SL052: How To Become Speaker Bureau Ready – with Josh Linkner

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Speaker Bureau Ready

Ever wanted to know how to become speaker bureau ready? In today’s episode of The Speakers Life, James Taylor interviews Josh Linkner about:

Being An Innovation Keynote Speaker
Becoming Speaker Bureau Ready
The eight attributes of top speakers
Reinventing your speaking career

Josh Linkner has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million. He is the author of four books including the New York Times Bestsellers, Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention, as well as his latest book, Hacking Innovation. He has invested in and/or mentored over 100 startups, and is the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners. Today, Josh serves as Chairman and co-founder of The Institute for Applied Creativity. He has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. He is a regular columnist for Forbes, The Detroit Free Press, and Inc. Magazine. Josh is also a passionate Detroiter, the father of four, and is a professional-level jazz guitarist.

Resources:
Josh’s website https://joshlinkner.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshlinkner/

Speaker Ready Bureau

Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript

Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

James Taylor
Hi is James Taylor, founder of SpeakersU. Today’s episode was first aired as part of International Speakers Summit the world’s largest online event for professional speakers. And if you’d like to access the full video version, as well as in depth sessions with over 150 top speakers, then I’ve got a very special offer for you. Just go to InternationalSpeakersSummit.com, where you’ll be able to register for a free pass for the summit. Yep, that’s right. 150 of the world’s top speakers are sharing their insights, strategies and tactics on how to launch grow and build a successful speaking business. So just go to international speakers summit.com but not before you listen to today’s episode. Hey, there is James Taylor, your keynote speaker on creativity and artificial intelligence and your host for international speakers summit. Today I speak with Josh Linkner, and we talk about building a successful speaking business and the art of reinvention. Enjoy this session. Hey, there is James Taylor and I’m delighted today to be joined by Josh Lincoln. keynote speaker Josh Linkner has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for combined value of over $200 million. He is the author of four books including the New York Times bestsellers, disciplined dreaming and the road to reinvention as well as his latest book hacking innovation. He has invested in and or mentored over 100 startups and as a founding partner of Detroit Venture Partners today, Josh serves as chairman and co founder of the Institute of Applied creativity. He has twice been named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and as and as a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient, a regular columnist for Forbes, the Detroit Free Press and ink magazine. Josh is also a passionate Detroit, the father of four and a pro level guitarist as we’re going to find out. So given it’s been gives me great pleasure today to welcome Josh onto the summit. So welcome, Josh.

Josh Linkner
Thank you so much. Great to be here and contribute

James Taylor
So share with everyone what’s going on in your world just now.

Josh Linkner
Well, it’s it’s wonderful. It’s it’s an amazing gift to be able to share ideas with people all over the world. Last year, I did 163 pages. No, it’s so it’s been, it’s been quite the ride. And to be able to get make a difference. I mean, obviously that meeting cool people is great that the performing arts element is great learning about companies is great. But the real juice to me anyway is being able to get those nodes six months later of someone saying this changed our company or changed our lives. And that is a deeply rewarding thing and a gift that we’re able to share.

James Taylor
So you have this really fascinating background from entrepreneurship and business VC investing jazz guitar. happen, where did the the speaking part of you that we know know your view today about the keynote speaker, when did that begin? And as you were kind of getting into into the world of speaking, who are your mentors and people that can be to you under their wing or help guide you in those early days?

Josh Linkner
Yeah, so I know my background is I’m an entrepreneur. So I’ve started building sold five companies, I launched a venture capital fund, but I loved always getting the chance to share ideas. And I would speak often as the CEO of my company, and I felt like I was in the zone and people would often give me compliments, like, Hey, you were better than the keynote speaker. But I realized that I was an amateur to be clear. So I knew I had to go at least from a bad amateur from a good amateur to a bad professional does that I work with one of the folks you interviewed actually for Dr. Nick organ, who is an incredible mentor and trainer, he helped me develop my speaking style and helped me bring my voice out and work on the technical aspects. And I kind of learned the ropes from him. And and from there, we really spent the next decade or so studying the craft and studying the business of speaking. And so I got really deep and analytical on how decisions are made. And how does one speaker get hired for, compared to a different one and, and how, why is one cause 50 grand and others 10 grand. And so today, it’s really in a very good read. We’re getting about five to 15 inbound inquiries a day. And again, as I mentioned, I had the chance to deliver 163 engagements last year.

