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021 - Using Your Book As A Public Speaker

public speaking Feb 25, 2020

Has someone told you that a book will help you get on stage to speak? Have you spoken on stage and wished you had additional credentials? Have you been asked to do break out sessions at a corporate event and lacked solid or professional material? 

Hi, I’m Nicole Gabriel and welcome to todays show!

Let’s talk about how to best write a book for the top paid speaking gigs.

A good majority of my clients are involved in some kind of speaking, whether that be TedX, corporate, or ministry. Generally it’s been the top large corporations that pay top dollar to speakers to entertain and motivate their employees. It’s been typical that motivational speakers have been brought in to boost morale, as a reward for hard work done, to create togetherness and build teams, to discuss or enhance awareness of sensitive topics. 

Generally speaking, a speaker becomes a motivator. The best results tend to be humor. So imagine taking the obstacles you’ve sensitively and emotionally overcome (such as what might be present in your book) and turning them into humorous dialog to aid in corporate transformation. This is quite a gift to be able to do that! Then to find topics that are not offensive and remain generally broad...and keeping in mind you must motivate and inspire but not with an entrepreneurial mindset if you’re speaking to 9 to 5 employees. After all, you are trying to keep employees motivated but not so motivated they want to go succeed elsewhere as an entrepreneur! 

You’ve got to inspire without separation, motivate without an entrepreneurial mindset, entertain with non-offensive humor, relate with experiential stories, and transform employee morale. 

You’ve got to think in terms of actionable items, methods, tools, etc that can be relatable back in the workplace. And, if you can come up with worksheets, workbooks, training programs, quizzes, etc then you can speak for a main event and then into breakout sessions. 

You see, many times these big events have multiple speakers on multiple topics and time slots to fill. They will hire you if you can provide books, workbooks, and entertainment value for filling space on an event calendar. Oftentimes speakers will be asked “what else can you do?” This is not often an upfront question but more an opportunity when bidding for a gig. Show up with your book and get on stage with accolades for your introduction, but showcase humor, entertainment value, and real breakout session tools… with a pretty vanilla (or safe) message and you’re a shoe-in!

So, as this relates to the content and structure of your book…you will need to create a cover that stand up boldly on the stage. You want a powerful presence on the stage. Your book cover will speak for you with bold blocky letters in your title and a bold vibrant color to pop and create a strong message for the audience. When you take the stage your book cover will likely become part of how you are identified as it fills the room with banners, powerpoint presentations, business cards, and back of the room sales.  

The content of your book will need to parallel the message you share from the stage. I share a download in my online book publishing program that identifies the key elements of a speaker and the content in the book should align with this to some degree. The same characteristics that make an effective public speaker…things like confidence, excitement, passion, and authenticity should be equally present in the books content as you portray on the stage. You need to have a clear purpose, share a few personal stories, identify your audience and how to speak to them, and always have a call to action on the stage and in your book…what is the thing you are motivating them to do and how can you also align that with an income generating facet of your business off the stage?

If you were doing a TED Talk for example, you’d need to have an idea worth spreading, build an emotional connection with supporting content and a good story…why not use the book to identify these up front and knock out the tough stuff while you’re writing? 

Speaking of TEDx, I have a client Davide Di Giorgio that consults with people on the TEDx process to help them make it a worthwhile experience. Check him out over at

OK, and as far as building a profession as a speaker? 

I wouldn’t go quitting your day job to be either a speaker or an author anytime soon. I’d just add these elements to your overall business—enhance what you’re already doing. Just like being an author…I tell people that if you want to become a writer then you need to always have the next book ready to publish to make a career out of it. Speaking is a bit the same. You need to do it often. And that will mean many sacrifices as you jump on a plane to go wherever that next gig is. If you plan to get paid then you have to become an expert at something. 

Your positioning of your book can launch a speaking career or a book can enhance the message and help you become an expert in something...cuz your book says you are, right? You want to also appear in the media about your subject. As a self-published author this is your gig so you have to be your own entrepreneur and find your gigs and media outlets.

Your fee...what you get paid? I have been an artist and art collector for years and I have learned that art is in the eye of the beholder. Speaking is much the same kind of thinking...what are you willing to speak for? You may set a fee and then negotiate less... or toss in a free book, workshop, breakout session, or seminar. You have to figure out what you are worth and find out what others are charging. You might charge for speaking and a breakout session. Most typically you can expect to earn $2,000-10,000 for a 30-60-minute speech. If you speak a few times a year its a nice extra income, but mostly its a way to get in front of an audience to share your business or other income-generating ideas, products, or services. If you aren’t getting the speaking fee you expected then ask if you can plug your business. This is where you make the greatest impact…share your book, your message, but mostly make it known what the thing is that generates you the greatest income, makes the biggest statement, or allows you to broadcast your movement…take the stage with a few motivations and goals in mind. 

I’ll plug my dad on this one…he’s been in sales his whole life. He taught me that the number one rule in sales is to have a goal in mind - that thing you wish to achieve - before you go into the “sale”. Sometimes the closing isn’t always the sale. Sometimes you have to smooth over a relationship, just be seen, or make a new contact. Use the book to get in the door, get on stage, gain credibility, and showcase your offerings. 

OK guys…a fun topic with multiple arms in many directions…we’ll hit on it again soon. For now…here’s your homework:

If you’re interested in speaking start looking up the many sources that can help you. Practice with Toastmasters, learn from the National Speakers Association, the Public Speakers Association, SpeakerHub, Global Speakers Federation, etc. Start thinking about core topics and how you can build the content in your book as you write. 

Keep going and keep up! Get clear on your vision and in no time you’ll work yourself into becoming an author.

Let me know what topics you're interested in and we can add those to a show for you to keep you going. Check out and comment over on our Lets Get Your Book Published FB page. You can also visit our sister company on the Angel Dog Productions FB page for all things book layout and design.

Eyes on the prize! Until next time!

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