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Topic: Transitioning From Magician To Professional Public Speaker
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jul 17, 2014 02:29PM)
I know quite a few magicians who have transitioned from being magicians to becoming professional public speakers. I'm in the process myself. Although I'll never stop performing magic, public speaking has a certain allure for me and I enjoy it immensely. All of my speaking presentations include a healthy dose of magic, so it's not like I'm abandoning my roots.

There is a perception that you can make more money by positioning yourself as a speaker than you can as a magician. I believe it's a false perception. Most companies and associations don't hire professional speakers. They hire experts who can speak. This is a topic I'll address at another time.

When I first started giving speaking presentations, I had very little confidence. As a magician, I had props and routines to fall back on. As a speaker, it was my words that took center stage.

In my latest video blog post, I address this issue: [url=http://louserranomarketing.com/561/how-to-speak-with-confidence/]How To Speak Confidently[/url]. I think it may be of value for magicians and speakers alike.

Click on the following link to watch the video. [url=http://louserranomarketing.com/561/how-to-speak-with-confidence/]How To Speak With Confidence[/url]

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: gman (Jul 17, 2014 07:18PM)
Ah that is cool Lou. I however, am doing the opposite. I started as a speaker and have been trying to transition into a magician for the last several years.

The biggest advice to gain confidence is to join places like Toastmasters. They helped me when I first was starting out.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jul 18, 2014 02:08PM)
Gman,

Are you a professional speaker? If so, I'd love to talk to you sometime. Please PM me if you have a chance.

Toastmasters is a great organization, and can be very beneficial for people just starting out. With that being said, I believe people who are already professional magicians have an enormous advantage over anyone at Toastmasters. As professional magicians, we already have experience speaking in front of groups.

I view the local Toastmasters groups the same way I view the local clubs of IBM and SAM. When I first started as a magician, I attended several meetings of IBM and SAM, and I quickly realized these groups were made up of mostly amateur and part-time professionals. If I wanted to be a full-time professional magician, I'd have to get guidance elsewhere. Which I did through mentors. The same is true with Toastmasters. These groups are mostly made up of aspiring speakers, and to be a professional speaker, I'd have to communicate with full-time professionals. With that being said, Toastmasters will build your confidence in a very systematic way, and you'll be surrounded by people who are there to help.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 18, 2014 10:01PM)
As always great video Lou. I enjoy hearing you talk.

I agree that magicians can become good speakers. But the biggest thing that a magician will have to learn to become a 'great' speaker, or unlearn should I say, is the idea that speaking is about your performance. It's not. It is about the audience.

Speaking is a little about entertaining and a lot about connecting. Connecting to as many audience members as you can. Unlike with the magic, you want the audience thinking, 'that could be me up there.' You want the audience saying I can relate to that. There can be no mystery about what you saying.

A speakers job is to teach, but before you can teach, you must first touch. Remember, good teaching is simply reminding others that they know it as well as you do. A great speaker is someone that once sit where the audience is sitting. A great speaker comes across as a likeable person. A great speaker is someone that lays it on the line for his friends. A speech should not just be a sharing of information, but a sharing of yourself.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 19, 2014 02:28PM)
How much speaking do you do Tom?
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 19, 2014 02:45PM)
None nowadays.

But in days gone by I rubbed shoulders with some of the best.
You may have heard some of my words spoken and just don't know it.
It's not something I can talk about. Sorry.


Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 19, 2014 03:42PM)
Thought so. None.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jul 19, 2014 04:01PM)
Lou,
I work with a guy who is a full time speaker and a CPS

I do travel and speak but it is not my full time gig, but is part of my education and coaching company.

I would be happy to try to get you and my friend together so you can pick his mind. DJ has been a public speaker for many years (longer than the 14 years I have known him)
and has earned a good living doing it.

FOR ME
To make profit on speaking is about back of the room sales, or vendor booth when I speak at trade shows.. MANY times as a speaker at trade shows you get a free booth and your room and travel covered.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 19, 2014 04:24PM)
Speaker fees are very high. I am confused. Why would it take BOR in order to make money?
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jul 19, 2014 05:40PM)
Because speaker fees are not very high for the majority of events or unless your a well known speaker.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 19, 2014 06:01PM)
In my experience the exact opposite is true. Why devalue what you do by expecting people to buy BOR? It has a direct affect on your ability to charge higher fees.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 19, 2014 06:22PM)
Speakers absolutely need products to sell. Very few could make it without having something.
Most of the time having a product is why they wanted to hire you to begin with. Who would want to hire a nobody? :)
Even the big names will sometimes discount the fee and make up for it with BOR.

Movie theaters would never give up the concession sales.

The circus gives away FREE tickets in order to sell peanuts, popcorn, drinks, toys, and elephant rides.


Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 19, 2014 06:50PM)
And look at how many big circus shows are around. Good example.

It is quite rare for a big name in demand speaker to discount to sell BOR.

So the amazing advice on this thread is to devalue the work in general and then to sell BOR. Sounds like a excellent plan. It worked so well for the circus.

Lets take an existing lucrative market and run it into the ground. I bet your ideas are welcomed with open arms by the speaking community.

Yep huge business sense there. What could possibly go wrong?
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jul 19, 2014 07:06PM)
All the big names have things to sell in the back of the room.

Zig Ziglar always had a table of books to sell

Charging higher fees has a direct effect on your ability to speak, unless your a name that draws people.
MOST Trade shows, and events DO NOT PAY speakers unless your the keynote, you get travel fees and a booth in the vendor room.