James Taylor
So as you as you were kind of going on building your your speaking career. One of the interesting things you did is you took that entrepreneurial mindset that innovators mindset and applied it to the world of speaking. So I’m wondering, initially from as an outsider, although you were speaking as part You’re, you know, the the VC world and entrepreneur world, as you were kind of coming into speaking kind of full time, what were the things that you noticed that that you wanted to apply your innovation brain to you went like, why does this need to be this way? Why? Why is this? Like, what were some of the things that can niggled you about the industry you maybe wants to change?

Josh Linkner
Well, really so many things. And I, we could spend hours talking about this. I’m so passionate about it. But one thing is that if you’re going to be a professional, like a high level, let’s say a professional sports athlete, you’d have to train and sacrifice and really work on your craft, or a Broadway actor or a software engineer. But I feel that unfortunately, in speaking the bars a bit too low, I mean, sort of anyone who says, Oh, I gave a toast to my aunt’s wedding, I’m sure I could be a speaker, you know, and, and I it bothers me that people don’t take the craft as seriously as they ought to studying not only the delivery of a story and in the mechanics of speaking, but also really running it like a real business. In our case, from the business standpoint, I took the same rigor that we had as I build a 500 person software company. and applied it to speaking. And so we look very carefully, like how do buyers interact with speakers? How does what does the bureau channel and how does that all work? And, and what are the attributes under which a decision is made. And so we took this very sort of scientific approach to it. And it took me a while. I mean, it took several years to really figure it out. But now that we did, it’s, it’s been it’s been magical. So I think what I would say to someone who’s in the ramp up process, number one, treat it seriously, you know, treat it like a real profession. And I know it sounds kind of goofy to say that but a lot of people don’t they just say I can mail it in and they have junky slides, and they have pixely headshots and, you know, but but if you were a Broadway performer, would you would meticulously work on every aspect of your craft and the business, you should do the same as a speaker. The other thing though, I would say is that from a business standpoint, one thing that I learned is that if we’re really looking at this business business of speaking, you’re not really in the business of giving speeches. You’re in the business of selling speeches. And that was kind of like this mind blowing thing that hit me a few years back So if that’s really the business that you’re in, it shifts, I mean, you have to be great on stage to be clear, again, caring for the craft, but most people don’t put as much thought and energy into the meeting before the meeting. In other words, not the audience in front of you from stage, but the eight person committee meeting that’s going to decide which speaker they select. And when you shift your perspective like that the part of your job, if not the part of your job, is selling speeches that just giving speeches, I really allows you to go deep and understand the parameters which will fuel your your your business forward.

James Taylor
So that I’m just thinking now I was using the chatting with Eric Reese, find that they can lean startup methodology. So he talks a lot about minimum viable product and iterating. You know, failing, failing fast, all those kind of things that we hear now as part of the startup world. Do you apply some of those same things? What was like the what was the minimum viable product version of you because we see you today now, hundred and 63 speeches like and you’re traveling all around the world. What was movers the the beta version of you like the 1.0 version of you, and and what what were some of the key learnings at that stage?

Josh Linkner
Well, one thing is I think you’re I, by the way, you know, I’ve studied the Lean Startup methodology since it came out, but they I agree with you. I mean, I think you got to get out there as a speaker, and you got to get out there and, and and when I look back at video, two years ago, let alone 10 years ago, it’s painful to watch because, like anything, you get better and you develop your skills and all but I think so much of it is getting out there. There’s a saying that the more you speak, the more you speak. In other words, if you’re out there in front of hundreds of thousands of people and planting seeds, sometimes those seeds will take a little while to sprout. But you’re sort of to a degree marketing yourself over the years. I think you just there’s there’s something that just comes from experience. You can’t it’s like you can’t learn guitar and I know your dad’s a basic jazz guitarist that I just adored. And I play music but you can’t learn a guitar by reading a book about guitar at some point you got to pick the thing up and actually you know, get some blisters. And same is the same is true with speaking of The only caveat that I would say is that when you look at the bureau Channel, the bureau channel is so critically important if you want to speak at high volume and high fees. If your goal is to speak for, you know, five grand, you’re in there at the local community center, perhaps this doesn’t apply as much. But if you want to achieve, you know, 2530 $50,000 speeches, a huge chunk of that that business is is overseen by the speaker bureau world. And in that case, my only comment is that you only have the chance to make a first impression once. And so if you go out too early to, you know, some of the largest bureaus in the world it with it with not the greatest video or your marketing materials aren’t so polished, I think you could actually do yourself some harm. So Well, I think it’s important to do the minimum viable, viable product as you get out there and practice your craft, I would be thoughtful about your approach to engaging with your channel partners, just because if they see something that’s not up to stuff, they may quickly dismiss it and maybe even harder for you to get back in for a second one.

