Grant Baldwin on Productivity Tips for Public Speakers


Yeah hello and welcome back to beyond the to do list. I'm your host Eric Fisher. And this is the show where I talked to the people behind the productivity this week. I'm thrilled to have back on the show. My Friend Grant Baldwin is back to talk about his new book. The successful speaker five steps for booking gigs getting paid and building your platform. This book was Co authored by Jeff. Goings. Who's been on the show a number of times as well. I was thrilled to talk to grant again. Not only just in general but about this book specifically and what we tried to do was cover a little bit of material in the book but then I know grant. He's on every podcast right now. Talking about what's in the book and why the book is but I wanted to go a step further and talk about productivity tips. That would help somebody who is starting out or already is in the speaker business. Somebody who's been giving talks so I- crowd source some questions from a few friends who who are already speakers and they gave me some great ones so those answers are in this conversation with grant Baldwin. Enjoy well this week is my privilege to welcome back to the show grant Baldwin Grant. Welcome back good to be here. I'm trying to think is this second time. I A while you know and and I'm GONNA I don't you. Can I have mixed feelings about bringing this up? But I'm going to because it kind of is the Jeff Jeff. Coins is the elephant in the room. Jeff so he's been on he's been on he's been on the most of everybody so everybody including Michael. Hi who even just recorded a new episode with so I think maybe the tide now. I don't know but the debate was. Do I count this as an appearance? For Jeff or not. Oh No you don't come just not here. I don't I think you've made the right call there. I think jeff is going to be tied. And he's going to have to come back so but the reason the reason I bring it up because you've got this brand new book out. There called the successful speaker and on the cover there it says grant Baldwin with Jeff Gyns and that's the proper way to pronounce that by the way so he told me From the beginning that when we first met his last name rhymes with coins so going and I don't think you have to whisper it. I'm fine to bring it up. Get it so there's no it's not. It's not an elephant and to me. I am a hundred percent happy to discuss it so I want to go a couple of different places here and I'm just going to state it all upfront. So that anybody listening knows what we're going to cover a lot of people be like okay. Well I've heard on other shows. So why do I need to listen to this one? Well first and foremost you and I are GonNa talk briefly or not about hey. What was it like collaborating with Jeff on this book? That's number one number two is. Let's get into the book a little bit that number three. Which is the really cool part is. I've got productivity questions for people that want to be speakers that you may have the answers to and if you don't like we'll stop you but I'm betting all all you you won't be stumped because all you can do is share your experience but it's going to be so beneficial for people who are just getting started or who are into speaking at whatever level they're at with it that I think those productivity questions of how to be productive on the road a I won't spoil all the questions but that's kind of the threefold Approach I want to go to. So I'm I'm game. Let's go awesome so I up. So what was it like working with Jeff? It was great honestly. I've told them this privately. I've told them this public back. I'm at the time this recording the book's been out about a week I saw jeff a couple of days ago and We'll get together and and we're like dude we did it. We made a thing I told him then I have against public. Before like I would I would go through the process again with Jeff had a really good experience and so for some some background and some context So Jeff for those that that that may not know Jeff is a phenomenal writer has written and published. Many books really knows the publishing world really. Well it's a few years ago yet. A friend who knew in the publishing space who had asked him if he if he knew of anyone who could had an audience who'd be interested. And maybe doing a book and so he he had mentioned me. Eight texted me and said Hey. Do you have any interest in all right in a book? I was like not really honestly like I like Jeff loves writing books and I self published a book several years ago And it's just a whole lot of work. And he's a crapload of work and Jeff loves writing books. I'm just Kinda like like I get the value of it. I totally value. But there's also no shortage of other things that are good things that you may not have the ban with four and that's Kinda where I was with with book and so we we Kinda talk back and forth about it and he. I remember exactly. How can you even all right grant already have all of this content all of the The intellectual property the The course material the podcast interviews. The case studies the examples. Just the experience of boots on the ground for years and years as a professional speaker. what have we worked together and I just become the scribe and take all of your content and put it into book format I was like okay. Well that that sounds appealing so we kind of we talked with a publisher about it and ultimately that's kind of where we landed and so I remember running it by There's a couple of guys with and can ask them and said. Hey Jeff talking about this project. He's never really done something like this. This is kind of thing for me too. So what do you guys think? And they all kind of said like so. Let me get this straight. A publisher wants to give you a bunch of money for Jeff going to write your book. I was like okay. Well that sounds good. Let's do that And so you fast forward to today And we're really really really happy with the finished product and talk. I had had someone who'd message me. And they said Hey. I got the book read at one day. It was amazing. I was joking with my wife like I think. That's because Jeff Rhoda. I think if I wrote it I don't think they'd be excited about it And so I think like I think what's interesting about this and why I enjoy. I've enjoyed talking about it publicly as a lot of sense for a lot of authors There is a ghostwriter behind the scenes. But it's like this hush hush quiet thing like you're gonNA ballooning too that you know No I wrote every word and I'm happy to say like no no like Jeff wrote like I know it's all my content all my ideas We worked together but like Jeff is the one that was you know pen and paper so to speak. That was making happen. in terms of the actual the flow of the book. And so I think it worked out really well in that I again. I had the content but just because I had content doesn't necessarily mean that I'm an amazing book writer and so it worked really well to partner with someone who was and so So you know. I've kind of been half joking. Have Serious Jeff is basically a you know. A non ghostwriter ghostwriter for the project named Ghost Rider As even as we're working on it from the beginning the the publisher said Hey. Do you care if we put jeff name on. The cover is like