What is your audience looking for? If they’re investing their time to sit and listen to you, what do they really want? If they’re paying, what are they really paying for? Whether you’re a corporate presenter, do public speaking, or are a paid professional, you’ve got to get this. Please!
These are the Humor Boot Campers from Australia. Were they paying for two days with me? Before I answer, let me tell you what I invested in last week so this message is even more memorable.
While in Australia, I invested more than $1000 for a 72-second video. Would you do that? Sound crazy? Sound stupid? I was so excited I went back to the studio the next day and created 2 more!
I was the first of three speakers to address the Sydney Chapter of National Speakers Association of Australia. The third speaker was Mike MacKenzie, who owns Speex.com.au in Sydney. He wasn’t a “professional speaker.” He was just talking about what he knows. He had more than 20 years experience behind a TV camera. What impressed me about Mike was his ability to tell a clear, intriguing story in a short amount of time.
My normal web videos range in length from four minutes to 10 minutes. During his presentation, Mike talked about telling a story in 70 – 90 seconds. Crud! He’s right.
In my You Post It, You Profit program, I teach that there are seven “purposes” for a web video. And, although there are specific reasons to have longer videos, for a website sales letter or your home page, there is only one purpose… not to make a sale, but to “engage the page.”
That’s it! Duh! For today’s easily-distracted viewer, home page & sales letter videos should be fewer than 90 seconds. Mike is right!
I invest a lot of time and money to get visitors to my website. I have one chance to really grab their attention and get them to “engage” in my content. Why wouldn’t I invest $1000 to help convert those visitors into followers or customers? If I lose their attention on the first page — even for a few seconds — they could be gone forever.
Mike had an unusual way of working with his customers. He had me just tell my story in one take. Then, he sliced & diced the interesting parts and changed the focal point to keep the viewer’s eye engaged. Then he watched it, told me where we had to fill in the gaps, and re-shot those brief transitions. The whole process, including editing, took 45 minutes. Could he have taken more time? Sure. But, he didn’t. The video moves quickly and it keeps the viewers attention.
FIRST: Watch the original version of my video. It’s 3:35 seconds in length. Click here.
THEN: Watch Mike’s 72-second version. Click here.
Can you see the difference in experience? The speaker is the same.
Although I tell stories for a living, I recognized that his expertise in this area was way beyond my own. I wasn’t paying for Mike’s time. I was investing in his expertise that came from experience. I wanted to tap into his 20 years of experience behind the camera. I might add, 20 years not just pointing and focusing. He was focusing on the ability to tell interesting stories.
What does this all have to do with your presentations? Everything! Your audience didn’t come to hear a one-hour or seven-minute speech. When I get paid for a one-hour speech, they’re not paying me an hourly rate. They are actually paying for my ability to change the way an audience thinks within that one-hour timeframe. I look at it this way, I’m really getting paid for the 2 1/2 hour drives that I USED to make in my old days of stand-up comedy. That experience and confidence allows me know to change the way people think in one hour.
Don’t care about being a paid speaker? Same rule applies.
Speaking requires marketing, by you or someone else. You must look at it from the listener’s point-of-view, not your own. It’s not an hour of your time, it’s the ability for the listener to tap into your experience and shorten their learning curve.
Your value is in your experience. (If you don’t have enough experience in the field you want to speak on, interview experts and tap into theirs. You do the interview… it then becomes yours). That’s why I get so annoyed when I see an emerging speaker “borrowing” stories and trying to make it look like their own. That’s not tapping into the presenter’s own experience, it’s being a parrot. Parrots work for crackers! Don’t let that be you.
The Australia Humor Boot Campers weren’t paying for two days of my time, they were tapping into my 18+ years of comedy experience. People who invest in my new Get More Laughs By Next WeekTM program are investing in that same experience, not 10 DVDs.
Let me clarify my main point. Too many presenters are undervaluing their fees. They’re charging too little for their own seminars because they’re pricing at their own time, not the client’s transformation. I see qualified speaking coaches charging way too little for one-on-one time. It’s crazy! You should look at your rates not as “an hour,” but as the value of the years of experience you bring to that client. If you can help transform people with a presentation, a one day event, or an hour of coaching, then look at what the result is worth for them. Charge them for your years of experience, give them that experience in an hour.
You are worth only what you ask for. Your fees should be based on the value you give in an hour.
20010 World Champion of Public Speaking
P.S. VIDEO LESSON: What’s the difference between a humorist and a comedian? Click!
P.P.S. Want to join me for the LIVE Las Vegas LAUNCH-inar (Launch Party & Humor Seminar) on September 30th? Click here!