James Taylor
So what stage Do you need to be using as a speaker in both your craft and also in the business in terms of the level of gigs that you’re doing every year that can affect level to really make it make sense for you then to start having conversations with viewers.

Josh Linkner
I wouldn’t I would? Well, I’m going to dissect that a little bit. I think that first of all, you need to be what I would call bureau ready. And to be bureau ready, there are a handful of things that really are important. Like you have to have a good video, you know, ideally great video, but at least a good video that is professionally shot. It can’t be on someone’s iPhone, like it’s got to be, you know, high quality, high quality professional headshots again, can be taken from an iPhone to be taken seriously, a really thoughtful, well developed site that looks like it’s professionally built, not just slapped together. There’s gotta you gotta have a great bio and speaking competence, and hopefully a couple references and a few other things. So I wouldn’t say Don’t even think about going to a bureau unless you at least have that kind of locked out. also thinking about what your lane is, and we talked about this often in the industry, and I speak on innovation. I the way I’ve raised hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital, so I could probably speak on finance also, but I dumped in other words, so many smart people want to speak they say I could talk on customer service and leadership and And this and that in the other. I think as a speaker one, one suggestion is take the one thing that you’re going to share, be the expert in one thing and go really deep, go go go mile deep and an inch wide instead of the opposite. Anyway, once you have all that, I think it would be what I would call bureau ready, but doesn’t mean that all bureaus are the same. So when I think about the bureau world, I kind of stratified stratified into into three categories, call them a BNC. And by the way, doesn’t mean better the center quality judgment, it’s more of a size and scope judging. So there are some smaller bureaus call them a sea level Bureau. Again, not it’s not a quality judgment at all wonderful, talented people. But those people may be more open to working with a new speaker and giving someone a chance. Then you have the next level of speaker bureaus that sort of middle tier and and that small tier might be a one or 2% shop and middle tier might be five or six agents. Again, I would start with the lower one, get some gigs get get some experience before you go to the middle tier at that point. Now they’re gonna say, well, who have you worked with and you can reference some other girl work you’ve kind of sharpen your craft a bit but but then only after you’ve done that for a little while as well before before you then go to the a level group and the a level group of the names that we know Washington speaker’s bureau at premier speakers and Kepler and speak Inc and big speak and leading authorities but the problem go in there too fast as if you call it bleeding authorities and say hey, I’m a brand new speaker I I’ve done you know, two speeches, none of them paid, but I really want to get into this industry. You could be a wonderful amazing person I don’t mean to be disparaging at all, but they’re, they’re not kind of geared up for that they’re geared up to working with somebody who already has momentum, it’s harder for them to take you from a dead stop that perhaps some of those smaller bureaus So that would be my recommendation number one, get your ready. Number two sequentially go against the market started with the smaller ones and working your way up to the most prestigious ones.

James Taylor
Now when it when I think about you, I think I think of like the innovation guy that is kind of going to Brock and we we can send extense we we people got confused like creativity and innovation and this difference is reversed Going on this this interview, but I can think of like you really have that you’ve chosen that lane around innovation. That’s that’s kind of way where you are. But I wonder then when you mean even innovation is a big area, it’s a big. So I wonder when as you started to build your business, your speaker business, I’m thinking now something like Tesla, for example, where we think of them their electric car companies when we’re thinking about them, but they went into like the high end sports, electric car first and then they gradually built out and like trucks and all kinds of things. What was the first market the do you identify yourself as a speaker to kind of put that flag in the ground? And then how did you gradually build that out and maybe move into other verticals? Or the countries? Where did you where’d you go from there?