I'm not a full time speaker but I do about 20 events a year right now,

the few times I have been a keynote I was paid WELL but would still rather have BOR sales

Here are the differences

Speaking at a trade show (little to no pay + hotel and travel)
- You will close 10% of the crowd for BOR sales
- Make sure you have 3 types of items (low budget $15 - $45, Residual product at a discount $45 - $120, High end 1 on 1 $1500+ )
- get in with 1 good organizer and you get rebooked for multiple industries
- the entire room is FULL of potential clients

Speaking for FEE's (was hired for 1200 to train the sales team at a car dealership how to effectively use youtube for 30 min)
- less work
- NO BOR (your potential client is who HIRED you)


Yes you can get higher speaking fees, but why would you want to do that?
OK so I made $1200 for 1 event with a higher fee.
But the trade show I did in May where I taught 4 classes on Social Media with BOR sales, I closed 10% of the people who came to the lecture, and I make $3395 a month off of that event MONTHLY ... (35 business owners paying $97 trade show special on a $120 month product)

THAT'S WHY I would devalue myself... It pays better to think in the future.

So higher fee $1200 or Room and Travel and make $40740
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 19, 2014 07:17PM)
Danny, how does having a product devalue you? It's the exact opposite in the speaking business,
it's having the product that puts you in demand.


Tom
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jul 19, 2014 07:39PM)
Tom, thank you for your input. It all makes sense to me.

Mike, I will send you a PM, as I'd love to connect with your friend. Thank you for the offer.

Danny, I must say I do appreciate your posts. I have a feeling that stirring up the post is your way of having a good time. It's all good as it gives others the opportunity to express and defend their views. The big winners are all the lurkers on these forums who don't participate, but read these threads.

There's a goldmine of information here for those who are willing to scratch the surface.

Danny, if you're experience shows the opposite of what Mike Clay has to say, then youíre not associating with speakers who are a making a 7-figure yearly income.

The average speaker in the National Speakers Association (NSA) are people who speak for a fee. The average speaker in the NSA gets paid about $3000 per speech. The average speaker in the NSA does NOT make $100,000 per year.

The only speakers who make a 7-figure yearly income are celebrity speakers and speakers who make back-of-the-room sales (BOR). Keep in mind, these speakers aren't selling a $15 magic set or a $20 set of lecture notes. Most BOR products range from $400 on the low end to $20,000+ on the high end.

On many occasions I have witnessed speakers gross $100,000+ in BOR sales after a one-hour presentation. This is not uncommon.

The first time I witnessed this was in 2007 at James Malinchak's Big Money Speaker Boot Camp in Las Vegas. I paid $2500 to attend this 3-day seminar, and it was worth every penny. There were 300 people in attendance.

At this seminar there was a speaker named Alexandria Brown. At the time, she was relatively unknown in the speaking world. She gave a one-hour presentation, after which she gave her pitch for her BOR product. She closed about 1/3 of the room. That's about 100 people. I was one of those 100 people who invested in her product. The product consisted of a couple of dozen CDs and two big binders of information. That product sold for $1500. 100 people X $1500 = $150,000! Even if my margin of error is substantial, she still grossed more than $100,000 after a one-hour presentation. She now makes several million dollars per year.

She is not the exception, as I have witnessed this occurring many times over the last seven years.

I talk about this subject in an interview I recently posted regarding Kris Sheppard's Successful Performercast podcast. It's worth a listen.

All the best!

Lou

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=559737&forum=44
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 19, 2014 07:58PM)
I think blathering on about crap they don't do is other peoples way of having fun Lou. You call it stirring the pot most people call it a reality check. Do me a favor and don't ascribe intent to me.

Who said having products devalues you? I said taking smaller fees in order to try to sell BOR devalues you and I am 100% right.

Tell all the anecdotal stories you like it does not change facts. Lets also be clear just for sanity sake. Seven figures is over a million.

There is a ton of misinformation out here. First and foremost you needed d to have something to speak about and something to sell that is of actual value. Getting on the speaking circuit takes a heck of a lot more than wanting it and buying a magic book and having a business card.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jul 19, 2014 08:07PM)
[quote]On Jul 19, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
There is a ton of misinformation out here. First and foremost you needed d to have something to speak about and something to sell that is of actual value. Getting on the speaking circuit takes a heck of a lot more than wanting it and buying a magic book and having a business card. [/quote]

First off there is no such thing as a speaking circuit. It's a myth. Secondly, you're confirming one of the points in my original post. Read my original post.

Lou
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jul 19, 2014 08:09PM)
Yeah, I'm not close to 7 figures yet.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jul 19, 2014 08:13PM)
[quote]On Jul 19, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Who said having products devalues you? I said taking smaller fees in order to try to sell BOR devalues you and I am 100% right.
[/quote]
Sorry to burst your bubble on this one, but you are 100% incorrect. As Mike Clay stated above, you can make much more money selling BOR than you can getting a fee. Most of the big money speakers will gladly speak for FREE if they have the opportunity to sell BOR. Like I said, you're probably not associating with with speakers who are making a 7-figure yearly income.

Lou Sertano


Posted: Jul 19, 2014 09:14 pm Mike, neither am I, but it's on my list of goals, and it's just a matter of time. I have a plan, and I'm executing the plan.

All the best!

