Speaker Fatigue: Don’t Wear Out Your Welcome
While I encourage speakers to utilize mufti-media as much as possible I caution them against speaker fatigue. This is the phenomenon known as booking too may gigs too close together. Not only do you end up regurgitating the same material but you also wear yourself down. Before you know it your presentations are robotic, mechanic, rehearsed and devoid of passion.
If you’re passionate about your topic the best way to avoid this is to be selective as much as possible. While there is a delicate balance between earning an income and gaining exposure for more lucrative engagements, being a professional speaker is akin to an acting career.
The best performers are as choosy as they can and pour their heart and soul into a delivery. What this means is that it’s important to understand how a topic has to evolve. Even key subjects have to be customized to the audience based on location and context.
Every time a speaker gets on stage they are a fresh face to the people who have paid to listen to them. It doesn’t matter if you have spoken on a topic over a hundred times, each time it has to appear new and exciting. My advice is to listen to the news, keep on top of what is trending in social media, and simply stay on your toes.
Every engagement is an audition for the next. Practice makes perfect but do not appear rehearsed and worn from your own material. Consider that speaking is storytelling. You may use the same words but it has to be as good as the first time. Another matter that I see in the speaking circuit is how much a speaker may occur too sales oriented and mediocre.
Never forget you have competition. There is always someone out there who will dazzle if you don’t. Practical ways to maintain momentum may be subtle but dramatic an still remain genuine. Use a checklist of hot buzz words, read the news and make it relevant, and never rest on the fact that the audience asked to hear you. They can just as easily write you off after a bad speech. The “trick” is to be the educator not an advertising piece for your business.
If you continue to be seen as an expert who gives people what is crucial to their needs the benefits will outweigh the lack of salesmanship. Everyone has a story that is polished but the defining element is to impart wisdom that people can take away with them. You can motivate but can you give them tangible skills that impact their lives in a measurable way? I see this too often with the motivational and inspirational segment of the speaking business.
There is no shortage of uplifting talks. What is in scarcity are those pep talks that bring home the goods. It’s not enough to raise the energy of the crowd because they will go home to their normal lives when it’s over. Start with an intention. What do you want the quantitative impact to be? For example, the best speakers give a blueprint or method like a time planning technique or instructs people on creative problem solving using the brainstorm method that considers their learning skill.
A speaker who facilitates improvement are continually sought after. Forget the fame game and the flash. Focus on results. You will never go wrong if you deliver that.
Guest post Rheba Estante