now. I don't care it's fine to me Like I'M NOT GONNA lose any sleep over it so So yeah it's it's recognized like It's my content but I definitely viewed as a collaborative process and Jeff was was phenomenal to work with. He's like a tangible ghost. He's not you. Don't walk through present in the room and and not in just I feel his presence in the room like no. He's literally there. I mean coincidentally is a little Pale so both of us out miss that staying And this is the thing is As soon as he was teasing this at his last tribe conference. And I don't mean just the last one. I mean the final one months ago that this was a thing he was working on with you and as soon as I heard him say that I was like I want that book and and then it was literally a few months later that you were like. Hey what's up and sent me an email about this and I was like of course you can come on the show and And the reason is because there's so much to in terms of creating good work and doing you know this content creation slash whatever form that takes whether it's podcasting whether it's writing social media blogging You know I I don't know but speaking is is is a is a vein of that as a form of that and it is a career it is and and I think in the same way That actually Jeff's last book Real artists don't starve. This is kind of that companion piece to that. Thought that through line of you can do a. You can have a career doing your art. This just happens to be grants art right. Yeah and and I think Jeff did a great job with recognizing that There are a lot of artists and creatives in In his audience our audience one of things that we kind of recognizes that for a lot of people are certainly a lot of people who want to be fulltime speakers. And there's a lot of people who come to us with that ambition but there's also a lot of people right now here like I don't want to be a fulltime speaker But I wouldn't mind doing. I don't know five gigs. A year. Ten gigs ear. But I'm just having trouble figuring out You know how to find those gigs or how much they charge. What do you speak about or who hire speakers and just kind of like the the nuts and bolts ins and outs of the speaking world and just for a lot of people speaking is just part of what they do? You know so you know take Jeff Jeff is doing a lot more speaking now and and he said Hey. I want to speak but also want to raise my own books. I WANNA do some some of these ghost writing projects. I want to offer courses. I want to. Do you know coaching or consulting or any number of other things and speaking of one spoke in the overall wheel and there's people all along that spectrum of you know where you're at where jeff sat where. I'm at or they haven't started at all. They've never spoken and they want to. And they feel like they have something to say something they want to share. You know they're in those early stages of questioning whether or not whether thing that they how they think they have to say is something somebody else would want to hear so it kind of getting into the content of the book. Let's just talk here a little bit about you. Know what do you say to somebody who is trying to just get started? Or isn't maybe is maybe even on the threshold of questioning whether they could. Yeah so the book walk through this five step process that makes the acronym speak. Spca K- kind of high level overview. And then we can kind of begin wherever you want but The SS select a problem to solve. This is the most important most critical piece and this is really the kind of build a house you know if you get the foundation right then. The rest of the House tends to go up pretty smoothly but If you just GONNA rush passes. Which is what we often. I'd want to do then we're left with foundation that's Kinda shaky and rocky and and hard to build a sustainable business upon so you have to get really clear on two things one is who do you speak to. And what is the problem that you saw for that audience now? The mistake that a lot of speakers make and this isn't exclusively speakers. This tends to be the case with entrepreneurs in general is that we want to throw the net as far and wide as possible. And so we say you know who do you speak to speak to? I speak to humans. I speak to people messages for everyone is like that doesn't really work and in the same way. If you would ask someone you know what you speak about. Or what's the problem that you saw this? Well what do you want me to speak about? I CAN SPEAK ABOUT ANYTHING. I can speak about Productivity and time management and leadership and change and sales and marketing and parenting and family. Like even if you know something about all the things you're passionate about all those things if you try to position yourself as add it just doesn't work and so when things we cover inside the book is that you want to be the steakhouse and not the buffet. The steakhouse not the buffet. What we mean by that is as you and I. We're GONNA go grab a steak like we have a choice like we could go to a buffet. Were Sake is one of one hundred different things that they offer and they're all mediocre or we could go to a steakhouse. They do one thing but they do that. One thing really really well as so. They don't do tacos. They don't do pizza. They don't do those. Anya they do steak. And that's it so that's what you want to be as a speaker not just again as a speaker but just as an entrepreneur in general you don't want to be the buffet or it's like we do this and we do this when we do this and we do this and we do this like no no we do one thing and that's it so. I part again is the selecting a problem to solve the second part. The P is to prepare your talk. Prepare your talk. So here's where we dig into the weeds on Creating delivering your talk of interacting with a with an audience of slides of doing QNA with an audience of storytelling. Humor all of the INS and outs that the E is establish yourself as the expert as this really comes onto your marketing marketing materials. So you have to key marketing materials that we talk about. We talk about a website and a demo video. If you don't have a website you don't exist. People will not take you seriously and a demo. Video is basically. They need to see some type of Just a couple minutes of footage there to get a sense of of who you are what you speak about how you communicate and whether or not you're a good fit for the audience and the is acquire paid speaking gigs now again. This is the part that people want to fast forward to. That's the part I'm interested in. I WANNA I WANNA book speaking gigs. But again if you're not clear on this is who you speak to. This is the problem that you saw. You're not clear On the talk itself and how you're going to present that solution you'll have a website or video. Then it's going to be hard to ultimately booked gigs so in the then that we dig into the weeds on How do you actually find him book? Gigs you know when when it really comes down to what do you do? You have your website. You have your video but nobody cares. So what do you do at this point? And then the last part is the K- know win to scale no went to scale like touched on earlier. there's people who are interested in speaking who wanNA speak fulltime and other people who. WanNa do it as