Did you ever think you would hear me say that? I mean it!
When I speak, I ask my audiences, “What is the most important part of a presentation?” The typical responses I get are: the opening, the close, the message, delivery, and the audience. While these are important, they are not THE most important. What do you think it is?
It is the thought process in the listeners’ minds. Our opening, our closing, our slides are all geared towards effecting the “thoughts” of our listeners. It is not our opening, but how our opening affects the thoughts of our audience. Does that make sense?
When we go to workshops and invest in learning programs, our intentions as the listeners are to have our thought processes improved – to start thinking like someone who is successful in that area. When I wanted to be a comedian, I wanted to learn to think like a comedian. When I went for the world championship, I wanted to learn to think like a world champion.
Do you honestly think that someone who wants to become a professional speaker can listen to 8 CDs once and instantly get a paycheck? They need to think like a professional speaker and do the exercises. The plan is laid out for you. It’s up to you to follow it. So your thinking changes, and then you will act like pro to become a pro. The magic pill we all want is in there, it just happens on be in the change of thought. To change your thinking requires some effort.
That’s why I say, “Don’t buy another learning program.” Instead, go back and absorb more of the ones already sitting on your shelf. What subject have you not yet mastered? You can’t fully change your thoughts on a subject the very first time you hear it. You can’t possibly get it all! That’s why people who come back to our boot camps a second time get more out of them. Several of the people who invested in my Get Paid to Speak By Next Week Program® have sent me e-mails telling me that they get something new from it each time they go through, and they have gone through several times!
I just got a call from Brooklyn, a fellow speaker who saw me speak in Washington last week. She called me up and said, “You were right! I did what you said… I listened to the program once, and then went back and did the exercises… and I got much more out of it the second time.” Yes! Someone followed directions and got more value! Her thoughts were impacted at a deeper level.
I remember listening to a Tony Robbins program where he said to “turn off the program to do this exercise.” I didn’t. It’s human nature – we just want to get all the information and quickly move on. He even came back on the program and asked if we really did stop and do the exercise. He caught me!
So, when I designed Get Paid to Speak By Next Week®, I made sure there was “real thinking time” built in, forcing listeners to take time to think. Why? Because that’s how I can create the most change with my programs. Do you do that?
I’m very excited about my next Humor Boot Camp, because after just going to learn about accelerated learning techniques from T Harv Eker, I realized that I can make the boot camp even more transformational. There will be more live exercises, and I’m even planning a lunchtime “real world” exercise! Participants will get an opportunity to use techniques they learn in the morning, and actually apply them right away to make unsuspecting people laugh.
When Craig Valentine and I designed How Professional Presenters Can Own the Stage, we knew that to get speakers to internalize advanced coaching techniques they had to see it, hear it and do it. We created DVDs so people could watch the subtle differences and see what we were talking about. Watching DVDs all of the time is not as practical as listening in your car or working out so we also included a bonus set of CDs so future coachees could hear it again and again. To really internalize CDs, make a habit of listening at least seven times. You will hear new ideas each time.
One serious student in Saudi Arabia recently absorbed it all, and went from being a novice evaluator to winning an evaluation contest. I’m sure some people who JUST listened to the program did not nearly get as much out of it. It is not the program, as much as what you, the listener, does with it.
As presenters, we need to understand that it is truly not about us. It is how our experience and knowledge can help others. Will you create your programs with that in mind?
As students, it’s not about “the next” book or learning program. If you already invested in a program on a topic you want to master, I invite you to go through it again. When I find a good one, I listen over and over again, until my thoughts start aligning with the experts. When I start taking the actions advised by the experts, I’m just beginning to master it. When I teach it, the learning goes even deeper.
If you have invested in learning program on a subject you want to master, will you pull it out again and dive in? If you do, I promise that because of more experience you have since you went through it, it will sink in and you will gain new ideas, as well.
If the program gives you exercises, do them again (or for the first time) with passion!
How serious are you? If you are serious, let me know what program you’re going to revisit (It can be anybody’s program… it doesn’t have to be mine.) Post it here on my blog… just scroll down!
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Did you ever think you would hear me say that? I mean it!
Nice article Darren. I plan on listening to Get Paid to Speak One More Time.