Lou
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 19, 2014 08:35PM)
Kids, kids, kids, let me be the voice of reason (lol). I've been coaching and training speakers for several decades now. There are many misconceptions about transitioning from entertainer to speaker. Other than a few obvious advantages - already comfortable in front of people, already (should) know how to structure a performance/presentation, how to draw in an audience and move them to where you want them to be, and so on, but one of the problems I see over and over again specifically with magicians is their use or crutch of using the magic.

So many magicians want to simply attempt to adapt their performance to a speaking presentation with the magic being first and the message second. In reality the magic is extremely secondary. The role of magic in a speaking presentation by a magician must first and foremost be understood before making the transition. The magic is to support your message. The message, content and benefits MUST come first. The magic (or any other discipline) is only an enhancement to the overall presentation. In reality you should be able to speak fluently on your topic first without any magic. Only once this is done and determined should you add the magic to enhance or to support your message or content.

While BOR has it's benefits and advantages, let's not oversimplify this. First the speaker must be very good and solid. Secondly the message and content must be effective, appealing and useful. The presentation must be well-rehearshed and polished. Then and only then does BOR come into play, and again the BOR must be done properly, the right type, the right value and so much more.

Many gurus gloss over this and say things like "anyone can write a book or record an audio program" or "each and every one of us has a book in us", etc.

As I have discussed with being an entertainer, you also need a business operational plan as a speaker too. Speaking is much more difficult for many magicians who are used to buying a trick, learning it, then performing it. Speaking is entirely different, it doesn't work that way.

There is much misinformation on this and unfortunately there is a lot of stuff being peddled by less than qualified or experienced "trainers" or "products."
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 19, 2014 09:05PM)
Mindpro, I kind of hate to say this, but I agree with most of what you just said. lol

But I have confidence in Lou and Mike both, and I see no reason they can't make it as a speaker.


Tom
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jul 19, 2014 09:56PM)
OHH Boy is there misinformation out there on speaking.

My 1st REAL speaker job was as the 2nd speaker of the day and right before a well known speaker. (that guy did 6 figures that day)

I had been practicing the speech for about 3 weeks, doing it 5 and 6 times a day to get it to being second nature.
After paying for printing, a Booth, and all the extras. I didn't even break even.

2nd time I broke even

Took me about 10 times to start making a profit.

I love it ...
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 19, 2014 11:13PM)
[quote]On Jul 19, 2014, lou serrano wrote:
[quote]On Jul 19, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
There is a ton of misinformation out here. First and foremost you needed d to have something to speak about and something to sell that is of actual value. Getting on the speaking circuit takes a heck of a lot more than wanting it and buying a magic book and having a business card. [/quote]

First off there is no such thing as a speaking circuit. It's a myth. Secondly, you're confirming one of the points in my original post. Read my original post.

Lou [/quote]

Much the same way there is no "college circuit" but there are lots of colleges in the same place every year using entertainers. Same with comedy clubs, and other places so to say there is no "circuit" is a little bit disingenuous. But then again so is this whole thread.

Lets examine comedy clubs for an example. Give away tickets and bang em for a two drink minimum at high prices. Then expand to every bar that has a 8 foot square space a spotlight and a microphone and bamo you are a comedy club. THEN if that isn't bad enough you start to use sub standard comics and tell them that you are not going to pay them much, BUT they can sell t-shirts and CDs in the back of the room to 200 people or so a night. Ask comics how happy they are NOW that they devalued themselves that badly all those years. Sure worked out great for them didn't it? But no lets not learn from history lets swarm in and ruin another perfectly lucrative market. (Or isn't speaking and lecturing a market?)

Same thing happens to magicians. You think it is cool if you are making money in the back of the room, all the while the people who are "hiring" you (A lose term because you are not paid.) has a set "value" for your service. That is zero. You become part of a crowd. If you think for a second any organization that pays you NOTHING respects you or what you do you are delusional.

How do you expect to gain respect by charging NOTHING? Eventually it will crash the market and the ONLY speakers/lecturers being paid will be the celebrity variety. Go ahead, explain how I am wrong, how I don't hang with guys allegedly making 7 figures. Say all the nonsense you want while you try to ruin another perfectly good market like a swarm of locust.

I actually miss our purple clad guru wanna be. At least he understood value costs money.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jul 19, 2014 11:24PM)
Danny,

In another thread you responded to me that you don't speak on topics in which you have no experience. Yet, it's painfully obvious to me that you have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to this topic.

Continue on.

Lou Serano
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 19, 2014 11:32PM)
Yea it is not as if we provide speakers for business. But keep assuming.

People came to us years ago and asked us "how much it would cost" to provide a speaker for events being held at client locations. It never occurred to me once to tell them it was free. Team building exercises and all sorts of company meeting services and here we are like idiots charging for it. Who ever knew we should have just said it was free?

Want to keep explaining to me how little experience I have?

Oh and we regularly PAY people who make 7 digits a year. Not all from us but cumulatively. But keep assuming it is what you seem to be good at.

I will freely admit I have zero experience with not charging money for services. I have not mastered that yet.

Is the measuring contest over now?

Continue on.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jul 20, 2014 12:10AM)
Mindpro,

You make some excellent points, and I agree with everything you said. Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts.

