By James Robinson
When breaking into the speaking market, you will have a much higher chance of succeeding by being a “meaningful specific.” We see too many speakers trying to tackle more than one subject at a time, and this has the nasty result of diluting the message.
It’s extremely difficult to be a go-to expert in two or more categories. So be mindful of this as you start to brand yourself and produce content. Stick to one vertical. The goal is to be the voice of authority in your chosen subject, not to be a participant in a variety of fields.
You must become specialized, not everything to everyone. Focus on one subject, and become the expert in that area.
A leadership speaker who is specializes in communication, strategy, or corporate culture is more likely to be sought after than a speaker who discusses leadership, DE&I, branding and GenZ behaviors in one speech. Audiences want a depth of knowledge and experience in a keynote speaker, and that’s why you must hone in and become THE expert in your field. This approach will help you stand out from other speaker who are too “wide” and don’t have the same level of specialization.
Let’s look at innovation speakers. The most successful focus on one, highly topical aspect of their subject, which helps them stand out in a crowded market. Economists take the same approach, focusing either on credit, distress, global affairs or politics. Very few attempt to tackle the entire economic landscape. Being a meaningful specific is where the value lies for your speaking careers and for audiences. It makes you a more valuable resource, with insights and analysis that generalists cannot provide. This will eventually establish you as a thought leader.
So be a meaningful specific. It’s crucial if you want to succeed as a keynote speaker. One subject, and become the expert in that area. You’ll eventually gain national credibility with audiences. So, don’t try to be everything to everyone. Just be the go-to expert in your category.