In this interview, we talk with Steve Lowell about The Art of the $100K Signature Talk.
When you put your signature on a page it is unique. That signature binds you to your word and identifies who you are. A signature talk is similar in that it also identifies you. People will start to associate your name with the content from your talk. This is how you will become know "as" something instead of "a" something.
In this podcast, we will explore why you would want a signature talk and how it will help make an impact on your coaching business.
Steve is a multi award-winning speaker, three times number one bestselling author and master trainer for high impact speakers with a track record that speaks for itself. Having given over 3,500 keynote speeches, 5,000 seminars, and trained more than 5,000 speakers globally, Steve delivers innovative training that helps people drive revenue from the stage and build wealth through speaking.
Steve is the Past President of the Global Speakers Federation and the Past National President of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. With over 50 years on stage , Steve started speaking the age of six, thousands of trained a nd unmatched results, Steve helped speakers craft their signature transformational message and turn it into revenue.
Join us as we learn more about The Art of the $100K Signature Talk.
Watch the full interview by clicking here.
Learn more about Steve here.
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Hi,I'm Garry Schleifer,and this is Beyond The Page,brought to you by choice,The Magazine of Professional Coaching.choice is more than just a magazine.It's a community of people who use and share coaching tools,tips,and techniques to add value to their businesses and impact their clients.It's an institution of learning built over the course of,yes,20years I've been publishing choice and connecting with our audiences and people who use and share these tips,tricks,and techniques to improve the lives of their coaches and of course,what they all want,they're clients.In today's episode,I'm speaking with Steve Lowell.Steve is a multi award-winning speaker,three times number one bestselling author and master trainer for high impact speakers with a track record that speaks for itself,but we're going to speak a little bit more about it anyway.Having given over3,500keynote speeches,5,000seminars,and trained more than5,000speakers globally,Steve delivers innovative training that helps people drive revenue from the stage and build wealth through speaking.Steve is the Past President of the Global Speakers Federation and the Past National President of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.Is that like the NSA in the US?Speaker 2:
It is,yeah.Speaker 1:
Okay.You're not this old man.With over50years on stage,Steve started speaking the age of six,thousands of trained a nd unmatched results,Steve helped speakers craft their signature transformational message and turn it into revenue.Steve and his wife and business partner Jane,have traveled the globe,spoken all over the planet,and coached or influenced over half a million people through their one-to-one mentorships,group training programs and online courses.When they're not working,you can find Steve and Jane on their boat,cruising the historic R edo River,enjoying the wildlife a nd epic sunsets.Now,for those of you that don't know,that's in Ottawa,Canada's c apital,and it is a beautiful river,and I think it even includes some locks,doesn't it?Speaker 2:
It does a lot.Speaker 1:
A lot of locks.Not as many bagels.That's Montreal.Anyway,that's another day.Having loved the stage in the audience from that rip old age of six,Steve's mission is to spread that joy to help others craft their signature talk,scale their influence,and create more business through speaking.All that said,welcome Steve.Thank you so much for being here.Speaker 2:
I have heard such great things about you.We've been helping you get your word out to our audience,and I was just saying that we've had a few people sending kudos about what you do and how much it's helped them.So thank you for being a part of our audience and helping us.Speaker 2:
Well,that's,that's really good to know.Thank you for sharing that.And,you know,we're always excited about building alliances with influential people and people who are doing amazing work,and that's why we're so excited about,you know,building this relationship with you and choice Magazine because the work that you're doing is changing lives and it just seems natural that we change lives together.Speaker 1:
Well,and I'll add to that,there are already so many coaches that are speakers.We always say in the industry that coaches aren't making enough money coaching.Well,does anybody bother to ask them whether they wanted to make all their money from coaching?Because a lot of them are speakers,trainers and that sort of thing.I think the key difference I'm hearing in this is signature talk.So we're going to talk a little bit more about that.But first I want to ask you,so,okay,how do I make an entrepreneur like me make money when I speak?Speaker 2:
Well,the simple version of that is,is you sell more of whatever it is you sell and you sell it in front of large audiences instead of one-to-one and speaking allows you to do that.There's massive opportunities,Garry,for coaches,speakers,authors,consultants,experts of all kinds.Do you know that Forbes magazine reported that through the period of Covid virtual events went up over a thousand percent?And now that the pandemic has started to sort of drift off,my friends in the speaker bureau business and speakers agents,and in the events business,they're all saying the same thing.That live events are back now pretty much in full force,but all of those virtual events that popped up during Covid are still there and they're not going away.What that means is that there is enormous amounts of opportunity for coaches like you and I and everybody in your orbit to take advantage of these stages,virtual and live.Speaker 1:
I've seen it done quite magically,but I think you have a little bit more to say about that.And again,I'm going to key in that signature talk.And like,really,I can make a hundred thousand just from one signature talk,from one?Speaker 2:
Yeah.You can do it in20minutes.I've had many people do it in very short order.We've done it many times.Now,that doesn't mean that you can just stand in front of an audience or in front of a screen and speak and people are going to run to hire you.There's all kinds of science and strategy and tactics behind it.But when you know the principles,when you know the strategy,some of which we can talk about today,if you like,these are not complicated.It is not a complicated process.What it requires is,as coaches,we need to change the way we think a little bit in terms of how we speak.Because most people,most coaches,they'll say,I want to speak about my book.I want to speak about my story.I want to speak about my coaching program.And that is the very way not to sell.That is how you look and sound and appear to be like everybody else.So there's a shift in mindset that needs to happen before there's even a chance of monetizing from the live or the virtual platform.And that's our work is to shift that mindset and then build in the strategy afterwards.Speaker 1:
Right.Oh,okay.Good.What's a signature talk?I'm sorry,I kind of got that stuck in my head,so I want to know a bit more about that.Speaker 2:
Yeah.So a signature talk is basically this.It's a talk by which you are identified and you are known as your signature.You put the signature on a page and it's so unique,Garry,as you know,that it binds you to your word,it binds you,and it is holdupable in court and all that kind of stuff.So your signature talk is similar in that.It's not that it binds you to anything,but it identifies you.So when you go and you speak at multiple organizations,multiple events,multiple sources,whatever,people start to attach the content with your name,you see,and now you become the one who speaks about this.And one of the worst things we can do as coaches,if we want to monetize through speaking,is try to accommodate everybody.:
So this organization wants me to speak about this,this one wants me to speak about this other thing,and then this other place wants me to speak about this third thing.That's how you dilute your branding,and you become known as a wandering generality and you don't become known as somebody who is targeted to a very specific outcome.So I call it the signature talk because it is a talk by which people can identify you.You're the one that speaks about that.So my signature talk now is The Art of the$100K Signature Talk.And so I'm known now as,Oh yeah.He's the guy that does The$100K Signature Talk thing.I have multiple signature talks but one of them is about this process I created quite a few years ago called,called the RepuMeter.I presented it all over the world and I'm known around the world in the speaking circles as the RepuMeter guy.Speaker 2:
This is how you become known as the something instead of a something.Speaker 1:
Oh,that's a good distinction.Yeah.That makes so much sense.It's like if you're going for a lawyer,you want a lawyer that knows what area he specializes in,or a doctor or that sort of thing.Yeah,that makes so much sense.And you know,for our coach listeners,I think most of them have something that they're known for and if not,they should.It shouldn't be too difficult to figure out.And to your point about generalities,I think when people are given so many opportunities,I know myself,I run a scarcity racket sometimes,so I'll run to wherever they want me to run,as opposed to sticking with what I know best.I'm hearing that there needs to be some no's being said,or yes and I'll speak about it in the context of my signature.Speaker 2:
I think you were right the first time.There needs to be some no's.I often give no's.I will not speak on anything that is outside of the lane that I've chosen and I've had multiple opportunities.There was one time,I'm gonna go back maybe about15years,Garry,if somebody saw me speak at an event,they liked what I did,they liked my style and how I engaged the audience and all of those things and they came and they wanted me to go and speak at their organization about employee retention.Well,I don't know the first thing about employee retention.I've never had employees and I hated being one.So I was not going to speak about employee retention.So I told them,I said,that's not really what I do and they said,well,surely as a professional speaker,you can come up with something.I said,yes,I could,but I'm not going to because it's not part of my lane.And I'll tell you something else,that would have been the highest paid speaking engagement by a mile and I turned it down because of that very reason and a whole bunch of other ones.But what I did do is I found somebody more qualified than I did,and I referred them and was able to fulfill the gig.But I told that story on LinkedIn in some of the speaker groups that I was involved with and I got hate mail for two years.I got people calling me immature,incompetent because a real speaker would've been able to do that.A real speaker would've been able to craft a presentation and present it and be credible and all of that.And I'll tell you something,that hate mail that lasted for two years was some of the best publicity I ever had.I liked that kind of attention.It was great.But yes.So,you know,it's very important in my judgment,that you speak about those things in which you have expertise and experience.When you step outside those lines,it is fraught with peril because you make one mistake,there's somebody in the audience who knows more about it than you do and corrects you.Your credibility is now shot.Not to mention the hours it takes to prepare something in the,in the topic in which you are not an expert.Speaker 1:
Yeah.That's where I went right away.It's like you got a learning curve and you said credibility,the hate mail.It's like,how do you get credibility in something you're not really familiar about?You're not just a talking head.You're a human being with passions and things that you love to talk about.Yeah.Wow.That's just crazy.One of the things I liken it to is that when coaches first start out,they just coach everybody.I did.It's just what you do as part of your training,but as you evolve,you start to figure out what is your lane.And there's so many lanes now.It's like when we were younger,it's like,what could you be,doctor,lawyer,Indian chief,that kind of thing.That was the saying.Now,UX expert,I had to ask one of my clients what that meant,let alone what they did.It's user experience,now I know,but there's so many things to choose from.The same is in the coaching industry.There are a lot of different things.Divorce coaches,relationship,leadership,but even under leadership,are you picking a l ane in the financial sector o r the construction sector or chemicals or stuff like that?You don't have to,because you can coach anybody in that area if it's still leadership,right?Speaker 2:
Yeah.And whatever lane we pick as a coach,obviously that's very important.We want to hone those skills and we want to nurture that direction.But what we need to understand as coaches,and not just coaches,but anybody who wants to monetize when they speak on a platform or on a virtual stage,is this.Anytime that we speak about ourselves or our business,whether it's on a platform or a screen or even one-on-one in front of our prospect,anytime we speak about ourselves about our business,we are positioning ourselves in one of two ways.And there's only two.We're positioning ourselves as either somebody they need or somebody they don't.What makes the difference between those is how we present ourselves,how we differentiate ourselves.And most people don't have the first clue how to differentiate themselves because they think this,Garry,they think,well,you know what?I've got more experience than anybody else ad they think that differentiates them.No,it doesn't.They think I've got a unique story,right?My story is so unique and no one else has my story and that differentiates me.No,actually it doesn't.They might say,well,you know,I give the best customer service.I take everything personally and I give my customers and my clients the very best of me,the best service of any coach in the world.That may be true,but that doesn't differentiate you.A lot will say,I have my unique solution that I've developed,my five strategies,my four secrets,my three pillars,whatever it is and that's what differentiates me.No,it doesn't and the reason why none of those things differentiate you,Garry,is because everybody else is saying the same t hing.Speaker 1:
Exactly.As soon as you're rhyming those all off.Speaker 2:
Yeah,after rhyming all those things off.So then the question becomes,how do you differentiate yourself?It's all about speak about yourself in a way that positions you as somebody unique in the field.And I'll give you an example.Can I run through a quick example?Speaker 1:
Of course.I was hoping you would offer.Speaker 2:
Cool.So when I'm speaking live,when I'm virtual I always ask the audience this question,and I'll ask your audience just to think about this,okay?I asked the audience to do this.Put up your hand if you,or somebody you know,is in the market for a tennis instructor.Now,I've asked this question to audiences all over the world on live stages and on virtual stages and every single time the results are exactly the same.We might get one,usually none.We might get one.So in an audience of a hundred people,we might get one person who's in the market for a tennis instructor.And so then I tell the the audience this,I say,look,there's a hundred people here.I'm goint to guess that at least50of you are either in the market for a tennis instructor right now,or you know somebody who is,and I'll say this to your listening and your viewing audience.You may not think you're in the market for a tennis instructor,but I bet a big percentage of you actually are in the market for a tennis instructor right now or you know somebody who is.And so now you're thinking,okay,how are you going to prove that?So I want to tell you about this guy named Brian.Brian came to me about15years ago,and he said,Steve,I'm going to all the networking events.I'm speaking at places,I'm speaking to people,I'm getting all the business cards,I'm making all the phone calls.He said,I'm just not getting the business that I should be getting.I said,well,Brian,what do you do?He said,I'm a tennis instructor,And so we taught Brian this principle.Isaid,Brian,every time you talk about yourself or speak about yourself,you're either positioning yourself as somebody they need or somebody they don't.And when you say,I'm a tennis instructor,you're positioning yourself as somebody they don't.And so what we taught Brian is to do this.If you saw Brian today and you said,Brian,what do you do?He would say something like this.He would say,well,you know how sometimes kids,they have so much energy,they get so excited,they're running around,they're bouncing off the walls,and the parents have no idea what to do with these kids.He'd say,well,what I do is I take kids of any age,I bring them on a tennis court,I absolutely exhaust them and then I hand them back to their parents.Speaker 1:
Who doesn't want that?Speaker 2:
