After spending many years surrounded by Professional Speakers, World Championship Speakers and Owners of Speaker Bureaus, Rina Rovinelli finally spills the beans on why it’s not enough to be a great speaker, if you want to become a paid speaker.
Rina Rovinelli is the Co-Founder of Speaker Slam – Canada’s Premier Inspirational Speaking Competition with over 200 attendees monthly and attracting a stellar lineup of speakers and professional judges. She is a Speaker Coach and creator of the Emerging Speaker Program. Most recently, Rina has connected forces to spearhead the Too Much Woman Movement – empowering women to create meaningful impact by celebrating their too muchness. Rina’s greatest passion and life’s mission is the pursuit of human connection which she blogs about at http://www.ttctales.com.
Journey to Speaker Slam
With an eye for opportunity and extremely competitive spirit, Rina took Dan Shaikh’s offer to partner together in the speaking world. Initially, the idea was to create a debate club but as Rina recalls, “I couldn’t think of anything more boring.”
Fortunately, a few weeks later, Dan’s imagination was sparked again (or maybe for the first time ;)) and said, “let’s run a contest!” to which Rina replied, “OMG… Speaker Slam!”
Within weeks they were searching for venues, dreaming up themes and enrolling speakers and judges to make the first contest happen. Now, almost two years later, with over 200 attendees monthly, Rina and Dan have become the Largest Inspirational Speaking Competition in Canada.
I, adore Speaker Slam.
I love the people who attend monthly. I’m invigorated by the energy of the night. And most of all, I stand behind it’s purpose. As Rina says, “the most beautiful thing about Speaker Slam is that it’s real people sharing authentic stories. There’s no sales pitch. We’re all aligned for a night of transformation and to empower others and ourselves.”
Fortunately for many of you locals reading this blog, Rina was also willing to share her most important tip for winning Speaker Slam.
Focus On Your Message
Rina believes,”stories, are the great equalizer.” She and Dan have seen Professional Speakers and Public World Championship Speakers cross their stage. On the flip side, they’ve also had newbies and people who were competition for the first time up to the mic sharing their souls with hundreds of people.
Both types of competitors have taken home the title of Speaker Slam champion.
Should you be polished and ensure that you’re prepared to take the stage? Yes. You should give yourself the highest probability of success. But know that your story, your ability to resonate with the audience, your authenticity and your vulnerability will always been the greatest determining factor of Speaker Slam success. It’s not the person who’s most polished that will ultimately stand out, it’s the one who speaks to the heart and souls of the audience and judges.
Today, as Rina develops new businesses and products, she’s reflecting on the lessons gleaned from her journey to Speaker Slam for a few important insights on building a strong company.
- Find the right partner. Often people will fall into one of three categories, the artist, manager leader or the entrepreneur “In a partnership, Rina said, “it’s important to have two or more.” Rina sees herself more as an artist who has a big vision and loves planning, while Dan is more of the manager leader who can ensure the work starts today.
- Ready, Fire, Aim. As a result of thier successful partnership they were able to initiate action from day one. Together, they make a plan, execute the plan and then re-evaluate to determine if that is the best strategy or if it’s more appropriate to pivot. Rina feels blessed to have Dan as a partner because while she tends to dream big and spend a lot of time thinking while Dan ensure they’re executing the strategy by dramatically reducing their time to action.
- Build Community. Speaker Slam continues to grow and be one of the cities most exciting events because of it’s beautiful community. The second you walk into that space it’s filled with love, positivity and a collective mentality of support. As a fly on the wall watching what Rina and Dan have created over the last 2 years, I know without a shadow of a doubt that the secret sauce to their events success is the commitment to fostering this unique community. In time Businesses die but communities endure. If you want to build a great event, company or personal brand, ensure you’re building a community.
Now that Rina’s quit her full time job to dive again into the world of entrepreneurship, her latest business offering is called the Emerging Speaker. Within that business is a solution to the gap I see all to frequently in the public speaking community, great speakers that don’t know how to become paid speakers.