I believe the speaking business is just like any other business in that it takes time, effort, and dedication to be successful. If it was easy, a lot more people would be doing it.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 20, 2014 08:36PM)
Turns out we have been dealing with this market for a long time. Again the concept that eludes me completely, and perhaps it is my lack of brains is why you would not want to be paid. Notice how I never said don't sell things. I am just saying you should be paid. ALL of our speakers are paid and paid well. Why would you not want more money? Why is it either or?

Please don't tell me you are working just to sell things later. That is a bad road to ruin. Speakers/lecturers get paid and paid well.

Now I don't ask this to be a nit but is it that you have not progressed that far in the industry? No offense but is it like the restaurant magician working for tips to learn? I am genuinely asking to understand here.

Many speakers charge a large entery fee and give away a certain amount of stuff to stimulate purchases. These people close a much larger percentage of the room.

I am just curious where the experience level is here. That may be what I am missing.
Message: Posted by: MrHyde (Jul 20, 2014 09:13PM)
One of the things people don't realise, or choose to ignore, is that there are many niches in the world of speaking and many different models that could work. I wrote about this in my article in Vanish #9 and in Magically Speaking. I'd repost the article here but I,m in the South Pacific. My speaking activities earn me 6 figures a year, but I'm no celebrity. And guess what, I don't sell BOR. In fact I give away a package of products, about $50 , to every delegate. It,s a model that works for me.

TH
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jul 20, 2014 09:36PM)
Dannydoyle,

I think the big disconnect is the TYPE of event hasn't been mentioned.

What type of event are you getting them paid well? How many people are there?

I work mostly industry trade shows.. These events have thousands of people at them and you get a bunch of people into any lecture.
These events DO NOT PAY the speakers, they pay for your room, and travel. This isn't something you can negotiate with the people putting on the event.
Some speakers do get sponsors and are paid to be there, but most do not get that.

I would rather have the chance to get in front of 1200 business owners and teach, then sell something than not speak.
The vendor booth I run at these events has 2 staff members at them all the time. We sell the entire weekend and increase the company bottom line.

This system is increasing my bottom line each month and if the numbers stay consistent with sales there is a potential of a 6 figure monthly income over the next 2 years.

6 figures residual is not a path to ruin.

--------

The well paid lectures..
I was hired to teach a sales team how to use social media to generate consistent leads.
This event paid VERY well and I sold a coaching program at it.
And yes these are great events..

------

The difference between the two. The trade show's where you don't get paid, put you in front of MANY MANY more business owners (my ideal target market). While the other ones are nice and I don't turn them down, long term they do not have as good of an ROI.

I work with National speakers.
One of them is a CPS (not easy to get)
One of the others I have worked with is a multi millionaire


YES.. you can get paid well to speak, but the venues that have TONS more people don't pay unless you have a sponsor, and that takes time.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Jul 20, 2014 10:08PM)
[quote] I actually miss our purple clad guru wanna be. At least he understood value costs money. [/quote]

Reading this thread was worth it, just for this line.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 20, 2014 10:27PM)
Many comedians and comedy clubs had 6 figure incomes. Road to ruin.

[quote]On Jul 20, 2014, MrHyde wrote:
One of the things people don't realise, or choose to ignore, is that there are many niches in the world of speaking and many different models that could work. I wrote about this in my article in Vanish #9 and in Magically Speaking. I'd repost the article here but I,m in the South Pacific. My speaking activities earn me 6 figures a year, but I'm no celebrity. And guess what, I don't sell BOR. In fact I give away a package of products, about $50 , to every delegate. It,s a model that works for me.

TH [/quote]
Finally thank you.

Yes there are different models which is why I asked the last question. I am COMPLETELY ignorant of not charging. Can't imagine why one would do it. But cool. Just trying to clarify.


Posted: Jul 20, 2014 11:49 pm Mike it does not at all sound like we are even remotely talking about the same thing. Maybe it is the same with Lou. Sounds to me like you have a booth at a trade show and get a slot to help sell your stuff. COOL not saying it is a bad thing but not what I think of as a speaking or lecture gig.

I am talking more about going into colleges or companies not trade shows.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jul 21, 2014 12:45AM)
I originally started this thread to talk about speaking with confidence. It has since turned into a mudslinging contest which only confuses the issue of what it is to be a professional public speaker.

There is no singular business model for a speaker. There are many different business models to choose from. No business model is better than the other. Itís what each speaker decides is best for himself.

In magic there are magicians who specialize in childrenís entertainment. Some only do birthday parties, while others only do school and library shows. There are corporate magicians who only do trade shows, and others who only do banquet shows. Then there are those who do a combination of all of the above.

Some magicians sell BOR. Others do not. Some magicians are happy to make $50,000 per year, while others would be miserable if that was their situation. Some magicians charge $300 for a birthday party show and are happy only doing those types of shows, while other magicians charge thousands of dollars per day to work a trade show and then sell several more thousands of dollars worth of give-away products to the company that hired them.

There are some magicians who will do a local corporate banquet show for $250, and are happy about it. While others, including myself, charge $3500 for the same type of engagement. My business hasnít been hurt one bit by all the low-budget magicians in my area, and there are hundreds of those in the Los Angeles area where I live.

One business model is not better than the other. Itís up to each individual to decide for himself what is best for him.

The same is true for speakers. Most speakers speak for a fee, and donít sell any BOR, while others speak for a fee and do sell BOR. Many speakers do a combination of both paid and free speaking engagements. Some of those sell BOR. Some donít. Some speakers only do keynotes, while others do a combination of keynotes, consulting, training, coaching, and product sales.

