If you missed the intro of this series, go here. 

Part 1: The Speakers

In 2009, my vision of hosting transformational women’s conferences came to fruition with my first  Ignite Your Spark conference. Since then I’ve had over 100 speakers on my stages and many more on my virtual stages for telesummits and podcast.

Why am I mentioning this? Speakers vary and while there are speakers out there like Leonie’s article mentions, there are amazing speakers too.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen the ugly side of speakers at events. Speakers who…

… threw a tantrum (literal tantrum) because I didn’t have the right kind of tea in the speaker break room.
… flat out lied on how much they sold so they didn’t have to pay me my percentage…
… at the last minute changed their offer to a $20 offer from the stage so they only had to pay me my 25% of the sales and then quickly upsold people to their higher-priced programs but since the upsells weren’t technically sold at the event, I didn’t receive a commission on those sales.

I’ve seen the absolute delight and integrity by speakers too, which is what I experience most of the time.

The difference between the dramatic and the delightful?

There is a big difference between speakers who want to speak to my audience to GET something vs speakers who genuinely desire to contribute value and CO-CREATE something with me.

Get vs co-create. Do you get the difference there?

Guess which speakers I have on my stage?

Tip: when speakers ask me what my vision is for the event and how they can contribute to that, it’s awesome. I rarely get asked that and most speakers approach the opportunity about what I can do for them.

Speakers who spend all of their time selling and no time giving value are a dime a dozen.

And then the flip side is speakers who give SO much value, they leave the room in overwhelm and they wonder why they don’t have people seeking them out to work with them.

A great resource to find that balance of giving amazing value and authentically inspire people to work with you is Kristin Thompson at http://www.speakservegrow.

If you are a speaker, you’ll stand out from other speakers (in a good way) by asking the event host questions about their vision and how you can contribute to it and the audience.

If you are looking for speakers, get really clear on why the speaker wants to speak at your event. If it’s ONLY to get sales and they’ll do whatever it takes to get those sales, then PASS.

Have clear agreements with your speakers and follow your gut. It doesn’t matter how a speaker looks on paper. I recommend seeing clips of them speaking and speak to references.

Personally, if a speaker is high-maintenance EVEN if they give a great talk, I pass. There are amazing speakers who are authentic, brilliant on stage, GREAT to work with on and off stage, and focused on bringing value.

The bottom line is when you’re attending an event, pay attention if the speakers resonate with you or not.

As a speaker, you can deliver incredible value AND make great money without the fear-based slimy pitch fest.

Go on to part 2 about Selling here, which is my favorite section of this series.