How Authors Can Get Booked to Speak with Topher Morrison

Feb 09, 2022

Topher Morrison has tips aplenty when it comes to authors getting booked to speak and it makes sense: he is, after all, the founder of Personofi, a firm that specializes in brand messaging for small business owners. He is the author of four best-selling books and was voted one of the top 10 business speakers in Tampa Bay. His extensive speaking career, spanning over the past 30 years, has earned him a global reputation as an expert in mass communication and influence. He has spoken for top execs with American Express, Microsoft and Google, just to name a few.

In this episode, he shared so many gems I'd never heard before—including where authors who have never spoken before can get experience for a reel, the importance of a one-sheet, how to make a book into a speech by using the vignettes in it, why the opening of the speech should not be the same as your first chapter and how to sell your book while speaking without sounding like a douche.

It's all in there!

For more about Topher, go to Topher Morrison. To pick up one of his books, click here. And to see some of his educational videos about how to kill it as a speaker, click here.


TRANSCRIPT:

 

Anna:

Okay Topher, thank you so much for coming to chat with me today.

Topher:

I am stoked. It's been first off way too long since we've chatted anyway. When did we meet each other, 10 years ago, maybe longer?

Anna:

Hold on. It wasn't quite 10 years ago, but this is sort of an awesome thing. I was thinking about it because there's a comedian that I used to know pretty well and I haven't seen him since then. I think it was John Heffernan, right?

Topher:

John Heffernan. We are still good buds. Yes. That's how I met you.

Anna:

But I think what happened is I saw him tweet about you. Or he told me directly. He said, "I know this guy, I work with this guy who's the best speaking coach." And I reach out to you and you were so sweet. And you said, "I'm going to be in LA. I'll just work with you." Or maybe you even said, "I'll come to LA."

Topher:

I can't remember.

Anna:

And I remember because I had this office at WeWork and you worked with me and you really helped me restructure a talk that I had and deliver it. And you are just such a sweet, sweet person and so good at what you do.

Topher:

Thanks.

Anna:

I'm really happy that you're here to talk about something I've never talked about on the podcast and my listeners are very much interested in, which is how do you convert a book into a talk? And how do you use the fact that you're an author to get booked as a speaker? So let's actually do it backward. Because as I always say, if there are two people that a booker is considering, and they're equal, but one has a book, they're always going to book the author. Tell me about that.

Topher:

Every single time they will pick the published author over the unpublished author even if the other speaker is a better speaker and has a better demo reel and is more entertaining. They will almost always, I guess I should probably preserve that, not be so hyperbolic, but they will almost always pick the author. Because there is this perceived notion in society that authors are experts. And that's probably rightly earned as well. At least if it's a good book, they probably are an expert in it and they took a long time, you know, you've written a book, it ain't easy. It's hard. So by the time somebody's gone through all that process, they are probably an expert. But it's a false assumption, but it is a societal assumption that the authors are the experts. Yeah.

Anna:

Yes. It's why we do what we do. Because a lot of our clients are experts, but nobody knows that because they've sort of been working towards their expertise, doing their 10,000 hours of work, and they need that book to show the world.

Topher:

Yeah, they're working on their craft. They're the world's best-kept secret because they're an expert in it and they are bonafide phenomenal and they don't have the book. And there's just no social proof. In fact, the scary part is that, especially in today's society, because publishing has become such a mainstream thing, nowadays the question people get is, "Have you written a book?" And you know, if somebody ever asked you, "Well, do you have any books? Have you written any book on it?" you know you're six months or a year behind if people are asking if you have a book and you don't. You definitely want to have one, no doubt about it. And the only anything better than having one is having two or three or four.

Anna:

Or eight like me, right.

Topher:

Yeah. Ooh.

Anna:

And, oftentimes bookers are quite excited to have a signing. So I think that that's... And/or a lot of speakers will gift their book or they'll say basically, "Hey, if you buy 200 copies, you don't have to pay me." Tell me a little bit about how that works.

