Yeah, 100% because it’s like they’re so like, they’re just, they’re not even present with the audience. They’re just thinking about their next line. And so now I walk over here, and then I say, this line, and I hold my hand this way. And then I take five steps this direction, and I do this. It’s just like a like, they’re just regurgitating something versus, you know, you have someone who feels like they’re fully engaged, fully present with the audience. So way to think about this is remember, like, You are one human talking to a collection of other humans. So act like a human Don’t act like a robot who’s just regurgitating your spiel. Otherwise you can just stand up there and like show a video first, like there’s no need for you to be there. So know your content, be comfortable and confident in your in your content. But don’t feel like you have to memorize something and regurgitate it verbatim. Okay, I’m still getting a little off point off the the five steps here, but I want to ask you about it because I think it relates to what we’re talking about. What about improvising? And what about if the audience is not with you? Or there’s someone heckling you, or and you spoke to us audiences, I’m sure you had the, you know, maybe some stories of some situations where you had, you know, getting negative feedback, or you have to think on your feet or make changes, or it’s, it’s just landing with a thud. You know, what’s your advice for speakers and dealing with those types of situations? Yeah, well, like I think sometimes we have some of these, what we think are going to be big deals, and they turned out to not really be that big of a deal, if at all, I’ve given hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of live presentations. I don’t know that I’ve ever had someone like truly Heckle me, right.

Think of it this way, like the audience is on your side. Sometimes we feel like that’s not the case. We feel like it’s me standing. I’m Sage versus them. It’s like, you know, you’re in the lion’s den there. But again, you and I have both been in audiences before. Do we want the speaker to suck? No, like, I’m sitting in there. I need you to be good. I want you to be good. You know, so for the first few minutes, you suck. I’m like, gosh, dang it, like I’m trapped here. Listen, I want to really good speaker there. So I want you I am rooting for you. I want you to be good, right? The audience wants you they are they’re on your side, they’re on your team. This is not an us versus them thing. So keep that in mind. For one. The the one thing you touched on there is different audiences and different reactions. That is absolutely a real thing. Because you may give the exact same talk multiple times, and it may go different times. It may go differently each time I’ll give an example a couple. Couple years ago, I was speaking at a freshman orientation at Iowa State University, and I was giving a couple of presentations over the course of two days. And it was the same presentation. They were just cycling through, you know, big groups of students for each Talk. And so it’s the same talk each time, but slightly different. A different time today, it’s same room, all that stuff. And so there was a couple students who were kind of like chaperones are hanging out with me who just helped them throughout the day. And I told them, I told them in the morning and said, Okay, we got three presentations a day, all three presentations, exact same presentation, you’re gonna hear me tell the same stories, I’m gonna do the same jokes, I’m gonna do the same stuff. All in this room, we’re not leaving this room, it’s all going to happen this room, but you’re going to see three different presentations, you’re gonna have a morning, one who’s gonna be a little tired, maybe the crowds a little smaller, you can have the middle one, it’s usually going to be a little bit bigger, it’s going to be right before lunch, they’re gonna be a little bit hungry, you’re going to see the afternoon one small, it’s gonna be a little bit smaller. So I was like, kind of describing like, same talk totally different each time. Right? So that can be the case, you know? So you absolutely have to factor that in that, that whenever you speak, one of the factors is the audience. You know, there’s a big difference between the audience that wants to be there and the audience that has to be there. You know, that you may go into some type of, let’s say, corporate training thing, and you have an audience versus people People who are like, I don’t want to be here, my boss may become, this is dumb, I don’t like you already. And you’re kind of up against the up against the wall there. And it just kind of it kind of is what it is versus people speaking of like, let’s say a conference or event where people are like, I’m excited, I chose your session, I’m here to see you. I’m looking forward to this and want to learn on this topic. And they are ready to go. So I think in terms of like the improvising, yeah, that’s absolutely part of it. You you get better over time in terms of just reading an audience and know that, you know, I know pretty quickly that if in the first, you know, like my first joke, if that doesn’t land, I’m already like making shifts and pivots that are is not to come for another half hour, like okay, if they didn’t laugh at this, there’s zero chance. They’re laughing at that thing. I’m going to say in 40 minutes.

