3 ways to sink your public-speaking career

No matter how engaging your presentations are, make these mistakes and you’ll ensure your career never takes off.

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I’m a speaker coach. People ask me every day for help becoming a speaker who breaks the mold, gets paid, receives standing ovations and changes the world.

I love it. It’s my job and privilege to help these passionate visionaries become their best.

In 30 years I’ve seen enough speakers succeed and fail to understand those successes and failures.

I mostly write about the secrets to success, but I want to explain the failure I see over and over again.

Here are the three secrets to public speaking failure. I posed them as questions, because that’s the way they come to me:

1. “Can you get me represented by a speaker bureau?”

My heart always sinks when I hear this, because I know the speaker is looking for a shortcut to success. The speaker believes being listed on a speaker bureau’s website means the phone will start ringing and gigs will come in faster than you can say “$20K plus travel.”

Being listed on a bureau page is like hanging your shingle as a lawyer in New York City. You have to do it—it’s a “now-I’m-a-real-speaker” step you must take—but you become one of a huge number of people competing for scarce invitations.

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