part as a piece of the Pie of everything else that they may have going on so So yeah that's the big picture overall of the speak framework that we We cover inside the book. I love it and again. That's so easy to remember. Especially since it's about the word speak or speaking and it's that acronym I love that you've done that and I want to go back to this idea of being being. You're supposed to be the steak zen like that in some way. Sorry I'm militia. Just making me hungry steak. I want to be the steak Not The buffet and I love that and I and I just wonder is that why some people it's like well. Do you need to pick an industry or topic? Some people like well. What if I just picked one and not the other doesn't matter you know how? How narrow down. How Niche do I need to be? Yeah so for a lot of people it's of the of those two sides of the coin Figuring who used to and figuring out. What's the problem that you solve? A lot of people are clear on one but foggy on the other. You know so for example someone. Someone like yourself may say okay. I'm interested in speaking about time. Management or productivity so. I know what the topic is. The problem is that I'm trying to solve but who I speak to because again you can make the case that this is this is important for everybody does is important for everyone. So how do you start to narrow that down so again you start to? It's easy to fall into the trap of well. I mean everybody needs this so I might as well try to speak to everybody about that but again if you try to speak to everyone even on a on a niche type of topic then you become this this This person really doesn't know any one given market really really well. So let me give you an example And and she probably doesn't want me on this but I've shared it on another interview. I'll do it here so about a week. And a half ago so my wife had a hysterectomy and she had been really sick the past the previous weeks and she'd known for a couple years ago that her doctor said Hey ultimately some that. You'RE GONNA have to have this done. So yeah but almost two weeks ago so she had that surgery now going into the surgery and she's meeting with the doctor and surgeon. We have a choice like like we could go to a general like her general. Dr Her primary care physician who their doctor. They went to medical school. May I don't know maybe they performed a few surgeries here or there. They probably know more about the human body than any of US combined. have they ever data hysterectomy versus the doctor? Did the surgery Has Been Doing this for twenty five years like day in and day out they just do hysterectomies and so as a speaker of sounds weird you wanna be the hysterectomy speaker. Are you want to be like? I saw one specific problem for. But you don't go to that. That surgeon who specializes in one thing and say hey Can you help me with my cough or hey I broke my arm or hey can you look at my brain? No I do this and I do this. One thing really really well to solve this one specific problem for this one specific person versus trying to be all things for all people. Because I know for you know if there's going to be a doctor Operating on my wife like how. I want that Dr to know that I am the best at this. The other thing to note his because like this is a doctor who specializes on one thing they can charge a premium for that right versus saying like just. Kinda you know general doctor and I can help you with anything and everything so again you you want. You want to be the hysterectomy speaker who focuses on one specific thing now the other thing that would give a caveat on that is that I think oftentimes it's easy for for us to over analyze over. Think again in this type of situation where I WANNA speak to you know on time management or productivity and it's is really for humans right And you can certainly make that case but let's pick a starting point you know so. Let's start by thinking through your background your experience so you may say. I come from working with with a digital marketing space. So I'm gonNA focus on on productivity and time management specifically for digital marketers right or something like that And so it's but then you're like but but by can do all these other things. No no no I get that but we're trying to just pick a starting point right so a way to think about this is it is much simpler to steer a car. That's in motion versus a car. That's what I mean by that is most people tend because this part is important. We tend to over analyze over. Think it and we don't know what well what about this. What about that but but I could also do it for this and I could also help these people. What what if I speak to this and I can also do this topic. We just way over analyze. What I'm asking you to do is to not get a tattoo of this. I'm not asking you to make a permanent. Sison asking you to pick a starting point to say okay. I'M GONNA speak to this audience and solve this problem. Now that may change and evolve over time. But let's start with that and see what happens versus just continuing to sit on the sideline and over analyze the point that you end up doing nothing. I love that because that's going to give you clarity of thought which is definitely one of the things that you need a clarity of thought clarity of action clarity of what the next task is it's all of those things that kind of you get out of the way this whole while. I'm gonNA procrastinate on things because I don't know what to do next. No you've narrowed it down now. You know it's focused on this one thing the rest of the stuff. You have sure you have this idea for talk on you know one other aspect of productivity great you. Oh and that one too great. They're not the next step their next steps down the road but they're not the next step so you can get that next step now because there's also kind of a balance there between like what you're passionate about what people actually hire speakers to talk about right so just because you're like man. I am deeply passionate about You know creating to do lists using this one specific type pen and this one specific type of paper. It's like that's great but that may be too niche to the type thing that are to the point that like people like I mean we're interested in productivity but like your way in the weeds on this to the point though. Nobody's looking to hire you so again. There is this balance between what you're interested in what people are actually hiring speakers to talk about now. Let's say that using okay. I kind of pick my starting point and I am. I'm starting the car in motion. Starting the ball in motion and I'm starting to have a bunch of people say. Hey you know we hired you to speak on this or you did a great job but can you also. Could you do something on this? You know we talked a lot about Task Management But We are really struggling with scheduling and calendars. Do you have any teaching training on that? Oh yeah actually I do now and you find like people are regularly asking you. Can you just help us with calendars and scheduling like? We're having trouble there then. You absolutely want pay attention with the market saying like I started on path a but I'm getting a lot of people who are asking me about pappy so I'm going to start to kind of pivot