John Corcoran  21:44  

So you’re dropping jokes. Maybe if you think

Grant Baldwin  21:46  

like, you’re dropping stuff or you’re adjusting the stuff or you’re kind of reading the audience feel like okay, I need to go a little bit deeper on this thing. So again, it’s just kind of some of it, you know, some of it is you’re making some of those and again, this is I think that time This can be a bit advanced that you don’t have to do this on day one. But the more you’re into it, the more you know, like, okay, I am mid Talk, I’m thinking, Okay, I don’t need that Lego block. But I am going to bring in this Lego block. And I was planning on doing that one Lego block, but I can already tell that’s not going to work. So I’m going to swap out this Lego block, you know, so you’re making some of those adjustments on the fly. But again, that’s that comes with time and it comes with practice. Yeah,

John Corcoran  22:25  

yeah. Alright, so step two is prepare and deliver your talk, how much preparation is the right amount of preparation.

Grant Baldwin  22:33  

So I think it’s possible to absolutely over prepare to the point where again, you fall into that kind of robotic category or you’re just regurgitating a script. I don’t think you want to do that. So you want to make sure that you are comfortable, make sure that you’re confident but also again, allow some room for spontaneity and and by doing so that that means that you get to a point where you’ve practiced you know your material, but if something were to come up, like you said, not necessarily someone heckling you but it could be I’ll give you Some, like real examples that have happened to me. I was speaking at a at this outdoor built like metal building. And there was a hailstorm and it sound like the whole building was going to collapse at any moment like a legit hail storm on this 10 building. I remember speaking at this conference in New Jersey, and they’re doing some is this nice fancy Hilton and a they’re doing some construction on the interstate, the the right there, and they cut the power to the entire hotel. So amid talk of this keynote, and they’ll all the power of whole hotel goes out. Speaking of something one time and a dog comes running in the room and comes zipping around, like just excited about life dog. How do you how do you bounce back from that? You know, so like all that to say those moments happen? They are absolutely real. A fire alarm goes off. That just that happens, you know, so if you’re just like, Oh crap, what you know, what was my next line or so feed me a line someone. I think again, you’re just so deep in your own head versus, again, being comfortable and like one thing we talked about in the book The The, the audience takes their cues from you. So if you’re calm, if you’re relaxed, if you’re comfortable, it makes the audience feel calm, relaxed and comfortable. So if you’re watching a speaker, and they seem uptight, or they seem nervous, or they seem anxious, or they seem worried, it makes you as an audience member feel the same thing. You’re just like, Oh, this is just uncomfortable to watch. Versus like, you know, there’s times where, like, I’ve been speaking and like, I forgot where I was going with it. And it’s like, I don’t, I’m talking to someone on the front row, like, hey, what was I talking about? Where are we going with this? Because again, if it’s not a big deal, to me, it’s not a big deal to them. So be comfortable, be confident, but again, like we were talking about earlier, remember that you are a human talking to other humans and so act accordingly. So talking about the preparation piece again, you know, you mentioned I’m a former speechwriter and and so how much do you script out things in advance you mentioned that you shouldn’t over script it You shouldn’t read and actually, that’s when you hear over and over again from people it’s a huge pet peeve even for non speakers just to see someone standing up there, reading from notes the entire time, no matter what the venue I think so people have a strong preference for that. But so then, you know, you mentioned like an index card, or maybe some people do a page of notes or something like that. How much you scripted in bed? Do you? Do you perhaps script the entire thing out and then practice it that way, but then not bring those notes with you? What are the different means of preparation? Yeah, the last thing that you described is what I would typically do. So I would manuscript it out, but not again, as an actual script that I need to memorize word for word. And so a way to think about this would be, you know, if I said, John, tell me about whenever you propose to your wife, like you could tell us that story right now. And and, and it would be fine. But if we said, Take 20 minutes, go get a piece of paper and write out that story of how you propose to your wife, you’d probably tell it better. You think about the details. You think about how you’re describing it. You think about the moment you think about, you know who you called afterwards, you think about how you were feeling what you said to each other. Like it just it’s a better story. So with you script that out, you’re not scripting it out because I wasn’t there. And I don’t remember what happened. You could tell it right now. But if you script it out, you’re probably going to make it a better story. So that’s the point. And so whenever you’re, you’re going back over that you’re not thinking like, and then I said to her, you know, will you and I did this and it’s not some it’s like, I’ve got the essence of the story. I’ve thought it through more of how to tell this better. And that’s the point of scripting it out.