Josh Linkner
Yeah. So I don’t know that I did it smart way, by the way, but what I did is I just sort of went out there and said, I have this message about innovation that I could share with any size company in any industry. And I don’t know that I’d recommend that if I were to do it again. I like what you’re just saying there with Tesla, where you take a smaller focus and get good at it. So maybe, for example, I could have been the innovation guy, I’m sticking this on healthcare. And so you start in one industry about innovation or maybe you’re you know, innovation for for, for hyper growth companies that are mid sized companies trying to become bigger. So I think you’re actually better off honing your skills in a smaller aperture and then expanding over time, it’s a tricky thing picking your lane because you don’t want to pick a lane that is so narrow that no one wants to hire you. So if you like for example, if I said I’m a speaker, only for left handed guitarist that happened to live in Detroit that have been venture capitalists and, and also I have four kids like that would be a market of one which speak. On the other hand, if I take a topic, so broad, like customer service, it’s very hard to compete in such a broad industry. So my suggestion would be pick a broad macro topic, so that you there’s enough work for you, but then inside that macro topic to begin anyway, narrow your focus and then as you get momentum, you can expand your focus outward inside that same category. Great.

James Taylor
That makes a lot of sense because it is then as it is then you it’s more like a sequencing question. You’re asking yourself you think I want to speak in this industry Listen, but then it’s thinking about which is the first then how are you going to grow from there so so I understand that. So that’s, that’s a really great way of thinking about that. Because picking your lane can sometimes feel it can be a little bit constricting at first and it doesn’t quite fit. Sometimes it feels like I guess a good phrase. But then the same time it just it doesn’t quite cover all the bases. What other lessons that did you take from your your real deep understanding of innovation that you then applied into the mode of speaking?

Josh Linkner
Well, one thing that we did was pretty fun, is that I don’t know if you ever played video games or not. I’m not a huge gamer, myself. But inside a video game, if you’re a player in a video game, imagine there are some attributes that allow you to perform better. So in other words, attribute might be strength, or speed or agility. And based on your score in those attributes that determines how well you play the video game. So we started this About Wait, is there a way that we could have said the same approach for a speaker? In other words, are there actual attributes that determine whether a speaker is going to get hired over speaker B, or speaker is going to get more fee than speaker B. And so we did a ton of research on again, this is that sort of innovation lens you’re asking about. And I talked to speakers and bureaus and everybody and actually narrowed the field down to eight. There’s eight core attributes that determine one success as a speaker. And if you work on those eight, that it actually gives you a lot of focus. And you know what, Georgia, so I’m actually going to just pull this up what we’re talking about it as the folks listening actually may want to check it out. Let me see if I can grab this one. Sorry about that. I wasn’t prepared to grab it. I could find it real quick. There we go. So here’s my I’m gonna hold it up to the screen. I know if you can see it or not, but I’ll explain it. So this is my speaker card, and I did this with actual scores for myself. So you can see there’s eight attributes, and this is my overall score. I’ll just go through them real quick. If anyone’s curious. One of them is fame. So I could be a terrible speaker. But if I was on Shark Tank, I might get hired versus someone who’s a great speaker who nobody knows. So famous one attribute and how well known are you? your speaking skills? Obviously sounds kind of obvious but but not always the case, you know how, you know, a strong Are you from from the craft, that third one is message. So if you have a message that is very generic and not unique and not compelling, versus someone who’s really got a twist and an interesting perspective on things, and that’s what its credibility. So if I speak about startups, I have the credibility because I’ve spent 28 years as a startup CEO and I raised hundreds of millions of dollars and created almost 10,000 high tech jobs. And someone just said, Hey, dude, I want to speak about startups, they would lack that credibility. So credibility is a factor. That’s what real quickly is visual flair. And this doesn’t only apply to your slides it applies to everything that an audience consumes even a meeting planner consumes. So that is your, your, you know, what you’re wearing on stage and how do you use visuals and audio and how do you engage with the audience? So what’s the visual representation when speaking the that’s when entertainment value. So if I have great content, but I’m boring as watching toast, again, that’s a problem. And audiences at planners that I want that intersection they want high impact, but they also wanted entertainment. So are you using humor? are you engaging? Is it a? Is it a fun lean forward presentation? Or does it feel like a boring college lecture? The next one is impact. And by impact I mean, not only do people have a feel good moment, but do you leave something that lasts that it doors for the months and years to come? Are you really changing the audience? Are you transforming the people that hear your message from from one state to another, and then finally, marketing Polish if you came to my website and I had pixelated photos, and it was all sloppy typos and it was it looked like a template of design, you know, that would give you one message of my brand. On the other hand, if you came and it was beautifully crafted and it would look like a piece of art that would give you a totally different message. So again, we’ve added these eight attributes aggressively with speakers, bureaus, etc. And for emerging speakers listening today. Those are eight attributes, the more you can work Are those even if you raise your score one point in any of those, it will drive the two things that matter most to us from a from the business of speaking fee and volume.

