The Speaker Profit Formula: How to Market, Maximize, and Monetize Your Business With Speaking

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David Newman - speakingEvery week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET.  This is excerpted from my recent interview with David Newman, CSP. David is a Certified Speaking Professional, marketing expert, speaker, and founder of Do It! Marketing, a strategy and done-for-you services firm that specializes in working with executives and entrepreneurs who want to speak more profitably. He’s the creator of the Speaker Profit Formula mentoring program and hosts The Speaking Show, the #1 podcast for experts who want to speak more profitably. You can learn more at  

SmallBizLady: How should we think about speaking as a marketing tool?


David Newman: Speaking is an incredibly powerful tool because as an executive or entrepreneur, it gives you AUTHORITY at SCALE. If you’re standing up to speak in front of 100 of your ideal customers at an association meeting, there’s ONE of you and 99 of them! Speaking is also a powerful lead generator, but you need to build the “call to action” into your talk – otherwise, you won’t get leads. Part of what’s exciting is that in a hyper-connected online world, person to person connection at live events is THE #1 fastest path to intimacy and trust

SmallBizLady: Some executives and biz owners already speak at conferences. How can they get more ROI from those?

David Newman: Speaking as a marketing strategy needs three building blocks: content, connection, and conversion. The content you’re probably OK with – but even there, you could add more humor, stories, examples, and case studies. The connection is where you show your flaws and share that you didn’t always have this topic figured out. That makes you more relatable. The conversion part is what’s missing for most executives and entrepreneurs who speak. You need to use Persuasion Architecture – things like the “soft mention” or “seeding” your other products and services, adding genuine scarcity and exclusivity, and more.

SmallBizLady: What do executive and entrepreneurs tend to do wrong when it comes to speaking?

David Newman: The three things meeting planners and conference producers hate is: boring speakers, sales pitches, generic information. First tip – don’t be boring. Be authentically YOU – don’t try to be perfect, polished, and robotic. That will always work against you. It’s important that your speech “sells” from a place of service and genuinely wanting to help your audience. They can “smell” bad intent a mile away. Not doing pre-work before the event is another common trap – you must know your audience more than they know themselves. Not having a strong follow-up plan is also a huge missed opportunity. That means you don’t come home with leads, appointments, or sales.

SmallBizLady: Corporate speakers have different challenges than entrepreneurial speakers – what are the differences you see when working with them?

David Newman: Corporate speakers sometimes have to present canned corporate talks – that’s never good. Executive speakers also tend to not engage the audience and just “deliver” their information in a one-way data dump. The best kind of talks these days are onstage conversations that include lots of interaction and audience engagement. The days of “sage from the stage” are over and meeting planners tend to hire professional thinkers over professional “speakers.” This is GREAT news for most of us because it’s both popularizing and democratizing the stages that most of us want to be on.

SmallBizLady: What can corporate speakers learn from independent experts?

David Newman: What you almost never see is a corporate speaker give a “personal” story – which is the rocket fuel that moves most audiences to action. If corporate speakers want to establish a “speaker brand” they have to do MORE than deliver the canned corporate PowerPoint. There are so many smart executives and entrepreneurs who have not monetized their thought leadership. They should be writing more, blogging more, live streaming more, and becoming more visible and credible BEYOND the conference circuit.

SmallBizLady: What can entrepreneurial speakers learn from the corporate speakers they often share the platform with?

David Newman: Most executive talks have a good structure – they know how to convey information concisely and clearly. So many “creative” entrepreneurs deliver talks that are a disorganized hodgepodge of ideas not really connected to each other. Corporate speakers are also better at delivering consistency – that doesn’t mean boring – that means they deliver the goods the same way over and over. Corporate speakers are also better at restraining their inner happy puppy – meaning, they have nothing to prove and nothing to hide. That type of confidence works well for ANY speaker in any situation.

SmallBizLady: How about speaker videos? Is that a must-have?

David Newman: Yes and no. Do you have to have a killer video on Day 1? No, you don’t.  Eventually, you WILL need a good speaker video to demonstrate to meeting planners that you’ve got the goods! Best advice: become an educated consumer by watching other speaker videos and see what works and what suits your content and style. We also work with speakers on their videos, and I can tell you that the preparation beforehand is priceless. This is NOT about “just hire a local wedding videographer” to come to your next gig – there’s a lot more to a great speaker demo!

SmallBizLady: You’ve already written a great marketing book with Do It! Marketing – what’s the book you’re working on next?

David Newman: I’m just finishing it now, and it’s called Do It! Speaking: 77 instant-action ideas to market, monetize, and maximize your expertise. It’s all about how executives and entrepreneurs can use speaking as the ULTIMATE marketing strategy. Key ideas include how to get started, packaging, positioning, messaging, prospecting, sales, and how to maximize every speaking gig into more leads, prospects, and sales. I’m pretty excited about it even though it won’t be out for another 10 months. That’s the one flaw with traditional publishing = long process!

SmallBizLady: What was it that made you write this second book?

David Newman: I’ve been working with speakers, consultants, and experts since 2005 and in every marketing book, speaking only got a slim chapter. Because my clients have gotten so much from our work together, I wanted to put my speaker mentoring advice into book form.  This goes way beyond being a good speaker – in fact, there are hundreds of books on how to be a better presenter. There are very FEW books on how to monetize speaking that are written NOT just for professional speakers!

SmallBizLady: As people start to take their speaking more seriously as a lead generator and revenue generator, what are some first steps they should take?

David Newman: The first step is to just START – make some strategic decisions about whom you want to serve and what problems you want to solve. Figure out what that specific audience NEEDS to hear – what strategies, tactics, tools, practices, and principles are vital to their success? Build a talk around that – and focus it 100% on THEM – their pains, problems, heartaches, headaches, and challenges. Make sure your content is highly relevant, actionable, and not the same old crap they’ve heard before or could find on Google in 10 seconds. Clients don’t need more “information” – your talk should be about your INSIGHTS, opinions, recommendations, slants, biases, and perspectives.

SmallBizLady: What are the core tools every speaker needs to consider adding to their thought leadership toolkit?

David Newman: Obviously you need a website – if you have a website for your main business, you should add a tab or section called “Speaking.” Let people know you’re a speaker – add “speaker” to your bio on Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. Don’t say “public speaker” because that screams that you’re an amateur. Create a one-page PDF with two or three different speech topics – each topic should be 1 paragraph and 3-5 bullets of what the key points are. For executive and corporate speakers, I’m shocked at how few have an internal speakers bureau to promote their executives, and almost NONE of them have videos. Build a prospect list – we call this your “Active 20” – these are associations, corporations, and events where you’d be a good fit as a speaker. Start reaching out to them.

SmallBizLady: How can people get in touch with you and get more speaker-related resources, training, and tools?

David Newman: There are a lot of free resources on our website which is We have a Top 50 business podcast on iTunes which folks can grab at And we have a free deep-dive web training at that’s worth checking out. Other than that, my best advice is to get GOING on this stuff right now. Don’t wait for “someday” to add speaking to your marketing toolkit. The best way to market your smarts, gain credibility with your prospect community, and build trust quickly is to stand out every time you stand up to speak!

If you enjoyed this interview, please join us live on Twitter every Wednesday from 8-9 pm ET. Just follow the hashtag #Smallbizchat, and don’t forget to follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.

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