Topher:

Yeah. So there are several different packages that you can offer as a speaker when you have a book, which is just what you just said. You have your speaking fee and then you will gift a certain number of books. Or you could have bought my book and I will speak for free. And something people might say, "Well, why is that important?" Because the monies to buy the books come out of a different account than the money to pay the speakers in large corporations. So they may have already blown their budget on their conference for their speakers, but yet they still have money in their budget for swag bags. And by the way, that's a great way to say, "We'll get the books in time for you to put them in your swag bags," and they love that as well. So it comes out of a different purse. And so, while you may have a budget that you have to stay within the speaker fees, the book fees could be added. And it's just a great way for you to have more flexibility and still get maximum dollars from that event.

Anna:

That's so interesting. I've never thought about that. And then, of course, if you have a business and let's say you one client is worth anywhere from a thousand dollars to a hundred thousand dollars, it is well worth the investment in the $3 a book or whatever it's going to cost for you to gift that.

Topher:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Although, definitely don't gift it first, sell it first. And then if they don't buy, then go down to hard costs. And then if they don't buy, then you can gift. Start off with the price that makes you the most amount of money, obviously. Because like I said, sometimes these big corporations don't bat an eye. Remember this, the one thing I love to tell people when they're thinking about charging their speaking fees and like, "Oh, how much is the right fee and blah, blah, blah, blah," remember that the bar tab at a conference for a large corporation will outweigh your speaking fee by at least five times, at least five times. Just keep that in mind. It may seem like a big fee for us when we charge it. It is a drop in the bucket for these large corporations that are hosting and spending $300,000, a half million, $2 million, $10 million on their annual conferences. A $10,000 or a $20,000 speaking fee is nothing for these companies.

Anna:

Let's say I'm a first-time author. And my book, maybe I feel, because I hear people say this, not qualified to be an expert, even though I have all this hard-earned personal experience, but I don't have a master's degree or I don't have whatever, and I go, "Okay, I want to be a speaker." How do I start?

Topher:

Okay. And you don't have a book or you do have a book?

Anna:

You do have a book. You have your first book and you're like, "Okay, here we go with speaking. What do I do?"

Topher:

Perfect. Well, at the risk of sounding self-promotional, hire a speaking coach for one, because you could have the best information in the world and if you don't know how to present it in a palatable way, they're never going to book you back. So you absolutely want to do that. And by the way, you should probably get a media coach as well, because you're going to be asked to speak on TV or on the radio. And if you've never been in front of a camera or you've never had a microphone shoved in front of your face, it can be quite intimidating. Anna, you know this. You've done this for years. So for you, it's second nature. But if you can recall back to that first time you were on the bright lights in the camera, it's unnerving, right? And so you could have all the... The natural law of memory, it is inhibited when you are relaxed. It is enhanced when you're relaxed, it's inhibited when you're stressed. And nothing can cause more stress to a new time author than is the first time they're on a show. You could forget your damn name when you're on TV. So hire a media coach for sure or a speech coach.

Topher:

But beyond that, and I'm not trying to push my services either, I'm really not. What I'm saying, though, is that the delivery is as important as the knowledge. And that's the point that I want to make. Absolutely. Yeah. So you want to make sure you have that. Then once you do that, so the question is you're a new time... You want to break into the speaking gig, you need to have a one-sheet. It is the most important marketing piece for a speaker. It's more important than a sizzle reel, by the way, is the one sheet. The one-sheet is exactly what it sounds like. It's one piece of paper. It probably has your picture. It has your brief bio. It has a highlight of what you are going to learn in the keynote or one of the takeaways that the audience will get. And it probably has some quotes from people that are impressed by you that have some name notoriety that people if they were to see those quotes who go, "Well, if this person's saying they're good, they must be amazing." That's really all it is.

Topher:

And oftentimes, the one-sheet will make a bigger impact than the sizzle reel. Because the sizzle reel requires a computer to watch. And keep in mind, sometimes these board meetings where you've got the planner and you've got the board and they're all sitting around, they don't have time to sit there and watch 15 different speaker reels. So you're lucky if they'll watch it. They probably won't. What they're going to do is they're going to refer to the person who found you, who's [inaudible 00:09:02] and saying, "Hey, this is a great speaker. Here's their one sheet." And they look at it and they go, "Yeah, they look like they're smart. I like the photo. It was a professional headshot. It doesn't look like it's a stupid selfie." By the way, also be sure that you're investing in a good professional one sheet. And it just gives a quick highlight. That's oftentimes all they make the decision. They don't need to see the sizzle reel.

