Let’s assume you just finished a speech and walked off the stage to a standing ovation. You’re feeling pretty good about your presentation. Afterwards, you stand around shaking hands and several people mention how much they enjoyed your talk. But, are their positive comments an accurate indicator of your skill level?
The fact is that every speaker gets told they’re the best speaker ever. And, most audience members aren’t going to share negative feedback. So, do audience compliments really tell you if you’re any good? Let’s look at three ways to know if your speech is great:
1. The leader who booked you invites you back.
Most leaders are looking for effective, results-based speakers they can trust to attract a crowd and wow an audience. If your speech is good, then leaders know they can count on you. This belief increases the desire to invite you back, because they know good things happen when you’re there. Giving a great presentation causes leaders to want you back. Sure, some leaders may want to skip a year to keep things fresh, but good speakers stay in a leader’s mind on a consistent basis, which helps create consistent bookings.
2. The leader who booked you refers you to another leader.
You have a great speech if the leader who booked you tells their influential friends how good you are. Leaders talk to their peers and swap stories about speakers. This referral process alone can fill up half of a great speaker’s calendar. Word starts to spread and the phone starts to ring with requests. Is your phone ringing?
3. Another leader in the audience approaches you.
You have a great speech if a different leader in the audience comes up and says, “Here’s my card, I’d like to book you for my upcoming event.” It’s one thing for someone to compliment your talk, but it’s different when someone offers to give you money to present your same talk to another group. When you can motivate someone to immediately want you, then you’ve got a great speech.
Great speakers never rest on their laurels. Instead, they invest the time and creativity to continue improving their presentations and insure that the three things listed above happen on a regular basis. When you speak, do you get invited back, get referrals, and get approached by other leaders?