moved that way again. That's kind of what we're talking about Once you kind of get into it and you get the ball rolling then you also start to get some of that real time feedback from people of what they're looking for that you may be able to pivot and kind of adjust to and and things that you could potentially speak on while. I'm going back to the steakhouse or steak versus the buffet. This is an instance where they hook you with the amazing steak that you know. This place has the best steak out of anywhere. I wonder what else they do. That's amazing yeah. And there's there's absolutely like a caveat to that again that you don't want to go too far outside of your core competency and some of this also depends on what it is that you are trying to accomplish giving give you two examples of this type. One is Europe in the Indianapolis Area Right. That's right I'm drawing a blank. But there's some bigwigs steakhouse up there. Isn't it like Saint Elmo's or something yet sales? Okay I've never been there So I'm I'm completely making this up But Saint Elmo's is supposed to be like one of the top steakhouses in the country. Is that right? Yup and they've been around forever. Is that fair? Yes okay? So there's a movie a movie samples fire. I'm shooting in the dark hair. Some hope I'm getting Amazon but my assumption is like they've been. They've been around for a long time. They've done one thing and they've done that one thing well and so part of them's like all right. We're saying almost people love people know as we're one of the best in the country so we should open we should open a TACO stand right. So could they. Do that like sure. Hypothetically but there's also something be said like Nah we're just gonNA keep doing this one thing. The one like dance with the partner that brought you like this is the thing that that God is here. Let's keep doing. This continued to be the best at that right now. Let me give another example. You look at a company like Nike now. Today Nike is a Multi Multi Multibillion Dollar Company. That will put a switch on anything that they possibly can. But that's not how they got their start. They got their start by creating One specific type of running shoe for collegiate Long Distance. Runners like this niche. Within a niche type of thing we are going to create this one specific type of running shoe for this specific type of athlete. Now they did that for a little while and then eventually they're like okay we've got. We've got some traction here like literally and figuratively. And now we're going to do is We're going to create a basketball shoe an hour. Let's grab a running shoe and that's create an everyday kind of walking shoe and create a basketball snow as create hats and t shirts. And and what else can we put on? You know it's evolved. What it is today but they got their start creating like this one specific thing and it kind of branched out from there. So it's not that Nike is any better or worse than a Saint Elmo's like they both work. They're both effective ultimately. It's Kinda you determine what it is that you want to do. But the point being. Because you don't want to say well I wanna you know WanNa speak on motivation and leadership and change and and and time management and productivity to everyone like maybe someday you could try to pull that off but for now we can't do that. We're GONNA flow focus on one specific thing. And then we can evolve in pip from there. We're going to dive deeper into some productivity questions that pertain to speaking in a moment. But first I want to say thank you to our sponsors for making this episode possible. I is better help. And if there's anything right now that people need it is help. There are so many reasons to get connected with a professional counselor right now more than anytime before and it can feel like. That's an impossible task to do if you're stuck at home or can't get out or shouldn't get out but this is where better help comes in by connecting you with a professional counselor in a safe and private online environment because better help is online counseling. 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Go to better help dot com slash beyond used the discount code beyond their. You'll be able to fill out a questionnaire to help them. Assess your needs. Get you matched with a counselor. You'll love again. That's better help dot com slash beyond discount code beyond this episodes also brought to you by brain. Fm Speaking of public speaking like we have been in this episode. I was just at a conference in San Diego and then flew across the country to a speaking gig in Orlando Florida with my friend. Jeff See and Jeff and I were both using brain. Fm constantly to distress to relax to deal with the plane and Jesmyn using Brain FM to learn to meditate longer and longer. He's challenging himself to grow too. I think he's at twelve minutes right now. That's yet another use for it but again I've been talking about Brain FM constantly. Because I use it all the time it gets your brain into that state of focus if you need it or relaxation or just to kind of wind down or even get into deep sleep again. Meditation like Jeff's been using it for you can use it on your desktop or in an APP. You can even download sessions to us on the go. That's how we were using it on the plane. Or if you're in a place with bad wi fi you gotta try it out. You can get twenty percents off a full year. You can try it by getting five sessions for free go to beyond the to do list dot com slash brain. Fm That's beyond the to do list dot com slash brain F. M. Find out what all the fuss is about. Because I just can't stop talking about it. The benefits have been amazing again beyond the to do list dot com slash brain f. m. Well this is a perfect place to pivot into productivity questions that I have for you. So what productivity tips do you have when you're researching one of these new topics like suddenly you're like I have something to say about this? It's in my wheelhouse but just outside it or just far enough out. I've needed do research before I actually start talking on it. How does that process work for you? Yes so what's your turn into. Here's a little bit of Market Research. Just validate and figure out. Is there an actual thing here? Like just because I'm passionate again like we talked about. Does it actually mean that people actually pay speakers to talk about that so what I would do is two things one is i? Would I would spend some time browsing on Google and see if you can find other speakers who are doing something similar and doing it in a way that you want to do it and who are a step or two ahead of you now let me break down everything I just said there type look for speakers who are doing something similar and doing it away that you want to do it. Meaning if you say you know what I WANNA do like Small workshops that are like you know. Full Day workshops on the topic of Time Management. GonNa do this for companies. Okay cool that's going to be a little bit of a different thing. Then someone who says I? WanNa do you know one hour keynotes for thousand people teaching. Here's my best three. You know. Time management strategies both are effective. Both work there's potentially speakers for both of them but you want