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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Tricky business Ľ Ľ Transitioning From Magician To Professional Public Speaker (16 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mindpro
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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."
TomBoleware
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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
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

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MikeClay
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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 ...
Dannydoyle
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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.


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


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.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
lou serrano
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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
Dannydoyle
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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.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
lou serrano
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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
Dannydoyle
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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.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
MrHyde
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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
MikeClay
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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.
charliecheckers
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Quote:
I actually miss our purple clad guru wanna be. At least he understood value costs money.


Reading this thread was worth it, just for this line.
Dannydoyle
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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

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.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
lou serrano
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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
G. Batson
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Who said having products devalues you?


You did.

"In my experience the exact opposite is true. Why devalue what you do by expecting people to buy BOR?"
Mindpro
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Very well said Lou!
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Jul 26, 2014, G. Batson wrote:
Quote:
On Jul 19, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Who said having products devalues you?

You did.

"In my experience the exact opposite is true. Why devalue what you do by expecting people to buy BOR?"

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.

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

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?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
TomBoleware
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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
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
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Dannydoyle
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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.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
TomBoleware
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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
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
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Dannydoyle
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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
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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