The Big Pitch
09 Jul 2019

I have received thousands of pitches over the years, whether it’s to be in a show I’m producing, on my podcast, TEDx event or now Speakers Who Dare. You have one opportunity to stand out from the crowd from one piece of paper, or in one email. This is your chance to get on the radar of the event organizer so that you can get onto their stage and have the impact you want to have.

Here are the top three mistakes people make when pitching:

  1. Save the best for last.

You may think saving the best for  last is a good move, however, not when it comes to getting and keeping the attention of organizers. Lead with your important thought. I see this over and over, it’s as if people are working it out and then they figure out what they actually want to say and it goes at the very end. We may not make it to the end of the pitch and therefore, miss your important thoughts, because they are not up front. Do not save the best for last, when pitching.

  1. Puff yourself up with books you’ve written and your credentials.

Most organizers want to know the message or idea that you are sharing can serve their audience. We don’t rely on your resume for that. Instead of leading with, I’m a PHD and have written three books on behavior, lead with My patients are dying and I believe this is something we can prevent by creating a behavior pharmacy.  This tells me you are a doctor, that you care about what you do, and it peaks my interest to keep reading.

  1. Leading with the want.

When you are pitching, it should never be about you. It should always be about the idea and the important message. Instead of leading with I want to help people see fear is a gift, which is about you,  lead with the idea. Fear is a gift that will serve the population and ultimate the world. When you highlight the idea, you become the person we choose.

By avoiding these three simple mistakes, you are giving yourself an opportunity to connect and stand out with event organizers. For more support on pitching, download my free Sample Pitch Letter.

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Check worry off of your list
09 Jul 2019

In all my years of producing different shows and events, the one thing that remains same is that two weeks before the event or the show, fear sets in. And no matter if you are a seasoned speaker, or a new one. No matter if you have done 1000 shows or one. It is consistently about two weeks before that fear sets in, because the speakers or actors are far enough out that they start imagining everything that can go wrong, but not too close to the performance, that they begin to manifest the failures.

These fears range from forgetting the lines, to being rejected, to feeling like they are not worthy.

I had the privilege of working with three top speakers on their TEDx Talks, recently.
What I learn every time in this process, is that it unfolds like this.

Each speaker starts out with excitement. Then we move into the process, which is not easy. It takes lots of time, thought and more thought to write, listen to, and rewrite and deliver a talk. Then they move into the insecurity phase. Is this any good? How am I going to edit my idea down to 18 minutes? Who do I think I am to be talking on such a big idea? From there, because of the work, we move into the confidence phase. This talk is going to help so many people. I’m the absolute right person to be  sharing this idea worth spreading. I am off book and ready to deliver a game changing talk.

This next phase is the phase I welcome and frankly love. The fear phase is where the mind begins to take over. What if I forget everything? What if they reject me? What if I die?

It is at this point that we take an inventory of everything we need to do to set up for success, so that on the day, there is no room for fear. So that on the day, all there is room for is delivering an incredible message and having impact on the audience and the world.

Just like an athlete, seeing the ball going into the net, your mind is going visualize your success from that stage. However, if you are thinking about what you need to do right before you go on, this kind of distraction can fuel the fear that will be in the way of your captivating performance. Free your mind from fear and worry so it can do what it’s meant to do, be with the audience.

Reducing or even eliminating fear starts by removing any and all things that can go wrong. My speakers and I create a list of everything they need, of everything they want and of everything that will insure their success on the day. Being this kind of prepared, is what gives you the freedom to be fully in the moment on stage.  And this is how you deliver a rock star performance every time.

Grab a free copy of The Art of the Big Talk check-list so that you can set yourself of for success.

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Is speaking at TEDx worth it?
03 May 2018

If you have an idea worth spreading and want to take your speaking credibility to the next level, then yes speaking at TEDx is worth it. The TEDx organization is directly affiliated with TED, Chris Anderson’s amazing not for profit organization. The idea to merge technology, entertainment and design happened at a conference in 1984 headed up by Richard Saul Wurman. Then in 2001 Chris Anderson transitioned in and he became curator. TED Global was then formed and TED Talks were put online for free so anyone could watch.


How can I become a better speaker?
03 May 2018

The best way to become a better speaker is to speak. You must constantly put yourself under mild stress over and over again in order to become a free and conversational speaker. That means speak in front of your family, where you know they love you, first. Then increase the stress by speaking in front of your friends. You just raised the stakes a little. Then give your big talk in front of your colleagues, where the stress level increases a bit more. Now begin to speak in front of groups of strangers where you have increased your stress even more. You must do your plies, just like a dancer. Repetition is the key.