NSA Colorado’s fall season of events got off to a rousing start this past Saturday, with barely an empty seat in the house. Although they say that doctors make the worst patients, it turns out that speakers make fantastic listeners. The NSA crowd was engaged, attentive and ready for a laugh – in short, the perfect audience for featured speaker John Miller.
John is an expert in the field of personal accountability and an author who has sold over one million books. He treated us to a brand new talk, all about what he calls the Seven “B”s of Success. Here are some of the highlights:
- Be accountable. This message is not new but I think it cannot be heard enough—our success or failure is entirely in our hands. No blame, no excuses.
- Be a salesperson. John is a veteran of jobs requiring cold calling (shudder!). So it came as no surprise that he recommended major amounts of tenacity as one of the secrets of success. But he also went “old school” on us, talking about those business basics that many have forgotten, like the power of handwritten thank-you cards, returning calls immediately, and . . . answering your own phone! I don’t remember the last time I sent a hand written thank-you card, but I sure do recall my pleasure at receiving one. Perhaps John is onto something there?
- Be a student of the craft. John suggested studying other speakers; their hand gestures, their pauses, the way they work the stage, the way they use humor. For you newbies who are just building your speaking careers, he suggested emulating a speaker you particularly admire. His sage advice: know what works for you as a speaker but always keep learning.
- Be an expert. John is a big proponent of the use of story, claiming that “if I’m not telling a story, I’m preaching.” He even went so far as to say that your content doesn’t matter if there’s no story, because the story is the “grease” for that content to be heard. And what about the content itself? It needs to
a. be fresh,
b. be practical and useful to your audience,
c. be memorable (that’s where the stories come in),
d. have humor (but please don’t tell jokes),
e. and be original (never “borrow” anyone elses stuff)
- Be humble.John reminded us that humility is the cornerstone of leadership, saying, “Arrogance repels, humility attracts.” He suggested getting your message across using the words “I” and “we,” not “you.”
- Be an author. This is standard advice for any professional speaker. John added that when creating your book, it’s helpful to have input from both genders, since they have such different points of view. As for marketing, he stressed that you will have to be the CMO of your book even if you have a traditional publisher, because no one will ever care about it the way you do.
- Be generous. Give stuff away! No one can buy a book they haven’t heard of, so offer it for free when and where you can. And John was as good as his word, giving everyone in the room a free copy of his best selling QBQ: The Question Behind The Question.
Find out more about John Miller here: http://qbq.com/
NSA CO has a fantastic lineup of events on the calendar. Please don’t miss next month’s event with featured speaker Brian Walter, SPECTACLE: How to Put Show Biz into Your Biz Onstage. Register today!