What’s Your Value As A Speaker? It’s Not About What You Know

Your value as a speaker is not in what you know… It’s in what you can help others do.

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Last week we wrapped up the Succeed Speaking Summer Marketing Camp, and I opened the final session by speaking about Dr. BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model. (Dr. Fogg is founder of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University.)

Fogg’s model states that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior — or action — to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger.

In other words, someone must be motivated to do something, s/he must have the ability to do something, and there must be a trigger to prompt the action. And if an action doesn’t occur, you know at least one element is missing.

This was very relevant to our marketing camp, because we knew our participants had the motivation to market themselves better (because something about their current marketing wasn’t working), and we gave them a trigger to stimulate action by inviting them to our camp.

But could we give them the ability to market themselves better?

That was our prime objective, and that’s how we’ll ultimately be judged in the weeks, months and years ahead.

It’s the same for you… when you take the stage as a speaker, when you write your books and when you create supplemental products.

But how do you do it?

Dr. Fogg says there are two ways to increase ability:

  1. Train people and give them more skills, and/or
  2. Make the target behavior easier to do — in other words, simplify the desired behavior.

“Training” is the easiest place for us to go as experts — we can share ideas, strategies and tactics all day long.

But as Dr. Fogg says, “Training people is hard work, and most people resist learning new things. That’s just how we are as humans: lazy.”

If you really want to increase the ability of those you speak to, focus on showing them how to easily implement what you teach — or better yet, what they already know! — in their daily lives.

At the end of the day, that’s what drives up your value as a speaker:

It’s not how much you know about selling. It’s how much better salespeople you help your attendees become.

It’s not how much you know about motivation. It’s how much more motivated you help your attendees become.

It’s not how much you know about leadership. It’s how much better leaders you help your attendees become.

It’s not how much I know about the speaking business. It’s how much better and more successful I can help you become.


There will always be someone who knows more than us.

But if we can simplify the target behaviors and actions to the point that we help our followers do what they need to do and experience better results

That’s what it’s all about.


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