to look for right. What's the type of thing I WANNA do? And then the last part of that is to figure out people who are a step or two ahead of you versus if you said. Okay I want to speak on you. Know motivation so You know let's see what what Tony Robbins is up. Do Tony's a motivational speaker. So what events is he's speaking like we're talking about two totally different things there so look for people who are a step or two ahead of you versus light years are actually speakers for speaking at the types of events that you might be interested in and that would be a good fit for so if you're browsing around you're like. I can't find any speaker now. That the the tendency is that we're like this is perfect. I this is an untapped market. I'm going to be the first. No no no no. That's what we're looking for. We're looking for people who are already doing it because it proves that it is a thing if you're looking for for Other speakers and you can't find any in on an on going to be the first it typically means if there's no other speakers there's a reason that there are no speakers now you may say okay. I thought it was going to be focusing on productivity but actually finding a lot of people who are are hiring speakers to talk about You know specifically on calendar management or something like that or project management. So actually think I could do. I could do something there. And it just gives you like a as like this huge course correct pivot but it's just kind of a slight modification. So that'd be one thing to look for other speakers who are doing something similar and the second thing I would recommend that you do is There's three parts of the equation of who do you speak to the prime that you saw the third part of the equation. We didn't really dig into is. Where do those people gather? Where do those people gather? If you're going to be a speaker then. There needs to be a crowd or an audience that you would be speaking to. So if you're going be speaking like what what's the type of thing that those people would gather as I've used that I wanNA teach Digital marketers about productivity awesome. Are there any natural gatherings where those people go to? Are there any conferences or events or associations or groups or trainings or things that they they are tending? They're part of that. You would be a good fit for and again if you're looking at bras and you're like this is perfect. I can't find any now if you can't find any then there's there may not be any or enough opportunities for you to be able to do this versus if you're like now. I can find no shortage of opportunity to this is awesome. That's great. That's really what you're looking for is Other things where you're like. I would actually be a good fit for this now again. You have to have some self awareness and be realistic. Because if you're looking at you like Oh this is perfect. There's this big national conference and I'm a brand new speaker just getting started. Surely they're going to hire me as a keynote. You know. Probably not but if you're looking at you like I could see how it could. Do you know a keynote at the small conference or here's a workshop at this type of event And you can kind of see like here's some actual possible options that I speak at a good thing. That's that's what we're looking for. So that's absolutely worth doing a little bit of market research just to figure out what realistic opportunities exist that you may be a good fit for well speaking of where people gather if you're somebody who is crafting. A new talk. Do you do like a stand up? Comedian were you. Go do quote a sat in front of people or do you rehearse by yourself or in front of friends or you know nightclubs. I don't know like how do you get started? Crafting a new talk out of a new topic. Yeah Great Question. So there is some element of the Of what a stand up comic does in that whenever you are creating a talk in your writing it out on us on a typing on screen or whatever you may be doing in terms of how you create it would dig into this into in the book and actually created talk. You know I have a concept of what I WANNA speak now. What but Whenever you're creating that talk and that's why I think this is ready to go. You are making an educated guess on how you think. The audience will respond. I think this is funny. I think will work. I think this will make sense. I think this will resume but you have no clue until you get up in front of an audience and then once you get up in front of that audience you get that real time feedback of thought that was was meant to be funny and it was not funny at all or. I didn't intend that to be funny and it was funny. That story worked really really well or that story didn't get near the reaction or That this point that a told that action needs to be toward the front headed toward the middle. But I need to move that up and you can. Kinda like rearrange some of the pieces. I think about like again if we go back. If we go to Saint elmo's for for steak or we go for whatever their signature dishes there It's probably their signature dish because they have made it thousands and thousands and thousands of time. And it's just darn near perfect versus the first time you're kind of creating like you're cooking a dish like I think we need a little bit more salt than a little less all tornado but more butter when you cook it a little bit longer we cooked cooked. It took too long. And you're just making all these like modifications to get the finished product. And then you're you're making the the tweaks and adjustments so you're you're creating a talk you're delivering it. Doing the best you can but then you have to make some of those those tweaks and adjustments as you go as one thing I would recommend is if you're someone who's giving talks on a regular basis that you're not doing a brand new talk every time you speak that instead you are. You're creating talk and You are Your ideally giving that talk multiple times as each time. You give it give it. You are getting that real-time feedback. That makes talk better. So for example. If you're giving a talk given a thousand times already you're still looking at it as there's room for improvement. How did this audience react? You know was this Joe. I should maybe pull that story or that joke. It's it's a living breathing thing as a talk. And so it's just that the new one starts off with less Feedback and timing inexperience having been put through that process so far. That's exactly right. Yep that's exactly right and so And so there are times and and this is. This is not like Not Every speaker. Does this the exact same way so some speakers say? Hey this is the talk. And this is the exact tacoma do take it or leave it But most speakers will modify like ten to fifteen twenty percent or so where they are if you're speaking on let's say you're speaking on productivity and time management to digital marketers the audience you're used to speaking to and then someone in the audience is like. Hey that was really really good. Can you come you speak at this college On on productivity well the you could and the principles and ideas that you're speaking on maybe the same but you might want to modify You know any of the the case these are. The examples are the