Standing Out Among the Competition
The one thing you’ve got to understand about speaking is that you’re always up against others.
There’s never a situation where you’re the only qualified applicant, which means that you’ve got to differentiate yourself. That’s easier said than done, but lucky for you, we’re here to help!
Here are THE key questions to ask yourself in order to find your differentiating factor.
- How are you different from everyone else?
YOU personally, what makes you stand out?
- How is your talk different from everyone else’s?
You need to dig deep to answer this, but in order to progress, you have to
- How is your topic different from everyone else?
If you know your topic inside and out, then you have a unique POV. What is it?
- What are the key takeaways that are different from everyone else?
When your audience leaves, they should feel and know something new. What is that knowledge, and what is the feeling they’re walking away with?
When you ask yourself that last question, think of WIFA. Now, what the hell is WIFA you ask?
Well, when we’re training speakers at Talk Boutique, we talk a lot about “WIFA” which stands for “What’s in it for the Audience?”
It’s the one single question that every speaker must absolutely ask themselves over and over. Too many people only understand what their talk is about, as opposed to understanding what the takeaway is for the audience.
The Most Unique Factor in Your Talk is YOU
The more personal you make it, the more honest you make it, and the more you stick to who you are, what you know, and what you’ve experienced, the more that talk becomes a two-fold talk where they get to experience the topic, and they get to experience you.
Let’s take the topic example of “leadership” where your talk focuses on three things:
- The attributes of a leader
- What makes a good leader
- Why leadership is important within teams.
It’s great subject matter because ALL of those things are really important for the audience, but that won’t make you stand out in their minds because a LOT of people can speak about those three things.
The unique factor here is you
Describe your personal experience and your own specific leadership style in a way that explains those three questions, and gives insight into how you think. In doing so, you make the content of your talk not only inspirational but relatable.
The audience feels like they’ve met you, and sees that you’re just like anyone else, but you have that special thing inside you that propels you. They should feel like they can also find that special thing inside themselves if they follow the guide you just set you in your talk.
The truly special speakers can put their own unique spin on things. They’re the ones we remember.
The Stand Out Speaking Topics for 2019
The speaking circuit used to be all about motivational speakers, and bookers always wanted a Tony Robbins style high-energy speaker, but like everything else, speaking has changed.
The reality is that while some of those people are still doing well — many of us have shown that we don’t just want to be motivated, we want to be inspired. We want to see the world beyond the individual.
That’s why right now, the rockstars in the speakers world are;
Audiences now want to be inspired by people who are actually enacting change.
Let’s face it: it can be a little bit of a bleak place at times to open a newspaper, to turn on the TV or look at social media. We are confronted with situations that we don’t always want to be looking at.
So we’re not just looking for motivation. What we really want is hope. We want to be given hope and learn from those who are already doing it. We really want to be inspired that things will change.
The new rockstars are researchers working in regenerative medicine, who are able to regenerate spines so people who are paralyzed can walk. Or neuroscientists whose research is paving the way so those with Alzheimer’s can recover.
Those are the speakers who give us hope. That’s the future of speaking.
If you feel you’re a changemaker, then get out there. And don’t hesitate just because your content is complex and might be difficult for the world to understand. Only with practice will you learn to break it down into pieces the audience can learn from. Don’t be afraid to step forward.
And don’t expect to get paid right off the bat! You’ll first need to earn your stripes by proving yourself through unpaid speaking gigs.
Paid Speaking Gigs vs. Unpaid Speaking Gigs
In the world of unpaid speaking gigs, there’s a lot of opportunity but it does take a lot of work. Many of them will have a very specific approach for how you apply to that speaking gig, such as;
- Signing up through an online portal to upload all of your information
- Visiting a website to download some form of an application
- Networking your way into a speaking spot
Every opportunity, and every path into that new opportunity is different. You need to be willing to fill out those applications and put in that work even though it’s unpaid.
The Real Difference – Credibility
The real difference between paid and unpaid gigs is that in paid speaking gigs, there’s a much higher expectation of credibility.
In a paid gig you might also need to have the education that goes along with that experience. And you might need to have significant industry recognition or direct experience working on a noteworthy research project or lab if, for example, it’s science based.
The credibility requirements will be higher in a paid gig, and the higher your credibility, the higher the price that you’re being paid.
So how do you get to that upper echelon?
Public speaking is a bit nerve-wracking, but there’s lots of support out there. There’s lots of people like us and others who are here to help you get your messages out to the world.
If you’re ready to learn how to do this, then don’t hesitate to start learning how because presenting is a learned skill just like any other. The more you do it, the better you’ll be, and the better your coach, the faster you’ll learn.
Our TED trained speaker coaches are running a full day workshop on March 8, 2019 where we’ll help you master this skill set.
In it, we combine two of our most powerful workshops into an intensive one day experience that will be a game changer for your speaking gigs in 2019.
Learn more or register for one of our upcoming workshops, to help build your next talk.