You have a gift; something to offer the world. You know you can provide massive value through your message and the way you present your content, while you build your business and authority in your niche, and create the life you want.
It’s simple, right? All you have to do is get your stuff out there. There is certainly no shortage of platforms and delivery methods in the online world, so, you invest in yourself and your business, create an offer, and you share your message far and wide and shout it from proverbial (digital) mountaintops.
As a speaker, you know that your unique approach to the content you present makes you unique - in theory, a highly bookable commodity for any conference organizer or event planner.
And then you realize (and if you haven’t yet, let me tell you. BOLD statement alert):
Content is no longer king.
And let me ask you this... If content is (or ever was) king, then what are you? Where do you fit in? Are you the servant of the content? Are you the deliverer?
I would like to invite you to radically shift your approach to content so that YOU become the king or the queen of your space. YOU. And what I'm going to share here will allow you to do just that while content takes a strong supporting role in your empire!
Let's jump back for a moment. When you recognize that content is no longer king, we are left with a quandary of epic proportions if you consider that your content is the collateral you pledge with the hope of closing a deal.
Here's the real deal - the default rate for conversion is high for those who bank on sharing content that hasn’t been vetted using some very specific criteria.
The good news is, there is a simple solution that will help you choose and design content that stands out and converts - AND - helps to position YOU as the leader in your space. (I’m all about solutions!)
There are 7 criteria to consider to make your content 'matter' and make YOU a true leader:
Here are the 7 criteria as questions, and a deeper explanation of how to apply them to your content for positive action.
1. Does your content promote self-sufficiency?
More than anything else I’m going to share with you here, if you consider nothing more, this is the one big question to consider when you are deciding the content you want to speak about, write about, or share. (Hence why I placed it at the base of the infographic, and in root color, red.) Does your content provide value in the form of allowing your audience to implement and take positive action for themselves, without your guidance? (Being a micromanager does NOT help you). This is not to say that you are ‘giving away the farm’ and making yourself obsolete…Obviously, this would be bad for business. However, you have to consider the moment the content is received and what value it provides in that moment. If what you are sharing doesn't allow the receiver to make it their own and take action (whether that be total comprehension or implementation) nothing else will matter; your content will join the graveyard of online wallpaper. (...And I’m talking the worst kind of wallpaper. No one needs or wants it and people go out of their way to rid themselves of it....let that sink in!)
One more thing to consider with the self-sufficiency of your content is that you deliver in the most economical manner: less talk, less words, less resources, less receiver’s effort BUT more results! Less is more, always. (Notice, I provide an infographic with blog posts that provides the most essential content and a pathway to understanding and action, with the least amount of effort.)
As a speaker, self-sufficiency could come in the form of feedback, agreement, or designing something action based that encourages comprehension through action. Different, yes. Does it work? YES. Does it mean you'll have to think way outside the box in certain speaking situations? YES.
2. Is your content significant?
This might sound obvious, however, you can agree that what is significant to someone else is not always significant to you. And so, when you consider this principle in reverse, it requires extra care and consideration to determine what is truly significant about your content that it needs to included in your presentation.
Think of a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece is a significant part of the whole. Your content should work the same way and should play a significant role in the bigger picture of what you are sharing:
- As a presenter: each speaking point must be significant to the reason for the presentation (WHY).
- As a keynote speaker: your contribution through what you share must connect with the audience (WHO).
- In fitness: each exercise should build and expand to achieve the desired physical goal (flexibility, strength, rehabilitation) (WHAT, HOW, WHEN).
Another way to measure for significance is to consider whether your content develops the cognitive, affective (click each one to read my previous posts about how to develop them) or psychomotor skills of your audience. For health and fitness coaches, the psychomotor (conscious physical action) skills are of key significance. You want someone to move with understanding to avoid injury and get the best results in the best way.
Choose significant content that helps your learners achieve results.
3. Is your content valid/relevant?
There is nothing worse than a speaker who delivers information beyond its best before date. Check your stuff! Be on top of (and ahead of) trends and present content that is either evergreen (make sure it is evergreen!) or relevant to your audience, your topic, and the online/offline world. No offense to Google+, but if you’re pushing this platform as THE one, you need to revisit your information. If your content is obsolete, so are you.
In other words, if you want to become the authority in your niche and have people follow you over the long term, do your research REGULARLY, release updates, admit when you’re wrong, acknowledge when things change, and embrace innovation.
4. Are you sharing content of interest?
Again, this may seem like an obvious, automatic response, however, it gets a little less obvious when you present information that your learner may not know they are interested in, yet. (Say what?)