John Corcoran  26:24  

Yeah. Now, I remember watching the Tony Robbins Netflix movie, which was filmed at one of his events. And beforehand, he’s backstage, you know, first of all, I just like the cold dip in his backyard, got his whole pregame stuff. And then it must have been a writer in his contract. He’s got a little mini trampoline out. Right? He goes on stage as he’s bouncing on the trampoline. He goes on stage. So talk, you have a whole subsection within this step two, about what to do before you step on stage. Every speaker

Grant Baldwin  26:56  

like every speaker is different like some of them like they just want to sit in silence. Like, I don’t want to talk with anybody, I don’t want to interact with anybody. I’m just, I’m thinking through again, kind of like you go, it’s almost like a mental checklist of Okay, I’m gonna open with this, and I’m gonna transition to this. And then we’re going to talk about and then I got this Lego block and then did this Lego block. And then you’re just like going over it in your head, making sure you’re ready. Other speakers are like, I want to, I want to jump around, I want to do jumping jacks, I want to do push ups. I want to talk with other people. I want to interact with people. Because it keeps me like just mentally distracted from you know, thinking about it. I’m already ready. If I just sit in silence, I’m gonna go crazy. There’s again, there’s no right or wrong way. Like you have to, you know, 10 minutes before you speak, five minutes free speak one month, first week, here’s the things you have to do. It’s kind of different for everyone and just kind of preference of what what makes sense for you. In terms of what you need to do to make sure that you are you are mentally prepared before you go on stage.

Unknown Speaker  27:50  

Alright, so

John Corcoran  27:52  

we spend so much time is the first two steps. I’m kind of glossing over the later steps. So one thing that I think is interesting about the way you structure This book is that step two is delivering your talk not Step five, because steps three, four and five are establishing your expertise, acquiring paid speaking gigs. And knowing when to scale was your all, it’s interesting that you include those in as one of the foundational steps because it’s so important, especially from a business perspective. So talk about that first one establishing expertise, and then we’ll move on to the other two.

Grant Baldwin  28:25  

Yeah, so at this point, we’re really digging into your marketing materials. So two key things that you really need is a website and a video. If you don’t have a website, people won’t take you seriously. And a video is basically like a movie trailer for your talk, right? So before you and I would go see a movie, we’d probably watch a two or three minute trailer just to get a sense of like, is this something that we’re interested in? Is this something that we want to see more of? That’s the point of a demo video is to give a potential event planner, just a sense of like, Okay, if you hire me, this is what it’s going to be like, and this is how I speak and this is how I interact with an audience and you kind of get a taste of like, is this what we are looking for? Is this something For our event so that’s what you’re trying to do with a demo video. So you need to have these two pieces in place before you get to the acquire paid speaking gig. That’s the fourth step in the process. That’s the part people want to get to. But again, if you’re if you’re not clear on like, okay, I don’t know who I really speak to, I don’t know what I speak about. I don’t have a website, I’ll have a video I just want to speak like, good luck. Like, that doesn’t work. But if you’re you know, okay, I know who I want to speak to. I know what the problem is that I solve. I know what the talk is about what the solution is, I’m bringing to the to the table. I have my website and my video so I can promote to other people what it is that I do, then you can get to the part of booking gigs but you got to have, especially the marketing assets, you’re gonna have some of these preliminary pieces in place first,

John Corcoran  29:39  

right and and actually, that fourth piece you mentioned, getting paid speaking gigs really has kind of become what you’re known for. So what are the different strategies that you recommend is just blanket all your friends with emails saying, hey, hire me hire me. Is it cold calling local businesses? Is it becoming friends with event planners What is it?

