There are plenty of aspects that I cover with the speakers I work with during the course of our time together. However, there is something I talk about right off the bat as soon as we sit down. So what’s that one thing we talk about right away? Clarity.
Clarity is often the difference-maker between a successful speaking business, and one that is busy but not making any money. I recently spoke about the importance of being consistent as a speaker. But without clarity, you can be consistently doing the wrong things.
So what does clarity mean in the context of speaking?
What Does Clarity Mean in the Context of Speaking?
Clarity as a speaker is actually easily defined. It’s about clearly defining who you are, what you do, who you serve, your messaging, and your style. By simply being clear in this manner you can save yourself a ton of time, money, and frustration. Yes, it’s that simple!
And yet so many people fail to do it.
Speakers can often start off with excellent clarity and then lose track of their definitions, soon becoming “lost in the noise” as they stray from their founding principles to secure more speaking gigs.
Why is Clarity Your Ticket to Speaking Success?
Simply put, having clarity in place lowers the barriers to planners looking for speakers. For instance, if they are looking to book a speaker one of the first places they are going to assess your suitability is your website.
So, to demonstrate the power of clarity, let’s take two website examples.
Speaker Clarity Example #1
In this example, there is a clarity concerning who you are, what you do, and who you serve that will likely result in at least a phone call or email enquiring about your services from the event planner.
Speaker Clarity Example #2
In this scenario, the planner arrives at another speaker website that is reserved in its design and appears to be aimed at corporate clients. However, the on-site one-sheet only lists wellness retreats as clients, and the speaker demo video shows a flamboyant speaker more suited to a stage production than a boardroom.
The lack of clarity in this latter example will leave a planner uncertain. And let me tell you now, from over twenty years in this space, uncertainty kills sales. If there is any doubt in a planner’s mind, they will simply move on to another website or set of social media profiles that fill them with much more confidence.
How to Build Clarity as a Speaker
Your journey towards delivering potential clients clarity starts at the beginning. Before you’ve even delivered a single speech, you need to decide who you are, who you are aiming to serve, what you do, and how you’re going to do it.
For some people, this is a relatively straightforward process. For others, it may take a little longer to flesh out the details. However, once you have defined your niche, the hard work begins.
Stay True to Your Principles
Where I see most speakers going wrong is not long after launch. After growing impatient during the early days, many speakers start muddying their clarity by securing gigs in related, but ultimately different, fields.
In just a few months, they have developed a client list that spans an entire sector, delivered a range of speech styles (including presentations, seminars, and Q&A sessions), and changed their style to suit each audience.
This sounds impressive on paper, but it is disastrous for your business in practice. Suddenly that clarity you had at the beginning has gone up in a cloud of smoke.
Planners won’t think you’re an expert in anything since you’ve spread yourself so thin. They will also be unsure of your style or whether you are a good fit for their audience because you’ve tried to appeal to everyone.
Speakers who have worked themselves into this trap then become “run-of-the-mill” and begin chasing their tail, going for quantity over quality to keep the business afloat. Often they sadly tread water from there on out.
COVID Increases Need for Clarity
One final note from me on clarity relates to COVID. We all know about the effect COVID has had on the speaking industry, with so many people relocating to the work-from-home model and launching speaking businesses from their sofa.
With the potential pool of speakers more extensive than ever for planners, clarity has become even more essential. You need to do everything you can to demonstrate you’re a specialist in your chosen field. Without clarity, you can never obtain that objective.
So no matter how tough the going gets, always remain clear concerning who you are, what you do, who you serve, and how you do it. Those who can commit (and stay committed) to clarity are the ones that reap the most significant dividends later in their speaking career.
Learn More About Clarity from Some of the Best Speakers Around
Achieving clarity as a speaker is a process that takes time, even though you decide who you’re going to be as a speaker on day one. It can take a while to carve out your niche, and that period can be frustrating. However, the payoff of delivering unwavering clarity further down the line is well worth the wait.
By sticking to your guns and keeping your messaging and branding clear through those early days of your speaking career, you can attract huge sums once you have built sufficient authority and credibility within your chosen speaking space.
If you would like to learn more about clarity or could use some support when you are tempted to stray from your principles, why not tap into our free Facebook group, Grow Your Speaking Biz?