Before, During, and After your topic development – what you most need to think about:
I was talking with someone today about what comes first –
the chicken or the egg… ok… the book or the speaking topic!
The issue is often a matter of priorities – and what you’re already doing. What have you already invested in, and how is that going for you? If you are already a speaker, getting paid to share your wisdom from the stage then start with that, and refine your topic, work out the main thing(s) you want to share, with the audience you most want to inspire with your own wisdom, experience or stories. And from there a book is an easy (and essential) addition to your marketing materials and back of the room merchandise.
If you are already writing non-fiction and want to become a great speaker, or just get more books selling then you need to be speaking to groups and larger audiences when possible to ensure your books are getting to the hands of those you want to inspire, beyond just seeing and hearing you speak.
Either way – they are interractive and essential parts of the whole. You can’t be a speaker who doesn’t write, any more than you can be a writer/author who does not speak. They just go together like, well… love and marriage… a horse and carriage – ok enough with the musical cliches, but you really need to put these things together firmly in your mind!
If You Have Already Started the Journey
“But what do I speak/write about?” I hear you say… or “what if my topic changes between one modality and the other?”
Why not start with evolving where you are currently and getting into some serious planning about your topic first… and then you’ll know exactly which Everest you wish to climb! For example, if you are already talking about leadership, or sales and marketing, how can you evolve your current topic into a strong niched version of this? Or work on a book topic that has the ability to focus more indepth in part of your book on an area that truly makes your heart sing when you share it. If you think you might want to develop into something that is a part of what you already cover – speaking or writing, then simply evolve it, narrow down your niche and develop a keynote speech or book section that hones in on that one thing. From there you can further explode it out into much more – on that one thing – but instead of thinking about reinventing your wheel, and throwing the baby out with the proverbial bath water, you can move along rather than just changing direction.
H0wever, if on the other hand you are starting out as either a speaker or writer, then you have to ask yourself some key questions to arrive at which Everest you wish to climb.
Key Questions To Consider in Topic Development:
- If you only had ONE speech to give, ONE book to write, ONE person of importance to you to inspire… what would you say?
- Why would what you want to say/write matter to that one person? That one group of people?
- Called into an unexpected boardroom, event, stage opportunity, what do you MOST want to share if this it the life changing opportunity you have been seeking? Not your life, but THEIRS!
- What do you want to have happen as a result of what you said/wrote/shared?
- Will They:
- start a revolution?
- Join one?
- Call you for a chance to further engage with you?
- Something else?
- Will They:
You have to think this stuff through. Because if you don’t, you won’t be able to get consistent in your messages across all the platforms you want to be seen in/on. You also need to know who you are speaking/writing/talking for and why. Why should they care?
Then it becomes a matter of Before (you write or develop your speech), During the process of writing/speaking, what you want to have happen and where you wish to be seen/heard, and After you write/publish/speak… exactly what happens next, for you and for your audience/readers.
If you can get some real clarity around all this NOW. Before you go any further on taking action, then the action that you do take will yeild far greater rewards for you, and have significantly more meaning for your intended tribe.