Hell, I personally feel that pain from time to time as a Professional Speaker. I get gigs make a decent living doing it. But all Speakers who’re serious about going pro want to get booked more frequently and for more cash.
While her program will tackle all of the angles that will help you go pro and get paid handsomely in the process, Rina was happy to extend the following non-negotiables:
- Use a Rifle Not a Shotgun. As a speaker, it’s critical we’re not delusional enough to believe our message is for everyone. Even Presidents of Nations are disagreed with or even hated by about 50% of the people. What makes you think your message is so special that everyone and anyone will resonate with your personal beliefs? As a result of this truth we need to stop using a shotgun in choosing the verticals and markets we’ll serve. Let’s instead begin to challenge ourselves to be specific about the industry, demographic, psychographic or type of group that will benefit most from our value proposition. Without that clarify around who you’ll serve best, you’ll end up fracturing your message like a shotgun rather than focusing it like a rifle.
- Market the Message. “I’ve met so many friends that run Speaker Bureaus and are paid Professional Speakers,” Rina said, “that to me, the clear difference between a great speaker and a paid speaker is the marketing of their message.” Not only do you need to be able to clearly articulate why you’re the right person to speak to a particular audience, you also need communicate why it should be you rather than someone else! To bridge the gap between being great and being paid, we need to immediately focus in on our key messaging, get clear on our unique value proposition and consistently and shamelessly convey that message to those who have the authority to pay us. As Grant Cardone would question, “who’s got my money?” And after asking that question, we need to proceed to create strategies of outreach to target those people.
- Video Rules. Event organizers will not pay you, or in the least, pay you handsomely, if they can’t see you speak prior to bringing you into their event. We need to understand that they’re putting their reputation on the line every time they book a speaker. Consequently, they need to ensure you’ll be entertaining, educational and facilitate a memorable experience. Otherwise, you’re either not worth the money or they’ll simply look bad as the person who brought you in. That’s why Rina believes that creating a speaker reel or speaker video highlighting your strengths is an absolute non-negotiable for earning top dollar as a speaker.
Rina’s Do This Directives
- Be a Relationship Builder. Wether it’s to help support the growth of your business, create credibility in your industry or for your own personal happiness, becoming a relationship builder will only enhance your life. Rina personally tries to meet 3-4 people for coffee every week to grow her network as well as deepen the connections she already has. “Nothing beats meeting in person, giving someone a hug and feeling their energy,” Rina commented. So although social media has made it easier to connect, she encourages us to never replace our face to face time as a relationship builder.
- Maintain Integrity. We live in what Rina calls the cancel culture. Where it’s okay to drop plans last minute or pursue something more interesting even though you’ve already made the commitment to another person. There’s nothing more detrimental to your reputation with someone than to cancel and bail on an agreed upon plan. Rather, as individuals who want to build strong relationships and hold ourselves to a higher personal standard, maintain your integrity and follow through on your word. It’ll go a long way in building trust. And in 2018, nothing replaces the power of trust.
- Get Your Butt to Speaker Slam. It’s the most inspirational event in the whole city! If you haven’t been, then come! If you’re thinking about sleeping on the next few upcoming events, don’t! You deserve to give yourself the gift of being enveloped by the energy and positivity that surrounds Speaker Slam. And more importantly, you have no idea what the connections and relationships you build in this room full of like minded individuals with forever change your life.
Audio Time Stamps
- 00:00 Rina intro
- 2:08 what is the connector
- 3:00 Rina’s networking philosophy
- 4:41 networking best practices
- 545 Speaker Slam inspiration
- 9:00 how to win speaker slam
- 13:00 why come to speaker slam
- 16:00 biggest gaps from great speaker to paid speaker
- 20:00 do you need content?
- 22:00 whats on Rina’s heart
Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”