Student Success Story: Dr. Stephanie Duguid

Here at The Speaker Lab, our goal is to help you get Booked and Paid to Speak. Our Student Success Stories share first hand experiences from our students of how they’ve booked paid speaking gigs and grown their businesses by applying the concepts they learned in our courses.

Why TSL?

I’ve been speaking for years at conferences, but of course, with education, all the opportunities are done for free. As a college administrator, I was the lead of all academics, including the professional development and advisement on campus, as well as the lead for their wellness program. So I’ve done a ton of speaking. But recently, I decided to make a transition, and I left the college world. When I left the college space, I still had avenues that were direct guides to speaking opportunities, but the expectation was that they were all voluntary. I needed to learn how to reframe my expertise and reach out to contacts for paid opportunities, and that is what led me to The Speaker Lab.

When I made the initial call with the Enrollment Advisor, the process resonated with me because there was structure, support, and a plan. That is what I needed!

So, that’s how I ended up getting from where I was to where I am now and working with TSL.

Today I speak about empowering women in educational leadership focused on positive leadership and communication.

What were some of your aha moments and takeaways?

As I was determining my niche as an educator, it was easy to think you could speak on anything, similar to a “general practitioner.” I realized I didn’t want to be a “general practitioner.” When you go to a general practitioner, you can see them for any ailment and only need to pay your co-pay. However, when you go to a specialist, you need to pay a whole lot more money because they are the go-to for that specific area of concern. I discovered that for many years I have been a general practitioner, but in education it was free, and I needed to hone in on my area of expertise in order to get paid for my value. That was an exciting revelation for me.

Working through the modules and with coaches Jake and Katherine really helped me uncover a lot about what kind of speaking business I wanted. The modules really dive deep into specific areas of your business to uncover things you may not have thought about before. As you are working through the modules and questions, you have the support of your coaches to help guide you and work through the process. It has really helped me see just how far I can take this business. Katherine helped me uncover that in addition to a keynote, I also have a workshop that can come from the same content. It was a great aha moment. Just the way the coaches’ minds think and how they look at and work through the business really helped me see amazing opportunities.

The process of reaching out to prospects was initially scary. Honestly, I was lost in my process at first. Now I have a consistent message and a consistent system of my prospecting approach. I’m a logical, analytical person. So, if I can understand the why behind the process, it makes much more sense to me. I was all over the place. I was like a squirrel, looking to see where my next opportunity was. But now I have a process, and it’s working so much better.

What’s changed since you completed the program?

I was so impressed with the VIP Speaker Lab program and had great initial results that I ended up purchasing The Speaker Lab’s highest-tiered offer, The Master Speaker Program with Erick Rheam. People might think I am crazy – I had no income, but I did believe that thanks to TSL, I could make this very successful. I knew I needed more support and mentorship, and Erick was the perfect person. He was down to earth, served in the military, which offers a lot of structure, was a student with TSL, and is now a successful speaker using this same process. That ALL resonated with me. I knew I wanted to learn from him. So, I bit the bullet and literally borrowed the money to make it happen.

It was really cool to see how The Masters Program built upon the VIP program. It was a continuation of what is taught in VIP, and you build from there.
Erick strongly encouraged working with warm leads first. Cold leads take longer, so why not start with those who already know you? When I went through the exercise to pull a list of warm leads, I was amazed that I had over 100 people. I have been in education for over 20+ years so that most certainly helped.
The results I got from implementing what Erick taught were amazing. In the last week of his program, I had 10 calls scheduled, and 8 of them converted to gigs!!!

When I first started this process, I was nervous and unsure. Today, I have systems, confidence, and a clear vision of where I am going. I don’t dread getting up and doing the work. I actually find it fun to wake up and head to my home office and get busy.

Another result is my husband has also left his job so that he can come and help me run the business. It is a very exciting time in our lives.

Who would you recommend to The Speaker Lab?

I would recommend TSL to just about anyone who wants a systematic way of building their business of speaking.

There’s going to be some people in the program who have been speaking for years and already have a huge fan base and some income coming in. They’re just trying to get more. It can be difficult not to compare yourself. It really can be.

The Speaker Lab does a great job of saying, “You are on your own journey.” I have a radio show, and one of my guests said that coming into leadership, the best advice she ever received is to “remember you wear your own shoes. So create your own pathway.” That’s what we have to remember – no matter what cohort you’re in, no matter what group you’re in, don’t look at somebody else in a jealous way, but simply shift that jealousy into a fire that you are going to use to be there one day.

Then use your own shoes and your own path and your own order to get there and believe that you can do that.


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