Anna:

I'm curious, so they'll book speakers without seeing how they speak.

Topher:

Yeah, absolutely. It depends. If you were referred to them, almost always they don't need to see the sizzle reel. If you're the one knocking on their door, doing the Oliver Twist, "Please sir, may I have a cup of porridge," then yeah, you might need to get them to watch the sizzle reel to know that you're good. But for the most part, you want to get your message out to as many people as possible so people who are on those committees hear about you and then they come to the committee and they go, "Oh my God, I saw this person on YouTube," or, "I saw this person on a podcast," or, "I heard this person on a podcast. They were amazing. I think they'd be great for our presentation." It can literally boil down to that. And they're like, "Yeah, good. Let's get them booked."

Anna:

Okay, but so then, and I remember how I solved this, here's the problem, you go, "Okay, I want to get booked. I don't have a sizzle reel because I've never spoken." So how do you get around that?

Topher:

Okay. Well, there are a couple of things. Nowadays, at the risk of aging myself, back in my day, it was hard to get video production. But nowadays, for crying out loud, you've got a 4k camera on your phone. You can set something up. It doesn't have to matter. Have a small event at your house if you have to, invite some people over. If you don't have a nice house, go to your friend's house who's got a nice house, I don't care. And do a quick presentation. Have it set up. The only thing that I'd recommend is that if you're going to set up an iPhone or a smartphone, don't use the microphone. As powerful as phones are in their high definition, 4k recording quality, they still suck when it comes to the recording of audio. So go get one... Nowadays, by the way, it used to be like an $800 lapel mic you'd have to get, nowadays, you can get it for 50 bucks, you can get these wireless lapel mics that plug right into your phone, you clip them, and the sound is just impeccable. It's beautiful. And just do something like that just so they know that when you get up in front of people, you're not going to stumble and fall and make a fool of yourself. It can literally be something as unofficial as that.

Topher:

But also, it's not that hard to get booked to speak nowadays. There are so many organizations from One Million Cups up to your chambers of commerce, all of the animal clubs, the Elks, the Moose, the Eagles, whatever. Those people are starving for speakers to come in. And just reach out to all of the local chapters, all of the local organizations that are in some level of professionalism and just say, "Hey, you know what? I've just published my first book. It's on this topic. And I think that your audience might benefit from it. I'm not trying to sell anything. I'm just trying to get some exposure and some experience speaking in front of the stage. I would love to come out to your group and give them a 20 minute or a 30 minute or a 15-minute presentation," whatever it is that your keynote is, "And there's no catch. There's no sales pitch. I just want permission to record it so I can improve and do better later." And honestly, you could book yourself up a month straight with local chapters for organizations that are just looking for people to come out and speak to their audiences.

Anna:

That's an amazing, amazing tip. So let's say I have my book. How do I make my book into a speech?

Topher:

Okay. Remind me, by the way, before we get off this call, to share with your listeners some techniques on how to sell the hell out of their books when they speak without being a salesy, douche-baggy guy. So remind me to do that.

Anna:

Love it.

Topher:

So what your question was, how do you turn the book into a speech? So let's first break down what a speech comprises. A speech, the best analogy that I can give, and I'm going to roll credits to this, by the way, to a gentleman by the name of Bill Gove. Now, I did not learn directly from Bill. I learned from his mentee, which is a guy named Steve Seebold, and he's a good friend of mine. And Bill Gove by the way, is kind of like the grandfather of motivational speaking. He is the guy who started it all. All of the great speakers that we admire love today, most of them are trained by this guy named Bill Gove, 30, 40 years ago. And he had it so well. He said, "A keynote speech is nothing but..." I'm paraphrasing his statements here, "A keynote speech is nothing but a concert in spoken word." So you want to have, just like if you were to go to a concert, you want to have your songs rehearsed. You want to be able to know in what order those songs are going to be played. And you want to have practiced those songs so well that if something were to happen on stage, it wouldn't throw your game off. In fact, you could even improvise and play around with that a little bit and make it look like it's effortless.

