top of page


Screen Shot 2020-05-16 at 5.47.46 PM.png

Book: Do It! Speaking

Author:  David Newman

Purchase:  Print | eBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Newman, D. (2020). Do It! Speaking : 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Market, Monetize, and Maximize Your Expertise. Nashville: HarperCollins Leadership.

Three Big Takeaways:
  1. Use your niche as the "guardrails" around your business. It keeps you from veering off the path, getting distracted, and going all over the place when what you really want is to go a mile deep into your niche, not spread yourself "a mile wide and an inch deep." You're going to get a chance to unleash all your innovation, all your creativity, all your great ideas in one direction. Breadth will kill you - depth will make you money. Once you become so focused and so clear and so deep you're going to become the go-to expert in your niche. Even if you are great at seventeen different topics, the problem is that from the buyer's perspective every additional thing diminishes the perceived expertise of the original topic they came to you for. Having a niche makes 99 percent of your competition irrelevant. (pg. 48)

  2. If people are not sure you are worth the cost of speaking, start to look at the numbers. If you have 50 principals making $100,000, that is $5,000,000 payroll. Assume you get 1% improvement from those principals as a result of your speech. 1% improvement would be $50,000. I bet your speech is a lot less than $50,000! If your speaker fee is $4500 and you are going to deliver $50,000 worth of value in exchange for $4500, that's the best deal they've seen in a long time! (pg. 127)

  3. If you want to be a highly paid speaker, then you'll need a book. A book helps you share your message, show your brilliance, and explain your ideas so you can help the world be a better place. A book elevates your position so you stand above other speakers and so that audiences see you as the expert and authority you are. A good book helps people get to know, like, and trust you so they will hire you. If you haven't written a book, you will lose jobs to speakers who have written books. Having written one book is the minimum entry point for a highly paid speaker. (pg. 154)


Other Key Ideas:

Here is the perceived breakdown of speaker fees: $1000 - $2500: "At this level, you get what you pay for"; $2500 - $5000: "These speakers are in transition from part time"; $5000 - $10,000: "You are hiring a true professional"; $10,000+: "NY Times Bestseller, celebrity, or marquee name" (pg. 66)

Audiences love customized relevance, which is doing your homework and tailoring your stories and examples to what the audience cares about. Take the time to research your attendees. Learn what they care about. Customize your stories and examples to their industry. Make your audience members the hero. Yes, it takes time versus showing up with your canned PowerPoint and canned speech. Yet the time invested customizing your presentation with relevant information and stories will take your personal brand and reputation to a new and highly respected level. (pg. 77)

Most people won't hire you if you simply have given to your employees. The primary test is not how a speaker's ideas captivate those predisposed to respond favorably. Instead, it is how to enthrall an audience entering an event tired, bored, pissed off, and uncommitted to the ideas about to be espoused. (pg. 87)

The first rule of a speaker website is to share content. You need to have a resource-rich website that demonstrates your thinking. Some people would argue that no one pays a professional speaker but they happily pay for a professional thinker to come and speak. If you're a professional thinker that means you've got articles, downloads, and value items that share your credibility and that outline the same kinds of ideas, strategies, and tools you would share with your clients and audiences. Meeting planners are not going to hope. They're not going to guess. They're not going to pray. They need to see proof. If you don't have proof on your website, they're going to move on and hire the next speaker who does. (pg. 93)

Use your network to do a series of interviews with influencers in your industry. This can be done via video, podcast, or as an article. You get to shine a spotlight on professionals in your network and add value to the rest of your tribe at the same time. Also, be consistent! One episode or video won't do much for you. It's the sum of a consistent series that will make the difference. Stay the course; people will eventually take notice. (pg. 97)

Every single visitor who visits your website and does not give their email address is a lost opportunity: lost opportunity for a sale, a speech, a referral. Once you have their email address automate your follow-up to generate top-of-mind awareness. This can be simple, a newsletter, blogs, whatever it is to keep that cycle going. There's an old saying, "The best time is to plant a tree is twenty years ago, the second best time to plant a tree is today" - so start your list-building and follow-up sequence today! (pg. 100)

The base credible speaking fee is $4500. If your fee is less than $4500, you are positioning yourself as an amateur. Never worry about pricing yourself out of the market. Worry about how much you need to raise your speaking fee to price yourself into the market where premium clients are looking to hire premium speakers at premium fees. (pg. 111)

My rule of thumb is that if you've been getting the same fee for 18 months or two years consistently, it's time to raise the fee. Every 18 - 24 months your fee goes up. Let's say you're $4500 today. You've been getting that for 18 - 24 months, now you're at $5500. Go to the market with that for 18 - 24 months and now you're at $6500. (pg. 114)

You must practice your presentation! This does not mean in your head or flipping through your cards. Stand up, get your clicker, and practice out loud with your full voice and movement. Practice includes pausing for audience reactions, making smooth transitions, refining your stories, and customizing your language and references for your audience. If you're serious about becoming a speaker, you have to actually be good at it, and in order to be good at it, you must practice! Don't wing it, don't fake it. Ever! (pg. 149)

How do you let the folks who can't afford your consulting or coaching know you are the real-deal resource? One of the best ways to do this is with publishing a book based on the expertise you already have. This will make you the go-to expert in your specific topic, niche, or industry. After all, you "wrote the book on it" so you must be an expert. And, your book needs to be excellent. But it does not need to be long - in fact, the bestselling business books of all time are less than 120 pages in a small five-by-seven trade publishing format. The book needs to be marketed, launched, and sold for the long-term impact it can have on your professional success. (pg. 153)

Don't use your slides to share information you are able to tell your audience. Instead, use creative and interesting image slides to illustrate your unique stories and content. Your audience doesn't want to see the same images that they've seen in other talks or that they can find easily in a search. Give them unique content. A picture is worth a thousand words - if it's the right image. (pg. 165)

End every presentation with an action. Give them something, or a list of things, to do. Tell them how to change their behavior when they get back to the office. Tell them what lessons to keep in mind for the future. A call to action is a marketing term, but after all, are you not selling something in your speech? (pg. 168)

bottom of page