Let’s assume you’re a professional speaker who has just come off stage to a standing ovation. And, you’re feeling pretty good about your speech. Later, as you stand by your resource table shaking hands, several people mention how much they enjoyed your presentation. But, are their 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. 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 leaders 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 person 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 another 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 money to improve their presentations. A dud message can’t spread like wildfire. Ask yourself, what can I do to generate more repeat and referral business?