James Taylor
And then on that that’s the seventh one, the impact. I’m wondering how do you go in terms of measuring that impact? Because we think of, you know, in another company, the thinking about ROI of innovation projects that say, you can track that and you’re looking to see what that how that reflects the bottom line, it comes like 3am have a certain percentage, they want to ensure that a percentage of their revenue every year of profit is coming from products, which hadn’t been invented so many years ago. How did you do that? When it comes to working with clients? How are you to track the impact that your speech has had on that client?

Josh Linkner
Sometimes? Yes, and sometimes No. So if the if there’s a clear directive, you know, because because you’re going to keynote is typically like 60 minutes, you know? And so in one case, I did a keynote with a breakout with a client and they wanted to use some innovation technology approaches to solving a cost problem, and we came up with new ideas that they never considered and six months later they called said hey, we just a four and a half million dollars. So that was a good ROI for that client. You know, like, you know, it was high, but one of the four and a half million dollars, so they enjoyed some results. But But often it’s not as clear cut as that, frankly. Because if you speak on, you know, you and I creativity and innovation, the way I measure it is less scientific generally. It’s more about when I talked to people later, and do they reference back to it. So here’s a good example I was I gave a keynote to a client three or four years ago, and I just spoke to them last week. And they said, you know, there’s not a day that goes by where we don’t use one of your terms. And we’re like, one of the things I talked about is something called a judo flip, which is flipping a tradition upside down. He’s like, I can’t tell you how many times we’re in a meeting and we’re trying to figure something out and we say, hey, let’s Judo flip it. So for me anyway, I know what people are using sort of my language and they’re referencing back to the keynote. And they’re, they’re embracing techniques that I’ve shared. I feel at least that’s creating that enduring impact that we’re that we’re seeking.

James Taylor
And it’ll be interesting because some of those people that you you speak to them, they may be at that point in their career, maybe they’re that mid level and they’re in the management of that organization, and you’re going to meet them in 10 years time. And they’re going to be using some of those same techniques that they learned from you. And now that the vice president of the CEO of that organization, you’re going to be able to tell you completely different stories about how that’s impacted upon upon their, their company. So I love that just thinking. Because it’s hard. It’s one of the hard ones I find in this area of innovation and creativity, but how you the measurable is the ROI of that one, you can see it I was speaking about an employee retention is an easy number to to be able to pick up on and say, we decreased, you know, the employee turnover by this percentage. So that’s great. I love that how it’s just you can do those things that you do flips. Now you hear those time and time again. Now,

Josh Linkner
one thing I’ll just share real quickly, though, is that as speakers, we got to we all got to realize is that, you know, assuming you have a positive message, you’re sort of like spreading positive energy out into the world. And sometimes it’ll come back to you sometimes you’ll get a call or someone to bump into you. It’s like, Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m in an elevator with you. I saw you five years ago. And let me tell you the difference that this made to me and my family So those are those like deeply rewarding moments, but there’s a lot of things the impact that you’ve created that you’ll never hear that. And so I think we have to be confident that kind of makes up for the flight blades and the bad hotel rooms and such, but that you’re spreading good ideas and positive energy into the world. And you know that it will manifest and somebody will your back. But some you won’t be missed, you know that you’re making a difference in the world. And that’s there couldn’t be something more intrinsically rewarding than that.

