How to Kickstart Your Speaking Career - Chanti Zak - Copywriter & Funnel Strategist

Estimated read time: 9 minutes

Do you know what you want to be known for?

Donald Miller of StoryBrand fame popularized the bowling ball theory… 

When it comes to communication at scale — every idea = a bowling ball you’re handing over to the person you’re talking to. 

So often we’re piling so many bowling balls onto our people that they become paralyzed. 

Which is why if you’re not already clear on what you want to be known for as a business, it’s high time to creatively roll some balls until you hit that sweet sweet strrrrrike 

(Not me over here Googling: “what’s it called in bowling when you knock down all the pins” 🙈)

When you’re clear on what you want to be known for, it’s a LOT easier to: 

⇒ Actually stand out from the thousands of other and make a lasting impression in the hearts and minds of those you want to help. 

⇒ Sell your schtuff (as long as it’s aligned with what you want to be known for, duh).

⇒ Create riveting, purposeful, effective copy and content in all expressions. Because you have a core central theme — a knowingness you can keep coming back to.

I always ask my students and clients this question before coaching them or helping them create a single thing. 

If you dream of writing a book, creating a quiz that connects and converts, or booking speaking gigs (more on that 👇) , knowing the answer is a non-negotiable. 

So think about it 🤔

Or better yet… talk about it. 
The process of putting a talk together — something you can offer virtually or in-person is one of the most clarifying practices there is when it comes to knowing what you want to be known for.

What you’ll learn in this article:

🍵💲 The connection between knowing what you want to be known for and your story.

🍵💲 Is professional speaking all it’s cracked up to be? (+ how do you even *think* about starting out in the speaking world?!)

🍵💲 A playlist that’ll have you dancin’ at your desk this week.

This week’s tea: Your story = your thing + the clarifying power of speaking

Erm, ya okay what if I don’t know how to know what I want to be known for?!” 

Not today, existential business crisis! 

What I’ve found is, you can’t actually logic your way to the answer. 

& it’s likely staring you in the face. 

With a good talk, the importance of STORY cannot be understated. People don’t just want information, they want emotion. 

Feelings are what move us. 

Before seeking answers externally, assess your own story, %FIRSTNAME%. What core themes stand out? 

For me, being known for quizzes makes sense alongside my story. I have always been deeply curious, sometimes to a fault. 

It’s easy to bring emotion and passion to any subject or theme when it’s innately tied to your story. 

My fabulous client Denise Soler Cox is entirely clear on what she wants to be known for… BELONGING. 

When you hear her story, it makes perfect sense. 

It’s her thing. She’s built a wildly successful speaking career focusing on the very human drive to belong. 

And lucky for us, she agreed to let me interview her.

Read on for the tea from Denise on how to get started as a speaker…

Denise: I’m gonna say a resounding YES. Of all the ways to build an audience, I can’t think of a single one that connects people more deeply than being live on a stage with a captive audience. 

Of course it’s scary AF (a whole other conversation) but all things the same, I’d rather speak to people live and have a chance to make that deep connection than any other way. 

The big caveat here is for it to actually work, like really work, you have to be willing to be your authentic self on the stage.

Denise: I was a stay at home mom with two young kids at home running a freelance graphic design business from home when I got my first gig. 

A friend of mine told me about a non-profit that was contracting professionals to go into middle schools and talk for 15 minutes about their career. 

I didn’t realize it at the time, but speaking in front of middle schoolers was slowly building my confidence and comfort in front of a room.

Denise: If you’re brand new I’d seriously just focus on getting your first paid gig. 

Step one would be to write a TEDx style talk — consider the question they always ask prospective speakers: What’s the idea that you have that’s worth spreading? 

Outline it, consider the stories you would tell as you make your points, and put it together. That’s the content part — simplified but I see a lot of people get tripped up here and completely stop. 

Step two would be strategically sharing what you talk about. 

I speak about belonging, it’s simple to understand and easy to communicate. I post on LinkedIn about belonging in the workplace, I post on IG about belonging anywhere you want to be whether it’s on a stage, writing a book, making a movie, traveling the world etc. 

The expressions are different but the theme is the same.

🧋I recently had the pleasure of working with Denise on her quiz — which quite honestly (even if I’m biased) is the perfect thing to offer your audience at the end of a talk. 

Check it out here if you’re ready to reveal the gifts of your “Imperfections” & the REAL barriers holding you back from conviction, confidence, and courage to be authentically YOU.

Psst… she’s also hosting an upcoming class for how to get started as a speaker which you can learn more about here.

🧋Stackin’ up the memes for you, boo:

Welcome to my corner of the internet where you’ll find no shortage of real talk and proven growth strategies for solopreneurs, professional creators, coaches, and service providers. Grow forth and make it rain in your business, I’ve got your back every step of the way.

Hey superstar! I’m Chanti. 

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