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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » How to make big $$$ as a public speaker (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Al Schneider
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This is food for thought. Just something I thought you might find interesting. Actually I was planning on putting this into Genii. Never got around to it.

At one time I tried to get out of programming. I heard public speakers made good money. I was involved with it for a year and I would like to share my experiences with you.

This has two things in it relative to magic. That is, how to make a powerful presentation and something on how much money to charge.

I also would like to talk about fortune telling and offer something there. If interested, please express desire.

But back to public speaking.

First, I wanted to become a public speaker to communicate something of value to the audiences I spoke to. I have been to such events and have talked to people that have attended such events. Here is the consensus of opinion. While one is entertained at the presentations of speakers, one is never educated. For example, a friend, Chuck Nelson, was a manager in his family's company. The company regularly sent him to such events for the purpose of improving the business. He distinctly remembers going to one that was very, very good. He remembers being fired up while he was listening. He made many notes and thought how much all of this might help the family business. Then he applauded the speaker along with many others and walked out of the ballroom. As he walked toward his car he thought of how he would apply this new information. During that short walk to his car he could think of nothing that he could actually do. He realized that, while he felt very positive about the experience, he did not get something to actually improve the behavior of the company. While investigating public speaking, I discovered why.

One of the things I wanted to determine during this quest was how to give a powerful presentation. During many meetings at a speaker organization and while attending classes on being a public speaker, I discovered the following formula. Bear in mind that this is the formula to follow to be a really dynamic and inspiring speaker.

First, do not introduce anything new to the audience. You must present something they already know and understand. Also, you can present only one point.

Second, you must present that, something, with emotional experiences you yourself have lived.

There are many factors of presentation, elocution and delivery that are important. But these two factors were the predominate ones that could make you stand apart from other speakers.

It brings to mind one of the people that spoke at one of these events. She talked of being a little girl behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. For some reason she was put before a firing squad. When the soldiers shot, the one that was to shot her purposely missed. She fell pretending to be dead. She was carted away to escape and find her way to a ship bound for New York. She talked of running with poor gangs in the city. She was valued because she was small and could run into restaurants and steal food for her friends. Eventually she got into school, college and became a vice-president in a large bank. I will never forget that story. It was her story.

She was a good speaker and stood apart from all others I have heard. But I cannot remember the main point of her presentation.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, understanding these two factors cooled my interest in being a public speaker.

The other thing I wanted to learn was how to get into speaking and how to get money. Here it is.

First, speak. Speak about anything anywhere you can for nothing. I remember Zig Ziggler, a well know speaker, saying, "When I started I once drove all day to give a speech for nothing. I didn't have enough money to stay anywhere overnight, so I just drove home."

You keep speaking until someone says, "We need a speaker, and how much do you charge?" You tell them some small amount of money like $50. When a lot of people start asking you this, increase it by $25. It seems that you must speak about 400 times before you start charging money. The more you speak the more often you raise the money you are charging. When you get to about $600, you call an agent and get into the real professional work. A real speaker can make between $2000 and $10000.

The two points of interest to magic are first, personal experience is what builds impact. Second, start cheap and build as you do more shows.

This is what I learned. I thought you might find it interesting.

I'm sure many of you will have differing viewpoints on all of this.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Jim Snack
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Al,

You might find this thread helpful:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......4&53

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
Frank Tougas
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So much of why we retain little of what is "taught" in a speaker's presentation is that so little is actually taught. Basically a motivational approach is designed to motivate (duh!) to create just enough anxiety that a person will be prompted to decide on a course of action other than running away.

The problem is that more is needed to create action than motivationally produced anxiety. There must also be intent. Watching a speaker is passive in nature, even with a lot of (Gawd help us) role play and other techniques to get people up and moving, the intent to make a change is not present. To have a change, yes to make a change? questionable.

People leave a great motivational speech pumped up and ready for action. That is its purpopse. However, as it begins to dawn on them there is some work involved other than filling out the application and paying the fee for the seminar, the guild begins to wear off the lilly.

In general it is the speaker who profits most, not the attendees. That is not the speakers fault, but it does seem to occur quite often.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Jim Snack
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Sadly, what you say Frank, is true for most speaker's programs. But it doesn't have to be that way.

A great program is filled with much more than memorable stories and motivation. It's filled with useful information that can be easily implemented by those listening.

The current trend in the speaking business is away from "motivational speakers" and towards "experts who speak eloquently." Those are the speakers who not only make big $$$, but make a difference as well.