James Taylor
Now, I know something you are very passionate about is the place that you are based. You’re in, in Detroit, an incredible city that’s been going through a renaissance in it over the past few years. And it kind of got me thinking, Oh, you’ve written a book about this in terms of the road reinvention. I know a lot of speakers have been attending this summit, or maybe that stage in their career. They’ve been speaking for maybe 10 plus years. And they’re known in that topic, but they want to reinvent their brand as time you know, the thing that they were speaking about before, just doesn’t really cut it anymore. They want to just have that that reinvention. Are there any lessons that that we as speakers can learn? Maybe if we’re at the stage about Korea will be that time we really want to reinvent our brands that we can learn from somewhere like Detroit that did so well.

Josh Linkner
Thank you In Detroit’s a fascinating tale, by the way, you know hundred years ago Detroit ram today is that was the Silicon Valley of the United States. But then we lost our way and for many years, we just became so clinging to the past, hoping then to turn around and that was a terrible strategy. But now our city is rising from the ashes. It’s an amazing time in Detroit, and it’s one of rebirth and reinvention. It speakers a couple thoughts, you know, real tangibly, if you are fairly successful and known in the industry and through bureaus and you speak on a particular topic, I’d be very, very cautious dump the whole topic, go into some downward if you’re known as a sale or and then all of a sudden, you want to reinvent yourself as a, as a health care, Doctor, patient care speaker or something. It’s a big leap and it’s kind of an uphill battle. I would say if you are passionate enough in the past to be a sales speaker, I would suggest if you can reinvent yourself in the same light. Now you can be a more modern sales speaker of course. There’s lots of Different things happening in the world. And you could scrap all your content which I throw away everything I do at least once a year, by the way, I’m always reinventing myself. But I generally stay in the in the lane of innovation, creativity, because it’s hard to retrain the market into a totally different category. And I’ve actually seen speakers fail at this, if someone starts out as a relationships guy, and then the next thing they come out with a Book Two years later, and obviously on the salesperson sales speaker, and that’s, oh, no, I’m a customer service speaker. And the market doesn’t respond really well to that you tend to I’ve seen speakers who are doing 80 days a year ago, down to 20 days a year. So my broad suggestion is, unless you’re not passionate about it anymore, if you can find a modern interpretation of what worked in the past, same lane, new take on it, for sure. That actually creates less friction for you.

James Taylor
And what about Are there any other things that we could be learning from someone like like Detroit, because I mean, one of the things that I noticed, though, is it had this reputation as a place and obviously there was things going on internally in the city that we’re changing as well, but it was also how it projected itself out into The world obviously did a number of things. And so people started, they kind of are they are they kind of started asking this question. Oh, yeah, it’s like, it was like telling me it was it became like a Tell me more. Tell me more about that place. And I’ve seen it. Here in the UK. I’m in the US being from you in the UK today. There’s the cities near near Ryan. They’re just going through that same Renaissance as well as it’s become that Oh, tell me more. That’s not what I was expecting. Is there anything else in terms of almost like communication strategy, that marketing strategy of a place that you would you think could be applied?

Josh Linkner
Yeah, great question. And the answer is Yes, for sure. So one thing that made Detroit’s Renaissance, very palpable for people to enjoy, is that we are it we’re still true to who we are. So when you think about Detroit, which has suffered greatly, but there’s this sort of, we make stuff with our hands and it’s gritty, and it’s, you know, kind of hustling and you know, kind of street. And so we’re not trying and I’ve said this many times, we we don’t want to be the Silicon Valley of the Midwest. We want to be like the Detroit of Detroit. So my point to a speaker is instead of trying to copy somebody else’s Something that you’re not, I think you double down on what makes you different. And if you have weaknesses, like in our case we suffered, we made some bad choices as a community, maybe play the, you seem to flip that upside down and find an inherent strength in that. So ours is that, you know, we’re again, the street fighters, and there’s something kind of romantic that we can all relate to where the underdog rising back up. And so I think, again, if you’re, if you’re a speaker, instead of ditching everything that made you special in the past and copying the next person, I would say, really examine yourself and see what makes you different, what makes you unique and compelling. And double down on that, because that authenticity really carries forward, people tend to have a very well developed bs detector. And so if you just try to, you know, pretend that you’re something that you’re not that I think that could backfire. But on the other hand, if you have suffered and there’s been a problem, maybe double down on why you had that problem in the first place, that can be a very compelling thing. People love a great turnaround story.

