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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Transitioning From Magician To Professional Public Speaker (15 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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lou serrano
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I know quite a few magicians who have transitioned from being magicians to becoming professional public speakers. I'm in the process myself. Although I'll never stop performing magic, public speaking has a certain allure for me and I enjoy it immensely. All of my speaking presentations include a healthy dose of magic, so it's not like I'm abandoning my roots.

There is a perception that you can make more money by positioning yourself as a speaker than you can as a magician. I believe it's a false perception. Most companies and associations don't hire professional speakers. They hire experts who can speak. This is a topic I'll address at another time.

When I first started giving speaking presentations, I had very little confidence. As a magician, I had props and routines to fall back on. As a speaker, it was my words that took center stage.

In my latest video blog post, I address this issue: How To Speak Confidently. I think it may be of value for magicians and speakers alike.

Click on the following link to watch the video. How To Speak With Confidence

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

Lou Serrano
gman
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Ah that is cool Lou. I however, am doing the opposite. I started as a speaker and have been trying to transition into a magician for the last several years.

The biggest advice to gain confidence is to join places like Toastmasters. They helped me when I first was starting out.
lou serrano
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Gman,

Are you a professional speaker? If so, I'd love to talk to you sometime. Please PM me if you have a chance.

Toastmasters is a great organization, and can be very beneficial for people just starting out. With that being said, I believe people who are already professional magicians have an enormous advantage over anyone at Toastmasters. As professional magicians, we already have experience speaking in front of groups.

I view the local Toastmasters groups the same way I view the local clubs of IBM and SAM. When I first started as a magician, I attended several meetings of IBM and SAM, and I quickly realized these groups were made up of mostly amateur and part-time professionals. If I wanted to be a full-time professional magician, I'd have to get guidance elsewhere. Which I did through mentors. The same is true with Toastmasters. These groups are mostly made up of aspiring speakers, and to be a professional speaker, I'd have to communicate with full-time professionals. With that being said, Toastmasters will build your confidence in a very systematic way, and you'll be surrounded by people who are there to help.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
TomBoleware
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As always great video Lou. I enjoy hearing you talk.

I agree that magicians can become good speakers. But the biggest thing that a magician will have to learn to become a 'great' speaker, or unlearn should I say, is the idea that speaking is about your performance. It's not. It is about the audience.

Speaking is a little about entertaining and a lot about connecting. Connecting to as many audience members as you can. Unlike with the magic, you want the audience thinking, 'that could be me up there.' You want the audience saying I can relate to that. There can be no mystery about what you saying.

A speakers job is to teach, but before you can teach, you must first touch. Remember, good teaching is simply reminding others that they know it as well as you do. A great speaker is someone that once sit where the audience is sitting. A great speaker comes across as a likeable person. A great speaker is someone that lays it on the line for his friends. A speech should not just be a sharing of information, but a sharing of yourself.

Tom
Dannydoyle
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How much speaking do you do Tom?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
TomBoleware
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None nowadays.

But in days gone by I rubbed shoulders with some of the best.
You may have heard some of my words spoken and just don't know it.
It's not something I can talk about. Sorry.


Tom
Dannydoyle
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Thought so. None.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
MikeClay
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Lou,
I work with a guy who is a full time speaker and a CPS

I do travel and speak but it is not my full time gig, but is part of my education and coaching company.

I would be happy to try to get you and my friend together so you can pick his mind. DJ has been a public speaker for many years (longer than the 14 years I have known him)
and has earned a good living doing it.

FOR ME
To make profit on speaking is about back of the room sales, or vendor booth when I speak at trade shows.. MANY times as a speaker at trade shows you get a free booth and your room and travel covered.
Dannydoyle
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Speaker fees are very high. I am confused. Why would it take BOR in order to make money?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
MikeClay
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Because speaker fees are not very high for the majority of events or unless your a well known speaker.
Dannydoyle
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In my experience the exact opposite is true. Why devalue what you do by expecting people to buy BOR? It has a direct affect on your ability to charge higher fees.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
TomBoleware
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Speakers absolutely need products to sell. Very few could make it without having something.
Most of the time having a product is why they wanted to hire you to begin with. Who would want to hire a nobody? Smile
Even the big names will sometimes discount the fee and make up for it with BOR.

Movie theaters would never give up the concession sales.

The circus gives away FREE tickets in order to sell peanuts, popcorn, drinks, toys, and elephant rides.


Tom
Dannydoyle
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And look at how many big circus shows are around. Good example.

It is quite rare for a big name in demand speaker to discount to sell BOR.

So the amazing advice on this thread is to devalue the work in general and then to sell BOR. Sounds like a excellent plan. It worked so well for the circus.

Lets take an existing lucrative market and run it into the ground. I bet your ideas are welcomed with open arms by the speaking community.

Yep huge business sense there. What could possibly go wrong?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
MikeClay
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All the big names have things to sell in the back of the room.

Zig Ziglar always had a table of books to sell

Charging higher fees has a direct effect on your ability to speak, unless your a name that draws people.
MOST Trade shows, and events DO NOT PAY speakers unless your the keynote, you get travel fees and a booth in the vendor room.

