Hack Your Way Into Public Speaking

If you want a magnetic personal brand, you have to excel at public speaking and presence.

I literally do not know a single person I consider impressive who does not speak regularly. This could be leading team meetings, sitting on “expert panels”, or delivering keynotes at conferences.

I even know people who aren’t particularly good at speaking, yet still manage to have regular invites to events.

The greatest way to excel as a speaker is to speak.

If you’re good at sales, you already know how important this is and are practicing all the time.

First, Learn to Speak

The fundamentals are confidence, clarity, and having something worth saying.

What is not a fundamental: being funny or entertaining.

Funny is great and certainly helps, but it doesn’t give you respect unless you have these first three.

Ask yourself: is there someone you know of who, when they speak, you will always stop and listen to them? What are they like?

Get a Coach

If I were trying to sell you something, this is when I would say “I offer this service.” but I don’t.

However, if you’re serious about leveling up any skill in your life, I don’t understand why wouldn’t hire someone better than you to make you better.

Hiring professional coaches is a cheat code to life.

Do it liberally.

Then, get reps as much as you can. Speak at tiny events that are “beneath” you. Professional comics do it all the time.

Top-tier comedians almost never bring untested jokes to huge venues. Top-tier comics are at their local club every week workshopping new material. If it hits, they tweak it and try it again until it’s dialed in.

You do the same. Practice practice.

If you have a regular presentation as part of your job, this is perfect.

If not, find a way to practice. Create a YouTube channel where you give your talks in one take.

I’ve done this. One video and nothing else on my channel and I had people I know reach out to me saying they’ve seen it.

That’s pretty crazy.

Next, Build Clout

If you don’t already have it, you earn it.

You earn clout by doing cloutworthy things: being consistently funny, having big accomplishments, articulating good ideas in unique and consumable ways, etc.

Hack An Audience Before You Earn it

It’s hard to get attention even with these things. Sometimes, people “cheat” to manufacture attention enough to generate critical mass and build an organic following.

In old school terms, this is called a PR stunt.

These days, it’s not just PR like Felix Baumgartner jumping off a high-altitude balloon platform for world’s longest freefall (if you can name the brand that sponsored this without me saying, then you know it worked).

Ways people hack their way into clout:

  • Blue checkmark on social media
  • Buying fake followers so real ones think they are someone worth following
  • Writing a book just so they can say they’re a published author (this one is old)
  • Buying their way onto bestseller lists so they can say they’re a bestselling author (old, too)
  • If you’re a meme crypto coin, name your coin after something else that gets a lot of attention, like $ELON

Sometimes the hacking is trashy and transparent. Shitcoins (AKA most crypto) sometimes name themselves after something else way more popular just to capitalize off their brand, like $ELON (an absolute shitcoin).

Others mix and match and make it work. Here’s an idea for travel influencers out there: buy followers, leverage your followers to stay at cool places for free (in exchange for “promotion”) and thereby have cool content. Use your cool content to legitimately build a following—and these followers are pre-vetted to like your travel content.

If you’re in knowledge world, a book is a great idea. Sometimes, your marketing is merely buying up your own book so it shoots up Amazon’s bestseller list and others are more likely to see it.

If you’re trying to become a conference speaker, instead of taking cash for speaking, ask the conference to buy your book instead and then they hand out your book to guests. You’re still getting paid, but you’re getting paid in a way that boosts your sales numbers and spreads your brand even more.

Once You Have Momentum, Keep it Up

When you write a book, you might want to take your foot off the gas once it’s published.

Nope, you gotta floor it. Go on every podcast, speak at every conference.

If you wait, the momentum dies and your reward it limited.

What Does This Have to Do with Building Wealth?

If you want wealth before you’re old, you need to learn to speak.

Want to lead a big business? You need to lead your employees.

Want funding for your startup? You need to pitch investors.

Want to become a movie star or musician? You should already know the importance of stage presence.

Don’t sleep on this. Speaking and presence is an absolute fundamental for building wealth.

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