Topher:

So think of your speech as a concert in spoken word. And your concert is broken down into short little songs. Yours are vignettes. And a great speech is made up of short little vignettes, no more than five minutes apiece, as short as 30 seconds apiece. And they are stacked together one after another, in whatever order makes the most sense for the flow and the feel of the concert, just like a concert. You want to start off with something dynamic, but not your best hit. You want to start off with something that just kind of warms up the crowd. And then you want to build up. And then at some point in time, you need to slow down and you need to relax and you got to put the ballad on. Because you can't have a concert that's just loud, nonstop. And then after the slow, then you got to build it back up again. And presentations have that same flow. I call it the charisma pattern, by the way, which is that there is a cadence to a presentation, which is you start off at a medium pace, you work up into a louder, faster pace, and then as you get louder and faster, then you drop it down to something slow and soft.

Anna:

It's interesting because a book, the best, the most effective way to do a memoir is to have your first two chapters be the bottom, the most dramatic, and then you move into childhood so that doesn't... And then you start going chronologically. And then around chapter eight, you catch up to whatever that first chapter was. And that's not what you do with speaking.

Topher:

No. Yeah. So interestingly enough, the same strategies and skills that make a great book a great book, do not translate into what makes a great presentation. Nor do great strategies and skills as a speaker in a live audience translate to being a great speaker on camera as well. There are differences between all of those things. But there are different environments. I'm glad that you brought that up. It makes a big difference. With the presentation, you don't want to start off with your best. You want to just kind of warm up the crowd a little bit. Because let's face it, they're still sussing you out. If they bought your book, at some level, they're kind of convinced. But remember, buying a book is this person has something I need and I want to hear it. But in a presentation and a keynote, it's completely the opposite. It's, "Who is this yahoo, and why do I have to sit here and listen to them speak?" Totally different market. So you kind of got to win them over. And if you go in too hard, too fast, you're like that guy at the bar who's just hitting on the girls a little bit too fast and too hard. Slow your roll, cowboy. Just bring it down a notch or two. Be cool.

Anna:

Yeah. You don't walk up and propose.

Topher:

Right. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Or maybe you don't even walk up. Maybe you just sit there and just let them come to you. You got to know your game, right?

Anna:

Look at that. And so how do you know, do you need 10 anecdotes? How many do you need? Let's say this is a 10-minute speech. Do you need 10 anecdotes?

Topher:

Sure. Fantastic. Yeah. Listen, if you could do 10, I'll call them vignettes, because that's my language, but an anecdote is the same thing, yep, 10 anecdotes, 10 vignettes in 10 minutes would be an unbelievably awesome speech. Most people are not that well-rehearsed. They could maybe get two to three vignettes out in a 10-minute speech. Only a pro could do 10 in 10 minutes. And I always think back to, and I'm sure you've heard this quote, I believe it was Mark Twain, who said, "I apologize for not writing a shorter speech. I didn't have time." Or something to that effect. I'm sorry it was so long. I didn't have time to write a shorter one, or something like that.

Anna:

It's been attributed to so many people. Allegedly, it was a note to his wife, and who knows who he is. And it said, "I wanted to write you a short note. I wanted to..." Oh, you know. Yeah. That basically it's harder to do short than it is long is the point.

Topher:

Yeah, yeah. You get the idea. Same thing with the presentation. If I just wanted to tell some ideas and I didn't have them rehearsed, I would ramble on and on, I would get derailed, I would come back and I would be disheveled. And I would be like, "La, la, la, la." But on a keynote, you cannot do that. You have to have everything you're going to say rehearsed and prepared so you know how to do it. Now, the question is how many vignettes do I need for an amount of time? What I would say to that is this, it's not so much how many vignettes for a certain amount of time, it's just that do you know how much time each vignette takes?