This is the way things have been for decades, and nobody has ruined the business. There are still people on both ends of the spectrum. Some who canít get a paid speaking gig to save their lives while others are making millions of dollars per year.

In a previous post, Mr Hyde stated the he earns a 6-figure income with no BOR. Itís a model that works for him. Itís also a model that works for many others.

The key is to choose a path and do something about it. Study everything you can on the business, find a mentor, create a business plan, execute the plan, and when things donít go your way, adjust the plan and keep executing.

Itís your life. You can either live it by design or by default. It doesnít matter to me what you choose. As I said, itís your life.

As for me, I prefer to live a life by design. I have a plan, and Iím executing the plan.

Wishing you all much success!

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: G. Batson (Jul 26, 2014 07:37PM)
[quote]On Jul 19, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Who said having products devalues you? [/quote]

You did.

"In my experience the exact opposite is true. Why devalue what you do by expecting people to buy BOR?"
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 26, 2014 08:01PM)
Very well said Lou!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 26, 2014 08:08PM)
[quote]On Jul 26, 2014, G. Batson wrote:
[quote]On Jul 19, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Who said having products devalues you? [/quote]
You did.

"In my experience the exact opposite is true. Why devalue what you do by expecting people to buy BOR?" [/quote]
Out of context what WAS said was about working the gig for free ONLY TO SELL BOR. NEVER said DON'T sell BOR. But why let facts and context get in the way?
[quote]On Jul 19, 2014, lou serrano wrote:

Danny, I must say I do appreciate your posts. I have a feeling that stirring up the post is your way of having a good time. [/quote]
Is this part of the "mud slinging" you seem so opposed to Lou?

[quote]On Jul 20, 2014, lou serrano wrote:
Danny,

In another thread you responded to me that you don't speak on topics in which you have no experience. Yet, it's painfully obvious to me that you have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to this topic.

Continue on.

Lou Serano [/quote]
How about this one Lou? Is it part of the "mud slinging" that seems to upset you so?

Mr. Hyde expresses the EXACT business model that I was talking about, the one I am familiar with and it is ok. I express it and it is painfully obvious I have no idea what I am talking about. How does that work exactly?

I am all for letting things go. But lets at least get this out of the way.

I for one have NEVER heard of working for free to sell BOR, and my ONLY experience with it is the comedians who ruined the comedy club market, the magicians who do it and are ruining markets as we speak. My experience has always been BOR is a BONUS, not something that you counted on to make the money. It was something that you got extra. ALL the speakers we use are paid up front, and oddly enough just as Mr. Hyde said some give out materials. (Then they do the up sell on some of them.) So now I learned. Cool.

I am just curious why it is perfectly valid when he mentions the EXACT same thing, and I am totally wrong when I mention it?
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 26, 2014 09:18PM)
Danny, you talked as if it was only one way to make money in the speaking business.

MrHyde spoke about the method he used, but he also made it clear that "there are many niches in the world of speaking"

So did Lou, "There are many different business models to choose from. No business model is better than the other. Itís what each speaker decides is best for himself."

So did I. Of course you twisted and downplayed everything I said.

I gave an example of how the circus uses BOR to make money and you only had snide remarks like this to say:

"So the amazing advice on this thread is to devalue the work in general and then to sell BOR. Sounds like a excellent plan. It worked so well for the circus."

"Lets take an existing lucrative market and run it into the ground. I bet your ideas are welcomed with open arms by the speaking community."

You also said, "It is quite rare for a big name in demand speaker to discount to sell BOR. "

That's not true all. The real truth is, the high fees that many of the name speakers throw out there is in part for publicity. Many times they are negotiable.

Danny it's clear that you tried to make it sound like it was only one way, your way, for speakers to do business.


Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 26, 2014 09:27PM)
Nice of you to jump in when you don't do this at all. I think you are the one who likes to stir the pot.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 26, 2014 09:30PM)
Who said I haven't been involved with speaking? I said I didn't speak now.
There is lot you don't know about me Danny.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 26, 2014 10:24PM)
Why you keep inserting yourself when I ask Lou a question is one of the things that is a mystery to me.

Oh yea the alleged mysterious previous speaking gig with very important people. Oooooo
Message: Posted by: zinser (Aug 7, 2014 09:58PM)
I am delighted to inform everyone that I know absolutely nothing about the speaking business and have never given a paid speech in my life. (quite a lot of unpaid ones though) However, in the great tradition of the magic Cafť I would like to advise on a subject I know nothing about. After all, everyone else does it so I don't see why I should be left out.

I expect Lou knows this already but perhaps others don't. The two best books I have come across on this subject are "How to Speak and Grow Rich" by Dottie Walters and the other one is "Money Talks" by Alan Weiss. Mr Weiss in particular amuses me with his slightly cynical attitude. He actually reminds me of Danny Doyle!

And yes. Both authors chatter mightily about back of the room material. It seems to be pretty standard for this to be offered.

But wait! I have just remembered that I once did speeches in hotels! I advertised free lectures in local newsapers on a certain topic which I have expertise in. The word "Free" always got good crowds. At the seminars I would pitch my services and it did work quite well. But of course this is pretty standard stuff in the speaking business. I never did sell BOR though although I probably should have done.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 7, 2014 10:11PM)
Wow Mark made it back.
Message: Posted by: lunatik (Aug 8, 2014 09:53AM)
[quote]On Jul 20, 2014, MikeClay wrote:
Dannydoyle,

I think the big disconnect is the TYPE of event hasn't been mentioned.

