Steve Siebold is a million dollar speaker in the professional speaker circuit. Steve was a young tennis professional and often tells the story of how he played Bjorn Borg as a junior tennis player. After his short lived professional tennis career, Steve saw Bill Gove, the father of professional speaking. Eventually, Steve convinced Bill Gove to start a school teaching the public how to become professional speakers. Bill Gove taught most of the top professional speakers of the 70s, 80s and 90s, like Zig Ziglar, Mark Victor Hansen and Nido Qubein. I met Steve a year after Bill Gove passed away when I took the Bill Gove Speech Workshop course with Steve. I can’t say enough how much it helped me and my career.
Steve’s 20 steps to succeeding as a professional speaker:
- Learn professional speaking skills. These skills are very different from public speaking training. Bill used to say your performance had to be good enough for Vegas.
- Learn and develop professional keynote speech writing skills. The keynote is the prize in professional speaking and it requires non-linear format.
- Learn the difference between training, teaching and keynote speaking. Keynote speaker are the rock stars of the pro circuit and speak at national conventions as leaders.
- Learn to become a personality speaker not a commodity speaker. Personality speakers are hired for who they are, which means they have no competition.
- Develop a strong point of view in your speeches. The stronger your POV the more loyal your audience.
- Practice your speech every day. Keynoters are show biz performers. Get professional training
- Memorize your speech, including every pause and movement.
- Tape all your rehearsals and hire a successful professional speaker to review and coach you.
- Speak at all the civic clubs and chamber of commerce events you can. Tape them all.
- Read, read, read! Read every book on your topic. (I would include blogs today)
- Establish yourself as world class resource on your topic. If you’re reading this you already know how to do this, even if you’re not yet there.
- Create an audio blog to showcase your speaking talent and unique POV.
- Don’t take advice from anyone in the speaking business who doesn’t earn at least a million per year speaking. Ok, a bit self-serving but Steve’s the real deal. But he’s not the only million dollar speaker.
- Learn how to write marketing copy to sell seminars, books etc. Stve recommends Ted Nicholas.
- Select a topic to speak on that will sell to the public market and professional corporate market.
- Build a speaking business with multiple sources revenue not directly from speaking. Books, DVDs, websites trainings, etc
- Keep 100% ownership of all your IP. BE careful of book publishers and others that want control of your IP.
- Build a massive network of referral agents who can generate qualified leads for speaking, training and consulting. Give them a referral agent agreement with % of your gross sales from any leads.
- Learn as much as you can about the business of speaking.
- Write a great book on your topic of interest. But only when you have a clear philosophy and crafted POV. When you write the book write it as the definitive book on your topic.
I know from watching Steve, since 2002, implement these principles and become a million a year speaker (top1%), that it was not easy for Steve. He developed a strong POV on mental toughness of which he is a living example of.