There are lots of great reasons to do a TEDx talk: It’s instant cred, a powerful thought leadership platform, a public speaker’s calling card, a way to reach and inspire millions. All great reasons.
But what really comes about as a result? There is no direct TEDx-to-sales conversion, nor is that the reason to do one (actually, that’s the worst reason). And yet, if you’re going to invest your effort into doing something, you should know if it’s worth it.
Fact is, if it’s an idea worth spreading and a talk worth sharing (and it must be both those things), pretty amazing things can transpire as a result.
Here’s what happened to me since giving my first TEDx talk in 2015. It didn’t happen magically, of course, and not overnight. But it 100 percent has changed my life.
#1 | I started commanding a 5-figure speaking fee.
I mean, let’s get down to brass tacks, right? No one gets paid to do TEDx…but the right talk can put you in high demand. I used to charge between $2500 and $5000. Not anymore. And it’s not just the speaker’s fee, either. In the past three years I’ve upleveled my business in a big way. High-level clients pay a premium to work with me. That is a serious game changer.
#2 | I’ve gained recognition as a top-notch speaker.
I was named rated the #1 speaker by attendees my first year at How Design Live (and have been invited back every year), and at the Barron’s Top Independent Women Advisors Summit, and then was invited to present a keynote at their flagship event for the nation’s Top Advisors.
Could I have done those talks without having done a TEDx talk? Sure. Maybe. But that talk put me on the map. It’s what made it an easier decision to hire me. Speaking begets more speaking. The more you do, the more you get to do. I went from 1-3 events a year to dozens.
#3 | I had lunch with Seth Godin. (This should probably be #1.)
Now, to be fair, Seth had not seen my TEDx talk before we met. Here’s what happened: After my TEDx talk, I was invited to speak on a panel at a corporate event. Seth Godin was backstage, too, about to give his keynote. I fumbled through a hello, feeling like an ass in front of this famous man. Then I went out to do my panel.
Afterwards, he approached me and said—and I will never forget it—“You are a rockstar. Would you like to keep in touch? I’d really like to know what you’re up to.” Mic. Drop. A month later, I kid you not, Seth Godin made me gluten-free samosas in his kitchen, and it might very well be one of the best days of my life.
#4 | I was invited to do a second TEDx talk.
When TEDxStLouisWomen saw my original TEDx talk from TEDxKansasCity, they said, “Hey, come speak at our event.” So I did! I spoke about what I wish all women knew: That just because a relationship ends and you happen to be single does not mean something is wrong with you. (Watch that TEDx talk here.)
#5 | I was approached to write a book.
A publisher from the UK saw my bio in a program for an event, looked up the TEDx talk on passion, and seems to think the talk would make a great book. I happen to agree. Stay tuned.
#6 | Hubspot named me one of the “Top 15 Female Motivational Speakers Who Are Killing It.”
It’s true. I came in #2…and Oprah is #8. I’ll take it.
#7 | I was cited as one of the world’s leading creatives by Creative Boom magazine.
This list includes Elizabeth Gilbert and David Kelley of IDEO. I don’t even know what to say to that, except…thanks TEDx! The piece is called “The Secrets to Success: Incredible Career Advice from Some of the World’s Leading Creatives.”
#8 | I was published on Business Insider.
I contributed a piece on the biggest public speaking mistakes.
#9 | I was featured as an expert on Inc.com.
Alison Davis interviewed me for Inc.com column for a piece called “Best Presentation Ever: How to Elevate Any Talk to Make it Motivating, Meaningful, and Memorable.” Having TEDx cred means getting cited and interviewed in media, too, and there have been lots of these kinds of opportunities—including podcasts, tons of them.
#10 | I do this for a living now.
To be very clear, I am not employed by the TED organization. But because so many people have TEDx, and speaking in general, on their bucket list, I have made it a big part of my consulting business, and the demand tells me this was a good decision. Fact is, a TEDx, or any, talk, is a critical part of your brand platform, and so it works really well with what I already do.
I was hired as the TEDx coach for TEDxStLouisWomen.
I was asked to emcee TEDxLincolnSquare in Manhattan.
I was asked to coach and emcee the Aha Women’s Speaker Series.
And now I work privately with high-profile entrepreneurs, executives, and experts of all stripes on their talks for industry events, national conferences, and have helped many of them land their own TEDx talks. And the TEDx organizers I know — they ask me for speaker recommendations. And they’ve booked many of the people I sent along.
In 2017, I launched an online course called Tapped to Speak to help people craft their stand-out signature talks, and this year I’m running my in-person workshop event, Tapped to Speak LIVE, this time in Boston, April 4 & 5, 2019. So excited.
So did a TEDx talk change my life? You bet. And it can change yours, too.
Join me for this live workshop! It’s going to get you fired up and focused on your stand-out signature talk. Learn more and reserve your spot at tappedtospeaklive.com.