What type of event are you getting them paid well? How many people are there?

I work mostly industry trade shows.. These events have thousands of people at them and you get a bunch of people into any lecture.
These events DO NOT PAY the speakers, they pay for your room, and travel. This isn't something you can negotiate with the people putting on the event.
Some speakers do get sponsors and are paid to be there, but most do not get that.

I would rather have the chance to get in front of 1200 business owners and teach, then sell something than not speak.
The vendor booth I run at these events has 2 staff members at them all the time. We sell the entire weekend and increase the company bottom line.

This system is increasing my bottom line each month and if the numbers stay consistent with sales there is a potential of a 6 figure monthly income over the next 2 years.

6 figures residual is not a path to ruin.

--------

The well paid lectures..
I was hired to teach a sales team how to use social media to generate consistent leads.
This event paid VERY well and I sold a coaching program at it.
And yes these are great events..

------

The difference between the two. The trade show's where you don't get paid, put you in front of MANY MANY more business owners (my ideal target market). While the other ones are nice and I don't turn them down, long term they do not have as good of an ROI.

I work with National speakers.
One of them is a CPS (not easy to get)
One of the others I have worked with is a multi millionaire


YES.. you can get paid well to speak, but the venues that have TONS more people don't pay unless you have a sponsor, and that takes time. [/quote]

Did I read that correctly, a 6 figure monthly income? That's a ton of money, but a chunk of that would pay your 2 assistants. Making over 1 Million per year sounds interesting
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Aug 16, 2014 07:25PM)
[quote]On Jul 18, 2014, lou serrano wrote:
Toastmasters is a great organization, and can be very beneficial for people just starting out. With that being said, I believe people who are already professional magicians have an enormous advantage over anyone at Toastmasters. As professional magicians, we already have experience speaking in front of groups.
Lou Serrano [/quote]
Jeff McBride would disagree with you. I have heard him tell pros at a masterclass to join Toastmasters and learn to present properly.

As an experienced Toastmaster (world quarter finalist more than once) I can tell you that the organisation offers far more than your local SAM or IBM meeting. It is a highly structured training program. Most magicians DON'T have the speaking skills to survive without the crutch of the tricks. That's why they do tricks. A comedian might have the skills, but not most magicians.

Beyond that I have little to add. In Ireland I have rarely been paid anything significant as a speaker. But if you think that magic alone is good training for a professional speaker, I fear you will not get as far as you hope to.
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Aug 17, 2014 07:07AM)
I've been following this thread with some interest as I made the transition under discussion about 20 years ago, so I could speak for a few hours on the topic. Oh wait...I already did...and put it out as an audio product called "Secrets of the Moticational Magician."

Instead of trying to re-state everything I've already said, just go to http://www.success-in-magic.com/store and use the coupon code listed below and you can download it for free all day today, August 17th. But first, let me make one comment about Toastmasters.

At one of the educational sessions at the National Speakers Association annual convention a few years ago I sat in a room full of top professional speakers including Hall of Fame speakers and watched video recordings of the best Toastmaster speakers followed by an analysis of their techniques. We all felt humbled as the Toastmaster speakers were excellent, even better than some of pros in that room. Toastmasters is a great organization for learning how to speak in public.

Now, if you want the free download with my thoughts on making the tansition from magician to speaker just got to http://www.success-in-magic.com/store and select Secrets of the Motivational Speaker.

Use the Coupon Code: motivate

and it's free all day today.

Best wishes.
Jim
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Aug 17, 2014 09:05AM)
I'm no expert on this topic, but I did find the guidance in Judy Carter's blog on when to speak for free relevant to the conversation. For what it's worth:

http://blog.judycarter.com/2014/03/performing-for-free-theres-hope.html?m=1
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 17, 2014 09:35AM)
This is a very generous offer from Jim. While you're at store purchase some of his other great (and so affordable) resources.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Aug 17, 2014 12:51PM)
Jim,

Thank you very much for your very generous offer. I just downloaded your audio files and PDF, and I look forward to listening to it later today.

FYI, I first met Jim Snack about 10 years ago at a 3-day seminar hosted by Steve Hart on the subject of being a motivational magician. It was a great seminar, and I learned a great deal. One of the stand out speakers for me was Jim Snack. Not only did he captivate and engage the entire audience, but he shared some incredibly valuable information. Jim Snack is the real deal, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and his work.

Pizpor,

Thank you for sharing Judy Carter's article. There's some good info there.

--

One last thing, on the subject of Toastmasters. The local chapters of Toastmasters are only as good as the people who participate in them. I'm in Los Angeles, where you'd think you'd have a great speakers in this organization. I've attended four different Toastmaster meetings in my area, and unfortunately I didn't experience any of the great speakers. I've also seen many videos of Toastmaster speeches, and some have been outstanding. I think Toastmasters is a wonderful organization, and can be very beneficial for many. It's just not for me. The only way to know for sure if it's right for you is to attend some meetings yourself, and make your own decision.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Aug 17, 2014 12:58PM)
Jim, thanks for your kind offer.

In the past I've bought other books and files from Jim's website and always found them to be filled with great information. Make sure you check out all the other marketing books and files he offers on his website.