James Taylor
So some quickfire questions as we start to finish up here. Josh, what is in your speaker bag? I know you’re just about to hit the road. You just told me what your schedule is going to be as insane schedule that you have over the next few days. Why isn’t that bank that speaker bag that you never leave home without it has all your bits and pieces what’s in that bag?

Josh Linkner
Well certainly you know laptop and audio flash drives that kind of stuff headphones noise cancelling headphones. But I’ll tell you one thing that that may be helpful to the folks. I always keep a an eye mask and earplugs. Because time zones are all real goofy like I’m going to be. I go from here Detroit today go to New Orleans, New Jersey and an end up at Boston tomorrow night doubleheader tomorrow. Then I go from there to Honolulu to Holly I don’t get to my hotel room to 6:30am East Coast time. So then I have to perform the next day and then I have a red eye to San Francisco to get to Austin. So the reason I’m bringing this up is that it’s crazy flight times in your in your body clock gets messed up. So when I tried to do is if any way possible I tried to keep East Coast us time. And so if I’m on an airplane and it’s not the middle of the night that I’m asking with earplugs and make a huge difference because I can try to you know, keep my sleep schedule regulated. I also make sure I get noise cancelling headphones is one and then also healthy snacks. I know it sounds kind of like obvious but no airports are not always the best. place that I’d rather keep a Clif Bars and some nuts or something. So you’re not you know, in a, in a frantic moment eating, eating terrible.

James Taylor
And what about book is there one particular book that you would recommend to speakers it could be on the art or the craft of speaking or actually may not be necessary on speaking, but it has lessons that you think apply to the world of speaking.

Josh Linkner
Yeah. Well, I’m speaking Dr. Nick borga, who I know you’ve interviewed wrote a great book called give your speech change the world, which is wonderful. By the way, if you’re not using the platform to change the world, you shouldn’t be a speaker in the first place. I don’t say the negative way. It says, we have that privilege every time we take the stage to be able to make a difference and make the world better. So hopefully people treat that, you know, what would they do respect that it deserves. I always loved the book, the monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. It’s not directly about speaking but there’s so many wonderful tips and tools about living well and making an impact. I think it’s also great recommendation.

James Taylor
And what about a tool? Is there one particular tool or mobile app you find really useful for your work as a speaker,

Josh Linkner
why use Prezi? I feel that if we want to stand out why would We want to use something as as traditional as PowerPoint. The only thing with PowerPoint and Keynote is that they are linear. Slide one, slide two, slide three Prezi. For those that don’t know it is you basically have a big blank canvas and you put different elements all over the canvas, it could be an image, it could be a piece of text, it could be a video clip, and then you kind of map the way that camera goes across this canvas to the audience. So I think it creates first of all a more dynamic presentation, and helps you stand out versus looking like everybody else’s PowerPoint, but also the, it’s better to create it, I just find that much better in terms of nonlinear approaches. And also by the way, it allows the speaker to communicate the interrelationship between one item and another. So if something is a bigger point than another one, you can go from big and then zoom into the little one that shows the corresponding relationship. So I know the President PR

James Taylor
one phone will put all these links here that we’re speaking about on the show notes here as well for everyone to check those out. And if you had to start again, I’m going to let you choose any any city in the world where you can start again but I’m guessing you’re probably choose to try your your your You’re home city. But you know, no one, no one knows you, and you have to restart. What would you do? How would you restart?

Josh Linkner
If I was restarting in the speaking world,

James Taylor
if you restart to speak, I’m going to assume that you have all the skills that you have today. It’s just you don’t know anyone and no one knows you.