Grant Baldwin  30:00  

Yeah, so there’s several different things that you can do there. One thing I’d highly recommend for everybody is to make sure everyone in your sphere of influence in your world knows that you’re a speaker. If people don’t know your speaker, then they’re not going to think of you to recommend you. So for example, if there you may be like, well, there’s nobody in my world that is an event or is an event planner is looking for a speaker, maybe so but they may be connected to someone who is or know someone. So, John, if you came to me and said, Hey, I’m thinking about moving to Nashville. Do you know of any realtors? And I’m not I don’t need a realtor, but you’re looking for one. So if I’m able to say, Oh, yeah, you need to talk to this person, this person would be a great person for you to talk to. But if there’s people in my world who are like, I’m a realtor, why didn’t you think of me like, if I don’t know your realtor, I don’t know to recommend you. So you have to make sure you put it on people’s radar that you are speaker, this is who you speak to. This is the product you saw, this is what you speak about. So that’s one thing that will make sure that you do that’s easy, low hanging fruit to make sure everyone in your sphere of influence knows that you are a speaker. The other thing that you can do is that you can begin doing some some simple outreach So if you do a simple Google search, for example, that you can find potential events that you could you could potentially speak to. So for example, you come, you are a recovering attorney. And so if you were, you know, my guess is like you’re probably a part of different associations and groups and programs, and there’s events and trainings and conferences, that you had been a part of that you had to attend that you wanted to attend. And there were probably a bunch of speakers with those. So, and just about any possible industry or niche that you can think of, there are natural gatherings that you could potentially speak at. So you can do a quick search for, you know, you’re out in California, if you search for, you know, California law, your Association, California attorney group, you know, and you started searching for some of those, you’d find events that you could actually be a part of, that you could potentially speak at. So that’s one thing you can start reaching out to those and there’s there’s a ton in the book on on how to go about doing that in the right way versus you know, just kind of spraying and praying or just copy and paste into a bunch of people and hope it magically works out or sending some 98 paragraph email about why you’re so awesome and they should hire you like none of those things work. But one of things we talked about in the book is speaking is very much a momentum business. Like it can take a minute to get the momentum going. But once you get it going, it is absolutely possible to keep it in, keep it in motion, keep it going. So one of the other things is that speaking leads to speaking, there’s a friend that our mutual friend Michael Port says, the more you speak, the more you speak. So whenever you speak, you’re going to have people in the audience who again may be connected to other events who may be looking for speakers themselves. You may have repeat stuff, you may have referrals from the event planner, you can start to again, build some of that momentum. So there’s a lot of ways to find and book gigs. But some of the work requires some effort in the beginning just to start the ball rolling,

John Corcoran  32:46  

right and one thing I remember you’re really good at is getting creative around compensation. Now because it’s it’s a lot more, there’s a lot more nuances to it than just okay, you’re gonna pay me this amount like for example, I know I recall that you had a self published book that you sold 30,000 plus copies of, and that was another way of getting compensated. Or maybe you add on a workshop. So you get paid for that as well or you happen to different budgets. So talk a little bit about some of those different strategies around ways that you can get paid and working within the budget constraints of the organization that you’re speaking for.