Greg
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Aug 17, 2014 04:07PM)
You're right Lou, a chapter is only as good as its members. The video I watched was from the World Championship competition that Toastmasters holds every year at their conventions so it was the best of the best. I was definitely humbled when watching the competition speakers.

Enjoy the free download. I recorded it a few years ago, but it's still relevant.

Jim
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Aug 17, 2014 05:54PM)
It is not true that a Toastmasters Club is only as good as its members, because the organisation is highly structured, and you can learn a huge amount simply through following the program. I have been a member of four clubs, and in each one I have been substantially better than the other members. But I am still learning every meeting. That's why I keep going back. I learn nothing at magic meetings, because there is no structure to help you learn. That is why there are so many bad magicians out there.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Aug 17, 2014 06:58PM)
Tony,

If you find value in your participation in Toastmasters, then I congratulate you and wish you continued success!

As I stated before, I believe Toastmasters can be very beneficial for many people. Professional speakers, aspiring speakers, and those who have no desire to become professional speakers can all benefit, and there are many benefits to being a Toastmaster. Gaining confidence, getting feedback from your peers, creating goals within the program, learning and developing new skills, and most importantly gaining experience speaking in front of groups are just a few of the benefits. With your experience you can probably list many more benefits than I can, and if you're so inclined, please share them.

Participating in Toastmasters is an excellent way to become a better speaker, but it's not the only way. In any case, I believe more people should at least check out a local chapter and find out first hand if it's right for them.

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 17, 2014 07:49PM)
Lou seems to be saying the organization is only as good as the members you are exposed to. Does this not hold true of ALL organizations.
Message: Posted by: socalmagic (Aug 17, 2014 09:43PM)
Thanks Jim! That was very generous of you. I downloaded the files and look forward to listening to them.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Aug 18, 2014 09:45AM)
I have moved my magic into a part-time venture and my primary job for the past 3 years is that of a public speaker/business trainer (although I don't draw a large distinction, as in my mind they are both performing). I was a member of Toastmasters years and years ago and I have found it's not so much who the OTHER members are as what YOU put into it. Like most thing, you'll get out what you put in.

Besides being a performer, I spent time as a teacher. I think that combination was a good preparation for transitioning into speaking.

As for BOR sales, I have found most speakers have things to sell, whether it's a book, program, support material, etc. It's the "celebrity" speakers who often don't (for example, if you have Terry Bradshaw at your event, he probably won't sell things. But even celebs often off signed books). Based on my experience, it doesn't devalue a speaker in the least. In fact, most people WANT to take home a part of the speaker/program.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Mar 19, 2019 01:57AM)
Old thread but when performers are in transition to becoming public speakers, are they using visual aids such as power point? I ask because it seems so much to come up with while keeping up props and fitting it all together. Yes, I do attend toastmasters also.

Decomposing Speech
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Mar 20, 2019 01:03AM)
There is a term in the speaking industry which is "death by PowerPoint. As for speakers we train or represent PowerPoint should only be used if it is a necessary enhancement with a purpose, and then only when used properly. The problem for many speakers is they rely on the PP as a guide or to lead their presentation. The worst thing a presenter or speaker can do is rely on the PP to guide them or be used as a crutch for not knowing or memorizing their presentation.

We rep many pro athletes who often use PP to show clips of their performance highlights, specific audio components, etc. These serve a specific purpose in the presentation.

I would ask yourself 'why" is there a need for a PP accompaniment?

Also, I'd be curious to know what kind of speaking you are considering/doing - Keynote, Workshops, Lecture, Speak To Sell, etc., as this too can make a difference. PP can often create a barrier and distraction in some formats of presentation.

Also using and creating PPs is also an art and skill. Going into it blindly can often result in it working against you to preventing, overshadowing, or distracting your message or content.

Also, not sure what you mean by props in your speaking presentation?
Message: Posted by: Carducci (Mar 20, 2019 02:20AM)
[quote]On Jul 17, 2014, lou serrano wrote:
... Most companies and associations don't hire professional speakers. They hire experts who can speak. This is a topic I'll address at another time.
...[/quote]

I believe this is the key. There is a lot of value in having specific expertise and a lot of value in being able to deliver that expertise in an approachable and engaging manner.

Somewhere over the last decade I went from doing zero speaking to earning about 95% of my income from speaking engagements. I believe the secret to my success has been, as Lou suggested, actually having expertise in a particular area. For me I draw on extensive experience as a software engineer and speak to tech audiences all over the world.

I will note that I actually perform very little magic while speaking. Any piece I perform has to fit the topic and the point I'm trying to illustrate. It has to add value to the audience beyond the entertainment factor.

In making the transition, I learned that the experience I use most often isn't the magic, but the experience and skill of entertaining an audience on a platform. If I ever do bring "props" or magic into the talk, I've started first with the message of what I'm trying to say and, from there, it becomes very obvious if there is some performance piece that would fit. I'd advice anyone going down this path to start with zero magic and *maybe* add a moment here or there if it's truly fitting. In many cases, forcing magic into a presentation that is about something completely different will feel trite and contrived if not handled very carefully and deliberately.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Mar 24, 2019 10:17PM)
It's interesting to read these posts from the past. I've found that magicians can do well in speaking as they are hopefully good performers. The weak link seems to be actually having something compelling to say. My talk on "Magical Psychology As An Aid In Story Telling" for Walt Disney Imagineering is what got me hired there for 5 years on an amazing project. I ended up giving several other talks for them on creativity and goal setting while I worked there. A distinctive point of view or idea that resonates with your audiences is such a vital link in this profession. After creating many unique philosophies and concepts on growth and creativity, I feel that is my value as a speaker, not just the fact that I can perform well. Your value is in your specific ways you can stimulate growth and transform lives... not how cleverly you can add a trick into your speech.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Mar 25, 2019 12:33AM)
[quote]On Mar 20, 2019, Carducci wrote:
[quote]On Jul 17, 2014, lou serrano wrote:
... Most companies and associations don't hire professional speakers. They hire experts who can speak. This is a topic I'll address at another time.
...[/quote]
I believe the secret to my success has been, as Lou suggested, actually having expertise in a particular area.
[/quote]