stories or Any reference points that you're using to make sure it's relevant to that specific niche or industry that you're speaking to so those are the be like the pieces that are kind of You may be tweaking and modifying a good a really good example of this is there's a documentary called comedian. Have you seen this? This is a great movie. I love that Seinfeld? Yep Yep exactly Last I knew it was on Netflix. So by the time someone's listening it may or may not be there but But basically the premise is that When the TV show Seinfeld ended. Jerry Seinfeld was and still is touring stand up. Comic and does a ton of shows per year and so basically after the TV show Seinfeld ends. He's working on his next special. The equivalent Netflix type. Special that we would see today and so oftentimes people assumed like someone just hop up there and flex records it. And they're funny and they tell some jokes and it all works out like reality is like there's a ton more going on behind the scenes of how it actually comes to be so after the show ends He's working his next special and so he's going from a little setting too little club too little venue trying material on testing now and some of it's working really well on some of it's like it's just bombing and it's just not. It's not funny at all if that it's just not working but that's kind of how the how the sausage is made is you're practicing stuff. You're getting the feedback. That work didn't work and so then it kind of just follows his his process and his journey to the point where he does this. Final stand up special but it wasn't again like yeah just made up some stuff and scribble some ideas on a Napkin and hopped up there and it all just magically worked out no no it was like a lot of work and practice behind the scenes And testing stuff and refining stuff to the point that what you saw was the finished product. But there's a lot more that went into get to that point and one of the cool by the way it is on Netflix. Currently as of this recording Just wanted to let you know that. I googled something while grant was talking about. I was listening which is what a lot of people do when the speakers up on stage like they've got their phones out there taking notes. What let me leave me alone here. anyway. I wanted to deliver value to the audience so I looked it up and yes it. Is there one of the one one of the things that I want to note about that? Specific documentary is it. Doesn't just follow the expert. Jerry Seinfeld it also follows Arnie whatever his name is he's he's just trying to get started and to be honest. I just don't I I didn't you don't I don't know if you're supposed to like them or not. I don't like him as much as watching Seinfeld. But but the point here is that. It's the comparison and contrasting between the two of them. Wear Jerry's the expert and this guy's the Newbie but at the same time they're almost both at the same place just starting out all over again and yet Jerry's expertise or I should say experience Is A is a definite plus on his column Yeah That documentary does not pay that other comedian. Integrate light now not really heard an interview recently with another comedian And they were talking about that and they said that actually that that only guys is actually a really good comedian. A really good guy By they said at the time I don't know I don't remember what it was like. If the documentary didn't pay them right or like yeah. He was a bit of a jerk early on and matured quite a bit but nonetheless hopefully again hopefully You know getting started out. Maybe you are jerk at first but then you change it around but anyways But what and so one of the other things that speaking kind of has in common with You know stand up. Comedians is this idea of potentially being a road warrior. Where you're out on the road doing your thing and my question to you is. I know you do a lot of speaking over the years. How is it that you are able to? You know recharge your Energy Inbetween speaking sessions. I mean how do you structure your schedule to where you're flying in you do your thing and then you're out again but I've seen you know your schedule? I've seen John F. scheduled for example. I've seen John F. here locally a couple of times and and he's he's in and then he's out or he's on tour with like a conference that he's part of and there's different ways of doing that but but ultimately the none of the question is still like inbetween and preparing and then coming down from talk. Assuming you're you're doing your game and leaving it all out on the field so to speak where the stage How do you balance that energy of being able to perform? Well Yeah. That's a great question. So yeah there are a lot of different layers of this Some of it depends on your schedule. And how many gigs? You're doing so like my busiest was doing around seventy gigs. A year I remember we. We met up in Indy Yeah when I was I was. I had a Gig in the area and so there were times. Drew would be going from city to city over the course of a couple of days and so You know as much as you may want to kind of hang out You may not. You may not have an option on that you may just you speak and then you head to the airport and you're headed to the next thing Now ideally most of 'em planners don't WanNA speaker who's just GONNA fly in parachute in do their thing and fly out Like you want to be able to hang out a little bit and to interact with the audience. And sometimes they. Sometimes it depends on the context. Like sometimes it's a conference where they want you to interact with the audience and sometimes it's like we need you to come in. Do this one hour session and we gotta go back to our own business and and we don't really have any spot for you and you are free to go and that's also fine. You know so some of it depends on the event but you absolutely have to be aware as a speaker that speaking it can be very Mentally physically emotionally draining As a you're on stage for forty five minutes or an hour or whatever it may be and you come off stage and you kind of have this work high but when it dies off like you're just exhausted. I am typically So you've got to be aware of that so it's can't I also know that I'm a very A relatively introverted person. So I I enjoy being Asia. Enjoy being in front of people and and speaking but I also know that afterwards a lot of people want to have conversations and to ask you questions or whatever and that's fine that's a lot of fun but it's also it can be very tiring so you just have to plan for that So that you're not just kind of going from thing to thing and and massively running down the batteries so for myself. One of the things I've recognized is especially before the talk I want to make sure that I. I'm well rested drinking a ton of water that I'm not You know just because a conference offers a bunch of you know sessions or things to do or networking opportunities are social things. That I'm not going to every single thing so by the time onstage. I'm exhausted I don't want to do that. I WanNa make sure that I am well aware that the reason I'm there is to give a presentation and so I need to make sure that the presentation is At my best. Because if I if I hang out with everyone and I'm a social butterfly but