Some of the best advice I’ve ever received for my speaking career is: “Spend 80% of your effort on improving your speech, and only 20% on marketing”. The rationale: if your speech is really good, then your audience become your marketeers.

I know this won’t apply literally to everyone, but it’s a helpful and provocative thought for whatever our career: “what it would take to make your key “product” so good that your clients become your personal, word-of-mouth marketeers?”

Since then, I’ve put a lot of effort into my adventure speeches: rewriting, practicing, honing, watching videos of myself, receiving much coaching and feedback.

It was okay before I did all this work, but I am pleased that it has become much more impactful and referrable… this January 6 out of 7 of my speeches (for Walmart, IMD, HKBN, Globe, HB Fuller and St James’ Place) were all booked because someone who saw me speak recommended me. The 7th was from my agent – who has also seen me speak 😉 (for Thermo Fisher’s European Conference).

How can you improve your refer-ability? For your product? For yourself? So that clients and colleagues want to refer you to others? What should you continue doing, stop doing, start doing more of?

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