Grant Baldwin  33:21  

Yeah, absolutely. And so, to that point, whenever you are speaking, you are bringing something of value, your talk, your knowledge, your delivery is all value. So you need to receive value in return for that now the value that you receive in return for that may come in the form of a check. So a lot of times it does sometimes it doesn’t, though, and a lot of times maybe you the potential events that you’re talking to may not have the budget that you’re looking for, or the value in the form of a check that you would like or enough numbers on that check for it to be worthwhile for you. So thinking about other ways that could be worth it for you, let’s say let’s say you go speak at something and you offer some type of product. Your service or coaching or consulting on the back end as you generate clients from that, that may be worth far more than what the event would have paid you in the first place. So that could be a value for you right you generate value. It’s just different than the value of whether or not the event planner gave you a check. Let’s say for example, that you speak it let’s say your goal is to speak more and you go speak of something that has event planners there that are looking for speakers like you. So you may be willing to speak for a discounted or reduced fee or even for free knowing. If I pick up 234 speaking clients out of this, that’s very, very worth it for me. It could be just like you wanted to travel there and it’s just a cool place to visit or cool conference that you wanted to be a part of. So my wife is like half joking, half serious said my husband will speak for free in Hawaii. If you pay for the family to come. That’s a value. I had a friend who just spoken Europe and was able to take his wife and they made it like a two week your vacation that was paid for. That’s value, right? He didn’t really he didn’t necessarily get a check but he got a European vacation out of it that was valuable to him. Speaking at some of the same conferences as other other, you know, big name speakers or people in your industry that brings credibility and name recognition like that can be a value again, may not have received a check for or smaller check than you would have liked. But there’s still value from that. So the point being, you’re bringing value to the table. So think about other ways that you can receive value versus whether or not you received a check.

John Corcoran  35:22  

Right. And now a related concept is diversifying your income streams, which we’ve kind of touched on a little bit here. But anything else you want to add on that before we kind of wrap things up here?

Grant Baldwin  35:32  

Yeah, I’d say big picture. Like a lot of people who are interested in speaking are also interested in coaching, consulting, writing a book, sharing your knowledge and methodology and other ways. So the point being like, you can, you can do all the things but you can’t do all the things at once, something’s going to come first, something’s going to come last. So you have to be very, very clear about how speaking fits into. One of the cool things about speaking is there’s no right or wrong amount to do it, meaning that there’s some speakers who speak five times a year and speaking as a small part of their business and Some of the speak 100 times a year and it’s a big part of their business, but it’s not that one’s better or worse than the other. You just have to think through and be clear on on what your goals are speaking and how speaking fits in to the pie for your business.

John Corcoran  36:12  

Great. All right, wrapping things up. Last question that I always ask where, you know, we’re at an awards banquet, much like the Oscars and the Emmys and you’re receiving an award for lifetime achievement for everything. You’ve done all this up until this point. And of course, we thank our family and friends, that’s, that’s great. But in addition, who are the mentors, who are the friends who are the peers? Who are the agents, editors, co authors, ghost riders who you would acknowledge in your remarks?

Grant Baldwin  36:36  

Yeah, family and friends. First, first and foremost, family especially my wife, my daughters for supporting those are a couple of people that come to mind. Jeff going to help me with the this book is really close personal friend of mine. Brian Harris is a very good friend of mine. Brian and I are we talk on a daily basis. My wife and his wife give both of us grief on all the time, but the amount of stuff that I’ve learned from him and challenged We challenge each other with has been valuable guys like Jeff Rose and chain Sam’s Joseph Michael people like Michael Hyatt Pat Flynn. Like there’s really some influential people that have I’ve learned a ton from so yeah the there’s a lot of value to be gained from from from people in the in the world today.

John Corcoran  37:20  

The success the successful speaker mouthfeel five steps for booking gigs getting paid and building your platform. Grant Baldwin calm is the website. Where else can people learn more about you Grant?

Grant Baldwin  37:31  

Yeah, everything that we do for speakers is over at the speaker lab calm the speaker lab calm. You can check out the speaker lab.com slash book, all the info. Is there several different bonuses for ordering or pre ordering the book. So yeah, check it out the speaker lab comm slash book.

John Corcoran  37:45  

Excellent. Alright, thanks so much, Grant.

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