Topher:

So create a vignette book with all the different stories that you have. And by the way, go into your book. This is back to your original question, how do you convert a book into a keynote? You take the best stories in your book. You bring them out of the book and you say, "Okay, what are the lessons or the big takeaways that this story in my book reveals?" And by the way, you could twist your stories just slightly to focus on something just slightly different. And one story you could have 10 or 15 different takeaways that you would use depending upon the audience that you're speaking with. So for example, oftentimes you'll hear keynote speakers, they'll say something like, "And we will customize the presentation to your audience." They don't. The good ones don't anyway. But what they do is they customize the takeaways to the audience, but the stories are always the same. And they're repeated the exact same way every single time with the right inflection because it's a song in spoken word. You got to practice it. But you do want to know what those takeaways and those lessons are.

Topher:

And then what I do is when somebody books me, I say, "Okay, well what are the current challenges that your company's dealing with? What are the things, what are the takeaways that your audience wants?" And then when they give those to me, then I go, "Okay, now what stories do I have that would fit into that category?" And then I'll apply that story to that takeaway. And then I just simply go, "All right, well, this is the number of takeaways," and I add up, this is a three-minute speech, this is a five-minute speech, this is a 30-second speech. And I add them all together and then I've got my presentation length. Now, sometimes though, your committees, your speaking committees, will go, "We just want them motivated. We just want them to be grateful that they're here at the conference. That's fine. We just want them having fun." "Okay, good. Then leave it up to me and I'll do my thing. How much time do you want me to speak?' And they'll say 45 minutes. And then you go, "Great." And then you go through and you put your song list together of all your different vignettes that add up to 45 minutes.

Topher:

Now, here's the cool thing about breaking a speech down into little bite-size vignettes. I have never in the history of speaking professionally in over 30 years, I have never, ever shown up for a keynote presentation where they have said, "Remember the agreed-upon time we asked you, that's exactly how much time we want you to speak." It has never ever, ever gone that way. This is always what happens. Once again, I'm speaking a little hyperbolic. I'm sure that I had one or two, but I just don't remember them.

Topher:

This is what normally will happen when somebody books you to speak. They'll come up to you backstage, usually five minutes before you're ready to go on, and they'll say something like this, they'll go, "Our next speaker is stuck at the airport. They're not going to be here. I know this is really last minute. I'm so sorry to ask this. I know we only asked you to speak for 45 minutes, but could you speak for 55 minutes?" or, "Could you speak for an hour and 15 minutes? If we have to pay you more, we will." By the way, they will say that too. But if they don't offer, by the way, that's fine. Just be cool. And they'll go, "Can you stretch it out to an hour and 15 minutes?" And then you go, "Absolutely. No problem. Because you know you've got a bank of other stories that didn't make the cut and you're just going to add a couple more of them in, not a big deal.

Topher:

Most commonly, though, that's not what's going to happen. Most commonly, they're going to come to you five minutes before your presentation and go, "Hey, I know we asked you to speak for 45 minutes, but the vice president just showed up and he's on a tight deadline. He's got to get on a plane. He wants to get on stage a little bit of earlier. I hate to do this to you. I know we asked you to speak for 45 minutes. Could you cut your presentation down to 30 minutes?" That happens, I'm going to say that probably happens, and I'm not exaggerating 90-plus percent of the time that's what will happen. And then you smile and you go, "Absolutely, no problem." You don't throw a fit because now you just know, "I'm going to cut a few songs out of my playlist and I'm going to get it down to 30." Whereas if you design a 45-minute presentation that has a beginning and a middle, and then I'm going to tell them what I'm going to tell them, I'm going to tell them and I'm going to tell them what I'm told them, the old Dale Carnegie speech stuff, which is just dead and done now, that doesn't work. Because now what do you? Do you tell the promoter, "No, I'm sorry. My presentation is 45 minutes. I have to do 45."

Topher:

No, what'll end up happening is you go, "Okay," and then you're like, "How do I speak really fast to get it done?" And then you end up going over and you piss off the promoter and they never bring you back. So yeah, take your best stories out of your book, make a list of all the different lessons or takeaways that could come from them. Create your vignette book, which is all a different story. And by the way, you might have five different stories for one point. That's okay too because you know what? They might have loved that point so much you need to drive it home again, and then you have another story as well. But that's the most time-consuming and professional way to build a speech from a book. Take your best stories, pull out the takeaways, build it based upon the takeaways and the time.

