The Storytelling Lab - Ep51: The Successful Speaker Guide with Grant Baldwin
This week’s guest is Grant Baldwin, entrepreneur, speaker, and author of The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform. This episode is all about demystifying the world of speaking! We discuss the Speaker Success Roadmap, using storytelling in your speaking gigs, and finding the courage to share personal stories.
Two years ago, when I started my company Six Second Stories, I realized that I could help more than just my video production clients benefit from the power of storytelling.
So I started making more content with that mission in mind.
But I still wasn’t quite creating the impact I knew that I could have.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had an obsession with standup comedy. And even though it wasn’t my career path, I always had that voice in the back of my head asking me “What if?”
Well that voice was only getting louder. Except this time it was asking me “What if you could combine your desire to speak with your mission to serve?”
That was it! That’s how I could impact more people.
I wanted to spread my message of storytelling like a missionary. So I set out on a journey to become a public speaker. I read books, I listened to podcasts, and I attended conferences to take notes and make connections.
My first public speech for storytelling was a one-hour lunch workshop in the basement of a library for no money in October 2018.
Less than a year later, I had gotten paid five figures to perform a keynote for a national conference.
But that kind of event (and paycheck!) was not consistent. I still needed to do low-paying events, I still had to do a ton of networking, and I still needed to learn so much more.
One day while deep in my research, I ran across a podcast called The Speaker Lab hosted by Grant Baldwin. Immediately I was intrigued because I had a podcast by a very similar name!
I scrolled through some of the episodes and downloaded 10 that I listened to back-to-back.
This guy had done it.
He had been in my exact same situation around 10 years ago and he made it as a professional speaker. It wasn’t luck; it wasn’t name-recognition from some previous accomplishment. It was hard work, determination, persistence, and -- as I found out later -- a strict roadmap that he followed.
Now, Grant teaches other speakers how to follow that same roadmap to become successful speakers like him through his coaching program, Booked and Paid to Speak.
I had done a lot of reading and researching, but I’d yet to really invest in my speaking career in a significant way. The hesitation was most likely due to my pride. I was confident as a speaker and performer, and didn’t feel like I needed help with my craft.
But I couldn’t get over the hump of how to get booked consistently and I needed to learn more about the business side of speaking.
So I joined Grant’s program and am currently on the last module -- finding 100 relevant contacts (potential event bookers) to pitch to with my newly formed speaking business.
Grant, like all great speakers, understands the power of storytelling on stage.
I invited him on the show to talk about just that: how speakers can use storytelling to connect more deeply with their audience, inspire them to make change, and compel them into action.
If you’re one of those people that always felt like you wanted to share your story on stage, but something has been holding you back…
this episode will show you the roadmap to becoming a successful speaker!
Some highlights from our conversation:
Speaking and storytelling
Advice for new speakers
The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform
Select a problem to solve
Prepare your talk: what’s the solution?
Establish yourself as the expert
Acquire paid speaking gigs
Know when to scale
Nobody cares what you’ve gone through: the audience wants to know what’s in it for them
Continue to ask yourself: So what? And now what?
Be solutions based: you need to connect the dots for your audience
How storytelling fits into speaking
Why there’s no right or wrong way to give a speech
Why is storytelling effective
Why humans are drawn to stories
How stories are memorable
Thinking of stories as comedy
Learning by doing it in front of a live audience & making changes as you go in response to audience feedback
How we perceive other people
Reminding yourself that even the experts have to practice the fundamentals
Why you have to fall in love with the process of doing the work
Finding the thing that works for you
Why first person stories are the most powerful
Why shared experiences make stories more powerful
How to use stories to lead to your bigger point
The different kinds of speaking gigs you can get involved with
Using storytelling in any context
How to convince people to let go of the stats and data
Making sure your stories and your data are relevant
Finding the courage to share personal stories
Making sure your story fits your audience
Beware of oversharing: you want empathy not sympathy
And last but not least, remember...
Being the best speaker you can be is always a work in progress.
Keep making tweaks!
I hope you enjoy the episode!
Peace and Love,
Follow Grant on Twitter @grantbaldwin
And learn more about his work at thespeakerlab.com
For more storytelling tips and tricks,
Follow us on Instagram @sixsecondstories
Visit our website sixsecondstories.com
MORE related content:
How to keep honing your act (like Seinfeld)
The Speaker Lab Podcast with Grant Baldwin
How Speakers Can Adapt and Thrive in a COVID-19 World: Free online training