So I have been a memory speaker for 23 years now! Yikes!!! That’s amazing that I started doing this when I was 5 years old I know! :)
(Actually I started at 18. I’m now into my 4th decade of life. seriously? wow)
I’ve always been the type of person that wants to push myself to be the absolute best I could be and advertise myself with integrity. The first decade of speaking my bio would say, ‘Ron White is one of the top memory experts in the country.’ Then I had to ask myself, ‘What credentials do I have to say this or is this just fluff/puffery that so many do in their marketing?’ I didn’t want to do that so I told myself, ‘Compete in the USA Memory Championship and set a record or win it. If you don’t stop saying you are one of the best.’ Well, I not only set 2 USA Memory Records I became the 2 time USA Memory Champion and came in 2nd place twice. So I now feel I have earned the right to say I am one of the top memory experts.
But here is the deal, I didn’t just want to be one of the top memory experts I wanted to be a top memory SPEAKER!. There is a difference. You don’t get paid to be a top memory expert, you did get paid to be a memory speaker. Now the truth that many don’t want to admit:
PEOPLE WANT TO BE ENTERTAINED MORE THAN THEY WANT TO BE EDUCATED
Argue with me all you want but as a general rule it is true. That’s why sporting arenas are packed and libraries are not. It’s why the Kardashians are mega stars and scientists are not. So I make my speech like a Vegas show. It is FUN, FUN, FUN. I memorize up to 300 names in the audience and repeat them rapid fire. Check it out:
Here is 20 minutes of my speech (normally a 60 minute keynote) and you will see how fun I try to make it
A memory speaker once asked me, ‘How do I get more speeches?’ I replied, ‘Make it fun. Focus on entertaining them.’ He was offended and said, ‘You don’t understand how valuable the information I share is!’ Yes, I do my friend. But make them laugh and they will listen. Bore them and they will sleep
There are many more things I have done to set myself apart as a memory speaker and in 10 years I may share them. But why give all my secrets away in the middle of my speaking career! haha! Actually there is one thing I did that was priceless and I see soooooo many memory speakers making the mistake I luckily saw myself making 12 years ago and stopped. I’ll share one day…when I retire :)
Whatever it is that you teach or do:
- Set out to be the best. Even if you don’t get there you will certainly step up your game
- Find ways to get yourself publicity but also remember that publicity sometimes can stroke the ego more than the bank account. Focus on growing the bank account
- If it’s not true. DONT SAY IT
- Have FUN!!
I wanted to be the best memory speaker and frankly I think I am. I don’t even think it’s close. This does not mean I think I am the best memory expert or can memorize the fastest or most. Not at all. But the best memory speaker? Yeah. I think I nailed that