Josh Linkner
I would, I would take a fairly thoughtful approach about who would be able to help me and I would reach out to add value to them. Instead of asking for help, I would say how can I help you? So if there was a conference that was looking for a speaker, I would reach out and say, Hey, let me show what I can provide to help you or maybe start doing some of them for free. So I guess it would take zooming out, I would give it a take a service approach. It’s not about what you could get. It’s more about what you can give. And certainly with bureaus, by the way, I see speakers call up bureaus and say, like me, me, me, booked me booked me. I think you should call it the Bureau, you want to say, Hey, what’s going on for you? How can I help you? Yeah, they do have some expertise that you could offer to serve, serve them. So I think I would just take a an approach of service and that tends to replicate itself very well. The other thing is, I think, especially today with so many brands, Messages, I think we need to do something to stand out. So it gets back to that point, what really makes you different as a speaker? You know, for me, there are others that speak on innovation, not too many others that are also the traders and venture capitalists and startup, guys and jazz guitarists. So I think you try to kind of weave together something that is compelling and unique about you something that nobody else can represent and double down on that.

James Taylor
Now I know you have it, you have a great program. We’ve had a couple of guests on this to gone through your three ring, three ring circus boot camp. And so we’re going to have a link here below. I’d love to have you just just start to finish up here. tell folks about what there is to know has had a huge impact on a number of the speakers I’ve spoken with who have kind of gone that they’ve gone through that program. And I know we have a special offer for anyone that wants to learn more about that and attend that particular boot camps and tell us a little bit about it.

Josh Linkner
Sure. So as I mentioned when I started speaking, there was wonderful people to help me with what to do onstage mentioned Dr. Nick Morgan, but the stuff that was offstage speaker business training was pretty cheesy. It’s like I can’t stand it when people spell the word success with dollar signs just rubs me the wrong way. And there’s you know like the zillionaires speaker and the mega rich speaker and it just didn’t feel right. And so I figured this out myself and I, but if someone sat me down today, like what I know now, I would say four years ramping up. So my partners and I decided, let’s do that to give back to the speaker community. We do once a quarter a very small and intimate bootcamp in Detroit. It’s only 25 speakers backs. So it’s very small and intimate. We have many girlfriends come to the boot camp. So our bureau partners include Washington speaker’s bureau, the Harry Walker agency, premiere speakers, ww SG and speaking, among others, and so actual bureaus calm and we have this intimate, full monty exposure, total transparency of what works and what doesn’t, in the spirit of building your speaking business. And so again, it’s a training program, not around what to say onstage, all the stuff you have to do offstage so that you get on stage and we also provide some ongoing trading, training and support. They call it a three ring Circus by the way, Learning to be a bit playful and in a bit sort of mocking the whole silliness of the industry and realizing at the same time, it’s a bit of a performance out there. It’s like you’re juggling a lot of things all at once. But this is something that we share from the heart. It’s designed to help people scale their speaking business, get more gigs at higher fee, and they’re welcome to check it out just three ring circus.com the numeral three, and for anyone listening today, if you buy a $500 off the bootcamp just use the discount code summit 500. And again, we are pleasure to have you in any way that we can be helpful.

James Taylor
Amazing. That’s it. That’s a great offer for everyone. So is a firing dose of summit 500 is this code I’m going to have a button here so you can going to go through and learn learn about how it works as well and a great opportunity it if you haven’t visited Detroit. Good, good reason to go to Detroit as well. And Georgia, thank you so much for coming on today. I know you’re about to be heading off to be catching a plane at some point very soon as well. It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking to you I’ve I’ve really studied from what you do from afar. I just think you want to an exemplary exemplary example of a great speaker this doing some very, very cool thing. So thank you so much for coming on today.

Josh Linkner
Well, thank you my friend By the way, thank you for doing this. I know this takes a lot of energy and time and the fact that you’re giving back to the speaker community and helping raise others up is is really is notable. I mean, we have such a privilege to help others take the great message and help them get out there and share with the world and so I have a lot of respect for the great work you’re doing here.

James Taylor
Today’s episode was sponsored by speakers you the online community for speakers, and if you’re serious about your speaking career, then you can join us because you membership program. Our speakers, you members receive private one on one coaching with me hundreds of hours of training, content, and access to a global community to help them launch and build a profitable business around the speaking message and expertise. So just head over to speakers u.com to learn more.

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