Signature talks are the bedrock upon which you should build your speaking business. In fact, without them, you have no real business. That’s why it’s so crucial to get them right.
What everybody ought to know about signature talks is not only to be able to perform them at the drop of a hat, but you also need to be able to sell them. And sell them well.
Here’s what you need to know about signature talks so that you can make the most of them.
What Everybody Should Know About Signature Talks
Here are the minute marks that cover highlights in the episode:
What is a Signature Talk?
(2:25) Signature talks are a presentation or keynote speech that you give on a regular basis that showcases your work or expertise in a particular area.
It’s the talk you’re known for and that people come to see you give.
In a way, it defines who you are as a speaker. When people think of you and your specialist subject, your signature talks are what they’re going to think of first.
It’s also the talk you know best. You can reel it off without even thinking about it. You know all the ins and outs, all the jokes, all the stories. It’s like your comfort blanket, and it’s something you can rely upon time and time again.
Why You Need a Signature Talks
(3:25) Signature talks are essential for any speaker who wants to make a living from their craft. It’s a way of packaging up your work, knowledge, and expertise into a talk that you can then sell to clients over and over again.
It’s also a way of differentiating yourself from other speakers in your field. If you can nail your talk, you’re one step ahead of the competition.
It’s your springboard to establishing yourself as the authority in your chosen subject area.
Impressive signature talks on your chosen subject will ensure no one forgets your name in a hurry.
Lastly, it’s a speech you can deliver, at any time, at any location, and with your eyes closed if necessary.
But why is that important in the context of building your speaking business?
I’ll tell you why.
Because you always need to be ready to go with a speech.
And I mean ALWAYS.
Last-minute cancellations happen, and incredible speaking opportunities arise out of the blue. If you’re not prepared with a top-notch speech that you can confidently deliver at the drop of a hat, you WILL miss out.
Signature talks mean you’re always ready to go, no matter what.
How to Create Signature Talks That Sets You Up for Success
(5:01) Creating signature talks will take a while, as it will be your most important speech. So, it’s worth taking the time to get it right.
While I can’t tell you what to talk about, there are some general factors you need to keep in mind to give yourself the best chance of success.
Make Sure You’re an Expert on the Subject Matter
(5:34) It goes without saying that you need to be an expert on the subject matter of your talk. But what does that mean, exactly?
Well, you don’t need to be the world’s foremost authority on the subject. But you do need to have a deep understanding of it.
It should be your career, your passion, or your life’s work. You should be able to talk about it for hours without running out of things to say.
Remember, your signature talks are what you’re going to be known for. So, it’s essential that you choose a subject matter you’re comfortable with and that you can talk about with ease.
Find Your Unique Angle with Your Signature Talks
(6:22) When you’re an expert on something, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that people will automatically want to listen to you talk about it. But that’s not always the case. Just because you’re an expert doesn’t mean people will automatically be interested in what you have to say.
You need to find your unique angle. What is it about your take on the subject matter that makes you different from other experts? What is it that’s going to make people want to listen to you and not someone else?
Your unique angle is what’s going to make your signature talks stand out from the crowd. It’s what will make people remember you and want to see you speak again.
Create Sexy Titles That Sell
(7:10) I can’t stress this enough, without a sexy signature talk title, you’re never going to pique the interest of event planners or get people to sign up to see you speak.
Your title needs to be eye-catching, it needs to be interesting, and it needs to make people want to know more. It should give them a taste of what they can expect from your talk and leave them wanting more.
Think of your title as the hook that will reel people in and get them interested in what you have to say. Forget “Become Stress-Free in 30 Days” or “How to Perfect Your Morning Routine.” You need something that hits people in the face and makes them sit up and take notice.
For instance, using the morning routine example above, a more compelling title would be “Complete 17 Tasks By 9 am Without Changing Your Morning Alarm”. Straight away, you’re giving people a taste of what they can expect (with specific numbers) from your talk and piquing their interest.
Make Your Signature Talks Easily Adjustable
(8:42) Sometimes a speaking gig opportunity comes up at short notice, and you need to be able to adjust your signature talks accordingly. Other times, you might find that your original angle won’t work quite as well for a specific audience or event.
For these reasons, you must make your signature talk easily adjustable. It should be flexible enough that you can change small parts of it to better suit a particular audience or occasion.
The last thing you want is to be stuck with a talk that’s too rigid to change. You need to be able to adapt, adjust, and develop to make sure your talk is always relevant and engaging.
Practice Your Signature Talks to the Point of Perfection
(9:30) Once you’ve got your signature talks nailed down, it’s time to start practicing. And I don’t just mean going over it a few times in your head. I mean, really practicing. To the point of perfection.
You should be so familiar with your talk that you could do it in your sleep. You should know it inside out, backwards and forwards. This way, when you get onstage, you won’t have to think about what you’re going to say next. You’ll be able to focus on delivering a great talk and engaging with your audience.
A good rule of thumb I have with signature talks is being able to deliver them with just 30 minutes of prep. If I needed to take a couple of hours (or longer) to prepare, I would start to overthink my material. But if I can do it within just 30 minutes, then I know I have a solid, well-practiced talk that I can deliver with confidence.
The Bottom Line: Signature Talks Are the Bread and Butter Upon Which You Build Your Business
(10:38) Creating signature talks is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and build your business. But it’s not enough to have any old talk. You need a talk that’s well-crafted, engaging, and relevant.
Your talk is the bread and butter of your business. It’s what you’ll use to sell yourself to event planners and get people interested in what you do. So make sure it’s the best it can be.
If you need help honing your signature talk or getting started on crafting one from scratch hop over to our Facebook group, Breakthrough Public Speakers.
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Resources & Links Mentioned
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Episode 134: Why Your Talk Titles Are So Important
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I hope you enjoyed the training episode on your Signature Talks.
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Meet Wendi McNeill
As the Founder and Owner of Charli Jane Speaker Services®, Wendi has been “Opening Doors of Opportunity” for speakers since 2002.
Charli Jane Speakers provides speakers with support, exposure, tools, tips, speaking and media leads, coaching/learning programs, and much more to assist them in growing their speaking business. Learn more about Wendi
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