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

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zinser
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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 Café 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.
Dannydoyle
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Wow Mark made it back.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
lunatik
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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.


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
"Don't let your Dreams become Fantasies"
TonyB2009
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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

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.
Jim Snack
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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
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
Pizpor
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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/perfo......html?m=1
Mindpro
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This is a very generous offer from Jim. While you're at store purchase some of his other great (and so affordable) resources.
lou serrano
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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
Greg Arce
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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
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Jim Snack
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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
Jim Snack

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www.success-in-magic.com
TonyB2009
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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.
lou serrano
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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
Dannydoyle
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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.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
socalmagic
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Thanks Jim! That was very generous of you. I downloaded the files and look forward to listening to them.
Starrpower
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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.
Decomposed
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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
Mindpro
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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?
Carducci
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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.
...


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.
Ray Pierce
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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.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Dannydoyle
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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.
...

I believe the secret to my success has been, as Lou suggested, actually having expertise in a particular area.


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.
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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