Right?And now,so now I ask the audience,put up your hand if you just might know somebody who might be in the market.And all of a sudden every hand in the place goes up and it happens every single time without fail.It never fails.All over the world,it's the same thing.Now it's just a little story but here's what it shows.It demonstrates that just by changing the mindset and changing the way you speak about yourself a little bit,it can mean the difference between I'm not interested and tell me more.And so this is what we do with coaches is we help them understand that nobody really cares about your story.They really don't.They don't care about your solution.They don't care about your unique techniques.They don't care about your experience.They don't care about your service,they don't care about your fees.They really don't.Those things are all comparators.They are important.We do have to use them,but your audience and your prospects are not going to hire you because of those things.They're going to compare you to everybody else because of those things.So what we need is not a comparator.We need a differentiator.We need a way to speak about ourselves that makes us appear to be different,even though we may not be that different.There are principles that we can deploy to make that happen whenever we get in front of a live or a virtual audience.Speaker 1:
Wow.What a great story.I love that.Thank you for the word differentiator,because I know what you're saying.It's the same thing in coaching.How do you differentiate based on what they need?Not what you think they will need to know about you.Nobody cares about that stuff.I'm sure that if you had a room of a hundred coaches and you presented some story related to speaking and coaching,you'd get50hands.Because they would want to make more money,they w ant t o talk to more people,they want to make a difference more.So hit on any of those differentiators with a twist,t hat would be really great.And seriously,there's so many coaches and they want to speak or they're speaking and they just need that differentiator.That's one of the skills.But that brings me to the next question.Can anyone be a good speaker or does it take some special skills other than the differentiator conversation?Speaker 2:
Yeah.I mean,certainly it takes some skills and the answer is no,not anybody can be a good speaker in my judgment.That is a huge conversation,but let me preface it this way.There are some basic skills that need to be in play before you can even get started and so some of those skills are things like presence.We need to be able to get in front of an audience,live or on a screen,and actually be animated,actually demonstrate some personality of some sort.Speaker 1:
All right.Okay.Now I get your point.Speaker 2:
You don't have to be Tony Robbins.You don't have to be big and loud,but you've got to be alive on the stage or on the screen,right?And not everybody has that and needs to deliver that.There needs to be some confidence and you need to show up with authority.Not an angry authority,but you need to show up with confidence and authority.Because here's the thing,there are three outcomes that need to happen in any talk,any signature talk in order to even get the audience to consider the possibility of remotely even thinking about hiring you.These three things must occur,and you need all three,and if all three don't exist,it will never happen for you.So here's the first one.The audience needs to feel like you understand them.So what happens is so many coaches get up on the stage and they think the opposite.They think,if I can get the audience to understand me they're going to want to hire me.So to help them understand me,I'm going to tell them about my history and my background and my credentials and my training and my experience,and my ideas and my stories.Because if they understand me,they're gonna want to hire when the exact opposite is true.The audience wants to know that you get them.So the audience should be going,ah,this one gets me.That's objective number one.Objective number two is the audience needs to feel safe with you.They need to feel safe in two ways.Number one is they need to feel safe that you are not just tactically trying to separate them from their money.That's number one.And they also need to feel safe that you actually have confidence and authority in your own abilities otherwise,why would they even consider hiring you?So when you ask about basic skills,one of the basic skills is to be able to show up with confidence and authority,because you're trying to sell that confidence and authority to the audience.So audience needs to feel like you understand them,the audience needs to feel like they're safe with you and then the third thing is the audience needs to feel like you can actually help them.You actually have the goods to help them.And there are different ways we can tell stories to make that happen and there's all kinds of techniques that we can use to further that outcome.But this is the mindset shift I was talking about earlier,Garry.As a coach,when we get in front of an audience live or virtual,our mindset should not be,I need to impress them so they will buy from me or hire me.The mindset should be,I need to help them understand that I get them,I need to help them feel safe with me,and I need to help them understand that I can actually help them.And now the possibility of monetizing from the stage begins.Now the actual work begins going through the sales process in front of a group.Speaker 1:
Yeah,exactly.Wow.Thank you for that.It makes sense.Totally.Like clear.They don't want to know about you and all coaches and everybody that's promoting themselves or a product or service knows that already,but you're just so clear about it.I love it.You seem to be in your right lane.Speaker 2:
After50years,I hope you figured it out.Speaker 2:
Well,I have to tell you,like every other coach probably on the planet,I tried lots of multiple lanes.I love coaching and I love speaking and those are the two things I love to do the most.I've been doing them all of life.But within the coaching and speaking,I've shifted lanes a number of times.Here's one of the mistakes I made is chasing the money.Coach this group of people on speaking because that's where the money is.There is some merit to that but what I've learned now that I'm in my sixties,I just turned61as you know,very recently and I've been feeling this in the last maybe five years,Garry,is if it doesn't resonate with me in my soul,I'm just not doing it.So I work with the people I love to work with,and I do the things I love to do.And if it's not going to be enjoyable for me,that's when one of the big no's come up.I turn down clients and fire clients sometimes because it's no longer enjoyable for me and I think that's important because we build through that coaching business and we start honing and really nurturing our skills and our wisdom and our creativity and our ideas,there comes a point where we need to start nurturing our soul.We need to start nurturing ourselves and in so doing,we become better at nurturing our clients.Speaker 1:
And being able to better say no based on what we really want in our hearts.That's why I love coaching.I love talking to people like yourselves because to me,I learn so much.I grow and it feeds my soul.So,thank you.What do you want our audience to do as a result of our conversation today?Speaker 2:
That's an excellent question.Well,I want them to come to my website and check me out.Speaker 1:
And that would be?Speaker 2:
That would be stevelowell.com.Speaker 1:
How simple as that.Steve with a"v".Speaker 2:
Yep.SteveLowell.com.But I think if I were to offer just a few thoughts about how your audience could use some of what we've talked about today and step forward and start getting some immediate value from these,it would be this,it would be to understand this basic premise around speaking.Speaking is not about a transference of information.Speaking is about a transference of emotion.Now,what that means is when you get in front of an audience live or virtual,or even in front of a single prospect,and you start sharing all this information about you and your history and your background and your abilities and your programs and your solutions and your stories,what you're doing is you're transferring information.And that's not why people hire you.People want to feel that you understand them,they want to feel safe with you,they want to feel that you can help them.So speaking is a transference of emotion.So use,uh,limited information to transfer the knowledge that needs to be transferred,but consider changing your mindset.And instead of saying to yourself,I'm going to sell this prospect,or I'm going to sell this audience,you shift it to,I'm going to serve this prospect,I'm going to serve this audience.And when you get into that mindset of service,Garry,you know what happens?People feel that from you and business starts to grow,and then you start to double,triple and quadruple your speaking fees.Magic happens when you learn to do that really well.Speaker 1:
Thank you for that because when you said that,I'm like,wow.I sell advertising for choice Magazine.I enter into these conversations all the time.A lot of parallels between speaking and what I'm offering with choice Magazine.I need to know,like,a nd trust a person that's going to buy advertising.I always say,here's why you would advertise with us and here's why not.And I've said no to people because it doesn't serve them.I'm always starting off w ith conversations of how can we be of service?And I w ant t o thank you for coming today and being of service to our audience because some of the things that came to mind that will help coaches,even if it's not about a signature talk,it's like you're a group coach.Well,there's,there's some speaking t ools that might be required in that you're a team coach along with other people.You're presenting to someone to sell your coaching t oo,right?So all of these things which are in their area of expertise,but can take a whole different shift.I t's not just about getting yourself on s tage t o do it,but it's the other places along the way.Speaker 2:
Yeah.Absolutely.Anytime you get in front of an audience of one or more people,it should be considered a speaking opportunity.Speaker 1:
Well,and I want to add that I've heard from some of our readers and audience that have taken your program,and they're already raving about it.It's already impacting their coaching and their lives,and they highly recommend it to anyone.Thank you for being of service to our coaches and for being here today and hopefully getting a few more coaches in the right lane.Speaker 2:
That would be nice.Speaker 1:
And again,the best way to reach you,SteveLowell.com and,we are going to be sending out some more information about you during the course of the year because we have a wonderful partnership of service to our coaching community.So to our listeners and our readers and everyone,keep an eye out for this man and his sidekick Jane,who I can't help but mention in this conversation because I get more emails from her than I get from him.Speaker 2:
And I'll tell you,most of the ones that come to you guys from me are actually from her.Speaker 1:
Yeah.I gathered,I kind of figured.Speaker 2:
Here's what I've learned,Garry.Part of this business is you let the people in t he organization follow their path and execute their skills.I'm just the talent that's all.Speaker 1:
I'm just the face.Yeah.I'm the voice apparently cause I got the FM radio voice.:
You know,you do.Well,thank you so much again for joining us,Steve,and give my best to Jane and your team.That's it for this episode of Beyond the Page.For more episodes,subscribe to your favorite podcast app.We are seeing a lot of people download from Apple and Spotify these days so look for choice and the Beyond the Page conversation.And don't forget to sign up for your free digital issue of choice,if you are not already a subscriber,by going to choice-online.com and clicking the signup now button.I'm Garry Schleifer,enjoy your journey to mastery.Thanks again,Steve.