To be completely honest with you. I was a passionate public speaking hobbyist. I was writing two to three speeches a week for Toastmasters. After I was invited to TEDx as well as other events all my friends were asking me to help them out with their speeches. I realized this if this is something I love doing for free why not do this for a living? So I joined The Elite Booked and Paid To Speak program because I knew I wanted to switch from a hobbyist to a professional speaker.
What has been some A-ha’s and takeaways?
A huge a-ha for me was simply owning the fact that I am a professional speaker. I tell people I’m a public speaker, so it’s a fact of life. My name is Francesco I’m Italian American, I live in Germany and I’m a public speaker. There’s that confidence level that wasn’t always there.
Another big a-ha was realizing there is a whole industry of people who not only will pay for me to come and speak to their people they want to pay me in order to motivate and uplevel their employees. I know it may sound ridiculous to some people reading this but truly, I was amazed to learn that corporations would invest so much for something I love to do.
What is your new normal as a professional speaker?
My new normal is I no longer negotiate with myself on whether or not I am going to work on my speaking craft and business. It is a non-negotiable that 2-3 hours per day are spent on working on the business and or the craft of speaking. If I don’t do that, then I’m going to return to being a hobbyist speaker again. After working through the Elite program and getting a better understanding of the levels of success that are possible, that is not an option.
I was also invited to speak at Adidias in Berlin and be the moderator for TEDx. Which is a lot of time on stage and also basically the glue of an event.
Adidas found out that I was into mindset training and they wanted their 30 influencers to fly from all around the world to go to Berlin. I’ve been busy practicing in front of the camera and in front of my friends. Unfortunately, I got a message saying the Adidas deal had to be canceled. Luckily I still get to keep the deposit, which is great. If it weren’t for The Speaker Lab I would have never thought to ask for a deposit. Lessoned learned for all, get the deposit for your events.
Due to the times we are in right now with COVID there are a lot of events canceling or going virtual. Luckily, the TEDx event went virtual and it was a great success. There was a ton of positive energy and feedback from the attendees. The big takeaway for me from this experience was even if your event goes virtual it can still be as amazing as being on stage. We have to change our mindset as the presenter and replicate what we would do in person… we can still make the impact we want to make virtually.
Who would you recommend to The Speaker Lab?
Well, obviously someone like me who wants to take that jump from hobby speaker to professional speaker. Additionally, anyone who has the expertise knows that there’s a market out but it’s taking a really long time to figure it out on their own.
When you have step-by-step lessons from The Speaker Lab literally walking you by your hands through the process of building a speaking business, success is a non-negotiable. Of course, you have to put the time in and follow the framework as designed.
The other thing I wanted to say is the community is incredible. When you have people along the ride who get it, the inspiration intensifies. I’m hoping I can inspire someone else knowing how much the community of TSL inspired me. That to me has been so priceless. The amount of money I invested in this program, I believe just the community alone has made it worth the price.
Then the coaching team has been filled with encouragement, knowledge, support, and kick in the butt when I needed to get out of my own way. When all those negative thoughts creep, they are there to help you stay focused on your goals. So if you are doing this on your own you need the support. You need the coaches and the community to help you get through the overwhelm, the fear, and those times when your spirits are low. The coaches are basically the public speaking therapist that helps you believe you can do it. I’m rooting for anyone who wants to do this and you can be assured so is The Speaker Lab.