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How I say yes (and no) to speaking engagements
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi, Oi Oi! I’m in Australia now. Another trip down under to speak at Darren Rowse’s Problogger event in Brisbane this weekend, and Melbourne the following weekend.
I’m sharing the stage with Pat Flynn and other amazing speakers. ProBlogger is one of my favorite places to speak –– the Aussie community is so kind and welcoming.
Do you have a desire to share your voice, your message, your story with the world?
You’re not alone.
Every woman I personally work with evolves in her business and brand, and a strong call to reach more people is planted. This comes in the form of writing a book, mentoring other people, and speaking on bigger stages.
I know the call well because it happened to me. As I started to experience momentum and growth in my business at Simple Green Smoothies, I wanted to share my story to inspire others to take action on their big ideas.
I shared my business story for the first time at an event called, A Blogger Night of Big Ideas on July 9, 2013. After that night, I was hooked. I was committed to finding more ways to speak.
One year later, I would deliver my first keynote in front of 3,000 people at World Domination Summit (you can watch the video here).
I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my message in cool places around the world like Australia and the Philippines. I’m often asked how I decide whether or not to accept a speaking invitation.
Speaking engagements take up a lot of mindshare, so you want to be intentional to what you say yes to. Here is my approach to saying yes (and no) to speaking opportunities. I hope you find it helpful.
Things I always consider…
:: IS THE LOCATION COOL? I personally choose places that I want to visit. If the location isn’t on my wishlist of places to go, it’s most likely a no.
:: IS THIS AN EVENT I'D PAY TO ATTEND MYSELF? Meaning I'll learn from the other speakers, content being shared, and experience.
:: IS THIS MY COMMUNITY? Is the audience at the event people I'd be excited to serve and who I want to be a part of my community?
:: DO I ADMIRE THE HOST OF THE EVENT? Could building a relationship with this person be a benefit to my own personal network of friends and peers I can now call on?
:: DO I ADMIRE THE OTHER SPEAKERS AT THE EVENT? If one or a few of the speakers are on my radar of people that I'd like to connect with, being speaking peers is a great way to deepen that relationship.
Now when you're first starting out, you can take on speaking for free to build credibility of your speaking abilities. One speaking event if you rock it, can lead to another speaking event.
Say yes to smaller events to practice your message out loud. Once people are saying great things about you, you can start to charge or be more selective on what you say yes to.
Always account for how much time it will take you to prep for a talk and take you away from your business. Speaking takes up a lot of mental real estate. So be intentional with what you say yes to.
If you want to say no, here’s an example of how I gracefully decline a speaking opportunity if it doesn’t fit with my schedule and core business goals for that year:
Thank you for thinking of me!
I'm reducing my travel for 2017 as I'm working on some exciting things behind the scenes, so I have to politely decline this year's event. It sounds amazing. I truly feel honored that you considered me to serve your community of attendees.
If you’re looking for a few books and teachers to deepen your speaking craft, the ones below are great resources to help you improve your story and your presence on stages.
- Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte
- Transformational Speaking: If You Want to Change the World, Tell a Better Story by Gail Larsen
- Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life by Michael Port
I’m speaking at my first TEDx this November, so I’ll be sure to follow-up on my experience once I personally move through it myself!
I hope you’re enjoying your summer (or winter if you’re in Australia)!
After my time in Australia, my family and I are headed to Bali to soak up the last bits of our summer vacation. My husband arranged for us to lead his One Heart Music class at an orphanage there. I can’t wait! It’s always been our dream to travel + give back with our time when we visit other countries.