You are going to love this podcast interview with Tom Antion where he talks about how to design professional keynote speeches, how to create an additional revenue stream from speaking to groups, and how to use public speaking as a platform to increase your personal brand. Doug Staneart, CEO of Fearless Presentations ® interviews Tom in this 30-minute podcast.
Build Your Personal Brand Using Public Speaking
Tom Antion is an icon in the speaking industry, and he has been at the forefront of turning in-person speeches into a way to increase your personal brand and increase your income. Tom has been asked over 100 times to train professional speakers who are members of the prestigious National Speakers Association. He has the longest-running blog based on professional speaking. And he rarely makes less than $100,000 per keynote speech. It’s an honor to have Tom take time to help us become more professional speakers.
As we began the interview, Tom mentioned that employees who are solid and professional speakers have a distinct advantage in the marketplace. Good speakers within corporations have job security, they get paid more because they motivate others and get more productivity out of others. They are also more visible, so everyone knows their name. So, improving your presentation skills makes you more valuable to your company.
A Few Great Tips to Become a More Professional Public Speaker.
I asked Tom if he had any tips to help professionals become better speakers. He mentioned that years ago, he designed his “Wake ‘me up System” which offered 11 different attention gaining devices that speakers could use to win over audiences. He told us that these devices were “the reason I get the longest slots at training events”. With a little practice, you can use them as well. Some of the 11 that he mentioned were props, stories, voice inflection, stage movement, asking questions, and great visuals. As an example, he said that one of the main negative comments that a speaker can receive is that he/she was monotone. However, a good speaker can use voice inflection to change this very easily. For instance, a naturally quiet presenter who gets excited captures attention in a positive way. A loud presenter who goes to a whisper can do the same thing. Change up your inflection to capture attention.
Tom shared one of his “Genius Tips” with us as well. If you want to instantly be more interesting as a Speaker, emphasize the adjectives and verbs in your sentences. Tom described the blinds in his office as an example. I have these BEAUTIFUL window treatments that LIGHT up the room. (Listen to the podcast to show how easy this technique is.)
If you are just starting to speak, you can implement these new strategies in chunks and practice. It is a technique called bits, chunks, and series. Create little chunks of your presentations that you practice 30 to 50 times while you are doing something else. Practicing a few times makes you sound robotic. Once you get to 30+ times, these chunks become natural and flow more effectively.
When you organize your stories, Tom recommends that you record your story while delivering it to a live audience so you can’t start over. Then, transcribe the words that you used to tell the story. How we speak and how we write are often very different. So, this technique will help you make your stories more clear. It creates an awareness of the unnecessary words, and you will begin to make natural alterations when delivering these stories. Have three versions of your story. Short version for radio, publicity, and TV. A medium version for when you are on stage but short on time. And a longer version for when time is not constrained. Have a quotation that makes the same point as your story in case your time gets really cut.
Not Only Does Speaking Improve Your Personal Brand, But It Can Also Generate Income.
I asked Tom about the speaking fees that a new Speaker can expect for an hour-long keynote. Tom said that it really depends on your position. CEO’s of big corporations, politicians, or famous athletes can demand $50,000 or more for each speech. Mid-level managers with an in-demand topic can get $3500 to $5000 per speech. New speakers without a track record have a tough time generating the big fees, though. So, Tom recommends that they create this track record with non-profit fundraisers. You can organize your own speaking events or webinars and split the fee with a charity. This allows you to increase ticket sales and do something great for charity.