“Make Yourself a Master of the Platform Now”


by Burt Dubin on December 12, 2013


Make Yourself a Master of the Platform Now

Discover these strategies:

Deliver more value and delight to every audience


1. Start by crafting a compelling session description for the Conference Brochure:

When you’re hired to speak or educate at a conference, you are virtually always asked to write your own session description for the conference brochure. (If you are not asked, you ask.) Invest quality time in this. It pays.

Make your prose alluring, seductive, captivating and magnetic. Why? Because you want your program positioned as more attractive than the pool, the links, the courts, the slopes or any other available option. This is even more urgent when you’re doing a concurrent session.

Cause your program to be seen as the best possible choice among all available concurrent sessions.

Designing and producing a magnificent experience for your audience is only half the job.The other half—the payoff half—is your being recognized and appreciated for having done so.That’s what leads to accolades, referrals, enhanced demand and higher fees.

Remember—you are a marketer first, a speaker second.Smart marketers give themselves every possible edge. Here is how you give yourself one more edge. It is an edge most of your competitors know nothing about. Use these guidelines every time. Let your competitors bite your dust!

Take these actions now:

1. Do not start your session description with your name

unless you are the recognized world expert.

2. Start with the #1 take-home benefit for attending.

3. Include language specifying who your session is for.

4. Quantify benefits. Use dollar signs, industry performance

insights your target audience understands.

5. Editorialize. Use “you” language. (2nd person, present tense is hard to beat.) “Wouldn’t you love to be able to…(big benefit). Mary shows you…”

6. Use action verbs that suggest you have a skill your target audience wants—and that they get that skill in your session. “In this session you discover…” “After this session you are able to…”

7. Use trade terms, industry jargon. Drop names. (“Bill shows you how he got Ms. Big to…”)

8. Create copy that causes prospective attendees to see themselves at your program, participating. How? Easy: “Join Sarah as she shows the pros and cons of…” This implies participation. People love that.

9. Invite prospective attendees to imagine possessing/enjoying the benefits you deliver. “Just picture yourself…” “Imagine, you,…”

10. Are you an old hand? Call yourself a “veteran.” Are you the new kid on the block? Call yourself “an innovator.”

The outcome of your taking every one of these 10 actions is more people choosing your session, more people showing up and taking careful notes at your session, more people talking about you and writing you more complimentary Evaluations, more excitement associated with your session, and more spin-off bookings for you.

2. Continue by delivering substance:

For over 20 years, I have been attending and speaking at major conferences and conventions, world wide. A presentation pattern perturbs me. I have watched and listened as speaker after speaker delivered lots of entertainment values yet only shallow substance.

This is not smart speaking. Sure, if you are positioned as a humorist it is OK. And if you are an off-the-wall speaker it is OK too.

However if you are (like me) a straight business speaker, deliver substance and more substance. For example, I have watched Alan Weiss, CSP, speak several times. He takes home over US$1 million a year speaking and consulting.

Audiences write pages and pages of notes when he speaks. He leaves your head spinning, your fingers aching. Then he gets invited back again. And again. This is smart speaking.

Your audiences—in this convoluted, crazy-quilt, exciting, dangerous and thrilling early 21st century world—yearn for substance. Never before in world history has so much been changing so fast. Stress stimuli have never been so ubiquitous. Around the world we are living in a maelstrom, a raging typhoon and a hurricane all at the same time.

Cultural, ethnic, national and religious confrontations, worldwide, are intensifying. The ground under our feet is uncertain.

There is a vast hunger for stability, for certainty, for safety and sureness. While we speakers may not be able to provide this, we can provide navigational skills for these tempestuous times. We can provide substance.

Our audiences have never longed for these skills more than today, here, now, on the cusp of 2014. When you build substance into your programs, you deliver priceless human values. Your audiences want these values more that ever. And I predict they will want these values even more for the next several turbulent decades.

Abraham Lincoln said, “The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.” Well, with the technology acceleration we’re living through, just one day can bring staggering challenges. Challenges often mean troubled waters.

And we who speak may pour oil on these troubled waters.

We may share coping techniques with our audiences. The finest of these coping techniques is to grow new skills. Who can dispense these new skills now? You. You are the primary educator of your audiences.

Your audiences hunger for ways to maintain balance and get ahead in this troubled climate. They hunger for substance. Delivering plenty of substance is smart speaking.

These days the know-how inside audiences’ heads is the #1 asset of more and more organizations. Who builds that know-how? You do. Worldwide, you are the #1 teacher of executives and staff, knowledge workers all.


Maybe you speak in your country only. Maybe you cross borders and speak internationally. It doesn’t matter.

You are the primary education resource for executives, managers and staff. In addition, you fill the same role for millions of self-employed people everywhere. They want substance too.

More: In the coming years an increasing percentage of your audiences will be minorities. Here in my country, with its porous borders, sometime in the 21st century non-Hispanic white-skinned people are to become the newest minority. Ambitious, eager minorities have a special desire for substance.

So deliver substance. Deliver more substance. Address the unspoken hungers, longings, yearning of your audience.

So start by writing a magnetic description of your program. Continue by delivering real substance every time. This is how you accelerate your rise to speaking business stardom.


Burt Dubin works with people who want to  be speakers  and with speakers who want to be masters.

Check out the wisdom of applying for Burt’s personal Mentoring.

Actions To Take:

Your first action to start creating your own public speaking adventures for yourself . . .

Top Shelf: Go here

Mid-range: Go here

Budget Delight: Go here



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