How very true…Ok I’ll comment on 3 of Craig Valentine’s services/products. In Jan. 2008, I attended his and Mark’s: How to Create a Killer Keynote Champ Camp in Orlando- great new info for me…and lots of it, which was a life saver when I was preparing my keynote speech for Alaska that spring; earlier this year, I invested in his resource: Create YOUR KILLER KEYNOTE Home Study Course- much of the same material covered as at the camp, but now with CD’s and workbook; this past month, I invested in his 12 week online World Class Speaking Coach Course….the same material again but being re-inforced in different ways form different angles and I still reach new “aha” moments when a previously taught concept is finally internalized by me because I have worked with it and lived it.
Having said all that, I can’t tell you how many times I have revisited your Get Paid to Speak binder- using your client agreements for my engagements, your checklists, and teaching others from it esp. in creating their 1 page profile sheet!! And I continue to discover new ideas always. Thanks Darren.
You are completely right and THANK YOU for that reminder!…go back and visit the program that I already purchased, and listen over and over until I master it!!!
I am going to recommit to The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.
***I have a 40 minute drive to and from work each Mon – Fri…what a waste of time to use it listening to radio commercials when I could be focusing on my destination in my life! Thanks again for the reminder.”
Sage advice. I am in the process of revisiting Craig’s Edge of Their Seat Storytelling. Why? Because it has been a while when I first listened and I did not complete the exercises and upon my second listening, this time completing the exercises, I realize what I didn’t hear the first time.
I’ve been thinking of doing exactly what you wrote about Darren, for the past week or so. Recently, I was looking for a quote I wanted to share in a speech, and whilst thumbing through the book the words on the page grabbed my attention, so I started reading the chapter. I immediately felt that the content was fresh, knowing well that I had been through the book before! I picked up some new tools that previously my mind hadn’t seriously considered on implementing! I also gained a new insight into the tools I was already using. I put into practice this new knowledge immediately, with good results, and this has inspired me to go back through my other learning programs to do the same, so I’ll probably be giving Craig’s World Class Speaking book another look in the near future.
I purchsed get paid to speak by next week in july this year and have listened to it twice and have completed the workbook.
i purchased own the stage last month ,have watched the dvd’s twice and listened to the cd’s numerous times . I listen to the cd’s when I’m jogging, cycling, driving as well as when in my infrared sauna.
I have registered for the nov humor boot camp and herein commit to reveiw both these programs at least one more time before humor boot camp.
i should receive your Laff Pack sometime this week and commit to cover it at least twice as well as read the book that comes with it before Humor Boot Camp.
from the first two programs i have implemented the following items in my speaches at toastmasters.
I use “you” more often instead of “I”.
I create hologram locations and use them later in the speach.
I use specfic locations on the stage for certain events and refer back to them as the speach progresses.
I video and audio record every speach and reveiw them to find the laughs, chcukles and bloopers and then re do the speach again and look for how it has progressed.
I am visiting many different toastmaster group in a 60 mile radius of my home so that I can do the same but modified version of my speach and again video and critique it.
I will also watch at least one dvd during the process of working on my speaches and or modifying of my speaches in preperation for the next delivery of that speach.
I have found a benefit in redoing the same speach a number of times in from of different toastmaster groups.
I am spending numerous nights per week as well as extensive weekend time on my speaking education.
C Ray Lubsen
Darren, I have a book called “Be Your Own Executive Coach: Master High-Impact Communication Skills” by Peter DeLisser that you have inspired me to break back out and REALLY do ALL the exercises this time. I only completed 2 of them when I first got the book. Thank you!
I’m also inspired by reading others’ comments on this blog, so that you again, Darren & commenters, for this forum.
Darren, you are so right on! In my personal development I am currently re-reading “Change your life in 30 days” by my favorite life coach Rhonda Britton. I am doing the exercises again and share in a weekly book study group about my experiences. I agree, it is all about changing the way I think and that to me is a dicipline which has to be focused on daily!
I’m currently going back over Get paid to speak by next week, and Craig Valentine’s Creating you killer Keynote. I realized after calling different chambers of commerce that I really needed to think about what expertise I had. The question Why you by alan weiss or What expertise do you have the other people are willing to pay for? I really couldn’t answer. I couldn’t find the words to answer the question definitively until I rephrased the question. “What do I know how to do that I could teach others to do that had a great impact on me?” Then it hit me,
The Power of Personal Development
The first thing i wrote out when I listed my experience…..I spent 32 years overcoming my own lack of development because of my childhood experiences and environment (poverty, homelessness twice, and growing up around drugs and alcohol.) And I still managed to graduate high school and become the first person to attend a college in my family
I wouldn’t have been able to rephrase the question or thought to, had I not listen to you when I replayed your cd’s over and over again. I now see what I have to offer, now it’s a matter of finding and meeting their needs through my message.