Anna:

And is it have a 10-minute, a 20-minute, and a 40-minute version? Do you think that's-

Topher:

No. I think you should just have 30-second to five-minute vignettes. And then when somebody books you, you go, "Oh, I got a 15-minute speech? I'm going to pull out my three best five-minute vignettes," or, "I'm going to pull out my four best three and a half-minute vignettes." And then you just add them up that way. Yeah. If you do it that way, you'll be golden. But that takes practice. It takes preparation. And unfortunately, most people... And by the way, this is just the mark between a professional speaker and a professional who speaks, there's a difference there. The professional who speaks is working on their slide presentation the night before. The professional speaker doesn't even deal with slides because he knows that they're a hassle and is going to entertain the audience with their stories anyway.

Topher:

So a couple of other things. The biggest misconception that I think people make that aren't professional speakers that have been asked to speak and it's their first keynote presentation and they're nervous about it, they think that they need to wow the audience with all of this great information and you're going to change their minds and their hearts and their lives with this dialogue. I think getting in perspective what it is that the keynote speaker does is very helpful. Your job, in my opinion, and I think if you were to talk to most professional speakers, people who run the circuit and they do this for a living, I think that most would probably agree, your job is not to change their lives in 45 minutes. Your job is to entertain the crap out of them for 45 minutes. Get them to laugh, get them to cry, get them to feel, get them to emote. Entertain them for 45 minutes. Don't try to change their lives.

Topher:

Which means you don't need a bunch of slides. You don't need a bunch of bullet points. You're not teaching them strategies and techniques and steps and processes. You're simply telling them stories and entertaining them. And if you do that, think about entertainment, emotion, don't worry about the content, don't worry about having them walk away with three successful strategies. Most people aren't taking notes anyway. Remember, they didn't even know who you were five minutes before you got on stage. So don't think that they're sitting there with baited breath and a pen and paper going, "Entertain me with your amazing words." They're just not going to be there. And I will say this, these smartphones have become the world's best feedback tool for speakers, because you will know exactly how good you are as a speaker based upon how many blue lights you see, glowing faces from the audience. Because they'll be on their phone. If you can see phones lighting up, you know you've lost them. Because they're, "Ah, screw this guy. I'm going to check my text messages now." And so they start-

Anna:

That's the worst.

Topher:

It is the worst. Yeah.

Anna:

But, speaking of the phone, I will say what I do to prep is I do it into my phone, then I listen, then I do practice again, then I listen again, then I practice again, then I listen again. I find listening when I'm practicing really, really as helpful as the practice.

Topher:

Yeah, absolutely. Now I will tell you this, by the way, technology has made our job so much easier as well. There's a difference between... By the way, as an author, everybody knows this, the typed word is different than the spoken word. If you just transcribe audio into a book, it's an average book. I hope I don't offend some of your readers, your listers.

Anna:

Yeah, they know that.

Topher:

Yeah. Don't transcribe your work. It just doesn't sound... It doesn't translate. Well, guess what? It doesn't translate the other way as well. You don't want to sit there and recite or memorize your book because that's not human speech as well. But I do believe that there is a need for a script when you're starting your presentation in your rehearsal. So one of the best strategies right now is to use otter.ai, I think is that software. Holy heck, that thing is incredibly good. So just hit record, start telling your stories and talking, and then it'll transcribe for you. And then you go through. And the strategy that I like is to take three highlighters, a green highlighter, a yellow highlighter, and a red highlighter.

Topher:

And I go through the script after it's been transcribed, and I read through and I highlight red, yellow, green, red is unnecessary dribble, yellow is, "I like it if I have time," and green is, "This is so good I have to keep it in the presentation." And go through the entire speech and just highlight it red, yellow, green, red, yellow, green. And if you're like me and you're being honest, you'll have mostly red, a lot of yellow, and just a few greens. When you're just talking a story out, it'll take 20 minutes sometimes. And you can edit that down to a two-minute story if you give it the time and the attention that it needs, for sure.

Anna:

So great. We have to get close to wrapping up. So how do you sell that book from the stage without sounding douchey?