mytalk socks That I'm not done what they hired me to do. So I WANNA make sure that that part is is taking care of and then I'm well rested and prepared for the presentation itself now. I know this is all circumstantial because again some people are going to have the ability to overtime build up that reputation to where they've got a stint of I'll call them. Gigs of speaking engagements rather across a couple of different cities. And it's like sure I'm GONNA go ahead and jump into this one flight of this next one and then the next one and then I'm done for the month or done for the you know two or the quarter even and and again. It's all circumstantial. Depends on what your goals are. What you're trying to get out of this but ultimately it's a real thing but how do you remain? Productive went on the road. Like say your team needs you to like you know. Hey you've got a bunch of emails that only you can respond to or is it all about relying on the strength of your team if you can build that up around you to you. Whether that's through a or local people are are or your wife or your whoever you know so what. What's been your approach to that as the speaker. There's a lot of people think like. Oh man the the speaking part is amazing. And yes there is like the amazing part but there's also like a lot of dead time a lot of downtime a lot of waiting around a lot of sitting in airports a lot of sitting on airplanes. A lot of Sigmund hotel rooms OUGHTA sitting backstage just waiting waiting for for your thing to waiting for your opportunity to hop up there So you do have some of those moments where you can be paying attention to you. Know catching up on an email are working on a project and so I try to make sure like when I'm home I want to be home. I want to be fully present. My family I you know I may have some projects that I'm working on but I WanNa make sure that I'm engaged with them versus. When I'm on the road I can play a bit of a different schedule. Meaning that if I'm home I'M NOT A. I'm probably not on my laptop. You know working on emails at you. Know six seven eight o'clock at night versus if I'm on the road and it's just me by myself that I've probably got a little bit more leeway to all right I can. I can work a little bit later. I can answer a few extra emails here though I may wouldn't have had otherwise so recognize some of those spaces one thing. I also try to do his before. Going on a trip is what are the things? I need to That I know I need to do while. I'm on the trip. You know that I know okay. I know I can answer these emails while I'm on the plane. I know I can respond to these things while I'm just sitting there and I'm kind of a captive audience Or I know that I got these tending to answer so I know You know. Finish the talk in the afternoon and then my Fleiss not till tomorrow morning so okay. I know I can knock these out tonight while I'm back of the room But just kind of like looking through your schedule and thinking those things to kind of being a little bit proactive. Just on planning side of it But also recognizing like you can sometimes get more done when you're on the road because you don't have any of the other family personal commitments that are pulling at your at your timer attention But at the same time like being on the road it like I said. Just the travel alone. It can feel glamorous. It can feel sexy at times but cost. Just they're just hiring you know When you're Kinda bounced around from time to time zone or you are not sleeping in your own bed or you're just kind of different schedules from Flying or driving or whatever it may be Mister just kind of you can kind of get out of your routine so I think a lot of it just kind of thinking through and being aware ahead of time what you need to do to make sure you're you're maximizing your time. I always thought that it's funny that You know phones go into airplane mode and then that's when you don't get disturbed and and get more done for me. I can't get anything on a plane. It's too cramped. It's too crowded and I'm just like please just distract me with a movie While I am flying that said I've also been able to burn off nervous energy in all those waiting times By purposely sitting down. And and and you know again. It's all about being ahead of your schedule and taking a look and and you know obviously being flexible when you have to be but maybe sitting down and saying okay. Are there any fires note? There's no fires not by me or not by anyone else who has to you know nothing needs to be put out and replied to certain things and that's all done and okay cool. Well then I guess now I know for certain I can go fully pay attention to wherever wherever I'm at right now. Yeah Yeah and also I would say if you if you have an assistant who can help with some of this. That's fine but even if you if you don't just setting up some some auto responders of hey I'm traveling or I'm speaking and so may I may be a little bit slower to respond and so give me a day or two and just like setting the proper expectations. I think all people understand that and recognize that and you also just kinda like doing your own kind of triage as you kind of scan through your emails because there's going to be active today or to to respond to this Don't you know next time at the airport? And I've got a minute I can do this but All right this one. I need to respond to right now. This is important one As there's just a little bit of three hours there to determine what what is happening on what can wait. Let's pivot here a little bit. So we're talking about teams. I you know I kind of like. Maybe you paint your picture of what your team Looks like for you? This is again not gonna be the same for every single person for a lot of people it's going to be just them starting off Like when they start off like I. I'm assuming that's how it was for you. But how do you kind of This is a different kind of scaling. How do you start with? It's just you and then you add people in scale and you pick the right people. Yeah it's a great question so I mean at this point we have music. You're we have about fourteen people They are A majority of them are contractors varying degrees. Some of them. Are you know ten hours a week? Some of them are Thirty thirty five hours a week and I'll probably end up Somewhat of a gray area And so we probably have cumulative I guess maybe around eight ish employees fulltime people and so I think it's important to note like four whether you're trying to think through like building a team or you know booking speaks everyone starts at zero. You know I think something as well. How do you get to fifteen? Or how do you get to you? Know Seventy speaking gigs. Like but there's a time that was zero people and zero gigs and so you go from zero to one And so don't try to feel don't don't feel like you know. Look wait on the road of of hiring a bunch of people or having people do a bunch of things You may just thinking about like I mentioned. There's a bunch of people on on the team. They're all like very part time. And in fact my very first hire was Me Recognizing that I could do. I did a good job on The speaking and on the sales part of it but there's a lot of like logistics and contracts and travel and that sort of thing. I