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
Bill Palmer
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I have not gotten into public speaking except in the most general way. I have done some special presentations in which I impersonated a Soviet computer expert, and in which I explained the significance of Hallowe'en to people who were witches. Being neither a Soviet computer expert, nor a witch, these were interesting bits to pull off. But I have a knowledge of Russian and the Soviet computer industry, so I was able to sustain the deception in that case. In the other case, I actually vetted the speech with some friends who are Wiccan, and they made sure I didn't make any mistakes.

However, my friends in the public speaking business all recommend that you sign up for Toastmasters. They have a way of paring out the fat and helping you give a really good speech.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Al Schneider
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Hmmm.
Actually my intent was not to belittle speakers.
If I were the type of person that was motivated in the money sense and needed the kind of strokes speakers get and willing to take the abuse speakers get when promoting themseleves, I would go for it.

I really wanted to share what my perception was of getting into this business.
What would an outsider say about getting into the magic business?
Especailly a business dependent on deception.

I had planned on sharing this with you for some time. My intent is to truely share what I find fascinating.

Here are a few more thoughts.

I signed up and paid for the Dale Carnegie course, "How to win friends and influence people." Very good course. In the class I took, 4 people from the same company took the class. One was a very successful speaker that was a member of Toastmasters. He was the boss and was having his 3 subordinates take the class. The boss of the boss however suggested the boss take the class also.

When this guy stood up to talk at our first few meetings the class was stunned at this person's power. His years of being a Toastmaster really showed. But then a strange thing happened. After about 6 classes out of about 16, everyone else pulled ahead of the Toastmaster. He never changed. Almost everyone in class could stand up and give a very personal moving speech. The Toastmaster did not change. His presentations quickly became cold and stiff by comparison.

I was always amazed by this.

During this class, several presentations were given by normal people speaking about their everyday lives that were truely moving.

The key was to speak from some personal experience.

I would like to think that I am successful here writing for you becasue I speak from my personal experience. My intent here is to entertain.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Bill Palmer
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He must not have learned much at Toastmasters. Smile

Remember, the best Chavez graduates are the ones who broke away from birds, cigarettes and cards -- Norm Nielsen, Marvyn Roy.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Partizan
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Quote:
The key was to speak from some personal experience.


Ahh now we are cooking, may I expand your statement!
The key would be to speak from everyones personal experience.

If with a sentance you can evoke great associations in the listener then the content is much more memorable.
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
Skip Way
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IBM Membership Chairman, Steve Hart, has an excellent magical motivation training program available at http://www.magic2motivate.com.

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
leftytheclown
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Has there ever been a formal review on the Steve Hart Motivational Program?
Lefty (aka) Sterling Dare
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MagicalArtist
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There's a good book called "Speaking with Magic" by Michael Jeffries on how to combine magic with public speaking.
Curtis Kam
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Al, with regard to your current point, I think we have the examples of David Copperfield, Rene Levand and Barrie Richardson who are experts at personalizing magical effects, either by tying them into personal experiences, or by finding in the effects themes that are meaningful to everyone. The technique can certainly carry over into magic, and although there is a risk that, as in your example, the personal story may overshadow the effect, sometimes that's all well and good. Other times, it's not hard to adjust the focus so that there is more balance.

Interesting personal experience you're relating so far. Have you considered speaking about your exploration of public speaking? It would be a valuable addition to the more usual magic convention offerings.
Is THAT a PALMS OF STEEL 5 Banner I see? YARRRRGH! Please visit The Magic Bakery
Al Schneider
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A corn field in WI surrounded by
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Curtis Kam
Sounds great, how much does it pay?
Al
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Steve Hart
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Hello Gang,

Those of you who are interested in hearing more about the future of magic and the speaking industry.

You can listen to an audio of a Tele-Seminar I did a year ago on this subject for Free! It is titled, "Changes and Trends in the Business of Motivational Magic!"

Go to my magic2motivate.com Website and click on the "Seminars" button then click on the word "Tele-Seminars" and scroll half way down that page.

I will be happy to answer any questions you have after you have listened to this audio seminar.

If you really want to know more, sign up for my e-Newsletter. It is filled with insightful tips and information about the business of public speaking and magic. Every issue is a easy three minute read. I promise you will enjoy it.


Steve Hart
www.SteveHartSpeaks.com
www.magic2motivate.com
"Motivational Magicians are some of the highest paid magicians, find out why?"
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