Topher:

Yeah. Okay. I learned this technique from a guy named Tom Antion. He is one of the few people that when he sends me spam email, I read it because the man just generally makes me laugh. His sales copy is just hilarious. And this was his technique. In fact, I think he had a presentation called How to Sell from the Stage Without Being a Douchebag, I think is what it was called. I was like, "I love this guy already." Here's the technique. You have on stage your book, but you're not going to hold it up and say it's for sale or anything like that. All you do is you take one small piece from your book which is a really golden gem, and you just pick it up and you go, "Let me just read something for you real quick." And then you open it and you just read 2, 3, 4 lines, that's it. And just read it, and you set it down. You can say, "I just want to read something from my book." You can say that. But you just read it.

Topher:

But you're not saying it's for sale. You're not saying it's $29.95, but today you can buy a copy for $10. You don't say any of that stuff. You just read one paragraph out of your book and then you set it down, respectfully, it's a nice piece of art. Set it down. Yep. Don't just throw it off to the side. Set it down. And then you continue with your presentation. That's it. That's all you do. You just read one small... And what happens is people get obsessed. They're like, "I loved what he just read," and they make this assumption, "The rest of the book must be just as good." And they want to buy it. Yeah. And I will tell you, literally, I saw my book sales, I'm not exaggerating, they probably jumped 60%, maybe more. I remember calling Tom going, "Tom, you are a genius. I tried that." And every person I've told that to, they do this technique and they're like, "People were running into the back to buy my book." I'm like, "Yeah, I can't even really explain it other than I think they feel that was so profound, the rest of the book must be just as profound."

Anna:

And you're doing that thing where you're closing the loop, like how marketing people will talk about how you sort of give the first part so that people are psychologically very invested in whatever the ending is.

Topher:

Yeah. Well actually, let's talk about that. Because once again, going back to the biggest mistake people make because they want to give, give, give, give, give, just give so much value, so much content, so much information, if you have 10 steps to transforming your life, don't try to talk about all 10 steps. But here's what you could do. You could say something like this. You could say something to the effect of, "For the past 25 years, I've been trying to narrow down what it takes to succeed in speaking into the most succinct, small, and easy to get patterns. And I've discovered that there are five things, that if every speaker does these five things, they will hands down get standing ovations, sell books at the back of the room without having to sell it. And out of those five, here's the one that I want to talk about today."

Anna:

Oh, that's so good.

Topher:

Right. And now, you didn't say, "But we don't have time to go through all," or you say, "Here's five, but I'm only going to give you one today. But if you want to buy the others, you can." No, you just say, "There are five things. And here's the one that I think is the most relevant today." You make it like, "I picked this one just for you guys." And what a beautiful open loop. They want to know what the other ones are. And by the way, maybe that chapter one, that's that good thing, the big, whatever your 10 steps are, that's the one you... Be the good one.

Anna:

Well, Topher, this has been absolutely fantastic. Tell people how they can reach you. And this is reaching you for help converting their book into a speech as well as help training.

Topher:

Yeah, sure. They can go to tophermorrison.com. That's probably the easiest way to do it. Tophermorrison.com. Yeah. And I have a book on public speaking. It's called The Book on Public Speaking. I get to say I wrote the book on public speaking. Not being self-aggrandizing, it's just the name of the book. It's called The Book on Public Speaking. So they can go to their Amazon and get that if they want to as well. Yeah. But listen, I've got tons of YouTube videos for free. Listen, they don't have to buy anything. They can get a lot of my stuff for free. They just go to YouTube and search for my name.

Anna:

Except of course, by giving out these gems, you were doing exactly what you advise people to do in a speech, which is giving the gem so that they go, "Well, God, booking him and reading that book must just be even better." 

Topher:

Listen, hey, I'm a squirrel trying to get a nut just like everybody else. So I'd be honored if somebody feels so inspired and they would like to do business with me. I would love that. But believe me, I'm just here because I think the world of you. I remember meeting you so many years ago and had such a blast with you. For you to reach back out to me so many years, I was just like, "Oh, this just made my day." I was just thrilled that you reached out. You made my day.

Anna:

You're the best. Thank you so much for doing this. And you know, you listeners, thank you so much for listening. I will talk to you next week.



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