A Monthly Success Video from Inspirational Public Speaker, Best-selling Author and Philanthropist, Sam Cawthorn.
Good day guys, Sam Cawthorn here.
It was back in 2005 when I started my speaking career. About a year later, I had a major car accident which left me with an amputated right arm, and also a completely disabled right leg. I suppose, from there, I have left my full-time job which is for the Australian Federal Government as a Youth Futurist, and started speaking full-time as a professional speaker.
It was about 3-4 years in, I was actually doing really well in the education market and at one stage I was doing up to 10 schools each and every week somewhere in Australia. It was around then when I decided to look at how I can get into the corporate market.
So I signed up with a very large agent here in Sydney and I moved my entire family—my wife and my 3 kids—from Tasmania, all the way through to here in Sydney.
For the next 4 years, I then went into the corporate market. From there, I got to speak on close to 36 different countries around the world. I got to speak on stage with people like the President of the United States of America President Bill Clinton, Richard Branson, the Dalai Lama, and even Michael Jordan as well, which is amazing. I even got to spend time on stage with some of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the world: from Citibank to ExxonMobil, Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc. It quite the most amazing journey all throughout those next 4-5 years.
From there, I thought I’m going to move into speaker training. To be quite honest, I was sick and tired of all the travel. In one stage there—actually my record to date—is 56 flights in one particular month. Yes, professional speaking sounds very glamorous and you certainly get to travel in luxury, but I was lonely. I was missing a lot of my family dates, some very important times that I should’ve had with my friends, and I really wanted to shift things and change things up.
I also wanted to start building more of a residual income and start being more of a businessman rather than a solo-preneur professional speaker. So I went into professional speaker training and started teaching people how to tell their story more effectively—because obviously, in a way, I’ve just been telling my story for the last 8 years.
Then I started to build this business, it’s called Speakers Institute, and we’re based here in Sydney, We’ve actually got a large office here just above the Wynyard Street Station here in the middle of the Sydney CBD. We’ve got a large training room here where we can fit up to 60 people. We now have numerous staff from a programs director all the way through to a general manager—myself. We’ve got a sales team, all the way through an administration team, and curriculum advisors, and so on and so forth. We’ve built quite a solid, established foundation.
I suppose the blog here is all about the major difference between professional speaking and public speaking. Not a lot of people know that there is a huge difference between being a public and a professional speaker. Like a corporate speaker, we get paid to speak onstage for like a 1 hour keynote, or workshop, or facilitation training, etc.
Then we’ve got public speakers, public speakers—in most cases, most people know who public speakers are because—they put on large events, they then fill up the room with a very cheap price, or maybe even a free event, then they pitch their product or their program to actually really look at transforming people’s lives, helping people to make more money, helping the people be the best versions of themselves, or whatever that might be.
Today’s video is all about the balconies and the basements for professional speaking, and the balconies and the basements for public speaking. I believe there’s actually good things and bad things in both. I’ve done 4 years in both industries, I’m pretty much being on top of my game and close to both as well. I really wanted to encourage people out there that are actually might be looking at a speaking career, might be looking at going into one of these fields, etc. I wanted to give you some insights that I have found in the last 12 years of speaking, and how I can really help you in understanding both industries.
Let’s look at professional speaking and let’s look at it in the basement levels.
As a professional speaker, the basement levels of this is they actually tell you when you can speak, how long you can speak, where you have to speak. Not only that, sometimes they even tell you what you can and can’t speak on. In all reality, you’re actually borrowing their audience, which means they’re actually not your audience. You can’t solicitor them, you can’t sell a product or program, you can’t click their email addresses or their database, and in most cases, you only really got them for a very short period of time.
You can certainly inform them, and you can certainly inspire them, but when it does come to empowerment and transformation, I haven’t seen people do it in that short period of time. Because in all reality, that is actually under the corporate dollar. These people haven’t chosen to be there, in most cases,. They’re actually being either getting paid to be there or they have to be there because it could be an industry association conference.
What else about professional speaking at the basement levels? You do operate a lot of the time in isolation, which means you travel by yourself, you eat by yourself, you’re in hotel rooms by yourself. You do get to miss out on special family occasions. You also do miss out on connecting with friends and family, and so on and so forth. In all reality, you can’t sell on stage or anything like that. The bottom line is this: if you’re not speaking, you don’t get paid. It’s very difficult to build a residual income—or the income while you sleep—when you’re a professional speaker.
However, let me give you an idea of some actual balcony levels when it does come to professional speaking. The balcony levels of professional speaking is all about getting paid top dollar for a one-hour keynote presentation, which is great.
You do get to travel in luxury around the world. Regularly, I fly business class internationally. They’d pick me up in private cars, they’ll take me to a beautiful 5-star hotel, even once a 6-star hotel. They pay for absolutely everything, and it’s the most amazing life. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, they might even pay for your apartment or even your family.