Here is the rub isn't it? Actually HAVING experience is not easy. It takes decades to develop these things, not just a few weeks of research.

The problem with most magicians wanting to transition in to the speaking is this very important step is one they want to skip.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Mar 25, 2019 09:24AM)
The first question I always ask performers who want to transition to speakers is - why? Many seem to do it for reasons that ultimately work against them. Very few do it because they have a sincere desire to communicate something special, unique, or as Danny said experience.

After that, the problem I have with many I've trained and work with is the magic. I think magicians see speaking as another way to perform their magic. Speaking is about communicating and sharing a message or specified content. It should always be about the message first and foremost - the benefits or takeaways to the audience - not the magic.

If there is any magic at all it should be the final element to include only after the message or specialized content is in place and communicated.

Far too often I see magicians that try to create their content around their magic. I work a great deal in the education market and I can't tell you how many magicians try to position themselves as speakers but simply perform their magic and think that if they produce silks in their presentation that say "Stay In School," "Say NO To Bullying," or "Say No To Drugs" that they are somehow being a "motivational speaker."
They're not. At best, they MIGHT be doing message-based magic. Any trick-based presentation will likely be weak on content, message or true applicable takeaways.

I love working with speakers that A. truly have experience and something to say, and B. understand the proper use of outside disciplines such as magic as an enhancement to their message. When done right it can work well, but again the magic must not be front and center but rather an accompaniment used sparingly and effectively.

Also, there are many different types of speaking, and the specific type of speaker should be understood and identified first. It's like someone saying I want to be a performer. Okay, what type of performer? There are so many to choose from - magician, comedian, DJ, actor, juggler, singer, musician, dancer, etc., it is a general term that needs some clarification in order to pursue.

Also important is the market you are choosing to work. Some markets would welcome a touch of magic if properly done while others may find it unacceptable or an annoyance. Like entertaining, know your market and know your audience.

Speaking is not just another performance venue, it is a different discipline with a different set of structures, guidelines and expectations.

I don't know that I agree with Ray's sentiments that many magicians could make good speakers because "as they are hopefully good performers." Many magicians are not good performers unfortunately because they put so much emphasis on their tricks. Their tricks and the execution of the tricks is most of their performance. Communication, rapport, connection, and of course having a message is not what many magicians are used to. Many simply learn their tricks, create a presentation around it (often times taken from someone else's) and that then becomes the bulk of their performance. They can hide behind the tricks or the "magic." This is not true for speaking, in fact often it is the opposite.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Mar 26, 2019 11:58AM)
[quote]On Mar 25, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
I don't know that I agree with Ray's sentiments that many magicians could make good speakers because "as they are hopefully good performers." Many magicians are not good performers unfortunately because they put so much emphasis on their tricks. Their tricks and the execution of the tricks is most of their performance. Communication, rapport, connection, and of course having a message is not what many magicians are used to. Many simply learn their tricks, create a presentation around it (often times taken from someone else's) and that then becomes the bulk of their performance. They can hide behind the tricks or the "magic." This is not true for speaking, in fact often it is the opposite. [/quote]

So many great points and I agree 100%. In fact, I should have said "Good Magicians..." which as we know is a small percentage as they're the ones who realize all of the above.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Apr 4, 2019 09:53AM)
I made the transition to Trainer / Speaker a few years back and have enjoyed where it has brought me.
After being forced to stop taking gigs as an entertainer, and being forced back into computers just to pay bills, I was broken and bitter. Speaking has allowed me to entertain again, and with a type of audience I would have never been infront of any other way.

I did want to add a note about using powerpoint... DON'T unless it truly ads to the lecture / class / speech..
And for the love of all things holy don't just add text to it and read it.... I got to watch that happen last week at an event.

Next week I am in FL teaching a group of business owners how to use a ManyChat Bot. In this case the visuals are needed.

So I would suggest, use it like Carolina Reapers. Sometimes ya need the heat, but not in every dish.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Apr 9, 2019 03:08PM)
That is great to hear Mike. I too have entered the speaker market. This time around I have received training and do attend toastmasters although this is just a piece of the pie so to speak. So much more then converting over to speaking and just winging it.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (May 2, 2019 09:58AM)
Yeah,
I didn't make the transition without mentorship.

I have a few friends who have been keynote speakers and a few who have been corporate trainers.
I got them to mentor me and help me get going.

The transition was only smooth because I had those who have already been successful guide me through it all.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (May 10, 2019 06:21PM)
I hear ya Mike. A Tony Robbins protege, Benji Bruce, now a millionaire came from being a magician to a speaker and high rise in Las Vegas. He is pretty generous giving back now. He has a huge following and can be found on Speakerlifestyle.com. Has a daily podcast free.