Earlier this year I started mentoring with Ali Brown in the USA. It was one of the most nerve-wracking decisions of my life – high risk from a financial perspective, and a constant pull on the priorities of what needs to come first after what felt like a spectacular personal business failure.

So imagine how I felt when Ali opened our first actual coaching call with ‘You know the world doesn’t need another speaker trainer right?’

I am sure my internal groan and WTF was loud enough to be audible…don’t tell me I had made the wrong decision on who to coach with…

But she was right. The world doesn’t need another freaking speaker trainer. It actually really doesn’t – of the variety currently touring our cities and drowning our social media where it seems every single person is claiming the ability to train you to be a world-class speaker.

Where rooms are being filled as free events – and not just the international trainers, but those right here in our back yard – to show you how to unlock the secrets to being a well-paid speaker who will have international fame and glory.

Free events which give just enough for the newer audiences to want more, and not enough for the more experienced audiences to feel there is value in what is being offered.

Where the sales tactics of the 1990’s back-city routes of the USA have been shifted to our own backyard – high pressure, manipulative, and credit card inducing.

Let me step you aside for just one moment here, with:

  1. The fact that most of these speaker trainers have only spoken to get people like you to pay money
  2. That there are million-dollar speakers around the world – but that in reality it takes months, sometimes years, to attain that level
  3. That you STILL have to have something of value to say, to offer to an audience
  4. That more than 65% of people in a recent survey actually want to learn how to speak not to make millions as a speaker – but to elevate their business and amplify their impact

Which actually means for most of you in these free rooms, you are being sold something that there are no shortcuts for, for purposes that don’t really apply to you.

But what is extraordinary most recently is the introduction of offering the opportunity to speak on stage alongside a celebrity – to boost your ‘authority’ and ‘positioning’.

And in this age of Insta-fame and social media numbers it shouldn’t surprise me just how many people are falling for this success by association formula – but it does.

Because when I know who you are working with and the formula you have been sold then I know that you have paid for your spot on that stage speaking with or interviewing that celebrity.

I know, from a life behind the scenes, that it is not much more than a VIP photo shoot – where you are pulled in from stage left, given strict instructions and a script with the cameras positioned in the right places, before being exited again from stage right. Finely positioned and executed with precision.

To give you a few minutes of fame on social media channels. Without real impact, and without true reflection of your ability – and very often with someone who isn’t even aligned with your message or your work.

In fact, when I see you staged with a celebrity, you lose credibility.

Because if you are willing to shortcut your success in such an extraordinary manner, believing a brush with fame will literally rub off on you, then what are you willing to shortcut with your work and your clients?

Beware the celebrity association promise and dazzle – lest it actually screws your credibility in the world you actually want success in.

Originally published here.