So let’s say you’re speaking in Hawaii, it’s a great opportunity to take your family over there. Sometimes the client will actually even pay for your family to go through to a paid holiday in Hawaii. That’s pretty cool. On top of that, your opinion matters, which then means that if you’re doing your research and if you’re actually a really good speaker, people actually do listen to you. Not only that, you’re certainly making a significant contribution to organisations and businesses around the world.
You’re making them think differently, you’re inspiring them, you’re informing them of what’s currently happening in the marketplace, and so on and so forth. The balcony levels of professional speaking are outstanding as well. So you have basements and balconies, for professional speaking.
Now let’s look at public.
The public speaking market is obviously people who actually spruik themselves out in the public arena. Which then means, a lot of the time, they work for SMEs—small to medium enterprises—they bring in people, entrepreneurs, and so on and so forth, and they put on an event.
A promoter might put on an event, then a public speaker would come and speak on that stage. On top of that as well—with the public speaking world—you do get longer to speak onstage. Sometimes you get up to 1 or 3 days, and that type of stuff. Not only that, you also do get recognised out there in the marketplace. A lot of the public know you more compared to professional speaking—I would say a lot of public speakers do get a lot of media.
Unfortunately in the public speaking world, there is also a bit of a negative rap. I actually feel it had been due to a lot of the American influence, sort of “promising the world”, but do they deliver? Jordan Belfort—anyway, we won’t go there.
So let me give you more of an idea of the balcony and also the basement levels of the public. Let’s look at the public basement levels. I’ll give you an idea around this: You’ve got to sell onstage. You must sell a product or a program, you’ve got to have a really good product, a really good backend, and then you need to learn how to sell that product well. You need to learn all the intrinsic aspects of selling, and not only that, understand people’s emotional buying journey and really look at ways how you can sell your product really well. You can get people into your product funnel or whatever that might be.
Another one with public basements is you’ve got to have really good infrastructure. You need a team, you need to learn how to manage a team, and you need to learn how to run a business. You need to learn all aspects of running a business as well. You need to look at everything from cashflow, all the way to systems processes and everything like that.
You also do need to have a really good backend, like a really good product. You can’t just sell a product, and then actually not deliver on that. You need to sell a product really well, but then actually go over the top with delivery that product as well. It does require a level of training and support and a really good support staff to back up what you are selling. You also need to build a list and you need to create value and send a lot of value to that list as well.
Running a list is actually very hard, you need a really decent CRM program. You also might need an LMS program, which is all about a learning management system and is constantly drip-feed various touch points of value, which is really important. These are, in a way, the basement levels to the public.
Now let me give you an idea of the balcony level for the public. I really like the balcony levels of the public, it is where I believe we truly can transform people’s lives. That means I get to speak when I want, how long I want, and I’m also not borrowing anyone’s audience. These are my audience.
That means I can create a program exactly the way I want to create it. I can certainly also transform their life through an actual journey discovering their own world. I can then give them the tools, the strategies, then we can help them implement these tools and strategies so they can actually then start to transform their own life.
We can also coach and mentor and hold their hand all the way through, like a 12-month initiative program, or whatever that might be. We can look at all intrinsic barriers or limiting beliefs that they might have and give them breakthroughs through that as well. I actually believe that the balcony level for the public world is that we—actually, truly—not only inform, not only inspire, but we also transform and totally give them a transformational experience, where they’ll never be the same again—which is awesome, which is absolutely brilliant!
What else are some balcony levels for the public? I also believe you have a lot more money-earning potential as well. Which then means that you can actually earn money while you sleep, because you might have an e-learning program, you might have some online curriculum that they’re doing as well. You could also train other trainers so they can actually train for you as well. You’ve got an entire backend there so you can pretty much earn money while you sleep and really build a saleable and scalable business. You certainly also have a greater impact on people as well.
So that sort of gives you an idea of the balconies and basements for the professional speaking world, and the basements and balconies for the public speaking world. There are good and bad things for both industries, and I just really wanted to inform you that if you are considering looking at speaking and taking up speaking, or going into personal development, you must consider this when you are actually looking at a complete change of lifestyle, or career, etc. as well.
I really hope this video really inspired you. I started off in education, then went into the corporate professional speaking market, and today, I’m actually in the public speaking market. Which one is better remains to be seen. I really enjoy all three. I really love adding value in the education world because there are bigger crowds and you’re certainly transforming the next generation of influencers. I loved being in the corporate professional speaking space. However now, I really wanted to build a lifestyle here in Sydney. I really wanted to be there for my family. I really wanted to transform people’s lives. Right now I’m absolutely loving being in the public space, however, I still do get speaking engagements in the corporate and I also do stuff there in the educational, but my focus is obviously in the public.
We would love to be able to help you in this journey, whatever speaking that you’re looking at. We have a number of programs in here, everything from storytelling, to practice human charisma. We teach people how to have influence and how to create persuasion in the marketplace. We also teach them how to present. We teach them everything from their content, all the way through to methodology as well. We’ve got a whole plethora of programs here at the Speakers Institute, and we would love the opportunity to meet with you and see how our programs can add value in your life.
Again, my name is Sam Cawthorn. I’m really looking forward to seeing you again really soon. Bye for now.