When you create a talk, or a presentation, often (and I hope more often than not) you offer information that is unique and innovative that will challenge a current belief and provide innovative value by way of a new method, system, or approach. The trick, then, is to frame content in a manner that will, without question, pique the interest of your audience. Find a way to make your information interesting and meaningful to your audience. This instantly places your audience, learner, reader, listener, follower, fan at the centre of your decision making when it comes to content and the delivery of it. (And that is a -Martha Stewart- good thing!)
Remember, just because you think your content is valid and relevant doesn't mean your audience will. ASK. Regularly poll your audience and ideal clients to determine the trends of what they want to hear about (YES - by doing this research you'll find out what they WANT so you can speak their language and ultimately give them what they NEED. If you can't get them based on what they want, you've missed the boat).
Choose content that is focused on THEM not YOU.
5. How useful is your content?
Green on the infographic - the color for matters of the heart - I have to be real with you if we are truly going to make an impact on your audience. You need to get real with yourself about the utility of your content. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask yourself:
- How useful will this content be beyond the presentation?
- Will this benefit my audience in their ‘real’ life or business?
- Will this add meaning and value?
- Will this help solve a problem?
- Will it matter if I don’t share this?
Always keep in mind, if something is deemed useless, interest will wain, and you will ultimately lose your audience…you get the picture.
Be brutally honest with yourself and keep your content choices in the realm of maximum usefulness. (Useful content = high utility = increased user engagement = maximum potential for returns).
6. Is your content learnable? How? When?
Your content is learnable if it is relatable to your audience, now. (NOW being the key). If your content is not relatable, now, then learnability helps you to figure out the HOW and WHEN to teach and share it.
For instance, if you want to talk higher level strategy for positioning yourself on YouTube, it’s imperative that your audience knows how relevant YouTube is when it comes to building a platform in the first place.
You wouldn’t teach a student how to do an inversion (hand stand) until they have the core and wrist strength and stability...
...and you certainly wouldn’t be asking an audience to share deeply personal traumatic life events without establishing a safe space and a coaching relationship (even Tony Robbins frames his techniques and is successful because he builds trust over time, at the right time).
When you determine the learnability of your content, you will better understand how and when to share it for maximum impact.
Share content that is relevant NOW and invite your audience to the edge of 'comfortably uncomfortable' and they will follow you into the beyond!
7. How feasible is your content?
Simply, is it possible to effectively (and affectively) teach or share your content on your platform and in the time you have allotted, AND is it in your expertise/understanding to accomplish what you are trying to do? What you do in a 30-minute talk will be different than what you would do in a 90-minute talk. A one-on-one coaching would be different than a group session. A full day workshop requires a different approach than a 'speak to sell' situation.
Once again, I urge you to put yourself in the shoes of your audience (each ONE of them). The question, then, is not ‘do I have enough time to share this content’, but rather, ‘is this enough time for my audience to achieve [insert goal here]’. You see, when you approach feasibility from your perspective, you may end up forcing (shoving) content, and your audience becomes a victim. (They won’t come back for more.)
Time matters. But you can't start with time. One of the BIGGEST mistakes speakers make is to reverse engineer their talks based on time instead of outcome. Start with the outcome (WHY), add the time (WHEN) and you'll be able to engineer WHAT you talk about and HOW you talk about it.
Remember, your audience's perspective is the key determining factor in feasibility. When you take this approach, you will achieve a natural flow, increased enjoyment and engagement, and an audience who wants more of what you have to offer! (#winning)
As for your level of expertise, be honest with yourself. If it isn’t possible (right now) for you to achieve what you envision, modify to demonstrate your best assets (your true self) and you will succeed. Remember, an expert isn’t an expert in EVERYTHING (that would just be annoying, and we would probably unfriend that person on Facebook!).
Share content that allows you to be the expert, is appropriate for your audience, and creates transformation in the time you have available.
Gear up for success!
The 7 criteria work together like gears in a machine or the individual tiles of a mosaic (infographic design and blog post photo explained!). Apply ALL of them, every time.
As a speaker, using the 7 Criteria for Expert Content Selection will instantly increase audience engagement, enjoyment, and transformation... which in turn means that you too will increase your returns, your authority, and your success!
I'd love to hear from you. Comment and tell me if this topic has given you something new to consider and implement as you plan your next signature talk, workshop, presentation, or live event.
Photo credit: Davide Di Giorgio/TheExperienceAlchemist
Davide Di Giorgio, The Unforgettable Experience Alchemist. YOU are ready, NOW - to create world-class, world-changing experiences that make you and your business UNFORGETTABLE.