Ep. 80: How to Build a Speaking Career Being Unapologetically You with Cam F. Awesome
On this episode of The Storytelling Lab, Rain gets in touch with Cam F. Awesome (yes, that's his legal name), a passionate speaker and champion amateur boxer who travels all over the country speaking to young people and adults alike. Cam is an expert on culture, diversity, and inclusion and Rain gets to hear firsthand where and how he got his start. This episode is perfect for anybody in the beginning stages of building their speaking career.
A few years ago, I was watching a Netflix documentary called CounterPunch.
Now, I’ve always loved boxing, but this wasn’t your typical boxing movie.
It went behind-the-scenes, showing the good, bad, and ugly of the sport from the perspectives of professionals, amateurs, and prospects.
But one of the main characters was so compelling, I couldn’t look away.
He called himself “Cam F. Awesome,” which eventually he officially changed his legal name to, sometime soon after. And his personality fit such a name.
Not only was a multi-time amateur National Champion, he was charismatic and funny, notoriously gaining fame for calling himself the “Taylor Swift of boxing” in an interview after a fight… that he lost.
After I saw that movie, I was so intrigued, I followed Cam on social media.
I don’t even remember the other main characters now.
Cam had launched a new speaking career, traveling the country giving anti-bullying talks to high schools and colleges. Since I was hoping to start my speaking career soon, this intrigued me further.
As chance would have it, he tweeted about an upcoming talk at Camp Lejeune, the marine base, to talk about mental health and addiction.
My company Six Second Stories was doing work in this space and Camp Lejeune is not far from where my mother lives, in my hometown. So, I sent him a message and offered to film the speech for him. He happily accepted, as I expected him to do for free 4k footage.
It’s all about connection, right? And connect we did.
He gave an impassioned 60 minute speech two different times that day to young marines, some of them still teenagers. Because of that, his comedic chops came in very handy. But what kept those kids focused on his story was how brutally honest and authentic he was in sharing it.
Cam is a beautiful soul and we hit it off quickly. We’ve stayed in touch and I’ve loved watching him grow and his career evolve, while mine did the same
But when I saw that he had shifted his topics to diversity and inclusion, and I knew how he leaned on authentic storytelling, I had to have him on the podcast to talk about how you can tell your true stories and find a way to use them to help others.
And as a bonus, you get an inside peek at how one man built his own speaking career from scratch with no prior experience and totally building the plane as he flew it.
Put simply, Cam is once again letting us learn from his mistakes.
If you want to build your own speaking career, but aren’t sure where to start or what you’re an expert in, this is the episode for you!
Some of the highlights of our conversation:
How quarantine has been a gift
Embracing chaos and using it to your advantage
Letting go and finding your true calling
Becoming comfortable talking about money as a beginning speaker
Working as a mobile speaker
Being unapologetically yourself
The importance of speaking about diversity and inclusion to kids
Developing cultural competence
Keeping your ego in check
The importance of reliance and believing in yourself
How today’s society impacts the stories we tell
Speaking at schools
Leaning into tough to talk about topics
Practice and repetition as the key to success
As always, I hope you enjoy the episode!
Peace and Love,
Follow Cam on:
And watch the CounterPunch trailer here!
For more storytelling tips and tricks,
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