didn't I didn't have to do like someone else could do that. And kind of keep up with that and manage all those moving pieces and juggle those balls so Was able to hire someone who was just purely a part time contractors. Stay at home mom who helped me with that one thing and helped with contracts and help with details so basically I would book a Gig and pass the baton say okay this is Lisa. She's GonNa handle everything from here. And if you need anything just connected Lisa and I'll see a few months and do the GIG type thing. And she's phenomenal. She's great. I mean I didn't full-time person. I didn't employ when I was busy shoes busy. And and when I was low she was slow. And so that was exactly what I needed at the time So versus like okay. I if I'm GONNA hire someone has to be a full time. Person has to have a bunch of benefits and have to have an office. Now we have a bunch of people now and they're all remote. I've never had an office. I don't want an office. I think one thing that's important when you're thinking through whether speaking or just building your business in general is that you get to decide the rules of the game like there's nothing. There's no right or wrong way to do it. You know where I live. I live outside of Nashville. Tennessee and Dave Ramsey just built a new headquarters. That's five minutes away from where we live. I pass by it on a regular basis and He's got he's got over a thousand people working there. It's a huge company Do significant revenue and I drive by that a couple of friends that work there and I've had to the place and Mike. It's really cool but I'm also looking at going like I don't want that and that's fine. It's not that one's better worse than the other. But you gotta be clear for you like it what it is that you want Without feeling like you have to you know. Build a massive thing overnight. So yeah I I think big caveat would just be like don't feel like you have to hire a bunch of people super fast That you ultimately need to go at a pace that makes sense and it's comfortable for you and this goes back to how we started off this conversation really with the whole buffet mentality of you. Don't need to be thinking about how big you're going to scale the thing. You know years down the road you need to think about being the best steak in town first and foremost and then as things come up you scale. Yeah it reminds me the I don't remember where I heard this but The expression of life for building a business or whatever you WANNA call it is Kinda like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights will show you but you can. You can drive hundreds of miles that way you know so like if we look at right now from a planning standpoint Realistically I know what the next week or two few weeks looks like I've got a bunch of things on the calendar coming up we just booked a trip and a few months So I can kind of see that but like you know six months year couple year. Five years ten years like yeah you can make some. I have some rough ideas of. Here's kind of what I'd like life to look like but man. We have no clue. There's zero clue what's going to happen between now and then. I can only see as far as the headlights will show me so when it comes to hiring whenever it comes to building speaking business whatever it comes to doing whatever you can really only see so far in front of you but you can make the entire drive that way. You don't have to know how the whole thing is going to play out. You'll have to know every single step of the journey to know that all right. I can only see this but I'm going to take the next step at now. I natta lights shine a little bit further. And so now I'm GonNa take the next logical step versus being like I got to see the whole map before I can take any step now like you. You are never gonna be able to see the whole map. But you can't take the next logical step for you so I think that the next logical step for anybody listening is to grab a copy of the successful speaker and by the way I wanted to say this upfront. But I'm going to say it now. What are the things that I love is? You've got endorsements here from so many of the people that are speakers that I love to in particular is Scott Stratton and Jay Baer and Scott says that like this is the handbook like this is the way to learn how to do the not only the craft. But the business of speaking. I think that succinctly delivers on what the promise of the book is is that I mean this is how you're going to create a speaking career. I it's just that simple and and I'm so glad that you inject partnered on this and This is going to be a dog eared. You know gone through book in my immediate future for sure go. I appreciate that man. Yeah it's We want it to be something that could be a guide and handbook that people can use for years in the future so there's going to be sections and chapters that may not be relevant now but Another couple of months. Like all right mentioned booking gigs and a. Dang now that's a potential opportunity and they asked me how much charge and so now nigga flipped to that part of the book and figure that out or I gotTA talk coming up in a couple of weeks. I'm starting to work on. Should I use lies? Obama flipped to that section of the book. And and go through that. So it's definitely something that you can go through cover to cover but it's also something you can kind of use his a handbook to refer back to as As you grow your own speaking business grant Is there any special place you'd like to direct people to? I know it's wherever fine books are sold but like specifically to. Maybe they're not quite on board yet they want to learn more about the book Beyond this conversation. Where would you like me to send them? Yeah everyone can go to the speaker lab dot com slash book the speak aloud dot com slash book. That's where you can download a a couple of free chapters and We got a couple of free bonuses there as well if you go through there But yeah the. The book is the the successful speaker five steps for booking gigs getting paid building building your platform and books out everywhere. Books are sold awesome. Grant thank you so much for being back and hopefully. I'll see you soon in person. Dan always good to catch up with you. Well that's another podcast crossed off your podcast listening to do list. I hope you enjoyed listening in on this conversation I had with grant Baldwin. Whether or not your speaker or not. I know I got a lot out of going through the book as well as talking with grant. If you're interested at all in speaking this is the book for you. I'll link it up in the show notes which you can find at beyond the to do list dot com slash three one six. That's also the place where if you're inclined and got something out of this episode. Would you do me a favor of sharing it with somebody? You know needs to hear it whether you're over there on the show notes or you want to just hit the share button here in your podcast player. App OF CHOICE. And if you enjoyed this episode feel free to support it by giving it a rating or a review wherever you do that for other shows that you like. Thanks again for sharing. Thanks again for listening. And I'll see you next episode.

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