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Ebbs and Flows of Your Speaking Career
Frank DiBartolomeo --  Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals Frank DiBartolomeo -- Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Centreville, VA
Monday, July 8, 2024


“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

– Michael Jordan, American businessman and former professional basketball player

I hope everyone and theirs had a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday.

My wife and son spent the 4th of July holiday in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was marvelous.

Even if you aren’t a beach person, I am sure you sometimes have experienced first-hand the ebb and flow of the ocean on a beach.

This week’s article focuses on the ebbs and flows of your speaker career.

Below are three causes of these speaking career ebbs and flows:

Market Demand and Trends

The demand for specific topics or types of speakers can fluctuate over time. Trends in industries, societal interests, or current events heavily influence audiences’ desires.

For instance, topics related to technology or health might become more relevant or less in demand depending on current developments.

If you don’t stay current on the trends in your speaking topic, you will soon find your number of speaking engagements dwindling. So, how can you stay current?

When I was a kid and wanted information on a subject, I went to the library and “dug” for the information in encyclopaedias, books, and newspapers. That was the research effort.

The Internet changed all that. Now, the research effort is to sift all the information bombarding us every minute for the info we want.

I am sure you know that the information on the Internet is not always accurate.

One research rule that has remained current over my lifetime is to consider the reputation of the source of information. You undoubtedly cite the source for information that is not yours in your presentations. Use sources only your audience will deem reputable.

Again, industry trends, societal interests, or current events heavily influence what audiences seek. You never want to be in the position of an audience member correcting you with more current information. Double-check your facts.

So, the causes of the ebbs and flows of your speaking career are: is there a market for your topic, and are you knowledgeable about the current trends in your topic?

Another cause of ebbs and flows in your speaking career is your personal brand and reputation.

Personal Brand and Reputation

A speaker’s personal brand and reputation play a significant role in their career trajectory.

Positive reviews, recommendations, and endorsements can propel a career forward, while negative feedback or controversies hinder opportunities.

Building and maintaining a robust and consistent brand is crucial for sustained success.

I am sure you know the need to maintain your reputation. Reputation talks to your honesty, integrity, and reliability. Don’t compromise these ever.

However, what do we mean when we say personal brand?

Personal brand talks to your knowledge, experience, and proven record in your area of speaking.

Your personal brand is the distinct expertise people think of when they hear your name.

Are you perceived as a thought leader in your particular topic?

Is your book the one everyone is reading and talking to others about on your topic?

Do more people want you to be their coach than you can accommodate?

You want the answer to these questions to be “Yes.” If it isn’t, you must strive to make the answer “Yes.”

So, the causes of the ebb and flow of your speaking career are: is there a market for your topic, are you knowledgeable about the current trends, and your personal brand and reputation?

Another cause of the ebb and flow of your speaking career is your ability to network and establish business relationships.

Networking and Relationships

Like many professions, networking and relationships within the industry are essential for your speaking career.

Opportunities often arise through your connections with event organizers, fellow speakers, agents, and clients.

If you actively cultivate and nurture these relationships, you will likely experience more consistent speaking opportunities than someone who does not.

It is wise to nurture relationships with others in your industry. It is also wise to cultivate relationships with others who are not in your industry. This is true for one crucial reason.

The people you network with outside your industry likely know others within your industry. If you don’t establish relationships with these others outside your industry, you will be cutting off their referrals to a relationship they have with a person in your industry.

When you network, first think about how to refer the person to someone you know in their industry. Think second about how they can refer you to someone in your industry. Referrals will naturally come to you.

Relationship building is the lifeblood of your speaking career. Some speakers get their business strictly from referrals and repeat customers.

Nurture your network; you will be more likely to get speaking opportunities through referrals.

These factors (i.e., market demands and trends, personal brand and reputation, networking and relationships) interact in complex ways, contributing to the ebbs and flows experienced by public speakers throughout their careers.

Adapting to these changes and consistently delivering value to audiences are critical strategies for long-term success in your speaking area.

Call to Action

  • Check market demand and trends for your speaking topic continually

  • Establish and maintain a distinct personal brand and good reputation

  • Establish and maintain robust relationships through networking

“The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.”

– General George Patton, U.S. Army general Third Army in France and Germany after the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944

Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.

Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals by improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Reach Frank at frank@speakleadandsucceed.com and (703) 509-4424.


Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!

“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”

Available now at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

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News Media Interview Contact
Name: Frank DiBartolomeo, Jr.
Title: President
Group: DiBartolomeo Consulting International, LLC
Dateline: Centreville, VA United States
Cell Phone: (703) 509-4424
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