The same people that provide these products put on live seminars - 3-5 day programs in exotic locations that cost anywhere from $300 to $5,000 dollars (food, travel and lodging not included), promising you a weekend with the experts, a transformational event that will put you on your path to speaking, if you just put into action every step they outline for you.
This is all well and good - there's a market, and the information can be strong. These products, programs, and deluxe working vacations are usually put on by legitimate, top-notch speakers, who earnestly want to inspire you to do something you've never done, and they put their all into their programs. They are providing a service people want, and I consistently hear how wonderful attendees feel when they get back.
But then, you walk back in your front door, and...reality hits.
"I've sat through/listened/watched an 8 hour/3-day intense program/teleseminar series/workshop, and I still don't have a speech?!? I have a 175 page workbook that I actually have to follow? I have to get myself booked? I actually have to DO SOMETHING?
Hey wait, what about a message? They told me how to find a message, but how do I know I've found it, that it's good enough, and that I'm doing it right?"
Poof! The air comes out, uncertainty creeps back in, and the money and the time is gone. I call it Post-Seminar Depression Syndrome - which is very similar to Post New Year's Resolution Syndrome...
Now what? All that information you just paid for is useless if you just put it up on your shelf, waiting until 'you're sure'. Even the people who sold you and trained you for a weekend will tell you that. They also know that most of the people who come will leave excited, educated, and yet still do nothing. It's not what they want, but it's part of the business.
How do you make sure you don't come home and go Poof?
What you need is a Who - a coach - someone to help you find your message, craft it, practice it, and encourage and hold you accountable to deliver it. Speaking coaches abound these days, and all have different levels of experience, and a diverse set of skills and training styles. Some of the legitimate seminar leaders will offer personal coaching, if they have the time and you've got the money. But they can't coach EVERYONE, and it might be the right situation for YOU.
A while back, I did an in-depth post The 7 Questions You Should Ask When Hiring a Speaking Coach.
For review, those questions were:
1. What's at Stake
2. What's their Real-World Experience
3. What's their Speaking Experience
4. What's their Location
5. What do Others Say
6. What are You Willing to Spend
7. How do You Want to be Coached
On my side, I can be choosy with who I work with. Not everyone is an ideal fit with every coach, or client. I work closely with my clients to help them find and refine their messages, construct their presentations, and hone their delivery skills. Closely can mean in person, by Skype, by phone, or simply by email, and it also means repeatedly. I rarely allow for a 'here's your critique, what's your hurry' client. It doesn't serve either of us well.
As we go deeper in, we'll get into the nuts and bolts of marketing, scheduling, creating products, etc - but it all has to start with the right message, delivered the right way.
So go, spend your thousands of dollars, get excited, and come back armed with information and charged to change your life, your career, and your financial future. Then call me - and we'll sit down and work through it all together, and make sure you honor the promises you just made to yourself and your future audiences.
To Speak...and Deliver.
(Disclaimer: I reserve the right to someday offer large, expensive seminars, clam shell encased DVDs and YouTube trainings. A guy's gotta eat, right?)