Darren, You are absolutely right when you say (and your mentor in Austrilia) “it is the experience” that gives value to presentations, etc.
I could talk about this forever,but I will not here. You amaze me with how frankly and honestly you share your growing experiences and relate them to all your fans for our growth, too.
For me, your ability to transform your experiences and growing into useful information for your fans is special and a gift from God. I am so happy I have chosen you and all of EDGE NET as my chief speaking tool. I have seen many, but none like what the Champs and Patricia Fripp offer.
Dr. Pat You have a photo of me from the “Get Paid to Speak by Next Week”Boot Camp. Can you use it?
I do want a photo to go with this.
WOW! What a difference between your longer “pitch” and the one on your website now. At first I thought the changing camera angles were distracting, but in fact it forced me to pay attention more. I think you made a wise investment in taking Mike’s coaching. Thanks for being the example.
Yes. Proven again – Less is more!
Great job Darren!
Just wanted to say thanks for the post and thanks for sharing your experience. You’re absolutely right I did the Humour Boot Camp (and since it was down under it was a Humour not humor boot camp) because of your experience and boy does it pay off. I was in Melbourne training the following day and used an acronymese routine for a great laugh at exactly the right points and also used other lines to get laughs exactly where they should be. Was it perfect? No, but it was done and I didn’t even step on the laughs.
Thanks for making the long journey down here and sharing your knowledge and experience.
Damn doesn’t that quote from Mark Twain show it’s relevance everywhere “If I had more time time I would have written a shorter letter.” Seems he even had web videos in mind!
Great insight and I love your comment about charging to represent your value rather than for an hourly rate time.
Would live to do an interview with you. Love your stuff as always. Sorry I missed you when you were in Ireland.
You are so right about the difference between the long version and the shorter version. But, it wasn’t just the difference in time, the content was modified. The message was the same, but the content became concise and to the point. It is interesting how the story of the older lady was gone. There is an art in taking your 3 minute message and condensing it to 70 seconds. That is the art, the lesson you learned. How do you teach others that same skill?
You have some very valid points. I understand that my audience is asking to be transformed, not just “talked-to;” and that it is my experience that is the investment, not just my speech. However, in my nearly decade of sales experience, I also know that I must KNOW my customers (just like we must also KNOW our audiences). That said, in this economy, it is completely unfair of me to ask for money that is completely OUT of my customers’ price ranges. I may be worth it, but when it comes to my audience members having to choose between my speech (experience) or their childrens’ dinner because my price is too high, I know where I rank… at the bottom…where I should be.
I hear what you are saying, but disagree. People have and spend money in any economy. They still go on vacation, they still entertain themselves, they still buy things they should not. (Rarely is it really about your product of food on the table.)
When I did Real Estate and looked at homes that were going to auction, most of them had an HD big screen TV in them.
Don’t let “economy” talk get in your head! People still have problems to solve. Most speakers forget that is what we do. As speakers we may need to adjust what we need to do and our products and services, but we need to believe they help people get what they want.
Adjust accordingly. My business has adjusted, I’m still doing better.
This guy Mike MacKenzie is good, very good! I am impressed that after all these years, you are still at it Darren – met you back in 2002 in Springfield, MA and was very impressed – still learning and still teaching. Reminds me of Stephen Covey’s 8th Habit – From Effectiveness to Greatness. Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs…” You seem to have done that very well. Thanks for all you do Darren.
What I love is the implicit message – you went to Australia to share your expertise at boot camp and speak to NSAA. What you have shared in your blog is what you learned while you were there. That must be the mark of an expert – always learning – even at an event for which you were present as an expert. Never mind your insightful analogies gleaned from the movie (Avatar)you watched on the way over there in the air. Talk about learning from everything you experience. Thank you for passing on your learning.
What a great compliment! I like to inspire by example.
I totally agree with your point:” You value is in your experience.”
Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and experience with us at two days Australian Humor Boot Camp.
By the way, nice photo
Nice teeth! And I like the glasses on better too. The close ups are impactful. Funny, but this video guy taught you what you teach Darren. The old addage of how a “master” of something has “forgotten” more about a subject that a newbie would ever learn, comes to mind. How many more questions did you ask in your new video. How much more emotionally engaging were you? In your original you were positioned as the teacher, the educator you spoke about wanting to be after your big win. You know from the training you do, that, while people worship teachers, they really listen to their friends. The new video is so much more personal.
I am the ultimate sponge which is why I camp to your Get Coached To Speak Champ Camp in TO. It’s scary how much I remember and use in my speech creation process. Every time I write a speech I use that 49 Point Checklist. I love it when I get info I can apply repeatedly! Part of being an ultimate sponge is actively using what you learn.
Thanks for that, C.