We’ve all been there. No matter how long you’ve been in the business of public speaking, how good you are, or how much you know, there are times when the phone just stops ringing for speaking engagements.
No matter how long you’ve been in the business of public speaking, how good you are, or how much you know, there are times when the phone just stops ringing for speaking engagements.
Like every other dream business, there are highs and lows. Sometimes they are dramatic, and you never see them coming.
So how do public speakers handle it when the phone isn’t ringing to beg you to speak at an event?
Here are 14 tips:
1. Acknowledge that you’re not alone.
You are not weak because your public speaking business has hit a low point. It happens in every type of business. Find comfort that others go through this too.
2. Don’t view it as the end of your public speaking career.
If you start painting a negative picture of doom, you’ll probably start headed that way. Keep this in perspective.
3. Don’t panic.
Things are never as bad as they seem. Don’t let your imagination run wild.
4. Check in with your peers.
Ask other speakers in your niche if they are experiencing the same thing. See if there is a trend going on.
5. Check in with other industries and the current economy.
Sometimes a downshift in your public speaking business is something that is happening to all businesses–not just your industry.
6. Understand what has caused the phone to stop ringing.
You can’t fix it until you understand what is going on. You may never truly figure it out, but awareness is better than hiding your head in the sand and crying.
7. Study what brought you here.
How did you get speaking engagements before? Are you still doing it? Have you stopped doing something you shouldn’t have stopped, or are you still doing the same thing in a world that has changed? Maybe a little of both?
8. Get back in touch with your business plan.
Sometimes the phone stops ringing because we have taken our foot off the pedal and coasted. Start putting pen to paper. Create a plan. It doesn’t matter if it’s the right one. The point is to get yourself in forward-focused motion.
9. Study other successful public speakers.
Find the ones who are thriving, and study them.
10. Be honest and give yourself some tough love.
When the phone stops ringing to book you for speaking engagements it can be a sign that people don’t want what you have to offer, don’t know that you’re here, or that you aren’t good enough.
So what? Get better. You did it before; you can do it again.
11. Keep it from happening again.
We should be looking ten steps ahead in the public speaking world. Create other streams of revenue. Continuously play the “what if” game. Even when the thing I’ve built is working, I look ahead at the next thing I can make. Nothing is promised with a dream to make a living at public speaking.
12. Be grateful and reframe it.
Take plenty of moments to look at what is still working, what your talents are, what others are saying–the proof that you are good at what you do. Immerse yourself in your fans and testimonials. Instead of wringing your hands in gloom and doom, get excited. This period is your chance for a change, a clean slate, a new chapter, a chance to do something you haven’t done before.
Remember how excited and passionate you were when you launched your public speaking career dream?
Go there again.
13. Believe in what you’re doing.
Sometimes dreams fizzle because the passion is gone. Maybe you’re just not that into your dream anymore, and it’s time to reinvent. Stay in touch with what you do and why you do it and why it matters to those you serve.
14. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be honest about your problems.
Everybody has problems. It’s when we try to act like we’re succeeding when we’re not, that we fail. There is nothing weak about asking for help, reaching out to peers you know and respect, and being honest when times aren’t great.
If we think you don’t need help, we’re going to move on to someone who does need our help. There are plenty of people eager to give back. Don’t let pride keep you from finding them. The universe has a way of giving you what you ask.
So start asking.