Business 101: What's Your Message? How to Develop Your Speaking Platform
It’s one thing to be a speaker and yet another to create an audience…So, how is it done?
Every great speaker has one thing in common: a clear message. We use this message to build our presentation and it is what we become known for.
There are two types of messages you need to develop for your speaking platform: the Core Message and the Marketing Message. Sometimes they end up being the same and very often they are different.
The Core Message is often the “feeling” behind your presentation and is typically something you are very passionate about. It affects you to your “core” and that passion translates to your audience.
Your Marketing Message is a tool that you lead with to attract your audience to you. It represents a need, problem or question your audience wants answered and you provide that answer in your presentation.
Finding Your Core Message: What Lesson Are You Here to Teach?
Imagine sitting on a train platform in Europe and a young woman is sitting next to you. It is a beautiful day and the two of you have just met and chatted while waiting for your trains. Your new friend is now about to board her train headed in the opposite direction and it is unlikely you will ever see her again.
What piece of advice do you share with her as you part? I know you have plenty to say and much advice to give…but if you could only share ONE thing, what would it be? This is your message.
For me, it is “Take a stand, show up and declare YOU matter!”
It comes from playing the victim after a debilitating car accident that left me unable to read for 7 years and the turn around that led to my recovery. This message filters through all my speaking events, client interactions, corporate training…you name it!
It is the driving message in my business, the energy and passion behind why I do what I do and how I show up to serve. This is why it is called the Core Message.
As an entrepreneur and speaker you want to spend some time thinking about your Core Message and identifying it for your business. It becomes the overall theme that flows through all you do.
It may become a tagline and it may not…don’t add that pressure and be open to it naturally evolving into a tagline only if it is right. It is worth spending time on crafting this message AND then there comes a time when you need to just select it and move on!
Creating Your Marketing Message: What Will People Connect With?
This is the message you use to represent your body of work. It is what your audience can expect to hear from you when they show up. You will use this in all your marketing, advertising and promotion.
Ideally you want this message to represent YOU, flow through your Core Message AND speak to your Ideal Clients. This means knowing what your audience needs: their dreams, fears, strengths and challenges. If you aren’t certain, start interviewing past or potential clients.
My marketing message is: Client Attraction Without Being “Salesy”. It speaks directly to my audience and represents the body of my work and my philosophy behind what I do. I also use “Make the Journey from Obscurity to Buzz in Record Time!” as I teach speakers how to launch their platform and get known.
Having your Marketing Message identified and “ready” to use at a moments notice is very helpful! You can and will use it in print, in person, online…and you will test it, see the reaction and tweak it if needed.
Getting Started Building Your Speaking Platform
#1: Write out the vision you have for yourself as a Speaker. How do you see yourself?
#2: Write out your Core Message. Spend thoughtful time considering your ONE lesson you are here to teach!
#3: Write out your Marketing Message. Make sure it is in alignment with who you are AND serves a need your audience is aware of!
As you create your messages and build your speaking platform, seriously consider the “job” and privilege of serving as a speaker. Sandra Yancey once told me, “Responsibility comes with being handled a mic…” which means that this is not your moment to be indulgent and use the stage for public group therapy.
What Sandra meant is that being in the front of the room is a privilege – an opportunity to share your message, passion and wisdom to benefit others. Not only is it an honor but it is the most FUN ever!
Want to know a little more about becoming a professional speaker? Check out Savvy Speaker Secrets to get the video series “How Do I Get Booked as a Speaker?”