“The ability to speak is a short cut to distinction. It puts a man in the limelight, raises him head and shoulders above the crowd.” – Lowell Thomas, Born Apr. 6, 1892.
Getting on stage to teach copy at marketing events was easily the biggest factor in my rapid rise to recognition and success – that is, making money BEYOND just doing client work as my sole source of income.
I had literally never done it before. My first talk at Shoemoney's Elite Retreat (2010, I think?) was literally my first time speaking anywhere about anything.
I made way too many slides. I prepared way too much material. I was almost sick from anxiety.
Two things made it okay.
First, I admitted to the audience that it was my first talk and that I was nervous, so if I mumbled or went to fast or spoke too softly, just throw a shoe at me. (Slide of a shoe).
Second, anxiety takes brainpower to maintain. Once you're up there going over material you KNOW and BELIEVE IN, it takes all your free brainpower. None left to be scared.
But Old Lowell's advice isn't just applicable to the stage (or the radio, as he was famous for).
The ability to get up in front of people, even virtually, will position you as an expert, and an authority on your topic. Virtually meaning on VIDEO. Preferably streaming live.
It has the same effect. Why does it give people this magical halo?
A few reasons. For one, there is that fear we mentioned. The fear of public speaking is actually MORE common than the fear of death. So if YOU can dare to do what they fear to do, you MUST know something they don't…
Another reason for that halo effect is that it demonstrates a mastery of your topic, because you can speak on it without needing notes or research or anything to help you. It flows right from the brain to the mouth with a buttery smoothness that ONLY an expert could manage.
If you want a shortcut to preeminence and recognition in your field, it's a short walk to the podium, and it's even easier to start a live stream from your smartphone right now. The more you do it, the better you get, and the more it works for you.
Try it. I dare you.