I'm not a full time speaker but I do about 20 events a year right now,

the few times I have been a keynote I was paid WELL but would still rather have BOR sales

Here are the differences

Speaking at a trade show (little to no pay + hotel and travel)
- You will close 10% of the crowd for BOR sales
- Make sure you have 3 types of items (low budget $15 - $45, Residual product at a discount $45 - $120, High end 1 on 1 $1500+ )
- get in with 1 good organizer and you get rebooked for multiple industries
- the entire room is FULL of potential clients

Speaking for FEE's (was hired for 1200 to train the sales team at a car dealership how to effectively use youtube for 30 min)
- less work
- NO BOR (your potential client is who HIRED you)


Yes you can get higher speaking fees, but why would you want to do that?
OK so I made $1200 for 1 event with a higher fee.
But the trade show I did in May where I taught 4 classes on Social Media with BOR sales, I closed 10% of the people who came to the lecture, and I make $3395 a month off of that event MONTHLY ... (35 business owners paying $97 trade show special on a $120 month product)

THAT'S WHY I would devalue myself... It pays better to think in the future.

So higher fee $1200 or Room and Travel and make $40740
TomBoleware
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Danny, how does having a product devalue you? It's the exact opposite in the speaking business,
it's having the product that puts you in demand.


Tom
lou serrano
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Tom, thank you for your input. It all makes sense to me.

Mike, I will send you a PM, as I'd love to connect with your friend. Thank you for the offer.

Danny, I must say I do appreciate your posts. I have a feeling that stirring up the post is your way of having a good time. It's all good as it gives others the opportunity to express and defend their views. The big winners are all the lurkers on these forums who don't participate, but read these threads.

There's a goldmine of information here for those who are willing to scratch the surface.

Danny, if you're experience shows the opposite of what Mike Clay has to say, then you’re not associating with speakers who are a making a 7-figure yearly income.

The average speaker in the National Speakers Association (NSA) are people who speak for a fee. The average speaker in the NSA gets paid about $3000 per speech. The average speaker in the NSA does NOT make $100,000 per year.

The only speakers who make a 7-figure yearly income are celebrity speakers and speakers who make back-of-the-room sales (BOR). Keep in mind, these speakers aren't selling a $15 magic set or a $20 set of lecture notes. Most BOR products range from $400 on the low end to $20,000+ on the high end.

On many occasions I have witnessed speakers gross $100,000+ in BOR sales after a one-hour presentation. This is not uncommon.

The first time I witnessed this was in 2007 at James Malinchak's Big Money Speaker Boot Camp in Las Vegas. I paid $2500 to attend this 3-day seminar, and it was worth every penny. There were 300 people in attendance.

At this seminar there was a speaker named Alexandria Brown. At the time, she was relatively unknown in the speaking world. She gave a one-hour presentation, after which she gave her pitch for her BOR product. She closed about 1/3 of the room. That's about 100 people. I was one of those 100 people who invested in her product. The product consisted of a couple of dozen CDs and two big binders of information. That product sold for $1500. 100 people X $1500 = $150,000! Even if my margin of error is substantial, she still grossed more than $100,000 after a one-hour presentation. She now makes several million dollars per year.

She is not the exception, as I have witnessed this occurring many times over the last seven years.

I talk about this subject in an interview I recently posted regarding Kris Sheppard's Successful Performercast podcast. It's worth a listen.

All the best!

Lou

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=44
Dannydoyle
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I think blathering on about crap they don't do is other peoples way of having fun Lou. You call it stirring the pot most people call it a reality check. Do me a favor and don't ascribe intent to me.

Who said having products devalues you? I said taking smaller fees in order to try to sell BOR devalues you and I am 100% right.

Tell all the anecdotal stories you like it does not change facts. Lets also be clear just for sanity sake. Seven figures is over a million.

There is a ton of misinformation out here. First and foremost you needed d to have something to speak about and something to sell that is of actual value. Getting on the speaking circuit takes a heck of a lot more than wanting it and buying a magic book and having a business card.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
lou serrano
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
There is a ton of misinformation out here. First and foremost you needed d to have something to speak about and something to sell that is of actual value. Getting on the speaking circuit takes a heck of a lot more than wanting it and buying a magic book and having a business card.


First off there is no such thing as a speaking circuit. It's a myth. Secondly, you're confirming one of the points in my original post. Read my original post.

Lou
MikeClay
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Yeah, I'm not close to 7 figures yet.
lou serrano
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Who said having products devalues you? I said taking smaller fees in order to try to sell BOR devalues you and I am 100% right.

Sorry to burst your bubble on this one, but you are 100% incorrect. As Mike Clay stated above, you can make much more money selling BOR than you can getting a fee. Most of the big money speakers will gladly speak for FREE if they have the opportunity to sell BOR. Like I said, you're probably not associating with with speakers who are making a 7-figure yearly income.

Lou Sertano


Posted: Jul 19, 2014 09:14 pm Mike, neither am I, but it's on my list of goals, and it's just a matter of time. I have a plan, and I'm executing the plan.

All the best!

Lou
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