Public speaking is an amazing gig. For a start, you can impact hundreds if not thousands of people at a time. Competition is limited since most people would rather die than speak in front of an audience (which is remarkably silly and probably not true). It is fabulous pay – the best speakers get $10,000 for a gig, usually an hour. And, if you are good enough, you get to travel the world.
Professional speakers, such as the award-winning Matt Church, tell me that speakers who have a book are more likely to get a gig when all other things are equal. So, if two speakers are vying for the same gig, Church reckons the one with the book will win the day. I’ll take his word – he’s been speaking professionally for decades.
But books also generate speaking opportunities. Rotary and Probus clubs and general book clubs will jump at the opportunity to have an author come and speak. Industry associations frequently run breakfasts and book authors as keynote speakers. Radio, television and online media often feature authors talking about their books. Or, when news breaks, they ask authors for expert comment.
Enough said. If you want to write a book that furthers your ambitions as a speaker, what should it be about?
Write a book about what lights you up today (not yesterday)
It’s remarkable how often authors write about what they know … and hate. They decide to escape their role as corporate leaders and become a bean farmer. While the beans are growing, they write a book about corporate leadership. After all, that is what they know about. What happens? They are forever being asked to speak about leadership. ‘Why don’t you just read my book,’ they say. But it doesn’t work like that. Whatever you write about, you will speak about. For years to come.
If you want to be a bean farmer, write a book about bean farming. If you don’t know anything about bean farming, you now have an excellent reason to contact other bean farmers around the world, introduce yourself, and ask questions. Or write about becoming a bean farmer, or the challenges of making a career change, or moving from the city to the country.
Whatever you do, write about where you want to go, not where you have come from.
Turn your presentation into a book
If you are already a speaker, turn your favourite topic into a book. How do you turn a one-hour presentation into a 25,000 to 45,000-word book? If you love the topic, you will find a way. Add more stories, case studies and examples. Break your book into sections about the why, what and how of your topic. Add more data, questions and quizzes. Do some interviews and add the thoughts of others. Read more about your topic and refer to those books as you write.
Writing a book on your topic will enrich your public speaking. Even if you are already an expert, and super confident, the additional stories and data will re-energise and excite you.
Write about what you want to change
One of the big advantages of selling a book from the back of the room after you speak is that you have a lasting impact. How often have you left a presentation inspired to make changes, and found that you can’t really remember what you need to do, or even why you need to change? The energy fades, and you are left a little deflated.
If one of your reasons for speaking is to inspire change, your book will help you achieve your goal. The most inspired people in your audience will buy your book and, who knows … your words will lead to actions, will lead to change. Let’s just make sure it is always positive, compassionate and world-sustaining change.
Want to write a business book (that doesn’t suck) in 90 days? Book your free Discovery Session by clicking here. You will: focus your ideas, clarify your motivations, and receive a free copy of my book: Sticky Content: Mastering the Delicate Art of Content Marketing.
PS: What more? You may like How to use ‘pace’ when you write